Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

America!! F*ck Yeah!! (Part II)

Giving a Peace Corps presentation at HUB International, my former employer.

The next morning after bombing the Oral Assessments, I woke up early and was over the little pity party I’d thrown for myself the night before without so much as pity party hangover (there was no drinking at this party by the way).

Thursday – I went in to visit my old boss and old work companions at HUB International and to give a presentation on my life and times as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru (Peace Corps Goal 3). About 20-30 people came by and the presentation went great. People asked a ton of great questions and one of my former co-workers said that she learned a lot making it all worthwhile. After, the Risk Consulting boys and I went out for a late lunch and beers and others came by after work to chill out a bit. It was really great to see everyone at my old place of employment and they told me they’d welcome me back at HUB when I was finished with the Peace Corps. Later, I went to hang out with my old basketball team, Scoregasm (formerly known as "I'd Hit That"), at Durkin’s after they had just won the league championship. It was a complete surprise to most of the guys and they welcomed me with open, albeit sweaty, arms.

The HUB International crew - Tom Heebner, Rene Rosa, and Maranda Haluska.

League Champion Scoregasm - Ivan, Storm, Tom, Gary, Sherwin

Friday – Cubs game! My buddy Nick Albu wrangled up some excellent free tickets to the Cubs vs. Yankees game so me, Chris, Nick, and one of Nick’s clients went to the game. I bought my scorecard and pencil from John who’s been selling them at Wrigley Field since the place was built in 1914. We had a few beers, saw the Cubs beat the Yankees and got to hang out with Chris’ carpenter buddies in carpenter shop in the bowels of Wrigley, a place most fans don’t get to go. Afterwards we went to my old watering hole Monsignor Murphys to have a couple of pints. The whole gang was there and up to the same old shenanigans. Apparently, though, hardly anyone ever hangs out there anymore.

At the Cubs game with Nick and the Mity One

Saturday – Cubs game & Monsignor Murphys Part II. Basically a replay from the day before except the Cubs lost and I did get to see a bunch of folks I didn't see the night before.

At Monsignor Murphys with Joan and Sexy Johnny.

Sunday – Father’s Day. Started off by playing some softball with the old co-rec softball team. After, I went out to the mean streets of Arlington Heights to hang out at Nick’s beautiful house in the burbs. Who knew my friends were such prolific breeders?! There I saw my extended surrogate family - Chris and his fam, Chris and Nick’s parents, cousins, all the kids, the Paulsons, and Greg Carlson’s family with the twins and their two week old baby girl. It was a great time! Nick’s wife Sandra brought a ton of beef tenderloin from Morton’s Steak House, Nick grilled them masterfully and everyone brought sides and deserts. Absolutely delicious. It was a great time and great to see everyone. Chris and Krissa dropped me off at the El Station and that’s when it hit me that I was going back to Peru and won’t see everyone for a bit. It’s wrong for a man to cry in the arms of another man unless one of them is dying in a foxhole but I almost did cry hugging it out with the Mity Albu (I didn’t though so LAY OFF!)

Sunday softball team

Men and meat!

The Carlson clan.

Monday – One last lunch with the HUB Risk Consulting boys, off to the airport, and 1st Class all the way back to the 3rd World. Having some flight attendant past her prime handing you a hot towlette and repeatedly refilling your wine glass helped ease back into Peru.

Although I was bummed about bombing the shit out of the Oral Assessment, it was great to see my second home and all my friends.

Chicago I love you. I miss you.

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