Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What a Croc of Crap

Results from this week's CRQOW are in and Crocs gotta go. Not that we needed a survey to tell us that.

In close second, 18 of you think old people and babies need to be banned from planes. Wow, you guys are harsh.
NEW CRQOW appears to the right. Vote today!
I would shoot my daughter if I knew she had this many pairs of Crocs, btw.
There, I said it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Finally a Spammer Gets It Right

I have a Hotmail address (one of 3) that has nothing in it but spam. I rarely ever open any mails but Hallelujah!

Unlike the "keep her excited all night long"* and "fake Rolex"** and "your black market Asian baby is ready for delivery!"*** type mails I usually get, finally one that gets the target right. A $100 gift certificate to DD would potentially last me through Labor Day!

* I usually forward these along to the Gancer.
** I'll be forwarding these along to Classy, since fake Rolexes are indeed "classy".
*** I usually send these along to Tartuffery.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Guinea Pig

So this morning I signed up for the new Blogger beta. Yeah, I'm trying to become what marketers like to call an early adopter.

Overall, a very enthusiastic thumbs up. Generally speaking, I like the new improved look. And this took me very little time. To compare, last weekend I did a 10-hour site overhaul to accomplish what I was able to do in 2 hours thanks to the new templates, rich text editing, and more robust custimization features (God, I sound like a commercial).

The one thing I don't like is that the beta will not yet let you make changes to the HTML, which means that for the time being my blog has to look just like the template. No adding or customizing other parts of the template like my header with the awesome "Route 666/Devil Child on the Big Wheel" photo that
Kevin created for me a few months ago. (Sorry Kevin, I promise it'll come back up as soon as Blogger allows me to do it.)

Until then, I'm gonna miss the little guy...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

To Amy at White Hen Pantry

This week's Cherry Ride QOW goes to Amy, the clerk at White Hen who yesterday sold me my Coke Zero and Power Bar...


I know you're busy and I can imagine that working the counter at White Hen Pantry kinda sucks. But when I tell you I have exact change and it takes me literally 5 extra seconds to hand it to you, you don't have to let out an audible ~sigh~ sound.

Sorry, what was that? Seriously. I'm not here to make your life harder. In fact, I thought I'd be doing you a favor so that you wouldn't have to fish around to give me change back. Because I know how unbearable that would be.

But whatever. A little less attitude next time would be nice.

- Cherry
[and no, this is not a photo of Amy. Not by a long shot.]

Friday, August 25, 2006

Barely There

Ladies, what is this?
Seriously. What is it? I mean, I know what it is (it is an American Apparel "Barely-There Body Suit") but what what would you use it for?
Is it underwear? Pajamas? Both?
Is it some sort of bra-panties-girdle combination?
You don't wear this in public, right? Right? (Well, maybe you would if you're heading to Blue States Lose I guess.)

And most importantly, are you ladies actually buying these things?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Love Latins

Checking my site meter this evening, I saw that some person came to the Cherry Ride directly after visiting this blog. I think it is some sort of mail order, south-of-the-border bride business.

I Love Latins = CREEPY.

Pluto Gets the Shaft

What did Pluto really do to you people to make you de-planetize it? Seriously, are we all better off now that Pluto is now just a moon or large asteroid? Are people walking around going, "Whew! Thank God! I didn't think I could take it any more!"

No. I don't think so.

Two things are going on here: This is a PR move by astronomers to show the world how badass they really are ("Don't piss us off our we'll downgrade your planetary status!"). Oooohhh - I'm shakin!

The second thing is, you just know Karl Rove had a hand in this somehow to take some of the heat off Bush (just like he did when he orchestrated last week's Jon Benet/John Karr scandal).

And the "Kick 'Em When They're Down" award goes to William Kole of the AP: ...because nobody likes being called "dinky."

And in other news...
Did anyone else notice the new Blogger logo? What is that, a schnauzer?

Happy (Belated) Birthday

...to Madonna, who turned, like, 62 last week. In honor of her special day and her impact on our culture, the Cherry Ride Players are here to recite to you some of her best lyrics. Enjoy!

(Click on the picture to get a better look.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

32 Songs in My Library I Should Be Embarrassed to Have...

... but because I am secure in who I am, I don't care.
This is the first in what a hope will be a weekly posting of useless lists that reveal perhaps a little too much about me.

Without further ado (and in no particular order):

  1. Xanadu - Olivia Newton-John
  2. Promise of a New Day - Paula Abdul
  3. Justified and Ancient - the KLF & Tammy Wynette
  4. Pop That Coochie - 2 Live Crew
  5. Da Dip - Freak Nasty
  6. Let's Hear it For the Boy - Denise Williams
  7. No More Tears (Enough is Enough) - Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer
  8. Come Clean - Hilary Duff
  9. Girlfriend - Pebbles
  10. I Eat Cannibals - Toto Cuelo
  11. Takes a Little Time - Amy Grant
  12. You're Momma's On Crack Rock - the Dogs
  13. Crush on You - the Jets
  14. Doin' the Doo - Betty Boo **
  15. The Language of Love - Dan Fogelberg **
  16. Tell It To My Heart - Taylor Dane
  17. If You Go - Jon Secada
  18. Dangerous - Roxette **
  19. So Caught Up in You - 38 Special
  20. Waiting for a Star to Fall - Boy Meets Girl
  21. Who's Johnny? - El DeBarge
  22. Life is a Flower - Ace of Base **
  23. I Heard a Rumor - Bananarama
  24. Steel Bars - Michael Bolton **
  25. Tootsie Roll - the 69 Boys
  26. The Way You Love Me - Faith Hill
  27. Telephone (Long Distance Love Affair) - Sheena Easton **
  28. Touch Me (All Night Long) - Cathy Dennis
  29. Love Changes Everything - Climie Fisher **
  30. Toy Soldiers - Martika
  31. One Good Woman - Peter Cetera
  32. We Built this City - Starship
Ahhhh. That felt good. So what's on your list?

PS - I will make you a CD with any of the above songs. Just tell me what you want. (C'Mon, you know you want to...)

** I don't even know what that song is, but I at least know it can't possibly be something I should want to have in my collection.
** He's the poor man's James Taylor, in case you're asking.
** I have pretty much the entire Roxette library, so I could have picked any of their other songs, like "Fading Like a Flower."
** Again, I have pretty much all their stuff too, so I could have picked "Beautiful Life" or "All That She Wants."

** I've italicized this one because of all the songs on the list this is the one I am perhaps most embarrassed about. And now that I look at it, I am sorta ashamed that I even confessed it to you.
** I don't care what you say, it is impossible not to like this song. So fuck off.
** That's not a typo -- his name is Climie.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Results from last week's CRQOW are in:

  • Of 57 voters, 25% of you think Tom Cruise should be zapped up by aliens.
  • In close second, with 12 votes, is George Bush.
  • Paris and Kevin Federline tied for third place.
  • Surprisingly, 11 of you thought Stylin' Rob needs to go. Poor SR.
  • Jessica Simpson also got some votes, but does anyone really care?

UPDATE: It appears Paramount Pictures paid close attention to this week's CRQOW (which,as I suspected, is very influential in the social, political and entertainment realms) and dropped Cruise's contract.

Goodbye to you too, Tommy-Boy.

A new rather topical CRQOW appears to the right. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Notes from the Weekend

  • I took my dad to see "Snakes on a Plane" this afternoon. The only thing I will say about the whole experience is that as we were heading to the theater my dad said: "Did you sleep OK? You look tired." No, dad. This is pretty much just how I look nowadays.
  • As you can see, I redesigned my site this weekend. I think I am going to become one of those serial redesigners. I think it looks OK, but there's more I want to do. And since I'm pretty much learning HTML on the fly, it could be years before I have the site exactly the way I want it.
  • With Richard back in Sydney waiting for this whole green card interview nonsense, I've really been getting my money's worth out of Netflix.
    • "Failure to Launch" - Matthew McCaughnawhatever gets bitten by a chipmunk, a dolphin and a lizard. Also, Sarah Jessica Parker is in it. I love me some SJP as much as the next gay man, but she's got to try harder to play something that isn't just a version of Carrie Bradshaw. And, if there was an award for "Most Annoying Shriek" it would certainly go to her. She screams about 5 times during the movie and lord help me I almost reached through that screen...
    • "Junebug" - not exactly sure what that was all about.
    • "Velvet Underground" - stellar cast but largely unwatchable.
    • "Loggerheads" - really good yet slow-moving picture. Very sad though. Patty Griffin, who is my favorite female singer-songwriter, does most of the songs. Patty is prone to some glum songs, and during the saddest part of the movie they played her all-time saddest song. So naturally I pretty much cried like a baby for several minutes. (But don't let that scare you from seeing it since I seem to cry at movies on a regular basis.)
    • Jarhead - not bad, but glad I didn't pay money to see it in the theater, or I would have opened a vein.
  • In other news: I apologize in advance to all my friends on MSN Spaces. Ever since the redesign I've had a hard time trying to post comments to your sites. Even when I'm signed in to Windows Live it still won't let me, or my computer freezes up entirely. So if you haven't heard from me in awhile, that is probably the reason.

This Is The Saddest Thing I Have Ever Read

... and I don't mean "sad" in my typically sarcastic way, the way I might mean it is sad that GW is our president, or that Anna Nicole Smith is allowed to live.

This is actually a very sad news article I lifted from Coprorate Casual. If you are a dog lover, this will ruin your day so open at your own risk:

"Cute Friday"

Thanks But No Thanks

This morning reading an article from Forbes about the 10 best cities to find a job. The cities in order are: DC, Phoenix, Vegas, Orlando, Bethesda, Richmond, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, and Virginia Beach.

With few exceptions (DC/Bethesda, maaaybe Phoenix [but I think there is something wrong with people who choose not to have seasons]) this list could have been: 10 lamest cities in America. The reason the job market in places like these is good is because people don't want to live there. Of course there are plenty of jobs.

I mean, Oklahoma City? I'd pull out my eyeballs with pliers before I'd live there.

If I was in the job market, I think I'd take my chances in Chicago, New York, San Fran, etc. -- all cities that ranked low on the list because they're mature markets -- where at least there'd be something to do at night. Am I an urban snob? You betcha. Sue me.

Baby Let Me Show You How to Crunch This

This past week I did something I haven't done in three months:

I went to the gym.

But not just once. Not even just twice. Three times!

All I really want to say about this is that I can no longer fully extend my arms. This picture below pretty much summs up what my facial expression would be if I were to go back into the gym tomorrow (and no, I don't think that's a look of ecstacy from a runner's high).

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dear Mr. Office Building Landlord

Cherry Ride Letter of the Week* is to the landlord of my office building. Mr. Landlord looks a lot like the guy pictured above, and just like the guy in the photo, I am sure is in the Russian Mafia. When I first started at work, my boss told me about Landlord, saying that it is in all our best interest to stay on his good side in order to "keep things moving" (from a maintenance perspective I assumed). Well, in the 5 months I've been working here I'm pretty sure we've all been "staying on his good side" yet this office building still looks like a heap of shit.

Dear Mr. Landlord:

It was so nice meeting you for the first time this morning in front of the building. If you don't remember who I am, I was the guy who was heading through the front door with my bicycle over my shoulder. You stopped me and asked, "Where you going?" Yeah that guy.

When I told you I was heading up to the fourth floor, you said, "No. Not with bike." I was a little surprised by this because I'm not sure if you noticed this or not (what, with your busy schedule of... well
... I'm not exactly sure what you do all day), but I see lots of bicycles in the building. Lots. I see building tenant/workers bringing their bikes in all the time. Heck, in our small office alone there are 2-3 of us bringing our bikes to work and keeping them in an empty storage room in our suite.

But I'm a good guy who does what he's told, so I decided to lock my bike up to the parking meter there in front of the building, right next to another bike that was locked to the meter next to mine. And again, I was a little surprised when you stopped me right there and said, "No, lock bike down over there..." (pointing several yards down the sidewalk) "... I wash sidewalk here now."

You see, I'm pretty sure that you don't own the sidewalk so your suggestion to lock my bike a bit further down the street isn't really something that, as we might say in America, is "in your right." But fearing a hit on my family if I didn't comply, I compromised and locked the bike two meters down and then went inside.

BTW, did you ever end up washing down the sidewalk? Because, it's funny, just a few hours later I went outside to run an errand and noticed the sidewalk was completely dry. Dry as in, no water has touched the surface of this sidewalk since the last rain. Seemed a little strange to me, but moving on.)

I'm curious as to exactly what your problem with me bringing my bicycle into the building is. I suspect because you're afraid that I might scuff up the floor from the tire marks; maybe dirty the carpet? I understand your need to keep the place looking as good as possible. I'm sure it must be a struggle for you to keep the place up -- you know, with the broken locks to the bathroom; the hallway lights that flicker incessantly because they need to be replaced; the particles of plaster and god-knows-whatever-else that fall gently from the ceiling onto my desk and into my glass of water; the ancient blinds to the window behind my desk that are broken and probably haven't worked in a decade -- you know, stupid little shit like that.

Hey, here's an idea for you: If you're so concerned about keeping the carpets clean, why don't you try vacuuming
the fucking place every once in awhile? Let me tell you, that would certainly go a long way towards maintaining the facade that this is a "nice" place to do business. It would lift my spirits immensely if when I walked into my work space each morning, I didn't look down to see dead skin flakes, plaster from the ceiling, and bits of my lunch from two weeks ago. But that's just me and maybe it's not the way you do things back in the Old Country.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off like that on you. It's just that, well, given that this building is just a few years away from being condemned and all, I think it is a little silly for you to bust me for bringing my bike inside.

Thanks for understanding and please don't kill my family.

- Will (on the 4th floor)

* OK, so this doesn't happen "weekly." So sue me.

Other Tips for Saving Money

As you may have heard, Northwest Airlines recently laid off a bunch of customer service workers and baggage handlers. But they were kind enough to give them booklets called “101 Ways to Save Money” which included little gems like: shop in thrift stores, pull stuff from the trash, bicycle to work, borrow clothes and take shorter showers.

I have not seen this incredibly helpful booklet, but as I consider myself somewhat of a Renaissance Man when it comes to not working, I have a few other tips that I could share not just to these laid-off folks but really anyone wanting to save a little cash:

  1. Stop Shampooing. Or if you must, use Dial Soap.
  2. Curb all frivolous clothes washing. Or if you must, use Dial soap and the bathroom sink.
  3. Homemade Pet Rocks make great wedding, birthday and anniversary gifts!
  4. Soup: it’s what’s for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast.
  5. Skateboard to your next job interview.
  6. Sell a bunch of stuff on eBay.
  7. Go commando.
  8. Donate blood. And eggs. And semen.
  9. Ciphon gas from neighbor’s car.
  10. Borrow prescription meds off friends. Or maybe start dating a doctor.
  11. Rent your bedroom out, sleep on the couch.
  12. Sell your couch, sleep on the floor.
  13. Rob a bank.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How Did I Miss This One?

Joe Scarborough's program Tueday night was: "Is Bush an Idiot?" in which he showed a collection of Bushisms over the years. Apparently there were people on the program arguing both for and against the Bush idiot stance. Is this really a subject that can be argued against? I thought at this point it is historical fact, like the Civil War or something.

This shit should be on prime time, not on MSNBC (wow, is that still on?) .

And in other news:
What would we do without Hollywood? 84 movie stars have posted a "powerfully-worded" ad in the LA Times condemning terrorism. And not just any old ad, but a full page one! Because, you know, a full page ad in a newspaper that is only read by people in the entertainment industry in America is going to do so much to end the fighting in the Middle East.

What I'm Thinking About

Some of the random thoughts and biting social commentary that has breezed through the airy summer beach home that is my brain, as acted out by the Cherry Ride Players.

(Click on the image to get a better view - you know the drill.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What Not to Do When Attacked by Feces - UPDATE

A guy in Germany had his wallet with about $10 grand pickpocketed from him after getting human feces thrown at him.

Seriously. This is both the most ingenious and most fucked up robbery I've ever heard of. The only thing more surprising is that it happened in Germany and not here. That German engineering outsmarts us again!

So the lesson here folks is that next time someone throws their feces on you, watch your back.

In other news, an Israeli woman escaped death thanks to her fake tits.

Feces and tits. Feces and tits. Feces and tits. (Why am I repeating these words? Because next time someone MSN Searches or Googles "feces and tits" I want to be the first answer.)

UPDATE: Mission accomplished:

PS - This is my 150th post to Cherry Ride. Mom & Dad would be so proud...

I Let One Rip at the Corner Market...

...while some girl was standing behind me. I thought I was alone and the aisle was empty. But she suddenly appeared right behind me. Of course she heard it. So I grabbed my pretzels, paid at the register and got the hell out of there.

Am I proud of this? No. And I'm not sure why I'm telling you except that I have nothing else to blog about today.

But maybe I did her a favor -- Maybe she had nothing to blog about today and now she does. Maybe this is actually a win-win for both of us.*

* And by "win-win" I of course mean not really a win for anybody.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Summer is Over

Yes, it is true. At the risk of sounding like a crazy person, I declare summer to be over already. It just doesn't feel like summer anymore.

Part of it is because the weather already seems to be turning (aside from about a week of intense heat last month, it has been really nice in Chicago). It is the middle of August and we're averaging temps we'd normally see in September. * There's a slight chill in the air when the sun sets, and the temperature drops quickly at night.

Part of it is because Richard's 3-month summer visit ended last week. And still yet another part of it is because, several month's ago when I ordered Lolla tickets, I made a mental note that it was happening at the end of the summer.

The sun is positioned differently in the sky now; the sun no longer blares into my bedroom window in the afternoon and instead sits over the rooftop keeping my room cool and shady. And on the way to work this morning I passed a guy wearing a windbreaker. In August!

And even though it has been a really great,I say Bring On the Fall. I am ready for it (and a new season of Gray's Anatomy, but that's beside the point).

* Of course, I've just jinxed the whole deal and we'll have a good for weeks of blistering heat now that I've made this declaration.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What's My Age Again?

Last night Bob, Kari and I has Jim and Joe over for dinner and to go to West Fest, which was right down the street.

There is a reason why Jim, Joe, my brother and I don't get together to booze it up in non-public places, yet I think we always think this time will turn out different. It didn't. It never does.

We never made it over to West Fest; part of the reason is because we didn't finish dinner until about 10. The other is because: why go out and pay for drinks when we can drink for free at the condo?

The evening ended the only way that an evening involving a liter of Sky Vodka, red wine, Outkast and Juice Newton songs could: mulitple fisticuffs (I've been looking for a reason to use that word), picking up pieces of watermelon thrown around the condo, cleaning up vomit on the balcony before it dripped down unto the condo below, and telling Joe to shut the fuck up and turn the music down.

Today we have to look forward to some pissed off neighbors making complaints to the board.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What’s Worse Than 24 Hours in the Hospital? 24 Hours in the Hospital When You Should Be at Lollapalooza

[that there folks is a shot of my hand with two tubes sticking out of it, waiting in the ER. Attractive, no? These are just two of about 5 tubes sticking out of me over the course of a day.]

I woke up Wednesday morning with a slight pain in my chest, a tightness that hurt when I tried to take a deep breath. By Thursday morning the pain had spread to up into my shoulders. I made an appointment to see my doctor for 11 am that morning.

Fast forward to 11:30 when my doctor is reviewing my EKG with a slight look of confusion and concern. “Your heartbeat is pretty low. Are you a runner?” “No, swimmer.”

My doctor, who never takes his eyes off my EKG reading, leaves the room. “I’ll be right back.” About 3 minutes later he returns.
  • Doctor: “Based on your EKG reading, I can’t rule out the possibility that you’ve had a heart attack.”
  • Me: "?"
  • Doctor: “Now, I’m reasonably sure it isn’t a heart attack because you’d probably be in a lot more pain.
  • Me: "??"
  • Doctor: “But since you are having pain and your EKG is inconclusive, I’ve called St. Joseph's, faxed them your readings, and they’re waiting for you. Just go right to the Emergency Room and they’ll be able to do more tests to determine your problem.”
  • Me: "???"“???”
So Richard drives me off the emergency room, where they took another EKG, poked me with more needles, did an echocardiogram and had me lay around until the preliminary results came back.

All this time I knew deep down that I had not suffered a heart attack, and that this was probably something muscle-related, and that this whole things was a big inconvenience. I will be out of here in an hour, I say to myself.

The cardiologist comes in. “Your heartbeat is pretty low. Are you a runner?” “No, swimmer.” He tells me that it probably isn’t a heart attack, but my heartbeat is irregular. So they’d like to keep my for 24 hours for observation, taking blood every 6 hours to see if there’s any change.

Forget for a moment that I might have something seriously wrong with me, I’m pissed that I’m stuck here for 24 hours. But I do the math and at least I’ll be out of here by 1pm, in time to catch most of Lollapalooza tomorrow.

I’m stuck in the ER for 4 hours(!) while I wait for a bed to open in the cardiac ward upstairs. During that time I get to hear the conversation between the old lady in the bed next to me and her nurse:
  • Old lady: “Nurse, I need a vomit pail.”
  • Nurse: “Why do you need a vomit pail?”
  • Old lady: “Because I am going to vomit.”
And hese are the people that will be taking care of me tonight? This is going to be a long 24 hours.

When I get up to my room, the guy in the next bed is checking out. As he’s leaving he says to me: “This hospital sucks.” “Sorry?” “This hospital is no good. I come in here yesterday complaining of chest pains and they don’t do nothing. Now I leave and I still have chest pains.”

“OK, well, take care then.”

That evening I get more tests, more blood taken (all seems normal). It still hurts when I breathe deep, but doctors think it is probably something muscle-related (duh). But as a precaution, I’m scheduled for a stress test “first thing in the morning” and then I can go home. Which is good because if I’m out by, say, 10am Richard and I can meet up with my friend Kathleen (who is flying in from Portland in the morning) and catch all of Lollapalooza.

The doctor on call for the evening asks me a series of questions and takes my heartbeat. “Your heartbeat is pretty low. Are you a runner?” Christ, doesn’t anybody talk to each other in this hospital?

To make a long story short, the doctors couldn’t decide which stress test to give me, so every time they changed their minds, the test got delayed. And delayed. And delayed. Forget getting out at 10am, I’ll be lucky if I’m out by dinner time. By noon I am furious and impatient, hissing at the nurses, who can’t give me a straight answer about what time my stress test has been rescheduled for. Richard decides to stay with me and forgo Panic! At the Disco, a band he’s been looking forward to seeing for weeks. This makes me even more upset.

At 3pm (27 hours after I arrived) I am wheeled down to have my stress test. The nurse on call is one that was with me when I checked in.
  • Nurse: “So it looks like we’re going to get you out of here on time this afternoon.”
  • Me: “How do you figure? They said ’24 hours’ and it’s been 27.”
  • Nurse: “Well, that’s OK. Did you have somewhere you had to be?”
  • Me: “Well, I paid $150 to go to Lollapalooza, which started about 3 hours ago.”
  • Nurse (clearly not grasping how dire my situation was): “Don’t you hate it when life gets in the way of your plans?”
  • Me: “Oh, is that what it is – ‘life’ getting in the way? Because I thought it was the hospital.
My stress test consists of me running on a treadmill at full speed for 12 minutes, as the grade continues to get steeper. I am absolutely miserable now.

But by 5pm I am checked out. Too tired and pissed off to head over to Grant Park. At least I have Saturday and Sunday.

And the chest pains? I still have them, but they’re getting better (thanks to the meds). I have Pluracy, but I will be fine, just like my ticker (irregular heartbeat and all).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Overheard at the Office

I seriously can't believe some of the bullshit that happens at my office sometimes. Below is an actual conversation I overheard between two of my co-workers yesterday, as acted out by the Cherry Ride Players.

(As always, click on the cartoon to get a closer view.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Blagg Blogg: RIP

What happened to you, Alex? Blagg Blogg used to be one of my favorite blogs and now that he's too busy writing for Best Week Ever he's pretty much stopped updating his site. So I've decided to take him off my blogroll.

Lollapalooza: What's With All the Clowns?

Lollapalooza kicked ass.

The whole thing started on the wrong foot - I missed Friday because I was hospitalized (more on that fun experience in another posting) and that was the day for many (if not most) of the acts I wanted to see (Panic! At the Disco, Editors, Raconteurs, Aqualung, Ryan Adams, Death Cab). But Saturday and Sunday more than made up for it.

Weather was decent (a little hot but could've been worse); crowds were mellow and friendly; thumbs way up on Grant Park as a venue site - beautiful Chicago skyline as backdrop, breezes off the Lake, plenty Honey Buckets and water fountains made for really short lines. A perfect ending to a good summer of music festivals. I am absolutely going again next year. You all should too - you can stay at my place.

Highlights: Thievery Corporation; Ben Kweller; Go! Team; Gnarls Barkley; Common; arriving just in time on Saturday to hear "Always Love" by Nada Surf; pretty good acoutsics throughout. Oh, and there was an AT&T tent where you could make free long distance calls anywhere in the world, so I called the Raspone's in London. (I think Richard got the best use of this as he called Australia several times Saturday and Sunday.)

Lowlights: Wilco was sorta disappointing (during the show, Jeff Tweedy made a comment something about: "We're really excited to be playing Chicago. Or at least one-third of us are." Which was weird); not being able to see all the acts I wanted to; having to walk from one end of the Park to the other since the two main stages were on the opposite ends; lots of b.o. from sweaty people; a rumour that Smashing Pumpkins were going to play (but they didn't); my brother paying $85 for a 3-day pass from a scalper while the rest of us law-abiding citizens paid $150.

My friends Kathleen from Portland and Jason from DC were in town, and as great as it was to see them I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked with either.

Of course, there were lots of spectacles: a spanking booth (not sure if you paid $1 to spank or get spanked), people giving free hugs, people dressed like Mexican wrestlers. People dressed as clowns. Lots of people dressed as clowns -- what's up with that? We're talking full makeup, wigs, costumes, the whole deal. And not necessarily friendly clowns, either -- more surly and punk. Stay way, freaky clown people.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Justin Timberlake: Yes/Hell No

Twenty-six people voted in this week's CRQOW.
Disturbingly, half of you say "Yes" to Justin Timberlake.
The other half of you say either "No" or, more accurately "Hell No."

I don't exactly know what to say, except I am deeply disappointed in some of you. And wipe that grin off yo' face, Timberlake. Someday the rest of the world will recognize just how evil you are.

Today's Complaint

Because somebody once told me that I'm funnier when I'm complaining, here is my complaint for today.

Why the hell is Lake Michigan so cold??

Since it has been so hot, I thought it might be nice to go for a swim at North Avenue Beach after work to get some relief. So yesterday Richard met me at the office after work and we took the Brown Line to North Ave. and walked 6 blocks to the beach. I was hot and sweaty, and ready for the gentle, cool waters of Lake Michigan to do their magic. When we arrived, we noticed right away that while the beach was full for 7pm, there were hardly any people in the water. Not a good sign.

We had gone swimming the week before and the water was cold, but tolerable. I figured it would be at least as warm as last week, if not warner due to the blazing hot weather over the last 8 days.

No such luck. It seems the temperature actually dropped since then, making the water unbearably cold.* Neither of us could take submerging any lower than our knees. Since we'd come all this way I was determined to go all the way under, which I did and felt my heart stop. So traumatic that my frickin nose started bleeding as I walked out of the water.

We gathered our stuff and headed back to the train, both of us less refreshed and hotter than we were before we started, and not the least bit enthusiastic over spending the last hour walking around in the heat for a one-minute dip in the freezing lake. Turning to me Richard said, "Well, that wasn't such a good time, was it?" Umm, that would be a NO.

What good is it living in Chicago if you can't even go swimming in the Lake?? Fuck off, Lake Michigan. I hate you.

* And before you say something like, "Maybe it just seemed colder because the air temperature was warmer than last week" or some other bullshit, trust me: No, it was colder.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Everybody is complaining about the cost of gasoline, and how much prices have gone up, blah blah blah.

What people should be complaining about is the rising cost of a fricking bottle of coke.*

Why is a can of Sprite, like, 75 cents? Why did it just cost me $1.37 for my fucking 20 oz bottle of coke zero? Why is a large coke from McDonald’s two dollars? WTF?

It’s a bunch of chemicals and sugar -- manufacture them in your huge lab/chemical plant, mix them together, and - bam! – there’s your product. Why is the price jumping? It’s not like Pepsi is dependent on the market price of some limited natural resource to manufacture itself. Not even the “sugar” is natural. Where are the Senate Sub-committees on this?

I call bullshit. *I'm using the word "coke" in the generic. You can insert any carbonated soft drink into the mix if you want: Pepsi, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, etc.