Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The maginitude of the GF's coolness knows no bounds!

Those of you who are regular readers might think you know how cool the GF is, what with her teaching me to dress myself and all. But the thing is you don’t know the half of it. In addition to being smart, funny, and hot, she’s also a very gifted filmmaker. Don’t believe me? Well now you can actually watch something that she made because it’s up on the internets!

Current TV is a really interesting network in that not only does it solicit programs to aid from viewers, but it also airs commercials for selected sponsors made by viewers. She and some friends of hers went out and made an ad for the Toyota Prius a couple weeks ago and the finished version is now up on the Current TV website for America to go and vote on whether it gets aired.

Check it out:

Now go vote your approval! Show the corporate bigwigs that consumers will respond to other stimuli than “588-2300”, talking ducks, geckos with ever-evolving accents, and emotionally-insecure cavemen!

Obviously, I’m biased, but I think it’s freakin’ awesome. Hopefully Toyota will think so too and they’ll give her a free Prius.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Much lurve for the weekend


You know, nothing feels as good as taking a weekend off. Sleeping late, finishing the Harry Potter book*, polishing off the three Netflix movies that have been hanging around my living room for weeks, spending QT with the GF, more sleeping, catching up on Tivo’d episodes of the Colbert Report. It was marvelous!

The downside however is that I have very little to blog about from the weekend. The one thing which was a little amusing is from the GF and my trip down to Wicker Park Fest** in my old ‘hood of Wicker Park. We went Sunday evening for a beer and to catch some music and peoplewatch. Since Wicker Park is the center of the Greater Chicagoland Urban Hipster Sanctuary, the peoplewatching there is particularly good - lots of witty T’s***, unusual piercings, faux-bedhead hairstyles, and copious tattooage.

But in the end, Wicker Park is like a lot of gentrifying neighborhoods in that it is rapidly being swarmed by loads of yuppie-types who can’t afford to live in Lincoln Park but want the lifestyle. We’re seeing more Bugaboo strollers being pushed by young moms carrying their Fendi bags and drinking their Starbucks. Which is why we were a little surprised to see one of the stands set up at the fair was for Batteries Not Included – a local establishment that sells, ahem, “adult” films and “novelties”. Apparently, they had just opened a second location down the street and were using the fest to introduce themselves. Their first location has been in Boystown for years, but (as the guy explained to us) the Wicker Park location carries a different selection of products due to the “somewhat different demographics” of that neighborhood.

What kind of surprised me was that their wares were pretty much up and out on the street in view of anyone who walked in. And considering that some of the cover art on the dvd’s was - shall we say - less than subtle, it was no surprise to the GF and myself that their tent had been located somewhat off the main drag in a parking lot off to one side. Of course, to hear the employees say it, apparently they didn’t understand the “different demographics” as well as they claimed. Oh well, I hope it works out for them and that the location sells a lot of novelties. After all I’d much rather have that than another Starbucks, bank, or real estate office. America doesn’t need any more of those, but it can only benefit from more stores selling outrageously-priced exotic women’s underwear! F*ck yeah!

* Which I completely agree with TOWWAS – the ending is very satisfying.
** Which is one of the countless neighborhood festivals that happen in Chicago during the summer – live music + beer tent + fair food + overpriced purse/jewelry vendors.
*** Although I was complemented multiple times on my Threadless shirt, which felt very validating.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quickie - From TOWWAS

Apparently, my baldness and blindness makes me worthless compared to J.Po and TOWWAS:

$3925.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth. From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Needless to say, this was really disappointing. I mean come on, all the references to "boobs" and I don't at least get a "PG"? Something's not right...

Online Dating

WOOOOO!!! I'm almost 3/4 geek!
74% Geek

If all lawyers are idiots, and this guy is a lawyer, then...

All right, as much as I want to completely ignore the latest saga in Lindsay Lohan’s slow descent into the spiral of irrelevance* I cannot help but notice that apparently Hollywood has nobody in the area who is smart enough to actually help people get their lives turned around.

I know this because while reporting the story, the AP quoted a “Century City [California] defense attorney who's also a certified drug and alcohol counselor” named Barry Gerald Sands who shared his opinion about LiLo’s current “situation”:
"Whatever you have done in the past, do a 360-degree turn and go the other way," Sands said Wednesday. "She has to change her alleged friends, people sharing or selling her drugs. She has to lead a clean and sober life.”

Of course, my readers are all so brilliant that you spotted the problem with that statement immediately, but if you’ve just stumbled across this story while searching for images of Princess Leia in the slave outfit** I’ll explain. You see, in order to completely turn one’s direction around (to facilitate going in the complete opposite direction) it is necessary to do a 180-degree turn, not a 360-degree turn. Doing the 360 would result in your continuing to travel in exactly the same direction, only you’ve spun in a complete circle, which is probably not what you wanto do when you’re trying to convince people that you are, indeed, not drunk off your butt.

* The way I see it, in the Episode of “True Hollywood Story: Lindsay Lohan” we’re at the point where either she begins her inspiring life turnaround on her way to winning three best actress Oscars or we’re about a month or two before she’s dead of an overdose. 50/50 either way at this point.
** True fact – my hits from people looking for that caused traffic to pretty much triple last week, and I only posted the link to the picture. Go figure.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Talk amongst yourselves...

Between work ramping up for the start of a new project and a bevy of stuff going on weeknights this week I’ve entered one of those periods where you find yourself frantically searching your scheduler, desperately trying to figure out when things will all even out and some downtime will appear. For me, it’s not wrapping up until next Friday, although most of my weekend is currently free, I have a driver’s safety school class to do and have promised myself I’ll finish the Harry Potter book before I accidentally overhear some teenager at the El Stop talking about how she couldn’t believe that the book ends with Harry waking up and it turns out the whole thing was a dream and he’s actually a lead character from an earlier book series* like the series finale of “Newhart”.

Unfortunately all of the craziness in my non-work life is really too dull to be blogworthy – mostly things like getting groceries or dropping the car off at the shop**. So I’m forced to talk about neat stuff I saw on the web recently. Today it’s one that I think TOWWAS will particularly enjoy, what with her being a singer and all...

Check it out. In particular, check out the first and second recordings. Then, when you’re feeling bad about your own singing abilities, listen to the third. *That* woman sold out Carnegie Hall and was apparently the William Hung of her time. Of course, one wonders whether William Hung would have sold out Carnegie Hall, but that’s a point for the scholars to debate.

If you're particularly bored, also check out the sounds of the Russian exorcism (which even I found to be creepy, and I'm not all that creeped out by stuff like this often) and the "first recorded human voice" which I could only kinda tell was a human, but could in no way understand, perhaps because it's in another language, I don't know - can you understand it?

* Say, Encyclopedia Brown or Tom Sawyer
** Granted, there may be blog-worthy drama when I get the bill, but that won’t be until tomorrow at the earliest.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Seeing old friends in a whole new way

It's not often that somebody messes with one of the joys of my youth and I don't become filled with internet-rage*. Case in point, the announcement that Michael Bay was directing the new Transformers Movie. Well, last week some artist got the idea in his head that it would be interesting to re-draw the characters from the Charlie Brown comic strip as anime characters.

Needless to say, I expected myself to be filled with a justifiable desire for vengance. I mean, how could this person trifle with the Norman Rockwell of the funny pages? Granted, Charles Shultz wasn't always the funniest strip on the page, but he was consistent and his characters were immediately identifiable as all of our friends. We all had a Sally in our lives, a Linus, a Peppermint Patty, etc. Pretty much the only character I didn't have a real-life version of growing up was Franklin, but that's because I was from small-town MN and there were no black people in my town other than college students**.

Anyway, when I saw his concept art I found that actually the results were pretty interesting. The first thing that I thought was "I always thought that Linus would have less hair". And the second thing I thought was "Holy crap Lucy is *hot*!" which was kind of weird for me because she was always my least favorite character in the strip, being the one who picked on the protagonist all the time. And yet now, here she was - a total babe. It was a very weird experience for me, not unlike what I imagine Kevin Arnold experienced the first time Winnie Cooper showed up at the bus stop in her go-go boots in the Wonder Years pilot episode.

* Like regular rage, except not so upset that you're willing to go out and do anything about it.
** True fact. I didn't meet a real-life black person until I was in Junior High and we had an "exchange pastor" from Tanzania at my church for the summer.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quickie - "I slept with your wife"

All right, normally I don't give blind plugs to stuff I see on the interweb like this, but I saw a post on Reddit about this guy who challenged a cartoonist to quickly draw 200 bad comics.

The results are here.

But honestly, I think they are pretty funny. Occasionally hysterical, even. In all cases funnier than Family Circus.

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

Given the not-insignificant percentage of nerds in my readership, it's pretty likely that most of you are aware of the specially-modified 747 that serves as the transportation for the Space Shuttle, carrying it from the landing strip in California back to Cape Canaveral in cases where the Shuttle needs to land at Edwards Air Force Base.

In case you need a refresher, here's a picture of the Space Shuttle carrier, showing the shuttle itself mounted in position:

In that picture, you can easily see the little pylons where the shuttle itself attaches to the plane. Obviously, a neat solution to a significant problem, and much faster than sticking it on a boat and floating it through the Panama canal. It was creative thinking like this that inspired me to want to work at NASA when I was a little kid*.

Yet I have recently come across some information that highlights the fact that apparently not everyone who works at NASA is a rocket scientist. Those very same connection pylons that latch the shuttle to the carrier plane apparently are designed with a little warning, which is shown on little signs painted on their side (click on the image for better detail):

You know, all warning signs are there for a reason. I just can't stop giggling when I think of the situation that prompted the placement of those signs.
NASA Chief: "Johnson! Get over here! The black side goes *down* you nincompoop!"

Johnson: "Oooooh. Is *that* why the tail ripped a hole in the roof of the plane?"

NASA Chief: "Dammit Johnson, do I have to put a *sign* on all the pylons?!"
Ah, government bureaucrats...

* Well, that and the movie Spacecamp. Leah Thompson + Kelly Preston = HOT! Plus, the added bonus of a pre-Gladiator/Walk The Line Joaquin Phoenix as Max, the requisite annoying little kid who's obviously too young to actually go to SpaceCamp but exists in the story purely to convince 11-year olds like myself that we're perfectly capable of surviving the trip, and are indeed essential to America's space program, even if NASA doesn't acknowledge it and rejected the application I sent in immediately after seeing the film.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

But do they have Kung-Fu grip?

Wal-mart is getting ready to start selling action figures portraying various characters from the Bible, including Jesus, Samson, and Daniel*. Now I have no problem with bible toys for kids. Honestly, I think that it’s preferable for kids to play with Jesus action figures, coming up with imaginative games and stories to act out. It's a lot better than sitting around letting Dora the Explorer yell inane questions at the kid while they sit on the couch like a morbidly obese whale munching ho-ho's and dreaming dreams of Guitar Hero stardom.

Yet, there’s a problem with this toy concept – do the parents who buy these toys for their kids really expect them to play out the stories verbatim from the good book? Because I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case. Given my experiences playing with my Star Wars figures, it’s far more likely that there will be all sorts of crossover play involving other toy lines. For example, Jesus could move into the Batcave playset and drive down to the mall in the Barbie Porsche. Or he could team up with Spider-Man to battle the Green Goblin. Or go down to the after hours club with his b*tches, the Bratz. Word. Somehow I don’t think this possibility has been considered by anyone who buys these toys for their grandkid.

But let’s imagine for a moment that the kids *did* re-enact the stories exactly as they were told in the bible. The manufacturer needs to be careful what they wish for, because eventually the kids will start demanding more and more figures to act out *all* the stories. And there must be *thousands* of possible figures they could sell! But after a while, they will run out of the child-friendly options and the kids will start demanding figures to act out Lot and his Daughters, Job** or the complete Song of Solomon playset***.

Yup…can’t wait to see what Pat Robertson has to say about that.

* Who comes complete with a little lion action figure as well, allowing the kids to re-enact the perilous scenes in the lion's den to their hearts content!
** “Play as the Lord and smite him yourself, with optional boils!”
*** “Now with twin roes!”

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Maybe he just hates trees

On my way into work I found myself behind a car in traffic. This, in itself is not a particularly noteworthy event, but what stuck me as odd was the fact that this car had at least six and possibly as many as 15 of those pine-tree air fresheners dangling from his rear view mirror. There were so many of them, in fact, that the individual shapes of each one became loss in a large, multi-colored mass of pointy-things. Frankly, it looked like a depressed hedgehog performance artist had covered himself in a variety of shades of paint and hung himself from the mirror.

This was weird enough in itself, but it got me thinking about the reasons why this person felt it was necessary to use so many air fresheners at the same time.

  • He is a zombie, and needs the overwhelming power of the air fresheners to hide his undead status from the girls he meets on e-harmony.
  • He’s kind of gassy, and so much fresh pine scent serves as a screen – allowing him to fart as much as he likes without his passengers even noticing
  • He’s a complete lazy-ass, and removing the old pine tree would be “too much work and stuff”
  • He’s delusional, and believes that as long as his car *smells* like “New Car”, it *is* a new car. Even if it’s an ’83 Malibu – all it takes is MORE AIR FRESHENERS!
  • He’s into substance abuse, and the latest thing is huffing mass quantities of “Pine Forest” while driving.

Any other ideas? Otherwise I'm either going with the Zombie one or the Lazy-Ass...

Quickie - Overheard...

...at the Cubs game recently - a conversation between two Lincoln Park Chad frat-boys in the row behind me:

Chad #1: Did I tell you about the time my friend was making out with this drunk chick in the bathroom at this bar? He was in Charlotte for business and he was talking up this chick and she said "Do you wanna go somewhere quieter?" So he followed her into the bathroom and she pulls him into the stall and starts going at him, man! But then her fat friend comes into the bathroom and tries to get her to come out of the stall! She's totally trying to open the door, saying "Come out [whatever the name was]! It's time to go!" The drunk chick was telling her to go away, but she wouldn't leave and kept trying to open the stall door. Finally we heard the fat chick get down on her knees and she stuck her head *under* the stall door to yell at her friend! Man, it was so weird...

Chad #2: Dude, that was me.

Chad #1: Seriously?

Chad #2: Yeah dude, that was my story.

Chad #1: Whoa man, that would have freaked me out!

And people wonder why I don't go out in Lincoln Park...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There is no I in team, but there is a U in that particular "Endeavour"

Maybe it's just me, but it appears as though some child got left behind and then went to work for NASA's publicity department:

Yes, someone spelled the name of the shuttle wrong. Not the word, mind, but the shuttle Endeavour is actually spelled with the British "u" in the end because it's named after James Cook's ship and he was a Brit. And those Brits lurve their extraneous* u's...

Now, to be fair, rocket scientists are supposed to be good at *math* moreso than spelling, but still, one would suspect that someone working in advertising or PR would know how to spell the thing they were publicizing, no?

More on this here, if you're interested

* No, this one is actually necessary.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Living the frat boy dream

This weekend the GF and I were invited by a friend of mine to go out with him on his boat on the lake. We accepted, of course*, and made our way down to the dock for our 11:00 departure. It was, frankly, a *perfect* day to be out on the lake, sunny with a few clouds, a nice breeze, and temperatures in the mid-70’s. Two other friends of the owner were there as well as his girlfriend and a friend of hers. So we were a party of seven, but the boat was big enough for everyone to find a seat comfortably.

Now, where I come from, boating is a pretty active sort of activity. You go down to the lake and drive around back and forth to different places. Maybe do some skiing, maybe get pulled on an inner tube, that sort of thing. I wasn’t exactly certain what sort of activities boating on Lake Michigan entailed, but I figured it’d be fairly similar.

Boy was I wrong.

We ended up driving around to a little spot just off of Oak Street Beach and dropping anchor. It was obviously a pretty popular spot, as there were *dozens* of other boats there, many of which were much bigger than ours. I swear, it was like I had been plucked up and dropped down in the middle of the MTV beach house. The neighbor boats were huge and apparently came with their own supply of bikini-girls, one in particular had a bikini-girl:speedo-clad, slightly tubby white guy ratio of apparently 10:1. The owner of that boat was also wearing a white tuxedo and oversized top hat.

It was all exactly like what I thought my first fraternity party would have been like had I ever attended one, only on the water. That said, it was hella fun! We inflated our little party platform and tied it onto the boat, crawled on board and then switched between sipping mojitos** in the sun and swimming when we got warm. And, thanks to my SPF 55 sunscreen, I didn’t get any sunburn *anywhere*. As a matter of fact, a boatload of bikini-girls drove past gawking at me, apparently so smitten with my fish-belly whiteness that they were speechless.

Oh yeah, ladies love the pastiness...

* After all, the only thing better than owning a boat is having a friend with a boat
** One of the other guests on the boat was a former bartender

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pants-Off Dance-Off, Indeed

On the way home from work yesterday, I ran across this billboard for the iPod:

Now, obviously, the quality on my cell phone camera isn't quite equal to that of my regular camera. But as I sat there gazing up at the brightly-colored image, it suddenly struck me that that chick totally wasn't wearing pants! Seriously, there was no telltale sign of the bottom of a pant leg, no little rise of the silhouette where the end of the tights/leggings would be (down near the ankle), nothing.

Heck, for all I could tell she was wearing a safety vest, sneakers, her iPod, and a smile.

So what kind of message is Apple trying to send here?
  • iPods - So awesome that nobody will notice you're nekkid!
  • iPods - Make you dance like you gots no pantz!
  • iPods - Support our charity campaign to clothe the indigent!
On the other, I suppose she could just be wearing thong underwear, but that just doesn't seem like something that'd be comfortable to walk around in all day, much less if you're doing the safety dance like this chick is. But maybe I'm wrong, my personal experience with thong underwear is, admittedly, limited.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hunka-hunka flabby butt!

I’ve given up entirely on the idea of trickling out stories from the camping trip in favor of compiling everything into one ginormous post that will contain everything from the trip. The downside of this is that because it’s probably going to end up being so big it’s not possible to put it together in time to become today’s post. Maybe tonight, after work. Until then, I’ll just keep going with what’s up in my life now.

On the way home from work yesterday, I stopped by the Walgreens to hit the ATM and pick up some milk and breakfast cereal* since I am rapidly running out of food at home due to not having been grocery shopping since March. As I was making my way over to the checkout however, I spotted a little display for a new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup version that featured the regular peanut butter + chocolate combo, but with the added flavor bonus of banana cream too. Best of all, it was called “the Elvis”:

At first I was amazed. Not only at the daring combination, but also that the Presley estate had allowed the King’s image to be used to promote that particular combination. I mean, it was peanut butter + banana sandwiches that was largely responsible for Elvis’ transformation from the young, lithe, dangerous Elvis into the sweaty, chubby Elvis flopping around stage in Hawaii**, right? It’s even more disturbing when you consider that they are being released as a limited edition to mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

Examining the label, it easily became obvious why the bloat occurred – in a package containing two cups, each cup contains 360 calories, meaning that eating just one package would give you the same about of calories as an Arby’s “Market Fresh” Roast Turkey and Swiss Sandwich***.

Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me and I tried one. Frankly, it wasn’t all that great. Not bad, but the banana taste barely registers. I’d rather take a regular Reeses cup and cover the top with banana slices if I were going for that effect.

* Dinner of champions!
** Not to mention being a significant contributor to the whole "death on the toilet" thing
***Not as healthy as it sounds, huh?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More than meets the eye!

I know, I had promised all sorts of trip-related adventures yesterday, but last night I went to see Transformers and it *must* be blogged about. I mean, the stories will pretty much always be relevant but my Transformers experience is only significant for the moment.

Now, before I went to the movie, I prepared myself by getting in the mood for a Michael Bay film. You see, Michael Bay doesn’t make great works of cinema – his characters aren’t richly-drawn, his stories are often nonsensical, and the cinematography usually focuses so much on jump-cuts as to induce motion sickness. But all that said, he makes *great* boy-movies! For some reason, there are certain movies of his that, despite being truly horrid, I get all googly with boy-ness every time I see them*. Naturally, there are some of his movies that I really can’t stand** and some that I have no interest in seeing either way***. So while I was hoping that Transformers would fall into the “Armageddon” group, I went in fully expecting it to suck as much as I originally thought it would.

As it turns out, if you can suspend your beliefs about the Transformers, deal with the fact that all the Transformers turn into the wrong vehicles, ignore some basic laws of physics, and basically forget that the cartoon ever happened, the Michael Bay version is pretty darn entertaining. Yes, it is chock full of its share of problems, but Bay gets around those by reaching into his Michael Bay Bag o’Cinematic Tricks and pulling out his usual tools for victory.

First – cast a hot brunette (in this case, the aptly-named Megan Fox). Always a Michael Bay standby, the hot brunette is a staple of his films from Vanessa Marcil in “The Rock” to Kate Beckinsale in “Pearl Harbor”. In Transformers, however, Bay also obviously had Fox train in the art of contortionism, because she spends much of the movie bending her body at weird angles so as to maximize exposure of her midriff/boobs/butt, depending on the shot. Here’s an example:

Seriously, she's bending herself like this throughout the entire movie. Not that I minded, though.

Second – Blow a *ton* of stuff up! Seriously, this is the area where Bay really knows how to push my buttons. I mean the action sequences in this movie are pretty darn impressive. Plus, everything gets blown up, from cars**** to skyscrapers to electrical substations! WOOOO!

Finally – Throw in some zingy one-liners, preferably self-deprecating ones. For example (POSSIBLE SPOILER STARTS HERE) when the rest of the autobots crash into earth, they look like meteors crashing. One of them hits a radio storefront and then you see this fat kid running down the street with a video camera recording the whole thing while yelling “This is so much cooler than Armageddon!”. Plus, the scene with Sam’s mom talking about nicknames for masturbation = hysterical. (POSSIBLE SPOILER ENDS HERE).

Those three elements combine into one heck of a movie. I definitely recommend seeing it in the theater though, to maximize the “blowing stuff up” factor. In fact I’ll probably go see it again before it leaves the theater. This movie might, in fact, be enough to get me buying a high-def DVD player. I can only hope that they settle the HD-DVD vs Blueray format war before then…

Oh, and just in case you hadn't seen it yet. *This* is hysterical.

* The Rock, for one, and Armageddon most of all
** Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys
*** The Island
**** Although from what I could see the vast majority of cars getting destroyed were non-GM brands (e.g. Ford, Chrysler, Volvo) – the message obviously being “If you don’t drive a GM brand, your car will be destroyed by a race of giant alien robots!”

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm back!

After days spent in the wilderness and hours spent in the car, the GF and I returned victoriously from the north woods last night. Obviously, there are enough stories to last for days, which I’ll probably roll out as I can think of them over the near future. But, here’s a short list of trip-related stories and “things learned” that I’ll be relating when I finish unpacking and get a little more time to write:

  • There *are* indeed bears running around wild in the north woods; also flying squirrels which aren’t nearly as scary but are equally interesting to dogs.
  • You never really appreciate showers until you go without them for a few days
  • Trying to avoid smelling like bug spray to bed by wearing long sleeves and pants is only partially successful, at best.
  • Even though my "beard" is still pretty sparse on my face, I already have grey hairs in it.
  • Chopping down a tree with an axe is harder than you think it is.
  • The GF is a pyromaniac.
  • Grown-ups will shift Mad Libs from innocuous to x-rated even faster than junior high boys, particularly if alcohol is around.
  • Ladies – always remember to double-check that your bikini top is securely fastened before going swimming.
  • Not all bridesmaids wear underwear, nor do all of them care whether or no you know that on a hot day.

All told, it was a *great* weekend.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quickie - Following instructions

Holy crap people!

I post on Tuesday that I'm going out of town for the weekend and suddenly traffic becomes a wasteland until Sunday when a few of you stop by to see if I'd returned safely.

Clearly, you all believe everything I say. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hittin' the road again...

Well, it appears as though I’ll probably be taking a brief hiatus from blogging for a few days. Not because of any serious personal problems or because I have nothing to blog about* but rather because I’m going on vacation to the north woods of Minnesota. My Grrrdad bought some land up there a few years ago and I’ve never been. I’m all packed up for a 6 hour drive up to my dad’s today, coupled with another 4 hours tomorrow to get up to where he’s already set up. It’s a long trip, but don’t worry – I’m bringing along the GF to keep me entertained on the road.

While I’m all excited about this trip, there are two things I’m particularly interested in. First, the promise of some clear nights made me bring along my giant telescope that let’s me see through time. Second, the area around my dad’s land is pretty much wilderness, so this means we’ll get to see all sorts of animals! Of course, this includes bears, which the GF is less excited about than the prospect of getting to play with the chipmunks, bluebirds, raccoons, etc that will naturally come out to play with her just like they do Disney Princesses.

So while I’m going to be having hella fun this weekend, I might be a little quiet on the blog-front, depending on when and where I can get access. If you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry. If you don’t hear from me after Sunday though, assume I’ve been eaten by bears.

* For instance, yesterday on the way home from work I saw a truck that actually had a set of those “Bumper Nuts” dangling off the hitch. I have pictures too, but I forgot to download them to my laptop when I got home. So you have *that* to look forward to when I get back.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Big weekend!

Friday night the GF took me to a local film festival to watch “Suffering Man’s Charity”, partially because it’s a local indie festival and partially because the film itself was directed by Alan Cumming whom we both really enjoy. Me because he’s a remarkably talented actor* and the GF because she totally has a celebrity crush on him, even though he’s married and gay**. The movie itself was interesting and well-written, but Cumming was really the highlight. He came across as self-deprecating and funny and even though we didn’t see him at the after-party that too was a fun part of the whole evening – everything there was sponsored by one company or another, including a room sponsored by Redken where you could get your hair styled for free***. Oh, and the drinks were free too, so long as you had either a Bud Select or a vodka cocktail made with some vodka brand that I’ve already forgotten****.

Saturday the GF and I went to get her haircut and then stopped to get brunch before going to my friend’s art gallery for her show’s closing weekend. Then at around 10:30 that evening, we headed out to a birthday soiree thrown by a friend of the GF’s at a lounge down in the West Loop. Now, typically, I avoid that area whenever possible because while parking is sometimes easier to locate, it’s not really my “scene”. Lots of exclusive clubs with lines and doormen-who-judge, that sort of thing. And I get all cranky in those kind of situations because I’m usually one of the people left to roti in the line for hours on end. When we arrived there was a line, and we dutifully got in the end where I prepared to wait an eternity to get in, and proceeded to get a little cranky – I hated that club, I hated the neighborhood, I was being a total cotton-headed ninny-muggins.

But then the door guy came up to us and after confirming it was just two of us, proceeded to walk us up to the door, past an entire gaggle of Lincoln Park Chads and straight through the door. Obviously, my nerdiness was completely countered by my fashionable glasses and the fact that the GF is totally hot. In a fraction of a second I went from loathing everything about the establishment to thinking it was a first-rate place with exceedingly good taste and a “discriminating” doorman. I didn’t even mind paying $20 for two drinks at the bar. But maybe that’s the point.

Sunday then was the Taste of Chicago, which for some sick reason I completely adore. I went down with a couple friends of mine from work, one of whom had never been there before. It was an absolutely perfect day outside, so much so that I completely lost track of time and ended up with a little sunburn on the back of my neck and forearms. I’m not quite sure what the best part of the day was. The food was grand, the company was great, and the friendly 40-ish dad with his family who rode with us on the ferris wheel and happened to be sporting a huge (albeit slightly faded) Latin Kings tattoo on his arm made for a great conversation topic after we got off. He was really nice though. Maybe that’s how we solve the gang problem, sentence gang members to marriage and kids – apparently it turns them into really friendly guys!

* I mean, he was Nightcrawler in X-Men 2 and the nerd-done-good in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion!
** She lurves the boys with the film-talent.
*** Not to mention free product!
**** Note to Vodka Company: get a better brand name

After all, Elmo seems equally disinterested in both...

I have a hard time believing that Elmo was traumatized by Katy Perry's decollatage after discovering that he had already "been arou...