Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quickie - "Danger Redneck Robinson!"

I believe that in some parts of the world something like this would be referred to as an "improvised explosive device". But in America, we refer to it as "patriotism". Go figure.

Historic collectible? Or training tool for terror? YOU MAKE THE CALL!

Traipsing across the internet is always a good way to kill time and always a great way to find something bloggable when life itself isn’t particularly forthcoming with anything interesting.

I, for one, am kind of dreading the next couple weeks. Not because summer is over* and not because the NFL regular season is starting**. No, I dread it because of all the hullabaloo that is going to be filling the airwaves as we approach the 5-year anniversary of September 11th. It’s not that I think we should forget what happened, I just know that the media is going to try and “take a new angle” on what happened and recycle the same clips and the same “experts” to basically come out with the same results: terrorists are bad and they don’t like us much. This is something I already know, so honestly, I think I’ll spend the day with the TV off reading my book on the Haymarket Riot.

One good example of the sort of thing I’m afraid of most has already happened – the 9/11 collectible coin. Truly an item of horrid distastefulness, it is a gold coin embossed with an image of the World Trade Center made out of silver “recovered from the ground zero”. What’s worse, the silver image of the Towers can actually be flipped up to stand independently, using the coin itself as a base.

You know who’s buying these? Terrorists, that’s who…evildoers who want the sick and twisted pleasure of knocking down their own scale model of the Trade Center containing actual parts of the building.

Obviously, the government knows this. My bet is that the “National Collector’s Mint” is a front for the CIA and that they are monitoring anyone who buys one as a threat to America. Rightfully so, if you ask me.

* Yay winter! Bring on the snow! Woooo!!!
** In which the Vikings once again raise my hopes to new heights during weeks 1-7 followed by the invariable backslide into mediocrity and disappointment weeks 8-17.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Saturday was also the first day I ate mushrooms willingly...ever

Despite hearing about the post-Manilow win antics of Stephen Colbert at the Emmy’s last night (see below) I actually didn’t watch any of the show. Basically, unless I’m at a theme party organized specifically to watch said awards, I typically give the shows themselves a pass. I believe that most of the really good parts will be featured on Youtube or replayed on various entertainment TV shows and that all the boring parts won’t be worth watching anyway.

But that doesn’t mean I had a dull weekend. Friday night was spent watching my first game at US Cellular Field with fellow Twins fans from business school. After watching the Twins win we went to this bar in Wicker Park where I basically partied like a frat boy – consuming multiple shots, multiple beers, singing along to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey*, and then walking/stumbling home, where I proceeded to validate my sexiness to the GF by impressing her with by drunken text-messaging skillz. Apparently, I only misspelled one word – but I’m not sure it’s possible to misspell anything while texting, since everything is shortened beyond all recognition anyway.

Saturday night my friend** A.Ja was in town with her husband so we went to Moto***. I had only heard of it but C.De**** was all excited to go. Dinner there costs about as much as three week’s worth of groceries, but they use all sorts of space-age technology to create really good food in interesting shapes and forms. For example, did you know that if you freeze carrots and peas in liquid nitrogen and then eat them they end up tasting sort of like ice cream*****? Or that you can get menus custom printed on crackers that you can eat after making your selection?

Almost more fun than the food itself was the table behind us. Despite the fact that it was Saturday night, there were only two parties in the downstairs dining area. When you dine at Moto you can get a 5-course menu, a 10-course, or the 20 course “GTM”. The GTM takes about 4-5 hours and the other table had ordered it, because they had apparently been drinking during the entire meal. Soon they were regaling us with comments like “I think it’s disrespectful to call him ‘Mr. President’.” There were many more but I’ve forgotten most of them. Damn my defective short-term memory! Anyway, it was an unforgettable dining experience that I’m certain I’ll be telling my grandkids about in about 40 years. Of course, by then food like this will probably be served at McDonalds, life in general will mirror The Jetsons in every way but fashion******, and my grandkids will be all unimpressed and shocked that I used to consider $100+ per person an “expensive” dinner.

* With more emphasis on volume than tonal accuracy
** And former college radio show host
*** For a nice review of a personal visit to Moto (with pictures) check out this link. Out menu was different, but this gives you an idea of what the food is like.
**** Husband
***** Neither did I!
****** Mark my words – Grunge will be back.

Quickie - MAAAAANILOOOOOWWWW!!!! (a la Kirk in "Wrath of Khan")

We all know that this is coming out with tonight's episode...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Quickie - But does it have an umbrella?

For those of you who want to carry an entire tool box in your pocket*, I present the ultimate swiss army knife!

* And who have really big pockets…

More proof the world would be better off if I could decide whether people could have kids

Building on yesterday’s topic of the “crazy moral minority” apparently a woman in Fallbrook, CA had her 6-year old violated by the youth of America and their lust for defaming Barney the Dinosaur. Apparently, she went to the grocery store with her 6 year old daughter and was shocked that someone had vandalized a Barney poster with the word “p***s”* scrawled over it. And now because of this horrible experience, her daughter is going to grow up to be a stripper, coke whore, or possibly even a Democrat.

Here’s my questions about the whole situation. First off, isn’t it pretty impressive that a 6 year old knows and can read the word “p***s”? That’s a pretty impressive vocabulary for a 6 year old, particularly for a girl, since she’s not exposed to those on a regular basis. Second, is the monther so shocked because she had been trying to minimize her daughter’s exposure all genitalia-related concepts until she turns 18? Does her daughter even know she has a vagina, or does mom blindfold her daughter before letting her use the bathroom? Does mom refer to her own “area” as “that which shall not be named”?

Here’s the thing lady, of course Barney has a penis**. Penises are getting to be all the rage among puppets – how else does Potty Elmo go to the bathroom in his special toilet***? What else would baby Ernie be hanging out next to the toilet looking so pleased with himself? I know that muppets aren’t human, but even their digestive systems are not so efficient that they can convert all food intake into energy. Remember mom, everybody poops****.

So relax and stop freaking out about it. No doubt your pastor is only unsure about your daughter’s future because she is being raised by a crazy woman. Without question, you are driving your pastor to drink with all your “emergency” calls – call him during Scrubs one more time and you’ll be off the Spiritual Growth committee before you know it.

*Not sure exactly what work was used though, since the writer asterisked it out. “parts”? “pans”? “pigs”? It’s a mystery…
** Sure, technically it’s probably a cloaca because Barney’s a lizard, but stay with me here.
*** Props to the GF for pointing out this very pertinent point
**** Including, apparently, apples.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Run Debbie! He's only been fasting for you because he wants to get in your pants!

Many many years ago, during my awkward junior-high years I played role playing games. They were a way to spend hours of fun with my friends adventuring across imaginary worlds while consuming massive amounts of chips, salsa, pizza, and caffinated beverages. It was hella-fun for me and my friends, and we still tell stories about the antics we did* even now.

So when I stumbled across an anti-Dungeons & Dragons comic put out by the religious right I enjoyed a good chuckle. It’s not that whomever writes this stuff is stupid, it’s just that they really don’t understand the game itself and how it is actually played. Here is how I know this:

First, during the game, the DM instantly kills off Marcie’s character. Marcie responds by freaking out (as she obviously cannot tell the difference between herself and her beloved character). In reality, players create so many characters that they don’t have time to get that attached to just one. Myself, I had dozens of characters for different campaigns over my 10-11 years playing. Also, it’s really easy to bring back dead characters – you just have to find a cleric. In fact, one could say it’s easier to get a character brought back from the dead in D&D than it is to get access to birth control in South Dakota. Talk about a health care disparity.

Second, right before she kills herself, Marcie calls Debbie to talk but Debbie is too busy “fighting the Zombie” to talk with her. This is silly. Zombies are really easy to kill in D&D – it can be done in seconds**. There’s no way that fighting the zombie would be the climax of the evening that people couldn’t stop the game for.

Thirdly, Debbie eventually is taught (through her D&D training) to cast actual spells from the game in real life. This is ridiculous - any real player knows the spells don’t work in real life. If they did we all would have dated a lot more. But they don’t, so we were stuck having to take friends to the prom and not making out until college***. Not that this applied to me, I’m just sayin’…for example…and…stuff…

Finally, the comic would seem to indicate that the players referred to themselves and the other players by their character’s name. That doesn’t happen either. For example, I was never actually called “Bunglefoot Tallfellow” by my friends while playing. Rather, we would refer to each other as “Moron”, “Hey stupid”, and “A$$hole” because we were teenage boys and anything else would have been weirdly uncomfortable and necessitated a break from the action to go prank call the Burger King and ask if their refrigerator was running.

Still, given the context of the comic it is pretty amusing in an ironic, “Reefer Madness” sort of way. The sad thing is that one just knows that the parents who buy these for their kids are the same ones who allow them to watch as much Ultimate Fighting or Wrestling for Jesus as they want in between sessions playing Grand Theft Auto.

* Example, during one quest that I was in charge of, one friend created a character with one leg, one eye, one arm, a case of leprosy, halitosis, and mange – he proceeded to call this character “Lucky”.
** Maybe this is why zombies are all up in arms about zombie rights these days. “What do we want? BRAINS!!! When do we want ‘em!? BRAINS!!!”
*** When we discovered the magic powers of booze

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

No real rhyme or reason to this post

All right, the 17 year cicadas are back? Why is it that it just seems like they were “back” just a year or two ago? I distinctly recall seeing one with red eyes in my back porch at my current place, which means it couldn’t have been more than 3 years ago. Are there more than one wave of 17-year cicadas?

In other local news today, a man traveling with his mother on vacation to Turkey was arrested after telling security screeners at O’Hare that the penis pump he was carrying in his luggage was a bomb. Apparently, he preferred prison to having his mom learn that her son had issues with penis envy.

Okay, so you’re at the airport with your mom and they discover your “little helper”. I can think of hundreds of things that would sound more reasonable than “bomb”. For example, he could have told them it was a suction device for clearing clogged drains – because you never know how hairy the person was who had your hotel room before you. Or, alternatively, you could say that it a massage therapy device used to give the same results as massage cupping*

Anyway, I’m sure mom’s really proud now that her son’s in jail. At least he doesn’t use a penis pump.

* AKA “hickeys”. Seriously, how can cupping not give you massive ones all over your body? Do you see how far those things suck your skin in?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Honestly, I don't feel that bad yet...but it's early

For the last few days I’ve been experiencing a new part of my life – insomnia. This has never been a problem for me before in my life, but for the last couple days it’s been taking me hours to fall asleep at night and I keep waking up at 4 in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep. That, coupled with uncomfortable dreams* has made it tough lately. My doctor** yesterday asked me whether being on Sudafed for almost 10 days was making me edgy or keeping me up at night. And since I had only had one bad night at that point I said no. But tonight I think I’ll skip it and see if that helps.

Or, maybe my problem has nothing to do with my medications – perhaps it has everything to do with my choice of sleepwear! Here I thought a t-shirt and boxers was comfy, but I never knew that they would leave my immortal soul exposed to the devil’s influence whilst I sleep. Perhaps I should invest in a set of “Armor of God PJs”, which would not only help me stave off Satan’s doings in my dreamland but also make me oh-so irresistible to the GF. Who says sexy lingerie is only for the ladies?

If that doesn’t work I think perhaps I just need to get my physical activity back up to where it was earlier this year. Nothing makes you sleep better than a good workout, right? I think I’ll head over to the gym for a bit after work today. If that doesn’t work then I’ll consider working with Wrestling for Jesus to really crank up the adrenaline. Still, don’t you think having Christ as your jobber would only make everyone in the audience turn against your wrestlers?

If I’m still not sleeping regularly, maybe I’ll need to consider changing to a less stressful line of work. For instance, teaching Sunday School. I hear that a position has recently opened up, and it looks like the only qualification is that you have testicles! One wonders what this guy would do if her were pulled over by a female police officer for speeding. Presumably, she wouldn’t take it well when he told her she “must be silent” because she can’t “have authority over a man”.

So, in closing I give a big thank you to the religious right for teaching us all how to laugh…and love…and supplying an endless bounty of bloggable material when we’re running on 5 hours sleep from the night before. Woot.

* Not scary enough to be nightmares, but not pleasant enough to enjoy. For instance last night I dreamt that I was accused of taking my own socket wrench from some guy’s repair shop. I tried to show him that it was a Husky brand (a consumer brand sold by Home Depot) but he was all suspicious that I knew so much about hand tools – clearly I was a professional thief who knew what I was doing. Damn my job for giving my subconscious a pervasive knowledge of hand tools.
** Who I stopped in to see only to discover that my cold had evolved into a sinus infection – the 6th straight time that has happened. Now he wants me to get a CAT scan to check whether something is wrong with my sinuses. Sigh…this is so not what I meant when I said I wanted a mutant power…

Friday, August 18, 2006

Get your filthy paws off me you damn furry rodents!

I heard about this story on the radio earlier this week, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it until yesterday when I noticed how much material there is on the internet about “attack squirrels”*. I don’t know which came first, the story or the proliferation of websites warning of the coming squirrel revolution, advising how best to rid the world of the squirrel menace, tales of personal encounters with attack squirrels, and articles about how attack squirrels have spread as far south as orlando.

Now, I don’t want to be the first to say “I told you so” but I was warning the world about the mortal peril that squirrels spelled for humanity months ago! Because of the way we live surrounded by squirrels and don’t acknowledge the danger they pose they have just been waiting for the right moment and that moment has come. Why hasn’t the government jumped on this? Simple, because all our conventional methods of fighting against extremist groups don’t work on squirrels – witness the following problems:

  • They are too small to fit in standard gov’t issue waterboards

  • They don’t use telephones, rendering the warrantless wiretapping program completely ineffective

  • Their “sleeper cells” can actually sleep for months, undetected under winter snows

  • There is no way to tell a regular squirrel from an extremist squirrel; unlike humans where (according to government reports) all human extremists are young, arab males who run around the desert saying “Dirka dirka dirka. Mohammad jihad.” and trying to light their shoes on fire.

  • Inner-city squirrels have been marginalized by society, and gov’t outreach programs have been largely ineffective due to funding cuts.

So what is America to do? We have to win over their hearts and minds, people! Stop clubbing them with mallets or throwing them off of motorcycles and start leaving peanuts and popcorn in the birdfeeder. If you’re a small business owner, give an unemployed squirrel a second chance by offering him or her a job**. Together we can build a bridge with the squirrel population and together, focus on the real problem…

Zombie Squirrels! The only solution to those seems to be lead…and lots of it.

* Google it and see for yourself – yep, over 2.6 million results
** They make great chimney sweeps, and look adorabuls in those dusty little hats.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quickie - The second coming is no doubt upon us

Oh my goodness gracious! The Flying Spaghetti Monster has finally revealed himself!

We must all bow down before his noodly/smokey appendage! The pirates are no doubt soon to return!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The girls aren't wild, they're just desperate for attention

As much a fan of free speech as I am, reading this article in the LA Times on “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis makes me think he’s taking it just a bit too far. Frankly, I think that if a large dog bit off his wang society would be a lot better off. Bonus points if his nads suffered permanent collateral damage that rendered him unable to reproduce and eliminated his libido.

Hopefully this article will help shut down the GGW empire which has long outlived it’s 15 minutes of fame. Of course, America will probably just move on to the next titillation-inducing fad is that will come down the road – Vegetables Gone Wild! It’ll have all the sauciness of GGW, but with way funnier dialogue:

“Hey baby, nice tomatoes! Are they hybrids?”
“Nope, they’re 100% organic!”

“Oh Trixie, you’ve got the body of a birch tree”

“Wow Bobby, your squash is so firm!”

"I'm a dirty little carrot! Woooooo!!!!!"

Not to mention all the storylines involving and entirely new angle on the groundskeeper coming over to “tend the garden”.

The "undisclosed location" revealed!

I find it interesting that the Vice Presidential residence is blurred out on Google’s satellite imagery while the White House, CIA Headquarters, and my house* are exposed for all the world to see. Sort of proves who is considered more important, no? Or, alternatively, perhaps whenever Cheney is hiding out in his “undisclosed location” that’s just code-talk for saying he’s at his house watching Oprah. After all, if his house can’t be seen from space, what’s more undisclosed than that?

Come to think of it, do you think that the VP arranged with Google to blur out the pictures, or do you think he has a roof-mounted jamming device that automatically scrambles the signal of any overhead cameras? The former is more likely, but the latter would be so much cooler! Plus, maybe it’s just his little gift to America – ensuring that we never have to actually look at his half-nekkid body lying out in the floating lounge chair at the pool.

Feeling slightly better today. Nose-blowing rate is down to about 2-3 times per hour, which is a big decrease over yesterday, which I’m very grateful for because I think that the lotion that Proctor & Gamble claims to put in its “Puffs with Lotion” is a load of crap. My nose is getting increasingly raw and tender, nothing like the smooth, tender, moisturizing caresses that the little claymation kid gets in the commercials.

* Don’t get your hopes up for a link here. If you know where I live then you don’t need to see it again, and if you don’t know where I live there’s probably a reason.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The road to recovery keeps getting longer

After a day spent sucking down Airborne, green tea, water, and orange juice I am proud to say that I have progressed to phase II – the Head Full-o-Phlegm. I knew I had arrived when I woke up at 3:00 am this morning so stuffed up that I was suffocating myself. But, several hours and several Sudafed later I’m now back up to the level of barely functional.

Why is it that being sick turns me into such a whiny b*tch? Now before all you ladies chime in with the “It’s because you’re a man and men always turn into babies when they’re sick” theory* I’ll let you know that when I was younger, I loved being sick. I would milk a case of the sniffles and a mild fever for everything it was worth in the hopes of getting to stay home from school. And being sick back then was water off a duck’s back. Even a case of the flu was a bonus because it increased the odds I’d get to stay home thanks to increased odds of throw-up.

Of course my mom insisted I stay in bed and sleep, drink plenty of fluids, all the typical mom-stuff. But once she left for work I was downstairs, eating cereal and watching TV all day. It was great. Sure, being sick was a nuisance, but it never slowed down my 8-year old self – dammit there were morning cartoons to watch!

These days I want nothing more than to just sit in bed, sleep and drink plenty of fluids when I’m sick. And I’m only 31! Think of what I’m going to be like when I’m in old age…sitting in bed at the nursing home milking my bursitis in an attempt to get more attention from the hot nurses**, no doubt.

* A perfectly good theory, and one which I’m in no position to dispute at the moment
** This will be a requirement of any nursing home I allow myself to be placed in. If my kids don’t put me in the Hooters Nursing Home I’m writing them out of the will.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I would like a nap now please

Well, after hosting a clearly under-the-weather TOWWAS last week I think it’s pretty safe to say that she was obviously harboring a mutant variant hybrid of Bird Flu and the Ebola virus as despite a near-constant intake of Airborne during her stay – it wasn’t enough. I had been fine up until yesterday morning, when I started feeling a little tickle at the back of my throat. Said tickle has now morphed into a sore throat, sniffles, and preponderance of phlegm at the back of my throat.

Needless to say, this sucks. And I didn’t feel bad enough to justify taking a sick day, particularly after missing work on Friday because of the window “issues”.

Anyway, I’m basically counting down the minutes until I can get back home and to bed today. But I ran across an interesting article today responding to the latest terrorist threat of liquids in carry-on. Apparently, not even banning liquids, laptops, and other electronic devices will keep us safe. The only logical solution is that in the near future, the only way people will be able to fly on planes at all is to board completely naked, as it is too easy to smuggle explosives aboard in pants or belts.

As if it wasn’t uncomfortable enough to be wedged next to the fat guy in 17B.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Crime strikes even the littlest bloggers

The GF lives in a gorgeous neighborhood a little over a mile north of me. It's within walking distance of Wrigley Field and is located on a little side street surrounded by very nice neighbors and is essentially a neighborhood where nobody ever gets hurt, there is no crime, and no pack of drunken rowdies drives down the street smashing out the rear windows of every car on the right side of the street.

Until, at least, last night. Having crashed at the GF's pad last night, I left this morning to discover my rear window smashed, along with those of seven other cars. It was quite the bonding experience as I met several of the GF's neighbors and swapped information on which glass companies everyone was using and the quotes we had gotten. Then I had to wait an hour for the GF to wake up so I could get back inside and wait until the service came out*. Once back inside I did breakfast with the GF and her roommate before they left for work. Once they did, I was all alone in their apartment - so I did what any good boyfriend would do in that situation - I did stuff around the house. I washed up the dishes from breakfast and fixed a loose knob on a closet door before settling in with a book that I've been working on for a few months now**.

By the time the service came out it was noon, and I got to watch and learn all the steps involved in removing and replacing windows in a car. It turns out that it's a fairly destructive process, involving smashing out the remaining glass, and using a big knife to slice out the existing adhesive. Frankly, the experience was a little disturbing - like watching a loved one go through surgery***. Eventually I had to leave for a while. Besides, I figured these guys are professionals - by hovering like I was I was probably just annoying them, and one never wants to annoy people working on your car. besides, after they were done I still wasn't supposed to drive it for another two hours to give the adhesive time to set.

So I took a little walking tour of the GF's neighborhood - stopping in at CB2 to browse and Starbucks to kill the last hour. While at Starbucks, I sipped a mocha while people-watching. Mostly pretty normal people, except for the guy who comes in with the 1970's wannabe longish hair, aviator sunglasses, sculpted stubble, and man-sandals. Every inch the hipster - except for the bright pink sleeveless t-shirt that proclaimed "Seventeen Pretty Squad". So close, yet sooo far...

By this time though it was time to get back home and take a shower. But on the way back to my car I saw one more thing that I can't resist mentioning. Obviously, being much more aware of security in the GF's neighborhood, I couldn't help but notice that someone else in the neighborhood didn't quite get the idea of how to secure one's prized posessions [observe picture to the left]...

Yeah, even though the person had the steel cable and padlock required to secure the chair from someone walking off with it, instead of actually wrapping the cable *around* the chair, they had just locked the cable together and then just set the padlock on *top* of the chair...

Hmmmm...ah well, who knows? Maybe it's a very heavy padlock.

* Before 7:00 there is no waking the GF - it simply cannot be done with tools available to civilians.
** I gave it to the GF so I only read it when I'm over there - I'd feel guilty borrowing it back
*** Particularly the point where they used the pry bar to break loose the underhousing

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Celebrate your unmentionables, America!

Wait a minute…yesterday was “National Underwear Day”? Complete with a fashion show of models parading around in their underwear in the middle of Time Square? How did I miss this? One would think that a society that hypes the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show as much as it does would be all over this. Do you think some senator actually got a resolution passed?

WHEREAS underwear was one of the primary causes for the Industrial Revolution, which brought great wealth to our country and strengthened our position as a global leader, and

WHEREAS underwear is one of the few things that unites our pluralistic society, since even though some prefer boxers and some prefer briefs, while others choose thongs and still others sport boy shorts – yet with the exception of a few dirty hippies we all wear some form of underwear, and

WHEREAS nobody doesn’t like watching hot chicks parade around in their skivvies,

THEREFORE we, the Congress of the United States of America, do hereby declare the 8th day of August to be National Underwear Day. To be celebrated via parades of underwear models in every community across this great nation. So may it be proclaimed throughout the land.

What’s even funnier is when you consider how many Senators could serve as sponsors of the bill where their name would only make it funnier: think “the Chafee-Boxer National Underwear Day Bill” or the “Crapo-Brownback Bill”. Hee hee hee…

Come to think of it, I wonder if this is why the waitress yesterday was showing off her underwear-fragment fashion…

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm turning into a curmudgeon at only 31

Today I took the day off since it is TOWWAS' last day in town and we wanted to "paint the town red"*. Last night she felt a little tickle in her throat, and wouldn't you know this morning she woke up with a full-blown cold. We tried goign down to breakfast at the Bongo room to see if that would help at all, but it didn't really and so we came back to my house soe she could fall asleep on the couch. It's too late for me to go into work for the afternoon, so I'm enjoying the feeling of taking a lazy Wednesday. As of yet, I haven't decided whether to go out for Cupcakes and Narnia.

But that doesn't mean I'm out of things to blog about. Thankfully the Bongo Room is nowhere near as busy during the week as it is on weekends for brunch. So we were able to score a table right away. A few minutes later, the hostess seated another couple at the booth right next to us. It was at that point where I noticed it - "the waistband". Our waitress was wearing a short that appeared to have a little elastic strap around the top - right above her bustline. What was weird about it was that this strap appeared to have been taken off of a pair of women's underwear. See the picture at right for my ever-so-stealthy photographic evidence.

Now, I don't pretend to be a doddering old man, forever shocked and awed by the way girls dress these days. Heck most of the time I'm a big fan of flaunting what you got, but this time I was shocked. This was patently unfair. I mean, guys have been programmed to want to see women's underwear and now they are totally using that fact to take advantage of us. I mean first there was the baring of bra straps everywhere one looked and then there was blatant thong exposure. Now it's progressed to the point where panties are being deconstructed and turned into little bits of flair used for no other reason than to say "HEY! YOU WITH THE PENIS! LOOK OVER HERE AT ME!!!". It all seems like it's a little excessive. Besides, isn't this what boobs are for anyway?

* Where "painting the town red" means "going to see the Tut exhibit at the Field Museum"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Grrrbear's Job Search Tips, Ch 1 - Know what *not* to know

You know when you’re looking over someone’s resume for them? Do you ever read those little “about me” bullet points at the end where they give little nuggets about their personalities in a desperate attempt to appear human? I ran across one today where the person listed the following item:

  • Lifestyles of the rich and famous as detailed in People, In Touch, and US Weekly

IN HER RESUME!

Good lord…

Frankly, I blame VH1. With all their endless programming that centers around the minutia of celebrity life and trivial details about pop culture* the youth of today has somehow come to believe that all that stuff actually matters. So much so that companies looking to hire people will want to hire people who are up to date on the latest developments in Paris Hilton’s sex life or which third world country Brangelina is visiting this week**.

Yeah…not so much.

* e.g. “I Love the 80’s/90’s/70’s”, “Best Week Ever”, “Celebrity Fit Club” and the rest of the Celebreality gang
** BTW, has anyone heard from Maddox or the-other-adopted-kid-whose-name-nobody-can-remember lately? Ever since Shiloh’s been born it’s like they fell off the face of the planet, or went to go play with Suri Cruise and never came back.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekend Guests and Businesswomen Gone Wild!

I’m a but rushed today and have nearly no lunch left as I spent most of it finishing up an RFP for the theater company*.

The weekend was fun, but crazy busy as I was hosting Mamabear Friday through Sunday, during which she drug me through the entire flea market that I went to with the GF last month in about 3 hours**. For comparison, when the GF and I were there we covered about a third of it in the same amount of time.

Then on Sunday morning I dropped her off, washed sheets and towels, and proceeded to wait for the arrival of TOWWAS, who is visiting this week to partay in Chi-town. I proceeded to give her a warm Chicago welcome by taking her to Market Days*** to show her how the boys in Boystown party****. The funny story is how the GF had no idea who TOWWAS was until I told her “You know, [real first name] is The One Who Writes About Science.” Suddenly, it was like she was hanging out with an old friend. Kind of weird how we feel we get to know people in blogd where they don’t give their first name or any information about vast swathes of our personal lives.

Sadly, I’m stuck at work finishing a project until Wednesday, but then TOWWAS and I will be exploring the city all day. Until then, she’s out and about on her own while I’m at work. If you want to know you’ll have to check her blog – I won’t know until then either. She’s got no excuse not to blog, there’s a computer in her room.

Meanwhile, until then, ponder this article I read in an e-newsletter today about the increasing prevalence of hotels reserving entire floors specifically for women traveling alone for business. At first, I thought this was sort of enlightened, but in a weird way. But when I read the quote about the “benefits” of staying at the Shula’s Patrician Floor I was skeptical:

"As an added amenity, Patrician Floor guests get free access to the hotel's Signature Room, Shula's version of a concierge room, which offers complimentary breakfast, Monday night football game viewing and a Wednesday night cocktail hour."

So, the benefit is that the girls all get to go down, drink and watch Monday Night Football? Doesn’t this increasingly sound like a pathetic attempt to ensure that young, attractive businesswomen are hanging out in the bar watching the game and getting drunk instead of an enlightened benefit for single women travelers?

Hmmm….

* Ah yes, the glamorous life of board membership – no doubt KC knows what I’m talking about.
** She’s no spring chicken, but she can move like a gazelle when there are antiques around to provide motivation
*** Where the GF was working a booth
**** Complete with booths selling gay porn & sex toys, and a booth with a ring-toss game titled “Give a pig a pearl necklace”. No, the GF was working at neither of those – she was hawking free-trade coffee and chocolate. Very good chocolate, I might add…

Friday, August 04, 2006

Security has gone to the dogs

Okay, let’s pretend you’re a dog. A smart dog in the peak of physical ability – like , say, a Doberman pincher. One day your master takes you to a room where you suddenly find yourself surrounded on all sides by bears! Everywhere you look, you see their beady little eyes glaring at you in open defiance of your dog-authority. You can see it in their eyes, thinly veiled promises of a violent death soon to come. Maybe it’ll be when you’re bending down for a drink from your water bowl. Maybe it’ll be during your next nap. Maybe it’ll be while you’re sitting on the couch watching Animal Planet. But the one thing you do know is it’ll come when you least expect it.

So what do you do? Sit around and wait for the leader-bear to give the signal, launching a tidal wave of furry death and destruction upon you? Hell no! You launch yourself at them in a pre-emptive strike! Biting and snarling, you hurl yourself at the fangs and claws of the bear army, plunging deep into their ranks, tearing limb from limb and head from torso! You are fighting for your very life, and surely your master has no idea of the threat these bears pose, because he has allowed them into the house to begin with*. You must save your master from the bear menace! Grrrr!

This, I believe, is exactly what was going through the head of Barney the Doberman, who recently tore apart a collection of stuffed teddy bears in a museum in England**. It’s no wonder really, that he was so willing to be photographed not only at the escene of the crime, but looking so proud of himself. After all, how often does a dog get in the headlines for saving the earth from a horde of thousands of clawed bears! You can almost see the pride on his face in the picture.

* It’s not that you blame your master for doing so. After all, your master doesn’t watch the Colbert Report, how would he know about the danger bears pose to our society?
** Including one that belonged to Elvis when he was a small boy, and no doubt served as the inspiration for the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich - the evil little creature's evil manifesting itself through a plan to kill lil' Elvis via heart disease.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quickie - If you haven't already seen it

The joys of YouTube are less about the stuff everyone else is buzzing about and more about finding the stuff like this that everyone else has probably already seen but you never actually stumbled across.

My favorite is the girl who tells her friend it's painless...girls are so cruel.

Interestingly enough, almost all the other videos of "waxing" on YouTube are of guys. So ladies if you want to see how we take it, click on the "waxing" link off to the right.

No, you won't find any videos of me waxing. I don't have enough left to take risks like this anymore.

Live fast, post often, leave a good-looking blog

Well, I completely forgot to mention it, but yesterday was a blog-related milestone – my 2-year blog-iversary. Yes, as hard is it is for even me to believe I have been managed to go two years without completely running out of things to say. Of course, not everything that I have written has been terribly interesting but in going back and re-reading some of the old stuff I’ve re-discovered some things I’m almost proud of.

Another point of note about hitting the two year mark is that this apparently makes me an “old man” among the blogging community. Whenever I click through the “next blog” link at the top of the page* I typically encounter either:
  1. A blog in a language I can’t read

  2. A spam blog

  3. Or, more typically, a blog that has been started in the last 6 months.

Given that I’ve only been around for two years, this strikes me as a bit odd. I mean, if being two makes me old, does that mean my posts have to grow increasingly curmudgeonly and cantankerous with each passing year? Am I destined to become the Daniel Shore of Blogger.com – going off on a hysterical rant every day just to hear myself talk**? The thought of it sends shivers down my spine.

Now, let me tell you about how the Bush administration sucks…

* Which isn’t often, but occasionally.
** It’s not that I disagree with the guy, I’m just getting to tired of hearing him say “The Bush administration sucks!” every day. I just want to sit him down and say “Dan… you are talking to an audience of Public Radio Listeners…we already know this.”

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Quickie - A whole new meaning to the term "Broadway"

Like most moms of my generations, mine was a big fan of the movie musical “The Sound of Music”. So when I read that Andrew Lloyd Webber is planning a stage version of the play, I was a little surprised to read that he is searching for a “quirky, eccentric girl aged 17-21, a tomboy, not a conventional beauty” I assumed that he was looking for someone to play the role of Liesl. But no, that described what Webber is looking for in an actress to play the lead part of Maria.

Wait a minute, I’m supposed to believe that Julie Andrews was supposedly a mother figure to the kids when she’s barely a year older than the oldest daughter? What a load of crap. This is either a blatant attempt to land a young Hollywood starlet** or Webber's skeevy way of cruising for younger women.

** Now that Scarlett’s turned him down I’ll be he’s on the phone trying to book Hillary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, and/or the Olesen twins. Paris Hilton, no doubt, is his “safety skank”.

My hips tell the world I'm a weirdo

Wrapping up the L&B Nuptuals-o-Fun (TM) stories, in the interest of time I'll skip over all the points Spice mentioned in her comment to focus on two parts of the trip that I found most noteworthy.

First, I learned that the general public in Michigan has no idea how to drive in winter. Being from Minnesota, winter driving instruction takes up a significant portion of driver's ed. We spent weeks covering concepts like “steering into the skid”, “black ice” and the safest distance to travel behind a snowplow* we spend at least a day talking about the dangers of bridges in winter. You see in the late fall and early spring – when temperatures hover just below freezing – one typically doesn't have to worry about ice on the road because the ground is warmer than the air temperature. With bridges though because there is no ground to keep them warm, you'll encounter situations where the road on either side of the bridge is fine, but that going over the bridge is a slick, icy mess. This fact was hammered into our collective heads so hard that I can barely cross a pedestrian bridge in July without watching my footing.

But apparently in Michigan, people need to be reminded of the fact that Bridges may be icy by placing a sign before each and every bridge in the state that says “BRIDGES MAY BE ICY”. We saw so many of these signs that what started off as an oddity quickly became an inside joke which eventually transformed into an old, boring comedy bit that everyone got tired of and no longer found funny – all in the course of 36 hours.

The other interesting anecdote occurred at the reception following the wedding. Well into the evening of dancing and groove-thing shaking, I was taking a break to catch my breath and rehydrate when a woman I had never met came up to me and started talking. She was very nice and a little tipsy, but she kept asking whether A.St was my girlfriend. When I replied in the negative she became a little touchy-feely – not in a pervy way, but more in a flirty way. Realizing that this could go nowhere (and noticing the large rock on her left ring finger) I told her about the GF, but that didn't really seem to stop her. She kept talking for about another half-hour until her husband came and (in his words) rescued me. She was very friendly though, and we bonded over the fact that we both drive the same car. When I got home and told the GF about it, she replied “Well, you do have a certain magnetism when you're on the dance floor”.

This was something that I wasn't really aware of. In fact after reviewing some inadvertent video clips shot on my camera where I am visible I think it's safe to say that that the GF refers to as “magnetism” could more adequately be described as a “grand mal seizure” or “body possessed by demons”. I think I look weird, but maybe that's true of everyone. Who knows? Maybe Shakira watches her music videos on MTV and thinks “Man, I look like such a freakazoid – I'm never working with that choreographer again...”**.

Anyway, it was fun to get hit on by a complete stranger. Even if it was the drunk girl and even if she was just making friendly conversation.

* The answer is: none. Get off the road and grab a cup of coffee to let it get far enough ahead of you so as to not be able to catch up. Tailgating a plow is nature's way of weeding out the mentally unfit-to-drive.
** Only she thinks this in Spanish, of course.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My date was on a stick, but she was the hit of the party

After 24 hours back in town and a solid night's sleep, I am back. The wedding this weekend was of my friend L.Le and her fiance B.Ke. L.Le was a good friend from college, and we became “travel buddies” after graduation*. Myself, Spice, J.Po and her manfriend Jiggity all decided to meet up and carpool out to Ann Arbor to keep costs to a minimum. J.Po/Jiggity flew in to O'Hare Friday night** and crashed at my place before Spice drove through town to pick us up in the rental car. Also traveling along was a cardboard cutout picture of our friend A.St, who is on vacation in the Galapagos with her family but who didn't want to miss attending the festivities in some form. We piled into the car and headed over to pick up some brunch before leaving town. L.Le had a pre-wedding reception/party at her folk's place that evening and we wanted to be sure we had enough time to get there at a reasonable hour

Now, as many of you know, Chicago is in the central time zone and Ann Arbor is in the eastern time zone. All four of us in the car also knew this, having gone to very good schools for undergrad and grad school. Yet we somehow all failed to recall about losing the hour until J.Po suddenly piped up and said “Hey, why does my cell phone say it's 6:30?” when the car's built-in clock clearly said it was an hour earlier. Needless to say, there was much chagrin felt all around.

We did make it in time for the last half-hour of the reception, but by that time most of the food was already eaten***. But by that time we were just happy to make it at all, considering that the house was located in the middle of a wilderness. I was unaware that any wilderness was left in a 100 mile radius of Detroit, but it does, and L.Le's folk's house is located right in the middle of it. Frankly, I was a little worried about bear attacks.

The next morning we woke up planning to go meet some other alumni friends for brunch at a popular local spot called Zingerman's, followed by awalking tour of Ann Arbor and maybe the U Mich campus. While the brunch was excellent, the walking tour left much to be desired because it was approximately eleventy billion degrees outside, which was enough to melt shoe soles as well as our desire to play tourist. We did have fun walking around with the cutout of A.St though, because she was mounted on the end of a yardstick, we appeared to be a small student group protesting something. Apparently, what we were protesting was a topic of much consternation amongst the townspeople, many of whom gave me**** unusual looks, or just marched up and asked us what we were protesting – a source of much bemusement to the group.

Eventually we were beat into submission by the heat, and returned to the hotel to wring out our sweat-drenched clothes, shower, and get dressed for the wedding. The ceremony itself was held on the grounds of an old mansion north of Detroit (apparently, Eminem got married here at one point during one of his marriages to Kim). The grounds were gorgeous, the people were friendly, and there was a huge thunderstorm earlier in the day which helped cool things off just enough to make the weather tolerable.

The ceremony was fine, but it was the party afterwards which was freaking awesome. A.St and I sat together at our table***** with a lot of other alumni from OAM and two strangers. Now, people from Our Alma Mater tend to be pretty raucous at weddings – to the point where we are typically isolated on the fringes of the reception hall, far away from family and non-OAM friends. But at this wedding we were right down front and center – next to the dance floor. We responded dutifully, occupying the dance floor whenever music that wasn't house****** was playing. I think I danced more last night than I have in months, which has resulted in serious soreness permeating my legs and shoulders even now. Much of the shoulder soreness can probably be attributed to my carrying A.St around all evening, despite her getting to dance with every other OAM alumni in the room at one point or another*******.

On top of all this, B&L had five different wedding cakes! I was in heaven. I think I had 4-5 pieces of three different kinds of cake. It was freaking awesome! Thankfully, the music was also good, so I returned to the dance floor to burn off the cake before it went to my gut. More adventures ensued there, but those'll have to wait until tomorrow – this post is already way too long and I need to get back to work.

* Touring places like NYC and the big trip to France and Spain in 2002
** And arrived – shockingly – an hour and a half late
*** With the exception of some cookies and assorted raw vegetables, which made for a dinner of questionable nutritional value'
**** Me being the designated “A.St carrier” most of the trip
***** Table 11 rulez!
****** House music was never big at OAM; Prince, Madonna, ABBA, and Pet Shop Boys however will send us scurrying to the dance floor like roaches with the lights turned off.
******* She partied harder that night than I've ever thought possible – about halfway through the night, she was wearing my necktie around her head like a bandana. By the time we got back to the hotel, she was so wasted that she passed out in the bathtub. Those cardboard cutouts sure can't hold their liquor...