Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Bags of the Week

Permit me to be crude and bitter for a moment today. I don't use the term "douchebag" (or any of its cousins: douche-cracker, douche-rocket, douche-wad, etc.) very often even though I think it is deserving in certain situations. Sometimes you just have to use it to describe certain people: Tom Cruise, George W., Dick Cheney, Ryan Seacrest, Fred Durst, Sean Hannity, Bob Novak, that guy in Starbucks with the cell phone holder).

But today I am honoring the Chicago office of a certain worldwide PR agency (winner of the 2003 Holmes Report "International Agency of the Year") as being Douchebags of the Week. For having me come in three different times for interviews, having me meet with four different executives, and then not having the courtesy to contact me to let me know I didn't get the job. Nice follow-up, Douchebags.
There, I feel better now.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


This is the coolest clock I've ever seen. I nabbed it from Hello Ninja.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

King Kong

Every once in awhile the geek in me comes out and gets excited for DVD releases. The deluxe version of King Kong came out yesterday and I think I'll be watching me some of it this evening. Am I the only person who thought it was the best movie of 2005? (Yes, probably.)

This is a test. There is nothing to see here...

Things I Would Buy with an Extra $1K

1. New earbuds for my iPod. ‘Cuz those Apple ones truly suck and I can’t believe I still use them. I want those Bang and Olufsen ones that are a couple hundred bucks. I don’t care that I’ll lose them in about 6 days. That’s what I want.

Tickets to London. Because I’m missing me some “Hollyoaks” and dirty Indian.

Some dignity and/or self respect. (Oh wait. That's more than $1K)

4. Eames Plywood Lounge Chair. Is it wrong to want one of these things badly? (Likely.) Is it wrong that I want 4 of them? (Certainly.) Is it wrong that they cost about $600 each? (Most Definitely).

5. Vegas baby, Vegas!

6. Membership, lessons in a Rowing Club.

7. Jenny Craig.

8. Tivo – 'Cuz like Diddy, I am waaaay to busy to watch tv these days.

9. Adidas Y-3/Yohji Yamamoto black leather soccer shoes (yeah, they’re totally worth the $300 price tag).

Monday, March 27, 2006


One of the great things about moving back to Chicago has been re-connecting with my family. Yesterday we took my mom out to dinner for her birthday, and afterwards went to check out my brother and Kari's new condo. Ethel, my grandma, called it "classy-assy." If I were still back in DC, I doubt I would have the opportunity to hear a ninety-something woman use the term classy-assy.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Let's Start a Nuclear War at the Gay Bar

Yesyerday Fred introduced me to Electric 6, from Detroit. Their song "Gay Bar" rawks my sawks. "Gay Bar" on its own is brilliant. But "Gay Bar" sung by flying viking kittys on is so brilliant it is criminal. Or maybe just psychotic.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My 2006 Personal Motto

The results from last week's poll are in, and it is a three-way tie (which, I think, is fitting. I mean, like pretty much everything in my life right now, why should anything be easy or clear-cut?).

Therefore, my battle cries for the rest of the year will be: "Put it on my tab" (good), "I'm not wearing underpants" (also good) and "Popozao!" (I'm glad that others share my sense of humor).

This is actually a good thing because each of them will come in handy for any of the various situations I may get into this year (run-ins with the cops, three-day controlled substance benders, job interviews, traffic court appearances, confrontations with old ladies and right-wing fundamentalists, etc. You name it.)

New poll regarding my continued unemployment appears to the right. Please vote, and vote often.

Best Song of the 21st Century

(Ed. note: I had a lot of time on my hands this afternoon when I wrote this entry.)

This month's Esquire Magazine has a feature that tries to determine the best song of the 21st Century (so far). The grid used in determining the song - a single elimination grid that pits 32 songs against each other - is also found on their website here. The object is to play along with the magazine and see if your choice matches theirs. It is a fun game and if you have 5 minutes you should check it out.

I admire their ambition, but like anything that tries to determine the "best" of something, it is flawed. What makes something the best? In this case, I think it is commercial success or maybe the "catchiest" songs, not necessarily based on the artistic merit (perhaps the reason songs from artists like System of a Down and Maroon 5 are listed instead of, say, the Shins, Emmilou Harris, or Wilco).

And how did Esquire get the list down to these 32 songs? (Do they really believe a song like John Mayer's "Daughters" is a better song than, say, Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone"? -- Sure, "Gone" is a bubblegum pop anthem from a top-40 princess, but I'll bet people will be listening to that song long after "Daughters" is a faded memory. If you like Mayers, why not "No Such Thing"? which I bet most people would agree is a far better song.) How about Madonna's "Music" or Justin Timberlake? Dave Matthews? No Doubt? Mary J. Blige? Alan Jackson or Toby Keith over Gretchen Wilson?

There are two ways to go about playing the game: you could choose songs based on your own personal like/dislike, or you could try to imagine which of the songs, regardless of your personal opinion of them, will sort-of "stand the test of time." (For example, Sheryl Crow's "Soak Up the Sun" is a featured song; I'm personally sick of it but I think it will probably be remembered long after Beck's "The Golden Age" will be; therefore, I would vote for Sheryl over Beck for this game, even though I think Beck's song is better.)

However, using this system I couldn't pit the two songs against each other anyway. Some of the pairings are very hard -- it is tough to choose "Somebody Told Me" vs. "Feel Good Inc." because I like both of them; just as it is hard to choose "Get Ur Freak On" vs. "Best of You" because personally they're both crap.

I suppose you could over-analyze this exercise like I have, or you could just have fun with it.

By the start of round four, after some painful choices, I was down to four songs: "Float On", "Crazy in Love", "Hey Ya" and "Beautiful Day" (a song that, by the way, was released in late summer 2000 so technically from the last century so probably shouldn't be on this list to begin with).

In the end, I chose "Hey Ya" by Outkast for two reasons: I think it is the best of my four finalists, and because I think it is the only one of my final 4 that my hypothetical grandkids might hear on a radio in 2050. Turns out, only 5% of the people agreed with me. For those of you who will play along, I won't give away the current winner.

Curious to see how others voted. Gimme a shout-out and let me know.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Product Endorsement of the Week
Tell Pandora what kind of music you like (supply them with your favorite artists and/or songs), and they'll create our own private, personalized radio station for you. Sure, you can do this elsewhere, but Pandora is really easy to use, and its just cooler anyway.

According to the website, it works because a group of folks got together and for 5 years analyzed over 10K different music acts and assembling hundreds of musical attributes (or "genes" as they call them) to create the Music Genome. Or something like that.

So as this radio station streams music to your computer, you rate each song that comes through so that the engine and algorythms keep refining your playlist. And it is fun to see what music the station plays next (not sure how it happened, but an old Billy Joel song popped up this morning -- ummm, no thanks.) Anyway, give it a try. I've already found a new favorite band.

Ever Since I Can Remember I've Been Poppin' My Collar

There's been an emptiness in my life for several months and I can't figure out what it is. Then today I remembered - it's Stylin' Rob! I've been back to his site and nothing for months! SR, please come back to us. There are a few people in Portland, Seattle and London who miss you.

In other news: Conan O'Brien is coming to Chicago to film four episodes in May. I'll spend my last dollar if I have to..

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lunch Interview

Why do people think it is a good idea to schedule a lunch interview? How is it possible to conduct any meaningful interview over a turkey club sandwich or salad?
Today I had such an interview with a potential employer. So not only did I need to be clever for more than an hour - a difficult task (as opposed to a regular office interview, which requires about 30-45 minutes of cleverness), but I also had to spend more time than a person should worrying about what to eat. And what to do if I should spill something (very likely for me). Or worse, get something stuck in my teeth (an even likelier scenario).

I asked my friend Sara "What does one eat in an interview?" more as a rhetorical question than anything else, and she quickly responded with: "Two cocktails and finger food." Sage advice.

I ended up defaulting to the Cobb Salad (I was under pressure to make a decision and my mind totally blanked on everything else) - a bold decision considering the lettuce, bacon and tomato factor - and between bites tried to subtly swish mineral water around my mouth to prevent any food from sticking to my teeth. My potential future employer conducted the interview between bites, scribbling notes on my resume, which sat between his bowl of soup and the bread basket.

Overall, a nightmare situation. I'm convinced that if I don't get the job it will be because I didn't order the steak, offending my interviewer's Midwest sensibilities. I was sure to use the proper fork, so hopefully I will score points for that.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Eurovision Song Contest

The countdown to the most important European event of the year has kicked off. No, it wasn't the Winter Olympics in Turino, it is the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens this coming May.

Wingman sent me a link to the latest controversy in Serbia-Montenegro, where the country has decided not to participate in thi
s year's contest due to some internal fighting over their country's oifficial entry. Very scandalous. Poor, cute boy band No Name (pictured below). Their chances for international stardom (and by "international" I really mean a shot at recognition in Serbia-Montenegro and perhaps neighboring Yugoslavia) may be gone forever.

But what I find most intriguing is that S-M faces "a possible 3 year ban from the contest and a fine of up to 35,000 Swiss Francs" because they've withdrawn. Which begs the question, is it really that important to the ESC people that S-M participate?? This ain't the United Nations or the Olympics. It's a glorified American Idol, for chrissakes.

After witnessing last year's contest I find it unbelieveable that so many people take the event seriously (to my eyes, the whole thing looks like an episode of Star Search, and that ain't no complement). Personally, I thought the ESC was just a geography lesson for kids, with pyrotechnics and sequened outfits. But in a way I guess it is refreshing to think that with everything that happens in this world, there are people and whole nations that can put such misplaced priority on the ESC.

Last year I experienced my first Eurovision Song Contest Party while I was in London (the play-by-play is here). I am hoping that I can return to London in May to experience the drama firsthand.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tragic Drag Queen of the Week

Not only is it Friday here at the Ride, but it is also St. Patrick's Day, and what better way to celebrate the occasion than to highlight one of our (and by "our" I mean mine) favorite Tragic Drag Queens!
In honor of St. Patty's, this week's TDG is Titts McGee.
Titts comes to us from suburban Boston MA, where she works as a truck driver and plays mommy to her Tabbys: Miss Leeza and Ronaldo. She counts Sara Lee, Bette Davis and Lane Bryant as her inspirations, and enjoys acrylic and caramel.
When not working (and Honey, she's always working), Titts likes to spend time at late night keggers, Atlantic City and KFC.
Her motto is: "Show momma where it hurts."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Da South Side

Last Saturday night, hanging out with Doug and David at NoMI at the Park Hyatt, we met a woman from the South Side. Doug was impressed by this (apparently the fact that I too am from the South Side is not impressive to him).
Doug: "Say something 'South Side'."
Woman: "Where's my money?'

In other news, last week's Cherry Ride Question of the Week: after a whopping 22 votes, almost half of you (45%) agreed that "Its Hard Out Here for a Pimp" won the Academy Award because it's a song about a pimp. Second place went to those who agreed it was supposed to be a joke.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Tragic Drag Queen of the Week

It's Friday night here at the Ride, and that means we're ready to party. And what better way to prepare for the weeekend than by introducing our new Friday feature: Tragic Drag Queen (or TDQ for those in the know) of the Week.
This week's TDQ is Miss Anita Cocktail.
Miss Cocktail is a
Midwestern girl at heart (from Minneapolis) but still has dreams of making it in the big city, "like Baltimore."
Girl's been a drag queen for about 30 years now. She works in telephone sales and counts Juice Newton as her idol/inspiration.
Miss Cocktail likes "strong men and strong drinks", and lists soduko and diet cherry vanilla coke as her dislikes.
Her motto is "I'm Fierce!" and she drives a Suzuki Samurai.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Random Thoughts This Week

  1. I’ve almost reached a milestone on my Flickr site – almost 500 photos loaded.
  2. The last two weeks I’ve been slowly connecting with a few of my friends from high school and college. Like me almost all of them are fatter. Unlike me, almost all of them have kids; as many as four. Four kids!
  3. Found out this week that I didn’t get a call back for a second interview from a large PR agency here in town because, according to my headhunter, they found my experience “too specific” for their needs. Apparently experience with hi-tech, corporate affairs and consumer accounts is too specialized. Bite me.
  4. My friend Tom told me it took him 10 months to find a job he liked here. 10 months! Do I need to start applying to Starbucks??
  5. My dad confessed to me that in the early seventies he had an afro. So big, in fact, that his fro stuck out from his fireman’s helmet. I’m not sure how I feel about this revelation, but I am praying for photographic evidence.
  6. Portland isn’t that big of a town, yet three of my friends from there now live here in Chicago, and I think that’s a little weird.
  7. I had a dream last night where all the jars and cans in the kitchen cupboards were upside down, so I had to take everything out and restock them right-side up. What does that mean?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

R2, Do You is Fucking

Think twice about picking up one of those Chinese-produced cheap pirated DVDs from street vendors. And no, not because buying pirated DVDs is illegal (and that would just be wrong) or because street vendors are creepy. Mostly because the translators don't always have the best handle on the subtleties of the English language. For proof, check this out from a guy who bought a pirated copy of "Revenge of the Sith". Or maybe the guy translating the movie just thought it was a complete piece of crap and not worthy of his effort, which I guess is totally understandable. Either way, Hilarious.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Two Things I Won't Be Eating

Everyone knows I like to get my fast food on. But these are two things I won't be eating anytime soon:
The Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme:

And I don't care that it's Lent, the
McDonald's Double Filet-O-Fish:

Friday, March 03, 2006

Overheard in Chicago

Finally, a site for other voyeurs like me, Overheard in Chicago. Now I have more than just "Overheard in NY" and "Tube Talk" to keep me busy. Since at this point I don't take public transportation, hang out in public places, or go anywhere without my iPod, how else am I going to listen in on other people's conversations?

And on a totally unrelated note: have fun next week, Jason. We all expect pictures.