Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy Now?

The blogroll has been restored and y'all are now back on it.
So you can quit your crying already. Sheesh.

[Just kidding. But if I've missed anybody, or you'd like to be added to the esteemed list, send me an email or something.]

Have a great weekend everyone!

PS - type in the words "lost in West Virginia" into your favorite search engine and the above photo comes up. Here's hoping Richard and I don't encounter them Saturday night/Sunday morning - if ever there was a group of serial killers, this be them. If they're working the front desk at whatever motor lodge we roll up to outside of Cheat Neck, WV then lord help us.

Turn It Up Fridays

Despite Julie's notion that "nobody does any work on Fridays" I have to say I've been cranking at work today - finishing off a draft cover story for a client and fixing another's huge-ass PowerPoint presentation - each of which could easily take a day, but I've done both in a matter of 4 hours. Yay for me. So let's get right to this week's TIUF...

Album cover of the day: Cody Matherson "Can I Borrow a Feelin'?" Yikes, Cody. Borrow elsewhere.

Songs you should be listening today: "Starlight" by Muse, and "She's Like the Wind" by R&B act Lumidee (yes, that "She's Like the Wind" and thanks to Laura for the suggestion).

Tomorrow morning Richard and I fly back to DC to finish what we started there two weeks ago but had to postpone thanks to some of them charming locals. Needless to say, I'm a bit
nervous about it all (our luck has not been good on this front) and will be relieved when we're both back on Sunday. To illustrate my trepidation, this week's "Top 10" list is: "Top 10 Metallica song titles to describe my attitude towards driving the minivan full of furniture 12 hours from DC to Chicago" (in no particular order):

  1. Escape
  2. Bleeding Me
  3. Creeping Death
  4. Dyer's Eve
  5. My Friend of Misery
  6. Trapped Under Ice
  7. Motorbreath
  8. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
  9. Whiplash
  10. The Frayed Ends of Sanity

Thursday, February 22, 2007


This is the official 2007 CROOPP (Cherry Ride Obligatory Oscar Prediction Post).

Let me just start out by saying that I don't believe in Hollywood, or the Academy. I only believe in myself. I think I am the only person qualified to give out the Oscars, as I alone understand who truly deserves them. Let me also say that I haven't seen many of the nominated movies & performances, but it really doesn't impair my ability to judge them. So without further ado:

Best Supporting Actress -
Should win: Cate Blanchett
Will win: Jennifer Hudson
Have I seen? Neither

Best Supporting Actor -
Should win: Alan Arkin
Will win: Eddie Murphy (only if nominations closed before "Norbit" came out. If not, he should be fucked)
Have I seen? LMS

Best Actress -

Should win: Helen Mirren
Will win: Helen Mirren
Have I seen? Yes

Best Actor -
Should win: Forest Whitaker
Will win: Forest Whitaker
Have I seen? No

Best Director -
Should win: guy who directed "Babel"
Will win: Martin Scorsese
Have I seen? Neither

Best Adapted Screenplay -
Should win: Borat
Will win: Departed
Have I seen? Borat

Best Original Screenplay -
Should win: Little Miss Sunshine
Will win: Pan's Labyrinth
Have I seen? Both

Best Cartoon -
Should win: Don't really care - "Incredibles" was the only good cartoon ever made. (Sorry Richard, but it's true!)
Will win: Again, don't really care
Have I seen? Not a chance

Best Foreign Film -
Should win: Water*
Will win: Pan's Labyrinth
Have I seen? Pan's

Best Picture -
Should win: The Queen (although I would really love it if "Sunshine" won but it doesn't stand a chance)
Will win: Babel
Have I seen? Of all the nominated films, I've only seen "Queen" and "Sunshine." The others look rather boring to me. Sorry, but that's just how I roll.

* Totally kidding on this one. I have no idea what "Water" is even about.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm Not Really This Boring, Am I?

I took the Super Hero Personality Test hoping I would turn out to be someone cool, like Green Lantern, or Ultra Boy, or Gambit, or even Aquaman...

But it turns out I'm Superman. Bummer.
He's OK and all, but am I really that boring?

You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
[This is their polite way of
"You're a white bread honky
flosses between meals,
enjoys Matchbox Twenty
and obeys all traffic laws. And
you definitely got beat up a lot
as a child."]

So NOT Proper. But whatever, I'm over it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Photo of the Week

Can anyone tell me what the hell is going on in this photo?

I found it during one of my usual client searches on Corbis.

Seriously. I don't even know where to start. Couple questions I posit to the group:
  1. Boy? Girl?
  2. Relation to Little Superstar? Or just one-half of the his new crime-fighting duo?
  3. Is this a hospital room? Insane Asylum?
  4. Does the cat wear the pants in the relationship?
  5. Why would someone take this photo, let alone pose for it?
  6. And why the hell is it available on Corbis?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happiness Is...

  1. new furniture (finally) for the apartment.
  2. a clean car.
  3. weekend walks to find good coffee shops in your new neighborhood.
  4. listening to the new Patty Griffin album.
  5. fresh paint to cover up the old dingy walls.
  6. pb & j sandwiches at 1am.
  7. a new cell phone to replace the one lost in DC.
  8. new shoes.

All these things happened this past weekend. Plus, like Friday, my boss and the firm's two partners are out of the office. Life is good.*

Of course, it should be pointed out that a great deal of cash was spent in order to achieve the above list. Maybe a better (and quicker) post would have been "Happiness Is Money" but that's besides the point. Isn't it?

* OK, this is a really wussy saccharine post for me. I promise to do better next time.

Friday, February 16, 2007


In an effort to keep my blogroll lean, mean and current, I accidentally deleted it. As in, the whole thing. All 30-some near and dear Cherry Reads.


So I'll be re-building over the next few days and hopefully will remember everyone that got erased.

In the meantime, let's all laugh hysterically at someone else's pain (and yes, it does actually get funnier after repeated viewings):

Turn It Up Fridays

I'm going to make Fridays all about music. I started my work day with a voicemail from my manager saying she's out sick today. Additionally three other VPs are out of the office today and I'm pretty sure that means an automatic slack day for me. So crank it, beeatches.

Album cover of the day: Joyce Drake (that's her above; her album includes the gem "I Get All Excited")

Songs you should be listening to today: "Good Stuff" by Schuyler Fisk, "Learning to Breathe" by Nerina Pallot, and a little Shins action - "Turn on Me."

On the way into work, "Sax and Violins" from the Talking Heads came up on shuffle, which got me thinking about what great lyricists they (particularly David Byrne) were, which has inspired the first of my new weekly song title list. This week's is: "10 Talking Heads song titles that could describe how I feel about my life" (in no particular order):

  1. Lifetime Piling Up
  2. Take Me to the River
  3. Blind
  4. Overload
  5. Crosseyed & Painless
  6. Swamp
  7. I Wish You Wouldn't Say That
  8. Psycho Killer
  9. Road to Nowhere
  10. Seen and Not Seen (but mostly the "Not Seen" part)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Does Anybody?...

... actually eat this?
I saw it in the deli today.
Seriously, if you ever have, please let me know when and why, and especially what those white chunks inside the sausages are.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

St. Valentine Was a Sadist

Yeah, y'all know what today is.
Like most of you, I think VD is a pile of crap, but in honor of the occasion anyway let me just say: Richard - thanks for putting up with my seemingly never-ending bullshit. Why you haven't jumped ship by now is beyond me. So thanks, and I love you.

Moving on. Also in honor of the occasion, I found this and thought it to be mildly anti-Valentine's Day in a subversive/not-so-subversive way. Perhaps it can help you improve or save or even sustain your intimate relationship.

According to the site, our sleeping pose is that of the tetherball. Which is pretty much dead-on. The illustration below pretty much depicts how I (the "ball" on the left) and Richard (the "pole" on the right, minus the whole long hair and big boobs thing) sleep at night.

I am a tetherball!

Happy February 14th to everyone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Craptastic Weekend

PREVIOUSLY ON THE [CHERRY] RIDE: "...Richard and I leave tonight for a whirlwind trip to is going to be either the best weekend or the worst depending on how things go..."

To say the weekend was "the worst" would be the understatement of the year.

Let's back up a minute to set the scene: as Richard and I had just signed the lease on a new apartment, we decided to drive out to DC to pick up some furniture in my house there and drive it back on Sunday (in one of my parent's cars no less because they have a big one and I have a Mini, and it was going to cost close to $1K to rent a one way truck).

The trip started out fine - we drove all night Thursday without incident, arriving at my house in DC around 10am local time (about a 12 hour drive) Friday morning. We were tired, but relatively energized to collect and pack some belongings, as well as see a few friends.

From there things went terribly awry. After taking all our stuff from the drive (clothes, laptops, iPods, etc.) into the house and grabbing a quick 2-hour nap, we went back out to the car only to discover that it had been broken into (yes, right in front of my house and in broad daylight) in an attempted car theft. The steering column was completely damaged, the locks broken, the transmission shaft and switch busted and left for dead on the floor of the car.

That's what the cool kids like to call a Buzzkill. When shit like that happens, you're pretty much done. Since we no longer had a vehicle in which to load some furniture into, let alone drive, there are only a few things you can do: call the police to file a report, call the 'rents insurance agent, find a local car repair shop to have the car towed to, and call a tow truck to haul away the poor busted car. All of which we did (with varying degrees of success - more on that in a bit).

Since it was becoming clear that driving the car back to Chicago by Monday morning in time for us to get back to work was simply not in the realm of possibility, we also had to make arrangements to get home. Four options come to mind - rent a car (no thanks; we were no longer looking forward to driving 12 hours back to Chicago), take the Greyhound (we weren't warm to this idea either but looked into it -- 17 hours on a bus + $95 a piece), take the Amtrak (16.5 hours + $95 a piece) or fly (on ATA we could take a 1.5 hour flight and spend $95 a piece - clearly the best option). Note to Greyhound and Amtrak: Nobody is going to pay you $95 for a trip to Chicago when ATA will get you there a good 14 hours quicker for the same exact price.

Anyway, we book a flight back for Saturday evening (the soonest we could get the hell out of DC), and spend Saturday morning at the dealership repair shop in Arlington (where the car sits waiting to be repaired), talking to the insurance company, talking to both the DC and Arlington, VA police about trying to get a police report (which ultimately we do not get because DC Police are Total and Complete Morons) and having brunch with the Diplomat.

(Helpful side note: For those of you coming to DC as tourists/visitors, don't ever get yourself into a situation where you need to rely on the DC police for any help because if you do, you might as well fire up the Bat Signal -- you have just as much hope getting Batgirl to help you as you will from the police and that's the honest-to-god truth. But I digress...)

In a completely unrelated yet equally unfortunate incident, I also managed to lose my cell phone somewhere between leaving the house for the airport and checking my bag at National.* So by Saturday afternoon I am absolutely loving life. Isn't life swell?

So folks, I think it is universally acknowledged fact that we had a shitty weekend. And now, if the insurance company and car repair shop can mutually decide that the car should get fixed sometime in the next few days, Richard and I will be flying back out to DC this weekend to do it all again - get the car from the dealership, pack it up with all our shit, and drive it all the way back to Chicago. Good times.

I defy anyone out there to top their weekend story with mine.

* I could go on here to say that I actually blame ATA Airlines for losing my cell phone, but admittedly details as to how exactly the cell phone became lost are open to interpretation.

Monday, February 12, 2007


As I am still recovering from our horrific weekend in DC (I will write about it more tomorrow, once my hands stop shaking), combined with a shitty work day, I thought it best to seek consolation through junk food. Therefore, this (and only this) is what I had for lunch today:That's right, folks -- not the regular size, but the King Size. Because I was hungry. Not bad for someone trying to cut down on his sugar consumption this year. Yay for me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Let's Drink to That

A year ago yesterday I moved back to Chicago. Was it a good idea?

You bet your ass it was, according to a new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (is this for real?), which ranks Chicago as the "#1 City for Binge Drinking" in the U.S. Sweet - pass me the tequila!

Says Chicago bartender Max Lowe: "It's very much apparent here that drinking is a predominant part of life. Midwest culture is prone to it."


In Other News: Richard and I leave tonight for a whirlwind trip to DC. We're leaving tonight around 9 p.m., driving all night, spending two hectic days trying to say hello to people while we pack up some furniture, then driving back at the crack o' dawn Sunday morning. Huh? Yeah, it is going to be either the best weekend or the worst depending on how things go. Wish us luck.

To many of my DC friends: take this as a preemptive apology if I don't get the chance to see you -- we will be back again sometime this spring for a proper visit.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hipsters Suck

Reading (Not) Carrie Bradshaw's blog yesterday and her rant against Portland Hipsters got me thinking about these unwashed, tatooed pseudo-intellectuals and how much they really bug me.

And like Carrie, I can relate to her frustration with Portland's particular strain of Hipster - the whole movement was just really starting to spread in the last year or two that I lived there, when it was still more of a phenomenon than actual movement.

Then I moved to DC, and was relatively sheltered from the Hipster, because there are none there (OK, there are a few that hang at the Black Cat and lately, from what i can tell from the last time I was there, Cafe St. Ex) . For one, there are no cool-yet-inexpensive neighborhoods in DC for these creatures to exist; and two, it's tough to be a college Hipster when somebody's paying the tuition for you to take classes at Georgetown, GW or American (

Moving back to Chicago I was exposed to the full onslaught of Hipsterness - the scruffy hair, big sunglasses, tight, rolled-up jeans, art school supplies and general disregard for hygiene. We live on the outskirts of Bucktown/Wicker Park (the epicenter for the Chicago Hipster) and one of our favorite coffee shops, Filter, is ground zero.

Perhaps I'm 10 years too old, but I just don't get it. (Granted, even if I were 10 years younger I wouldn't be hip enough to be a hipster, but still.) The whole notion of putting that much thought and work into looking like you don't give a shit about the way you look sorta defeats the purpose, doesn't it? And unless you want to work as a barista or record store clerk your whole life, at some point you need to grow up, buy a comb and a wardrobe, and get a job where you have to look somewhat professional, right? I mean, not everyone can be lucky enough to work in production their entire life.

I think some city's Hipsters are worse than others - NYC/Williamsburg Hipsters have set the bar pretty high; in San Fran, Hipsterdom is a contagious disease, spreading from San Jose all the way to Berkeley. And Portland Hipsters are also right up there, considering most of them have never traveled east of the Cascades.

Curious as to what others think, I've made this week's CRQOW about who has the most annoying Hipsters. Vote, and vote often.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Good, Swift Kick in the NASA

I know there are "legitimate" arguments for why we continue to pour money into our NASA/space program, but for my whole life I've had none of it. Like Prince sang in Sign O' The Times: "Sister killed her baby cuz she could afford 2 feed it and were sending people 2 the moon..."

NASA's 2007 budget is 16.8 billion dollars. Think about that, people. And what do we have to show for it? Diddley squat, I say.

Now more than ever, I think it's time to put a halt to the Space Program, especially in light of this news announcement today about some crazy-ass Space Shuttle astronaut, Lisa Nowak, arrested for attempted kidnapping and battery towards a woman Nowak was jealous of because she competed against her for the affections of another astronaut. Huh? WTF??

[Yikes. Now there's a face for radio...]

You can read the semi-entertaining story for yourself, but I have to point out that Nowak is so crazy she wore diapers so that she wouldn't have to stop along the drive from Houston to Orlando (where the other woman was returning from a flight).

Dammn Nowak - you are one crazy beeatch! One crazy beeatch, I might add, whose salary is paid by the good taxpayers of America. I hope for your sake you bought the generic adult diapers and not the top-shelf Depends. Show a little fiscal responsibility when spending my money, lady.

Let this be the proverbial camel back-breaking straw for the NASA program. It's time to put some of that money towards things that really matter -- like education, health care and the environment -- and not towards funding psychos and the silly space programs they work for.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Since I've done the obligatory pre-Super Bowl post, it is only fitting that I do a quick post-Super Bowl entry.

The Bears were terrible yesterday, no doubt. But:

  • They had a great season, and even Chicagoans who don't follow sports very often (like me) got into the momentum - and that is a good thing.
  • They'll have another strong team next year - and that is a good thing.

Richard and I watched the game with Fred & Laura, ate a lot of velveeta and gummy bears, and had a good time. Richard also made a delicious Chicago Bears cake for the game, and there are leftovers - and these are all good things.

So THANK YOU BEARS for providing some good memories this winter.

In other news: it is fucking freezing both outside and here in my office.*

* This is the only bitching about the cold weather I will do on this blog. At least for today.

Friday, February 02, 2007


OK, this is my official "Good Luck Bears" entry -- my effort to put the positive energy out into the universe, specifically towards Miami.

I had a dream last night that the Bears won, which can only be a good sign (of course in that same dream I was friends with Natalie Portman and we were driving around with her baby in the back seat, but whatever...).

In Related News: 35% of you agree the Bears will win, according to the latest CRQOW (the Colys only got 24% -- losers!).
In Other Related News: Didja know Prince is playing halftime? I wonder if he'll embarrass himself.

This is a photo of my cousin Drew who lives in Florida. he broke his wrist this week and my aunt painted the logo on it. "They'd better win," she told me. "Or I'll have to
paint over it on Monday!"

Here's hoping that won't happen....

This Deal Won't Be Around Long!

When it comes to material possessions, for the past year I've let one principle be my guide: Never own more things that cannot be packed into the back of my Mini Cooper in more than 20 minutes.

That philosophy has served me well these past 12 months, but now that Richard and I are getting a bigger place, filling it with a mattress, some clothes, and a box of old comic books simply isn't going to cut it. I like minimalist, but not that minimal. We need actual furniture. We'll soon be taking a trip back to DC to grab some of the things I left behind, but in general we are starting from scratch.

And like any other couple looking to acquire some furniture on the fast and cheap, we've turned to Craigslist. Let me just say from the get-go that we are fully aware of what we're getting into: buying furniture from Craigslist can be a risky affair. There's often a reason why that shag carpet is for sale
(and it ain't because the owner loves it so much they want others to share in their joy). However, you can get lucky and nab something good -- sometimes you just have to look through a lot of crap to get it; there are pearls to be mined, often you just need to sort through some clams.

I know that everyone has got a Craigslist story. Spend any amount of time on the site and you'll quickly form your own opinions about how good or bad it is. But as I've been scouring the site's furniture listings over the past week I've come up with some
(possibly angry) observations that I'd like to share for those of you who are considering selling stuff on Craigslist. Do us potential buyers a favor and keep these things in mind before you post:

  1. From what I can tell, "modern" to most posters is defined as anything built after the Civil War. Sorry, but just because it was built sometime during the 20th Century does not automatically make it "modern" so please stop using that term for your crappy Palace of Versailles chair. It's not -- not by a longshot.
  2. Apparently "modern" is also code for "piece of shit."
  3. Other code words for "piece of shit" -- "unique" "artistic" "adorable" and "IKEA."
  4. Speaking of IKEA, you've got some balls selling your IKEA shit for the price you're asking. Fresh-off-the-shelf IKEA is already pushing the limits of quality. But used IKEA furniture is just plain wrong. A good price for your used IKEA Poang chair? How about Free.
  5. More power to you if you think someone will actually give you money for this. Or this. Or this. Or these. Seriously Buena Suerte.
  6. Would it kill you to post a photo of your "beautiful antique Persian rug"? Nobody is going to drive over to view it without seeing a photo first.
  7. And if you do with to take a photo and post it, try using the flash or maybe turning on a light so that I can actually see what your kitchen set looks like. I don't care that it sits in the basement. A little light would be nice.
  8. I honestly believe that every single puffy leather(y) couch (you know the ones - they look like giant half-chewed pieces of salt water taffy) ever manufactured is available today on Craigslist. Every single one. In every color.
  9. Three years ago you bought a dining room set for $1,400. Congratulations. Don't try and sell it today on Craigslist for $1,100. This is Craigslist - home of the cheap. If I wanted to spend $1K on a dining room set, I'd just buy a new one.
  10. Nothing screams "I can't sell my furniture!" louder than the phrase "This deal won't be around long!" -- Uumm, yeah. Yeah it will. It's ugly.
  11. Do people really buy used mattresses off Craigslist? Really? Isn't that a bit like buying used underwear from Craigslist?
  12. For Pete's sake, please at least pretend to be literate and proofread your ad before you post. To the enterprising guy who can assist if I need help "muving" my furniture: Even if I did, I'd probably go with someone who could at least spell at a third grade level. Sorry, but that's how I roll.
  13. To about 25% of the posters out there: Please, please, please stop throwing around terms like "mid-century modern" and "Eames era" -- you clearly don't know what those phrases mean. They're not buzzwords for "I think my stuff looks cool and you should buy it." Charles and Ray would be turning in their graves if they saw that piece-of-shit brass and marble console table you're selling.
  14. Speaking of brass: If you're selling it, here's a tip: Determine what you think you could sell it for, and then immediately slash the price by about 75% from that. Because that's how much you'll probably get for it.
  15. POSTING YOUR AD IN ALL CAPS IS NOT GOING TO MAKE ME BUY IT ANY FASTER. Learn some basic Web etiquette, douchebag.
  16. Save the backstories for your family or friends who give a shit. I don't know your grandmother and don't care that she brought it over with her from Poland, nor do I care about your loving relationship with her. Keep it simple and tell me how much you want for it.
  17. Believe it or not, "platform" is an actual style of bed with specific characteristics. It is not simply defined as "anything that keeps the mattress off the floor." So your four poster bed is not a platform. Neither is your princess canopy. Or your leather headboard bed. Educate yourself on what it is, and stop throwing the term around to describe yours.
  18. If it is indeed the "Coolest Dining Table in the World" like you advertise it is, then why didn't it sell two weeks ago the first time you posted it? Not looking so cool to me now.
  19. While I appreciate that you need to unload your baker's rack ASAP, posting it and then re-posting it every 30 minutes just makes you an asshole.
  20. There's a fine line between "antique Asian" and "Wickes' going-out-of-business."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Have It Your Way" My Ass!

When New York passed the trans fat ban, I applauded.
When Starbucks announced they were purging their foods of trans fat, I said nothing.
But I can no longer sit idle as this silly trans fat ban hits too close to home.

That's right folks, Burger King has announced it will begin cooking without trans fats. This has clearly gone too far.

Lord help me if my Triple Whopper or my Quadruple BK Stacker (which is, in case you don't know -- 4 beef patties, 4 slices of American cheese, 8 strips of bacon, BK Stacker Sauce, 1000 calories, 620 calories from fat, 68 grams of fat, 30 grams of saturated fat, 240 mg of cholesterol, 1800 mg of sodium, and 34 grams of carbs -- I mean, How Yummy Is That???) begin to taste less delicious.

Who is next, Dunkin' Donuts??

Socially-mandated health regulations be damned!! If I want coronary heart disease, increased risk of obesity and diabetes and liver and erectile dysfunction, then by God I have the right to get it through my fast food consumption!

Who's with me on this one?

Anyone? Anyone?


IN OTHER NEWS: R.I.P. Molly Ivins - you will be missed!
IN OTHER, OTHER NEWS: I ate a burrito for dinner last night and I'm still full as of 1pm the next day. Thought you should know...