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One suited man sees another suited man.

“Come here you big lug.”  Exclaims the other man, “What do you mean ‘a big lug?!’”

The two of them proceed to do the manly anti-hug where they grab each other’s arms and smack each other on the back. The smack is so loud it echoes in my ears. Smack, smack, smack…

DSCN6439A man swaggers through the lobby wearing a vest and a brimmed cap of matching black leather. Is he a patrolman or a rock star? A white guitar case sits atop the bell cart. The man swaggers past again and I observe that it is the saunter-swagger of a rock star, not a cop. There is a difference.

A woman who is on a working vacation walks behind me down a corridor. She says “Hello,” very kindly. I turn around to say hello back to her and I see she is on a cell phone. She asks me how I am doing and so I turn around, and notice again that she is on her cell phone. Fooled twice! “That’s okay,” I tell her in my head, “I’m good, very, very good.” She says, “Awesome.”

There is a man who comes for a drink at the lobby bar about once a week. He is a cook and tells me he prefers to eat his food slightly charred from the grill. Even lettuce! At the kitchen where he works (no, he’s not a member of the Pfister staff) they won’t let him grill his lettuce, even though it only takes three seconds. I ask him about other vegetation that he might like to eat grilled. Pineapples, yes. Apples, yes. Cilantro, yes. Blueberries and strawberries? “Hmm, not yet. That’s a good idea though; I should try that this weekend. Perhaps I should grill the berries first and then make them into a syrup for my pancakes.” He will grill the pancakes too because “Anything that you cook on a stovetop or range can also be grilled, all you need is aluminum foil. It gives it a bit of a metallic taste, but you can do it.” He has been grilling on an open fire since he was ten years old.

The ice is being shoveled behind the bar. If I heard that sound alone, I would guess there to be a whole train boxcar of just ice behind the bar. It probably takes a whole boxcar to sustain the thirsts at this lobby oasis each day.


“I traveled 86,000 miles with my dog,” says an author thrusting her business card into my hand. Jean Whatley doesn’t have time to chat with me, she has a private meeting in the lounge, but she wants me to inform you, the readers of this blog of her new travel memoir, “Off The Leash.”


Northwestern Mutual is holding a conference. The attendees look like members of an ethnic tribe. They sport the longest multicolored lanyards I have ever seen. I talk to a few and they say that each year, they earn a new distinction in the company and that corresponds to receiving a new colored tag for their lanyard. You can tell who the tribal elders are: their lanyards nearly touch the floor as they walk.



















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