Monday, October 31, 2005

Oh yeah, and before I forget...


(And here are a few more.)

For the first time in fifteen years I stayed sober for every single bit of the annual Halloween festivites. I DJed Friday, went to a party Saturday and was at Double Door last night (where I was enlisted to DJ in-between sets so thank God dPOD was in my car next door at Pontiac...I hope tankPOD can forgive me though) and not a drop passed my lips. And I still had a blast all three nights! Whoah.

On the downside I did smoke this weekend so that needs some work. All in all though I'm pretty impressed with both my own self-control and the fact that my friends are just as supportive and amusing when I'm sober as they are when I'm all stumbly and slurry.

Friday, October 28, 2005


First things first. Tonight Rudy and I are DJing our Third Annual Dead Rocker Night a.k.a.Rot-N-Roll party and this year it’s at innjoy. We’ll play songs by or featuring dead rock and/or rollers (and yes, we consider both Johnny Cash and Dizzy Gillespie to fit under the fucking rock and/or roll umbrella) as well as cover tunes (songs in costumes, get it?) and songs that fit the theme of the evening. You know, like hoe “Jesus Christ Superstar” is a song about a dead guy. Well, a guy who was dead for a while at least.

As an added bonus the bar is giving us a $100 gift certificate to award to the best costume so come as a dead rocker or a slutty cop or G.I.Joe or a Golden Girl or whatever…any costume is eligible for entry.

Second things second. After my freak-out yesterday, whereupon I realized I no longer had any disposable income, I was very happy when I was outbid for the Michael Hutchence solo album on eBay. I was even happier when I found it at a used CD store during my lunch break for three bucks, or about forty dollars less than some poor sucker is going to pay for it on eBay. Sorry dude or dudette.

Also, I hunted down and found a copy of the Michael Jackson song "Scream" on-line. I remembered actually liking it when it came out because a) it had his sister Janet in it b) the video was pretty cool and c) his sister Janet was in really tight spaceship clothes in the video. What was not to like about the tune? Well, I’m glad I found an mp3 on some cat’s website because after listening to the song again I am reminded how easily our memory can betray us. The tune ain't as nifty as I remember it being. Oh well, it's still probably the most daring thing he's done in over a decade so I wonder why it never appears on any of his comps other than that complete piece of crap HIStory. Feh, whatever.

And last things last. Hmmm…I got nothin’ else, so I guess that’s last!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm screwed, aren't I?

So, between 2002 and 2003 I was unemployed for about nine months and in that time I ran up quite a bit of debt living off credit cards and such since unemployment didn't even cover my complete rent. Bummer, huh? Ever since I started working regularly again, though, I've been paying back my debts one by one.

All of a sudden all of them have suddenly started calling me and are being rather nasty and threatening all sorts of lovely repercussions if I don't pay them back everything I owe immediately. Like, literally, tomorrow or sooner.

Yeah. Pleasant.

I can't help but notice that these calls didn't start until just after the new bankruptcy law went into effect last week. Funny, huh? I wouldn't have filed anyway since I feel that I should pay back what I borrow no matter the circumstances, but that doesn't make it any less pleasant to have people treat me so poorly over the phone and try to bully me out of things I don't have just because they think I have no means of “escape” anymore. The funny thing is that the most viious of the group isn't even a regular credit card collection's the student loan people! I always thought that was the last debt one was supposed to worry about...

I’m trying and struggling to do the right thing and I don't understand why none of them will treat me like another human being rather than a verbal punching bag.
See, I really do like you!

Don't believe me? Then click here!


A question for the tech-heads out there.

In unrelated news, I've noticed that a pop-up often appears when I load up this page even though Blogger doesn't use pop-ups. I'm guessing that means I've been infected by something but I don't know how to vaccinate myself. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Late night.

Actually I was home earlier than usual last night, but not as early as I had originally planned since my DJ stint got stretched out by the neverending baseball game. A bunch of friends showed up last night though so I ended up having a blast despite the fact that that most of my spinnings was squeezed into the commercial breaks during the game. I decdied to treat myself to sleeping in a littlethis morning since my body has informed me that it needs a day off from the gym after ten straight days of loyal service pounding treadmills and eliptical machines and squeezing and stretching under the burden of various weights. Okay body, enjoy your day off!

Also, since everyone keeps asking, the sobriety's going very well, thank you. I don't know why but this I don't really feel the strain and effort that marked previous occasions of me going alcohol-free. The real test will be this weekend since halloween is virtually the natiuonal holiday for swilling booze. I think I'll do okay though since I'm finding my group of friends to be just as entertaining when I'm sober as they are when I'm drunk. Huzzah!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Serenity now!

The more I drive the more I fall prey to the Curse of Doyle¹. One under the sway of The Curse tends to drift into the philosophy that cold be considered the exact opposite of “defensive driving.” I am sorry to say that through years of commuting I have reverted to my seventeen-year-old self when behind the wheel of my car every morning and evening as I travel to and from work. I feel badly about this, honestly I do. I feel even worse since karma finally caught up with me last week and I got two tickets (one for speeding, one for turning left during hours I shouldn’t have been turning left) within four days of each other. Ouch!

Needless to say I took both tickets and gave neither officer any lip. I was in the wrong in both cases and while all the money I have to pay back in fines does truly suck I feel it’s fortunate that I’ve been offered this chance to notice that I have truly been slowly turning into a complete asshole driver.

For instance, I won’t talk on my cell phone aud nauseum because I think it’s unsafe but I will cut off someone talking on their cell and then slow down in hopes of snapping them out of their chat induced reverie. I will drive up on the right side of someone traveling twenty miles in a thirty mile per hour zone and then blow past them. I make many dubious decisions in my haste to get from one place to another because I so hate being stuck behind a steering wheel for so many hours each day.

I have learned the error of my ways though! It’s time to chill out, cool down and take a deep breath every time some other driver pisses me off. It’s time to smile and wave each time someone gives me the finger for whatever reason. It’s time I became a better human behind the wheel in hopes that it might rub off on drivers around me.

Or maybe it’s just time to convince my boss to open a satellite office in the city so I don’t have to drive anywhere ever again! Oh man, that would be so sweet. So so sweeeet. (Please take a moment here to imaging me staring off vacantly into space with a slack jaw and a thin line of spittle making it’s way down from the right hand corner of my mouth.)

But it ain’t gonna happen so I guess I’ll just have to take the bit and continue on the slow hard road to self-improvement I’ve lately been trying to master.

¹This is named after my friend Mark Doyle, who is one of the nicest, sweetest, funniest people I know. When Photogal’s friends are looking for nice guys and we’re brainstorming which of my friends to recommend, Doyle is at the top of the list. I could refer a girl to him without having to worry that I might be sending her into a viper’s nest. However, once Doyle slides behind the wheel of a car he starts cursing like a sailor, waving his arms all about and generally pumps back and forth between accelerator and brake pedals as he attempts to navigate amongst the sea of driving idiots that surround him. Sometimes I'm just afraid the veins on the side of his forehead are just going to pop and it'll cost me a mint to get all the blood stains out. For this reason I always wear dark colors when I'm in a car under his command.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just so's you know...

...I still love you all. I'm just super busy today. Now go buy a t-shirt or something.

Also, I learned this weekend that I can still have fun without being drunk. Whew!

Friday, October 21, 2005

The end times are nigh! The end times are nigh!

I never really pointed out that these things actually existed because I was curious how long it would take folks to find out on their own...but someone has finally bought a Tankboy T-shirt!

Now you can no longer be the first on the block to say you have one, but that don't mean you shouldn't jump on this trend before it jumps a shark. Buy your own Tankboy T (or any other goodie that catches your eye) now!

I tried to write about Fountains Of Wayne for Chicagoist but I fear I ended up just being too flabbergasted by the attempts at television to capture rock and/or roll to be able to eke out too many observations about the band's actual performance...

Also, if you're interested I preview shows by LCD Soundsystem, The Warlocks, Gris Gris and the SuicideGirls in today's Chicagoist.

Also, this should help you waste a few weird minutes. Where do people find the time?

Finally, Photogal and I are going to see Capote tonight and I am very, very excited!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Of civic and literary unrest.

A couple things have caught my attention this week. One is this article in The Economist about thugs taking on protestors that was told from the perspective of a reporter who also ran into trouble with the local government enforcers. The original piece was interesting but it became even more so when this article appeared in The Chicago Tribune yesterday that centered on the exact same situation only this time it was centered on the translator who was working for the reporter who wrote the Economist piece. Holy crossing streams Dr. Venkman!

Another piece that I finally read in my effort to (and I’m almost there) catch up on all my reading of the periodicals that march without pause through my mail-slot was Ben Marcus’ response to Jonathan Franzen’s recent “attacks” on expiremental fiction in Harper’s. While I’ve read just about all the essays Marcus is responding to, I’m not so certain that Franzen is really hell-bent on some mission to destroy fiction that isn’t firmly in the realist mold. Franzen does certainly prefer realism, and I know I’ve referenced his philosophy vis a vis difficult writers (in particular Gaddis) on this site previously so maybe I’m a bit biased in Franzen’s favor.

However I do think Marcus makes a number of excellent points – especially about Franzen’s mean little piece about the FC2 collective – so I guess my internal jury is still out on this debate. I’ve linked to an excerpt and will certainly clue you in when a full transcript appears but I really do recommend shooting out and picking up the latest issue of Harper’s to read the whole thing for yourself. We don’t get that much “scholarly” back-and-forth in the “popular” press these days so it’s kind of fun when someone throws down the gauntlet.

Extra credit goes to folks who glean a little more background by studying up on this on-line “debate” – though it might be better termed as a mutual masturbation session in which neither party gets any relief -- between Franzen and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman.

Okay, you’ve all done enough work for today, now it’s time to go have fun (trust me and read this whole fictional account in which I make an appearance with quite the DJ set-list and it's pretty hee-larious) and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Whodathunk? A pleasant surprise...

So I expected last night to be dead, terribly boring, and never-ending. Rudy had to cancel on DJing earlier in the day. The Assassins were playing and a bunch of our friends were going to that to celebrate another friend’s birthday¹.Chicago just seems a bit tired out from all this baseball fever. Last weekend there was a full moon and that always seems to indicate that the following days will be quieter than usual. All in all I just expected it to be a tortuously long evening. The one upside was that I could test run dPOD and see how she ran throughout the course of the evening and, as an added bonus, I’d get to watch my new copy of Batman Begins.

Funny how things don’t turn out like you’d think, huh?

When I got to the bar there was a decent crowd watching a hockey game. Not exactly my dream audience but hey, a crowd’s a crowd. Then throughout the evening people just kept showing up and for the most part they were complete strangers and that was pretty cool. Since I was in such a mellow and non-expectant mood to begin with my musical selections were more entertaining than challenging and everyone seemed to be digging the tunes. Then our old Ten56 bartender – and my good friend – Dave² showed up. At first he seemed annoyed that no one invited him to see the Assassins even though the birthday girl was dating his roommate, but he quickly settled down into a jovial mood and we chatted about everything from our recovering friend Dan Ryan (who is going through physical therapy due to a motorcycle accident a few months ago) to Dave’s favorite topic of all time…Thin Lizzy.

And the people kept coming. And coming. And I kept playing fun music. I even played a “lover’s set” for the last twenty minutes or so since there was an unusually large number of couples in the bar. The songs actually seemed to do the trick since I noticed arms going around shoulder, chairs inching closer together a pair of lips here and there meeting up for a quick how-do-you-do. Usually I’d play something snarky like Liz Phair’s “Fuck And Run” or The Dead Kennedy’s “Too Drunk To Fuck” at a moment like that but, hell, everyone seemed like such nice people I decided to just let the mood ride.

Oddly enough, one thing I think that had a large effect on the general mood was the fact that innjoy has a new interior paint job, has reupholstered all their booths in this mellow beige, has mostly bare walls and has new furniture that just gives the room a more cooled down loungey vibe. It was rather nice. The only thing that would have made the evening perfect would have been attendance by Photogal, Betty the Beagle or Lucy the Dog but hey, I can’t have everything can I?

Now, on a completely unrelated note, if you haven't seen this tralier for the feel-good movie of this season, you're really missing out.

¹Though Tom deserves big props for at least stopping by to say hi on his way to the show. Go Tom!

²Note to self: You have to call Dave’s brother and get your snare drum and ride cymbal back so you can start making some noise in the basement. Do it this weekend Tankboy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Time for a reboot.

I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago about the destructive forces that still find ways to slide into my life and we tried to figure out ways to tackle these problems. It became apparent that the majority of the damage tended to come from a single source, and while it certainly wasn’t all that surprising it was still a bit of a shock because I realized I was finally going to have to face – and deal with – a behavioral tendency that some (including myself) tend to see as a singular part of my personality. I realized that the impetus for almost every bad decision I’ve made has been recreational drinking. This isn’t to say I haven’t done stupid stuff when stone sober but the number of dumb things I do while boozed up makes all my other mistakes look inconsequential.

Now I don’t think drinking alcohol is a bad thing. I see nothing wrong with a glass of wine with a nice dinner or a single margarita with a few tacos or a champagne toast at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I don’t even think that folks getting fall down drunk at a bar or at a show on any given night is in itself a bad thing. I can speak from first-hand accounts that drinking can be lots and lots of fun, no doubt! However I’ve come to the realization that for the time being, at least for me, recreational drinking is no longer worth the hassles it ends up causing.

Aside from the stress it causes on my interpersonal relationships (Photogal being justifiably upset because I stayed out until all hours at a bar or party, Rudy having to bail me out from some impending fisticuffs with a drunk jock, feelings of many and various acquaintances being hurt because I just can’t keep my big mouth shut) there are a number of other good reasons to lay off the sauce. Now in the last year I’ve gotten really good about getting into the gym six days a week to undo all the damage I’ve heaped upon my poor body in the last fifteen years or so. As you can imagine it’s been slow going but I’m really starting to see some results for all my effort. One thing standing in my way of what I would imagine to be fairly dramatic changes are the thousands of empty calories and pounds of bad sugar I pour down my gullet on those evenings when one or two drinks turns into ten or twelve. I mean, Jesus, that’s just ridiculous! I may never be destined to have a Brad Pitt style physique but I do want to know that, at least once in my life, I was in tip-top shape. Also, every time I’ve had a cigarette since I’ve been trying to quit smoking it has been directly related to an urge I decide to give into after a few drinks.

Man oh man, just think of all the money I'll save when I don't have to pay for cabs or drinky-drinks. Yow!

I also think that my writing has suffered because of booze. I may now only go out drinking once a week or so, and I still don’t get hangovers in the classic sense, but I am certainly not in top form the next day. The most annoying thing is the general cerebral fuzziness that follows me around after a particularly boisterous evening. Since this fuzziness invariably presents itself on a weekend, when I should be sitting down and working on a short story or something like that, I’m beginning to think that part of the reason I haven’t gotten off my ass and gotten something published in an anthology or anything like that is because booze has sapped my resolve.

Here’s the biggest reason to quit though. The reason I drink is because I have fun while drunk. However I’ve noticed that the fun-factor seems to be abating dramatically. Maybe drunken fun is purely the domain of the singles scene and since I’m not a part of that anymore it doesn’t make much sense for me to try and ape its traditions and rituals. Maybe I’m just no longer “that guy” and it’s time for me to move on and try something new.

I’ve reached this decision through weeks of thought and internal debate and I think I’m making the right decision. Like I said, the occasional glass of wine is no problem but shots at the bar followed by beer after beer after beer have overstayed their welcome.

It’s time to se if I can still be “fun” without any crutches. It's a little scary -- okay it's actually a lot scary -- but I hope it'll be worth it.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue too, huh?

Monday, October 17, 2005


So Saturday morning I was all excited as I told Photogal that I only had one magazine to finish and then I was caught up on all of my periodical reading. No more New Yorkers or Harpers ir Atlantic Monthlies or Economists or anything. I might actually have free time to read one of the actul books that have been piling up on my "to-read" shelf! It's been a long slow task but I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel.

Someone should have told me that light was a train since the new Economist slid in through my mail slot a short time later. The Economist never makes it to me on a Saturday! It always shows up later in the week and I usually have read most of iton-line by the time the actual ink and paper version arrives. Someone upstais was obviously indulging in a laugh at my frustration. I wouldn't surprised if new issues of every single mag I have a subscription to appeared in today's mail. I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The show must go on!

Okay, that cold or whatever is really starting to get on my nerves. I felt better yesterday but now it feels like its digging its claws into the back of my throat again. It figures this would pop up just before a big ol' rock and/or roll show I set up for this weekend! Tomorrow night we're celebrating the Chicago CD release of The Celebrity Pilots debut disc. It also happens to be the very first offering on the Sunken Treasure Records label! If that weren't enough I've got local favorite (and local powerhouse) The Strategy Game playing along with Moth and the always raucous Textbook. It's gonna be great.

Saturday October 15
The Note

Tankboy presents:
The Strategy Game
The Celebrity Pilots

Doors: 9pm
$8 cover

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Five of the most positive words I know.

“You’re doing it all wrong!”

That’s one of the nicest things someone can say to you. I guess that statement holds some resonance for me because of its genesis and maybe that’s why it’s appropriate for this situation.

Okay, so years ago a college roommate of mine was dating this girl. She was a rather demanding and particular type who had to have things “just so” and wasn’t afraid to make her wishes known. So this college roommate of mine and this girl would occasionally (okay, maybe more than occasionally) do those things that boys and girls do when they feel like getting all hot and squishy with each other. in the midst of all this hot squishiness, as my roommate would be doing his damndest to both have a good time and please his special little friend she would invariably shout out, “You’re doing it all wrong!” and then proceed to instruct my roommate exactly how he should proceed from there.

On one hand this story always makes me laugh, but on the other hand I think it sort of fits my current situation. I mean, my friend obviously wasn’t doing it all wrong or his special little friend would never agree to get all hot and squishy with him over and over again. But he apparently did need a little direction for everything to work out perfectly, and I’m of the opinion that’s not such a bad thing. In my life right now I feel like I’m on the right track but it might not hurt for someone to sort of call me out and demand something a little more focused out of me.

To a certain extent Photogal does this, and I appreciate it, since many of my weaknesses are mirrored by her strengths and I’ve gained years of wisdom through her examples that would have taken me much longer to build up on my own…if ever. However I do find I kind of miss the push and pull of the classroom's words and academia at those moments when things were actually operating at a level that could be considered provocative. I had quite a few excellent teachers in my day but none made as much of an impact on me as the one that pulled me aside after class once to discuss a paper I had written. He pointed out that I had fulfilled all the requirements of the assignment perfectly, that the paper was incredibly well written and that I had a unique voice that came through even in the midst of a dusty academic assignment. However, he also pointed out, I didn’t actually say anything. As a matter of fact it was obvious to him that I actually went to great pains to avoid saying anything. And he was right. As a matter of fact most of my papers written up until that point followed that pattern since I realized most of my professors – and their students -- were just going through the motions¹ so I may as well just amuse myself and dazzle them with so much nothingness. From that point on, though, I made a point to reverse my old habits and realized that I felt much more fulfilled knowing that I was stretching my own mind with each assignment…even if no other teacher seemed to care. Regardless I had grown up a bit more and become a better person.

So there you have it, if you really care about someone don’t be afraid to tell them that “they’re doing it all wrong” since that could possibly be precisely the thing they need to hear.

¹This reaction was also one of the primary reasons I dropped out of my first Major in the visual arts. I hated namby-pamby critiques where everyone was super nice to each other. What the fuck did that do for anyone? I didn’t really care what was right with my work, I wanted to know what was wrong with it so I could either disagree or get off my ass to eradicate my weaknesses.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

From time to time even I can admit defeat.

So when I woke up this morning I felt a bit off but I just assumed it was because I drank too much coffee too late in the evening and it hadn't worked its way through my system yet. Then at the gym I realized I was dying and massively curtailed the morning workout. Upon arriving at work I realized I wasn't feeling any better which was really odd. Apparently getting up between 4am and 5am every day and then running myself ragged for the past week and a half tends to start to have an adverse effect on me. When you throw in the fact that the girl I live with has been deathly ill with whatever the hell sort of demon virus has been going around that only complicates matters. Long story short…I'm home early from work today in the hopes that whatever little bug that is trying to take hold of and throttle my immune system gets knocked into submission before he does any real damage.

The moral of this story? I've got to start to learn my limits and admit that I am no longer a superhuman being that can continuously exert himself on little or no sleep. I thought since I no longer drink during the week that I could push myself even further than I used to but apparently that ain't as true as I'd hoped it would be.
About the lack of content recently...

I've been getting up at ungodly hours of the morning to get into work early lately. Why? I've had a lot of stuff going on that I needed to be home for earlier in the evening than my usual work schedule would allow. (Concerts, dinners, family things...that sort of stuff.) I feel like the past week I've been in a non-stop rush to get from one place to another and it hasn't really left me much time in the morning to write. However, it's been freaking out some of my co-workers who have to keep checking their watches when they walk into the office and I'm already there and that's kind of a fun reaction to witness.

Anyway, I'll try and amend this. Moving along, did anyone download the new Darkness track yesterday? I didn't hear a single peep out of any of you about the song!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Do you like The Darkness?

Oh, then what's this?


Monday, October 10, 2005

Photogal's gonna kill me for this one.

But I couldn't resist.

This is also dedicated to my philosophizin' learnin' friend Gina in apology for missing what I am sure was a tee-riffic party to celebrate her engagement last night. I think she would appreciate the humor in this flawed proof.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A shot in the dark brought the recent INXS resurgence.

Does anyone out there have the Dogs In Space CD soundtrack? I've got it on tape somewhere but since I so rarely listen to a tape deck I was hoping to locate a digital copy. Does anyone want to either sell me their copy of the CD or rip the tracks and e-mail them to me (160 or 192 kbps preferred.)

I'm totally going through this late-'80s phase where I'm remembering just how cool I thought Michael Hutchence was. Does anyone else remember the MTV special he did with INXS at the House of Blues? I think Dan Akroyd came out and introduced them dressed as a gladiator or something. Anyway, all I remember is how badly I wanted Hutchence's hair, his rose necklace and his denim jacket. A few years later I had the hair and the jacket but I never did find that rose.

Anyway, the Dogs In Space soundtrack was the thing I used to prove to myself that deep down inside Hutchence was a tortured punk rock artsy loner just like me.

Anyway, if anyone can set me up with that soundtrack that'd be awesome. Thanks!

A few quick thoughts.

  • Last night's "secret" Queens Of The Stone Age show was killer. A review should be up later at Chicagoist so watch this space for the link once it goes live. Photogal and I spent the whole show sitting/standing on stage since Josh Homme invited a bunch of the crowd to "gather around him like a bunch of hippies." The review is now up so go read it now!
  • The show was so killer that Photogal and I decided to end the evening on a high note and just completely skip the Eagles Of Death Metal show at Liar's Club. Did anyone out there go? If so, how was it?
  • Happy birthhday to Julie D today! You're only twenty-six and a half six or seven times so enjoy it!
  • DoneWaiting faves The Evil Queens are performing at The Pontiac tomorrow with Paper Bullets and Les Hell On Heels so don't miss 'em!
  • FEMA does something right for once.
  • Honda makes a pooch-friendly car. But when does it go on the market?
  • Liz Phair sold her soul on her last album. She tries to get it back with her new one. She fails. The shark has jumped, the mojo is gone and the Playboy pictorial is only a matter of time.
  • This just in! Tankboy's a dork!
  • Heh heh...just checkin' to see if you're actually reading this.
  • My latest obsession? Replicating old mix-tapes I made as playlists in tankPOD and then getting all misty-eyed over just how exciting music was when I was young and then realizing that it is probably just as exciting right now to someone that's younger than I and growing sad that I've grown too jaded to fully appreciate things as they are now.
  • I'm still not smoking. So far, so good. Yay me!
  • Finally, the new iPod will not support video but it will be a heckuva lot bigger storage-wise. Even with the free iPod Lielli is giving me, I'll still have, with two iPods, 10GB less space than will be on a single new iPod. Yow! (Also, let's hear it for clumsy sentences...I reworked that last one three times and it still sounds cruddy.)

Thank god he's getting married or I might be in real trouble.
I mean, just look at that goofy grin on Photogal's face!
(As usual, click the pic for a hi-res larger shot.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005


So I'm on the list and writing about, and Photogal is photographing, tonight's "surprise" Queens Of The Stone Age show at the newly empty Belmont Army Surplus store. I am really looking forward to it since this should make up for the first time they played Chicago at The Empty Bottle and I idiotically assigned a junior writer for the paper I was editing at the time to cover the show instead of going myself.

The flip side is that if I have any chance of getting there in time for the show I have to get into work waaay early...which explains the unholy time of the morning of this entry.

This is my polite way of saying, "I'm not slacking, but I'm not really writing anything of note this morning."

Now here is where I would usually go off on a tangent about just what "anything of note" really is and that would spiral into paragraphs and paragraphs when my initial purpose was just to quickly jot something down and finish getting ready for the day.

Oh look, I'm starting to do it.

Okay, seriously, I've gotta go so cheerio.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why Rosh Hashanah rocks Part I.

There was no traffic on the way home from work yesterday.


Why Rosh Hashanah rocks Part II.

Aside from just the whole "Happy New Year" vibe, how can you not love a holiday whose purpose is looking inward and trying to figure out how to correct past mistakes and make the coming year a better one?


The hidden downside of Rosh Hashanah.

No one was out last night. Total ghost town. So it was bit hard to get a “let’s get this party started” vibe going whilst DJing.¹


And now for a completely different sort of holiday.

With Halloween just around the corner it's time for Photogal and I to ponder some pretty heavy costume related questions. Not about our costumes, though. We are still undecided even though she desperately wants me to be one of the Fanta Girls™ and I steadfastly refuse. No, it's time to consider costumes for our pets. Well, pet. Neither Chloe the Cat nor Betty the Beagle would stand for wearing any sort of costume. Lucy the Dog, on the other hand, would just love getting all gussied up on the big night.

Here are our options so far. Feel free to click on the picture to your right for a larger view of these options.

Now Option A makes sense because Lucy kind of has Chihuahua-based bug-eyes so we think that with that costume, the eyes and a bus ticket in her paw she could be The Runaway Bride™. Option B is only in there because it displays just how conceptually strange pet costumes have become considering how brief a time they've really been in use in the mainstream. Also, the picture of that dog as Leia is just too damn funny. Doesn't he/she look like they're having a blast? Finally I like Option C because I think it shows a certain sensitivity to a portion of Lucy the Dog's roots. Plus, it's adorable as hell.

So there you have it...proof that our dogs are indeed our children at this point in our lives. We're a bunch of wackos.

¹Also I got into a slight disagreement with the bartender last night over viewing materials and that may have thrown a bit of a damper on the evening. He wanted to watch Bum Fights because he thought the concept was hilarious. I told him if he played it he could just pay me right then and I would walk out because I thought the entire concept was reprehensible and I refused to DJ while something like that was playing in the background. Do you think I overreacted?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Pigs must be flying!

Why? Because the new tune by The Darkness does not suck at all. In fact it is rather rock and/or rollin' so I am pleased. Verrry pleased. bring on the motherfucking unitard Mr. Hawkins.

UPDATE: In a shocking turn of events Photogal initially gave the song a thumbs-down claiming it was too "polished!" However after a few listens she now concedes that the song is now, "growing on me."
Tankboy looks tough, but is in fact a big softy.

Nothing upsets me more than seeing people I love being upset. For instance yesterday I get a call from Photogal telling me that her license has been suspended because the State of Indiana took over a month to process paperwork on a ticket she paid ages ago. Then she gets a letter from the City of Chicago telling her the fine connected to a parking ticket she was disputing had just doubled since the City didn’t process her dispute quickly enough.

Now in both of these instances Photogal had all of her paperwork in order and submitted well before any deadlines because, well, that’s just the way she is. She’s the complete opposite of me in that regard. You’ve probably met very few people as organized or as on top of things as Photogal when two gross bureaucratic malfunctions ambushed her in the same day she was noticeably upset.

I hate the impotent feeling that rises whenever someone close to me is deeply distressed about anything. I mean I can lend an ear, offer a shoulder, agree and support their position as much as is vocally possible but after all that there’s nothing I can actually do to remove the feeling of helplessness some situations engender in the victim. I want to suck the poison from their soul and swallow it as my own because, by my reckoning, I will handle it…and if I can’t, well, then it’s better that I’m the one suffering rather than a loved one.

I don’t always respond to other’s emotions terribly well since I can veer wildly from saying all the right things to hopping around on one foot because the other is stuck firmly in my mouth. At the base of it, though, I actually feel an enormous empathy for almost all people, but especially for those close to me.

Now superimpose that on the fact that I spent many, many years of my late ‘teens and early-twenties trying to convince people I was a slightly malevolent genius functioning on a slightly high plane of existence – hey, who in College doesn’t think that? – and you can see the irony within.

Luckily for Photogal, the license situation straightened itself out in-between the time it took her to get off the phone and actually walk down to the DMV to complain in person. The paperwork had gone through and it was proven she wasn’t at fault. I’m sure the situation with the City won’t be as easy to navigate, nor does it hold a resolution that will exactly be in her favor, but at least I’ll be there to try and do whatever I can to lessen the sting.

Do you think if I learned how to make balloon animals that would help?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Due to Fox's bullshit move of moving Arrested Developement to Monday nights at 7pm...

...I am unable to write today. In order to get out of work early enough to catch the show I have to get a super early start. So just in case Mondays didn't suck enough already, now I have to start them even earlier!