tids and bits.

Yikes. Already failing miserably and it's not even the end of Week One on this here blog. As I mentioned, I went to Chicago for training. To be more accurate, I went to the western suburbs of Chicago for training, which was an altogether different experience involving copious amounts of liquor, late-night Giordano's deep-dish pizza, and the most bizarrely wonderful Wednesday night out in the city.  

One of my co-seniors has an uncle who works in set design and buildwork for the Chicago Lyric Opera. We met up with him at Primebar in the Loop for delicious mascarpone mac-and-cheese balls and an unpleasantly medicinal acai martini (think Triaminic with a vodka tang), after which he suggested taking the four-block walk to the Lyric for a private backstage, after-hours tour. I drooled, died, and probably totally embarrassed myself with nerdy questions and an abnormal level of excitement. We walked across the rake (slanted stage) for the current production of "Otello," shuffled across the catwalks--my toes went numb and tingly from the fear of heights--and took the conductor's podium in the orchestra pit. It was, in a word, magical. 

Safe to say that was the highlight of my training week. By Thursday afternoon, we were bored and alcohol'd-out, and by Thursday night the three of us were feeling particularly apathetic and misanthropic, a trend which has carried over into my weekend with fairly unfortunate results.  

Some other musings:  

-One of my staff refused to wear a seatbelt and spilled green tea in my car on Friday after team lunch. Endlessly frustrated.  

-I ran a meeting, completely solo, with the controller, directors of financial reporting and upper management of my major client. Huge rush. My palms were sweaty with nerves for an hour.  

-Met several friends' new relationships, with mixed results. Interested to see how their integration into the social fabric of our circles develops. 

-I bought, among other things, a J.Crew Downtown Field jacket, new Williams Sonoma kitchen towels, and a six-pack of assorted Oktoberfest beers over the course of Thursday through Saturday.  

-Notre Dame beat USC in what was simultaneously the most tense and anticlimactic game of football ever. I never thought I'd say this, but please get well soon, Tommy Rees. Our offense misses you and, weirdly, so do I.  

-Caroline Smith and The Avett Brothers each have utterly transcendent new albums out. Can't wait to become better friends with these tunes and hopefully have more on those soon.  

It's my Papa Bear's birthday today! Off to work out, shower off the sweat and crankiness, and celebrate one of my favorite people in the world.  

Happy Sunday, campers.