Friday, December 23, 2005

the worst present ever

I wasn't really sure if Angela was that gullible, but I wondered what would happen if I attached the below to the end of a pre-xmas email.

"Which reminds me, did you want anything for xmas? I wasn't sure if you liked presents, maybe I'll just get you some chocolate or something, if you want, or some soapy things from the Body Shop, girls love that shit."

This was the reply:

"Please do NOT get me any random soapy things for xmas. I hate things like this. Get me a present only if you see something you think I'll actually use or eat (mmmm)".

Sucker!

Oli.

Best Christmas Present Ever

I say farewell to my fellow Chicagoans as I embark on my Christmas voyage this evening.

I am a little sad to go as Chicago at Christmas is a lovely thing. This morning the saxophone man at the train station was rocking out on "Walking in A Winter Wonderland", the weather was not too cold but just right with sun blazing over the city skyline, and everyone was wearing jeans to work. I say, Happy Holidays, indeed.

So on this lovely winter's day I'd just like to take a moment to reflect on hemorrhoids and giving. My friend Sean Higgins gave me the best Christmas present ever: he got hemorrhoids in my place. Most pregnant women are supposed to get them and I haven't yet in this oh-so-far-along 32nd of 40 weeks of pregnancy. Sean, however, developed an incredible one over the weekend for God-only-knows-what reason. It has since been removed, but this will not stop me from thanking Sean for carrying my burden for me, if even for only 2 days. What a pal, what a Christian. Merry Christmas!

To the British to whom I am flying, I look forward to a great week, if after reading the above you're not too grossed out and still want to hang out with me. Until soon,
~ Angela

For a full account of Sean's tribulations, see www.xanga.com/shweenhiggs

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Nip/Tuck writers need not fear curse

What happens when a writer just can’t come up with something provocative and clever? Nip/Tuck happens.

Last night I sat through the 2-hour season finale of this program with my sister and brother-in-law. In my defense, I was knitting like a fiend. I went to Joanne Fabrics and made my first knitting purchase: beautiful multi-colored soft yarn to knit a cap and booties for Hannah Kim Seeley. I was a woman possessed and nothing could stop my knitting last night, not even Nip/Tuck….although it did interrupt it at times.

Anyway, let me just say that in its third season, this program has disintegrated into a goulash of gender, body and (less-interestingly) financially-confused Californians. At one point a surgeon was ruled out (temporarily) as the rapist-slasher known at The Carver who has been plaguing LA throughout the season because we found out he was born without a penis.

Dialogue (more or less) that ensued about his previous relationship with some woman:
Main character: No, we hate you for acting like a gigolo when you really had no dick, and for grabbing Kate’s ass.
Unfortunate man: I grabbed Kate’s ass so she would hate me and not get too close and find out I had no dick.

Wow.

In the end, this guy WAS the rapist-slasher and we found out he’d been using a strap-on all along. His motive in raping and slashing beauty queens and surgery addicts? To teach us all that “Beauty Is A Curse”. Damn.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pure Indulgence


- My niece Marisa.
- Who doesn't like a picture of a cute kid? Your day is better now, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

comemos lomo y quesos



So, back in Barcelona. Liked it? Loved it. Felt like home. I enjoyed a comprehensive Barca experience, minus getting mugged and visiting the peep shows on the ramblas, with all the old peeps. Saw an exhibition of video art with timo, some funk at a jazz bar with Claire and Mike Mc, and had multiple drinks with the rest. I also visited Platja de Castelldefels which is mine and Angela's spiritual home. We spent time indulging ourselves here when we had just found out about the baby; swimming in the sea in the morning and evening and playing frisbee as the sun went down. In the evenings we stayed in a lovely hotel overlooking the beach, kindly paid for by my parents.

The picture shows Lawson and I enjoying a couple of bocadillos con lomo y queso, an old favourite, particularly of Ange and I who bonded over them during our brief but productive honeymoon period.

baby is born



Last monday ushered in a new era in the Seeley family with the birth of Hannah Kim, weighing 8lb 6oz. Hannah was born over two weeks late but was delivered perfectly formed and completely adorable.

Congratulations Alex and Catherine!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Alterna-Christmas

Baked 300 cookies yesterday in order to bribe family member to not hate me for being absent this Christmas Day.

Actually, I like giving people things but don't have much money nor do I like just buying something to give someone when it is isn't really perfect for them.

Lesson learned:
Cookies = spread Christmas joy - cause useless clutter in someone's home

Additionally, I did not rock out to tradition Christmas tunes during this bake-fest. Alone in my sister's kitchen (well, alone except for pounds of flour, butter and fresh-out-the-oven cookies) I baked my heart out to my playlist on random, vowing to myself at the beginning of the session that I would not skip any song my computer chose, but would let all songs have their fair play time at this oh-so-sacred time of year. The result was a bizarre melancholy mix of 70s pop from the Carpenters, sad old Wilco, new Dave Matthews Band (how did THAT get on my computer?!), depressing Air, and Indian pop from The Guru soundtrack (what the f---?!)...evidently I am depressed and demented and didn't know it. The few shining beams of joy were shed by Kanye West, Mos Def and some other black folks. It is truly a sad state of affairs when the poor and oppressed of society sing the "happy" songs on your playlist. All in all I have learned this Christmas that I have a depressing and f-ed up playlist that despite its girth is lacking in soooo many ways.

Lesson learned:
Having a fantastic "Recently Played" list is no consolation for having a massively warped overall list.

Merry Musical Chrsitmas,
~ Angela

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

reach for the lasers, safe as fuck!


When not cavorting with nurses at medical examinations I like to indulge in a little Toxic Dancehall. For all those who came down to Bristol on Saturday night for DJ Scotch Egg, Floorclearer and Parasite I would just like to say a big thanks for a great evening and please take a moment to enjoy this photo. Memorable events of the evening include the Horne sisters, between them, vomiting on the dancefloor and down the sofa in the chill-out room, meeting Sam’s new girlfriend, Laura, and having James make a lightening drive from Milford to Bristol at midnight so he could join us for this last ever Toxic Dancehall.

Following on from the nurses and pigtails thing. I’m not really sure about any scrawny British airport employees but I’m really turned on by the thought of pregnant women in pigtails at the moment, especially yankee girlfriend ones. See you soon gorgeous!

Revenge

As most people know, Oli's back in England for the time being having his genitals checked out by our Homeland Security officials abroad. Before you feel too sorry for him, read his account of the experience:

"There were basically loads of nurses wearing those fit nurse outfits that nurses wear... So, imagine me, looking cute (yes oh yes), headphones, black jacket, scarf, playing that 'oops where am I, I'm all lost but very confident anyway' thing I do sometimes and it worked wonders. They gave me hot chocolates, stole me muffins from the executives and gave me big smiles. A morning's work done. Then I went to H&M and bought some things I didn't need."

All I can say is I am totally going to wear my hair in pigtails when I go to England at Christmas and play it cute for every immigration official who helps little-'ol-lost-yankee me find my way through the big confusing Heathrow terminal. There's nothing like a desperate pregnant girl to turn on scrawny British airport employees.

~

Mama Drama


So I realized the other day that my mom and I really needed to get those baby/wedding shower invitations out.

For the British, a baby shower is a luncheon that is held in honor of an expectant couple that is attended by all one’s female relatives and friends (men are mercifully spared, except the dad-to-be) and to which each guest brings a gift for the baby, generally practical things like bottles, towels, blankies, etc. This way friends and family are helping out with all those financial strings attached to impending baby arrivals. A wedding shower is similar only the gifts are household things to help a new couple start their home up (e.g. dishes, cooking ware, appliances, etc.).

Anyway, I realized that if we were to have this joint wedding/baby shower on January 22 as planned, we needed to get our gift wish lists registered at some stores and then get those invites out. This led to my sister and I spending 4 hours in Babies ‘R’ Us and Target on Saturday using wireless scanner guns to zap items in the store that I wanted on our gift wish list so that our invitees would know what we wanted. This was fun for two hours and mind-bending in the second half.

I discovered new depths (or perhaps shallows) that I never knew I had. I was most preoccupied with realistic usage, meaning, would I actually use the things on my list or end up with an apartment full of you-know-what. Here, my sister, a mother of two, came in handy. I remained focused and realistic until we got to bedding. Dear god, Babies ‘R’ Us had some adorable bedding sets for the baby’s room. It took 10 minutes for me to decide between Farm Animals or Froggies and Duckies. I walked up and down the aisle comparing the two displays in a fervor that I think can only compare to a dirty old man trying to choose between the Olsen twins. In the end, Froggies and Duckies won for its softness and overall joviality. I hope that when it comes times to choose a university or life partner our child will not find it so difficult as I found this choice.

Meanwhile, two hours later over in Target, my sister and I started breaking down about the time I had to pick out kitchen gear. There are far too many types of doohickeys for preparing and serving food. My sister had remained impartial until this point, giving advice without passing judgment on my final choices. But alas, she MADE me add Corningware to my list. For those of you like me who could care less about such things, Corningware is a type of dish for baking and/or serving in, but it is also rather nice looking. I would have liked to have just gotten other plain dishes for cooking in the oven with, but my sister asked, “What will you serve guests in? How will you entertain? What will you serve me in when I visit?!” I thought the other dishes, which can go in the oven and come with covers for placing leftovers in the fridge, were fine. If it’s good enough to cook in, it’s good enough to serve from. But she wouldn’t have it and scanned in a Corningware set.
I have expressed that if anyone should buy this set for the shower, the first time my sister eats over, I will purposely leave the Corningware out on the counter, empty, and serve her from the plain cooking ware. Obviously Motherhood has not yet sapped all the puckish spite out of me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Indeed

To answer Laura, the book I was reading was indeed A Very Long Engagement. I finished. I recommend it highly.

The conductors did not call my name the next day, by the way. Evidently they were too busy running the train or something. Some friends they turned out to be.....

~ Angela

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The dangers of reading

Recall from the last post that I took notes on my recent read to better comprehend the plot. After sifting through my notes I realized the plot was, well, enthralling. Understanding what you're reading puts it in a whole new light.

The book is so enthralling, in fact, that I missed my stop on the train today. This would be fine if my stop weren't the last one before the conductors and engineer dock the train in a yard and leave for the night. Riiight....

So I look up from my book and think, "They did NOT just say, 'Everyone off.'" Then I notice that no one else is on the train; then I see my car wizzing past the window into winter-night oblivion.

I grab all my books and notepads and search for a conductor. I see one. I wave hello.

He's disappointed in me at best. I spare him the detail that I am making more work for him because I was enthralled by a fictional letter written by one French broad who's lost her fiance in the war to another French broad explaining a past occurence that may reveal the key to both their perhaps-not-so-dead fiances' whereabouts. I tell him I fell asleep. Deep asleep.

He saunters off to consult with his conductor friend while I notice that he didn't notice the open book and uncapped pen in my hands that have so obviously not just awoken from a slumber. Luckily, they are kind and live near me and say they will drive me to my train station to retrieve my car.

I sit between then in the front of a pickup truck holding the remnants of my peggy-lady lunch in a grocery bag. Their names are Ray and Al; I'm Angela. We talk about Christmas and the pain of receiving a gift you can tell someone bought you just because they felt they had to. I find out that no, Metra trains are not controlled by remote controls; there's an engineer but the conductors don't interact too much with him.

They drop me off and say that tomorrow when they make the "Everybody off" announcement, they'll add, "And wake up Angela!" We'll see if they remember.


~ Angela

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Launch me on a geyser of piss

Suffering form cabin fever, we set out to a former high school alterna-teen hangout in my suburban hometown, a cafe named Mojoe's. With mismatched furniture, a friendly barrista, reasonable prices, big sun-filled windows, hardly another patron in sight, and copies of Chicago Parent magazine strewn about, it was the perfect Saturday afternoon haunt.

I took notes on the book I'm reading, which would be admirable if it were non-fiction. But alas, 'tis a fictional mystery based in post-World War I France and I can't keep track of the dates, locations and names, so I've had to go back to the beginning (after finishing half) in order to chart in bright blue ink exactly what the main character discovers on her search. All in all, I've been left with 1) a dismal in-the-trenches feeling and 2) a desire to learn French, which I once possessed while in Barca but never got past page one of the text book I was loaned...

Oli read the newspaper and tried to chart various future locations for us to inhabit on the earth. It was noted during our conversation that New Zealand believes in manifest destiny and gives away plots of land and that real estate in Eastern Europe is pretty cheap and marketable as a holiday get-away.

~ Angela

all american


Uno cards and a Budweiser? Hopefully some of this American will wear off when he goes back to England on Monday....

In the meantime, family and friends had a good time "getting the Brit drunk" at a birthday party over the weekend. All were entertained by his darling rosy cheeks and merry shouts of "Let's get pissed!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I love it when a plan comes together



Many have requested an up-to-date photo of Angela and the baby belly.

Here is Angela enjoying a cigar in front of the latest episode of "Celebrity Parties: An Inside Look", a weeknight favourite of hers.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Um, we're getting married.



Hey, with all our talk of babies and homes we sometimes forget that we're not already married. Minor detail...We'll be sending out more formal invitations in the future, but for those of you who live abroad and are considering a visit for the occasion, it will take place:

Saturday, April 15, 2006
Somewhere near Chicago, Illinois, USA

Those in need will find no-cost accomodations with our family and friends in and around Chicago. All you need is a plane ticket, so get on top of that while Christmas airfare sales are aplenty! Email me (angelas@uic.edu) for more info.

~ Angela

where the streets have no name



There is a thing named the suburbs. Here, where once there were endless flat cornfields as far as they eye could see, there is now equally monotonous looking housing constructions. Like an infectious disease these subdivisions, as they are known, have crept exponentially from the edges of the city to the far reaches of the unknown. Where the ill-fated cornfields once lay and where the subdivisions now rest there remains an existence as barren as ever, save for the occasional neon-lit church or adjacent McDonalds. Dissected by roads criss-crossing one another for hundreds of miles one can find respite behind the wheel of bullet-proof SUV or Hummer (scaled down military HumVee, fits inside a subdivision). This is a place where one can expect at any time to find him or herself at One Million 137th Street, where the streets have no names and where the roads have no pavements. It is truly the land of the consumer on autopilot driving incessantly from one commercial district to another. One is left in no doubt why this is the first resort of the fat, pale and apathetic.

Sipping Starbucks at the local drive-thru-bank, philosophers of subdivisions dream up more and more ridiculously superfluous names for the insipid communities their drones will erect. They work on the simple principle that any two-word combination of Native American-, fierce animal-, nature-related name with one of the following: glen, park, hill(s), ford, spring, avenue, creek and so forth amounts to an inspiring and appropriate designation for the assemblage of the click-to-fit Ikea-like paper houses which characterises these subdivisions. See if you can guess the real subdivision from the false in the names listed below:

Broken Arrow
Peanut Creek
Lighthouse Pointe
Cougar Glen
Chantilly Place

One day a storm will come and blow it all away.

Salvation is easily found at one of the numerous denominations of religions found on every right angle or by simply placing a stars & stripes emblazoned "I am proud of me /the military/god/my child's grades" sticker on the back of your car. Freedom from reality comes at a price, however: a culture of convenience has infected even the most benign aspects of life, turning food to spam, public holidays to seasons of buying, life to misery. For a people with so much material wealth there is, for want of a better word, a spiritual void that endless purchasing will never satisfy.

OliBear

Just wierd


Oli had a dream the other night that I was molested as a baby by George Galloway. Actually, it was our mortgage man (who asks that clients call him Uncle Larry) in the body of George Galloway.

That is so wierd.

~ Angela

Somewhere a place for us

Until a week ago, Angela and I were set on an apartment in the nice leafy neighbourhood that is Oak Park. Enough even to make an offer and sign a contract, pending an inspection. It was a gorgeous 3-bedroom apartment with loads of ‘vintage charm’, a cosy little window-enclosed, sun-drenched den and good-sized bedrooms. The area has excellent schools, a mixed ethnicity, many nearby parks and is served extremely well by public transport. We would have been close to our friends, to employment opportunities, to leisure activities and of course all the other benefits and opportunities that arise from city living. In a word, it was perfect.

We had 5 business days to complete the inspection and after our previous encounter with mould, gas leaks and wood-eating-insects at a previous property we were in no doubt of the importance of this process. We chose to employ a man who we have come to call the Safety Man. Self-proclaimed father figure and security zealot, this man misses nothing, not even tap knobs being on the wrong taps:

“This’ll need a professional plumber, Oliver. There’s no telling what could happen here”.
“Couldn’t I just reverse the knobs and then they’d read right, no?”.
“A potential death-trap, Oliver”.

So, we did an inspection and it looks like the property will require enough improvements to cost an arm and a leg and we don't really have any of those to spare. It's a bit too late now to start looking all over again so our options for the immediate future include renting, staying with family members, moving to England temporarily or giving up entirely and selling the baby online for stem cell research.

Family members here in the USA believe we would be most happy and secure in the suburbs where we could afford a single-family home in a nice new subdivision in the entrails of oblivion, perhaps named something like Bedlam Heights. They are right that for a relatively low cost we could secure a large new property that would guarantee us a financial return in the next few years and be free of the types of problems that have thwarted our attempts at city living so far, such as mould, structural weakness and out-of-date plumbing and electricity. Unfortunately, however, it is not possible to live in the suburbs. Sure, you can eat & sleep within the four walls of the house but beyond that you are utterly dependent on a car to access anything resembling civilisation, which, even then, is in effect a massive car park with mall-like structures stretching endlessly in all directions. There is no community here. Nothing. We would be unhappy.

What next? We'll see. We’re currently looking for places to rent in Logan Square, but seceretly dreaming of living on the beach in Castelldefels, Barcelona. Ultimately, however, and most importantly, at the day's end when curled up in bed we know that we have the most important things already: each other and our forthcoming baby.

OliBear

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Harvesting the Chinese

Yesterday I was reading an essay posted on Sojourners written by Wendell Berry, who by the way, has the best bio: “novelist, essayist, philosopher, poet and farmer”.

His purpose is actually to reflect on the way that being a farmer encourages a writer to consider how his or her writing will affect the surroundings. Will one’s writing be animated by a truthful mixture of realism and imagination or with untruthful but all-too-common rhetorical stereotypes? He discusses how a farmer’s language develops from the ground up, from a practical need to accurately describe his/her work and all things related, while much of our political and public language develops from the top down, from an abstract purpose (often to mislead), yielding impractical and confusing language that doesn’t accurately describe our actual world and is the medium in which stereotypes and generalizations are crafted.

A conclusion he comes to is that when one considers what the effect of writing will be on the surrounding environment and people, as farmer-writers tend to do, advocacy will be present in that writing. This phenomenon has manifested itself in his own work through an overarching “question of a how human economy might be conducted with reverence, and therefore with due respect and kindness toward everything involved”. He says that if such a thing ever existed it would be the “maturation of American culture”.

Fast-forward to 12 hours later when Oli is driving me to the train station in the morning and we’re listening to some NPR Morning Edition covering a story about an American man - let’s call him Ira Irreverence - who is outsourcing software tech support to China, where he pays programmers $500 a month to constantly check his software products for glitches. Now not just any Chinaman can be one of Ira’s crew; you have to go through a series of IQ and behavioral tests to prove yourself to be what Ira calls a “brainiac with personality”. Additionally, once you get the job, you have to work all day with an English teacher in the office prodding you to converse in English, which will pay off big for Ira when this call center goes live, because most Chinese programmers (of the 150,000 that graduate annually) don’t have a conversational level of English, the language of most IT clients. Anyway despite some initial setbacks, such as a client telling the Chinese police that Ira was an American spy, Ira is positive he will be a billionaire in the next few years because after all, he “was there first”…..in China that is.


PS - Way to go citizens of Virginia and New Jersey on filling those gubernatorial offices with democrats. Yee-ha.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Prenatal Class This, Tool

For those of you who understand the reference made in the preceding title, way to go on having seen the movie Bring It On way too many times. Perhaps we can discuss your becoming a Godparent candidate. ..

For all other people out there, you should know that Oli and I had a very successful weekend of prenatal classes. Our nurse educator was chilled out and all natural. No psycho suggestions of super cleansing, although she did bring up nipple confusion. To my exteme delight, she suggested that babies really only need to be fully bathed 3 times a week. Anyone who knows me will immediately understand my glee; I've always been an "if you're just going to get dirty again, why bother?" person (within reason!). Overall, I now fully trust the Advocate Christ Hospital nursing staff to take care of baby, me and even Oli a little.

We engaged in the classic sitting-on-pillows breathing routine and watched several videos that showed educational clips of what different types of baby feces look like and of what to do when your baby is driving you crazy (pass him/her off to your partner and leave the house). Of course, the coup de grĂ¢ce was the video entitled "Deborah's Delivery" in which we saw one gracious woman's labor from home to delivery. Kindly, there was no screaming, despite Deb's choice to go sin drogas, but Oli and I were both pretty depressed for poor old Deb when after 6 hours of breathing through contraction after contraction, the girl was only at 5cm waiting to open 5 more! Hours later when it was time to push and Deb felt she had nothing left to give, her super hero parter encouraged her through 'til that baby girl popped out and had her first feed. I have to say Deb's delivery was an exemplary demonstration of how to offset the whole pain-fear-tension cycle, as seen above.

As for our own labor and delivery, prenatal class has made us aware of the options available to us regarding delivery positions and now I'm considering the squatting position over the supine postion; we'll talk to Dr. Doah about it. And sorry to anyone who will now have nightmares of me squatting out a baby. Shame on me.

For the Europeans

Dear friends abroad,
You often asked me why God should bless America, and perhaps now you can finally understand why. Do any of your homelands have affordable motels with high speed internet included at no extra cost, much less a World Series Championship baseball team? Ha! None of your countries have even been in the World Series. I hope this all helps to answer your question.

Love,
Angela

Friday, November 04, 2005

Scarecrow Patrol

Our family scarecrow keeps moving. Sometimes he's standing outside the front door where he belongs, greeting household visitors, but at other times we find him peeking longingly in at us through the back door as we eat dinner or watching television with us through the family room window. Oliver has taken this chance to teach my nephew Jacob a valuable lesson: scarecrows are not our friends; you must protect your family against them.

Jacob, as children do, has become obsessed with scarecrows and Oli's warnings, written on the children's easel chalkboard, "Scarecrows eat small children, especially Jacob," don't help him get them off his mind. But despite my concerns that the kid was going to develop a scarecrow complex, shrieking for the rest of his life every time he saw a bit of hay, much the opposite is true.

Last night, Jacob led me out of the house into the dark night to go with him on Scarecrow Patrol. We had to protect the family. Barefooted, the 4 year old led me down the dark subdivision steets where we shouted at all the scarecrows we saw, making friends. As Jacob explained, "We're friends at night, but the scarecrows are bad again in the day." Ah, the wise child has already learned to keep his enemies closer...

I don't know what it all means, but man, scarecrow patrol is fun.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

340 New Things That Could Kill Your Baby...


...and 470 things you can buy to save him.

Halloween has just passed us, but if you didn't get in enough thrills and chills over the holiday weekend, I have good news: just pick up a copy of Parents magazine and you're sure to have your pants scared right off!

In all seriousness, I gave this magazine a fair trial period, but I just can't handle being told things like:

-Bring sanitizing wipes with you to the pediatrician's waiting room and wipe down any vinyl surfaces before touching; avoid upholstered surfaces as they cannot be sanitized

-Limit your children's trick-or-treating time so they don't collect too much candy; try having your child trade you half of their Halloween candy for a small non-edible gift

Not to go all old fogey, but when I was a kid we licked all the toys in the doctor's office, ate chocolate 'til our eyes crossed, got sick, and then got better. Pure exaggeration, of course, but seriously, if we give our kid good real food and don't let her kiss little boys with smallpox too often, I bet she'll be healthy more often than she's unhealthy and won't resent us for wiping her down bi-hourly and tricking her into giving away her candy.

If you want a peek at Parents, try out this article on
preparing one's family for a biochemical terror assault, written by none other than Senator Bill Frist, M.D.

~ Angela


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Modern-day Dad Defends His Cubs in Urban Jungle


Modern times being what they are and we living the middle-class urban and suburban lives that we do, one might be tempted to feel that living is almost too easy, that it's no big thing to make it; we're supposed to make it. It's easy to feel wimpy in the light of romantic film scenes where pioneer dads, in times when men were not just executives but also men...with guns, fight off pillagers to protect their families. But I suppose not everyone can be a pioneer, nor unfortunate enough to encounter pillagers, nor brave enough to even touch a gun much less wield one. So in these times of comfort and good fortune, one must take up arms against the corporate and bureaucratic foes left to us and feel tough doing it.
Which brings me to my Oliver, who I daily admire more and more for his ferocious Modern Dad Skills.
It begins with negotiation, turns to bullshitting and no matter what, ends with Oli winning. From getting discounts by simply suggesting that cashiers at Old Navy give us the sale price when our item is clearly not on sale, to demanding that we not just counter offer but also counter counter offer when negotiating housing contracts, to telling Chicago British Consulate personnel that he has been summoned to them by the American Embassy in London in order to bypass the whole "must have an appointment to enter" rule, he is a man on a quest to save money, get a home, obtain a visa and ultimately, use that visa to legally spend more than 90 days in said home taking care of his baby and woman.
When not tearing Corporate America and bureaucratic institutions a new one, Oliver takes time to practice his bowling skills at the UIC lanes where he is known as Cosmic Oli. Today I met him for lunch there where we discussed his Consular victory and just as I left to return to work, he scored a strike for me and baby, adding another name to his list of conquered foe.
~ Angela