Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Five

The Excuse

Well, I don’t need one for the past few weeks as I did say I wouldn’t be back doing this until after the holidays. Now that it’s the new year, I guess I can start off with a streak of one.

The Weeks

I got three weeks worth to get caught up on here.

For Christmas week I decided to celebrate in a very traditional format – by having my wisdom teeth pulled. Now I know what you’re thinking - “Chris/Jersey, you’re 37. Why did you still have your wisdom teeth?” I could give you a long, drawn out explanation, but it really boils down to one simple fact – I loathe going to the dentist. Couple that with the fact that I’ve spent the last two years on the road, and it becomes hard to find a week when I’d be able to sit down and have it done. I knew I was going to be home Christmas week, so Christmas week it was.

The surgery itself went very well. I had it on Monday, and was pretty much in a daze the rest of the day. Karin was very supportive when I was at the oral surgeon’s office; as I was waiting in the recovery area she nearly passed out. All teasing aside, Karin was fantastic in taking care of me, including running out to get sherbet and tea bags (to help clotting) that night. The timing did mean that I wasn’t able to eat solid food, which also meant for the first time since I can remember we weren’t able to go out for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. But I was able to enjoy lasagna on Christmas Day (thanks, Donna!) and cheer the Chargers on to a blowout victory over the Titans.

IMG_0360 New Year’s week featured our traditional (7 years running for me and Abram) trip to Las Vegas, NV. We pretty well have this trip down to a science. One night while we’re there Abram and I will suit up. This year it happened to be the first night we were there, and there was no adult supervision yet in town (read: Karin, Donna or Marie). We had what can only be described as a man’s day: Hot shave, suits, steak dinner, cigar, blues bar. Short of killing something with our bare hands I don’t know how we could have injected more testosterone into that day.

IMG_3518 The rest of the trip was your typical New Year’s Eve trip to Vegas. We watched bowl games (I went 3 for 3 on the 30th), we gambled, we watched fireworks from our room which overlooked the MGM Grand, and we of course went to the Hofbrauhaus. (Did I mention my review of the place was chosen as Review of the Day on Yelp?) Any trip to the Hofbrauhaus involves a paddling (you take a shot, and then, well, take a shot). The Jagergirl had a swing on her (look at those biceps!). In all it may have been one of our best trips to Vegas (although we seem to say that after almost every trip (did I mention we have this down to a science now?)).

This week I wound up in Houston. I wasn’t planning on winding up in Houston, but it just happened. What I was planning on doing was taking an online course on SharePoint. Alas, the class turned out to be a bit of a dud, so when a client called me on Monday morning and said, “Hey, can you come teach?” I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see friends, but it was a pretty low key/easy week on the whole, which is kind of what I needed to get back into the swing of things.

The Restaurant

I gotta give props out to Kirin’s in Houston. I had been craving Indian food for a while, and since it was cold in Houston (about 30 degrees) I figured some good Indian food would knock the chill off my body. The place is just fantastic – a gourmet Indian restaurant. I (as always) settled in at the bar and was greeted by one of the chattiest (yet friendliest) bartenders I think I’ve ever met. I had the tomato saffron soup (just perfect considering the weather), and the lamb roghan josh (which I believe is Indian for “delicious lamb”). It’s a bit spendier than your usual Indian faire, but it was worth every penny.

The Exercise

I’m working on it.

The Travel Note

I’m spoiled. I admit it. I have platinum status on Continental which means I usually sit in first class, or at least get first pick of the seat I want in coach, and I get to cut the security line. Flying any other airline is always a drag when compared to that experience, and no place is that more apparent than when I’m flying Southwest. For those of you who have never had the *ahem* pleasure of flying Southwest, they do cattle call seating – you line up according to number, and the seating is first come first serve. You can do “early check-in” for $10 a leg which will guarantee you a spot towards the front of the line, which helps.

On my flight back from Vegas, I boarded my Southwest plane and discovered the bulkhead window seat, with all of its glorious legroom, was open. As I was about to sit down, with my copy of the Saturday Times, I was informed that I wasn’t allowed to hold anything in the bulkhead seat, including my newspaper, during taxi/takeoff/landing. Now I could sit in row 5 and have the newspaper in my lap and read it the entire time (which I did) but not in the bulkhead. Mind you, this isn’t a security thing[1], but rather a safety thing. I’ve flown more than my fair share of segments over the last two years, and not once have I had to turn in a newspaper while sitting in the bulkhead seat. I guess I have even more reason to avoid Southwest.

The Five

My first Five of the year. Traditionally I’ve done resolutions, and looking back on last year’s I realize how terrible of a job I’ve done. But as the exercise section of the blog proves, I’m nothing if not a slave to tradition.

  1. Read more personal books. The end of 2009 saw a pretty good flurry of reading for me, as I finished off “Traffic”, “Juliet, Naked”, “Total Access” and started on “The Boys of Summer”. Hopefully I can keep that up.
  2. Eliminate the snooze button from my life. I probably spend an extra 40 minutes each morning in bed because of the snooze button. Actually, it’s not even in bed – it’s 4 laps from my bed to wherever my phone is as I can’t have it next to me – I’ll turn it off and not realize it.
  3. Shed that 15 pounds.
  4. Limit the amount of procrastination in my life. I have a propensity for putting something off until I’m right next to the deadline, and then complain about how busy I am. Rock Band can wait.
  5. Blog more often. Or at the very least, publish a Friday Five on, well, Friday.

[1] Memo to the Underwear Bomber and Shoe Bomber – next time, try the bathroom rather than doing it in your seat.

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