Friday, February 24, 2012

Clerks and Chicken Parm

Last night I had to explain what the word cheesy meant to a guy at work. It's definitely a more difficult word to define than I would have thought before I tried.

Anyway, I'm not hear to talk about cheesy things accept maybe the chicken parmigiana referenced in the title.

Today... I had a 9:30 to 4:30 meeting cancelled. (Nothing good can come from a 7 hour long meeting. Nothing. That many human beings cramped into a small room together for that long a period of time with no alcohol can only amount to trouble). But it was only cancelled after getting to the location and being told half an hour later. Fair enough. But this sets the tone for the entire day.

A group of us went out to lunch today to a vegetarian place actually. I only know what half of what I ate was, but it was all vegetarian and some of it was styled like meat. It was all pretty tasty, though. As we're heading back and the folks from the main office have broken off, we start getting notified that we can't go back to the office. There was apparently a big fire in the building our office is in, and a lot of the building was filled with smoke. So myself and the group of friends I went to lunch with walked around the pet stores checking out all the kittens, puppies, turtles, lizards, rabbits, etc. After maybe an hour we decided to do tea and pastry to kill some time. Then we headed to a mall nearby to putz around. Mind you we keep getting updates about the smoke and how we can't get back to the office... finally between 3:30 and 4 they've opened the building and we can go back. Yay.

The building still had smokey smell to it but mostly in the elevator/lobby areas. Our office was fine.

So now I have to try to refocus and finish the calcs I was trying to work on this morning between my cancelled meeting and lunch. Meanwhile everyone's talking about the smoke and the fire and the secretary is telling everyone that they're free to go home if they don't feel well from the smoke.
While I'm doing this, I get asked, even though it's 5 on a Friday, if I could be available to travel to Dublin for meetings on Monday/Tuesday. I have a site visit here in Hong Kong that I don't want to go to, but I've already arranged on Tuesday, but I'm being told that if we can pull off the travel, I should go to Ireland and blow off the site visit. Now it's inching closer to 6, I want to call it a week and get out, I have no ability to focus on the calculation in front of me, and we're trying to see if we want to throw everything together last minute for me to go on on this trip.

The verdict, after a call to Tokyo to talk to the PM and then a call our team leader's mobile, who was out of the office on a personal matter, was to scrap attending the meeting live and just live with teleconference. It was all just talk. The chaos subsided I settle down to finally finish my calculation before I leave the office.

After all the excitement I settle on not going out anywhere and just making my way home. I stop at the grocery store and pick up the necessary ingredients to make myself a nice chicken parm hero. I've earned it and there's not really anywhere out here that's going to make one as good as I can make one for myself. So I settle down, with my delicious sandwich, in front of Clerks, a movie that will bring me home to the shore, and at the same time remind me of the guys back in Colorado with whom a well timed Kevin Smith reference rarely goes unappreciated.

The reason I'm writing all this is to get to a moment I had at one point in a movie I've seen countless times. I was sitting here, thinking, as I had in the past, that I didn't understand Dante. Why was he doing all this? Why was he jeopardizing a good thing? But then I realized, I've been Dante. I know exactly what goes through Dante's mind. And it's kind of shocking because every previous time I've watched this and even the first half of this time, I'm sitting there shaking my head wanting to smack Dante. It was a bit of an eye opener.

Well here's to the start of what's sure to be an interesting weekend.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ceci n'est pas une blog post

I haven't written anything in a while because I've had nothing to say. Or too much. Or too much and nothing at the same time but to the wrong people. I can't put my reasoning into words but I had some crazy reasoning.

Canada was perfect. I felt completely at home for the first time in a long time. They say home is where the heart is... to my travel companion in the great white north: you're awesome and I miss you and those dinners were amazing!

I was in Manila briefly. It happened. I'm still laughing. Thanks, Jade.

When I first wrote this I wrote a bunch of stuff that was sort of on my mind but it was very boring mind dump kind of stuff. I deleted it, don't worry you weren't missing anything. But I will say is that writing anything as late in the night as I did will lead to some pointless rambling. Not drunk talk, more... the kind of things you feel are really necessary to write about at 1:30 in the morning... and then you get up and do normal life stuff for a while and your real brain gets back on the job. It's like the minute or so in basketball when mostly bench guys are on the court and the team lags a little while the starters rest. Then the minute the coach puts a few of the starters back in the game the team picks right up again. Last night, the bench brain squad was on the metaphorical mental court, while the starting brain was sipping Gatorade and getting the cheerleader's phone number. But this morning the starting brain was back in the game and order has been restored.

A few weeks ago, I went out with a bunch of locals from work for the first time. These guys and girls are good people, but it seems like if I'm out on a Friday it's always with expats. But that night was fun. I had some great food with them (I love eating with locals because they just order a bunch of stuff and I don't have to think about to order.) But the event of the night was a bar/pool hall that also has set ups for you to play your favorite old college drinking games like beer pong and flip cup. I haven't played either since I was in college. It was mostly locals and a small group of expats that work on the airport project with everyone. It was great to be out having fun with the local guys, socializing with them, cracking jokes. I had a blast and I hope I can get out with them again soon.

While I was out yesterday, getting some half decent pizza and exploring some more western areas of the city, I stopped off for Brooklyn Lager and to read an English language newspaper I picked up. Bon Jovi and Springsteen came on the sound system in succession. It's like some greater force was trying to let a Jersey boy know that he was welcome, that home was just one "Born to Run" mp3 away.

I think I did well today. Good conversation with my folks, went to yoga, then got sushi and went to the Hong Kong Museum of Art for a while. That's a pretty passable in Sunday in my book.

I want to throw some congrats out to my multiple friends who got engaged recently, now if you guys would kindly coordinate your weddings to make MY travel easier ;-)
Sort of.

Closing thoughts: A friend at work (originally from Long Island) says that she talks more like a New Yorker when she's around me. I guess I'm a good frickin' influence on people.

Cheers and happy Presidents Day to all of my Presidential American friends.