Tuesday, September 09, 2008

State of the Blog: Flatlining

Saturday afternoon I attended a barbeque and had a conversation with two friends, one of whom is currently a blogger, the other a former blogger. Our conversation went something like this:

Ex-blogger: "So, are either of you blogging these days?"

Blogger: "Not so much these days."

Me: "Not really, no."

Ex-blogger: "Yeah, it just got too tedious for me."

Blogger: "Plus, it's cyclical. Right now there's nothing really exciting going on in my life that people would want to read about. Who cares that I went out and had a few drinks last night?"

Me: "Exactly. Plus, who has the energy?? I mean, I could go out on Friday night and try to have some fun, or I could just stay home and eat ranch flavored Wheat Thins with EZ Cheese while watching HGTV and continue to not study."

Ex-blogger: "Exactly."

Blogger: "Totally."

Me: "Fuck yeah."

The above conversation pretty much exemplifies how I feel about blogging these days. It would be one thing if I was too busy (I'm not) or was focusing my energies elsewhere (I'm not. Sorta.), but neither of those things is true. I'm simply just not really into it right now. And it has been that way for many many many many weeks now.

So I'm taking (yet another) little hiatus. A breather. Probably for a month or two until hopefully I re-charge my blogging batteries. Maybe longer, maybe not so long. But I won't be completely gone - I'll just be living vicariously through those on my blogroll. 

Ciao for now, bitches. Proper!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

PEST FEST [b!]: The Ride Home (Part 2)

(Ed. Note: Part One is here.)

So I make it out of Wyoming into South Dakota, and it's the middle of the afternoon and it's hot and I've been drinking this 3 liter jug of water just to keep from dying so of course I have to take another leak. Like real bad. Luckily the South Dakota Visitor's Center is just inside the border so I stop and make a dash for the bathroom because I have to go so bad that I'm practically pinching my peen like I'm a 4-year old kid.

I walk in the door and I'm immediately assaulted by the old volunteer couple working the front counter: "Welcome to South Dakota! Where you from? Where you headed to? Do you need a map?" Christ, it's like if these two gam-gams don't find out every little piece of information about me that very instant they're going to die or something. Within about 22 seconds I learn that the old guy used to teach at a prison in Oregon, and the old lady loves steak and is recommending places to eat in Rapid City. 

I couldn't get a word in edge wise, and all I want to do is book a leak! It's like these two are so starved for conversation like I'm the first person they've seen in about a decade. Swear to God, if I ever retire and say that I want to volunteer at some visitor's center, just shoot me dead right there.

So after I go to the bathroom I feel like I need to talk to them a little or else they'll commit suicide or something, so I ask the guy to recommend the best way to get to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. He says that I could continue on 90 and get off at some exit, but that he'd recommend the scenic route, so I oblige. 

What a load of horseshit that was. What the old guy failed to mention during his painfully detailed description of Route 385 is that it is some crappy 2-lane highway full of bullshit tourist trap towns and that I'd likely get stuck behind some cement mixing truck (which, no joke, I did) and that what could have been a 40-minute excursion to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse turned into a 2-hour ordeal. 

And I'm sure the old coot wanted me to stop in one of these towns for some special "black hills taffy" or some crap like that to support the local businesses because he probably gets some kickback for every sucker like me who stops in. Swear to God, if I ever see that old guy again I'll show him What's. 

Fast forward about 90 minutes and I finally make it to the Crazy Horse Memorial. Not to be a dick or anything, but what a load of crap that is. They charge you $10 to get in, and all that does is get you is admittance to the Visitor's Center, which is a full mile away from the face of the mountain and has all the usual tourist bullshit - Native American crafts and photos and a concession stand and stuff. You can look out the big picture window and see the progress of Crazy Horse, but it is pretty much the same view from the highway. If you want to get a closer look of the Monument, you need to take a shuttle bus which is another 4 bucks. Total scam. So I snap a photo or two and get the hell out of there. I mean, how many Dreamcatchers can I guy look at, anyway?

So the moral of this story is if you want to go see Crazy Horse, don't bother paying the 10 bucks and going in. Just pull your car over to the roadside and snap a photo that way. And under no circumstances stop into the South Dakota Visitor's Center because the old guy will just convince you to take the long way where you'll die of boredom.

Tune in next time where I tell you about Mt. Rushmore. Another load of crap, that one is.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PEST FEST [b!]: The Ride Home (Part 1)

This is what a large part of Montana looks like. Thrilling, isn't it?

Ed. Note: As [Cherry] is still mentally on vacation, he'll be (once again) channeling Holden Caulfield to help write the next few posts. Enjoy.

So for some reason I thought it might be a fun bonding experience for me and Edmund to drive all the way from Portland to Chicago. What a load of crap that was. Swear to God, there are phonies and idiots everywhere in this country, not just in the major metropolitan areas.

Like on my first travel day Edmund and I decide to drive until we get tired. So around 1:30 in the morning I'm driving through some God-awful town in Montana called Rocker (just try to find it on a map) and the only place to stop is a
Flying J Truck Stop so I pull into the parking lot in the back where there are a bunch of other cars with people doing the same thing as me. So I pull up next to another car and the guy in the driver's seat is awake and looks at me and asks, "So you're sleeping here too, huh?" What a ridiculous question. What the hell else would I be doing here, you idiot? Swear to God, it was like the guy wanted to cuddle with me he wouldn't shut up and all.

And then the next day I'm stopped at another rest stop (still) in Montana to take a leak and this old guy comes up to me and asks me all about Edmund and gas mileage and blah blah blah. And the whole time he's talking to me he's gnawing away on this apple. Just
going to town on this thing. As if he didn't finish eating the goddamn apple that very minute he was going to die of starvation or something. God, I can't stand people like that. You can't put the apple down for a second when you're having a conversation?

And then he asks where I'm heading and I say Chicago and he says to me: "Oh, my wife and I just came from there and we had a
miserable experience."

Huh? A
miserable experience? I can think of lots of places that are miserable -- Port Arthur, Texas? - Miserable; Zacatecas, Mexico? - also Miserable. But Chicago? Gimme a break, asshole. I mean, why would you tell someone from Chicago that you had a miserable time there? What a douchenugget.

What I wanted to say back to him was, "Yeah, I can relate. I'm having a
miserable experience just standing here watching your ass-face power through that apple, you asshole!"

And you can tell the guy was just jonesing for me to ask him exactly why he and his wife had a miserable experience in Chicago but I was having none of it. At this point I wanted to just get the hell out of there and away from all those phonies.

And speaking of miserable experiences, come back later this week to hear about South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore. What a bunch of bullshit that was, I tell you.

Friday, August 08, 2008

PEST FEST [b!]: The New Car


I'm Edmund, and I'm [Cherry's] new car. The [Cherry] Ride's new cherry ride, if you will.

He's asked me to guest blog for him because the bloke's too busy to do it himself, apparently. What, with all the running around eating and drinking and socialising. He gets up in the a.m., comes round to pat my bonnet and wish me a Good Morning and then he's off on his bicycle (
and what is the point of that, I ask you?) and then I don't see him until the evening -- and even then he's usually right pissed. I see more of his dishy mate Shauna than I do of him, actually. It's bollocks.

He finally got around to picking me up from the dealer this past Friday, after putting a down payment on me over three weeks ago. Thought the pisser had forgotten about me, but then here he was and
boom! here I am.

We've had a few good times so far, but not sure this whole thing is going to work out so well. Sure, he treats me right, like a good owner does, but he's a bit of a pansy, methinks, with all this "
I love you, Edmund" chatter. Off his trolley, that one is. I mean, shut up already and take me for a drive down the Coast if you truly love me.

He spends more time with the bike than me, and he's purchased some awful skateboard and is trying to get good enough with it to take that around as well. (But considering he can barely stand on it, I think it will be years before he'll be going anywhere. Besides, he was practising the other morning and went arse over elbows on it -- he'll be dead before too long!)

And to be honest his taste in music is shite. Absolute crap. He says it is because the stations in Portland are no good, but I've had to listen to him belt out some God-awful bloody Celine Dion or something (
he asked that I not repeat that, actually). He's barmy!

He also goes on and on about his last car, called Simon, and how I have big shoes to fill and blah, blah, blah. Complete rubbish. I am my own car and won't be compared to anyone. Besides, I'm strong(er), fast(er) and quite rakish. Devilishly handsome. And I've got both a sun and a moon roof - I'm quite stylish.

Alrighty then, enough for now. Apparently in two weeks I'll be driving [Cherry] back to Chicago -- you know: stretching my legs, showing him what I'm made of and all that. Which will be just fine, unless his taste in music doesn't improve.

PS - for those of you tossers thinking that Edmund is the name for some fat kid who wears glasses and eats paste, Piss Off! I'm the dogs!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The [C]R Interview: 6 Questions with Classy & Fancy

Yes, the much-missed 6 Questions Interview is back this week, with Ms. Classy & Fancy boldly stepping up to the plate.

I started reading Classy's blog about two years ago, immediately drawn to her wit and love of pandas, Anderson Cooper and Monchichis. But when she revealed that one of her all-time favorite words is ointment, well, I was hooked.

Since then, we've crossed over to the dark side and become friends in real life, starting the award-winning* Liar's Club (with Niner and Dr. Ken); we've hung out at Lollapalooza and Smith's Night at Danny's, and she's (kinda) witnessed me vomit. We're tight.

Classy is also going to learn me the Little Superstar dance moves, which she once revealed at a St. Patty's Day party and brought the room down.

PS - It is Her Birthday today too!

So let's get to it:

  1. True or False: It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp. False. You’re all good as long as you keep your pimp hand strong, have the right mixture of ladies (maintain an open market) & don't have to compete on Wayne Brady's turf.
  2. Song Played at My Funeral? The song I want played at my funeral is Sandstorm by Darude because it is one of the most ridiculously awful songs I’ve ever heard, but when played will be sure to make people laugh and possibly do some weird club/euro dance moves. Also, I’ve been known to do a wicked impersonation of it accompanied with some stellar club moves circa 1993. I’d like for that to be the parting memory of me.
  3. Name three actors/actresses who will play you in the movie biopic of your life, ala I’m Not There: The Early Years: Ke Huy Quan (of Short Round and Richard “Data” Wang fame) and I would make him say “Indy, Cover Your Heart!” I would also have to give some halfsies/hapas some work: Meg Tilly (don’t get her confused with her high pitched, buxom sister, Jennifer, maybe this movie will be the one to get her out of retirement); Maggie Quigley (she was in Balls of Fury, I think she could use the help).
  4. If you could change one thing about yourself, it would be…? My inability to finish a book in the last two years, I blame HGTV & HDTV.
  5. Fill in the blank: A ________ is not a _________. A refrigerator is not a food closet.
  6. Word Association: Donut? Holes, Shia Labeouf (that’s three, sorry).

* Award for being the most awesome blog ever.

Friday, August 01, 2008

PEST FEST: Randoms

One week into PF[b!] and things are good.

The rikety old bike that I'm borrowing for my stay is a nasty old bitch of a bitch and I'm not a fan. It is like trying to pedal a lawnmower. I'm on the handlebars even when I'm going downhill. And every evening I have a big hill to climb. It is Total Bullshit, but since I'm sauced most evenings for the ride home, I am surviving.

I purchased a skateboard yesterday. Hilarity will ensue, and stories will be posted shortly.
I am potentially merely a few short hours from being an uncle.

People are really starting to buy the Olympic Fencing Team line. So much so that I'm thinking of taking it up. Or at least reading up on it so that I know what the hell I'm talking about.

Somebody handed me a mango fruit popsicle yesterday afternoon while I was walking down the street. I love this town. (It was wrapped.)

No "Fuck Off Friday" today, but for all of you haters out there, "6 Questions" will be back in all its glory next week.

Gotta go. July is over and I am ready to Rip August a New Asshole.*

* and you can interpret that any way you want.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PEST FEST Day 5: The Hilarious Sitcom

Shauna is ready to pop. She’s due on Monday, but I’m betting that baby is coming Friday. She’s been taking it all in stride, actually, but I think I am starting to freak out a little. We spend a lot of the day apart (her doing her thing, me doing mine) and every time the phone rings I immediately think it is her, telling me to get my ass home to driver her to the hospital because the kid’s head is poking out from between her vag.

Her husband Richard, who has been on an important biz trip in SE Asia, arrives tomorrow (thank God), but I feel like if called upon I am ready to help out. I've got her list of important numbers in my phone, know the quickest route to the hospital, know which questions to ask, read that section of What To Expect When You're Expecting geared towards the husband/partner/gay friend next-on-the-list-in-case-nobody-else-is-around.

Shauna and I have been really close friends for 12 years. She’s really like a sister I never had. There isn’t a whole lot of taboo subjects between us – we’ve seen each other naked (there has been some streaking and skinny dipping in our past); went with each other to get tattoos (ed. note: writing that sounds very strange); have discussed every possible subject with each other; performed any number of super classy body tricks/functions in each other’s presence (this may be more me than her, actually).

Anyway, as close as we’ve been we’ve never lived under the same roof, let alone when she’s been pregnant. Earlier I said that our temporary living arrangement would make a good Bravo reality show, but now I’m thinking it is better served as a quirky comedy on Fox. The part of Shauna would be played by someone like Kate Winslet
(Shauna's a proper British gal from the Lake District, after all).

I’d be played by Paul Rudd or Bradley Cooper, both of whom resemble me (OK, perhaps not even remotely close but shut up and just give me this one, alright?) and could accurately portray the unusual, slightly troubled yet funny and sexy nuances of my winning personality (again, just shut up already).

Imagine Kate delivering these lines (actually said to me by Shauna over the last 5 days):

  • “Are you actually eating a spoonful of peanut butter?? Right from the jar?”
  • “You look different in this photo… quite handsome, actually.”
  • “I noticed that you ate that entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s last night.”
  • “Is that smell coming from your feet??”
  • “You are a negative influence on me. I’m telling everyone that Burgerville was your idea.”

And then there’d be Paul or Bradley, responding to Kate with just a shrug of the shoulders and a look of helplessness towards the camera, and then the audience would burst into laughter and applause. It will be awesome 5000. *

I can only imagine how much better the conversations are going to get once the baby arrives. Stay tuned.

* The show would probably go off the air after 3 episodes and be re-tooled with a talking dog, RuPaul as the neighbor, and me totally out of the picture. But anyway.

Monday, July 28, 2008

PEST FEST [bitches!] Day Three: Olympic Dreams Come True (Sort Of)

60 hours into PEST FEST [b!], and things are rolling. The house Shuana and I are renting is decent, with a deck out back for barbecuing (read: drinking) and nice neighbors. We’re two blocks from Columbia Park and the swimming pool, so there are vague plans for exercising.

At the very least, I’ll be taking Shauna’s dog Jake for walks there (read: I’ll be standing around chucking a tennis ball while Jake fetches it), since we’ve already become BFFs (he constantly follows me around the house and pretty much ignores Shauna now - eat it, Shauna!). Apparently we’re also close to Portland International Raceway, as evidenced by the roar of drag racing car engines (or open-wheeled race car engines, or whatever it is they do over there) on weekend afternoons, which is a good thing because it keeps me close to my whitetrash roots.
I’m mobile now, too, having borrowed a friend’s rickety old bicycle to get around town for the next few weeks. After I post this, I am ditching work for the day (things are slow) and heading into Old Town to buy a skateboard. Unless I wimp out and decide not to get one for awhile, which may happen too.

As the house is only semi-furnished, I’m sleeping on an air mattress (pregnant woman gets the only real bed in the house, whatever). Jury is still out on this one – one the one hand, it makes for a very portable, almost zen-like existence and I can pretty much sleep standing up (last night was my first night on it and I slept like a log; but that might have more to do with the fact that on Friday and Saturday nights I’ve slept a total of 6 hours). On the other hand, it is, well an air mattress.

Side note: about a month ago I got a new debit card from Bank of America, in which some of my purchases go towards financially supporting the US Olympic Team. The debit card has my photo on it and immediately next to it reads “US Olympic Team”, almost as though it is a special debit card for US Olympic athletes, and almost as though I might be one of them. When I’ve used it in Chicago nobody gave a shit, but for whatever reason here in Portland every time I use it I get asked “Are you really on the Olympic Team?” I’ve started answering, “Yes.” You know, just to keep things interesting.

So, if anyone asks, I am totally first alternate on the Olympic Fencing Team. Everyone seems to be buying it, so don’t blow my cover mmmkay?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Now Summer Really Begins: Portland Day Zero

So I’ve been a bit busy these last two weeks and not been lurking on either mine or yourz blogz. And there’s a lot I’ve missed, I gather. My Google Reader is somewhere near 400; Jules is texting my asking if I’m alive; Shain is sending me harassing e-mails (although actually that’s nothing new); Blythe is leaving concerned comments (that’s a lie, actually; Blythe gave up on me long ago); my Technorati authority number is rapidly slipping to 30 (it used to be almost have that); and perhaps the biggest news of all is that Niner thinks he’s quitting Liar’s Club (what he doesn’t understand is the Liar’s Club is like Hotel California, but that’s another matter for another time).

The last two weeks have been really busy with work and school. I won’t bore you with details but yesterday was my Chem final and the culmination of a huge work event, both of which have kept me not sleeping, not eating and generally not in a good mood. I didn’t even really enjoy Pitchfork this year (I think Niner's recap pretty much echoes my sentiments).

Sadcakes all around.

Anyway, that’s about to change. I declare that today my summer truly begins, as in a few hours I’m boarding a plane for a 25-day trip to Portland. I’m calling it “Portland Extreme Summer Trip Festival [bitches!]” (or “PEST FEST [bitches!]” for short).

What will I be doing in Portland for 25 days, you ask? The real question: What will I NOT be doing in Portland -- a little work, a lot of play, some drinking beers in the midday sun, some skateboarding, and lots of catching up with friends (maybe a repeat of this evening, right Recken and Kate??), perhaps a beer with the famous M5K, maybe some kayaking.

My friend Shauna and I have rented a house for the month, and she’s about to give birth to her baby. So it will be a single gay man, a new mother and her newborn baby, and a dog all under one roof for a month. All kinds of craziness may happen (it’ll be just like a really bad reality tv show on Bravo!)

As Kathleen would say it's CHANG TIME. It is definitely Chang Time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Helen Mirren's Boobs

In keeping with my Helen Mirren's Boobs track record, I present you with, well...

Beat that, KAZ!

(And many thanks to Girl Friday for keeping me abreast of this development.) AND JULIE GONG TOO! (Sorry, sweets!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

PopeYes - HeckNo

Popeyes Chicken is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Surprising, I know.

Usually after a night of drinking at Danny's. Or sometimes for no good reason at all, like maybe I happened to be passing by it and didn't feel like making dinner (as was the case yesterday).

Those spicy chicken strips. Those biscuits! I mean, Daay-am.

Let's just say that as of 6 a.m. this morning, Popeyes will no longer be a guilty pleasure of mine.

Never again, Popeyes. Never. Again.
PS - thanks to Niner, Popeyes will now always be known as "Pope Yes." I mean: look carefully at the sign: Pope Yes not Popeyes.

Friday, July 11, 2008

F*ck Off Fridays: Jort Enthusiasts

Did I miss the fucking memo?

Why the fuck are these in style?

Extra fuck off points for pleats. And acid wash.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

Is It Wrong...

... that when I read that Jesse Helms had died this morning, the first thought that popped into my head was:

"God Bless America"?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

2008: Half Empty or Just Half Full of Shit?

Happy July 1, everyone!

Sure, it is Canada Day or something like that,but who cares (Airam)? There are more important things to celebrate - like the year being half over.

If the [Cherry] Clan was back in the Old Country, we'd be celebrating these last 162 Earth rotations of 2008 with a traditional feast of game hen, ginger beer and pole dancing. But we are a long way from the Old Country, I suppose, so instead I'll celebrate the completion of 1H08 by eating Hostess products* and reminding everyone that the days are just getting shorter from here on out (and have been for almost two weeks), so put that in yer pipe and smoke it.

Hard to believe that 6 months ago at this time I was in London drinking heavily, wearing a tiara, and making an ass of myself by shouting at strangers on double decker buses. (Wish I could say that so much has changed since then, but -- considering that just this past Saturday I was drinking heavily, wearing clown accessories and still making an ass of myself -- I guess things are pretty much the same.) Just look at how far I've come in these last 6 months!

Speaking of, guess this is a good time to check in on how I'm progressing on my New Year's Resolutions, to see if I need to make some adjustments for the second half of the year.

2008 Resolutions:

  1. Ace All My Classes. That's about to fall through the floor, thanks to this summer's Chemistry class. I'm adjusting it to be instead: Ace All of My Classes Not Taken During the Summer.
  2. Contribute in a Meaningful Way to the Betterment of Society. Definitely on track for this one. I voted in the Illinois primary; I also gave a woman directions to the Red Line that one night. These definitely count. Kinda.
  3. Eat More Vegetables. Making strides in this area as well. There was a salad in April. And guacamole. Lots of guac (that's like 50% vegetable or something).
  4. Buy a New Bike. Check.
  5. Be A Man About Town, Singing All the Lonely Dirges of My Youth. WTF? I don't even know what this means? I must have been drunk when I wrote that one down. But what the hell, I think I'm actually doing well with this one. Except for the singing part. And the being a man about town part too. Moving on...
  6. Finally Get a Handle on Those Communicable Diseases. Damn, not so much. Maybe I'll just put this one on the shelf for 2009.
I think I had more, but I'm pretty sure I've misplaced** the list.

Here's to a PROPER 2H08!!

* This is really no different than any other day.
** And by "misplaced" I mean "threw that bitch into the trash."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Question of the Weekend

[Cherry] at 1:30 on Saturday afternoon:
"4 Advil, 3 shots, 2 beers. What could possibly go wrong?"

[Cherry] at 8:30 on Saturday evening:
Enough said.

PS - So difficult to decide the best thing about this photo: The clown nose. The unfocused eyes. The look on that other guy's face.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

F*ck Off Fridays: Summer School Chemistry Cast of Characters

Remember that movie Summer School with Kirstie Alley and Mark Harmon and the extremely underrated Kelly Jo Minter (the working man’s Rae Dawn Chong?)? If you need a refresher, check out a little snippet here. That movie was awesome for several reasons, one of which was that the material (summer school) is rife with possibilities. Summer school is for losers, isn’t it?

Seriously: growing up, the only people who went to summer school were the idiots who couldn’t get their shit together during the first 9 months of the school year and had to re-take courses. Or the total geeks who took advanced physics or robotics in summer school in order to score better on their SATs and get into MIT.

Either way, it was for losers.

College Summer School – or, to be more specific: Chicago City College Summer School – is no different. If you’ve read this blog over the last year, you’ve witnessed me complain about the
people in my Biology course, and this time around my Chemistry class is no different. There are some real winners here (Ed. note: I include myself in this, btw.); about 15 of us suffering through this miserable class.

Yesterday morning, right before we took (yet another) a quiz, three people in my class started a shouting at each other like they were getting ready to Throw Down. WTF, people. Seriously, I thought for a moment I was in the movie Dangerous Minds of something. I'm thinking of bringing popcorn to class starting next week.

I know the names of about four classmates, and the others I don’t really care enough to learn. Instead these others have nicknames, which they've fucking earned. These people include:
  1. Fat Tub of Shit Who Makes Snorting Noises When He Breathes guy
  2. Shut-The-Fuck-Up-With-Your-Stupid-Questions girl, aka Read the Fucking Book Already girl
  3. Pseudo Goth boy (who sits behind Fat Tub of Shit in order to sleep during the second half of class)
  4. If-You-Ask-One-More-Time “Is This Going To Be On The Exam?” I-Will-Kick-Your-Ass guy
  5. Always-In-The-Corner-In-Fetal-Position-Sucking-His-Thumb-Crying guy *
  6. Asian-Who-I-Don’t-Think-Speaks-English-Yet-Still-Gets-an-A-On-Every-Fucking Quiz boy **
  7. How Hard Is It to Show Up On Time girl (seriously, she strolls in with her Dunkin Donuts coffee and donut every class period 25 minutes late)
  8. How Hard is It to Remember to Turn Off Your Fucking Cell Phone guy (seriously, every class he cell phone goes off and it takes him about 30 seconds to find the phone in his book bag to shut it off)
  9. I’ve-Broken-a-Glass-Test-Tube-In-Every-Lab girl
  10. Guy Who Hasn't Yet Bought the Book But Really Needs to Because You're a Fucking Moron With All Your Questions
Thanks to all of you, who each in your own special way has made my Summer School experience all the more soul-crushing. Happy Fuck Off Friday to you!

* I-T-C-I-F-P-S-H-T guy may or may not be me

** Yeah, this one is a little racist perhaps. Sue me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So Long, Simon

[Me and Simon, the day I got him.]

This past weekend I said goodbye to a true friend and trusty companion of mine, my car Simon.

I got Simon on July 7, 2002. He was special - a limited Canadian Launch Edition Mini Cooper (number 452 of 500 made) that was one of several purchased in Vancouver, BC and driven down to Oregon by the Portland Lexus dealer. At that time, it was impossible to get a Mini any other way, because the only Mini dealer in the state had not yet received their shipment because of several production delays (those "lucky" enough to get on the one-year list to buy one were originally supposed to get delivery in June but had to wait until late August - suckers!). Because of this, Simon was one of the only Minis in Portland for the whole summer and he turned heads everywhere we went. It was awesome.

Simon was a good friend and we had some good times together. I know it is silly to humanize a heap of glass, plastic and metal parts; to assign it characteristics and personality (to me, Simon had an easy, friendly and yet refined manner), but in the end it doesn't matter - I miss him like he was a real friend.

After all, my car has been through a lot with me; he's seen me at my best and worst -- I've laughed with friends and family in that car; I've cried alone in that car; I've yelled and started arguments; belted out bad 80's songs from the top of my lungs; danced to bad 90s songs in him; made important decisions; experienced both fear and wonder with him; shared secrets and flipped people the "V" in that car. I was driving Simon when my brother called to tell me that our dad had a heart attack and I needed to fly home right away, and when my friend Shauna called to say she was pregnant. Simon has driven me to weddings and funerals, to engagement parties, birthday bashes and memorial services. I've had wildly inappropriate groping and make-out sessions in him. Speeding tickets and near-miss accidents. I was in Simon at the very moment I decided that if I had some balls I would leave my career to become a nurse instead.

I've driven him to and from San Francisco and Seattle and Vancouver and Philadelphia and NYC. He's driven me clear across the country from Portland to DC, and then again a year later from DC to Chicago. I once left Portland at 2 pm on a Friday afternoon and arrived in Chicago by 8am that Sunday morning (that's gotta be some kind of record), stopping only for food and a 2-hour nap in Iowa.

Simon was a good car to me and never let me down. He was broken into twice - once for my cell phone on Christmas Eve, the other for a few lousy CDs. He's had some scrapes and flats, but always ran like a champ until just a few weeks ago. He blew a rod and developed engine troubles, and it would cost me more than $6K to get him fixed - which I was willing to do - but a mechanic at the shop offered me a really great deal, so I decided it was time for Simon to start a second life with some new people that I know will take good care of him and undoubtedly give them some good times too.

So goodbye, Simon. You'll be missed little buddy.

The [C]R Interview: 6 Questions with 5 of 9er

Kicking off the first in my loooooooong, fascinating, and soon-to-be award winning [Cherry] Ride Interview series is the 5 of 9er.

Niner and I met about 7 years ago, back when we were both living in Portland and his soon-to-be wife LP and I worked together, bonding over our mutual hatred for our jobs and certain co-workers.

A friendship with Niner soon blossomed, one where I have photos of him from my Rock n' Roll-themed Halloween party dressed as a Pussycat from Josie and the Pussycats (or were you Josie? I can't remember) and he has a photo of me from their wedding standing in front of the buffet table shoveling food into my gullet.

Now we all live in Chicago, where he makes fun of my general lameness and I nag him to teach me to skateboard before he and LP become parents, effectively ending any free time he will ever have again.

So without further ado:

  1. An unexpected benefit of blogging is..? Friends. Really. I've met some really good people from writing the 5 of 9er. Good people I am glad are part of my life. I've always thought "cyber-friends" were only for dorks, but that is not true. Wait, does this mean I'm a dork?
  2. True or False: Only Love Can Break Your Heart. False. A diet high in saturated fat can with no exercise break it too!
  3. The best quality you don’t possess is…? The ability to make a good first impression when in a social setting... not a business setting. When I don't have to meet people and be charming I'm often stand-off-ish. Or the ability to have some laugh out loud answers on this survey so all of Cherry's readers don't think I'm a boring chode.
  4. Greatest fear? Not being able to find a job... going broke... having to ask my parents if we can move home with them... the seeing if they'll be able to pay for the move... and being completely depressed... and feel like an absolute worthless failure.
  5. Fill in the blank: A ____ is not a _____. A "Queef" is not a "Fart".
  6. You’re going on a roadtrip. Who are your three other car companions (living or dead; real or fictional), and where are you going? Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and, Jerry Reed (aka The Bandit, Frog, and Snowman).We'd be driving to the "Southern Classic" stock car race in Georgia from Texarkana, TX with our load of Coors so we can get paid by Big Enos and Little Eno Burdette! [If you're lost... watch Smokey & the Bandit.]

Friday, June 20, 2008

F*ck Off Fridays

Special Fuck You shout-out goes to my Chemistry professor thanks to four activities over the last two weeks:

  1. I accidentally spilled a little water on my lab report during lab on Tuesday. Because of this, she actually yelled at me for not being more careful. Seriously. Everyone stopped to look. In all my years of college (yeah, there's been a few), I've never been yelled at by a professor. Like I fucking meant to spill water on it. Like I was a fucking 7-year old child.
  2. We had a quiz yesterday, part of which involved identifying the atomic number of a list of elements. One of the elements she gave us - Polonium - was not on the study guide she provided. When the class pointed out to her that it was not on the list and therefore not an element she had asked us to to study, she replied with: "Well, Polonium is an important element and you should know it anyway." You know what else I should know, professor? That I am going to KICK. YOUR. UNORGANIZED. ASS.
  3. Last week I had to leave class 30 minutes early for a work meeting. I didn't tell her I was leaving, I just left. I missed the last 30 minutes of a 3.5 hour class (3.5 hours, people!). Because of this, she marked me absent for the entire class period (and we are graded on attendance)! Fuck you, devil woman.
  4. We had a quiz on Monday. We had a quiz yesterday. We have another quiz on Monday. That's three quizzes over the span of 5 classes. I know this is summer school and therefore by definition it sucks my ass, but it is clear she fully has no intention of any of us having even just a little bit of fun this summer.

Because of these reasons listed above and others, she leaves me no choice but to show up to class one day completely drunk and belligerent. I don't care that it is a morning class.

Enjoy your Fuck Off Friday, Prof!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

6 Questions: The [Cherry] Ride Interviews

I'm starting another regular feature on this blog (since Fuck Off Fridays is going so very well) in which I will ask 6 questions to a different blogger every week. That means if your blog appears on the left, you will be required to participate. It is small price to pay for knowing me (in the blog sense), don't ya think? Yes? Good. Let's move on.

Consider it my version of the Proust Questionnaire that appears in Vanity Fair. I've come up with a list of 21 possible questions, and each week I will select a blogger, e-mail a small subset of these questions for that blogger to ponder and answer, then feature their answers here. My goal is to feature a different blogger every week for a year, since I've got close to that many on my blogroll as of now.

Then, similar to my idea for "100 Drunk Portraits", I am going to compile all the interviews and sell them to Chronicle Books and make a fortune. Or not.

Plus, less blogging I have to do.

First on the chopping block - er, spotlight - is Niner (and not because he is first on the blogroll - it will be a random choosing each week).

The 6 questions will be pulled from this list of 20:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. True or False: It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp
  3. An unexpected benefit of blogging is..?
  4. If you could live anywhere, it would be…?
  5. You rob a bank and need to hotwire a car. Your choices are a Ford Taurus or PT Cruiser. Which do you choose and why?
  6. Your idea of hell is…?
  7. Applying both geosocial and aesthetic values, please look at this city subway map (which will be provided) and pick the stop you identify with most and why?
  8. True or False: Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  9. You are happiest when…?
  10. The best quality you don’t possess is…?
  11. Biggest indulgence…?
  12. Have you ever been close to death?
  13. The song I want played at my funeral is _________ because...?
  14. Name three actors/actresses who will play you in the movie biopic of your life, ala I’m Not There
  15. Greatest fear?
  16. If you could change one thing about yourself, it would be…?
  17. Fill in the blank: A _________ is not a ______________.
  18. Word Association: Donut
  19. One talent I wish I had is…?
  20. Your place is burning to the ground. What’s the one possession (note: this is a thing, not a person; assume all people and pets living with you are safe) you bring with you?
  21. You’re going on a roadtrip. Who are your three other car companions (living or dead; real or fictional), and where are you going?

Monday, June 16, 2008

... And, I'm Back

As you are all tired of seeing the same "It's My Birfday" post for the last week, I've been trying hard to come up with something new and exciting to replace it but frankly I've been coming up a little short.

I thought about writing about how I went to a birthday party Friday night (not my own) and gave a virtually-complete stranger my brand new $250 watch (which was, ironically enough, a birthday present to myself) with no real plan on how to get it back; or how a friend confided to me that I'm his "Number Two Gay" (I thought I was his Number One); or how my new favorite pants may or may not possibly give me the ole moose knuckle; or how awesome it is to try to stand on your bicycle seat while riding through the streets of Roscoe Village at 2:30 am on a Saturday morning; or how Katherine Heigl confirmed today what I've been saying for months now, which is that she is indeed bat-shit crazy; or how I had to explain to my father on Father's Day that when he's feeling thirsty he should try drinking a glass of water instead of a can of Diet Coke because it might be healthier for him and better for his diabetes (he took the news as if it was some newly discovered medical breakthrough that he'd never heard before) or how people need to lay off my Celine Dion incident/confession.

But those are all pretty much self-explanatory.

So I got nothin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yo Shawtie, Its My Birfday

It's true. One year closer to Death. Yay for me.

If you really care, you'll send me a some e-card *
Or, buy me this. "Really, [Cherry]?" you're saying to yourself, "I didn't know you were a DJ!" I'm not, but I think I would be good at it and it would look good in my bedroom - you know, that mystical place where I make the magic happen.**

In honour*** of me getting older, here's a list of things I've noticed about me that I am old-ish. Warning: I know most of you think I shit rainbows and butterflies (and you'd be right), but the following list ain't pretty. But really, it shows how much I love you that I can share so much about me, right?

  • There was a time when I didn't understand half of what the hell was happening on MTV. Now, I don't get half the shit that happens on VH-1.
  • I no longer remember anything that happened in high school.**** Granted, this is likely due to the systematic voluntary willingness to forget it, but still...
  • I haven't figured out how to use my hair trimmer to get at the hair that is now growing out of my ears.
  • True story: I was driving from Seattle to Portland a few weeks ago and heard a lovely song on the radio and thought "Hmm, I kinda like this and the voice sounds familiar but I can't place it." It turned out to be CELINE DION, people. Celine fucking Dion!!!!
  • A hangover, when I get them, now last about a month. I'm still recovering from shit I did in April.
  • On those rare days where I don't shower, I develop some pretty funky smells. This is a new thing for me, because up until about a month ago I was one of those "non-sweaty, non-smelly" people.
  • And can someone please once and for all tell me what the hell a Hollaback Girl is? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? If I was young, I would know such things.
  • I'm contemplating not dressing up for Halloween this year.
* That e-mail address, in case you've forgotten, is: cherry_ride@hotmail.com
** And by "magic" I of course mean eating Double Big Macs on my bed while watching HGTV and Bravo on Friday & Saturday nights, talking to my Aquaman doll, and crying myself to sleep. But only sometimes.
*** It's my birthday and if I want to pretend I am a subject of the Queen, I will.
**** Aside from the occassional flashback of beratement and belittlement from teachers and classmates, of course.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Top 5 Things I Say I'll Be Doing This Summer (Compared to What I Will Actually Do Instead):

I'm channelling McSweeney's today to bring you my list of the Top 5 Things I Say I Will Do This Summer.

Immediately following that is the list of What I Will Actually Be Doing Instead.

What I Say I’ll De Doing:

  1. Riding my bike everywhere, especially along the Lake.
  2. Buckling down and studying every night for Chemistry.
  3. Going to Lollapalooza.
  4. Learning to skateboard.
  5. Drinking heavily.

What I’ll Really Be Doing Instead:

  1. Taking the Blue Line. Or, deciding that I don’t have the energy and staying home instead.
  2. Getting up early and skipping the gym so that I can study Chemistry since I didn’t bother studying the night before. Or, maybe just not studying at all and sleeping in another hour.
  3. Not going to Lollapalooza. (I mean really -- how many times can you see Death Cab on a hot, steamy crowded afternoon in August??)
  4. Buying a skateboard and clearing out room in my closet to store it until I finally decide in two years time to donate it since I never used it.
  5. Drinking heavily.

Friday, June 06, 2008

F*ck Off Fridays

So many bloggers seem to have themed days of the week - Julie Gong has her award-winning "Just Nonsense" Fridays; Bee-Spot has her sometimes-impressive "Zach Harrison Memorial Music Mondays"; Fitness Nerd is bringing back his "Tuesday Music Club"; Catherinette has her always-delightful "Just the Tip Tuesdays"; House of Jules has her "Putting the Hump in Humpday" feature, and of course M5K has several theme days throughout the week.

I want a piece of this action (dammit!) so I'm starting* Fuck Off Fridays. Today's FOF is dedicated to asshole recreational athletes, specifically two breeds:

  1. Recumbent Bicycle Riders - these people are assholes, aren't they? Nothing screams "Look at me, I crave attention!" more than these fuckers. What, a normal bike isn't good enough for you? Case in point: just look at this guy in the photo - total douchenugget. You know he also goes around bringing wine from his own cellar to restaraunts, beats his dog and eats only macrobiotic food.

  2. Joggers Who Run Down Michigan Ave. - you can substitute Michigan Ave for any major touristy street in your city (Oxford, Broadway, Pike, Market, Rodeo, Newbury, etc.). These people are also assholes in need of attention. Bonus douchebag points if they're guys running with their shirts off. Newsflash moron: there's a running path along the lake about three blocks down that you should check out that isn't filled with people shopping. Another newsflash: nobody gives a shit or is impressed that you're out running in downtown Chicago. Next time I'm heading to the Apple Store or Water Tower Place and see you in my way I am totally tripping you, or throwing my big-ass tin of Garrett's Popcorn in your face.

Honorable mention goes to the slow-ass dipshit who swims in the fast lane, ruining my workout once again. Yeah, I'm talking to you, fucker.

* And by "starting" I off course mean I will likely do this once and never speak of it again.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summer: Started, Is Starting, Will Start

Summer Started...
  • ... five weeks ago, the night I took my first sip of that "fresca" drink from the Alibi Room and a Pimm's Cup from The White Horse in Seattle with ReckenRoll and Kate...
  • ... four weeks ago, while "attempting" the Helicopter on the dancefloor at Erin & Ryan's wedding reception...
  • ... three weeks ago, while enjoying a late-night g&t with friends outside the Aalto Lounge on Belmont in Portland, marvelling at the cobalt night sky past midnight...
  • ... two weeks ago, when I decided Niner will teach me to skateboard...

Summer Is Starting...

  • ... today, when I walked into my Summer Session chemistry class and let out a groan...
  • ... today, when I decided that despite this, I am going to have a good summer...

Summer Will Start...

  • ... soon, when I figure out what my summer drink will be...
  • ... this week, when I figure out what my Summer Jam will be (and I'm open for suggestions)...
  • ... someday, when the Liar's Club sets a date for our Blegger...

When did summer start for you?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Adventures of the Boy Genius (Pt. IV)

Last week while registering for Summer Term, I discovered that I ended up with an "A" in last semester's Anatomy & Physiology course. This was a pleasant surprise since I thought I'd be getting a B, based on my performance on the Final. And then there was this and other things like not studying for quizzes and other stuff. (Btw, this discovery has nothing to do with my post from Friday, which is something else entirely.)

I was reminded through various fliers posted around the hallways and offices that Summer Term "begins the week of June 2" and I could go on here about how soul crushing 4 hours of Chemistry 4 days a week for the next 8 weeks is and how it is going to totally suck any fun I was planning on having this summer, but that will be material for future, hopefully hilarious posts.

Anyway, back to my story. I woke early on Monday armed with a new confidence (thanks to the A in A&P), ready to tackle the summer semester head-on. I rode my bike to school, tracing the quickest and safest path (I'm going to a different City College this summer, not my regular one. But don't worry, I'm still getting the best possible education offered by the award-winning City Colleges of Chicago!!), then even had time to buy a new nifty yellow notebook and some pens. I confidently walked into school, mentally prepared for even the toughest chemistry conundrums.

After a few minutes of noticing that the building seemed rather empty of students, even for summer, I discovered that I was in fact two days early for the first day of class -- I'd shown up on Monday for a class that didn't start until Wednesday.

Fucking hell. I think I might be one of those people who is "book" smart instead of "regular" smart. Or maybe I'm just not smart at all.

BREAKING NEWS: Congratulations to the Niner and LP who found out today they're having a Hot Dog and not a Bun. This is awesome news. Except I had predicted a Bun, so my baby guessing percentage continues to run at about 0%.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I'll Drink to That

There are a lot of times when I don't know what the hell I'm doing. (Shocking, I know.)

I certainly make more than my share of mistakes and fucked-up lots of things over the last few years.

But every once in a great while the old [C]R gets something right. Today is one of those days.

There's no need to go into details, really. And I could have just kept these thoughts to myself I guess. But the next time I pull some shit I guess I'd like to be able to look at this entry and remember that occassionally I can do something good.
I deserve a drink today. Hell, we all do!!
Have a great weekend everyone.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Show of Hands

Who else:

  • Thinks the new Hulk movie is going to be a big green turd?
  • Is already tired of the new Death Cab album?
  • Thinks this is perhaps the greatest culinary invention ever, and also thinks it would make an outstanding gift for the [C]R's upcoming birthday?
  • Is annoyed that Monocle magazine has mentioned the 2016 Olympic bid competition twice in as many months without mentioning Chicago as a top contender?
  • Doesn't know what the hell Monocle magazine is?
  • Will be drinking Summer Shandy all season long?
  • Thinks Smith's Night at Danny's could use some improvement, despite the antics of the Private Dancer (it's OK, this is more of an inside joke).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Top 10 Things I'm Doing Tonight Instead of Working on a Major Project Due Tomorrow

  1. Updating Facebook.
  2. Harassing people on Facebook.
  3. Harassing people via text message.
  4. Harassing people via phone.
  5. Updating my Flickr!
  6. Eating peanut butter straight from the jar.
  7. Vacuuming.
  8. Sending an e-mail to Amazon's customer care center to inquire why the book I ordered in February has still not been sent to me.
  9. Rationalizing how important the above things are vs. not working.
  10. Creating lame lists to post on [C]R.

Friday, May 23, 2008

That Just 'Taint Right

I'd like to share a story that may or may not be true with y'all. The reason it may or may not be true is because, well, if it were true it would mean that someone may or may not have broken a federal law, which could put someone in a position to be prosecuted by the TSA or the FBI or NSA or some government agency (and those people mean bidnatch, if you know what I mean) if any of them happened to be reading someone's blog.

As you know, somone had a long business trip to Seattle recently. Besides business, that person was able to get in some time for fun also, and therefore needed to pack smartly to accommodate a mix of work clothes, workout clothes, fun clothes and wedding clothes. Also, two laptop computers and other electronics blah, blah, blah. This mixture resulted in a suitcase that weighed 55 pounds, which is 5 pounds past most airline's weight requirements.

On the way out to Seattle, United was kind enough to look past the extra 5 pounds without charging someone $50 (seriously, are you kidding?). On the way back, that person was not so lucky with US Air. So right there at the airport as that person is checking their bag, someone needed to make some quick decisions about what to take out of the suitcase and put instead into their carry-on bag.

... Interlude: While in Portland for the weekend someone picked up a large bottle of Aveda Hydrating Skin Lotion in the 16.9 ounce glass bottle (see photo above). 25 years of competitive swimming and chlorine has destroyed someone's skin and that person pretty much has to put lotion on any time skin touches water. And these days someone don't mess around - the Aveda stuff is really awesome and worth every penny of the $70 price tag. Plus, this is Portland and there's no sales tax so this stuff is a bargain compared to how much it would cost back home in Chicago...

OK, back to the story: So someone is at the airport in line and needs to take some things out of the suitcase because someone sure-as-shit does not want to pay $50 just to get stuff home. One of the things that someone may or may not have decided to put into the carry-on bag is the 16.9 oz. glass bottle of lotion (which, btw, weighs about 5 pounds).

Fast forward 15 minutes, after hitting the bookstore and bathroom someone is about to head through the TSA security line, and suddenly realizes that there may or may not be a huge glass bottle in the carry-on bag, which will totally not make it past security.


This shit is expensive and brand new and who would feel like throwing it into the trash only to buy a new bottle in Chicago (read: 10% sales tax)? Answer: Nobody would, right?

At this point someone may or may not have three choices:

  1. Go back to check-in counter and try to check it back into the checked bag (which is likely on its way to the plane), and pay the extra $50 bucks or try to get out 5 pounds of clothes (which wouldn't fit into the carry-on anyway). Uhhh, that would be a big No.
  2. Go through security and sweet talk the TSA worker into letting someone bring the bottle through. Have any of you ever heard a story where a TSA worker actually listened to reason? Uhhh, that would be a big No also.
  3. Head into the bathroom and stick that big, cold, heavy and expensive bitch of a glass bottle down your pants, snuggling it oh-so-not comfortably in what is known in medical circles as the Taint Region (or TR for short).
Someone may or may not have gone with Choice #3.

Someone may or may not have walked through security with a noticeable limp and uncomfortable gait thanks to the forces at play in the TR, and someone may or may not have made it through security without incident. In case I did not mention it, that big, heavy and expensive bitch of a glass bottle may or may not have been really, really cold to the touch, especially in the TR.

If this story is indeed true, that person is not proud of what happened. That person is normally a law-abiding citizen. Nor would someone advocate trying something this stupid with a federal agency. But today someone may or may not have a big bottle of wonderful Aveda Hydrating Lotion waiting in the bathroom to soothe their dry skin.