Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Year of the Panda (Pt. I)

[that's me as Ling Ling and Fred as Sing Sing]

After weeks of anticipation, Halloween 2006 kicked off last night with a bang. Back in August (or maybe even sooner) Fred and I decided this was the year of the Panda. We didn’t really want to rent panda costumes, so I asked my Grandma if she would make them for us and she said yes. (Yeah, you heard that right – Ethel made the outfits.)

As you can see from the photos, they’re pretty awesome. We struggled for a while to come up with a theme for Fred, Laura and me (because for some unimaginable reason Laura did not want to be a panda along with us) but in the end Laura went as a Cat Pez Dispenser (which was beneficial for me because I didn’t really eat that night and Pez made a great – and totally legitimate alternative to – dinner).

One of the great things about dressing as a panda is that the walk to/from the party can be as much fun as the party itself. The three of us made all kinds of friends on the way to the bar. People stopped us to take photos, we got car honks, catcalls, high fives, hand shakes. It was like we were movie stars, minus the movie or stars part.

The best part of owning a panda costume: I
am totally wearing it again and again – New Year’s Valentine’s Day, Flag Day, whatever. Hell, I can (and will) wear it around the house when I wash the dishes or water the plants.*

Classy had invited us to a party at Wellington’s, which was great. (Classy and I have been great blog buddies for about 3 months but until last night had never actually met, which was strange but cool and worthy of another entry entirely.) Thankfully, we bonded instantly – partially because we’ve got the same sense of humor, and partially due to the Great Social Mediator known as alcohol.** Classy and her friends went as football players and referees. They were also drunk (but that might have been part of the whole costume theme).

Soon after, the Gancer arrived as Frankenstein, which was appropriate because he’s tall, and can pull off plugs better than anyone I know. Like Classy, Dr. Ken is a blog buddy who I’d never met until that night. And also just like Classy, we got along great from the beginning. (Although he tried engaging me in sports talk and because I couldn’t follow I could sense him begin questioning what kind of future we could possibly have as friends. But we did make plans to visit a tittie bar together in December for naked field goal kicking, so we’re cool.)

After a few hours, we all left Wellington’s (not before some dancing in the corner, where Laura had to save me from some the receiving end of your basic friendly drunken molestation) to head to another bar on Halsted. But to make a long story short, Fred, Laura and I didn’t quite make it (sorry Classy and Dr. Ken!), so the three of us ended up at their old local pub, where we befriended some folks dressed as Swiss, a Kleenex, a Gingerbread Man and some girls dressed in trashy, slutty outfits.***

Best conversation of the evening, between Fred, me and a girl dressed as Swiss Miss:
Swiss Miss: “So, like, what are you guys? Besides pandas, I mean.”

Us: “Nothing. Just pandas.”

Swiss Miss: “Oh.”

Swiss Miss: “So then where did you get the outfits?”

Me: “My grandma made them.”

Swiss Miss: “Really? Wow. Now I feel bad for making fun of you.”


So overall a great evening. Laughed a lot with Fred and Laura, finally met Classy and Dr. Ken face-to-face, and sported kick-ass panda outfits. Next up: Tuesday night’s Halloween parade on Halsted and cheering Dop and Kevin to win the costume contests afterwards.

In theory, that is. Because I don’t actually wash dishes or water plants.
And by “alcohol” I of course mean “plenty of it.”
Girls dressed trashy on Halloween?? Hard to believe, I know.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween: The Australian P.O.V.

Conversation with Richard earlier this week:

Richard: "Wow, you really get into this whole Halloween thing."
Me: "Yeah! It's my second favorite holiday. Don't you like Halloween?"
Richard: "It isn't such a big deal over here."
Me: "I would think that Australians would LOVE Halloween -- any opportunity to dress up, act like idiots and have fun would be right up your alley."
Richard: "Yeah, but we can do that any day -- you guys can only do that once a year. We're not as uptight and repressed as you are."

I pretty much had no comeback for that one.

In other news: today is going to be a good day -- Pet Shop Boys tonight at the Chicago Theater! And best of all, I found a $5 bill on the sidewalk this morning -- PROPER!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vegemite: It's What's No Longer Legal For Breakfast (Or: My Search For Illegal Booty)

[this is a photo of some booty alongside the illegal Vegemite booty. I chose this photo for two reasons: 1) it gives me the opportunity to make not one but two booty* jokes, and 2) I knew Prashant would appreciate a photo of Vegemite and a naked woman's ass. So would Dr. Ken.]
Richard emailed me yesterday with a desperate plea to get on over to Cost Plus World Market to grab every available jar of Vegemite on the shelves.

Turns out, the US Government has put a
ban on the sale or import of Vegemite into the US. There is an international crisis brewing, and caught in the middle are me and Richard (and while I have definitely acquired a taste for the yeastie beastie -- I have gone on record to say that Vegemite is a party in your mouth -- the stuff is like crack for Richard, who doesn't know how he will survive here in the States if he can't have his daily dose. I feel for him!)

Apparently, the US has decided that folic acid can only be legally consumed by way of breads and cereals, and not Vegemite.

I suggested that he just smuggle some booty* into his luggage when he arrives next month, but he told me of
news reports where Australians are actually getting searched at customs for the contraband.


Fearing retribution from Richard if I didn't act immediately, I stopped at Cost Plus (the only place in Chicago we knew of that stocked Vegemite) immediately after work to find the booty* but I was too late. Every Cost Plus has removed it and will no longer carry it. I even tried to bribe the clerk: "Name your price for every box of booty* you still have in the back room." But alas, it was not meant to be.

I'm hoping that the mass outrage Down Under will be enough to change the US law to make Vegemite legal again.

* Sorry if I'm being obnoxious, I just love typing the word "booty."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Why I'm Becoming a Fatass

As part of an ongoing probe as to why my ass seems to get bigger and bigger, I present Exhibit B:

Friday night after a few drinks with Fred & Laura at Tuman's, Krista and I are driving home down Chicago Avenue when I spot me in the distance some Golden Arches*. The following conversation ensues:

Me: Oooh, do you know what sounds good? A chocolate shake from McDonald's.
Krista: Wow, I haven't been to McDonald's in years.
Me: Yeah, me neither.**
Krista: Instead of a shake you should get one of those "McFlurry" things.
Me: Oooh, yeah that sounds good. Do you know what else sounds good? Fries.
Krista: Go for it.
Me: Mmmm. You know, if I'm going to get fries maybe I should get some Chicken McNuggets too...
Krista: Why don't you get the 9-piece (instead of the 6-piece) and we can split it?
Me: Maybe we should Super-Size it?
Krista: Well, I'm not having any fries, so there's no need to Super-Size it...
Me: I'll tell you what, I think I'll just Super-Size it anyway.

So what started as a innocuous chocolate shake drive-by turned into a Super-Size 9-piece Chicken McNugget meal with a McFlurry on the side.

But, you know, I didn't wake up with a hangover, so at least I had that going for me.

* It should be noted that just 5 hours prior we had eaten a full dinner.
** And by "me neither" I of course mean that I hadn't eaten there in approximately 48 hours.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is It Wrong?

... that I upgraded my Netflix account from 3 movies-at-a-time to four?
... that "Jackass Number Two" will most definitely make my Top 10 Best List this year?

... that I like that new Evanescence song?
... that I may end up spending more money for Halloween than for Xmas?

Yeah, I thought so too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This Is NOT Evolving Into a Good Week

I turned on the tv this morning as I ate my breakfast (these are two things I never do - eat breakfast or watch morning tv). Charo is going to be on Martha Stewart today. Holy crap, I almost called in sick.

Mr. T was on the Today Show talking about his new reality tv show (my only question: what took so long? If ever there was someone born to host his own reality tv show, it is Mr. T) which premieres tonight. The premise - motivating people to change their lives. How can you not love Mr. T? I think I'd make a lousy candidate for that show because T would be all: "You need to change your life, fool!!!" and I'd be all: "Awww, I love you Mr. T. Can I give you a hug?"

Staying home to watch Charo probably was a good idea, considering how my week has been going so far. By 10am Monday I developed a splitting headache that lasted all day. Relief could only be found by going to bed at 8pm.

Yesterday I rode my bike to work in the rain and upon entering the lobby, managed to trip over it crashing backwards onto the floor, completely ass over elbows onto my back. I was literally flat on my back lying on top of my bike. In the lobby. With other people around. You're pretty much done when that happens. There's no way to save face on that one. (I meekly joked that it was a good thing I was still wearing my helmet, but nobody really laughed.)

I banged up my elbow pretty bad; it was the type of throbbing pain that only a BK chicken club king size value meal could heal, if you know what I mean. So after work I head on over to my local BK and turns out it is CLOSED DOWN. WTF??? Sad ending to a very sad day.

And then this morning on the way into work a bird crapped on my sleeve and hand. Could have been worse I guess, but damn if that shit ain't tough to get off my clothes.

Panda Fever

Results from this week's CRQOW:

Panda beats out Underage Congressional Page by one vote (Classy - how many of those 16 votes are yours?). Good thing I'm going as a panda for Halloween.

What surprises me most about the results is that "a Drunk" only got 3 votes (I thought everyone would be a drunk on Halloween). Also, that Nipsy got a whopping 8 votes (although two of them are from Dr. Ken).

In related news,
Loaf posted a panda video yesterday that is worth a chuckle.

A new CRQOW will be coming soon...

Monday, October 16, 2006

God, I've Got a Headache

Recap of the weekend:

  • dug winter coats out of storage
  • pasta (yet again) for Sunday dinner*
  • Friday - swam. Saturday - swam. Sunday - gym. Monday - swam. If I didn't know myself better, I'd say I might be serious about getting back in shape.
  • ordered a new iPod online, then cancelled the order. Will probably re-order it again this afternoon. And then re-cancel.

* not that I should complain, since free pasta dinner at the 'rents is better than anything I could cook on my own.

Finally, I think all the exercise is the cause of the supreme unadulterated splitting headache I am quietly dying from at the moment.

This photo isn't really germane to the weekend, except that I did go to American Apparel on Sunday, and this absolutely ridiculous photo is from their website. I'm inviting you, dear reader, to post your best caption for it in the comments section.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Darci From the Block

Please give a warm welcome to my friend Darci (still from the block), who has finally made the switch to Blogger. Darci and I first met about 5 years ago when I was fortunate enough to share a cubicle wall with her, where we shared a passion for making fun of our clients (usually behind their backs). We've both since moved on - me back here and her to nursing school. She's awesome, and used to have a car named Biscuit. Here's just a taste of her razor-sharp wit.

Stop in say hello to her.

Prashant - you're next....

This Is Getting Exciting

Results so far from the CRQOW. A real nail-biter, especially for Classy.

If you haven't yet, take a look into the column on the right. Polls close Monday night.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Very Superstitious - The Writing's On the Wall

To commemorate Friday the 13th, the Cherry Ride Players are back, this time to tell you about some of my quirky superstitions.

[click HERE to enlarge]

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Although I promise not to obsess about the weather this winter, it must be pointed out that as of 9:21 am today (Oct. 12, 2006) it is snowing.
[the view from my cubicle. can't really see the snow but baby it is so there.]

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Couple Things

I think I'm growing tired of Trebuchet, so I may try Georgia for awhile (but it looks kinda girly, no?).

Scissor Sisters cancelled Sunday night (thanks Dop for the invite!). That makes my Chicago concert record 0 for 2.*

I heard a radio ad yesterday that
Dominick's is now selling flu vaccinations. Yes, you can get a flu shot and your milk all in the same place. Is this supposed to be a good thing? Personally, I don't think I want to shop in a store where my broccoli and live attenuated influenza virus co-exist under the same roof. But that's just me.

[Also as an aside, I've never ever ever - and I mean ever - met anyone who got the flu vaccine and didn't end up either: 1) getting sick as a direct result of getting the shot, or; 2) contracting the flu over the course of the winter anyway.]

And in related news,
WTF????:Sorry Richard, but I think this is going to be a long winter. You know, considering that it's starting in October this year.

* The first concert, Depeche Mode, cancelled back in May and never rescheduled. Intonation, Pitchfork and Lollapalooza don't count as they were technically not concerts, but outdoor music festivals.

Friday, October 06, 2006


[this is Andrea's cherry ride. i don't know Andrea. but this photo comes up when you photo search cherry ride.]

This is my 200th Blogger post. It's been a good ride so far. I've been blogging for a little over three years (first on my own site [now quite defunct], then MSN Spaces and now Blogger. I'm a bit of a blog slut). It's been hard for friends to keep track of me, but I thank everyone for sticking around as otherwise I'm sure I would have stopped a long time ago.

And thanks to all the new folks who've hitched a ride and/or are stopping by for the first time. Hello.

In this short amount of time, I've been back to Australia to visit my boy Richard, moved back to Chicago, found a job, told off a rude girl in line at Starbucks, rediscovered my long-supressed love for Dunkin' Donuts, drank a 40-ouncer in a respectable restaurant, and let one rip in a deli when I thought nobody was around (turned out there was).

I was supposed to be taking a bit of a break from blogging, but I've been able to verify what I've always suspected - I've got a bit of an addiction.

But in case I'm away for a few more days, you can read some of my favorite posts here, here, here, here, here and here. And here, here and here.

PS - I'm also glad because this week I've reached a milestone - over 100 visitors a day, which is great (and totally self-indulgent). Sure, there are some of you out there who get hundreds of visitors a day. Don't spoil this for me.
PPS - $17,500 - is that good?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is It Wrong?

... that after visiting my folks for dinner last night I stole a roll of toilet paper?

Yeah, I thought so too.

PS - New Question of the Week appears to the right.
PPS - I'm still officially "taking some time off" but c'mon, its hard to go cold turkey.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Time Out

Hey folks: I'll be taking a few days off from Cherry Ride, but be back soon.