August 2018, Part II

I’ve mentioned that August was busy.

The week before my board of directors visit to consume a week of work is always busy with preparation work. This time, I was also solo dad, since KrisDi was in California for work.

The weekend in between, KrisDi and I went to New York City for a night for her birthday — basically just to see the Pietasters. The Pietasters are a band KrisDi introduced me to when I met her, that she’d been listening since at least college. They never made it big, but they toured with big bands and are well known within the subculture.

We took the redeye out on Friday, arrived Saturday morning, took the train into Manhattan and walked to the hotel. Then we went to breakfast at the Cook Shop, walked along the High Line (an interesting elevated park, converted from a former elevated train track), Ubered to Other Half (fantastic beer), went to El Mate for Brazilian/Argentinian (fantastic food), then Ubered again to the 9-11 memorial. Back to the hotel to check in and prepare, then Joe’s for pizza (it’s not bad, but give me deep dish any day), then finally to the show. After the show, we had a beer or two at the District Pub, and walked back to the hotel. I was shocked how many people were wandering around the street that late — enough to make walking through the street annoying.

The show itself was excellent. It was on a river cruise — I think the original venue was a boat named Lucille, with 100 tickets for sale, and it didn’t sell out. They moved us to a different boat that looked smaller. Of the people there, it seemed like about half were friends or family of the band. There was no opening band, and there was no space between the band and the crowd. The cruise was 3 hours, and they played the whole time (except for a ~20 minute break in the middle). I cannot name a single song they’ve ever released that they didn’t play. The singer would walk right into the dance floor and share the mike with audience members (including me). During the break, we talked to him for a bit and took the picture you see above (his name is Stephen Jackson). During the break, we also took some pictures of New York’s night time skylines. After the show, we talked to him again. We had already told him we flew in from Seattle; he asked us how long we were staying. “Uhh…just tonight. We’re going home tomorrow.” “You guys are crazy! I gotta get you some shirts or something!” So he gave us some shirts. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a show. I just wish I had remembered to bring earplugs — my ears rang for days after.

The next morning…breakfast at Brooklyn Diner, which was very good. Then we went to Mamafuku Milk Bar and had sweets (KrisDi’s are better) and I got coffee. We walked around (probably past several dozen major tourist sites), then walked along the southwest edge of Central Park (I was surprised to discover how huge it is). We went to get bagels to bring with us on the plane. Then we checked out of the hotel and ubered to a liquor store in Newark to buy beer, and then to KrisDi’s internet mom friend’s daughter’s birthday party. We socialized awkwardly for a while, drank some beer, and then ubered to the airport.

The flight back was one of my worst flight experiences in my life. It was late to depart, which is annoying but not especially abnormal. The onboard entertainment system was broken, which is unusual but not an issue for me (since I never actually use it). The big problem came when I tried to sweep my bagel crumbs into the barf bag, and discovered by putting my hand in the bag to open it that someone had previously used it. I felt wetness, then I smelled vomit, and then I was in a big hurry to get to the bathroom to wash my hands and possibly vomit myself. “Please move, I need to get to the bathroom right now.” Dad experience helped me out — I felt hot and clammy, and while I was waiting for one of the bathrooms’ occupant to leave, I thought to myself, ‘When was the last time I had vomit on my hand? Oh yeah, that time Chilkat barfed right into my palm. This will be fine. It’ll wash off.’ And then I felt better. After I got into the bathroom and washed my hands, I talked to the flight attendants, who were suitably horrified by my story and gave me 10,000 miles and two whiskeys and told me to write to the airline — “This should never happen to anyone.” No shit!

All of this excitement was enabled by T’s willingness to watch the kids for ~48 hours. Thank you so much!

August marked the end of day care — forever. Chilkat and Chilkoot had to say goodbye for real to Miss K, the phenomenal teacher who has coincidentally followed Chilkat through every room in daycare, and is consequently closer to being family than acquaintance. We wanted to give her a more meaningful gift than a Starbucks gift card, so we put two things together and gave her a rather unusual gift (at least, probably unusual in terms of gifts from parents to a day care caretaker):
(1) Several years ago, after an unexpected and unpleasant breakup, the kids and I started telling Miss K, “Don’t worry, everything will be OK.” This continued ever since.
(2) She clearly likes tattoos. She has well over a dozen.

So we took her out to dinner on the last day, and offered to pay for a tattoo that said, “Everything will be OK” (or whatever she would like for a tattoo if she didn’t actually want that). She got the tattoo, and wouldn’t let us pay for it, but wants us to take her out for dinner again sometime. Which we definitely will.

KrisDi and I wanted to go to a Chinese dumpling place (Dough Zone), and we slyly got the kids to try new stuff. I was proud of them! And they liked it!

Then I went to Japan. This was an unusual trip for me, in that it actually interacted with Sales representatives (from around the world). I had a day of routine “what’s going on in the project and what do we need to do right now” discussions coupled with some unusual demos and topics. Then was planned a day of worldwide sales meetings about my system and systems like it, followed by a dinner/party for the whole group. After the party, I went out with two guys from the US sales group for more food and more beer, which turned out to be a terrible decision. We went back to the hotel about 2 AM, I slept through my alarm (4:30 AM) and missed the first 40 minutes of meetings the next day, felt horrible (physically and guilt-wise), and got much less out of the meetings on that day than I could have had I been a smart and responsible person and just gone back to the hotel after dinner. It’s hard to describe how terrible I felt and feel about this, even though that day was not of particular value to me, since it was all about systems and markets that are fundamentally pretty different than mine.

While I was in Japan, the kids had their piano recital. They dressed up nicely and looked especially cute. They also did pretty well, from the videos I saw.

Posted by snaotheus

1 comment

Whoa! You didn’t tell me everything last time we talked. I’m glad the red-eye concert trip was fun, join you in disgust and horror at the barf bag, and would have at least tried to get to the piano recital had I known about this one. They’re so cute.

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