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A fact universally acknowledged

January 11, 2012

How New York is not like the suburbs:

1. I know three different places where I could, if desired, purchase a bong, and they are all within two blocks of my apartment.

2. Discarded Christmas trees are not a sad reminder of the end of the holiday season but a giant wall of death blocking the sidewalk and towering over you in a way that suggests your demise is imminent.

3. Hearing conversations on the street in which actors discuss upcoming auditions is a daily event. Today’s edition: two women were discussing the challenges of putting on a Yorkshire accent without sounding Irish. One of them was auditioning for a role in a production of Pride and Prejudice, but neither of them could remember the name of the elder sister, only that she was supposed to be “the pretty one.” They discussed how Lizzie was not supposed to be pretty but interesting, how one of them was sure to be cast as Mary, and the other said she wanted Lizzie but thought she’d probably get cast as Mrs. Bennet. “You’d kick ass as Mrs. Bennet!” said her friend. Ever since, that phrase has been going through my head like a mantra.

4. When you want to take your staff out for a beer after a job well done, it takes 45 minutes to decide which of the 90 gazillion bars within spitting distance to grace with our presence.

Things at the Toy Factory have been crazy, but the big project I’m in charge of is winding down. We had a big meeting today where I officially turned over the reins to another part of the Toy Factory. There’s still some cleanup to do, but the crazy hours I’ve been putting in for the last few weeks should be coming to an end and I can start turning my attention back to the other gazillion projects I’m supposed to be working on. I wish I could talk a little more about it, because it was a really interesting, although stressful, process with a real race-against-the-clock finish. After work, I took my staff out for beer (see number 4 above) and the best damn portobello mushroom sandwich I have ever had. Tomorrow I will go in late and leave on time. It’s going to feel good. And I have a three day weekend coming up and that’s going to feel even better, especially if I can get through what looks to be Chicago’s first real snow storm of the season.

Tomorrow after work, I’m meeting a friend of mine I’ve know for many years in a variety of circumstances whom I haven’t seen in at least a decade and quite possibly a lot longer — I’ve kind of lost track. We first met in elementary school in England, but were only passing acquaintances. Our familes moved in different directions — hers to Asia, mine back to the US –and I didn’t see her again until the summer after our freshman year in college when out of hundreds of summer interns at a large corporation in Indianapolis, we ended up as the only two interns in our small lab. We spent a lot of time together both in and outside work. We discovered we went not only went to the same small Massachusetts college, but lived in adjacent dorms (she was a year ahead of me). We stayed friends through college. After she graduated, she moved to Boston. I visited her there a couple of times and moved there myself a year later, by which point she was headed to Chicago for grad school. A year later, I was in Chicago too, at another school in the city. We kept in touch, but as busy as we were, saw each other irregularly. I went to her wedding A few years went by and she got a job in New York. “You’ll be there soon!” she joked, because that’s just always how it seems to go with us. Well, it took me fifteen years this time, but here I am.

And now, I think, I should knock off. Yesterday I was at the office from 8 am to nearly midnight. I came home and worked for a few hours more before crashing. I was back at the office at 8 this morning. Tonight it’s time for a good long sleep. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 10:07 am

    congratulations on making it through the big deadline!

  2. January 12, 2012 12:01 pm

    You kick ass as yourself!

  3. January 12, 2012 3:37 pm

    “you’d kick ass as Mrs. Bennett” is wrong in so many ways it really is memorable.

    We have some friends who got married a year after we did and then had a baby a year after we did, but we’ve never had friends who followed us as we moved! Sounds…convenient.

    Glad to hear the project is done.

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