September 24, 2008

Chuck Bingham turns 50

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:12 pm by bethmillett

It took me a while to get around to getting this video from my friend Chris H. at the Indians, and then getting someone at work to convert and cut it (thanks, Chris B!), but here is footage from Chuck’s 50th birthday party at the Indians game on August 16. I can’t believe he’s really that old!

Robyn and Jonny got married!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:30 am by bethmillett

Last weekend, I went back to Chicago for Robyn and Jonny’s wedding. The weather was far more beautiful than the previous weekend, and everything was spectacular. I was one of seven bridesmaids and the ceremony and following party were fantastic. I made lots of new friends from both sides of the wedding party and am so happy to have been a part of their special day. Here are a few of the photos I have received, and I’ll post more as I receive them (More than half the bridal party were snapping photos like paparazzi, so I figured I would just appropriate theirs.)

The bride and her maids

The bride and her maids

John, Kim, Jason, me, Craig and Brian relaxing now that our official duties are over.

September 17, 2008

Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:04 am by bethmillett

I needed to wait a few days to recover and gain some perspective before sharing my Chicago Half Marathon experience. Spoiler alert: Chicago had its rainiest weekend in 137 years. That’s right, 137 YEARS. More than 10 inches of rain fell between Frday afternoon and Sunday afternoon — it rained for at least 42 hours straight, and I was outside for 10 of those.

I was recruited by my friends at Vision Event Management to come to Chicago and assist with the event they had been hired to direct. i went up on Thursday, helped set up the Expo (where runners pick up their numbers and timing devices, as well as shop for gear and other cool stuff from sponsors and exhibitors) and then worked the Expo on Friday and Saturday. Mostly, I solved problems like people whose names were misspelled, genders or age were wrong, or who had registered for the 13.1-mile race and only wanted to run the 5K. Torrential rains began in earnest on Saturday afternoon and we had to keep the Expo open an extra hour and a half because people had such a hard time getting to Navy Pier. Various expressways were closed due to flooding and there were lots of other traffic problems.

Saturday night, the whole event team met for pizza and an update. The entire finish line area had been reworked since Jackson Park was flooded. I was thankful that I wasn’t in the group that had to move all those tents, etc. Those people were out in the rain Saturday AND Sunday!

I reported for duty on Sunday at 4 a.m. and loaded shuttle buses at University of Chicago, then reported to the race site on the last shuttle. I got there at about 7 a.m. and I have to tell you, I have never seen anything like it. The rain was a steady downpour (while at times it might have been lighter than it, it was never light enough to call it a drizzle), and runners were seeking shelter anywhere they could. I was also amazed at the number of spectators who had come out to cheer on the runners. My friends and family would have said, “Yeah, have a great time. We’ll be home, dry and cozy. E-mail us when you get home!”

Overall, with the exception of the rain, the race went really well. We did the best we could with a situation we had no control over, and runners seemed to genuinely appreciate it. I was working the end of the runners services chute (where runners get their medals, water, cookies and fruit after finishing) and there were so many who thanked me for coming out.

Once the last runner finished around 11:30 a.m., we packed up as quick as we could. There was a lot of fencing, signage and other materials to salvage for future races and the tent and park people came in really qucikly to do their job. Leftover food was donated to a charity and all the gators, forklifts and support vehicles were rounded up and ready for return. I think we got back to the hotel around 1:30 p.m. and everyone jumped into hot showers as quickly as they could. I wish that I had thought to take a photo of my pruny fingers, but I was scared that my iPhone would never work again if exposed to the elements.

The cold I had almost gotten over by Sunday is back in full force, and I’m sure that standing in the rain Sunday didn’t help! Nonetheless, someone had to do it!

Here’s someone who did have a camera at the event:

http://www.runswithcamera.com/2008/09/2008-chicago-half-marathon.html

Needless to say, the sunblock I had remembered to pack went unused.

September 12, 2008

I gave Peter Sagal a sex change

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:12 pm by bethmillett

This weekend, I’m in Chicago working for the Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon. My buddies at Vision Event Management are the race directors, and they’ve brought me up to help with the Expo and packet pickup as well as the race itself on Sunday.

Yesterday we set up the Expo Hall at Navy Pier, and today was our first day of packet pickup. It was pretty slow — we estimate that only about 20% of the participants picked up their bibs and t-shirts. Tomorrow should be crazy! I work at the “Solutions” table, helping people who aren’t showing up in the computer, who have mistakes in their registration information, etc.

The highlight of my day was when a man came to my table and told me he was registered as a female. I said, “You’re in luck — I’ve been performing sex change operations all day, and they are relatively painless, or so I’ve been told.” I asked for his bib and we chatted as I started to write down his info. But as I read his name on the bib, the something-slightly-familiar-about-his-voice feeling I was having fell into place — he was Peter Sagal, host of one of my favorite radio shows, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

I was positively giddy with excitement, told him I loved the show, and managed not to make a squealing fool of myself. (He may have thought differently — I was wearing the tiara, after all.) I tried so hard to play it cool that I did not ask for a photo with him, an action that I have regretted since the fleeting moment. But I think that I might be the only person in the world to say she has given Peter Sagal a sex change. (Yes, despite my excitement, I did manage to complete the paperwork and turn it in to the proper authorities.)

Sadly (for Peter more than me), none of the people I was working with understood why I was so freakin’ excited, so I had to call my mom as soon as he left. She understood.

I hope Peter and his fellow 15,999 runners have a great race — and I hope that the rain they are forecasting never comes! Or at least comes tomorrow while I’m still stuck inside at the Expo.

September 6, 2008

Go Girls!

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:08 pm by bethmillett

Today was the first running of the Go Girls Triathlon, put on by my weekend “boss,” Tuxedo Brothers. Almost 300 women of all ages came out to swim, bike and run in beautiful Eagle Creek Park, on the northwest side of Indy. I was the head timer for the event, in charge of all the equipment that captured split times and each participants finish time.  We had a truly spectacular September day, cool and clear. It was pretty dark at 5:30 a.m. when I got there to set up, but once the sun came up, we were off an running.

It was such a great day and inspiring event that I told Don Carr that I might run the event next year! (Of course, the last time I considered doing a TuxBro event, I severely sprained my ankle during the pre-race meeting!) Nonetheless, he made a note of it and informed several of our cohorts. Now I might be committed!

After the event, TuxBro buddy Jeff Coates took me on a boat tour of the reservoir, where we saw a lot of great blue herons, turtles sunning themselves, and two rare green herons. We tried to capture them on camera, but they were too quick for us. Nonetheless, it was a lovely time on the water — I always feel happier when on the water! I need to get to a scuba site soon!

Captain and tour guide Jeff Coates

Captain and tour guide Jeff Coates

September 2, 2008

Tell me my fortune….

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 pm by bethmillett

So, before the far more exciting events of this afternoon , I had planned to blog about the collection of fortunes I found in my wallet while walking to Giorgio’s (mmm, beef calzone!)

  • You will spend many years in comfort and material wealth.
  • You are protected by silent love and friendship near you.
  • You are a person of imaginative, yet honest [sic missing comma] intentions.
  • Rely on long[sic missing hyphen]time friends to give you advice.
  • Your ideals are well within your reach.
  • Your charming smile is attracting everyone around you. (This is surrounded by emoticon smiley faces.)
  • Your clever mind will lead you to many rewards.

So, tell me, are you of the school that you add “in bed” to your fortunes? Does that make them better or worse? A friend told me that he adds “except in bed” which would generally be worse, I think. Another friend always ends her fortunes with “And then the ice weasels came.” In bed?

Going up?

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:48 am by bethmillett

As background, I work in a pretty old building. It’s like 100 years old and on some kind of register of historic buildings of downtown Indy. (Maybe I’ll research that and update this post.)

So, my colleague Josh and I just walked to Giorgio’s to pick up lunch (mmm, beef calzone!) Back in the building, we pop onto one of the elevators (recently redecorated), but we never get to the fourth floor. It stopped on the third. Now, it’s a pretty slow elevator, and I’ve noticed lately that the doors open even more slowly than they used to. So, my first thought is that someone is getting on at 3. But the doors never open, and the elevator is dead still. Josh and I look at each other and aren’t sure what to do. I push “door open” a couple of times, then the 4 button a couple of times and then decide we need some outside help.

The great news is that the Push to Call button actually works! It plays a recording that we’re being connected to a call center and then a live human is on the line! Hooray! She says she’s sending help, so Josh and I settle down on the floor for lunch. All I can think is “thank goodness I used the bathroom before we left for lunch!”

However, my calm is short-lived, since Josh begins citing information from a Mythbusters show I remember seeing a year or so ago. (The title of the episode was “Elevator of Death.” This does not bode well.) Apparently, a fall from the fourth floor is the “basic limit of survivability” and Josh outlines that we are on the third floor, but there is a basement, so we are just at the edge of that limit of survivability. There’s lots of discussion about how best to position ourselves (we actually ended up rotating so our legs were parallel to the door but we were opposite each other. This way, Josh explains, my head will fall one way and his will fall another and we won’t bang into each other or the side walls.

Finally (seemed like forever, but was less than 10 minutes), the maintenance guy knocks on the door and asks if we’re stuck. Well, duh! He says he’s going to the roof to turn off the power. It’s only after he’s gone that I wonder aloud, “What happens when the elevator is turned off?” Josh attempts to flatten himself closer to the floor to lessen the impact.

Eventually, we end up on the first floor, and the guy waiting for the elevator looks perplexed that we’re sitting on the floor with our lunches half-consumed. We beat a hasty retreat and were shocked that the guy actually got on the elevator.

We would have taken the stairs, but the door was locked. So we took the other elevator and made it safely back to our offices.

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