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:
** 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%.