Friday, April 29, 2011

I was supposed to write about something…

Someone gave me an idea last night about a topic for today’s piece. Unfortunately I cannot remember what that topic was. I tried very hard to remember it and it was on my mind for most of the evening, but now, poof… gone.

I was busy consuming copious amount of alcohol and spending time with a very sweet and pretty young lady. So you might say I was happily distracted. Say it. SAY IT!   Thank you.

So it’s another Friday, however it is a very special Friday for those that care about antiquated royal tradition. I must say that for being one of the last monarchies in the world they certainly have their stuff together. As we all know, or should know, the royal family in England are merely powerless figureheads who are subject to the same rules and regulations of all Britons.  (Sure. Sure they are) But they really do know how to get married.

Speaking of British royalty, I was doing a little research on the royals and came across a list of Kings and Queens and how they died.  So far my favorite is King George II who reined from 1727 to 1760 his cause of death is listed as Aortic dissection while on the toilet. Just like our own King, Elvis. Then there’s Duncan I 1034-1040 who was killed by his own men after the battle at Pitgaveny. And to close it up, there was Edward the II who ruled from 1307-1327 who allegedly was murdered by, and get this, a metal tube (or rams horn) and a red hot poker being shoved up his anus. Yee-ouch.

There’s a real wonderful history there, I’m sure of it. (I really wonder what I was supposed to write about today) Anyway, I’ll do my bit to participate in this momentous event of royal wedded bliss by hoisting a drink or two to the Prince and his Princess. Then I will promptly say the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America and wee on the Union Jack all while juggling America balls and a ride a unicycle that was made in China. God Save the parking space.

I really wonder what I was supposed to write about today. Sigh.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

There’s always a risk

As I was getting ready for work this morning I had WGN morning news on in the background. I was half listening to today’s headlines when I heard a very strange commercial. It was for some prescription medication to battle depression; I’m not sure what the pill was called. There are so many as it is. This one however seemed to have the strangest of side effect warnings. It said use of this product may cause an increased risk of death.  I’m not kidding you. That’s what it said. I’m pretty sure I heard it right because it nearly stopped me in my toothbrushing tracks.

Increased chance of death as a side effect to a medication? How increased? Like, if I take these happy pills I’ll significantly shorten my lifespan. I think that would make me more depressed. I mean what’s the thinking there? “I’m happy now, but soon I’ll be worm food. I need more pills”. Then I thought, what in this world doesn’t come with an increased risk of death. Every time we step out of our doors we’ve dramatically increased the chances that we won’t be coming home.

Everything we do comes with its own inherent risks, unless of course you stay shut up in your place all the time wearing a tin foil hat and suit, all the furniture is covered with bubble wrap, you use the kindergarten scissors and round sheets of paper. Of course you’ll probably get some sort of poisoning from the tin foil or trip on the bubble wrap and impale yourself in the throat with the scissors.

But a medication that clearly advertizes that use of its product might kill you? I think we’ve gone too far and it’s time to start scaling back our dependence on medications to cure what ails us. I don’t take any medications at all. I’ll rarely take aspirin if I can avoid it. (I usually self-medicate with booze, but that’s different. Cough.) I’m just not sure when people decided they’d rather take a pill for the rest of their natural lives than attempt to deal with the issues in their brains. I am considering those with a severe chemical imbalance; they fall into a different category and they are different than those that simply choose to take a pill over reasonably dealing with their issues in a constructive way.   

Risk is everywhere and those that face that risk become the idols and standards of societal heroism. We measure ourselves by the great acts of others and we often hope to achieve those heights. It is in our nature to aspire to be the best versions of ourselves we can be, or at least that is my hope. I’ve see a lot of evidence to the contrary. I hope there’s pill I can take that will blind me to the ills of society and just think everything is great, just like, really great.  

Side effects of reading this blog may include: Nausea, mouth/foot disease, anal leakage, restless fingernail disorder, purple rectal monkeys, snot dragons, shortness of breath, elevated brain fluids, skepticism, alien abductions, flights of fancy and your eventual death through natural causes.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I almost get T. S. Eliot

“APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.”

There’s a lot of that going on across the USA this week. A lot of spring storms carving a path of wanton destruction and chaos and truly proving April’s cruelty.  She’s a badmammajamma. In fact, I think she’s been dating Old Man Winter, because he seems to still be hanging around. I can feel his cold fingers on my neck as I walk the chilly city streets. I also think that's April laughing in the distance, echoing off ally walls.

Spring is also a time when it’s alleged a young man’s fancy turns to matters of the heart; however this spring seems to have prevented a lot of that because it’s just too bitter out to enjoy oneself.  Not to say that I haven’t tried of course.  I certainly wish some young women’s fancy would turn to matters of the heart. I wonder what happened to those women.

I think the lines, “mixing Memory and desire,” are the most telling of the poem. I remember all my past springs where I was either in a relationship or out of one. I remember feeling relieved in some cases where I was out of a relationship and then other times, wracked with loneliness, yearning to be in a relationship.  Memory and desire would normally seem to be mutually exclusive, but they are so deeply intertwined. We desire those times in the past when we most happy, but the cruelty lies in the fact that we can never have those moments again and the rains that fall mix into the dirt of our subconscious and get us all worked up inside. It sets us up for the eventual fall or, perhaps, prepares the ground for the seeds of what’s yet to come.

Desire is interesting. I desire quite a bit. I’m often overcome with desire to the point that I can hardly contain myself, but as I am rather reserved in behavior, I am able to resist the temptation to act on my desires. We tend to think that conquering our desires will make us stronger, that denying the things we most want will teach us humility or build character but it makes me wonder, what kind of character would be made if we actually pursued our desires with as much vigor as we deny them?

Perhaps I’m just being fanciful; I’m fully aware that a world in which everyone simply pursued their own desires ceaselessly would quickly crumble and fall to the winds of history. Unless one’s desire was to help others, then we might have a chance I suppose. But that cruelty of April would certainly spread to the other months if all people ever did was attempt to fulfill their desires. The selfishness and debauchery that may ensue would bring society to its knees.

I guess I’ll just have to stick with memory and hope the spring rains make the soil fertile enough for something to grow and be fruitful.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Roberta and the Jumping Goldfish

Roberta didn’t leave her little apartment much these days. She really didn’t see the point. It was always so gloomy or too hot or too snowy to even enjoy the outdoors. She had her TV and a pretty good view of the street below from her third floor window.  She mostly kept to herself and tried to be as obscure as possible. This was often complicated however by her weight. She admittedly had let herself go in the last few years and it was harder to stay under the radar in the hallway as she shuffled up from the lobby to her apartment door. Her only saving grace from not becoming a total shut in was the three flights of winding stairs she had to climb. That at least kept her limber enough not to become what her mother called, “A burden on society”.

She did have a friend in the building. Her neighbor Sally across the hall was very sweet and polite. She had only just moved in.  They would often chat in the hallway or see each other in the lobby and share some details about themselves. Roberta was happy to have made a friend in the building. It can get pretty lonely at times. She and Sally actually broke the apartment complex’s rules about using a grill on their communal back porch. It was a little thing but Roberta felt she had a real cohort in crime, a real girlfriend to whisper things about the other tenants to. Sally was certainly a change from the old tenants that lived across the hall. There was a young couple that Roberta called ‘the Bickersons’ living there previously. They just yelled and screamed and seemed to smash things a lot. She was tempted to call the police on several occasions but then thought it really wasn’t any of her business.  

Sally had made a very bold request of Roberta recently. Sally said she had to go out of town for a week and wondered if Roberta could please watch after her cat. All she had to do was come in, check the food and replace the water and maybe give the cat a little pat here and there. Nothing too complicated. Roberta agreed to do it because she didn’t want to be rude to her new friend. But Roberta couldn’t stand cats. She felt they were the jerks of the animal kingdom, right up there with Hyenas and Coyotes. But she’d do as her new friend asked; no sense in losing a friend over something as silly as animal behavior. Sally only made one other request of Roberta and that was not to peek under the pink scarf on the dining room table. She didn’t say anything more about it.

 Roberta unlocked Sally’s front door on Monday and called out to the cat. But she didn’t see it. She wasn’t even sure if it was a boy cat or a girl cat. She checked and saw the cat food bowl was full and the water bowl was good. She looked around for the cat again, calling out as she’d seen on TV, “Here Kitty, kitty, kitty”. But the cat never came out.  She sighed and was about to leave when she heard something that sounded like water splashing. She looked to the dining room and in the middle of the wood table was a fishbowl covered with a big pink scarf.

The top of the scarf looked wet and there was some water on the table. Roberta worried the cat might have tried to get in there. Then she wondered why Sally didn’t mention she had any other pets. Roberta bent down and tried to peer under the scarf and could only make out a little water swirling around the bowl. The water was moving in a whirlpool fashion, like kids in a backyard pool all swimming the same direction and then getting pulled along by the force of the water. It was moving fast. Roberta reached out to the scarf but remembered she promised Sally she wouldn’t peek under the scarf.  She stared to turn away and head back toward her apartment when she heard the splashing sound again. It sounded like something had dropped into the bowl.  She turned around and saw there was more water on the table and the scarf had become slightly dislodged. She could now see into the fishbowl.

Hovering in the water, staring right at her, was the biggest goldfish she’d ever seen. It seemed somehow to be too big for the bowl but then wasn’t. She remembered a garden party she went to many years ago and the guy she was kind of sweet on, who she later caught in the upstairs bathroom with Megan Rogers, had a Koi pond and he had some really big goldfish. But this one, on Sally’s table, seemed different.

The fish started swimming around the bowl again, faster and faster until it was almost a blur. Roberta couldn’t take her eyes off it. As it swam, its scales seemed to reflect the sunlight coming from the kitchen windows creating a shimmering all trough the room. Roberta almost felt dizzy and she grabbed for one of the dining room chairs. Just as she reached out the goldfish leapt out from the bowl straight up into the air, seemed to pause and then splashed back down into the water.

Roberta swore. She never swore any more. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d actually said the “F” word.  The goldfish was again floating in the bowl, staring at her. It’s fins gently pushing the water about. The pink scarf had now fallen completely away from the bowl. Roberta didn’t know what to do. She thought about clapping. It was amazing to see a goldfish do something like that. She looked around and suddenly saw Sally’s cat. Roberta thought the cat would probably try to eat the goldfish if it got the chance, jerk cat.  She thought about shooing the cat away but she didn’t have to. The cat darted from the room like a shot.

Roberta looked back at the goldfish and it had grown into something the size of an old refrigerator was now hovering over her. It was standing on its little tailfins from out of the bowl. Its innocent eyes were now filled with blood and something like a tongue was reaching out for her from the giant monster goldfish’s mouth. Roberta tried to scream and run but she was frozen in place. Her only thought was of why Sally would have this thing as a pet. And then she thought Sally wasn’t perhaps a very good friend at all.  

The goldfish tongue lashed around Roberta’s throat and lifted her of the ground and the goldfish swallowed her in one big gulp. A slipper popped off her foot and flopped to the floor as the fish sucked down Roberta’s leg like Spaghetti. A moment later, a wet hand reached down and picked the slipper up. Sally tried the slipper on and walked to her mirror leaving one wet footprint behind her as she went. She looked in her mirror and brushed off the remaining golden scales on her skin. She modeled the slipper on her foot, hated it and kicked it off toward the corner. She went back to her dining room table and took out the newspaper to look at the new apartment rental ads as her cat mewed in the background.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday gets a story too

With the thick gray clouds firmly in place, Monday looked down over the city and grinned. He could hear the lamentations of the men and women below, cursing him and begging for mercy. Monday could take no real joy in their pleas. Sure, a small amount of satisfaction would bring a smile to his face, but that was just because he was good at his job. He felt no real sense of joy with it. It was just what he did.

It wasn’t always that way. In the old days, no one thought him any worse or any better than the other days. (They all used to be pretty thankless) The only day that seemed to feel high and mighty was that blasted Sunday, so holy and devout. Monday just couldn’t stand Sunday. They never got along at all. Maybe that’s what pushed Monday over the edge and toward a viciousness not seen with the other days of the week. He knew Tuesday had learned a lot from Monday and could often be just as cruel, but that Wednesday was just so stupid. Monday always called him a dolt right to his face.  Thursday and Friday, they could go jump in a lake for all Monday cared. And Saturday, Saturday was everybody’s favorite day. Monday couldn’t really help how he felt for Saturday. She was so beautiful and kind. Up for anything and gentle. Even Monday liked Saturday.

Monday looked at his watch. There was still plenty of more time for mischief. He checked the settings on the weather dominator and decided a slow, misty drizzle would be pretty cool right now. That’d show those people who was in charge. With a few more keystrokes and a turn of a dial, he heard more moaning and cringing from the people below. Their complaints would only make him more powerful.

It was the artists and wealthy Monday didn’t much like. He just couldn’t get to those people. They just didn’t seem to care about him. They went about their days, whistling and smiling in the face of his most rotten acts. It was a spot of contention for him, but the ages did teach him that you just can’t crush the souls of everybody. These humans usually end of doing that to each other without his assistance. But still, it bugged him and he always hoped he could get two or three a week to throw their arms up in defeat and join the pale choir of the dammed.

Monday thought about Saturday again. She was truly something to behold. He would only catch her from a distance. She waved at him once and his heart kind of made a funny stutter. It was the one and only time.  Her only real downside was how drunk she got before Sunday got there. Monday supposed if Sunday was following him, he’d probably get good and wasted too.  Sunday was always preaching and pontificating. That just burned Monday up inside. He didn’t turn to liquor though, that seemed weak to him. He’d rather leave a few things out for Tuesday to use and maybe a note or two with excellent evil schemes for Tuesday to follow. Tuesday was a good apprentice, but he’d never be a Monday.

Monday turned his attentions back to his duties, it seemed like people were beginning to settle in. Time to turn up the heat.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday, you are a big fat head, but you do look sexy in that

So Friday’s adventured started early with a delayed train. Apparently two individuals got into a fight on the train and it was so bad the police needed to intervene.  This of course made the train quite late; in turn making me quite late for work.

I’ll never understand people who feel the need to disrupt everyone’s life for their own petty crap. It’s like those murder suicides where the crazed gunman goes to his former employers and shoots ten people and then ends up shooting himself. Why not save everybody the trouble and misery and just do the last part first? Why did you have to mess up everyone’s life? I guess you needed all those damn people to feel the agony you were going through. Or you could have left a note describing your pain.  Which would have been better for all parties.

In other news; the weather, I think it’s dumb to write about the weather. We all know it’s crappy out and I don’t know that it deserves any commentary, but I will say this. Be courteous with your umbrella. Just because you have one doesn’t mean you should thrust it about like you’re King or Queen of the Umbrella people. Most umbrellas have those little metal beads on the edges and it’s not nice to get poked in the face with them. Be aware of where your umbrella is and if you think it’s going to be a hassle, just don’t open it. You’re not going to melt. Unless you’re the Wicked Witch of the West, and if you are, thank you for reading my blog. You’re famous. Please send me one flying monkey to do my bidding.

Royal Wedding news. I am not British. I do not have a King or Queen (unless they rule over umbrellas) but I am intrigued by this Royal event across the pond. It’s quite a thing to grow up knowing that one day you will be the face and figurehead of your entire country. And now the eyes of your Empire are on you and your betrothed as you commit to marriage. A commoner who one day will be Queen of England, it really is some sort of fairy tale. I do miss Princess Diana though. I had quite a crush on her. A silly schoolboy crush, but who didn’t?  I do think Kate is very pretty but she’ll never be Diana for me.

Finally, work. I have to get to work. And that’s why Friday is a fat head. But I can’t help but love her, she’s shows just enough skin to make her desirable without being too slutty. I hope she lets me hold her later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Since I’ve started working downtown I’ve had no physical contact with any other human being. That’s not to say that I haven’t accidentally been shoved or shook hands with people in the new office or walking down the street. I mean I haven’t had any actual contact with anyone that didn’t involve Liability determinations in some way. I paint quite a sad little picture of myself, getting home from work, peeling off my murderous shoes, putting my manly slippers on, maybe a sweater and singing a song about someone being my neighbor. Maybe I’ll stand over the stove, sadly stirring some soup as I wonder how the ladies could pass up such a fine catch as me.

 I completely understand why people go balls out crazy on the weekends. There’s such a huge gap between the week and the weekend. As much as I can’t stand people I really miss them and I can’t wait for this weekend to spend some time with those knuckleheads. In the old days, when I could pretty much get to work whenever the hell I felt like it; I would go out during the week at least three times. I might go out on Wednesday through Friday and by the time Saturday came around I couldn’t figure out why the bars were filled with such crazy people. The week night bar patrons are immune to the pent up crazy of Friday and Saturday night because they’ve been out in the world and not just boiling some soup and going to bed by 10:00 every night.  Those Friday and Saturday nighters are filled to the brim with a week load worth of crap it’s no wonder they drink to excess and seek out physical company so aggressively. I have a new perspective on my passivity now.

Even though I’m still only in my first week back in the downtown rat race; it’s kind of like riding a bike. You never seem to forget how lonely it can seem in a giant metropolis. There are so many people around, moving like so many cattle through the train doors and through the station, all mooing and texting.  You never forget how riding the train, staring out the window, can make you feel small and rather inconsequential. It’s almost like I haven’t been gone for eight years.

The only thing that makes it slightly worse is all the beautiful women working downtown. I am completely addicted to beautiful women and they are everywhere. Skirts and those high boots that are popular now along with great hair styles and pretty faces; it’s basically a horror show for an addict. And I’m not a complete, “has to be Hollywood beautiful” type of guy. I mean there are an incredible amount of exceptionally good looking women working down here. I still feel like a Morlock. (You know, from H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.)

The thing about being an addict is that it’s not enough to get to indulge in the drug of choice, it’s that feeling that your drug wants you too. It’s great to go out there in the world and meet all kinds of women, but when none seem to want you or you don’t feel that they need you in some way, it makes your addiction to them all the more unbearable.

At least the sun came out today. That’s a positive. I’m looking forward to more sunny days and if I’m patient, maybe someone will want to share that sun with me. But for now, I'm going to slam my fingers in this drawer to make sure I'm still alive.

Ow! Yeah....... Still...... Alive. (ohforpetessake)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Starting to wonder

This morning I felt the pangs of depression creeping into my brain. Since I’ve started the new job it seems to have gotten worse and worse. I hoping it’s just the gloomy weather, or maybe just a little insecurity about not knowing what the hell I’m doing at work.  Maybe it’s riding the train again. There’s something depressing about the train that I had forgotten. There’s a dark pallor over the heads of everybody headed downtown, a dread hanging down as if everyone is feeling a collective, “What’s the point?”

I had forgotten how much I hate working for a short time. I was excited about the new prospects but then again,  I hate working. I hate that the majority of my day is spent doing something I despise and the rest of it is merely spent trying to stay awake long enough before going to bed at 10:00 or 10:30. In all reality I feel like I should go to bed as soon as I get home. What’s the point of staying up for a short time anyway? I don’t talk to anyone, I don’t have any experiences to share, no kids to raise, no dog to walk. I fail to see why I am doing this to myself. Where’s the reward?

Sure, a paycheck and insurance all those regular things. But I’m pretty sure I can get those doing something I actually like doing. Of course that begs the question, what do I actually like doing? The only thing I do like is writing. Of course, I’m too damn exhausted when I get home to actually sit down and do it. So what do you do?

I wonder if I made a mistake coming downtown. I had it pretty good out in the burbs. I knew what I was doing and was what you might call an expert at it. Here, I feel like a useless blob, overwhelmed with a job no one has taken the time to explain to me. God I hate that. It’s important when you have a new hire to sit them down and show them how your business operates so they can be an asset and not a depressed drone. It bugs me that I’m going to have to beg for help instead of having things explained to me from the get go. It’s infuriating.

It’s only my third day, granted, and I should stop all this stinking thinking. I suppose my expectations were a bit high and now I’m feeling the let down of that.

Okay, deep breath, put on a happy face and try to get a grasp on this god damned mistake and try to make the best of it. Should have got that damn literary degree. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Barking dogs

The thing I have realized about working in the suburbs is how fat I got. Driving out to the suburbs or taking a very short train ride and walking an even shorter distance leads one to an excess of body weight. It’s funny how it slowly creeps up on you and the next thing you know, you can hardly walk at all.  The positive being that with all this walking I'm sure to lose all that suburb fat I put on.

My feet are killing me however. I now walk to the train station by my apartment and then walk from the train station downtown to work. I quickly developed a blister on my right foot and my left foot seems to have become quite lame. It’s as if they just don’t want to participate in my new adventures downtown and are conducting a revolution of sorts.  I would liken my left foot to a gout ridden Che Guevara and my right to Benedict Arnold. Both used to be cool but in the long run seemed to have failed their causes.

I’ve also noticed how exhausting it is to walk while limping and grimacing along the busy Chicago sidewalks. By the time I make it to the front of my building I’m practically in tears and have very little breath. But because I’m old school I would never let on to anyone around me my intense and horrifying pain, just you dear reader, just you. That’s what makes us friends.

When I arrived home yesterday I had to immediately take my dress shoes off and put on a
pair of my soft slippers. (Yes, I have slippers. Wood floors get pretty chilly don’t you know). They’re manly slippers though, just black and shoe like. I’d never wear them out of the house like some people seem to do these days. Why do people do that?

I’m hoping the gout hasn’t caused a shortening of the tendon in my left foot. That would be bad and would effectively limit me to limping around for the rest of my life. I did a little research on–line and a side effect of gout is indeed a shortening of the tendon. There’s nothing like getting older and having a body that can’t process certain high protein foods. Henry the VIII and I got it bad. Although I won’t break from the Roman Catholic Church just so I can ditch the girl I’m with.

I might have to invest in some sort of Dr. Scholl’s foot product in order to help with the pain in my poor old dogs. See a doctor you say? I’m sorry. I know what the condition is, no need to seek any expensive medical advice. Thanks for your concern though.

Well, as this new job has got me pretty busy already I must get back to it. I wonder if this new office would be opposed to me soaking my feet here in my new cube. Maybe if I had an office it wouldn’t be so bad. But right here, in Cubeville, it might not go over too well.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Latest blog ever

I hope everybody wasn’t too put off their day by the fact that I didn’t have much of a chance to post anything until now. As the loyal fans know, I started my new position today and was a little too whelmed to get an early morning blog posted as usual. Hopefully that will change as time goes on and I get into a more solid routine.

My only real complaint about today is the time I woke up. I repeated to myself all Sunday night that I had to get up at my first alarm. I had to get out of bed by 6:22 am and get going. Much to my chagrin, I didn’t hear my alarm going off until 7:20. So it had been going off for an hour before I heard it. So I wasn’t able to make the train I really wanted to make. But I was still able to catch the next one without too much hubbub. Other than not know which side I should stand on to get downtown. And then of course realizing I was indeed on the wrong side, walking across the train tracks and climbing through the wire separation fencing. I looked like a boxer stepping into the ring. But yeah, other than that it was smooth sailing.

I also realized that I have to get my city legs back. After six years in the Gulag I discovered how much slower I walk these days. I’ll have to step it up a bit to keep up with the throngs of downtowners. I was sweating and limping by the time I got to the office. Seems my business shoes aren’t all that good for walking long distances, which combined with a broken toe on one side and gout in the other, walking has become quite a challenge.

The job seems like it’ll be pretty manageable. It’s far less of a case load than I had with my previous client and the contacts seem to be pretty easy. I just hope I make a good impression on my co-workers and they like me. Nothing makes a great job bad faster than the cold shoulder from the other employees.

I’m on the seventh floor and I can’t see anything but buildings all around me. It’s a wonderful change from the wide open parking lots of Deerfield. I’m a certified city boy and will always be one.

I hope to have another blog ready to go tomorrow. I’m excited by all the train ride prospects I will have for story material. So many weirdoes besides me on there.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today is my last day in the suburbs.   It’s a very exciting time for me as I embark on a new stage of my life. I am very happy to be starting something new, but I’m also slightly nervous. There’s nothing like the thrill of a new experience to slightly scare the crap out of you.

It’s hard to imagine, but I’ve been working out here in Deerfield for six years and two months. I was 28 years old when I started working here. Seems like a very long time ago. So much has happened in that six years, feels like 30.

The next steps will return me to downtown Chicago. A place I love and cherish like no other. I can’t wait for a nice summer evening and a stroll down to the lakefront just because. There is nothing finer than the lake breeze and a golden sunset beaming down, casting a bronzed glow over the city.  I can’t wait.

I will miss a lot of the people I worked with. Not everyone of course. I’m very happy to get away from some folks, especially the guy who has nothing else to talk about other than his Corvette.  I’m not kidding; it’s all he talks about. He’s 58 years old and wants to have sex with his car. It’s pretty gross. I swear to god if there was a vagina on his corvette he’d do it.

Other than him though, I will miss Norma and Jim and Allyson. They’ve been my pals all these six years and I was lucky to have met them. It’s not like we’d go to each other’s children’s baptisms or anything, but we certainly developed quite a working friendship and I’m proud to have met them.

The new job will present me with some great opportunities to learn and experience some different crap. Let’s face it, most of the jobs we all have are just about dealing with different levels of crap. But I’m excited for the new crap.

Here’s to the new crap, let’s get it done and hopefully enjoy some of it along the way. You crap lover.

Also, since I’ll be starting something new, I might not have time to blog so effectively. There might be a short lull as I get into the groove of the new thing. So please bear with me as the new thing begins.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

China in the present

I recently caught this article on CNN’s web site, China Bans Time Travel for Television. It stated that “New guidelines issued on March 31 discourages plot lines that contain elements of "fantasy, time-travel, random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking."

This is very strange to me. If it weren’t for shows like Star Trek, Quantum Leap, The X-Files and other time travel/SciFi shows I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the well rounded individual I am today. I simply cannot imagine a TV line-up that is all present day dramas. It’d be a network of soap operas. Chinese soap operas. I do like that they must have a positive moral lesson however like, 2 year olds smoking cigarettes is bad. Oh, wait they don’t have that. See here

Yes, these two Chinese children are riding a train and are puffing away like mini dragons. But God forbid if they happen to catch a glimpse of Back to the Future. That would totally blow their minds.  I am a smoker and have made several attempts to quit and it’s pretty difficult. But I simply couldn’t imagine trying to quit at, say, eight years old.

I’m not judging the Chinese people. I am merely pointing out how pretty crazy it is to try and control the imaginations of their people. Seriously, they not only control the State, but one’s State of mind too. That’s amazing.

It’s kind of horrifying too. I understand things are pretty miserable there for most of the Chinese population. But it was TV shows like Star Trek that helped inspire millions of young people the world over to look up at the stars and wonder what was really possible and then go out into the world and try to make it a reality. Imagination begets invention.

I know America isn’t perfect by a long shot and we’re not really the best moral judge of another culture, but at least we don’t forbid dreams and we try to keep our populace somewhat healthy. China man, you used to be cool. Let your people at least watch some good TV, although I’m not sure they’d be able to see the screen through all the smoke.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh 1995, you thought you knew us

I was watching one of my curiously favorite movies last night, Strange Days. I had to laugh out loud at its interesting take on “the future”. The film stars Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett, supported by Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore and even Vincent D’Onofrio. It’s set in 1999 on the eve of the new Millennium. A former LA cop, Fiennes, turned drug dealer of sorts uncovers a police conspiracy.  I’ll not delve too much into the plot but it shows a 1999 on the brink of total collapse.  It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow who won an Oscar for the Hurt Locker.

Anyway, at the beginning of the movie you get the quick summary of how bad things are; wars are raging globally, there’s been a financial meltdown, racial tension has never been higher, everyone is either very poor or very rich and gas is $3.00 a gallon. That’s the thing that got me. Gas is $3.00 a gallon. Even on the verge of total destruction, gas was cheap in comparison to today. I paid $4.12 a gallon on Monday.  Which isn’t much in Europe, but here it’s a crime.

I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the “predictions” about what the future would be like. Or at least what 1995 thought 1999/2000 would be like. It was an LA in a constant police state with armed officers basically running all over the city breaking up random street violence every few seconds. I specifically will cite two young women in heels and skirts chasing a Santa down the street and kicking the crap out of him. Not sure why that was part of the “slice of street life” added to the film.

It did remind me of another movie that had a lot of futuristic predictions, Blade Runner. That movie had some amazing visuals and computer uses, but somehow missed the whole cell phone thing. It was a world in chaos but you could still find a payphone pretty easily.

But back to Strange Days, I guess what got me about it is I actually remember being market tested for this movie. In 1995 I was working for the Circuit Courts of Cook County and I was getting some lunch at the Thompson Center. As I was headed to one of the various fast food joints downstairs I was approached by a young woman who had a very early version of a portable DVD player and screen. She asked me if I was a fan of the movies and I said I certainly was and she asked if I’d give my opinion on some movie trailers. I said sure. One of the trailers I was shown was for the movie, Strange Days.

I remember liking the trailer quite a bit. I was also impressed with the portable DVD player. But I thought it was a pretty cool looking movie and seemed to have a pretty good premise. So I said so. I then went and got some lunch and pretty much forgot about it. When it actually came out later that year I didn’t see it in the theater. I didn’t see it until it was on cable years later. By then it was already outdated.

Last night however I was kind of impressed by what the movie did get right; the global conflicts, the growing gap between the rich and poor, the streets themselves bursting with insurrection.  It took a little longer than the movie predicted, but it did kind of happen. And is happening. All we need is a Rapper turned prophet and a drug that links you directly to the memories of someone else and Strange Days will seem like prophecy more than just a bad movie.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keep off the Grass, or something

Just a bit of advice for the unknowing, don’t go drinking on a Monday night. Well, wait, strike that; don’t go drinking on a Monday night if you have a regular Monday through Friday type job. It’s just a poor choice.

I wrote something a few weeks ago and I think it’s apropos now, “I shouldn’t listen to me because I give myself bad advice”. It’s as if my brain wants to be a jerk and make me feel like a crappy ass.  I think it does. Our brains are always finding ways to try and kill us. Murderous Brains, what a totally awesome band name!

It’s not that I have a hangover or am feeling ill, but I’m tired. Really, really tired and would have loved to stay in bed for hours and hours. I suppose that’s how I normally feel without going out the night before, but there’s intensity to it now; a serious and mean desire to just crawl up into a sleepy ball and quietly waste the day.  How delightful that might be. (Always better with a girl to curl up next to though, but that’s another story)

So I’ll drink my coffee and perhaps skip the Coke in favor of a Gatorade. It’s very important to remain hydrated of course and drag myself through another Tuesday. I know it’s the last Tuesday I’ll have in the suburbs though so I guess I really shouldn’t be too down about it. In fact, it’s bloody awesome.

Maybe I’ll take my shoes off, kick my feet up onto my desk and recline to the extreme. No, I’m just not that guy. I’ll keep working till the bitter end. I’ll get home later tonight and sit on my couch and likely pine for a little female company, watch TV and feel grateful I can go to bed at 10:00 at the point of my most exhausted. (Wow, isn’t my life exciting.) I’d say that I might go out for a drink but let’s be real here, I’ve done enough of that for a while. At least till Friday.

So for now I’ll finish my work and ignore the sleep hovering over my brow. I’ll suck it up and get through the day and complain no more about it.

Also, today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. In 1861 the Confederacy opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina at 4:30 am. The bloodiest period in American history began claiming an estimated 620,000 lives. So remember, no matter how bad you think your Tuesday is; it could have honestly been worse.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This way to the Great Egress

Today marks the last Monday I will be spending in Deerfield. It’s pretty exciting to know that soon I won’t have to deal with traffic on the Eden’s or Lake Cook Road. In four short days I’ll be free of the particularly numbing experience of working for a particular client.  In all, I’m very excited.

Last night I could hardly sleep because of how excited I was getting. I know that just being back in downtown Chicago will make me feel so much better, plus the incredibly short commute will be pretty awesome too. I think it’ll be something like 12 minutes. You really can’t beat that; unless you had a jet pack or personal flying car thing.

It’s not like I can slack off here at my last week, the work never ends and there’s still a lot to do before I take my leave. So I’ll be doing everything I can to make it easy for whoever takes over for me. I’d hate to leave anyone in a rut. That’s just un-American. (Or at least it used to be)

Speaking of wonderfully American things, my neighbor and I had had a wonderfully relaxing early Sunday evening sitting on our collective back porch. She was kind enough to grill up some burgers and hot dogs and we sat out there eating and talking and just enjoying the nice weather. It was one of the most relaxing Sunday’s I’ve had in a while. I’m really appreciative of that. Living in an apartment building, you quickly miss having a yard to sit in or a stoop to talk to your neighbors on. Just the act of sitting outside with my neighbor was truly the definition of pleasant. 

But back to my original point, I’m hardly able to sit here at my desk without daydreaming about being downtown again. I hope I remember how to do that fast walk everybody does down there. I’m sure I’ll have to get my city legs back again. My sexy city legs.

So the countdown has begun. I should put one of those old countdown clocks somewhere. No, that would make me nervous. I’d just sit there staring at it, talking out loud, “5 days, 120 hours, some number of minutes and seconds”.  I still have some work to do that I have to focus on. If I can. Maybe I’ll go look out the window.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It’s a Friday Freak-out

So many things to talk about; Number one, Baseball is just something men use to talk about other than what’s really going on. In fact, sports in general is like that. I can’t remember the last time I actually gave a hot crap about any particular sports player or his alleged statistics. Sure I enjoy cheering on the home team but give me a break. These overpaid, cry babies and their game. Good Grief. Try doing my job. “Yeerrrr out!”

Whiskey is mean. Why do we love mean things? I mean, whiskey is like that abusive boyfriend or girlfriend you just can’t seem to get away from. Sure, it’s fun while it’s there but later it’s really just a punch in the face. A punch delivered several times in the face by Chuck Norris. You can’t believe he’s doing it and yet you can’t look away.

French Vanilla. Seriously, do we need so many things made with French Vanilla? My office has two kinds of coffee; the regular coffee, which I enjoy, and the French Vanilla. There’s also the French Vanilla creamer. So you could have a French Vanilla Coffee with French Vanilla Cream and then jam a baguette up your anus. Maybe use a stirrer to get it in there nice and tight. Not that I have anything personal against the French, they’re a lovely people. But I just want the regular coffee.                       And the baguette.

Spring. Is it here yet? I mean it’s a rainy, crappy day out there and it’s Friday damnit. Stop raining and let’s get to the part where we’re all wearing shorts and standing outside. Like civilized animals.

Hot chicks. I love them. Seriously I do. I just can’t figure out how to make them love me. Is there something I’m missing? Oh yeah, being a dickhole douche wrapper.

Work. I think I’ve said quite a bit about work in the past and I don’t think I have to belabor the point too much. Work, which is meaningful, is awesome. Too bad that’s not what I do for a living. I’ve seen cats with more interesting jobs. Literal cats, rolling around on the floor, have a more interesting job.

Idiots. Don’t call me and leave a voicemail message telling me you got my fax and you’re faxing something back. I’ll get the fax. I don’t need you to call me and tell me that you’ve faxed something. You’re a moron.

Finally, I love you. I love all of you that put up with my ranting and raving about practically nothing. I appreciate the time you spend here and if you had your own blog I’d visit it too. Peace.  I’m out. I have to get back to hiding my hang over and pretend to work.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Attack of the 50 Foot Thursday

There was no time to react. The explosion ripped across the desert sands and demolished everything in its path. Thursday just happened to be driving across the desert highway, lost as usual, trying to make it to his hot surfer girl’s place in California when the radioactive blast tossed his Chevy off the road and into a ditch.

Thursday staggered from his wrecked car and collapsed into the sand. The burns across his body were endlessly painful and he thought he was done for. He thought of his sweet Suzy, his little surfer girl, and how he’d never hold her again. He remembered something his mother said, “If you are ever caught in a nuclear blast remember to wear clean underwear”.  Thursday always argued with her because disintegration didn’t care what your underwear was like. But now he was glad he did indeed put on clean shorts this morning. He struggled forward away from the smoldering wreckage of his old Chevy and with a final gasp, passed out.

Thursday woke to a blinding light in his eyes and the sound of metal clanging and a siren blaring off in the distance.  He could hear people whispering all around him but he couldn’t make out their words. All he could think about was his Suzy, his surfer girl.

“Mr. Thursday?”

Thursday was unable to open his mouth to respond but a small woman came into focus.

“Mr. Thursday, my name is Dr. Tuesday and I want to let you know that everything is going to be okay. You’ve been in a very serious accident and we’re taking care of you”.

Thursday just nodded and he felt a rush of wind by his head as he did so. He tried to move his right arm but he seemed to be strapped down to something. He licked his lips and started to speak.

“Doctor, wha… what happened to me? Why can’t I move? Am I gonna be okay? I gotta get to Suzy”.
“Who is Suzy Mr. Thursday? Was she with you in the car?”
“No…no, she’s my girl, my surfer girl in California”.
“I see, well, we’ll try to reunite you soon. Please just relax and everything will be fine”.

Thursday tried to relax but something just didn’t feel right. He felt angry. Why should this kind of stuff happen to him all the time? He’s always getting in to some kind of trouble and it’s never really his own fault. Stupid doctor’s performing tests or whatever. All he wanted was to get to Suzy, his surfer girl, and kiss her all over.

Thursday decided he’d had enough of this waiting. Suzy was demanding and wouldn’t understand why he was late. Thursday opened his eyes and looked all around. Nothing seemed unusual, he looked down his body and he didn’t see any burns or bandages or anything. He was wearing what looked like a diaper however. A big diaper. He looked down to his feet and saw an army Jeep parked near and he couldn’t believe it. His foot was nearly the size of the Jeep. He wiggled his toes to make sure and by god it was his foot and it was huge.

Thursday began to struggle against the restraints. Dr. Tuesday began pleading with him to stay still. But Thursday didn’t listen.

“Surfer Girl!”, he bellowed as he ripped himself free from the straps holding him down.  He stood and realized he towered over all creation. He looked down at his diaper and had another thought; he pulled the waist band back and looked down. 

Slim had just loaded his pick-up truck when he heard it. It was darn peculiar. It sounded as if one of the far off mountains, past the desert, was laughing. Laughing like a TV or movie maniac.  Clem Jenkins came out of his store and looked at Slim. It seems he heard it too.

“Is… is that laughter?” asked Clem.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Timing is everything

It’s quite true what’s been said, timing is everything. Think about all the moments’s in your life where you just missed getting hit by a car or were in a car accident and all that was needed was a few seconds one way or the other and you would have either been smeared on the road or would have avoided the accident all together.

Think about all those moments where just a few more seconds or another minute would have made all the difference in how your life turned out. Imagine if you hadn’t arrived at the bar that one night exactly when you did, someone else might have met your wife or husband before you did and you’d never have known it.

Random chance is all we seem to have. There is no rhyme or reason for any particular thing happening. Things just happen as a result of billions of tiny events so imperceptibly small coming together that we decide to call it divine and say all things happen for a reason. Well, they do as far as the laws of cause and effect are concerned, but it is random. It all depends on our own cause and effect and how it affects timing.

A second glance in a mirror on your way out the door before hitting the bars might have slowed you down just enough that you missed the robbery occurring at the bank next store to your house. If you hadn’t taken that second glance and just went right out those bank robbers might have taken you hostage, but since you took that second look, you were spared a horrible fate.

Relationships fall into the same type of category I think. Sometimes you meet the right person at the wrong time in each other’s lives. But then there are those that do meet at the right time and the right place and everything that ever happened in their lives seemed like it was leading them to that specific point. Every decision, every thought eventually brought them to standing at a bus stop at 2:00 in the morning where they meet the person they’ve been waiting for their entire lives. It really baffles the mind.

Timing is everything and I wonder how really aware of it we are. We can only live in the present, we can’t go backwards and change it and we can’t move forward to see how it turns out. We only have now to seize the opportunities presented to us and follow where they may lead.

The cycle of cause and effects starts the moment you make your first decision and it never stops, well, until you do anyway. I just hope I’ve made the right decisions and my timing will finally fall into sync and I’ll have the time of my life.

(And yes, I did just start thinking about Dirty Dancing thanks to that closing line; damn you Dirty Dancing.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Night of a hundred and one, “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa-haas”

Last night, family and friends gathered to celebrate my sister’s 36th birthday. I have a headache this morning, partly from the four beers and two glasses of wine, but mostly from all the laughing. My sister is quite lucky to have such wonderful friends come out and help her celebrate. I’m lucky to know them too.  My family, of course, it goes without saying how glad we are to have all of them, and to have been blessed with such wonderfully vicious senses of humor.

I cackled and howled with laughter all through the night and it was fantastic. I’m sure this little party was the loudest thing the condo complex my sister lives in ever heard. I’m positive we would have easily drowned out any thumping bass line emanating from whatever hood rat jalopy that might have been driving by.  We are a family of loud talkers and even louder laughers. So if you want to roll with us you have to love to laugh.

It would seem that my sister and I surround ourselves with people who love to laugh, and laugh loudly. I don’t think we really are very close with any real mousy, quiet types. If we are, they are often lost in the din and clatter of the rest of the people we know. In fact, if someone is too quiet we automatically mistrust them, as if to say, “What are they hiding?”

Not that there’s anything wrong with being quiet at times. I appreciate a little silence often, but if we’re all being raucous and you’re being quiet, then it’s likely we’ll never know you’re there. Also you have to be open to a lot of lovable ridicule. I think we poke a lot of fun at each other. Maybe it’s the Irish way of keeping each other a little more grounded and not get too high on ourselves. It’s always good to have someone who you care about let you know that, yes, indeed, you’re feces does not smell like roses. Unless you’ve been eating roses, and if you’ve been doing that, you’re weird.

It’s almost impossible in this group of family and friends to get through a whole story without someone interjecting with a joke or a humorous comment. A short two minute story might take 15 minutes to tell with all of us adding our two cents with each new part of the story we hear.  You’re lucky to finish the story at all at times because the joke about the story becomes bigger than the story itself.

I’m sure a lot of families and friends are like this and my experience isn’t unique but that’s the thing that makes us all part of bigger world, our common denominator with all human beings, everywhere. Laughter and the listening to the exploits of those you love and that love you. It’s the most human thing there is.

Sure, life is made of atoms, molecules and DNA, but it’s really the twinkle in the eyes of your family and friends as they laugh with you that makes it all worth it.

Monday, April 4, 2011


This is my 100th blog article and I only thought it appropriate to write about it being the 100th blog. It’s not easy to write something mildly interesting every day, even if it’s just a couple of lines.  I do think it’s kind of a major accomplishment however and feel no qualms about tooting my own horn. I’m a horn tooter.

I was looking through a list of failed TV series and I realized that I’ve written more blogs than some TV shows had episodes. I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison however as we’re operating in somewhat different mediums. Mine is rather self-produced while the TV series had all kinds of people working behind the scenes making that possible. But I think the idea is sound.  I work harder than TV.

What else is there to say about accomplishing 100 of anything? I’m happy to have entertained you for a short amount of time and am appreciative to my friend Lauren who set this whole blog site up for me because I am a primitive stone-ager who had no idea how to set such a technological marvel up. I certainly hope that over these last 100 blogs you’ve been entertained or at least made you pause for a second or say, “Wow, man, I know how that feels”.

I’m happy to do it and it does bring me some great satisfaction to check my stats and see how many people have actually read something I’ve written. It’s quite a thrill to feel that. It’s something Stephen King said that always gets me about writing. He said that writing is a form of telepathy and my thoughts are transferred to your brain via the printed word. So what I thought of felt about something is sent to your brain and for a short time, we’re having the same thought, although not at the same time.  Also, I command you to send me your money. And stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Why are you hitting yourself? Hahahah, the power!

Sorry, I mean I just think it’s pretty super cool to share these things with the reader. It’s quite an amazing thing to imagine that I’m in your head right now. See, I’m waving. “Hello!”

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them and I’ll continue to write them as long as I can. Thank you.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool’s Day

Ladies and Gentlemen, skinny and stout,
I'll tell you a tale I know nothing about;
The Admission is free, so pay at the door,
Now pull up a chair and sit on the floor.

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight;
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.

A blind man came to watch fair play,
A mute man came to shout "Hurray!"
A deaf policeman heard the noise and
Came to stop those two dead boys.

He lived on the corner in the middle of the block,
In a two-story house on a vacant lot;
A man with no legs came walking by,
and kicked the lawman in his thigh.

He crashed through a wall without making a sound,
into a dry creek bed and suddenly drowned;
The long black hearse came to cart him away,
But he ran for his life and is still gone today.

I watched from the corner of the big round table,
The only eyewitness to facts of my fable;
But if you doubt my lies are true,
Just ask the blind man, he saw it too.

I knew a shorter version of this poem when I was in second grade but I was happy to find this longer version. Unfortunately I do not know the author and cannot give credit where credit is due.  But I thought it would be appropriate for this day of Fools.

April Fool’s Day is still one of my all time favorite pagan holidays and goes as far back as the year 1392 when it is eluded too in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. One of my favorite April Fool’s gags is from 2005 when, a news story was posted on the official NASA website purporting to have pictures of water on Mars. The picture actually was just a picture of a glass of water on a Mars candy bar. That’s right up my humor alley.

Sadly, I personally haven’t performed any pranks or jokes on April Fool’s Day in years. I did have some pretty good ones as a kid though. There was a little less seriousness about a small boy telling his father he got kicked out of school for fighting and then dropping the old, “APRIL FOOLS!!!” bomb.  Those were indeed the days.

I hope everyone enjoys this April Fools and remembers not to believe everything they read, see or hear today.  Also, I've been hiding the fact that I am a one legged, Chinese, albino mute from everyone for years. I just thought I'd put that out there. Nothing like honesty to cleanse the soul.