I resolve to be a Man About Town singing all the lonely dirges of my youth.
Monday, December 31, 2007
I resolve to be a Man About Town singing all the lonely dirges of my youth.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
School's out and I've got a short work week and lots of free time on my hands. Sure, I should probably buy some people some Christmas gifts. Maybe volunteer at a homeless shelter or something. Or mistletoeing. But pretty much all I'm looking forward to doing is planting my ass on the sofa and doing this:Seasons I and II. That's some Proper TV, bitches.
PS - I may have a little crush on Charlie, the "volatile loser who lives in filth and displays little ability to cope with day-to-day problems" (according to Wikipedia). Don't judge me.
Labels: Inappropriate Crushes
Thursday, December 13, 2007
To commemorate my last class (and the final exam) tonight, I thought I would share with you a list of actual comments and/or questions made by my classmates during the course of the semester. Believe me when I say I have not altered them in any way. Starting with the second class, I actually began writing these little nuggets down because I couldn't believe the crap I was hearing, and, well, I need something to entertain me during the 2.5 hour class twice a week. Enjoy - I certainly have.
- (Pointing to a diagram of a human body): "We gotta learn all that for this class? Fuck that. I'm dropping this shit." (As a reminder, this class is called Human Biology, so not sure what this person thought we'd be doing.)
- "I was told by somebody that if I go on a starvation diet I could actually do damage to my body. Is this true?"
- "If you were to, like, create a Frankenstein monster, wouldn't the body reject the different body parts because they'd have different genes?"
- "If somebody were to get liposuction, would the fat cells grow back?"
- "Is that (type of cell) what causes bladder infections? 'Cuz I got a bladder infection and I don't know why."
- "Buttered popcorn causes cancer."
- "Is it true Janet Jackson had one of her ribs removed?"
- "Wearing large clothing helps prevent Lyme Disease."
- "If the menstral cycle is 28 days, then what happens during the other 2-3 days?"
- "What is the best way to refrigerate or freeze the placenta?"
- "Diarrhea is a diarrhetic."
- "So I don't need to douche, then?"
- "I think people who eat meat are disgusting."
- "Can a 17-pound baby be delivered vaginally?"
- (In a discussion about the anal cavity): "It's not natural to have something up there, like homosexuals do."
Now that class is over, I guess I will have to find something else to complain about. Until next semester begins, that is.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Yeah, hi. Me again. Last week I gave you some pointers about how to be an effective and contributing member to group presentation project. You know, for the next time. I didn't want to overwhelm you with info so I thought it best to offer just a few tips at once, with the other half to come another time. Like today. Seriously, I do this as a favor to you, so that maybe you won't fucking fail the group you're in next semester. And, like the old couple who took my fucking seat over Thanksgiving, the next person you screw over for an A in class may not be as nice and forgiving as I am. So let's continue, shall we?:
- So public speaking isn’t a strength. No big deal, it isn’t for most of us. We all get nervous. But remember when the teacher told us last month that points would be deducted if we read directly from our notes instead of simply speaking to the class and making eye contact? I’m pretty sure she wasn’t kidding. Again, we discussed this right? And we all said we were comfortable with our material. So for the next time, please for God’s sake DON’T READ DIRECTLY FROM YOUR NOTES FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF THE SPEECH.
- If in the middle of our speech we realize we made a mistake, it is often OK to just continue on and not acknowledge to the class that we messed up. Doesn’t look so good for us. Chances are, the class stopped listening to what you were saying about 3 minutes into your seven-minute spiel. They didn’t even notice that you said “Canada” and not “Cuba" (its OK, I totally understand how you could get them confused). Honestly, you could have said “Thousands of new cases in my va-jay-jay” instead of “Thousands of new cases in Cuba” and they probably wouldn’t have caught it. For real: I saw one guy in the class haul out his laptop and check his Facebook while you were talking, for chrissakes.
- Related to the above point, after we do make a mistake and feel some strange need to acknowledge it publically, resist the urge to turn around, look me in the eye and say to me – me! – “Oh. I just messed up.” While I am oddly flattered that you told me as though you thought I could actually do something about your flub, you’d be wrong. Perhaps you thought I’d break into an interpretive dance to somehow distract the class from your mistake? As cool as that might have been, I’m not that spontaneous. Bottom line: If you make a mistake, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF and MOVE ON.
That wasn't so bad, was it?
Good luck with finals!
PS - No, I am still not going to help you. You bitches are still on your own for that one.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I'm sitting at my local Starbucks studying, and my table is (unfortunately) right next to the bathrooms. Not really studying, however, as I'm just not into it. I'm pretty much doing everything but studying - reading blogs, texting Niner about poon, talking to my parents (yeah, I'm that distracted), figuring out a shopping list for Target. I've been here about an hour and have only read about 2 pages. Can someone tell me what the hell "Because homologous chromosomes may possess different alleles for the same traits, and there are many genes on one chromosome, the homologues are usually not identical" means?
And if so, will you take my final exam for me?
Anyway, awhile ago a young woman went into the bathroom. About 10 minutes after that, her boyfriend knocked on the bathroom door and asked what she was doing. In a really loud voice she responded:"I'M TAKING A SHIT, OKAY??" Classy. So very.
15 minutes later she's still not coming out of the bathroom and suddenly there's two cops banging on the door demanding she come out. I ask you: I bet this shit doesn't happen at your local Starbucks, does it?
Now the two cops are questioning both the girl and her boyfriend outside the store. Apparently, there may be some drug usage involved (ya think?).
Friday, December 07, 2007
- If you volunteer in advance to be the person responsible for printing 30 copies of the slide deck to use as class handouts, then please God by all-that-is-holy DO IT. Don't show up to class empty-handed saying that you “got too busy at work to print them out" and that "it won't be a big deal anyway." Couple things: Yes, it actually IS A BIG DEAL that we don't have handouts. It makes us look UNPREPARED and gives us a big fat zero on the teacher’s evaluation sheet under the section called – oddly enough - “Handouts.” Secondly, don’t give us that whole “I’m really busy with work” bullshit excuse. What the hell do you think the rest of us do all day? So help me, I’ll shove my weekly “MBD SaaS and Business Intelligence Report” draft right up your ass if you tell me again how busy you are at work.
PS – I actually did spend some time and thought in making the presentation and handouts look pretty. I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time on it had I known that you weren’t going to bother printing them off. Even though we agreed you would. But that’s water under the bridge. Let’s move on.
- Related to point #1, if you are assigned a specific task and find that for whatever reason you cannot do it, it is acceptable and even welcome to PICK UP THE PHONE AND TELL SOMEONE. We know you have a cell phone; we've seen you use it to talk to your friends during lecture (since we're on it: there's something called "indoor voice" btw). I passed about 3 Kinko’s on the way into class Tuesday. I could’ve made some handouts. Not a big deal.
- As you know, we had 12 minutes to give our entire presentation. We discussed this, right? Several times? We also discussed structuring the presentation so that each of us was to speak for about 3 minutes. 3 minutes x 4 people = 12 minutes. So I’m still scratching my head to figure out why some of us spoke for seven minutes. Seven minutes! – that would be more than double the allotted time per person. The only thing I can think of as to why this would have happened would be perhaps you – I mean we - didn’t rehearse ahead of time. So here’s a tip: REHEARSE IN ADVANCE. We might be surprised at what we learn. Like, maybe, “Gee my section of the presentation is waaaaay too long.” Considering we also get points taken off our grade if our presentation goes over the allotted time, this is something we all may want to keep in mind next time.
I’d say that should about cover it for the moment. I've got a few more pearls of wisdom to share, but I'll wait until next week for those, since it might take you a little while to just digest these. Thanks for listening, y’all.
PS - Good luck on the final. And I mean that.
PPS - And No. Sorry, I will not help you study - you bitches are on your own on that one.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
So last night leaving class I planned to write about how much my just-completed group presentation sucked (very much so) or some of the things that really bug my about the Christmas season (Zales commercials, people who forgo their Thanksgiving evenings to camp all night in the parking lot of a shopping mall just so they can be first in line for the 4am opening, etc.), when - bam - the city was hit with a beautiful, magnificent snow storm.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I’m a big fan of the window seat. When travelling alone, I pretty much require it. Everyone knows the middle seat sucks and I don’t like the aisle. I usually book my tickets online and aside from the convenience, online booking is great because you can pick your seats. I always choose the window because I like to sleep on planes, and it is easiest to do in the window seat, and also because when I’m not sleeping, I like to look out the window at the pretty clouds and shit.
Yesterday I board the plane from Portland towards Chicago and I see that there is an old couple sitting in my aisle, and the old lady is sitting in the windows seat. My seat. At this point I could choose one of three options: 1) say nothing and just sit in the available seat, which is the aisle; 2) inform the Biddy that she’s in my seat and demand that she sit in her assigned seat; or 3) point out to the couple that one of them is sitting in the wrong seat, but offer to take the aisle anyway.
In the spirit of educating the couple of their faux-pas so they don’t get into other potentially uncomfortable situations later (people aren’t generally as nice as I am* and next time they may get some belligerent jerk yelling at them), I choose option #3, even though I am tired and want to sleep and everyone knows that trying to sleep in the aisle seat is a losing proposition since you always get clipped by people walking by, and you always have to get out of the seat when the person at the window or middle seat has to use the washroom. Plus, we’ve all seen these situations before where someone is sitting in the wrong seat and the person that calls them on it ends up looking like a big jerk and I didn’t want to be that guy.
What I want to say is, “Excuse me, but this ain’t Southwest Airlines and you can’t just sit anywhere you want – I don’t care how old you are – but all is cool and I’ll take the aisle.” But instead the conversation goes like this:
Me: “Excuse me, I believe you may be sitting in my seat, but I’ll just take the aisle.”
The two of them just look at me and then Biddy says to her husband: “What?”
Me: “I think you are in my seat. But that’s OK – I will just take the aisle.”
One again the two of them look at each other (not me) and she once again asks her husband (again, not me as if I’m not really there): “What?”
Me (directly to the grandma, who has that deer-in-the-headlights look, disturbingly similar to the look the woman who practically ran me over in her car**): “Is that your seat?”
In case you weren't aware, “B’idunno” is a substitute for the phrase “I don’t know” and is commonly used by indifferent teenagers. It is rarely spoken by anyone over the age of 22, let alone an old lady. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to get any other answers or response out of the old bird (frankly, I was expecting a “My goodness! I am sorry for sitting in your seat!”), I just settled into the aisle seat and no further words were exchanged.
And of course I tried to sleep during the flight but was continually woken by the banging of the snack cart, fat people walking down the aisle, and the icing on the cake - the old couple next to me having to evacuate their bowels not just once but TWICE during the 4 hour flight. Moving forward, I do believe that I will no longer be nice to old people (that I'm not related to) - they try to kill me or deprive me of much-needed sleep.
* I suppose this point is debatable.
** Just be warned that as time goes on that whole biking incident story is going to get more dramatic – by next month I will be referring to this story as “the time I was almost killed.”
Monday, November 19, 2007
The last two years I've used dedicated a Thanksgiving post to all the things that I'm thankful for that year. Which, besides eating my body weight in a variety of carbohydrates is the point of Thanksgiving, right?
This year I am getting out of town early (tomorrow) to Portland to visit friends, hike Forest Park, snowshoe, eat deep-fried turkey and quite possibly hit Mary's Club. Most of my local friends are getting out of town this year, which is cool- the weather here is shitty. Not that Portland will be much better, but I'd rather be in shitty weather near the mountains and ocean than in Chicago.
It has been a tough year for me and some of the people I'm close to, and it's hard to look back and feel good about a lot of it. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty that I'm thankful for (Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Capes, and the people who wear them; Crowded House reunion; The fact that I got off my ass and went back to school) but mostly I'm just going to focus on the fact that all the people in my life are healthy and strong, and that we're alive to experience another Holiday season. I also want to thank all the people I've met- and become friends with- through this blog.
I get a(nother) hangover just looking at these pictures.
There was good food. And lots of drinks. A panda. And cape wearing.
I forget - is it a true sign of a successful evening if you end up passed out hugging the toliet bowl? Or is that an unsuccessful evening?
If nothing else, the Twinkie Cake turned out really well.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Second Coming of Loaf is happening this weekend. On the agenda:
- Twinkie Cake
- Tiki Bowl Drinks
- Interpretive Dance
- Lots of Drinking
And more like this:
Anyone made tiki bowl drinks? I'm less scared of that one, since as long as it has lots of different alcohols and pretty blue, green, pink or orange colors it is bound to be good. Plus, my last foray into mixology was a success. Sort of.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
For the past three months I've been juggling, rather successfully I think, the management between working full-time and going to school. At times it has been a struggle being able to do both but so far it has been OK. Sometimes I've had to run (literally) from my office to class in order to turn in an assignment on time. There was this one instance where I had to miss class due to a big announcement at work (and because of that almost missed out on some needed extra credit), but that was only one time. Also, switching the gears in your brain from work topics like: ERP, SaaS, unified communications and VoIP to school topics like: phagocytes, telophase, osteoclasts and red bone marrow can be a challenge, but still manageable.
That's all changed today. Today I am rather screwed. I have just finished a huge work report (the biggest one of my entire contract) that took many many hours to complete. I tried to finish it this weekend but of course some situations I could control and some that I couldn't kept me from it. I spent much of last week on it. I spent most all of yesterday on it. My alarm went off at 5:05 this morning so I could get up and finish it.
The Good news is that I just turned in my draft and for the most part is that I'm done. The Bad news is that I'm brain dead and useless for the rest of the day.
The Worst news is that now I have to cram 7 hours of studying into the next 5 hours because I have a Bio Exam at 5:30. An exam that I pretty much have not had time to study for since I've been focused on this work report. Fuck.
Yeah, so I guess I should be studying instead of blogging.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
One of the reasons I love Recken is our shared belief that Yer Momma jokes are not only ripe for a comeback, but also appropriate for any occasion. When she and Kate came for a visit a few weeks ago, pretty much every conversation ended with Recken saying, "Yer Momma."
For example, I might share a deep personal revelation like the fact that I'm deeply concerned about the strange mole that's formed on my shoulder, and she'd reply with "Yer Momma."
It was very endearing.
The problem is that when the going gets tough, I'm not sure she's capable of bringing her A Game. Case in point, the following is a text message interaction we had this weekend:
Recken: "These are the best pants you've ever seen." (Ed. note: inside joke)
Me: "Yer momma."
Recken: "Yer momma's so fat she needs her own zip code."
Me: "Yer momma's so fat she heard it was chilly outside she ran and got herself a bowl."
As of this writing (a good 24 hours later), still no response from Recken.
Labels: Yer Momma
Thursday, November 08, 2007
... My prayers have been answered. (Thanks, Classy, for the tip.)
In other news: On my bike ride into the Loop today, I was actually hit/sideswiped by a car. As in, my body actually came into contact with the car. I was riding in the bike lane, and the driver came up next to me and tried to make a right-hand turn, pushing me to the curb.
Luckily she was going slow, but I wasn't. She didn't hear the initial "thud" sound of me coming into contact with her rightside back door, but she did hear the "thud" created as I kicked - hard - at her back bumper.
She stopped the car and I swung around to the drivers side window and the hilarious* conversation that ensued went like this:
Me: "You hit me!"
Me: "You HIT me. With YOUR CAR!"
Me: (Sensing that she did not speak English, I made hand gestures showing her car [left hand] running into me [right hand]): YOU HIT ME WITH YOUR CAR. YOUR CAR HIT ME. ON MY BIKE."
Her: "Oh... Sorry. I sorry."
(At this point a few people on the sidewalk had stopped, but I didn't care if I was making a spectacle - I was fucking pissed.)
Me: "You need to pay attention to where you're going! This here is a bike lane. For bikers!"
Her: "I sorry."
I'm reasonably confident, based on my interaction with her and the general condition of her vehicle, that she didn't have insurance and had something happened, my own insurance would have been picking up the whole fucking tab. This woman made no attempt to ask if I was OK; she was more concerend about trying to get away. Fucking people.
* And by "hilarious" I of course mean "so help me, if I had a knife I'd gut you like a grouper."
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Remember a time in the not-so-distant past when life was simpler, and pop music offered a cure to all of society's ills?
Me neither. But two recent reunion announcements have me thinking I'm in for some juicy sweet, aurally satisfying and blissful musical moments over the next several months.
Spice Girls Reunion
They've teased us before, but this time it is really happening. New single, new greatest hits album and a reunion tour.
Despite the full page ad in the Chicago Reader (huh?!?) a few weeks ago for it, they will not be coming to the Windy City. I suspect this is largely due to the fact the Girls couldn't locate Chicago on a map (except maybe Mel C, who everyone knows is, like, the best Spice Girl).
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Happy Halloween, y'all.
Unlike last year's big to-do, this year I'm maintaining a low profile (see above illustration). But I would be remiss if I didn't do something to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, so I bring you the 6 Things That Scare Me:
- People I don’t even know trying to become my friend on Facebook.
- People still wearing those “Live Strong” bracelets.
- Killers who lure victims to their home via fake Craigslist ads. Guess I’ll be buying a TV via the old fashioned way, then.
- Celine Dion appearing on my Pandora Radio. (If you’re not familiar with Pandora, it is an online radio station where you tell it what bands and songs you like, and it populates your playlist with songs based on your recommendations and a complex algorithm.)
- Senator Larry Craig, specifically that he is still a Senator.
- Backfat (specifically mine).
Thursday, October 25, 2007
- Forgot my log-in password
- Jesus told me to
- Sharting emergency
- Put in a corner (like Baby)
- Thrilling and electrifying collar poppin'
- Prolonged and exhilerating trannie vacation
- Still recovering from tragic and embarrassing (yet completely unsurprising) Cubs loss during playoffs
- Paul Poon
- Debilitating shame over my love for Martina McBride
- Dick Cheney
- Protesting Oracle’s bid for BEA Systems – take that Larry Ellison!
- Grueling Harpsichord lesson and competition schedule
- Arrest and subsequent incarceration for something my lawyer has advised me not to speak of until the lawsuit is settled
- Nightly, athletic and exhausting visits from a Succubus
- Hellen Mirren's boobs
- Extreme headband wearing
- Gender re-assignment surgery
- Gender re-assignment surgery gone awry
- Incapacitating hangovers
- Just couldn’t be bothered
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The [Cherry] Ride Underrated List (in alphabetical order):
- Arnold Palmers (with or without alcohol)
- Cate Blanchett
- Cellular respiration (close second: Synaptic transmission)
- Chicago (close second: Boston)
- Geico commercials (but not so much the Caveman ones)
- Interpretive dance
- John Adams
- Lazy rivers
- Long Island iced teas (close second: Gin rickeys)
- Monday nights (close second: Friday mornings)
- New Zealand
- Sport coats
- VH-1 reality shows
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
This month's Radar Magazine features their "Hype Report" - a list of the 44 Most Overrated Things. Not a bad list (I agree with their assessments on #4 Brad Pitt, #27 Jake Gyllenhaal and #42 Twitter), but I think I can do better.
For example, they list "cupcakes" as #2 (huh? cupcakes are awesome!). And "blogging" comes in somewhere close to the top. Which is crap since everyone knows it should be #1. So without further ado:
The [Cherry] Ride Overrated List (in alphabetical order):
- Alan Greenspan (retire already)
- Anything and everything related to American Idol (except Kelly Clarkson)
- Broadway plays based off old TV or movies
- Brooklyn (get over yourself already)
- CBS (Two and a Half Men? Cold Case?)
- Flip flops (sure, I'm as guilty as the next person, but unless you live in the tropics or are heading to the beach, these should not be worn)
- Green (the color, not the movement)
- Google (Trust me: No company is more evil than one whose motto is "Don't Be Evil')
- High School Musical (especially that Zac kid)
- Irish Pubs (Not located in Ireland. Wow, I can order a Guinness! Gimme a break.)
- Miami (close second: Seattle)
- Perez Hilton (I saw him on MTV and I hate this fucker.)
- Pixar movies (with the exception of The Incredibles, of course)
- Ringtones (So your phone belts out Fall Out Boy when it rings. You're a douche.)
- Sushi (Overpriced bourgeoisie bullshit)
- Text messaging
- Vanity Fair
Coming soon - the [C]R list of the 20 Most Underrated People, Places and Things.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
In what I'm sure will be a regular update on the [C]R, I must point out that American Apparel is now selling more ridiculous shit. In this case it is eyewear, as evidenced on their website.
What the hell is this? Not only are they ugly, but aren't these all the same glasses?
PS - I think I would actually punch someone in the face for wearing the "Hanover" style. Just a warning to you Wicker Park doucheburger hipsters.
Labels: american apparel
Monday, September 17, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Other people my blogroll can give you better descriptions about what happened at this year's Lollapalooza, Aug. 5-7 in Grant Park (yeah, it was a month ago, get over it) than I can. But I will say that it was fun. Not as good as last year, but a good time nonetheless.
AT&T, a major sponsor of the festival, "accidentally" deleted an anti-Bush comment by Pearl Jam as part of their webcast of the event (apparently AT&T did the same thing last year during the Flaming Lips set?), so that was really awesome. I love AT&T. Also, I could not make long distance overseas calls in the AT&T tent, like I could last year. And the little plastic fans they gave out were useless landfill. So in my opinion, their presence as a sponsor is totally useless. AT&T sucks and needs to go.
I did want to discuss, however, how awesome me, Richard and our friends Tomas and Sarah are because we got ahold of some sweet-ass superhero capes and wore them on Days 2 and 3 of the show, as seen in the photo below.
Why did we wear superhero capes to Lollapalooza, you ask? Because we are awesome, I said (geez you people need to pay attention).
Here's pretty much how it happened. On Friday, after a few* drinks of vodka and Smartwater (yeah, it tasted about as good as it sounds), and Budweiser Select (yeah, it tasted about as good as it sounds too) and watching the antics of the keyboardist from Ghostland Observatory rocking a cool sliver cape, a history-making conversation ensued that went something like this:
Sarah: "Check out the keyboardist's cool cape. So sweet."
Me: "Yeah, that is awesome. People don't wear enough capes these days. This is a major problem with society, I believe."
Sarah: "I wish we had capes that we could wear to Lollapalooza!"
Me: "Yeah! Like, if each of us had a sweet sparkly superhero-looking ones."
Sarah: "Yes! With those cool old-school big collars."
Richard: "We could each have different colored ones. I want a red one."
Me: "This is actually one of the best ideas ever devised in the history of mankind. ** Let me make a few phones calls."
Some of you may remember how my Grandma made my and Niner's cool Panda costumes for Halloween last year (chronicled here and here). Grandma was a professional seamstress for decades, and she loves making stuff for me - since I will never give her great grandkids, in times like this I can serve as both her grandson and great grandson. When I called to ask if she could whip out four different colored adult-sized shiny capes with collars in less than 24 hours, she didn't bat an eye.
According to my mother, who went with Grandma to the fabric store, there was a conversation between with the clerk that went like this:
Grandma: "I need 3 yards each of the following fabrics."
Clerk: "Wow, how colorful! What is this for?"
Grandma: "I am making my grandson and his friends some capes."
Clerk: "How adorable! Is your grandson in a play at camp or something?"
Clerk: "Is this for a school project then?"
Grandma: "No, he just wants them for some concert he's going to. For Halloween, I made him a panda costume."
Clerk: "Is your grandson a special needs child or something?"***
And so it came to pass. For most of Saturday and parts of Sunday, we walked around all day with our capes on, like we were superheroes, like it was the most normal, logical thing a person could do (it helped that we drank heavily again). We got a few looks, but we also got even more "awesome!" and "sweet capes, dudes!" comments. Everyone was jealous of our awesomeness.
Plus, it made us easy to spot when we got separated from each other.
* And of course by a "few" I really mean a crapload - or, at least enough to make the idea of wearing capes to Lolla seem like a good one.
** OK, maybe I didn't really say that. But I can tell you that I was so excited about wearing a cape that I was at least thinking it.
*** OK, so the clerk didn't say this, but ten bucks it was what she was thinking.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
As much as I enjoy sharing intimate stories of my unhealthy eating habits and involuntary bowel movements, I don't often talk about many of the more personal stuff that happens in my life, including my job.
Sure, I've complained about it every once in awhile, but for the most part I've kept my job experiences off the Interwebs. Mostly because we all hate our jobs (right?), and because I lived in constant fear that my bosses would somehow stumble across this site and, being the technophobic luddites that they are (there is no talking on cell phones, web surfing or IMing allowed at my place of business), they'd fire me on the spot.
I had not been happy with my job for many months and had been planning an exit. Recently, our agency lost a major account (through no fault of our own; they were getting bought out and needed to suspend all ongoing marketing efforts) and because of this (and some other stuff) productivity and billable hours across the office were down, and there was a sense that things would not be improving anytime real soon. I saw this development as one opportunity for me to discuss my eventual exit in a rational manner with my bosses.
To make a long story short, I found myself one day in a conversation with my boss where I suddenly decided it would be a good time to talk about the future. For the sake of brevity and simplification, the conversation(s) went like this:
Me: "Boss, I don't think this job has been a good fit for me and I think it is time to discuss a transition strategy. And since we just lost a major account, I think this is as good a time as any."
Boss (rather offended): "I'm well aware of the financial stability of this company and don't need you to tell me. Let me think about it and get back to you."
Scene II (a few hours later):
I get a call from my boss to come into the conference room. I enter the room and see him and the other partner sitting with a small stack of papers.
Boss: "We've discussed the conversation from this morning and we've decided that we don't want to pay you to sit around and look for another job and that your last day of employment with this company will be today."
Boss: "So you have two options. You can work through the end of today, or you can sign these papers here and leave right now. We've cut you a check to cover you through the middle of the month, plus another check for your owed vacation time. The choice is yours.
Me: "I will just leave now, then."
And in a matter of 30 minutes I had cleaned my desk, handed over my keys and was a free man. And the thing is, I think I was/am supposed to feel bad or upset about it, but the truth is that I had been feeling extremely free and optimistic. Sure, it is not the way I wanted it to end, but I've already started a new job (I've started my own consulting business -- wow,it feels weird to write that -- where I'm making good money, can essentially set my own hours, work from home, not have to put on pants) but I now realize how much more of a stress and source of unhappiness that job was for me now that I am out of it. I've used my free time to enjoy the sunshine, connect with friends, and start exercising again. I've stopped shaving and am loving it.
I also started taking classes again so that I can apply to nursing school - but that is another story entirely.
PS - If you're looking for a good online distraction, especially while at work (because really, when and where else would you possibly be looking for a good online distraction anyway?), I highly recommend the game "Five Minutes To Kill (Yourself)" from AdultSwim.com. In it, you run around the office to find items and co-workers to help kill you off so that you don't have to attend that team meeting in 5 minutes. Good fun.
Monday, August 20, 2007
(Note: If you're looking for a satisfying payoff to this story -- i.e. how the [C]R successfully stalks the great Neil Finn -- go see a Hollywood movie. Because this is real life. And plus, I'm not that lucky.)
This weekend Crowded House descended upon Chicago and rocked my lame ass. To show my appreciation, I decided it would be appropriate for Neil Finn to meet me and realize what an amazing person I am and maybe invite me to hang with him back in New Zealand or at least write a song about me.
I had a great partner in crime in my efforts, Richard (who also bought the tickets for us to the show back in May, the day they went on sale). With help from Niner, Richard and I determined that the band was staying at the Hotel Sax, the former House of Blues Hotel, located right next the HOB, where the magical concert happened.
As I have no real life of any kind, my plan was to arrive in the early afternoon Saturday and essentially hang out in the hotel lobby all day, waiting for Neil to walk through, and then make the Magic happen. This proved to be a pretty easy feat, since nobody there seemed to notice us sitting on the plush couch directly in front of the elevator bank (also, there seemed to be no other groupies around so I was feeling optimistic). So Richard and I sat there in the lobby for about an hour until we started getting really bored.
Richard has plenty of experience in meeting rock stars and knows all the tricks. He suggested that we also hang out in the hotel bar after the concert, and asked the bellhop how late "after the show" the bar would be open (as if to imply he was part of the CR entourage. He was very believable). He also suggested we walk across the street to the HOB to see if perhaps the band was there doing a sound check, so we did. As good an idea that it was, we pretty much got nowhere.
He then suggested we scope out the stage door. We were able to determine that the door was one flight underground, making it a bit difficult access. To make a long story short, we had to walk three blocks west of the HOB, take a parking garage elevator to a sub-basement floor, bust through an alarmed door, endure the stench of vomit and walk through the darkest underbelly of Chicago alleyways. But we found the stage door, and after assessing the situation mapped out a plan to come back both before and after the show (if need be) and meet the band as they entered/left the venue. Because we are clever like that.
Because stalking is demanding work, we decided to leave and return at 6 (doors opened at 7:30), meet up with friends for a drink in the hotel bar and get friendly with the wait staff in case we needed their help after the show (see how smart we are??).
Fast forward to about 8 pm, with Richard and I comfortably seated at the hotel bar with 4 Long Island Iced Teas, a couple of beers and at least a rum & coke between us. The idea of hanging out at the stage door before the show starts seems like both a distant memory and silly at the same time (damn you LIIT's!).
We head into the venue and meet up with our friends, who are standing about 25 feet from the stage. This is where I am supposed to talk about the concert itself. Yes, it was amazing. But the crowd really sucked because everyone around us was old and had forgotten what it is like to go to a general admission concert, and a few skanks and assholes directly in front of us didn't know any fucking words to any CH songs, nor would they dance, and kept looking at their watches. What the fuck is the point? Go back to Naperville and watch "Two and a Half Men" you fucktard douche nuggets!
Neil and crew sounded and played great, rocked most of my favorite songs and truly put on a good show. They came out for two encores, and played until (I think) about 12:30. When they played "Heaven That I'm Making" (from their new album) and "Better Be Home Soon" I may have cried a little. But because it was dark nobody saw me so therefore you'll never know.
Oh, also, early in to the show, during a quiet lull, I yelled out "I LOVE YOU NEIL FINN!" (Apparently the show was recorded so I'm sure my love profession is now history.) Although I am sure he heard me, he didn't acknowledge. He didn't have to. Because he knows and understands the special bond we share. However, the people around me did acknowledge, and everyone turned and looked at me like I was a freak. "What?" I said. "Somebody had to say it!" Only Richard laughed.
Since this story is really long, let me cut to the end of the evening. After the show, we went outside and snuck down into the alley and stage door. During the concert Richard noticed a lot of people with VIP passes, which meant there was probably going to be a long meet and greet backstage after the show, which also meant that we'd be likely waiting a long time outside for them to come out. By this point, we were both really tired and I was becoming extremely comfortable with the idea of not hanging out at the stage door for an hour or so.
Plus, a big security guy stopped us when we arrived, asking us what we wanted. I decided to let Richard do the talking, and the conversation went like this:
Big Security Dude: "Whaddya want?"
Richard: "We're just waiting for Neil and Nick." (See, I told you he was good.)
Big Security Dude: "Nuh-uh. You can't be down here."
Richard and Me: "OK then. Have a good night."
And that is the end of my story. Before we went back to the street, Richard did snap this photo of me in front of their tour bus. Sadly, this was to be the closest I would get to meeting Neil Finn. But the band is supposed to head back into the studio in December to record their next album (yes!), so there will be a next time. Did you hear that Neil? Our Time On Earth* will come. We will be Together Alone** soon.
** So was that, so keep laughing.
Friday, August 17, 2007
O Yes you certainly will.*
* And I mean that in a completely non-creepy, non-obsessive way, of course.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Like a rash or pandemic, several weeks ago my e-mail inbox began flooding with messages from both old and current friends and acquaintances, asking me to join the Facebook community. I had received requests before, but for whatever reason, in mid-July it seemed everybody was doing it, so I caved.
When i started, I spent about an hour getting my page set up, adding friends and cute little applets, like a "fun wall" and a "places I've been" map (which seems impressive until compared to those belonging to other friends. Sure, maybe you've been to Copenhagen, but I've been to Hutchinson, Kansas bitches!). I sent out a few messages to people in my network, sent back a few "pokes" to people, joined a few clubs - now I'm a member of a "Chicago is awesome" network and a Patty Griffin fanclub. Yippee.
As I went through it, I thought to myself, "this is kinda boring" but figured I'd get into it. Since there are, like, millions of members I figure it must be pretty fun, right? Daily, I'd get virtual gin & tonics sent to me from friends inviting me to join them for Happy Hour. I've now got craploads of virtual drinks saved up (which I do appreciate friends!) but I stare at the row of beers on my Facebook page and all it does is depress me that I'm not really out getting drunk.
And then there's that whole aspect where now everyone in my circle knows every move I make online. Now, all 28 people in my network get a little notice saying "[Cherry] told his brother to fuck off" or "[Cherry] joined the 'I'm Turned On by Little Superstar' Network on Saturday." Awesome for me.
And do I really want to accept the invitation to join the network of some guy who lived on my floor freshman year in college that I haven't seen since then? First off, how did that freak find me? And secondly, I'm afraid if I reject his offer he'll come after me with one of the many hunting rifles that he'd keep hidden in his closet and show off during our floor progressives.
Who are these people who say they spend hours a day on Facebook? How? And Why? While I'm not complaining that I've got great friends in my Facebook community, who has time to keep all this up? Is there something else about this whole movement that I'm not getting? Something else I should be doing besides poking other people and sending them drinks? Am I missing the point?
As far as I can tell, Facebook is pretty much only good for one thing: reminding me of the birthday's of people in my network (btw, Happy Birthday Kathy!). I'm pretty sure I'm over it. I think I'll stick to my tried-and-true cults, like Blogger and Wang-Wang.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Today's guest blogger is my friend Recken Roll, coming to us all the way from London. Recken and I sat side-by-side together during my working stint there two years ago. I knew we would be friends when she took me out for "dirty Indian" the first of my many late nights there, sent me links to Blagg Blog, and dared me to race her through SoHo, me on foot, her in a rickshaw (long story). I won of course.
However, she failed to tell me that one of my favorite drinks - lager and lime - is actually a "chick drink" and when I told her the exciting story of how I met Jessica Alba in a Carnaby Street shoe store, her only reaction was "So what did you buy?" (She was jealous.)
I begged her to write about something that didn't involve me, but that can be so difficult, given the temptation of such great subject matter. So I take no responsibility for the text that appears below, which was not edited by me in any way...
So to get right to it, The [Cherry] Ride and I spent a lot of time together in London – six quality weeks of sitting just 2 feet away from each other is bound to bring you closer together, right?
We also spent a lot of time in the pub and during those special hours wallowing at the bottom of a pint glass, we had several deep and meaningful conversations. I got to know our friend Cherry pretty well and was often surprised to learn that he had lived such an interesting life for someone so young. I know they always say “what happens at the pub stays at the pub”, but some of this is just too good. Therefore, I’d like to introduce you all to The [Cherry] Ride that I know and love…
ThTop 10 Things You DON’T KNOW About The [Cherry] Ride
All of the facts below are based on one conversation or another I had with Cherry before he left London. *Some* of the details have been filled in from fuzzy drunken memories but dear readers, you should know that all of these are based in truth…even if some of these CherryRide wishes weren’t true:
- The [Cherry] Ride can beat me at arm wrestling…even when I cheat.
- In his early youth, The [Cherry] Ride was one of Madonna’s favorite club dancers. (He worked the cage at the Limelight in NYC where Madge would scout for new talent.) He was even slated to be “dancer on the left” in the Vogue video. Unfortunately, their love affair ended when he stormed out after she refused to let him pop it and lock it during rehearsals. Famous last words as he left the studio: “Vogue is so gay.”
- Following his failed dance career, The [Cherry] Ride moved to Washington D.C. After several years of hard work, he was actually on track to become the top secret service agent to the president…until he sharted in the Oval Office.
- The [Cherry] Ride now lives in Chicago where he is currently writing an auto-biographical screenplay about his troubled youth. I’ve seen an early draft and it’s a beautiful tale of a young man and his personal journey of self-discovery. Although, last I heard, the working title was “Helen Mirren’s Boobs: Proper!"
- The [Cherry] Ride often goes shoe shopping with Jessica Alba. He may or may not be the reason she broke up with Cash Warren. (I really can’t discuss the details.)
- Because of The [Cherry] Ride, all McDonald's in Chicago have a size even larger than the super-size. It’s not on the menu, but when ordering, just ask to be "CherrySized." You’ll get a ginormous burger plus 2 orders of fries, an apple pie and a side of pancakes.
- The [Cherry] Ride once auditioned for American Idol but he walked out of the audition in tears after Paula Abdul crawled over the desk and started licking him and meowing. He never did get to do the robot on national television but it’s still a dream he keeps alive. (The lawsuit against American Idol is pending.)
- The [Cherry] Ride once dressed like a giant panda for Halloween. No, seriously. There is photographic evidence. I can’t make this shit up.
- As many of you know, the [Cherry] Ride collaborates with Dr. Ken, Classy and 5of9er to form the Liars Club. What you may now know is that this is not their first time writing together. They also all share writing credits for “Shake Your BonBon.” That’s right, The [Cherry] Ride is the proud owner of a Latin Grammy AND 2 pairs of leather pants.
- The [Cherry] Ride is filthy gorgeous.