Another busy week and a half leads to another gap in posts.  Trust me when I say I’ve got you, the reader, in mind and I’m itchin’ to give you what you’re looking for, but since you last read my written word here’s a sample of where life has taken me: I’ve been to Little Rock & Jonesboro, Arkansas; Memphis, TN; had a highway washed out due to flooding; missed a flight due to a 100 mile detour around the flooding – during which time I drove over and through running water across the road I was on several times; chaperoned Senior Prom; threw a Kentucky Derby party; celebrated Mother’s Day twice; spent three days in Quebec City; got delayed two hours due to storms in Chicago on my way home; and built a garden.  Welcome to my world.  With all that said and done I’ve collected a number of thoughts on various subjects.  I present them to you as Quick Quips…

  • Memphis, TN… not a place I want to be.  My job allows me to talk to a lot of people that are connected to the inner workings of their community and speaking to various folks that know how things work behind the curtains in Memphis it sounds as corrupt as things come.  Without getting into a lot of hearsay and rumors let’s just say that Chicago politics sound clean and efficient compared to what it takes to get things done in Memphis. 
  • There are more churches per person in Arkansas than anywhere else in the country.  Arkansonians (? – Arkansans?) take their higher powers and deities seriously.  Apparently if you aren’t a member of the “right” church in certain areas you can’t get some services performed like your gutters cleaned, plumbing fixed, etc.
  • The housewife that told me this one evening is not a native of the area.  Despite the note above, her biggest complaint about living in Arkansas is that people from Arkansas bring their shopping carts out to their car in the parking lot and once it’s empty they just drive away.  Apparently at grocery stores and Walmarts alike in Arkansas the parking lots are littered with un-put-away carts.  Go figure.
  • Arkansas is the #1 rice producing state in Union.
  • Senior Prom… still got it.  The Wife finds employment in the education field and this wasn’t my first rodeo watching from the sidelines at prom but it never feels quite right.  If you make a comment that any of the girls look pretty I’m confident there are laws that can put you away for a long time.  If you keep your thoughts to yourself you end up not talking and everyone assumes you’re the big perv in the corner.  It’s lose-lose.  You can’t even drink so it’s really strange being more sober for prom now than you were ten years ago.  S’est la vie.
  • Kentucky Derby.  Pure awesome.  For the 3rd year in a row I picked the winning pony and got paid out at my own party.  Is that wrong?  I didn’t think so.  I then took my skills to the croquet set a rolled the competition there too.  Damn straight.  My neighbor asked me isn’t it considered impolite to not let your guests win anything at your party?  My neighbor will not be re-invited next year.
  • One negative to being in your early thirties?  Babies.  All my friends have them and in turn everyone had to leave the party between 7 and 8pm due to bedtimes.  Not cool.
  • The Morten Arboretum does a mean Mother’s Day brunch.  Who knew?
  • United Airlines… Monday was not a good day for you and I.  I got to the airport and tired to print my ticket off at the kiosk but my flight was exactly one hour from takeoff so logically the fast kiosk can’t help me and I need to speak to a ticketing agent.  I get in line to talk to someone at a desk and they promptly tell me that I need to be in the International line so with their being at the domestic counter their hands are tied.  I go to the International area where two people are behind the counter and two people are standing out directing traffic.  I ask one of the women directing traffic if she can just print my ticket for me.  Her response: You need to talk to someone with a computer.  I asked her if she can work one of the computers for me.  Her response: I’m working the floor right now.  Working the floor?  What are we, at the GAP?  She directs me to the line where the Indian guy doesn’t understand his bag is overweight, the Asian family has no idea what the translastion for ‘passport’ is, and the Latino family gets caught for trying to pack two of their kids in their carry-on.  Gotta love the International line.  With such an overflow in International they start re-directing us to the Domestic counter (where I started 15 minutes prior).  During all of this I counted eight people currently “on break” and standing within spitwad distance and not doing anything to remedy the situation.  I would say I was at my frustration limit until I got to the security line and saw how it took nine TSA agents to operate the one line that was open.  I love hearing how Unions and their associated entitlements are in the nation’s best interest.
  • Quebec City is one of the hidden jewels of North America.  It’s literally a walled city (yes we have those on this side of the Atlantic as well) and is filled with cool cobble stoned streets, good restaurants, and skinny attractive people who smoke.  It’s too bad they’ve embraced the rest of the habits of the French as well.  It’s definitely worth a visit however.
  • If you have yet to try poutine you’ve yet to live.
  • When I got home I told The Wife, “If I ever say, don’t worry, we’ll clear Customs in Toronto” she has the right to kick me square in the nards.  A helpful note from Uncle Chi-Guy on traveling: Toronto Customs suck.
  • Watched the Cubs game last night (they won 11-4) and liked everything I saw.  Thought to myself, these kids might have some spunk after all.  Saw the score of the game today (9-1 Cardinals) and was reminded of what being a Cubs fan entails.  Did you know the Cubs are one of (if not the only) team(s) left in the league that have yet to win three straight games at any point this season.  The Bulls were the only team in the NBA to never lose three straight games all year.  Life is all about balance.
  • Going to my first Cubs game of the year Saturday night.  They need me and I need my Wrigley Field Mai Thais.
  • The Bulls are the better team in this series and are proving it tonight.  Bulls-Heat is going to be epic (*’Epic’ is definitely the word of 2011 – listen to how often it’s used in the media of late.  Everything is ‘EPIC’ these days when building hype.  This disturbs me a bit as my buddy Tito has been dropping ‘Epic’ to describe everything from ski conditions to party scenes for years.  I feel as though he should get one cent for each usage in the media kind of like artists get paid when their songs are used).  Bulls-Heat is going to be the definition of team versus individuals, good versus bad, class acts versus a collection of douche bags.  I’m looking forward to it.
  • By the time you read this it’s probably Friday.  Enjoy.