Tag Archives: Lorch

Dispatches From Colorado Springs

We have sort of a long layover in Colorado Springs, so I thought I would get caught up on the rest of our vacation adventure–

Wordy & Jessica’s wedding was great.  The location was beautiful, the food was phenomenal, and we had a great visit with all of the guests.  Their ceremony was exactly what I would have expected; it was colorful, and had their collective personality.  We were both very happy to have been able to attend, and we’re looking forward to visitng again as soon as we can.

Earlier in the day on Friday, we took a ride to Zuma Beach with the Poquettes and Lorch.  It was a really nice spot, but the water was COLD.  I guess it is the ocean.  I didn’t swim much, but preferred to stay on the beach soaking up the sun or throwing the football.  Michelle renting a boogie board and boogied hard for a couple hours.  I don’t ever remember seeing her more delighted for such a sustained length of time.  She had so much fun, she barely noticed that her skin was getting red from the cold water…

We finally hooked up with Devin after the beach, when we went out for lunch at a place called Islands.  It was a sit-down burger joint.  I had a ‘Bleunami’ and it was pretty tasty.

Saturday, we slept in, seeing as we’d been up until all hours the night before.  When we finally got up, we decided we wanted to take a ride to a beach further south, like Santa Monica, so we could check out some different sights in L.A.  Michelle wanted to do a little more souvenir shopping in Hollywood before leaving town, so that was on the docket as well.   Lorch wanted to go with us and catch lunch at In N Out, so he rode along.

Leaving the hotel at about 11:45am, we followed the Garmin to the In N Out it instructed us to drive to, about 8 miles north on the 101.  That seemed like a long way to go for a burger, but we were all hungry.  When we arrived, some 25 minutes later, the restaurant was not there, and we bought some gas instead.  We decided to proceed south, avoiding the freeway, which was PACKED.  We thought we could just eat lunch some where along the way…

The drive down the 1 to Santa Monica took us nearly 2 hours.  And this was about a 25-mile trip.  We did make a short pit stop at Topanga Beach, but we quickly discovered that one was for surfing and not swimming (what with the rocks and lack of sand).  We finally pulled into a parking garage off the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica at 2:39pm.  We hadn’t eaten or done much with our day other than ride in the car up to that point.  We were all a little annoyed at how our Saturday was turning out, but we tried to make the best of it.  We had Mexican for lunch, strolled around the Promenade a little, then walked down to the Santa Monica Pier and the beach.

It was amazing how much warmer the water felt, less than 30 miles south along the shore.  Michelle and I went in, but Lorch hung out on the beach, wanted to avoid exposing his severely sunburned back and chest for a 2nd consecutive day.  It was a lot of fun “swimming” around as much as we could.  There were SO MANY people at the beach, it was hard to do much other than sort of float or tread water and ride the waves as they rolled in.  Still had a great time.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any time left for other things with all the traffic that day.  After the beach, we headed back to the hotel, on the freeway this time, and we arrived back at about 6:30 or so.  Lorch left for the airport within an hour (his flight was at 11:30pm, but the south-bound traffic looked awful), and Michelle and I ended up having a quick dinner at California Pizza Kitchen just minutes before they closed at 10.

We were up bright and early on Sunday (about 4:30), and left the hotel shortly after 5.  Our flight left at 8, and we were both surprised that (A) there was not a lick of traffic that time of day, so we got all the way to the airport (about 35 miles) in just over a half hour, and (B) checking in and going through security at LAX took a grand total of 20 minutes.  It wasn’t even 6:30 by the time we arrived at our gate.  We were able to have a relaxing breakfast before getting on the plane…

Once again, keep an eye out for pictures!  I haven’t had time in the last day and a half to sift through all the shots I took, but I’m planning to do so this evening.  It was another great vacation.  Michelle and I always have a wonderful time on our trips, seeing new things and visiting with old friends.  We’re looking forward to doing it again soon.

Slow Week

So it’s been a wacky few days.  My laptop’s death kind of threw me for a loop and I was shopping around for a good deal on a new one over the last weekend.  Work has been nuts.  Got some excitement on all fronts, though.

I did find an OK replacement laptop at a decent price with my discount from work.  I’ve liked the ThinkPads that I had, and I stuck with Lenovo when buying a new one.  I’m sure I’ll be happy enough with it.  One thing I DEFINITELY wanted to do this time is get a brand new machine, instead of muddling around with a used one.  I STILL have a bad taste in my mouth from a really poor ebay experience like 4 years ago…

Lorch also came into town last weekend and crashed at Casa del Bocko for a couple nights.  He had to fly out of Mitchell at the crack of dawn on Saturday because he was shooting for a documentary on the Honor Flight.  It’s a really cool program, and all three of us (me, Lorch, Michelle) all agreed we wished we could’ve gotten our grandfathers signed up when they were around.  So hey– if you know or are related to a WWII or Korean War vet, check it out.  Seriously.

Anyway, it was nice to hang out with Lorchie and watch the Brewers together.  We had some beers at The Harp, and we grabbed a pizza at BBC.  We talked about getting ready for attending Wordy’s wedding this summer.  I am looking forward to the vacation, for sure.

So, later in the week here, I got a call back from my old boss up in Oshkosh.  She had a good reason to call, as I had been in there on 4/23 for an interview.  I got offered a job as the Assistant Director for Operations back at the old UWO FAO.  It’s a really good professional opportunity, so I took it.  I didn’t say much about it to many people as I decided to apply and go through this process, for a variety of reasons:

  1. It was the least qualified I felt going in to an interview in quite a while,
  2. I knew I’d have to field a lot of questions about my plans for the future, as I just moved down to Milwaukee about two years ago, and I didn’t feel like addressing those until a new job was a sure thing,
  3. I thought I might jinx it.

So, it turned out well.  Here are the answers to some of those commonly asked questions that immediately come to everyone’s mind:

  1. Yes, Michelle and I are doing just fine.  I think we’re really good, in fact.
  2. Having stated #1, no I’m not in a big hurry to move back to Oshkosh.
  3. Having stated #2, yes that means I’ll be commuting for a while.
  4. Having stated #3, yes I’m OK with that.
  5. Having stated #4, yes I’ve thought about what it will cost.
  6. See #4.
  7. This doesn’t mean that I’m “giving up” on any creative aspirations that I’ve had related to my English degree.  It just means that I’ve recognized that I have a strong base of knowledge and experience in this area, and I might as well use it to my advantage.  It’s a stable, well-paying vocation for the time being.  I can work on other things in my free time.
  8. I’ll be starting there June 1.

Anyway, I appreciate your interest, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.  I’m going to do the books for the month and finish watching this ball game…

Days of Summer

It was a helluva nice day here in Beer Town.  I regretted being at work, considerably.

Lorch came down at the end of the day, though, because he needs to be at Mitchell to work at about 4:00 tomorrow morning– seriously.  So we went out for some beers and a pizza, and we watched the baseball game.  What a game for Yovanni, eh?  Pretty cool for him to throw his first-ever complete game down in Houston, with most of his family in attendance.  And great for the Crew to pick up another win…

After that, we watched an episode of Flight of the Conchords.  It’s a pretty damn funny show.  But it’s so dry, I’m not sure Michelle will even be into it.  I mean, the humor is brittle.  It could snap off right there in your hand.

OK, time for sleep.

I'm Not a Sports Columnist

I don’t want to go on at too great a length about the end of the Brewers season, but I said that I would blog on it again on October 1.

It wasn’t a very challenging prediction that I made last time about how falling 2 games behind with a week and change to play would be an insurmountable lead. The Cubs and Brewers both proved to be pretty average teams, and average teams more or less win one, lose one, win one, lose, etc. That’s basically the way the division shook out, with the Cubs getting a little more lucky than the Crew.

I had written up a post that went into detail as far a fan’s assessment of the season, but it felt like it missed something more important– even though the Brewers wound up on the outside looking in, it was a really fun baseball season that I wouldn’t want to trade. And as much fun as men from coast to coast might have analyzing sports, for me baseball is at least as much about how the memories feel as the numbers look.

I went to more games this year than any season before. Schrubbe and I had a great time collecting the bobbleheads on Friday nights and just hanging out at the park. I was really glad to have organized a couple group outings– I feel like the Bocks are a sports-loving family in general, and a baseball game on a weekend afternoon is still probably the most fun you can have at any sort of event for the money. I was grateful to be able to catch a couple weeknight games with Lorch on the spur of the moment, too– the one we saw in May where Vargas struck out 11 was pretty great.

Michelle became a bona fide fan by the time the season wound down– she was listening to games on the radio even when I wasn’t there. We had a long talk on Friday night after the Crew was eliminated about how we would get through the off-season and the changes that might be in store. My mom has always been at least a casual fan, but I think it’s really cool when your mom can tell you the names of every guy on the roster, and on the last day of the season, even though it doesn’t mean anything, she’s still glued to the TV.

This year was the first time that I was able to go to the park with my dad in September for a game that meant something. We missed the playoffs, but it was so tantilizingly close that one thing I’m going to save up for this year is a pack of 2008 playoff tickets. I want to watch post-season baseball in Milwaukee with my pa for sure.

Probably the best thing about being a baseball fan is the length of the season– it’s a grueling haul from the first of April until the last of September, so there is always a game to talk about. Even after the dust settles from the World Series, the winter meetings are always right around the corner, and by the time you can say “Super Bowl” we’ll be getting ready for spring training.

Personally, I think baseball plays into that stuff about summer that we enjoy the most– baseball-nay-sayers might complain about the speed of the game, or the length of the season, but I think fondly of afternoons bathing in the sun at the ballpark, walking up Bluemound to Mitchell Park, and the smell of charcoal wafting over the freeway at rush hour on the day of an afternoon game. Baseball might be slow, but that’s exactly what you want your summer to be– you want to stretch it out and make it last. You want the optimism that comes with a 162-game schedule to draw your eye to the standings every morning. You want the game broadcast to be the soundtrack of your summer, and as much as you miss Bob and all the players over the winter, you want every spring to feel like coming home.

All Over (Again)

Well the first part of the move is completed.

I had assistance from the Mundschaus, and also a little from Lorch and Knitt, and I left Oshkosh once again at around 2pm on Saturday. I made it to the Public Storage joint on the same day, so we unloaded immediately (rather than taking Sunday to get that done).

There was a little drama at the P.S.  In the evening, the gate is supposed to remain accessible between the hours of 6am and 9pm, but when we were ready to leave shortly after 6pm, the gate wouldn’t open. The area is controlled by a code-accessed gate, much like you might see in a parking garage or what have you. There was a small mob of people who wanted to get out, and a slightly larger mob trying to get in. This is in West Allis. It was a recipe for disaster.

There’s no 24-hr contact for the office, and when I tried to call the corporate toll-free number, I got cut off as soon as I finished explaining what was going on. By that time, a few of the other people had taken it upon themselves to dismantle the chain-and-motor mechanism that operates the gate. So, it was open, and we got out, but I’m not the one who left that chain in a jumbled mess on the asphalt. I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be one of the people working at the Public Storage on Sunday.

Jen and Joe and I went to the Tischer’s house in Menominee Falls after that, and we watched a silly movie that sort of deconstructed the slasher genre. It was OK. I laughed a bit. We also ate food from Saz’s.

On Sunday, I spent the majority of the day trying to figure out where to live. I focused on places that I thought I might like that are vacant right now, or available in the very near future. I’m going to look at a place after work today that is really close to campus and seems to be reasonably priced. It includes parking, which seems like it would be a real bitch in this neighborhood, and when I drove by this morning, the street seemed to have well-kept houses on it for the most part. I’m not sure about living among a lot of college kids, but that is sort of the bed I’ve made, isn’t it?

Couple last words on Oshkosh:
I sat up for a while on Friday night contemplating the last 3-and-a-half years, and how much has changed, once again. I thought about how, even though Oshkosh is nothing like it was when I lived there the first time, and even though there may not be a lot going on over there on a day-to-day sort of basis, it’s not that bad a town. Once you get yourself a decent job, the rest of “where you live” is kind of what you make of it. I’ll miss living close to the Knitt’s, Lorch’s, and Schrubbe’s, but I’m looking forward to having Michelle and all sorts of family close by. I’ll miss my nice and (now I realize) obscenely cheap apartment, but I’m sure I’ll find something else I like in time.

I was just sitting on my couch in the dark on Friday night, staring at the walls and the ceiling, hoping that the future will be worth the sacrifice of the present. I think the toughest hurdle for my mind to get over right now, today, is that so much about what will happen next is still unknown; so much remains unsettled. Then there is a nagging doubt about making the best decisions; is this where I should be? How long should I stay, and when should I think about trying something else again? These thoughts, too, can probably be traced to the uncertainty hovering over my head right now. I’ve got a lot that I’d like to have settled sooner than later.

Thanks to everyone that helped me along the way during my 2nd round in Osh Vegas, and some advance-appreciation to the folks I hope can help me adjust to Milwaukee. It’s another leg of the journey, just getting started.

Present, If Not Accounted For

Lemme just break down the high-level stuff for you this morning:

– Memorial Day: good. Drive was OK. Tough getting out of town on I-43, but it loosened up sooner than I thought it would. I got about 42 miles/gallon on the trip. Helped Dad with splitting/stacking wood on Saturday, then on Sunday, the splitter puked. Dad’s afraid he needs a new engine or something. That could suck. Sunday, I met Petters out at the T-Bird. It was my first time there since Knitt was drinking, but pretty much all the same people were there. I think I even saw one of Knitt’s uncles or cousins or whomever.

– Work: fine. It’s all the same crap that I was doing before, but with less hawking. I’m starting to get a sense of the office cliques and figuring out who-hates-who. I was recruited for one of the groups and shot down membership by effectively stating, “I don’t give a good goddamn about any of that shit. I work, I go home, I come back.”

– Apt search: sucks. I passed on a 2-bdrm on WI Ave after Michelle talked me back into my actual price range. I also have no chance of purchasing a home for the foreseeable future. Not that I was really desperately itching to do either, but that revelation also made me realize that I probably won’t be able to afford getting married or having a kid any time in my 30s.

– Brewers: on notice. Went to the game last night w/ Lorch for zero monies (he had vouchers for free tix from eating pizza). It was nice to see them finally get a win, but one cannot escape the fact that in any other division, this team would have squandered a substantial lead.

– Time: out for now.