a unique perspective on this crazy world

Posts tagged ‘friendship’

sprayed and quarantined ;)

I have not fallen off the face of the earth – or stopped writing or snapping photos – but it feels that way to me at least… I started writing this on the plane to Sydney… with so many great experiences in Toronto, Paris, Amsterdam and Ljubljana still to be committed to bytes… I have the memories – and the stories… hoping to record and share… we shall see… have committed to travel a little less in 2014 so my “normal” life is not always a gong show…

it’s Saturday so I can hide from the clients for a few hours so… for now…  we are going down under…

imagine you have used your Aeroplan points and booked nine months ahead so you can sit in business class.  You got lucky the flight to Korea got cancelled so you’ve been upgraded to the direct flight Vancouver-Sydney, which has allowed you to drink free champagne (real champagne, not sparkling wine pretending to be champagne :), watch FOUR movies and get a decent sleep thanks to your pod…   I love Air Canada 🙂

BTW, all movies recommended… Monsters University, Blue Jasmine, The Way Way Back… I am sure there was a fourth but watching four movies in a row rots your brain obviously 🙂

it’s 12 hours later…

I expect we will get sprayed.  They have already done the intercom message announcing there is a $16,000 fine if you bring in anything not allowed and don’t declare it.  I’m on a plane to Sydney, Australia.  Spraying and quarantining does seem right for a former penal colony (don’t bring that up if you do come to visit 🙂  but it’s actually a very smart thing to do.

Australia is an island and its flora and fauna are almost as unique as the Galapagos so it’s wise to be careful.  The cane toad taught them to be protective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucQsDM7ZpsQ

This is my fourth arrival so I think I am prepared.  I didn’t pack my usual backup food and made sure to eat my fruit and nuts on the plane.  I made sure I didn’t buy any food gifts for my Australian friends at the airport.  I didn’t appreciate how strict the rules were and have had a luckily friendly conversation with the customs inspector and avoided getting fined or quarantined… but it’s good to be careful 😉

While it doesn’t feel all that welcoming on the airplane, once you’ve passed through customs everything changes!  This is “the lucky country” and it does feel that way.  It’s one of those countries that runs well so people are generally happy.  Aussies are some of the friendliest people in the world.  And it’s a very relaxed culture.

At least that’s how I remember it.  It’s exciting to be back.  My history with the land of Oz began over a decade ago.  I only became a chartered accountant because some dude in a suit in a tiny interview room in London, Ontario suggested that a Commonwealth CA would allow me to work anywhere in the Commonwealth should I pass the exams.

By that point I’d moved from roaming wheat fields and chasing live pigs down the road when they escaped from the barn to feeling slightly uncomfortable – but still succeeding – at the most famous business school in my country.  And now I had a chance to work on Bay Street.

My father talked about Bay Street while he taught me a lot about wheat fields and raising hogs (that is the business lingo for pigs 😉  Growing up in the middle of the Canadian north in a town that couldn’t even boast a population of four figures, working on Bay Street seemed as likely as flying to the moon.  I didn’t even know anyone who had been to Toronto on an airplane, let alone worked there.

But I was really lucky that I kept having interesting, accomplished, sophisticated men see potential in me that I never saw in myself and it landed me all sorts of places I never expected to be.

The biggest culture shock of my life – arriving in Sydney.  Not because it’s SO different to Canada.  But it isn’t Canada (it’s closer now than it was back then) and I was living in a foreign country!  A country so remote you got a free stopover.  Back then I chose Fiji!  And almost got sunstroke roaming in the mid-day sun in January… but that’s another story…

Now you can fly to Sydney from Vancouver or the US west coast direct!  But you are still far away from the rest of the world.  It’s part of the experience.

iconic sydney on a sunny day

iconic sydney on a sunny day

Once we’d been sprayed and sat on the plane for a while so that spray could kill whatever it kills and I’d passed through customs without being quarantined, I came into the arrivals area just like you would in every other airport.

But, at this one, my best friend from those days in Sydney so long ago was waiting for me.  Elizabeth is like my maternal grandmother, one of those people who is so gracious and delightful you want to clone them – or at least teach others to take their lead 🙂

Last time I saw her I was watching her get married!  This time I got to meet her equally delightful daughter and catch up on the last decade…

Immediately she said, “it’s your trip.  What do you want to do?”

That’s when I realized how incredibly privileged I was.  As I told her, for most people Australia is a once in a lifetime trip and they have a list of things they need to tick off.  I KNOW Sydney… not absolutely but I have done the tourist stuff more than once.  And I’ve travelled the country more than almost any Aussie I’ve ever met.

I can fly to one of the most remote corners of the earth and just chill… but you might only get there once… so recommendations will be forthcoming 🙂

For now, what to do when you arrive…

the view from icebergs

the view from icebergs

We went to Icebergs on Bondi Beach for lunch… because Elizabeth lives in Sydney and has a husband and young daughter so it was still on her “to do list”.  Things have changed in the last decade.  Apparently Top Chef Australia is huge!  So DO book…

We didn’t… and still got a seat in the bar with a brilliant view over Bondi and yummy food.  Sydney is in the top most beautiful cities in the world so there are many places you can go – and SHOULD!  But start at Bondi… as I said to Elizabeth, it’s just like the postcards… welcome to one of the most memorable places on the planet…

The sun didn’t shine all that often while I was in Sydney but there was always sunshine on the plate.  I don’t surf – so, for me, the land of Oz has always been associated with food and wine that tastes different when the sun shines so much…

Gastronomy, koalas, the incredible wow of great friendships still to come… stay tuned… 😉

quoting Casablanca ;)

Everyone has to find his own path in figuring out how to cope with death.  It’s never easy.  And there is such a mysterious, fluid quality to death.

It takes some time to really accept that you can’t dial his phone number and hear his voice.  And that you will never again feel the warmth of his embrace or have a heartfelt face to face conversation.

It leaves a void – as mysterious as a black hole.  And when the relationship is dramatic and complex, when you know the other person is struggling – yet you also can’t find a way to break in and fix things – the end hits you harder.

You wonder if you’d just acted differently… if you’d had more time… if this… if that… it’s hard to accept the status quo and not imagine the “what if’s”…

That’s how it was with my father.  Our relationship was complex and tumultuous.  When I spoke to him on my birthday a few days before he died, it felt like a new beginning.

Was it D-Day or the Arab Spring?  I’ll never know.  Would there have been a permanent change in our relationship, a Marshall Plan that restored the close bond we had had for so many years?  Or would it have just been an ethereal burst of hope unaccompanied by sufficient planning, ready to burst into disarray at the first hint of discord?

He was the one who taught me to be a critical thinker – so I felt he would be disappointed if I just glossed over the rough patches because he was dead.  But there had been a lot of great times and I owed him a lot.  So I decided I would celebrate his good qualities and remember the good times – and the life lessons he had tattooed into my soul.

So I’m ready to deal with my friend Sean’s death.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not weepy.  But I’m a crier – I accepted that a long time ago.

Sean is one of my oldest friends.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to capture over 30 years in a few brief paragraphs.  I know I just have to accept that this will scratch the surface and that memories will continue to bubble up unexpectedly for the rest of my life.  That’s how life goes… personally, I think it is one of the greatest pleasures of being a little more sophisticated than the average monkey 🙂

sean the scholarI met Sean in 1982, more or less my first day at the University of Western Ontario where I had somehow managed to get admitted to this mini-Harvard undergraduate MBA program that I had quickly discovered would be the most intimidating experience of my life.

I wasn’t even legal to drink in the USA yet.  It’s hard to remember being that young.  But I do remember how freaked out I was by the country club school.  In those days the Preppie Handbook ruled and I was in the middle of all these kids with money and a secret code I couldn’t decipher.

We were arranged in a “participation circle” for classes and every class we sat behind our name plate in the semi-circle around the professor so that if we spoke, he could call out our name.  The name plates were organized alphabetically so many of my friends were made based on the alphabet.  I am an “H”.  He was an “M”.  So he sat directly behind me in class.

I can’t remember how it all began but one of the first things he did was explain the “preppie code”.  The more significant thing that he did was ask me to join his group for the final year project.  I couldn’t believe it as he was easily one of the smartest people I have ever met – and likely the smartest at that point – so I couldn’t believe he would consider me worthy.

But it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship 😉

At the time I just thought he was a great guy.  He gave me confidence in a new environment when I was mostly intimidated.  I became a confidante when he started dating one of our classmates.  He broadened my horizons by introducing me to new cuisines.

Like so many of my great friendships, it spanned cities – and continents.  His son was born in New York.  His daughter was born in London.  He travelled to exotic places.  He went to Virginia to learn how to be a southern gentleman.  He went to Wall Street to learn how to work for weeks on end with almost no sleep.  I knew all about Notting Hill before the movie because I got to go and hang out at his house there.

There is no doubt he had an impressive career but what was really impressive about him was his generosity, his warmth, his interest in the people in his life.  As I started to write this, I quickly realized it would be impossible to capture our relationship and all the incredible memories in this short space so no doubt, like my dad, he will just keep popping up in other posts.

For now, I just want to pay tribute to him.  He is one of the people who changed my life.  When we met, I was a geeky kid from a small prairie town who didn’t even know there was such a thing as investment banking.  I might have dreamed of going places and doing things with my life but they felt like pipe dreams.  I didn’t think I really had the tools to make them happen.

But Sean blew my world wide open.  He bolstered my confidence.  He introduced me to new worlds I hadn’t even realized existed.  He was a guy from a modest background who conquered the world.  And took me along for the ride.

He grew my dreams.  And helped me develop the tools to realize them.  A beautiful friendship indeed… :)))

there really ARE kangaroos on the front lawn down under ;)

Of course, you have to be in the driveway of a sheep farm in remote western Australia after the owners have been away for a few days so the roos are partying on the grass – cause they know he is one of the only farmers in the ‘hood who doesn’t shoot kangaroos.  But I really DID see kangaroos on the front lawn and I told my Australian boyfriend at the time, “I am going back to Canada and telling everyone they can see kangaroos on the front lawn if they go to Oz” 🙂

roo from kitchen window

roo from kitchen window

Of course it amused me mostly because I was Canadian and used to foreigners thinking we kept polar bears as pets or lived in teepees.  This was decades before the internet or even cable TV so most people didn’t  think the world was flat anymore but detailed knowledge of foreign locales was in short supply.

So, when I arrived in Sydney in 1990, I had very little idea what to expect.  Aussies love their country so I was expecting a land of milk and honey based on all the glowing reports I had heard from expats on my three month European tour enroute to “the lucky country”.  If nothing else, I had just spent most of the month of December on the Canadian prairie with my parents where a proper “you can feel your breath freezing in your throat” winter had given my Australian boyfriend a taste of the “real Canada” – where the tough people live 🙂

So, arriving from minus 40 to plus 40 in a matter of hours, was enough reason to fall in love with Australia the minute of arrival.

Like the relationships  you see in montages on-screen in romantic comedies, there was a reality check.  Australia proved to not just be “Canada with lots of sunshine” as I had anticipated.  But it was my first expat experience.  And there was much to love about the country and the people.

The Australian boyfriend not one of my best ideas… but it was the way I got to his country.  I am sure I would have got there eventually but it would never have had the same impact.

Going to Oz was how I grew up.  It changed my life forever and I can’t imagine its trajectory without the Australian – or his country.  I know it would have been a lot more boring and I am really grateful I got to take the less-travelled path.

This is much to say about Australia – and Australians.  I lived there for eighteen months.  I have been back twice.  And will return for a third visit this November.  I wish I had stayed longer and become a citizen – but I tend to have a rather messy personal life.  I can recognize an Australian accent – and don’t think they sound English – or South African.

Today’s post though is to celebrate Elizabeth.  Because it is her birthday!  And also the first year anniversary of this blog!  I wasn’t sure if it could be sustainable but I really enjoy writing and – even if there aren’t as many posts as I had envisioned – there is a regular commentary.

I noticed a little while ago that the blog anniversary was coming up and was trying to figure out what the right post would be.  And then I realized the anniversary was Elizabeth’s birthday.  So the answer was obvious 🙂

As has already been noted, most of my friendships have an unusual genesis compared to the average person.  I am very interested in people and happy to put a lot of effort into maintaining friendships with people who impress me.

Elizabeth is definitely one of those!  Back in 1990, I was her boss.  We were working in a firm of chartered accountants and she was doing a work term so was only 18.  But she was so poised and a model employee.  I didn’t really have to “boss” her at all so it was easy for a friendship to develop.  It was unexpected since she was almost exactly a decade younger than me.  But she really wanted to travel.

So that’s how it started.  I had only started to travel at that point but had just done a three month tour of western Europe and we talked about travel and Europe every chance we got.  I inspired her future travel plans and she reminded me of my own 18 year old mindset.

wedding in oz

wedding in oz

When I left to return to Canada, we exchanged addresses and vowed to stay in touch.  So often that doesn’t amount to much but we were both good at it.  In the early days we sent letters and always exchanged gifts at Christmas and birthdays, trying to find something local.  It helped me hold on to Oz – and introduced her to Canada.

I also promised I would come back for her wedding.  It took a little while… but she had to find the right guy 🙂  Going to her wedding was one of the highlights of my life.  She comes from this wonderful family who had always welcomed me as the third child and much fuss was made of the fact that I had come from Canada for the wedding.  But I meant it when I told her I was coming 😉

She also came to Germany for one of my weddings (there were three – all to the same guy :)).  It was her first trip to Europe.  She had finally made the leap and executed the first of the plans we had made back in 1990 for her world travel.  Her enthusiasm was contagious and I was still a new immigrant and equally enamored of all the “cute” German towns.

german cakes :)

german cakes 🙂

She now has a daughter – whom I will meet for the first time in November.  She looks just like her mom.  I think she will be 5 by the time I get to Sydney so a really wonderful age to meet someone.  I am really looking forward to seeing them all.

Sadly, there will be no kangaroos on their front lawn.  It really is a sophisticated, developed country with some of the best wine in the entire world.  When I went for the wedding, I took myself on a wine tour of South Australia to get out of Elizabeth’s hair while she was doing wedding prep, and decided a case of wine from different producers with different maturity dates would make a great wedding present.  I’ll be able to hear the stories of the bottles in person…

So… in honour of the blog’s anniversary (and Elizabeth’s birthday), I will pour a glass of Australian wine and make a toast to “the lucky country” – and kangaroos 🙂  You should do the same.  Aussies do it all well – so pick your poison – anything from sparkling to Shiraz…  or combine them and have a sparkling Shiraz, a personal favourite!

the ghosts of New York past…

My recent trip to NYC was especially memorable as I spent time with three different friends, each one from a different decade of my life and each friendship established via totally different circumstances… but all of whom came together – without actually meeting! – back in 1996.

As I mentioned, in 1995 I decided to fly to NYC to meet up with my friend David who was working in Saudi Arabia at the time.  Only scientists knew how to use the internet back then (you actually needed to know things like DOS commands to use computers 🙂 so we arranged the trip via fax.

It was a roaring success so I went back the following year.  In July really cool people are in the Hamptons but I am never going to be cool so was happy just to be there in my cheap sweaty midtown hotel room.  My friend Sarah was working in DC at the time so came up for the weekend and we ran around in NYC imagining what it might be like to live there.

It was how I learned to love Negronis.  I figured it would be fun to play at being cool so I had read about a place called Pravda somewhere.  It was a bar in the emerging Nolita district of Manhattan too hip to actually have a sign so we had to wander around a bit and finally descend down a staircase and open a mysterious black door… but we found it.  And I suggested we order a Negroni since

bar ngorongoro crater lodge

bar ngorongoro crater lodge

said they were the hot drink of summer 1996.  Our cool factor may not have been really high but at least we were trying hard to not just be typical tourists…

And I really liked the Negroni!  In those days, I didn’t drink cocktails so was always stumped when there wasn’t a cocktail list.  So I started ordering a Negroni.  It took me years to remember what was in it.  It was purely accidental that I discovered it was one of those classic cocktails that gets you respect from the bartender.  Ordering a Negroni almost makes me seem cool 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negroni

There have been lots of memorable Negronis over the years but it will be hard to top the one I taught the bartender how to make at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania.  The lodge is a bit much but it was my last night in Africa and it was so fancy I could dress up.  I had forgotten though that it would be pitch black when I left the main building to go back to my Versailles-like hut so I freaked out my Masai warrior escort gingerly picking my way along the path in heels.  But I told him I had the balance of an impala – and we made it there without him having to catch me in his arms.  The wood was warped so the door stuck.  His job was to make sure I got into my room so he had to open it – it took some effort!  It had all been a delightful way to end the night – and my Serengeti adventure – so I blew him a kiss.  He blew me one back.  It’s not every day you have a Masai warrior blowing you a kiss 😉

http://www.ngorongorocrater.com/

I haven’t met any Masai warriors in NYC but there has been some kissing there over the years…

Including that week back in 1996… Sarah went back to DC and I was supposed to spend the next Saturday doing a bar crawl on the Upper West Side with my friend Despina.  I had read about all these new bars on the upper West and I had been there before with friends so figured it was a safe neighborhood for us to wander in and maybe have a bit of adventure.  But she had a new job so had to work on Saturday night to meet her Monday deadline.

It was my last night in NYC and it seemed wrong to stay in my hotel room.  At that stage, I hadn’t done much wandering in NYC alone but the neighborhood seemed pretty easy and I figured I would just stay alert – and drink lots of cranberry juice in between cocktails.

It was how I discovered the pleasures of having dinner at the bar.  I bonded with each bartender so I knew they had my back if I needed it.  I chatted with random people who sat next to me.  I eavesdropped on conversations and got a much clearer sense for the culture of the place.  That was also how I met my Mr. Big 🙂

It was the last bar.  I was just having a final cocktail and thought I would likely head home before it got too late.  But a guy came in and sat next to me and we started talking.  He was a junior investment banker.  For the first few years, they work practically around the clock so he was finishing work and having a drink in a local bar before going home to bed.

What really bonded us was that he was Canadian.  It seemed like fate…  going on a random bar crawl alone on your last night in New York and then meeting a fellow Canadian on the Upper West Side far from other tourists just as you were both planning to go home… so we didn’t.  He wondered if I wanted to go to a club in SOHO.  That seemed much more fun than my hotel room and we would be in a taxi so I could just get out if I needed to…

In the end, my attempts at personal safety ended up being quite hilarious.  I thought I shouldn’t let him know where I lived since I didn’t know him very well so I got out of the taxi a couple of blocks before the hotel and walked by myself at 3am on the streets of New York.  At the time, I didn’t realize he had the taxi follow me to make sure I would get to my hotel safely.  And that’s how apparently flowers showed up at my hotel the next day – but I had already checked out.

And – despite evidence to the contrary – he didn’t think I was completely insane and a grand, bi-coastal romance blossomed.  I don’t date people unless I really like them so we have stayed friends and try to meet when I am in NYC to catch up on our lives.  It’s been really wonderful to watch him change over the years.  Even cocky junior investment bankers can mellow into caring dads 🙂  It’s a crazy business with a lot of questionable ethics but that chance night on the upper West has allowed me to see that not all investment bankers are evil 😉nyc 324

I have known Despina the longest.  Our friendship began as pen pals at age 15.  When I was a teenager, I felt closer to her than most of the people in my actual community.  We finally met in person in the early 90s.  She is an artist so our lives have run on very different paths but we both love food and art so we incorporate that into our joint adventures.

We likely know more about each other’s romantic adventures than anyone else in our lives as we have been talking about boys since the point at which we were lamenting no one would ever ask us out on a date 🙂  What has been most interesting is the strange parallels in our intercontinental criss-crossing.  We have both lived in Australia.  When she was living in Paris, I was in Germany so could hop on a train and come to visit.  Now she is back in New Jersey so getting together in person is easier but she is an incredible writer so we still have letters travelling back and forth – they are just electronic now.  I cherish them.  They are full of newsy detail and personal thoughts – far removed from a tweet – and my life is so much richer for it.

And Sarah now lives in NYC!  She has made good on our wild imaginings about what it might be like to live in NYC.  It’s not what we would have imagined back then.  She is married with children now – and the cool factor has migrated beyond Nolita to the Lower East Side.  She’s brilliant and insightful so it was fascinating to hear her initial impressions of life in one of the most famous cities on earth.

And it will make it easier to visit her!  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, most of my friendships have an unusual genesis.  Sarah and I became friends because she was my roommate for 6 weeks in Calgary during the summer of 1983.  I was living in the University of Calgary student dorm so the facilities were pretty limited and her sister lived in town so I barely saw her but our few chats really intrigued me so I made sure we exchanged contact information.  Neither of us has ever had much free time and it’s a bit incredible our paper correspondence survived before the internet.  She is a scientist so she was my first email!  There have been many since.  And some live encounters to supplement the flow of bytes.

The message?  You never know what life has in store for you.  And how random people in your life might align and create new adventures.  If you meet someone you find interesting, be sure to get some contact info – and then just see what happens…  All three of them opened up my world and changed my life – for the better.

 

p.s. one final restaurant recommendation that didn’t fit into the stream of consciousness…  Nomad (from the brilliant guys at Eleven Madison Park)

http://www.thenomadhotel.com/#/dining

who needs Yoda when you have Yvonne :)

Before Sex and the City popularized the concept, I knew my close friends were like family members.  Many of my friendships now have a decade or two of history… some even more.

Yvonne is one of my oldest friends. She is one of those women who could rule the world… with time left over to have a hobby 🙂  (Women should rule the world of course – but we’ll leave that topic for future posts 😉

We met in the first month of our university education so I didn’t have the frame of reference yet to fully appreciate how impressive she was.  I do remember I was a little intimidated by her.  She didn’t act like she was 18.  She was so much more confident and pulled together than the rest of us.

We have now been friends for 31 years and counting… what is really incredible about the friendship is that we have lived in the same city for maybe 2 years of the 31…  I blame her for my penchant for long distance dating 🙂

There have been many moments that have added glue to our bond but one of the first happened long ago, in our early twenties.  She had a summer job in Lethbridge.  I had a summer job in Calgary.  So one weekend I went down to visit her.  It ended up being a pretty interesting weekend… mostly because I lost her for a while and was the first person in Canada to understand some random Scottish soccer player with a wild Glaswegian accent.  Hey, I loved Bill Forsyth films – and I didn’t need the subtitles!  So by the time I got reconnected with Yvonne I was trying to make sure my new Scottish boyfriend wasn’t going to pick a fight with one of her male friends for talking to me…

But I digress… even though the Scottish soccer player falling madly in love with me just because I could traverse his thick accent is a good story, the memorable part for me was hanging out with Yvonne… and her declaration at the end, “it was so great to see you.  I have met some people this summer but they don’t really KNOW me.  You have been to my hometown, you have met my parents, we dated brothers from the same tiny small town in Manitoba (and we both had a girl crush on their much cooler sister)…

She taught me the true net worth of your life is the sum total of the relationships and the people in it.  It’s the people who know you and participate in your life – in the good times and the bad – that give your life meaning.

the origin of friendship

This afternoon I had a wonderful, much too brief, visit with an old friend on his way from the airport to his mother’s 90th birthday in our favourite city.  I first met him when I was dating his best friend, 20 years ago now.  Yikes!  But we know I’m old so the interesting part of the story is that when I broke up with his friend, he asked if WE could still be friends.  I am pretty unconventional so it was fine with me.  But not a very typical way to acquire friends…

For whatever reason, that seems to be my norm.  I never gave it much thought until friends started playing a party game called, “how did you meet Marla?”  I had this eureka moment that most people develop their friendships from a very limited set of channels.  The typical ones are school, work or sports.  There is nothing wrong with these channels, of course, but it means that most of the people at the party will already know each other.

And likely have a lot of similarities.  How I started throwing parties is another story but I have thrown a lot of them and it’s always a diverse group.  People have commented on how much they enjoy my parties because it’s such a broad mix of people.

I think that stems from my lifestyle.  I have always been a gypsy child.  I spent my first six birthdays in a different town every year so I became used to new people.  But I guess I also yearned for more stability in some ways so once I got old enough to afford stamps, I would stay in touch with anyone I met who really caught my attention.  My criterion was an interesting conversation rather than shared interests or contacts.

I never really set out with a plan to acquire friends.  Just to meet people and treat them well.  But it’s ended up being a wild, wonderful ride.  Some of my best friends have rarely ever lived in the same city as me.  One friendship developed because we always brushed our teeth at the same time in university residence and would invariably end up on the sink counter with our toothbrushes chatting into the night.  Another was my random roommate for six weeks during a summer job in Calgary – we didn’t talk very often but when she taught me the longest word in the English language I knew she was one of my tribe 🙂   Yet another was acquired after I had been instructed to meet new people at an Australia Day party – by another friend who I acquired via a friend I met on a boat cruise by mistaking him for someone else…

You get the idea!  I would encourage everyone to make a goal to try and acquire at least one new friend each decade that you didn’t make via the normal channels… someone you met randomly at a bus stop maybe… we’re still going strong 30 years later… and I am really hoping she will be able to fly in for my 50th birthday party 😉

architects love chicago 🙂

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