Ma cherie amour

In the five weeks or so since I last wrote, Arsenal have been just about golden. They are alive in every competition. They’ve won every Premier League match they played, won their sole English Football League cup match, sit at the top of Champions League Group A. Yesterday they beat Ludogorets 6-0 at home, with Mesut Ozil producing a hat trick.

They beat Chelsea handily. You know how happy that makes me.

They haven’t been awesome, but have had glimmers of awesome. And very little lousy.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has produced a totally mixed bag of success at his new gig with Manchester United after spending massive cash over the summer on three players that haven’t quite panned out.

Smirk.

No smirk lasts forever when you’re an Arsenal fan. I know this. Still….

Arsene Wenger passed his 20th anniversary as manager at Arsenal. Even his critics took a day to appreciate what he’s done.

And as for me, I’ve been busy. Excruciatingly busy. I been working on three large projects at work, one of which is vitally required by the financial industry as a result of the Department of Labor’s to-be-implemented-in-April, massive rule change on advising on retirement accounts. Our software product is tantalizingly close to what the industry requires to meet the rule, but not exactly right. And so we are working feverishly to make it right, simultaneous with trying along with the industry to divine the letter and spirit of the rule.

It is fraught with stress, group think, and the opposite: rugged individualism awry, smart people doing their best in a pressure cooker. After one particularly long day of changing priorities, cranky people, new scope, reduced scope, altered scope, I left the office well after dark and thought to myself, “the most normal thing in my life is that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running for president.”

That was a lie of many layers, of course, but it seemed true at that moment.

And at home, I’ve been scraping and spackling and painting that disaster of an upstairs hallway. After 20 years in that house, it is at last a wallpaper-free zone.

I’ve also watched my son play a few soccer games. Most of them have been during the week, and early, but there have been a few Saturday games.

It’s nowhere near the DOL deadline in April, but a brief respite has arrived, in the form of two lovely tickets for the Middlesbrough match that will keep me out of the office tomorrow. They sit in the compartment over my head on American Flight 46.

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At O’Hare, we are celebrating Cubs and Breast Cancer Awareness, but not in that order. Or maybe in that order. It’s all a bit chicken and egg.

As I walked toward O’Hare Terminal 3 after leaving CTA, I passed by a busker playing saxophone, a mellow rendition of Ma Cherie Amour. As I so often do to remember details of my trips, I texted the title to myself to remember what he was playing.

It turned out not to have been a text to myself, but to my husband, who was making his way on the tram from the parking lot. He met me at the gate with a sparkle in his eyes.

It was probably just the Arsenal tickets.

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