Archive for December, 2011

Just Another Disappointment

A few weeks ago I agreed to accompany a female friend to a charity benefit because her boyfriend was going to be out of town. She emailed the event information to me while I was in Ft. Lauderdale. I replied to her email informing her I was visiting friends in Florida but would buy a ticket to the event when I got back to Denver. My friend acknowledged receiving my email. Shortly after returning to Denver I bought the ticket. The event is tomorrow night at the Grand Hyatt downtown. This morning I emailed the friend to finalize our plans for tomorrow night. She replied that she made plans with her friends because she hadn’t heard from me. I was perplexed. I told her I would go with her and was going to buy a ticket. Why did she not check with me before making other plans? And she throws the ball in my court by saying she hadn’t heard from me. I was pissed. I wanted to rip her a new one, but instead, I took the high road and sent her an email wishing her a good time. At least I got a tax deduction and charity got a few bucks to spend on needy children.

I was trying to help out a friend but I can’t help feeling burned by her actions. She’s just another person in my life who has disappointed me. Why don’t people follow through with their commitments? I’m wondering if I expect too much from people.

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Sad News

A friend of Cindi’s committed suicide last Thursday. He was a local restaurateur and philanthropist. Cindi saw him at a charity event on Wednesday night and he seemed to be in the holiday spirit. He hung himself in the basement of his house the next day. He was found by his wife.

Cindi attended his funeral which received a lot of media coverage and was heavily attended by politicians, law enforcement, business leaders, representatives from many charities and socialites. Cindi had to stand for the two hour service because she arrived late and the cathedral was packed to the rafters.

I didn’t know this man but have eaten in one of his restaurants. I’m sad this man chose to take his life. He was always giving and supporting people and charitable causes. I can’t understand why this man didn’t reach out for help. He was always helping others. Perhaps he didn’t know how to ask for help.

I can’t image what his wife is going through. The horror of finding her husband in the basement is something she will never forget. The holiday season will never be the same for her or the children. I hope his wife will be able to focus on her husband’s good will and not his final act.

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I Said Nothing

Sunday was a busy day. I got up a little before eight, had breakfast and then prepared for my day. I had a good chat with Mary about holiday gifts for her grandkids. I headed to Barnes and Noble to pick up a children’s cookbook for Max, one of Mary’s grandsons. My next stop was the Children’s Hospital benefit at Blake Street Glass. I chatted with Dmitri and Kit for a while and bought a few hand blown ornaments for holiday gifts. After leaving Blake Street I drove down Blake Street and headed south on Broadway past the Denver Rescue Mission. There were crowds of homeless people queuing up for lunch. It was a sad sight. My next stop was Meininger Art Supply. I picked up gifts for Eliot and Tanner, also Mary’s grandsons, and then headed home. I called Mike when I got home because he wanted to run some errands since his partner, Chris, was working. Mike picked me up and we headed downtown to Patagonia. The traffic was horrendous because it was an hour before the start of the Bronco’s game. We changed directions and drove to a jewelry store in Centennial. Mike dropped $11k on a new Rolex. We had to drive a few blocks to Cherry Hills Village so the salesman could hand deliver the watch. Mike avoided paying 8% sales tax on the watch by having it “delivered” outside of Centennial. I was uncomfortable with this scam but didn’t say anything. By this time the football game had started so we drove downtown to Patagonia. I helped Mike pick out two sweaters and a shirt for Chris. He spent $450 on these items. Our final stop was the Tattered Cover on Colfax and then we headed home. I fixed dinner and watched the Amazing Race finale and a few other shows before heading to bed.

I’ve been really bothered by the Rolex tax scam. I don’t understand why Mike did this. Mike makes good money and is financially sound. He tides to his temple and attends a lot charity benefits. Why did he feel the need to avoid paying $880 in sales tax? I’ve known Mike for over twenty years. I know he can afford to pay the sales tax. It’s his second Rolex so it’s clearly a luxury purchase. Tax revenues are down and social service organizations are suffering due to budget cutbacks. I drove by hordes of homeless people earlier in the day. I can’t help thinking about how $800 would change their lives. I watched my friend participate in a tax fraud scheme and I said nothing. I’m not feeling very good about myself today.

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Racking My Brain

I have no idea what to buy K for Christmas. I want to come up with something new and fresh this year but I’m coming up blank. In past years I bought him skis, a snowboard, a collection of scotches, clothes and a Tiffany watch. I went to the mall on Sunday to see if anything sparked an idea. I only succeeded in buy things for myself. I bought a pair of jeans at Banana Republic, a ten inch rectangular tart pan at Sur La Table and a cookie cutter at Cost Plus World Market. I stopped by Neiman’s to see Christopher and ended up buying a shirt. Yes, just one shirt this time. Neiman’s has a really cool Tumi backpack that would be ideal to replace my aging Gap backpack that I bought on sale for $15 twenty years ago. My Gap backpack has travelled the world with me and always goes to gym with me. It will be hard to let it go. I bought a Victorinox backpack at Costco a few years ago but have only used it a few times. It just doesn’t feel comfortable. I think I’ll like the Tumi better. I wish I could try out the Tumi for a few days before I commit to buying it. Perhaps the Tumi will appear gift wrapped on Christmas morning. I need to get back to thinking about K. Even this post ended up being about me and what I want.

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Beyond Bored

When the company downsized earlier this year the flagship product team in my department was left with two engineers, one developer and one tester (me). The result is that there are often bottlenecks. The monthly projects get turned over to the engineer at the same time. The engineer is overloaded while I have nothing to do. I spent most of yesterday sitting around waiting for a large code delivery that never arrived. I’m still waiting this morning. I am beyond bored. The downsizing was a cost cutting measure yet I’m sitting here getting paid to do nothing. Clearly, I do not understand the vision and goals of the executive team.

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Blue Day

I’m having a blue day. I don’t know why. Could it be caused by the cold cloudy day and forecasted late afternoon snow storm? I could be having after the party blues. Who knows? I’m going out in search of holiday cards around noon. Spending money always puts me in short term good mood. That doesn’t say a lot for my character.

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Snowy Weekend

It snowed about five inches on Thursday and it’s been snowing all morning. The forecast calls for snow again tomorrow. Mike is on his way over and we’re headed out for lunch and stop at the Cherry Creek Mall. K’s holiday party is tonight at the Grand Hyatt downtown. I’ve been invited to go even though K is away. Our neighbor’s are also having their holiday party at their showroom in the Denver Design Center. I’m not sure I’ll make it to either party.

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