January 7, 2010


Since we have access to a refrigerator at work, I try to bring my lunch from home most days. Besides saving money, I tend to eat much better when I limit my options to what's in our cabinets.

The other day I noticed one of the saddest little meals, a small sandwich bag of spaghetti. I thought about all the cheap plastic containers in our drawers at home and wanted to donate one to this poor soul.

Perhaps it's a space-saving strategy to avoid hauling a bag to work. I imagine there's nothing more convenient than a pocket full of noodles.

- jpg

December 29, 2009

Snow Problem

Over the Christmas holiday Chicago got socked with several inches of snow.

I spotted this creepy rising-from-the-grave Snowmuppet while walking the dog near our place. It was not our dog who decorated the creation.

- jpg

December 23, 2009


We checked out the Lincoln Park Zoo's holiday light display.

While waiting for friends to park, we sat outside on some benches near the entrance and witnessed several people slip on the same patch of barely-visible ice. After a while we started warning people as they approached.

Such vocal precautions must be how people avoided ice-related injuries in the old days before salt was invented.

- jpg

December 21, 2009

Wrap Sheets

The same dining room table that served as a buffet just a week ago is now a gift-wrapping station.

Talking about best and worst Christmas presents, I recalled a particular gift I received several jobs ago from the group of architects for whose projects I provided administrative support. I returned from lunch to find an 8 oz. jar of dipping chocolate unwrapped but with a bow on top and, best of all, the $5.99 price tag still affixed.

I wasn't looking for anything from work colleagues, so the sentiment was considerate ... but the obviously thoughtless gesture was so much worse than getting nothing. Feigning sincere appreciation for the thing might have been the finest acting performance of my career.

- jpg

December 15, 2009

Season's Grazings

Hosted a brunch for the improv group on Sunday and it was a grand time. Mimosas were drained, eggbake was devoured and Secret Santa presents were exchanged.

When it came time to open my gift, I was puzzled to receive an envelope with my initials on it and a computer-burned DVD inside. The giver explained that this was a placeholder gift since the real one was (a) fragile and (b) with his parents on it's way from Ireland.

I immediately knew this meant a bottle of Paddy, a coveted brand of Irish whiskey that isn't marketed in the U.S. An outstanding gift indeed.

Quoth Arnie: "It was funny to watch your face go through the range of expressions at the DVD and then realizing what the real present was."

- jpg

December 10, 2009

Layers Club

Chicago officially welcomed its first blast of winter, but I actually don't mind the frigid temps.

I'm not a huge fan of the cold when I have to be outside walking dogs or waiting for an L train, but a good blast of arctic wind is good for making one feel alive. The energizing potential of Chicago's cold outweighs runny noses and icy toeses.

I definitely prefer extreme cold to extreme heat, but I appreciate that Chicago has such a seasonal swing. Brrrrrrrring it on!

- jpg

December 9, 2009

No Such Thing

Complimentary breakfast courtesy of our office building management company ... I could get used to this.

There's nothing quite like eating two of your three daily meals at the desk.

- jpg