The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

The good Samaritan I met today October 31, 2007

Filed under: My View on People — auntlelo @ 10:20 pm

As I sat at dinner this evening with good friends, I felt my cell phone vibrating in my purse next to my feet. While normally I would have waited until after dinner and returned a call, I decided to see who it was. I was my husband, at home in Missouri, telling me that he’d just received a call from a man named Ken Skupien here in Chicago and that he’d found my wallet.

Found my wallet? I just had my wallet. Why, I’d had it when I’d paid the cab driver before coming into the restaurant. I didn’t even realize it was missing! My husband went on to say that the man told him the cash and credit cards were all still there, but, that there was no drivers license. (I still had that loose in my purse because I’d used it when I checked in at the airport.) He’d found my voter registration card and had tracked down my phone number at home from that.

I called the cell phone number he’d left with my husband and thanked him for tracking me down. I asked if there was somewhere I could meet him to pick it up. He asked where I was and said he was already at home, but, he would bring it to me at the restaurant.

When he arrived, he turned out to be a young man about the age of my older children. Very, very sweet. I wanted to pay him for his time and trouble and he refused to take any money. Instead, he gave me a big hug, said “welcome to Chicago” waved and left.

Wow, what a wonderful human being and what a wonderful story that demonstrates how good and kind a lot of people are. My job for the rest of my stay? Passing on the kindness that I was just shown to someone else who needs it.

To Mr. Ken Skupien, my heartfelt thanks and God bless.

 

Today’s view from my window: Water Tower Place

Filed under: My View on Events,My View on Weather — auntlelo @ 5:26 pm

I flew to Chicago this morning and it was a pretty uneventful flight. The weather here isn’t too bad, I think it was in the mid-50’s today and that’s not too bad for October in the windy city.

CASE once again has put me up in a beautiful spot, the Omni Hotel. It’s a beautiful suite with a bedroom, a sitting room, a decadently large bath, 2 big screen TV’s, a wet bar, 3 phones and wireless internet—all for little ole me. So, the first thing I did, being a hick from the sticks, is order a cheeseburger and iced tea for lunch. Not just any old cheeseburger. This menu had only one cheeseburger and it was made from Kobe beef. Yummy!

I whiled away the afternoon working on my presentations, catching up on my email and watching Shrek the Third. Wow, I really need to  get out more.

Tonight, I’m having dinner with good friends at MK’s. I’m sure I’ll eat too much and be completely exhausted, but, hey, that’s what conferences are all about, right?

Enjoy the late day view from my current window in Chicago!

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Space Ghost interviews the winged superheroes October 30, 2007

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 4:12 pm

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Space Ghost: “Welcome to Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast. I’m Space Ghost. Today we’re interviewing…hey, Zorak, who are we interviewing?”

Zorak: “Bat Chick and Robin’s Egg. Fake superheroes.”

Space Ghost: “Yes, yes, Fat Bat and Chicken Egg. Welcome to the show!”

Henrietta: “That’s Bat Chick and Robin’s Egg, you ninny.”

Space Ghost: “So, are the costumes just for Halloween or are you intending to go out and make the world a safer place for winged beings of your species?”

Bat Chick: “We haven’t decided yet. I have to get a tool belt first. I can’t do much without a tool belt.”

Space Ghost: “Don’t you have any super powers like me? I have protective force fields and a heat ray and invisibility and flight and…”

Henrietta: “Well, we have wings.”

Space Ghost: “So, you can fly?”

Henrietta: “Well, not exactly.”

Space Ghost: “What do you mean, not exactly?”

Fat Chick: “What the dumb cluck is trying to tell you is that we’re ceramic chickens who sit in an office on a table all day and we have painted on wings. That’s why I need a flipping tool belt, Ghostie, so I can go out and kick some villain butts!”

Space Ghost: “I see. So, you really ARE fake superheroes. Well, on to more important topics. Let’s talk about MY super powers. I have a heat ray, see?”
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Bat Chick: “Good grief, don’t point that thing at me! I’ll be chicken fried talk show guest if you aren’t careful!”

Henrietta: “Yes, dear, it really isn’t nice to point. ”

Space Ghost: “I’m a powerful superhero with his own talk show. I can use my heat ray any time I want.”

Bat Chick: “If you really want to impress us, why don’t you use that invisibility thing and just disappear?”

Space Ghost: “How dare you! (frantically trying to find the right buttons on his power bracelet) I’ll have you know I’m in charge here. No one tells Space Ghost what to do, no one!”

Zorak: “Caller on line 1 Space Ghost.”

Space Ghost: “I can’t take a call now! I’m in the middle of…”

Zorak: “It’s your mother.”

Space Ghost: “Hi Mommy!”

Mom: “Tad, I think you’re being a little rude to your guests.”

Bat Chick: “Tad! Is your name Tad?”

Space Ghost: “Mommy, I thought we agreed you weren’t going to call me when I’m on-air.”

Mom: “Tad Ghostal, don’t you use that tone of voice with me! I’ll put you inside a force-field for a week!”

Space Ghost: “Ah, Mommy…”

Bat Chick: “I think your Mom is cool! How come we never see her on your show?”

Henrietta: “Yes, I’ll bet she’s a fine superhero. What sort of costume does she get to wear?”

Mom: “I really wanted to let you chicks know that I think you’re wonderful, even if you can’t find an XXL tool belt for Bat Chick. You should try to rid the world, or the office, you’re in from any villains you can. I’d like to be the first member of your fan club. LOVE your blog!”

Bat Chick: “COOL! We have a fan club! I think you should take over Space Ghost’s talk show. You rock!”

Mom: “Tad, I’ll be right over. Move out of the chair.”

Space Ghost: “But wait, this show is supposed to be about me. What’s happening? I’m losing control! Next thing you know it’ll be just like watching The View!”

Mom: “Just go out trick or treating and have a good time. Remember not to use your heat ray on the other children. Some of their costumes are still flammable.”

Bat Chick: “Arrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhh…what have you done to Robin’s Egg?”

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM BAT CHICK(Fat Chick), ROBIN’S EGG(Henrietta), SPACE GHOST(Tad Ghostal) AND HIS MOMMY.

 

The Caped Crusaders are dressed for Halloween October 29, 2007

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 8:08 am

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Introducing Bat Chick and Robin’s Egg

Robin: “Holy hen feathers, Bat Chick, look at us!”

Chick: “This is a totally cool cape. I think it makes my butt look smaller, don’t you?”

Robin: “To tell you the truth, Bat Chick, I’m not sure it’s possible for that thing to look smaller!”

Chick: “Hey, how come you got the cool tool belt? Bat Chick should have a tool belt.”

Robin: “There wasn’t enough material to make one that big. Sorry, Fat Chick—oops, I mean BAT Chick.”

Chick: “Well, that just totally reeks. How am I supposed to chase villains like the Penguin if I don’t have a tool belt.”

Robin: “I don’t think she means for us to chase anything. We’re just supposed to sit on her table and look cool.”

Chick: “You’re kidding, right? What is this, a Halloween spook show?”

Robin: “I think it’s because she doesn’t ever wear costumes herself. She says going without makeup is enough to scare anybody. Judging from this morning, she pegged that one right!”

Chick: “Well then, let’s just have a little fun as the caped crusaders and forget about how silly we look.You go first!”

A typical Bat Chick and Robin’s Egg comic conversation ensued:

Robin: “Boy! That was our closest call ever! I have to admit that I was pretty scared!”
Chick: “I wasn’t scared in the least.”
Robin: “Not at all?”
Chick: “Haven’t you noticed how we always escape the vicious ensnarements of our enemies?”
Robin: “Yeah, because we’re smarter than they are!”
Chick: “I like to think it’s because our hearts are pure.”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

A fridge full of pie October 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 10:19 am

What a dilemma. I have been trying to be good. This week, the meals weren’t terribly healthy, but, were nice and simple. The worst part of this week’s lack of healthy eating is the presence of a whole lotta pie in my kitchen.

It had been baked for a Sunday School meeting (blatant bribery…see previous post). I obviously overestimated the amount of interest we were likely to get and had to bring a great deal of pie back home. My kitchen is graced with apple pie, coconut pie, banana cream pie and chocolate brownies. Not exactly a dieters paradise.

Last night, I was really, really, really bad. I won’t tell you how bad exactly, but, it had to do with a saucer, a fork and more than one item. 😦

I have a complete lack of willpower and control, especially when I’m out of sorts. Next week I have a trip to Chicago and am looking forward to some nice outings for dinner. After all, that’s one of the best parts of business trips, right? Maybe I need to make sure to watch multiple episodes of the Biggest Loser before I go for inspiration.

 

When I’m frustrated, I write October 25, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events,My View on People — auntlelo @ 7:25 am

I’m to the point in my life where certain meetings just frustrate me. Last night was such a meeting.

I attend a small rural church. In my childhood, there were many children, many teens, many adult hands to share and distribute the labor. Things have changed. While my parents’ generation still represents the majority of the attendees of the church, many of those people are now elderly and no longer help with the labor. They no longer teach, attend meetings, help with church programs. There are a small number of hands in my age group (let’s call this 35-55) and very few children and teens.

Last night, we had a meeting to discuss Sunday School. After all, Sunday School is the life blood of any church. We made a plea for attendance, my nominating committee partner and I made a bunch of homemade pie and waited for those who might help us shore up the program and contribute new ideas to arrive. Acute disappointment. It was the same small group who does everything in our church. Frustration number one.

By the end of a two hour meeting we hadn’t accomplished much other than to talk about the same old things we always talk about. (Emphasis on TALK ABOUT). It was my personal hope at the beginning of the meeting to be able to help make a case for the youth group. They really need a devoted space that is large enough to work with. By the end of the meeting, we had accomplished the following:

  • a larger room for the senior adult class

What we hadn’t accomplished was:

  • figuring out how to get more Sunday School teachers
  • getting substitutes
  • identifying space for our teenagers
  • filling the now empty nursery (which is the largest classroom) with any children at all—it’s currently empty
  • training for current or future teachers (the thought was if you give them the teachers book, that should be enough, they’ll figure it out)

Although we had a great sermon from a visiting pastor last week about getting out of our comfort zone, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Everyone thought it was a great sermon and enjoyed the humor in the delivery. I guess they missed the point that the pastor was talking to and about them. Bummer, huh?

So, I continue to be frustrated with my church. Burned out in my role as music director, teacher and deacon, and no relief for any of that in sight. I watch our fledgling teen program teetering on the brink, their leaders (my daughter and her husband) sensing that what they hear is all nice, polite lip service, but, that no one cares enough to really do what needs to be done. They’ll leave in awhile and we’ll be right back to square one. No one else will commit to stay for the long haul. As long as there is a committed handful of 10-12 people doing absolutely everything, the rest of the church will remain happily in their comfort zone.

The only thing left to do this morning is pray that God will help me get past this frustration and to a more positive state of mind. Patience is hard when you’ve already been patient for years. Maybe I need to go read some great stories about Job, Moses, etc., to remind me that I’m not the only one who had to be patient, or got frustrated.

I’m through writing now. On to something more positive. Thanks for listening to me rant.

 

Say it isn’t so! October 23, 2007

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 7:29 am

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Henrietta: “Say it isn’t so! I just can’t believe it!”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

FC: “We looked at your calendar and it says you’re going to Jason’s birthday lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? Do you have any idea what sort of place that is?”

Me: “Uh, ya, I’m perfectly aware. They have some really good wings there.”

Henrietta: “They’re CHICKEN WINGS!!!!! Have you no sense of decency and compassion?”

FC: “Henrietta and I think she’s gone off the deep end. We’ve started a campaign to protest this whole chicken wing fad that’s running amuck in our nation. Poultry unite! It’s called “Just Say No.”

Me: ” Girls, I know you’re in a flap, but, I assure you, none of us are eating chickens you personally knew. You shouldn’t get your feathers ruffled over this. And, by the way, you can’t use “Just Say No” as your campaign slogan. Someone else is already using it.”

Henrietta: “I can’t believe you’re so unfeeling about this. How can you, in good conscience, sit there and eat CHICKEN WINGS for lunch and not have the least little feeling of guilt? It’s scandalous!”

Me: “Oh, I’ll have guilt alright. Did you know that 6 buffalo chicken wings have nearly 450 calories? That’s just amazing.”

FC: “She needs to be in rehab, Hen. She’s completely past hope. She’s really gonna do it. We have to step this up a notch. I say we don’t speak to anyone else in the office that eats chicken wings. We’ll show ’em!”

Henrietta: “I don’t think that will work, dear.”

FC: “Why not?”

Henrietta: “Because we can’t really talk to anyone else. They can’t hear us. We’re just voices inside HER head. Remember?”

FC: “Say it isn’t so. It’s almost as bad as ending up in a plate of chicken wings. Chickens should have some rights.”

Me: “You do. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in…”

FC: “Very funny. You just wait. I’ll find a way to get even.”

Me: “If it makes you feel any better. Thanksgiving is coming up.”

FC: “Why would that make me feel better?”

Me: “Because people will be eating turkey instead of chicken. Doesn’t that make you happy?” 🙂

 

Feather dusting October 22, 2007

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 7:46 am

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Me: “Uh oh. What are you girls up to now?”

Henrietta: “Oh, just a little bit of dusting is all.”

FC: “Just a little bit of dusting? You’ve got to be kidding! Her computer keyboard is a disaster area. It’s gross. Disgusting! Why, only last week she dropped lettuce and cheese in it from that awful buffalo chicken wrap she decided to eat for lunch. A little bit of dusting, really!”

Me: “Oh, I take it you girls have decided it’s time to clean up again?”

Henrietta: “Well, your office really is a little cluttered, dear. Your desk could use a good straightening and a little dusting never hurts now and then. You might even consider throwing a few things away. Fat Chick and I would love to help you!”

Me: “I can take a hint. Okay, I’ll do some straightening today. And, just so you know, I have a bit of a problem with Fat Chick helping. Last time, she threw away some magazines I hadn’t even gotten to read yet!”

FC: “I was making a point. You had a magazine called Real Simple on your desk and it was all about organizing yourself. For heavens sake, I know a lost cause when I see one! Why torture yourself? You’re about as organized as…”

Henrietta: “Stop! There’s no point in insulting her! If you do, we’ll never get dusted. Just plant a hint, offer to help and…”

FC: “Hope for the best. Ya, I know.”

Me: “Okay, okay. Enough abuse already for a Monday morning! I’ll make it a point today to finish dusting my keyboard and my chickens. Fair enough?”

FC: “Ya, as long as you use a dust cloth and this canned air. I have a personal problem with feather dusters.”

 

Hunt & Peck with Fat Chick and Henrietta October 18, 2007

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 7:43 am

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Me: “What in the world are you two doing now?”

FC: “I’m teaching Henrietta to surf.”

Henrietta: “I don’t quite understand what surfing has to do with this little box thing with a screen. Don’t you have to have water to surf?”

FC: “You’re a real idiot, Hen, you know it? Surf as in surf the Web. Get with it old girl!”

Me: “Why do you want to surf the Web, Chick?”

FC: ” I want to keep track of what you’re doing. Sometimes you write things about us in your blog that we’re not sure we like. We want to comment on a few of those entries.”

Me: “I don’t think ceramic chickens are allowed to comment on blogs, girls. You’ll probably just have to continue to tell me what you think the old fashioned way.”

FC: “Nothin doin. I think the rest of the world should hear what we have to say about things. After all, we are the most interesting part of your blog. ”

Me: “Oh really? You mean the other things I write about like stories from my life aren’t interesting to people?”

Hen: “Oh, dear, dear, dear. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. It’s just that Chick has noticed that your blog stats are ever so much higher on days when you talk to us. We think we can help you be a more successful blogger!”

Me: “Oh, really? How are you planning to do that?”

FC: “We thought we’d add a few blog entries and see what kind of traffic we get. After all, we have our own fan club, you know.”

Me: “And how are you planning to write these blog entries? Chickens can’t type!”

FC: “Sure we can! It’s called hunt and peck. Men have been typing this way for years!”

Me: “Good grief! Hey, isn’t that MY laptop?”

Henrietta: “See, Chick, I told you she’d notice!”

 

What do you want to be when you grow up? October 17, 2007

Filed under: Short stories from my life...so far — auntlelo @ 10:55 am

Do you remember the days when you were asked this question and you would answer: a singer, a professional baseball player, an astronaut or a cowboy? Back when I was a little girl, my answer would have been an artist. A little later, around junior high, the answer would have been a singer/songwriter. In high school, I ventured into a very different zone where I decided I wanted to go to the Naval Academy (like my brother) and be an aeronautical engineer. When I did graduate from high school and attended college, my stated major was music business.

So, what am I doing now that I’m sort of grown up? (You’ll never get me to admit being grown up, really, so don’t bother to try.) Nothing that I’d ever imagined, that’s for sure. You see, I’m what is referred to in the language of today as an immigrant. Not to a country, but, to the internet. That means I grew up prior to the internet and have migrated to it. When I was a kid, I would never have answered the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with “I want to manage a Web Communications team.”

There was no degree in college that would have prepared me for what I do today. It’s a strange hodgepodge of technology, communications and marketing. And, it’s a perfect fit for me. Although I’m not doing what I thought I would be doing all those years ago, the perfect career choice found me anyway. Had it not been for the Web, I might still be in the medical insurance field (yuck) and pining away about not being a professional singer/songwriter. Instead, I get to explore this great new field, work with really cool people and learn something new everyday. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

So, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close are you? Did you stay open minded and let the right career find you?