A Busy Weekend

Reading back through this, I probably should have broken this into several blog entries, but my lunch break is almost over and I'm lazy.

This weekend was a busy one with Beth taking Sandy to the vet, photo-shootus-interruptus, a trip to the range, the UFC and Baby Baier, standing up my favorite stylist, and Beth putting in twelve hours of work on Sunday while I took Rocinante for a ride and forgot to do the laundry.

While Beth took Sandy to the vet Saturday morning for follow-up blood-work, I ran off to the Milwaukee Art Museum to shoot pictures of Shemagne for my firm's marketing materials. After my experience last weekend with Tony being distressed over being left alone, we recruited April and Scott to come over to keep him company. Beth snuck Sandy out the back after letting Tony out in the front yard. It was quite the sneaky operation.

Me, I'm not quite as sneaky or organized; sometimes it's hard to belive that I make a living managing projects. I left to meet Shemagne at the Art Museum and had to turn around to grab a laptop that we were going to use as a prop for the photos (my firm is an IT consulting firm and Shemagne was to be the model playing "Professional IT Consultant"). Prop and bagel/coffee (Shemagne's "modeling fee") secured, I made it to the Museum only ten or so minutes late. Shemagne was right on time.

The first snag was the presence of a wedding right smack in the middle of the part of the atrium that I had "scouted" as a "location" (I love all the photography lingo! I feel all technical and professional!). Okay... So... I decided we could make due with the section off to the side. There's still a lot of glass and there would have been good light if it wasn't rainy and overcast and miserable out. The benches by the windows have a nice modern look/feel to them and seemed like they'd fit well with the "mood and feel" of the shot that I was trying to achieve.

As we were heading over towards our "secondary location," we were intercepted by one of the Museum Guards who informed me that tripods weren't allowed in the museum. I'm a little hard of hearing and he was mumbling a bit so it took a couple of tries before I understood him. "No problem, I won't use the tripod, sir." He mumbled something and I continued on to the bench with Shemagne in tow. After chatting a bit, we posed Shemagne and a few props (coffee mug, portfolio, laptop, etc...) we started taking some pictures. We'd gotten through a few shots of her seated and standing, when a very pretty, though WAY too skinny Museum employee came over.

"Sir, I'm sorry, but any professional photography has to be coordinated through the front desk and there's a $700 fee."

"Oh! Well... uh... I'm not a professional..."

"Well anything that's going to be published or used professionally counts."

"Uh... They're not gonna be uh... published..."

"So, what are they gonna be used for?"

"Oh, these are just pics of 'professional-looking Shemagne'... we're friends and I'm doing these as... uh... a favor for her... they're not professional at all..."

"Are they for personal use?"

"Yeah! See... they're for her her theatre resumé... she... does plays with local theater companies and... uh... they're for her... theater resumé..."

"Sorry. Even headshots are considered professional photography."

"Really? Okay... camera's going off... Sorry!"

Yeah. I'm the worst liar... ever...

So, Shemagne and I retired to the bench to finish our coffee. While we were sitting there chit-chatting, another museum employee (who was absolutely gorgeous and not skinny!) came over and was very pleasant and apologetic, but firmly reiterated that any photo-shoots would have to be coordinated through her. She offered her card and, noticing the un-used tripod, mentioned that tripods aren't allowed.

I thanked her and told her that we had been told about the tripod when we came in and hadn't been using it at all. She apologized for the inconvenience and walked off.

After finishing our coffee, I packed up my things, hugged Shemagne, and went home tail tucked. Ah well. My "professional" photo-shoot ended in a bust. Not only did we get shut down, but I also didn't get any useable shots out of the few I did take 'cause the light was bad and I didn't do a good job compensating for it.

On the ride home, I got a call from Liv, Milwauke's greatest hair-stylist, informing me that I had stood her up, AGAIN! She was actually much nicer about it than that. I just feel like an asshole 'cause I keep doing this to her and burning timeslots where she could be earning money.

Beth and Sandy were home by the time I got there. Beth was in a good mood because the vet was impressed with how well Sandy was doing. Earlier in the week Beth had talked to the vet who had started the conversation by saying that she was so happy to hear that Sandy was still alive. Apparently she wasn't expecting Sandy to make it through the weekend. We've been giving Sandy fluids sub-cutaneously three times a day and giving her meds (epakitin and renacare) for the past week. Beth has been really encouraged with how Sandy has perked up and so much more like her old self. I'm the pessimist and have been concerned that the symptoms are only being masked with no real improvement.

The vet's office told Beth that we would hear back from them with the results of the blood-work in the next few days, but it looked like we could start reducing the frequency of the sub-cutaneous fluids.

Encouraged by that news, I started gathering everything for the trip to the shooting range. My buddy Joe was coming with and showed up at 11:45, right on time and we headed out. It was Joe's first time shooting and he did well. Joe's very kinestheticaly gifted and was quickly able to figure out what he was doing wrong and begin correcting it. For a first-timer, he did really well.

It was a good trip. The flinch that I had developed that was in such brilliant evidence during my last trip to the range, I managed to cure by relaxing my shooting hand and increasing my grip with my support hand. We got to fire an AR-15 and twelve-gauge shotgun as well as my and Beth's pistols. The twelve gauge elicited a "WOO!" from Joe after his first shot. We headed home rockin' out to Tiffany in the car.

It was a quick turn-around from getting home to heading out to Brown Baier's house for a night of UFC and "Affliction" MMA action. There were some good fights. Actually, I should say that the UFC show had some good fights, but the Affliction PPV, in addition to having some of the worst production quality that I've seen in a long time, also had a bunch of garbage matches that were near painful to watch. The highlights that come to mind are:

  • Fedor obliterated Tim sylvia early in the first round of the fight. I can't tell you how much I love watching Sylvia lose; especially when he gets absolutely dominated! Fedor used his head as a speed bag, dropping Sylvia. On the ground, Fedor started working towards a rear-naked choke and Sylvia, after pretending to defense it, tapped before it was sunk in properly.
  • James Irvin threw a lazy round kick that Anderson Silva caught with his left hand as he threw a cross with his right hand that knocked Irvin completely off his feet. Irvin turtled up and Silva landed another five or so shots in a matter of seconds causing the fight to be stopped and opening a nasty cut under Irvin's right eye.
  • Jesse "the meathead" Taylor, who went on a drunken rampage in which he destroyed property and terrorized women in a casino bar after The Ultimate Fighter finished shooting, was kicked out of the UFC, but apparently let back in after starting AA and cutting alcohol out of his life. I still don't like him. I hated his personality on the show. I hated his lay and pray fighting style. And I absolutely despise the "terrorizing women" part of his drunken rampage which would have reinforced my dislike for him by itself. I don't care for his opponent, CB Dollaway, much either, but I can put up with CB's arrogance much more easily than Taylor's idiocy and misogyny. It was gratifying to see Taylor get caught in a Peruvian necktie and tap.
  • Brandon Vera at 205 was a disappointment. He looked weak and lethargic and should have finished the fight, but couldnt'. The cut to 205 could have affected him, but it was a weak win regardless.
  • Franke got dominated by Edgar.
  • Affliction's production quality sucked.

The rest of the fights you can Google. Those were the only things that really stood out for me.

I took some photos of Baby Baier, but I'm not sure any of them are going to turn out all that well. We'll see when I actually load them on my computer and take a look.

Sunday, Beth and I started the day at Einstein's to grab breakfast and say goodbye to one of our favorite employees who's leaving in a week for the Air Force. Beth then left for work and I took off on Rocinante to "do some errands." I did get dog-food and toilet paper and Izze sodas as Beth asked, those things just happened to get rolled into a very long ride that got me lost somewhere in Waukesha county.

I stopped long enough to call Beth back who had called while I was riding. The vet's office had called her with the results of the blood-work. Basically, while Sandy's blood counts had improved, they weren't as good as the vet had hoped. We can still start scaling back on the sub-cutaneous fluids (maybe twice a day instead of three), but they want us to start Sandy on another supplement to help her thyroid. I'm still guarded and pessimistic about the whole thing. That's likely a defense mechanism on my part.

Home from my ride, I managed to get sucked into watching "Shooter" with Mark Wahlberg and then "Vantage Point" and by the time I looked up, it was almost nine and I hadn't started the laundry or fed myself. Beth pooped out at work and opted out of the Comedy Sportz show and came home just in time to catch me coming home with Burger King (only two sandwiches, this time, instead of three!).

So yeah... Busy weekend.