We find ourselves in that fertile ground of office parties and ugly sweaters that is the approximately three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s important to rehash the lessons from these past few days in order to make us stronger this time next month as well as for years going forward.  So with that in mind here’s what I learned over my Thanksgiving break…

  • I took a tour of Wrigley Field last week as part of their Season Ticket Holders program.  The tour was very interesting if everything my tour guide said was true.  Now up front here I want to be very clear that my source here is in the business of selling hope to the season ticket holding fan base.  I cannot confirm nor deny that he speaks for the highest levels of the organization.  With that being said, the Cubs are moving ahead with the Wrigley renovation project – full steam.  During our tour the entire inside of the building is under construction.  Concrete is being re-enforced, stores & concession stands are being built, and most importantly the steel beams that have blocked so many of our views over the years are being lifted to make room for new underground facilities.  Apparently those beams go over one hundred feet below the stadium into the bedrock beneath our feet.  In order for the Cubs to totally revamp the clubhouses, add batting cages, and support the additional weight to the structure that is to be added with the proposed new restaurants above, those pillars need to be cut and re-enforced before any of the aforementioned work can get underway.  Additionally the triangle lot just to the west of the stadium will become a plaza and between it and the stadium – where the players park today – will become the Ricketts very own Yawkey Way – an unofficial street that can serve as a pedestrian walkway for all Cubs related merchandise and activities that completely foregoes the need to shutdown Sheffield which gets Alderman Tunney and the city involved again.  When I asked directly whether there was any concern above the remaining rooftop owners and their threat of a lawsuit – which publicly has played in the media as a detriment to any Wrigley renovation moving forward – he responded, “no.”  I probed further and he said that the Cubs chief legal counsel (I apologize as he name-dropped the guy here but I forgot it – a reporter I am not) has stated internally that concern over the threat of said lawsuit is non-existent within the organization.  It sounded as though the Cubs are days away from crossing all of their t’s and dotting all of their i’s with the city and the rooftop group to make next year’s hundredth anniversary of Wrigley the birthday of the facelift we’ve all been waiting for.
  • On that note, next year will be a good year to click through the turnstile at 1060 W. Addison as all sorts of fun giveaways and events are planned to celebrate the building’s century mark.  Think vintage jerseys, era appropriate bobblehead giveaways, and lots of fun for the whole family.
  • The concept of “Black Wednesday” now means I pass out on my parents couch around 10:30pm during a movie after consuming a bottle and a half of wine.
  • This year is the first in many where my athletic activities over the Thanksgiving weekend were eliminated altogether.  I historically have run a 5k on Thanksgiving morning and then played in an annual touch football game with some friends from high school later in the weekend.  For various reasons I was not able to participate in either event this weekend, and you know what… I’m pretty good with that.  I’m quite alright not being sore on Monday morning.
  • My dad doesn’t watch television.  In case you’re wondering how I know this I would suggest you hold a five minute conversation with him, I’m sure he’ll tell you himself.
  • Being a parent brings with it a lot of change.  For instance, now if you fall asleep in the family room in the middle of the day on Thanksgiving it’s considered “adorable” as long as you’re holding your child at the same time.  For years I’ve pulled this stunt and been called, “hungover,” a “waste of space,” and an “embarrassment to the family.”  All you college kids need to take note, at your next family gathering grab your youngest cousin or niece/nephew to pass out with on the couch and you instantly become a saint.
  • Thanksgiving is a meritocracy – he who stays up latest has rights to do with the leftovers as he sees fit.  Those who go to bed early have no ground to stand on if certain side dish leftovers are missing when they awake.
  • Ellen DeGeneres is one rich lady… and she’s only getting richer.  Have you played her app Heads Up!?  It’s brilliant and equates to endless hours of post-feast family fun.
  • I’ve successfully made it four straight days consuming alcohol before noon.  I have absolutely zero regrets about this.
  • Pet stores are like crack cocaine for children under three.
  • My favorite holidays are those in which all the subscription channels open the floodgates to their programming.  I’ve watched more Starz and Showtime this weekend than I have cumulatively in my life.
  • The sounds coming out of me while hanging off of my roof hanging Christmas lights sound eerily similar to those my dad has produced during physical exertion historically.
  • My daughter is frightened to no end by one Mr. Santa T. Claus.  When offered the opportunity to sit on his lap this morning she screamed audible terror right in his face.  I could not be more proud of her.

So all in all it was a pretty good weekend.  Somewhere in the middle there I got in some charity work as well so it wasn’t a total exercise in gluttony.  I find myself energized and ready to take on a full complement of awkward gift exchanges with co-workers and various service-related people in my life over these next few weeks.  Hooray for the holidays!