Sunday, April 30, 2006

Watch Out, Bush

Grabbed this from Empty Handed, some sort of Zombie Protest in Sydney. How come all the cool shit happens after I leave? What the heck is this? Is it to rasie awareness of the marginalization of zombies everywhere? And more importantly, when is it coming to Chicago?

"Tap That" This Spring

When asked what activity you will do most this Spring, a clear majority of you (24% or a whopping 10 people) are going to "Tap That." Bravo.

Sadly, only one of you (and it wasn't me) is going to start an A Capella quintet, which disproves my theory that the rise in popularity of A Capella is in direct proportion to the price of gasoline.

And bad news for Tom: only 5% (2 of you) are going to wait in line to see M:I3. I'm pretty sure one of you is my dad, but who is the other one?

That same number is going to drink more wine coolers. C'mon people, you disappoint me - like me, wine coolers are fun. And fruity.
And delicious!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Rude Assholes in Line

I don't normally drink coffee and now I have another reason not to - the ignorant, stupid people you might have to interact with while standing in line.

Case in point: this morning on the way to work I went to Starbucks because I needed a little lift. Starbucks is crowded; the line of customers is about 25 people deep extending from the counter to the door. Not moving very fast, either. About 5 minutes into the wait I'm in the middle of the queue, with about 10 people behind me. A young woman walks in, sees her friend in line (two people in front of me) and bee-lines right up to her to begin talking, conveniently ignoring all the other people in line before her waiting their turn, including me.

Me, the woman in front of me, and a few people behind me are all thinking the same thing: "That girl did not seriously just cut in line, did she?"

Oh yes she did.

There was a time when I wouldn't have cared that much about it - life's too short. But lately I'm big on calling people out on their shit when they do something ignorant or stupid. Because life is too short to let stupid people get away with stupid things. So when it becomes clear that this girl is not just having a quick convo with her friend before she retreats to the back of the line, but indeed plans to stay where she is, the following hilarious* interaction ensues:

Me: "Excuse me..."
Bitchy girl (BG) and her friend turn to me.
Me: "Curious if you're at all concerned about ignoring the dozen people behind you to cut in line to order your drink."
BG & F stare at me and say nothing for about 2 seconds. I've clearly embarrassed her. But to save face, BG looks at her friend with this look like I'm the rude asshole in this scenario. She then - not making this up - rolls her eyes to her friend and says to her: "Whatever" and starts talking again.
Me (who normally would have just left it at that but is now fired up because of her inappropriate response to my query): "Because we're not standing here in line waiting our turn just for laughs. We have places to get to too."
BG is blowing me off but upon hearing my comment pauses momentarily before saying "Anyway" to her friend.

And... Scene. That pretty much concludes today's performance of Rude Assholes in Line.
But the woman behind me did say to me a minute later, "I'm glad you said something because I can't believe she did that!" No problem - glad I could be of service.

Here is a photo of the perp. I hope her "extra hot grande non-fat soy latte" scalds her lips resulting in a trip to the emergency room causing her to miss "Mojito Night" at the Rhino, which OMG, was totally gonna be, like, awesome.
* And by "hilarious" I of course mean awkward and embarrassing for all invovled.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Potato Chip II: Electric Boogaloo


I'm Ida the potato chip. I have been
living underneath Will's office desk for, oh, at least 3 weeks. Possibly longer but I can't quite remember. Since neither Will nor the cleaners (who get paid and are supposed to vacuum me and other things that live under office desks) have taken me away, I lay here 24/7 with not much to do but turn a little green around the edges.

When Will comes in each morning the first thing he does (next to picking his nose and playing with his little Godzilla toy perched next to his monitor) is look down to see if I'm still there. And each day he gives this look of disgust. Or maybe it is a look of relief since I am his only friend here in the office.

Yesterday Will, while stretching his legs, "accidentally" put his foot on top of me and caused me to break into about 15 pieces (see photo below)! And yet, I am still here, laying under the desk waiting to be cleaned away.

Despite the fact that I am pumped full of chemical additives and preservatives, I hope I turn completely green soon and start stinking up the place so that Will will be forced to throw my sorry ass into the garbage. 'Cuz lord knows the cleaning crew ain't about to do it.

Don't I look fetching??

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cancel My Subscription

I love GQ Magazine, despite their occassional missteps.
But this month I just have to put my foot down for several bad calls.

  • Their softball interview with this month's cover boy, Tom Cruise was just plain wrong. There are some serious weird issues happening with the guy, and I think someone needs to call him on it. And all GQ did was kiss his ass and give him yet another platform to discuss his skewed views and display his strange, robotic and zombie-like mannerisms.
  • There's a small guide to decorating your place with flowers which is a little soft for my tastes. (I challenge you to find me one straight guy - GQs claimed audience - who has ever bought flowers for the purpose of making his place look nicer.) Bad call.
  • But the nail in the coffin was a short blurb in the style section about buying tassled loafers. Loafers? With tassles?? Now you might think the article was about why not to buy tassled loafers, but no. It was about why they're good with your summer suits.

I draw the line with tassled loafers. Cancel my subscription.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Saparated at Birth II: Electric Boogaloo

Because I'll be damned if I let anyone tell me I look like Liberace! I decided to try MyHeritage again.

But before I got into all that nonsense, I want to congratulate my friend Shannon for scoring a new Zihuantanejoan boyfriend (and he's Policia too - hot!). I had never heard of this place called Zihuantanejo but Shannon assures me it exists. "Let’s just say it ain’t no Cancun" she says. Well, Shannon, nothing ever is. Here's a photo of the happy couple:

And now getting back to the important issue at hand: ME. I decided to try MyHeritage again using another photo:

I think this is a decent photo of me (despite the large forehead; I must have been leaning into the shot. But anyway...), so I thought it might return better results. (Granted, I was drunk when this photo was taken, and just minutes before this snapshot, I was jumping into piles of garbage on the streets of London [it seemed like a funny idea at the time]. And shortly after this photo, my friend Jessica and I would be refused entry into a SoHo club by an angry lesbian bouncer, but that, alas, is another story.)

And this is what MyHeritage spit back at me:
Christopher Walken Samwise Gamgee Jason Biggs

This totally sucks. Christopher Walken looks like he just stuck an electric handmixer up his ass (not that I would know what that would look like). And am I really as fat as the hobbit?

And just when I had lost all faith, MyHeritage also spit back some top-shelf celebrity hotties:

Hugh Jackman Dennis Quaid David Beckham

I feel better now. But I have to say this David Beckham one must be a serious glitch in their system. As any of my friends know, I unfortunately look nothing like him. Not even close. Even on my best day and his worst. But again, these folks are the experts so who am I to question them?

PS - While I would be flattered to look like Hugh or Dennis, I think it's funny that MyHeritage thinks I look like them in only these really unflattering photos. Hugh looks like he's about to vomit and Dennis looks like he's as drunk as I was on said garbage bag diving night. But I'll take what I can get.

Me and Beyonce - Separated at Birth

[Maestro, cue "Crazy in Love"]...
I found this website called MyHeritage, which will analyze your photo and tell you what celebrities you look most like. This site is great because if nothing else it can definitively answer the question: "Which celebrity would play you in your made-for-TV movie?"

Well, maybe.
Apparently, in my case the celebrity who would play me in a movie would have to be the spawn of Beyonce and Liberace (and, as much as I like Poppin' My Collar and gin n juice, I’m about as black as John Denver).

I have been told that I look like a number of different celebrities (Scott Wolf and/or Jon Cryer are two of the more common actors I get compared to), but the folks at MyHeritage say I look more like Sarah Silverman or Rudy Giuliani. Which, OK, whatever. They’re the experts, I guess.

If you haven't, you need to check it out. It can be a humbling experience.
Here is the first photo I used:

And these are some of the celebrity photos that resemble me:

Rudy Giuliani Robert Patrick Sarah Silverman Beyonce Liberace

Is this a joke? Liberace?? Although I will admit I look a hell of a lot like Sarah Silverman in that picture.

On the plus side, the MyHeritage did say I looked like Colin Farrell too:

So to summarize: Liberace - BOO. Colin Farrell - YAY!

PS - As I am not completely satisfied with the results, I do plan on submitting another photo of me that I hope will return the results I want. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 21, 2006

MP3 Player - the New Magic 8 Ball

Make your MP3 Player the new Magic 8 Ball.
Put it on random, then ask it a question and see what happens. The answer lies in the song title that comes up.

Or, you can do the below Q&A that I picked up from some other site (although I don’t remember where).

So on the train this morning, I asked little Luka (he’s my iPod) these questions and the answers below are what he spit back at me. I am going to spend the weekend analyzing the responses. But this exercise strengthens my suspicion that Luka isn’t really the friend I believe him to be and is out to get me. Of the possible 4,922 responses, these are the best he could come back with?

PS – The below answers are the honest-to-God ones that popped up in all cases. They were not changed for dramatic or comedic effect, despite the fact that I think some of them couldn’t be funnier if I’d written it myself (see answers to #4, 7, 11)

1. What is my day going to be like?
“Hey Boy Hey Girl” – Chemical Brothers
2. How does the world see you?
“White Houses” by Vanessa Carlton
3. Will I have a happy life?
“Oceans Away” – the Fray
4. What do my friends really think of me?
“How Bizarre” - OMC (I am not lying on this one)
5. Do people secretly lust after me?
“When Tomorrow Comes” – the Eurythmics
6. How can I make myself happy?
“Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” - MoDJo (Um, yeah. Most of my friends know this one is waaaay off.)
7. What should I do with my life?
“Dancing Queen” - Abba (I knew there was something missing in my life.)
8. What am I afraid of?
“Saturday Morning" - the Eels
9. What is my biggest regret?
“Mama Told Me Not to Come” – Tom Jones & Stereophonics (I am just gonna stay away from that one.)
10. What is my biggest extravagance?
“Forever on My Mind” – the BoDeans
11. What is some good advice for me?
“Laid” – James (Once again, swear to God I am not lying on this. I have to say, this is probably the best advice I've received in months.)
12. How will I be remembered?
“84,000 Different Delusions” – Shawn Colvin
13. What should my theme song be?
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler (OK, I don’t even know how this song got onto my iPod in the first place)
14. What song will play at my funeral?
“Tether” – Indigo Girls (That one is lame)
15. If I could change one thing about my life, what would it be?
“Perfect” – Maren Ord (Yeah, now I know this whole thing is full of crap.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Potato Chip

The day I moved into my cubicle, I noticed a potato chip under my desk, towards the corner (yep, that's a photo of it above). I meant to pick it up and throw it away but got distracted and forgot. The next day I noticed it still there. Again, thought about throwing it out but fogot. And then the next day I noticed it was still there.

We have a cleaning crew that comes through here each night to clean, and yet the potato chip was not vacuumed up by the cleaners. It seems to me that maybe they're not doing as thorough a job as they should be.

So now it is a battle of wills. I am not going to pick it up because I think the cleaning person should vacuum it away. And now, said potato chip has been under my desk for almost two weeks. I wonder how long it is going to stay there. Anyone want to place any bets? I'm giving it a month.

Dunkin Donuts Haiku

Walking to work each day I pass about 5 Dunkin Donuts. Normally this isn’t a problem. But Man, today it became harder and harder to resist the beckoning of the boston crème and “strawberry” frosted at each passing.

I successfully resisted, but as I sit here now I wonder if that small, vague feeling of will power victory floating in the back of my brain is really better than that sensation of creamy, lardy goodness that could be floating through my stomach right now.

Also, I’m worried that I will end up running* out for one** in about an hour anyway. I haven’t haiku’d in about a year, and I think this is as good a reason as any:
Walk to work today
Siren call Yummy Custard
Resist, you fat ass!

* and by "running" I of course mean walking slowly
** and by "one" I of course mean a half dozen.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Another Reason Not to Ride a Motorcycle

Driving on Lake Shore Drive, near North Ave., I see a motorcyclist at the roadside standing looking onto LSD at a few articles of clothing that had fallen off his bike - a pair of shoes, some shirts - and onto the Drive. He's standing there like he's going to go out into the Drive and get them. Dude, it's Lake Shore Drive! Those shoes are as good as gone; just let it go. Let it go.

I Am Apple Pie

...and not particularly happy about it. I didn't realize I was so boring, so predictable.

You Are Apple Pie

You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional
Those who like you crave security

Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday Thoughts

Well, today is the end of my first official week back on the employment wagon. It is also payday – the first paycheck I’ve received in about 14 weeks (!). Because I’ve been focused on work, I don’t have a lot to blog about, but a few things of interest:

  1. After one week, I have exactly 20 messages in my Outlook inbox. Which is to say, this job is much different than any of my previous ones, since in other jobs I would average about 20 messages an hour in my inbox. I think this is going to be a nice change.
  2. I’m growing increasingly concerned by my cluelesness over what time of year it is. This has been a problem for about a year. I used to have a good internal calendar. Is it an age thing? Last week it was no knowledge about the whole daylight savings. Earlier in the week I was in the kitchen and for a split second convinced myself it was October and that the Holidays were coming soon. And to top it all off, I don’t think I realized until Tuesday that it is Easter week. I have got to pull my shit together.
  3. Wednesday was my first day in Chicago that I did not have to wear a jacket when going outdoors. The very first. And while I’m thrilled by that, I’m a little disappointed that it took until the frickin’ middle of April before it could happen.
  4. I am not the only person I know that has started a new job recently. Congrats to my friends KatyF, Rebecca and The Core. There is good mojo out there if you're looking for a job.
  5. Happy Birthday, Richard!
  6. Happy Birthday, Kirsey!
  7. I have not been to the pool in a week. Normally this would be upsetting news but I cannot muster the energy to care.

So NOT Lovin' It

Walking to work this morning I felt thirsty and in need of caffeine. I was close to a McDonald's (the old Rock n' Roll McDonalds on LaSalle and Ontario) so I stopped in to get a Coke because I could get a big one and on the cheap.

Well to my surprise McDonald's ain't so cheap anymore. A large Coke is $2.09. Wasn't there a time in the recent past where you could get a large for, like, a buck? I think I could have gone to the gas station across the street and paid less. But even if that were true, I would have missed out on the witty exchange between me and the assistant manager working the register:

  • Me: "Wow. $2.09. I thought McDonalds was supposed to be cheap."
  • Assistant Mgr: "Yeah. No. I guess not. Let me re-ring it and see if there's a mistake." (He re-rings it.) No, I guess not."
  • Me: "..."
  • AM: "You could, like, get a 2-liter at the store for that price."
  • Me: "..."
  • AM: "But, like, there is a lot of Coke in a large. Well, that and a lot of ice."

Which is fine, because two bucks for 20 ounces of ice and 12 ounces of Coke is so totally worth it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Interviewing is Hell (Or: Why my life has Sucked these last 2 months)

Now that I finally have a job and don't have to worry about jinxing myself, I can finally say it: Job Interviews Suck Ass. The last two months have been sheer absolute Hell. There cannot be a more demoralizing, de-humanizing process than interviewing for a job. And this is from someone who, up until this process began, had a high confidence level – I liked to think that I was a good package (good interviewer + good resume).

And everyone says, "Oh, you should be relaxing! Take advantage of not working and go out and have fun." Fun my Ass. I'm in Chicago and it is winter and I'm broke. Watching E! and hanging out at Starbucks will only take you so far on the Fun Bus.

And it is true - looking for a job is full-time work: applying for jobs online, surfing company websites for leads, contacting friends who may or may not be able to help you out ("My neighbor’s cat-sitter’s second cousin works for so-and-so. Let me talk to him and see if he knows anyone” blah blah blah), customizing your resume, customizing your cover letter, going in for interviews that last hours at a time, fucking LUNCH INTERVIEWS, follow-up thank you notes.

Part of the problem is that, for better or worse, the last ten years or so my job seemed to be a large part of who I am. Your job is part of your identity. So when you don't have one and are searching for one, you feel morally, socially and civically lost. Let alone when you don't get the job you apply for. You come out the other end of the process scarred, sleep deprived, over or underweight (depending on your “relationship” with food), alcoholic and quite possibly with a substance abuse problem (luckily in my case I’ve come out only “scarred”; I was overweight and alcoholic before this process started).

At my level in my field, the job opps can be slim pickins. With two agencies I interviewed with, they liked my resume and wanted me to come in for "informational interviews" because they didn't have anything available at my level (which is code for: "If we like you enough we can find something, but otherwise we're off the hook on committing to anything."). One of them said nice things about me during the interview but ended the day with, "We'll let you know if something comes available." (Which I took to mean, "Yeah, we liked you but not that much."
The other said, "Even though we don't have anything at this time, we like you and we're going to try to create a position for you." Which was great because I liked these guys and it would have been a good job. So I was excited and flying high for about a week, only to get a call from them a few days later saying, "We tried to work it, but we simply can't hire you at this point." I felt like someone had slammed a car door into my head.

Then there was the previously mentioned douchebags/agency that had me come in three different times to meet with four different execs. Personally, I think when you've met with four different Vice Presidents the agency must be pretty serious about you, right? Wrong. After the last interview they said, "We'll be making a decision at the end of the month and will let you know." When the end of the month came and went and I didn't hear from them, I sent an email. Two days later I get a response saying, "We went with another candidate. But thanks for coming in." Now, that's an Ouch on many different levels. That's like, "Not only didn't we hire you, but you sucked so bad that we didn't even bother to call you back to let you know."

All the while you have to keep repeating to yourself: “I am a good person. I am a smart person. People like me.” But after a few weeks when the phone don’t ring and you don’t get that email response back, you don’t believe it so much. Surely I can’t be the only person that knows what a good person I am?

As I’ve mentioned above, I have good experience, but much of it coming from working with a certain large software maker. This can be a bad thing when employers assume that you’re only good for hi-tech work. Two different interviewers said to me, “Hmm, you’ve got good experience with hi-tech, but we do consumer work. Why would you think you’d be good for our company?” Now, I know they ask me that because they want to see how I will answer (and I think I answer that question well). But you get so frustrated that you want to spit back, “I dunno, why don’t you tell me why I might be good for this job? You called me in for the interview, asshole.” You either like my resume or you don’t, but don’t sit there and nit-pick my experience. So I spent a few years helping to launch an operating system and getting press to understand how software can help people with disabilities and elderly, and not working for Purina Cat Chow and Dannon “X-Treme Fruit Smoothies.” My background is what it is and I’m not going to apologize for it, douchebags!

Besides, my interview shoes – the ones I never wear except for interviews – hurt my feet and I was getting really tired of wearing them. So if nothing else, I’m glad to be employed so I no longer have to wear them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hours of Entertainment

Holy crap, now I've got something to do this weekend.

Sox Game

Yesterday Fred took me to the Sox vs. Indians game, my first Sox game in about 25 years.

On the way to the game on the train I was stopped by a woman who, upon seeing my Sox cap said to me: "Sox are gonna WIN today!" a few decibels higher than what I might consider appropriate for the morning train. Everyone in the car turned to look, and all I could do was sort-of nod my head and look away, embarrassed. Apparently not satisfied with my response, she continued: "...because it's MY BIRTHDAY!!" That's great, drunk-at-10:30am-lady. Now please move along.

The weather was supposed to be great for it, but it turned out to be downright cold (shocker, I know). I spent most of the game shaking from the cold, imagining that it was August and sunny. I am not close to being considered a fan of baseball but I love going to games, so hopefully this was the first of many this summer. After 11-innings, Sox lost 4-3. A great time overall, but a few highlights:

  • Because we were among the first 20K into the park, we got a commemorative replica of the Sox 2005 World Champion Trophy. If that wasn't good enough, someone told me I could probably get a few hundred dollars for it on eBay.
  • Had my first PBR in, like, five years (thanks, Laura!). It is the first time I willingly chose one in my life...ever. (The only other option was a Miller Lite, so it wasn't really such a tough decision.)
  • Fred told me he actually has a blog, but won't give me the URL. Dickhead.
  • In a moment of spontaneous inspirational dance, I saw an old guy a few rows ahead of us standing up and doing the robot. No joke, the robot. And he was like 65 years old. Unfortunately I may have been the only one who witness this - Fred missed it.
  • Fight in the outfield. I bet it was Ms. Drunk Birthday Lady too.
Below a photo of Fred and I standing next to the almighty Sox 2005 World Champion Trophy. (A life-altering moment for me.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Personally, Not My Choice...

...for a personalized license plate, but hey. I guess it is tough to shake some of those nicknames you get in college.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Letter to the Editor

I have never written a letter to the editor in my life, but last month I did so in response to the cover story in The Advocate that attempts to outline the creation of two seperate and competing athletic events this summer for gay & lesbian atheletes (the Outgames in Montreal and the Gay Games in Chicago. Basically, I think the article failed to capture how the creation of the Outgames and the division it has caused among the community is a bad thing). And they printed it!

There's my name and my letter printed on page 14. It is weird seeing your name printed in a real life national magazine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I Am a Benelovent Visionary

I took a personality quiz from a site called Personal DNA that tests my personality. You should take it too (but give yourself about 15 minutes to do it, and another 30 to analyze the results it spits back out to you).

It turns out that I am a "Benelovent Visionary" represented visually like this:

But truth be told, even after reading the detailed description of what a "Benelovent Visionary" is, I still don't quite know. Overall I am fine with the results (but I guess they could tell me that I was a "Depressive Sociopath" and I would have been fine with that too), except that part of being a BV requires (despite "average masculinity") having "a high degree of femininity." And everyone that knows me knows how that is TOTALLY NOT TRUE.

Anyone interested in reading my full report it is here:

My Personal Dna Report

And on another matter altogether, aren't they supposed to announce when it is Daylight Savings? Or have they been doing that and I am that completely out of touch with reality?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

First Chicago Celebrity Sighting

Eating breakfast this morning at Michael's on North Ave, we saw Billy Corgan (of Smashing Pumpkins). As we passed him, he was complaining to his dining companion that they didn't have herbal tea. What did you expect, Billy? You're eating at Michael's for crissakes!

I found this photo of him online, and it was pretty much exactly what he was wearing this morning - same hat and scarf. Times must be tough. I guess singing lessons for Billy are out of the question if he's wearing the same clothes all the time.

Stylin Rob - Part II

This week's Cherry Ride Question of The Week involves Stylin' Rob. Unlike previous QOTW's, you can vote for as many answers as you like.