Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gruesome Sports Injuries and Such

Today was fairly pedestrian, but at the same time unlike any other day before it. This morning I received word that "We're Giving It to Charity" (Charity being the name of our favorite waitress at Rocks) finished tied for 2nd last night in trivia at Rocks. However, in the tiebreaker the lost on the question "Name the original four members of REM." Fuck that. So the team that beat them in the tiebreaker chose Zombie Movies for next week's category. For the love of George Romero, that's gonna be a tough category.

In the wake of Wisconsin center Brian Butch's Joe-Theismann-esque elbow dislocation, a lot has been made of gruesome sports injuries. Thankfully, Jimmy Traina of gathered YouTube links to all of your favorite sports injuries, from the aforementioned classic Theismann leg break to Villanova guard Allen Ray getting his eye poked out, literally. In theory, these horribly painful injuries should gross me out, but no matter how much I want to look away, I cannot. Plus, it's not like it's my compound leg fracture. I find myself grunting and saying, "oohhhhohhoooohhhh" with a smirk on my face and telling Jessie to "check this shit out." Thanks to Christoff for sending me the link.

This evening, Jester and I traveled up to Evanston for the IU/Northwestern game, which was at worst a neutral court game for the Hoosiers, since nearly half the crowd was cheering for IU. It was also a mini-reunion. In addition to sitting with Tradd and Chambers, I saw probably another 30 people I knew from undergrad. That was actually more enjoyable than the game, which the Hoosiers tried their damnedest to lose, but luckily held on for a 69-65 win. At this point, I'll take a road victory any way I can get it. Kudos to Roderick Wilmont for hitting 9 3s, scoring 31 points and grabbing 12 boards. I think IU might have actually fared better if it had been just Wilmont on the floor against the nameless, pasty Wildcats. The win takes the Hoosiers to 9-6 in the Big Ten -- holy shit! Acie Law just hit a phenomenal clutch rainbow 3 for Texas A&M over Kevin Durant to tie Texas at 78 all with 1.4 seconds left -- which means that if IU beats Penn State at home on Saturday, the Hoosiers get the #3 seed in the Big Ten tournament and 20 regular season wins, which I think is pretty solid for Kelvin Sampson's first year. Hopefully DJ White will stay for his senior year. A starting lineup of White, Eric Gordon, AJ Ratliff, Armon Bassett, and perhaps Eli Holman or Brandon McGee would be pretty nice.

In somewhat related news, the greatest sports month of the year begins this week with Championship Week. Ahhhh, I love watching low and mid-major college basketball conference tournaments so much more than, say, the ACC tournament. Good times. Mark my words, Winthrop is the real deal.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Hi everyone. I missed you.

The weekend was delightful. It started out rather dreadfully, as several of us went to Gregerson's pad Thursday night for the final The OC. Pizza was consumed. Tears were shed. Ryan Atwood did not kill anyone.

Friday was nothing short of haphazard. The day began with a Halcion and a three-mile swim in the North Branch of the Chicago River. With several hours still to go until breakfast, I recited the lyrics to "N.I.B." by Black Sabbath over and over again.

Shortly after 3pm, Jester, Christoff, and I left via motorcar for Dayton, Ohio. The drive was marked by periods of lucidity, half-hearted puns (it turns out that you can't win a Mac by taking Exit 220 on I-65 -- the Winamac exit), and G N' F'n R (it was Hair Band Friday after all). Jessie reinforced her status as the world's best backseat driver. Her skills were so apparent that Christoff bet her $30 that on the drive home she could not utter 7 or fewer complaints or cautions (more about that later). We arrived in Dayton unscathed at approximately 9:12pm local time. I'm just going to warn you, I'm going to be name dropping like you don't even know.

Upon our arrival in the Gem City (seriously, that's Dayton's nickname -- I have no idea why), we headed to the hizzie of Holt "Gimme Some" Hedrick. Within 40 minutes, Katie "Got Me a Retarded Dog" Miltner (who lives in the same apartment building) joined us in Holt's apartment, bringing with her exactly 2 bottles of Budweiser Select. Her motives are still unclear.

From there, we went to the Oregon District (the OD), particularly the Oregon Express (the OE), where we enjoyed both draft and bottled beer, as well as some pizza. This would not be the last time we had pizza this weekend. Bored with each other's company, we headed down 5th Street to the Trolley Stop, where some band comprised of Real Art employees was playing, so Jessie chatted with some Real Arters. Meanwhile, Nick "Not the Bird-Headed Freak that Used to Play For Illinois" Smith and his ladyfriend Andrea "Copy Girl" Livingston showed up and helped us break up the monotony. It was particularly vindicating for me, since when I had left Dayton, Nick was banned from the Trolley Stop because his friend's girlfriend dumped a beer on a bouncer and he was guilty by association. Within hours, Dan "Piss and" Binegar showed up, fresh from Argosy with a fatty wad of dirty money. It came as no surprise that he was able to purchase a round of light beers after last call. Victory never tasted so sweet.

Upon our return to Holt's place, Katie brought her retarded dog down, apparently for the sole purpose of amusing everyone else. I swear that I have never seen a Golden Retriever with a larger head or a more excitable/bull-in-a-china-shop demeanor than Indy. Needless to say, this prompted me to speak for Indy in a specially educated voice, much to the delight of Christoff and Holt, and the dismay of Jessie and Katie.

Saturday brought about winds of change, as the five of us headed to Kramers for pizza a little after noon to break our fast. Joining us at Kramers were: Binegar, Jamie "Agent Labatt" Belanger, Amy "Clalahan" Belanger, AC Belanger, Kim "Turd Burger" Mayo, Casey "Poopsicle" Mayo, NaviKate Rohrer, Mike "Still Hates Milk" Ullmer, Mark "Your Welcome for the Trade that Gave You the Fantasy Football Title" Sedor, and his ladyfriend Ronnie (as in Bennett/Spector, not as in Van Zant). For those of you who have never been to Kramers, it has perhaps the greatest pizza in the world. And they serve 40s, which is nice. This would not be the last time I had pizza this weekend. While there, Marist pulled off an overtime victory over Siena. I was the only one paying attention.

NaviKate was wearing a delightful zip-up hoodie with the word KERN on it. We figured it was a band, but it turns out it's a reference to the space between letters. It also turns out that graphic designers are NERDS. The she explained the difference between serif and sans serif. I'm not kidding.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent sitting on Holt's couch watching Passenger 57. Man was that limey bastard Rane a smarmy, lion-maned SOB. He deserved to be pushed from the very plane he hijacked. If only he had listened when Cutter said "Always bet on black," then maybe he might not have been so fucking smug.

Saturday night can only be described as a comedy of errors. We all went to the Fox & Hound by Fairfield Commons to watch the IU/MSU game. It was the five of us, Jamie, Marc "Tron" Wiescinski (who was spending his last night in SW Ohio), John "$2 Dolla" Ashcraft, and some guy named Brian, who I'm convinced Marc just brought along for intimidation purposes. All was going well until the satellite went out about 15 minutes before gametime. The waitress was surprisingly accepting when we told her to cancel the food we had just ordered because we were going to an establishment that actually carried a reliable ESPN signal. We headed to Cadillac Jack's, who we had called and who had assured us that they were getting ESPN. They were correct, at least at the time. I had my 3rd pizza of the weekend. Binegar showed up, after pulling a 360 on I-675 on the way there. With about 3 minutes left in the 1st half, Cadillac Jack's's satellite went out. Sweet.

We all headed back to Holt's for the remainder of what passed for a college basketball game. Nick and Andrea showed up, and then most of us headed to J. Alan's for some cordials and apertifs and light beers. Playing at J. Alan's, or Jalans, as I call it, was some sort of Johnny Cash cover band. They also had Silver Strike, so that was cool. I didn't eat any pizza while there.

After Jalans, we went back to Holt's apartment and played Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture DVD edition, which I have to say is stupid. The questions were either far too easy or far too hard. And what's with being able to steal a pie? I'm not impressed. I went to bed fuming.

Sunday morning, the five of us hit First Watch in Kettering, along with Kate and Mike, for some standard breakfast fare. I did not have any pizza while at First Watch, mainly because it was not an option. Interestingly, talking like a Golden Retriever with Down Syndrome is frowned upon in restaurants, even though it's completely appropriate to accuse Holt of having acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

From First Watch, Jester, Christoff, and I headed back to Chicago. As you will recall, Christoff and Jessie had that over/under bet on nags. Jessie held her guns. It was the most pleasant five hours I've had in a car since I drove back from Lousiville by myself from the Pryor wedding last September. I will gladly pay Jessie $30 for each car ride over 2 hours from now on.

We arrived home just in time for me to hurry through a sketch and head to my Second City class. Since there were only 3 people in class Sunday, due to a combination of bad weather and Academy Awards, my teacher gave us complimentary passes to the show on the ETC stage (the intermediate stage at Second City). While Second City co-founder Alan Arkin was winning an Oscar, I was watching Disposable Nation. After my horrible experience a couple weeks ago watching a student sketch show, I was fearful of a repeat. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes where there are professional actors and well-written sketches. I thought Disposable Nation was pretty damn funny. See it if you have a chance.

After I got home, I ended up falling asleep right after they awarded the editing Oscar, missing out on all the cool ones. Oh well. At least I got to go to work the next morning.

By the way, I just saw an ad for Michelob Light, and I am glad to see that Michelob is going back to that sweet bottle they used to have. It almost makes up for the fact that it's Michelob.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 2/22/07

Here you go:

Bitter 26-year-old male to thirtysomething friend wearing a large t-shirt: "You're probably wearing the biggest t-shirt I've seen a non-fat fat guy wear."
--Chicago, Rocks, Schubert & Lakewood
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Whitebread dude talking to DJ: "Hey, can I ask a favor? It's my wife's 30th birthday tonight, and it'd be awesome if you could play her favorite song. It's 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley."
--Los Angeles, Q's on Wilshire

Eavesdropper: Weez

Wife to husband (who doesn't like to wear gloves), dead serious: "I hope one day you have to get a finger cut off because of frostbite."
--Chicago, Kenmore & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Drunk 17-year-old female to her friend: "Oh my God, I'm totally menopausing."
--Chicago, Red Line train
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, Jesterio

Late 20s professional to fellow late 20s professionals: "The guy said I didn't cheat because I was going for the pastry at the time."
--Chicago, crowded rush hour Purple Line train
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething librarian, referring to someone's Ash Wednesday ash cross: "It looked like he got punched in the head with an eraser."
--Chicago, Kenmore & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

We have several submissions in the non-eavesdropping-but-still-worthy-of-inclusion category.
--Guadalupe, AZ
Eavesdroppers: NaviKate and The Ulltimate Lactose Hater

And then there's this nugget from the Dayton Daily News:

"In the heat of the moment, office mates can't take it
DAYTON — Feb. 12: A complainant with an office in the Biltmore Towers, 210 N. Main St., reported heating problems in the building.

The thermostat would not shut off and the temperature in the office was more than a 100 degrees. He opened a window to alleviate some of the heat.
A female subject approached him and complained about the open window. The complainant told her the window needed to stay open because of the extreme heat.
An officer noted the office was on the fourth floor and the temperature was more than 100 degrees. The subject became angry and judo chopped him on the neck, then left.
She denied hitting him and stated he acted aggressively toward her. The complainant said he wished to file assault charges."

--Dayton, OH
Eavesdropper: The Rookie

Thanks to everyone who submitted. Keep your ears open, and when you hear something hilarious or stupid, email it to, and I'll like put it on the web and shit.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The End of an Era

After further contemplation, I have decided to amend my Lenten sacrifice. Instead of giving up beer and fried food, I will be giving up drinking (alcohol) during the week (Sun-Thurs) and fried food. I came to this conclusion as I was walking home from Rocks last night at almost 2 a.m. (for the second week in a row). The night started out innocently enough with a nice game of bar trivia. Since we had 11 people, we split up into two teams: Tim Hardaway Hates Kevin (Kevin being the guy who runs trivia) (comprised of me, Jester, Christoff, Remus, and the Brothers Weeser*, minus Greg of course) and Now Britney's Curtains Match the Carpet (or some other vague, sophomoric reference to the lack of hair on both her head and vagina) (comprised of Gregerson, three of his friends, and Myers). Kevin unfortunately changed the name-that-tune round so that it is no longer worth a point for the title and a point for the artist. Now it's a half a point each. This severely diminishes the point total of any team I am on. Nonetheless, THHK held a lead or a share thereof for most of the first five rounds, and NBCMTC was close behind. We were up one point going into the final round, and ended up tying for third, with NBCMTC edging us out for second, meaning they got to choose a round for next week (Seinfeld, by the way). Then it was discovered that the first place team had like 30 people, so they got DQ'd, meaning that NBCMTC not only got to choose a round for next week, but they also got the first place prize of 25% off their tab. Bastards.

It was at this time when I convinced myself that I should probably stay a little longer. Jester went home, severely unhappy that I was not accompanying her (and rightfully so). But it was Gregerson's birthday and, at the time, it was going to be the last time I would drink beer for a month and a half. Not that I needed a reason, but it never hurts to have one or two. So Gregerson and I rolled some Silver Strike while Dan Weeser* watched. Next thing I know, it's 1:40. I'm an idiot. I wasn't kidding last week when I said that I continuously and consciously fail to learn from my mistakes. Once again, Jester, sorry. With the help of Jesus, I shall change my ways. At least until Easter.

Tomorrow night will mark the end to a thrilling chapter in my life (and at least four or five of your lives), with the airing of the final episode of The OC (which RULES). As George Harrison and Mike Ditka independently once said, "All things must pass." I haven't been doing a good job of The OC updates as of late, mainly because I'm too distraught. Hell, trying to cope with The OC's absence has forced me to drink until the wee hours of the morning during the week.

Feeling nostalgic, I began to think of why The OC has plummeted in the ratings, forcing its untimely and unfortunate cancellation, and I have come to but one conclusion: There are no evil characters or characters with ulterior motives like there used to be, and all the formerly evil characters who are still on the show became less evil. Here's what I'm talking about:

Luke. In season one, this water-polo-playing, preppy bully was the perfect Roberto Duran to Ryan Atwood's Sugar Ray. Luke dated Marissa, who was spending more and more time with Ryan, and Luke was a giant asshole, getting into numerous fights with Ryan and eventually sleeping with both Marissa and Julie Cooper (I actually respect the shit out of that aspect of him). Then, for no other reason than finding out his dad loves penis, he goes from hated motherfucker (literally!) to friends with Ryan, Marissa, and to a lesser extent Seth, and then he to Portland with his gay dad.

Summer. She used to be a typical class-conscious Newpsie bitch you loved to hate, until some underfed comic book geek remembered verbatim a poem she had read aloud in grade school. Then again, she also used to be a complete dunce, and she got into Brown, so go figure.

Oliver. Classic first-two-seasons-style character. Wild, unpredictable, gun-toting, and head-slapping, Oliver was a recovering pill popper who wooed Marissa by making virgin mojitos, pretending he wasn't still popping pills, and telling Marissa that he had a girlfriend (who didn't exist). He was the kind of lying, all-is-fair-in-love-and-war, mentally disturbed nut job that made people tune in every week, hoping that Marissa would see past his façade.

Julie. She used to be the Queen Bitch of Newport (an actual title I just made up). She was conniving, adulterous, and cold-hearted. Then one day she turned into someone who cared about things other than herself and money.

Zack. While not evil per se, he did make a good run at Summer, providing Seth with worthy competition for Summer's affection.

Caleb. That man would not rescue a drowning baby if it was right in front of his face, even if it was his own.

Alex. She wasn't evil, but I think the show could have used more really hot teenage lesbians.

That dude who had that stag flick Julie was in. All he wanted was to extort a little money from Julie in exchange for the promise to keep Julie's vagina off the big screen.

Trey. Ryan's brother was your typical Chino scumbag, never able to keep his head above water or his life together, and always pulling Ryan into hairy situations that usually resulted in fists flying or cars getting stolen.

Jess. Hateable, but bangable at the same time, Trey's saucy tart girlfriend was nothing but trouble, providing a formidable Nancy to Trey's Sid.

Dean Hess. Has there ever been a more disagreeable character in the history of television? I think not. Dean Hess was a gigantic dickhead whose cock-chugging ability was unmatched. And he was banging Taylor Townsend before that was the cool thing to do (i.e., when she was still a dastardly bitch – see below). While I was happy to see him fall, I would have rather it been at the hands (read: fists) of Ryan.

Charlotte. Played by Jeri Ryan, Charlotte was a fake alcoholic who tried to scam Kirsten out of a whole bunch of money. Her motives were unclear for her first few episodes, which added to the intrigue. Plus, I thought maybe she might start up a lesbianic relationship with Kirsten, which helped pique my interest.

Volchok. Eastern Bloc vampire surfers are rarely not evil. He was a complete scumbag – the kind of guy who would purposely shit his pants in front of his girlfriend's mom. He was also the kind of guy who would kill a delicate flower like Marissa Cooper. Oh how I wish he comes back for the final episode so that Ryan can finally pummel him, with the show ending with an '80s-sticom-style still shot of Ryan, covered head to toe with Volchok's blood and holding Volchok's severed head in one hand, looking at the camera with an impish smile and a lighthearted "oopsy!" shrug.

Caitlin. She tries to be evil, but she just comes across as a brat who needs a speech pathologist.

Johnny. He was not evil himself, but man was his hair something straight out of hell. Of all the people to die on The OC, I was most happy to see him go.

Taylor. She used to be a psycho, conniving, untrustworthy bitch trying to pry Seth and Summer apart, kind of like the female equivalent of Oliver. As noted above, she was even getting tagged by Dean Hess, which I'm assuming was a threesome, since he chugs cock 24 hours a day and since Taylor is rather kinky. Eventually, she turned into the pleasantly neurotic boy toy we know and love today.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a character or two. By the way, what the fuck ever happened to Ryan's baby with Teresa? I'm hoping this final episode features a brooding two-year-old with superhuman strength who brings Johnny back from the dead for the sole purpose of rekilling him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Get Lent

Well everyone, it's that time of year again, where for 40 days and 40 nights I pretend that giving something up will somehow compensate for my absence from mass for over a year, constant blasphemy, gallons of devil water per week, on-again-off-again practice of Santeria, and that transient I keep locked up in my closet. His name is Clyde, and were that he attempt to leave, with a phone cord twenty lashes shall he receive, and were that he attempt to scream, into his skull would crash a beam, or at least that's what I tell him when I bathe him with a Swiffer Wet Jet every Sunday night. He's pretty cool.

Last year's Lenten abstention from drinking during the week and fried foods went swimmingly. This year, since I don't learn from my mistakes, I am giving up beer and fried foods for Lent. You may recall that Tron and I gave up beer in 2004. I certainly don't. It was the drunkest Lent I've ever had. Turns out you can drink a double Beam and Coke in the same time it takes you to drink a beer. Hopefully I will be able to control the beast within this time around.

As with last year, the power of Christ compels me to offer suggestions for those of you out there struggling to find something to give up. Also, as with last year, some of the suggestions relate to specific people. Anyway, here's what good for giving up:
  • Blinking
  • Singing "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness at live band karaoke
  • Hunting homeless men for sport (teenagers, apparently)
  • Popping your collars, wearing a sport coat with jeans, and wearing your fucking hat tilted to the side, asshole.
  • Smelling so damn good (that chick that sits in front of you in your telecom lecture that you will never ask out because you're hideous)
  • Looking hideous
  • Your dream of starting a ceral company named Raisin Brand that makes only raisin bran
  • Not smoking cloves
  • Your dead-end job washing barnacles of the bows of boats at the Bayside Bar and Marina
  • Alliteration
  • Life as you know it (Tom Brady)
  • Hair (Britney)
  • Drugs (Britney)
  • Alcohol (Britney)
  • Paris Hilton (Britney)
  • Lesbianism (Britney)
  • Public Indecency (Britney)
  • Rehab (Britney)
  • Laughing your ass off (K-Fed)
  • Stalking that hot chick that works in the Walgreen's across the street from your office, even though she only lives fourteen miles from you, and you guys would totally hit it off if you accidentally bumped into her when she was walking into her apartment next Tuesday night at 8:12 after she got back from spinning class, and you wouldn't hurt her unless she said that she would ever leave you because she is your destiny
  • Offending the shit out of Native Americans by dancing in a manner that bears little to know resemblance to any sort of traditional Native American dance (Chief Illiniwek)
  • Your dreams of becoming an astronaut
  • Not having sex three times a day -- with your husband (Jessie)
  • Judaism
  • Annoying the shit out of me with your commercials featuring smarmy long-haired middle-aged men (UPS)
  • Making bad decisions (Christoff)
  • Referring to every single male whose path you cross as "bro," "boss," "chief," "guy," or "stud"
  • Putting your wife before video bowling
  • Secretly praying for your mother's death so that you have a snowball's chance in hell of a normal life (Dannielynn Smith)
  • Airing (The OC)
  • Saying "At's a spicy meataball" after sex
  • Going to San Francisco (Tim Hardaway)
  • Your quest for the truth
  • Not getting a tan (Clyde)
  • Your repeated use of the phrase, "I'd fuck that shit"
  • Snatching people's asses in bear traps (Fat Abbott)
  • Corn
  • Korn
  • Thinking that you've got no reason to depants that bitch over there in the corner talking to her friends who didn't call you after one date, even though you dropped $83 on dinner
  • Your wife (as far as I can tell, God has a problem with infidelity and divorce, but not a 40-day trial separation)
  • Being born (fetuses at risk of becoming criminals)
  • Not saying "Hyoooohhh!" (a la Ed McMahon) whenever you step onto or off of a bus or train

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oops, I Did It Again

After a couple pretty tame weekends, I took out my restlessness on my liver.

Friday night, Jester and I met up with Australian Andrew (proprietor of Bluff the Donkey -- new articles are up by the way -- and Second City classmate of mine) to go to a student sketch comedy show at Second City. You see, once you make it to the upper level writing class, you have the opportunity to put on your own show in the Donny's Skybox Theater at Second City. Anyway, the show we went to see was called Douchebags Anonymous, which we assumed as going to be mainly about douchebags and their anonymity. It wasn't. Aside from its noticeable lack of douchebag-related sketches, overall it just wasn't all that funny, which gave Australian Andrew and me hope. After the show, we went across the street to the Old Town Ale House for a few beers. While discussing the show, we concluded that we were definitely funnier than what we had just seen. However, we also had the Ryan-and-Tradd-in-Vegas-maybe-we're-the-douchebags conversation. Are we actually funnier than whoever wrote the show, or do we just think that we are, but in reality we're just as unfunny? No consensus was reached.

After a quick trip to McDonald's for a QPC, Jester and I parted ways with Australian Andrew and headed up north on the Red Line (which was surprisingly packed for 11pm on a Friday) to a music club on Lawrence called Kinetic Playground, where a gaggle of Real Art people from Dayton were in town to see The American Static, a band in which one of their co-workers plays. Included in the gaggle were Jenn and Jim, who little more than four months ago popped their Metz Suite and Sink the Biz cherries. The American Static was good, as was V Sparks, the headlining band. I thoroughly enjoyed V Sparks's brand of '70s glam rock, a la Bowie, T. Rex, Queen, Mott the Hoople, etc. And they dressed the part. Were Gary Glitter not serving time in a Vietnamese prison for being a pederast, I would have thought he was playing guitar for V Sparks.

And while all of this was happening, little did we know that several thousand miles southwest of us, Britney Spears was preparing herself for a yet-to-be-conceived sequel to GI Jane. Good Lord. In the aftermath of the separation from K-Fed, I never in a million years would have thought that Britney was going to be the one to fall into a post-breakup tailspin marked by a brief but tumultuous friendship with Paris Hilton, exposure of one's genitals in public, accusations of homosexuality, rehab, and head shavings. Is it possible that Kevin Federline was the glue holding Britney together? If so, I'm going to have to take a six-month sabbatical to reexamine everything that I have ever learned.

I got a much-needed haircut, and since it was a Saturday at Gabby's, I waited for over 90 minutes. Christoff, on the other hand, went to Gregerson's and let Gregerson give him a buzz.

When you're down 3 points and you have the ball just beyond the 3-point line with 1.5 seconds left, should you pass the ball to someone facing away from the basket standing inside the 3-point line? If your name is Lance Stemler, the answer is yes. Not like his shot would have gone in, given the way he's been shooting over the past 20 games, but I'm still livid.

The only thing that could bring me out of a post-IU-basketball-loss funk is beer and pizza. Luckily we were all going to Piece for a combined birthday for Jodie (Ryan' ladyfriend), Gregerson, and Kevin (good friend of Dan from the dog park). Our cabbie on the way there appeared Caribbean or maybe West African. Either way, he was genuinely curious and astounded by much of what we were telling him about America. "They have lobster? . . . In Maine? What else is there in Maine?" It was a rare joyful cabride.

At Piece, we had the stage area reserved. Among our pizza choices were a mashed potato and bacon pizza with white garlic sauce. It was orgasmic. My first few beers were Piece's Double D Weiss, which had 10% ABV. And how. I switched to something else by the time live band karaoke started. Oh yes, live band karaoke. By about that time, Bill (the co-owner of Piece who we also know from the dog park) was there, and he was more than happy to give us some free drinks, which is always a good thing, especially for making dudes with blogs sing The Darkness. I assume I rocked, but then again, I thought I rocked last time, but it turned out I didn't. Birthday boy Kevin also got up there and sang (without making an ass out of himself). Jessie got up, along with Jodie and all of her friends, and sang "Since You've Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. I should say, Jessie held one of the mics and didn't let anyone else get any airtime. But nothing could top Dan's version of "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" by Van Halen. For reasons that are still unclear (perhaps even to Dan), he dropped trou in the middle of the song, thankfully refraining from dropping his boxers, which apparently was contemplated.

At some point between 12 and 2, Ryan, Jodie, one of Jodie's friends, Jester, and I got a cab with intentions of going to the Vu. For some reason (Jessie says it's because I told him to), the cabbie dropped us off a few blocks from the Vu. Within the next block or two, Jessie declared that I was not to go to the Vu. While I vehemently disagreed at first, I quickly relented when I realized I was yelling at a streetlamp. I spent the next few hours waging war against time, the spins, and consciousness. I think it's still too soon to tell who won, but I know it wasn't me. Just when I thought I had beaten one, another would come out of nowhere with a Sandinista-inspired guerilla attack that would prompt me to regroup by chugging a bottle of water, sitting on the couch for 30-45 minutes watching Metal Mania on VH1 Classic, and explaining to the couch that if it kept moving around I would not hesitate to "torch [it]."

I woke up still drunk Sunday at 10:12 a.m. Jessie informed me that she had received information that Christoff, Jodie, and one of her friends were going to be at the Golden Nugget. We were informed there would be parking. There was. I enjoyed a meal of food, which helped me back into sobriety. The next 6 hours were spent sitting on one of several couches watching Empire Strikes Back, the VH1 History of Rock & Roll episode about punk, and Dazed and Confused.

By the way, fuck all of you who have today off.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 2/15/07

Here's some Midwestern Eavesdropping:

Twenty something male attorney runs into 30ish mistress/girlfriend of infamous local plaintiff's attorney ("that guy" who runs tv ads 24/7 and is prominently displayed on the back cover of the phonebook) on his way to work:
Attorney: "It sucks walking to work when it's this cold outside. I bet it's about zero degrees out here."
Mistress (dead serious): "More like MINUS zero, probably."

Eavesdropper: Holt

A girl best described as “orca-fat” wearing a belly shirt exposing a lifetime of lard consumption walks past:
Fleece Vest: “Jesus, have some goddamn dignity.”
Button Down: “I hooked up with her.”
Fleece Vest: “Are you fucking serious?”
Button Down: “Yep.”
Fleece Vest: “But… how?”
Button Down: “It wasn’t that difficult.”
Fleece Vest: “She’s like a wooly mammoth, dude.”
Button Down (shrugging): “I’ve done worse.”

Fleece Vest: “How is that possible?”
Button Down: “She’s still got both her arms.”
--Bloomington , IN, Nick's English Hut
Eavesdropper: RobD

Late 20s male, Saturday morning after a pancake eating contest the night before: "All of my dreams last night consisted of me crapping my pants."
--Cincinnati, Mt. Lookout
Eavesdropper: Tron

Young profession walks into LaSalle Bank on one of the coldest days of the year amidst one this years snow storms, completely bundled and obviously on the brink of actually freezing. Completely serious the teller looks at him and says: "Is it still cold out there?"
--Chicago, IL, LaSalle Bank, Dearborn and Monroe
Eavesdropper: Klank

Guy: “You go here, or are you just in town for the weekend?”
Girl: “No, I go to school here.”
Guy: “What year are you?”
Girl: “Nineteen.”
Guy (pauses): “So… sophomore?”
-- Bloomington , IN, Kilroy's

Eavesdropper: RobD

Elevated railcar conductor over in-train speaker system after train had been stopped on the tracks in between stations for several minutes: "Ladies and gentlemen, we're stopped because there was a situation with a train stopped at the Segdwick station. Apparently a passenger was exposing himself on the train. The police are at Sedgwick, and we're waiting until they remove him from the train."
--Chicago, Purple Line train
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Guy 1: “Shot time… what do you want?”
Guy 2 (without hesitation): “Mexican Cousin” – points at girl in line – “She’s doing one too.”
Girl: “I’ll do it, but at least tell me what’s in it.”
Bartender: “Don’t ask me.”
Guy 2: “Tequila, Jack, Midori , Tabasco .”
[Bartender winces]
Girl: “Oh… God.”
[shots are taken]
Girl: “Shit… that was spicy. Goddammit it, my tongue’s gonna swell up. Hang on.”
--Bloomington , IN, Nick's

Eavesdropper: RobD

Two twenty something guys Walking past a Chicago Bears souvenir store on Monroe:
Guy 1: "What do you think they do with the t-shirts they print before the super bowl for the team that loses?"
Guy 2: "I think they give them to world aid organizations."
Guy 1: "So you mean to tell some deprived child in a third world country actually believes the Bears won they super bowl? That's awesome."
--Chicago, Clark & Monroe
Eavesdropper: Klank

Guy: "Holy shit, I just farted, and it smells like being inside a pumpkin. I’m serious. No, seriously, you gotta check this out."
--Bloomington, IN, 3rd & Dunn

Eavesdropper: RobD

This one's not really eavesdropping, but I thought it was strange/funny:
Button on twentysomething professional female's backpack: "First Lady of the World, Eleanor Roosevelt" circling a picture of some old bull dyke.--Chicago, Washington & Wells L platformEavesdropper: GMYH

Thanks to all who contributed. As always, if you overhear something funny, email it to for inclusion in the next edition of the world-famous Midwestern Eavesropping.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day Jester!

My lovely wife Jessie always complains that I never write about her or say anything nice about her on this abortion that I call a "web log." She is right, since most of the times I write about her involve her fighting a dumpster wheel in a snowy alley behind a bar. As this is St. Valentine's Day -- and since I am one cheap SOB -- I figured it's high time to write a nice post about the woman I married, or, more appropriately, who allowed me to marry her. In addition to her physical beauty and rapist's wit, she is one of the most caring and genuinely kind people I know. I think she assumes that I don't notice all of the many nice things she does, such as making most dinners, cleaning the apartment, vacuuming, doing most of the laundry (which is mostly mine), taking the dog out most of the time, and putting up with me. I'm just going to come right out and say that I am not always a pleasure to deal with, talk to, be around, or sleep next to. Most nights when I get home from work, I immediately sit on the couch and surf the web while Jessie makes dinner. I often let dirty dishes pile up in the sink for days and sometimes weeks at a time before I even attempt to wash them, even though she repeatedly asks me to wash them. Last night, I got home from work, changed clothes, kissed her on the cheek, and then left her to go play trivia at Rocks. When I got home after 2 a.m. and she woke up, I lied and said that I had been home for over an hour, but that I fell asleep on the couch. I didn't take the dog out either. Often times, I smoke cigarettes in her presence, even though I know she absolutely despises the fact that I smoke now and then. I don't have any plans to quit social smoking. Most of the time, I make plans for us without consulting her, and those plans usually involve hanging out with my friends, who I often put before her. I rarely call her Jessie, instead referring to her as Jester or, when she performs card tricks and optical illusions, Jesterio the Magnificent. I make up stories about her. I have a tendency to be unnecessarily longwinded. Most of the time I put my wants before hers. I am unwilling to change. I don't take care of plants very well. There is at least one lie in nearly every sentence I speak. I rarely take anything seriously. My shit reeks. I actively despise much of the music she listens to. Sometimes I watch her sleep. I drive too fast. Instead of taking her out to dinner on Valentine's Day, I took an online pop culture quiz. Instead of giving her a Valentine's Day present, I wrote a post about her on my blog. My sense of fashion can only be described as severely lacking. I have little confidence in my abilities and personal appearance. On more than one occasion, I have been told that I give terrible back rubs. I feel the need to tell people about my weird dreams. When we're alone, I am annoyingly overaffectionate. My singing voice is below average. I continuously and consciously fail to learn from my mistakes. In addition to my many personality flaws, I am physically unappealing. I am by no means as handsome as a young George Peppard, I allow my fingernails and toenails to grow beyond a length that is socially acceptable for a straight man, I suffer from a continuously worsening case of psoriasis, my liver is hardening while my gut is growing, and, despite the fact that I am nearly thirty, the oil in my skin is akin to that of a sixteen-year-old Grecian. I cannot dunk a basketball, and the chances of that ever happening decrease with every passing day. In the bedroom, I underachieve, and I might be impotent. Also, my body temperature under the covers is near 200 degrees. My unabashed self-deprecation can be overbearing at times. My entire existence is built around pleasing myself. Even when something is supposed to be about Jessie, I manage to completely turn it around and make it about me. As far as I can tell, my only redeeming quality is that I possess an uncanny ability to choose a wife who is the absolute perfect woman for me. I love you, hon. Sorry I'm such jackass. I wish I could change.


So last night trivia at Rocks was nothing short of extraordinary. Charles Darwin 1 Anna Nicole 0 (comprised of Gregerson, Christoff, Remus, the brothers Weeser*, minus Greg of course, and me) finished the final round tied for the lead. It was the first ever tie in Rocks trivia history. There was then a 3-question sudden death tiebreaker. So of course there was a question about MASH, a show that none of us watch, watched, or will ever watch. That ended up being the difference. So we finished 2nd. Next week's trivia round of choice will be Dazed and Confused.

I didn't have any dreams that I wholly remembered last night. That being said, Christoff recently called into question the authenticity of my dreams. I will tell you what I told him, though with fewer four-letter words and accusations about your sexual orientation. Sadly, there is no exaggeration in my recounts of my dreams. You have to realize that I am by no means mentally stable. My head contains both conscious and subconscious thoughts that are beyond unhealthy and bizarre. I have had weird dreams for as long as I can remember, the first of which I can recall is from when I was about 4 and petrified of the Incredible Hulk. Wanting to exploit my fears for his own amusement, God made my dream as follows: This all took place in an exact replica of my Spring, Texas residence, where I was reared from ages three months to seven years and ten months. My parents left me at home alone (Reed was still dead at this point) while they went to dinner. Even though I was 4 at the time, this did not seem weird in the context of the dream. After seeing them out the front door, I retired to the living room. I was wearing a fedora and smoking a pipe while reading the newspaper, lying on my back on the floor next to the couch. I heard some rustling in other parts of the room, and before I knew it, Incredible Hulks of differing sizes and colors were jumping on top of me, with the assumed goal of smothering me to death. Since that time, my dreams have been vivid, strange, often macabre, and it is rare that I wake up remembering nothing of what I dreamt the night before. Go to hell Ryan.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend of Rest

My weekend was fairly pedestrian. It was the first weekend in a long while that I did not go out either night. Friday night, that was due in large part to the fact that I got the dreaded call from the boss at 4:30pm for an emergency project. Thus, I was at work until 9:15 Friday night. Saturday during the day, Jester, Christoff, his special ladyfriend, Gregerson, and I went to Stanley's for the never-before-attempted combination of brunch and IU basketball. It was decent, although my arteries have strongly suggested that I lay off the Stanley's brunch for a while. Not feeling the groove, we went to Rocks at halftime, where we met up with Shemmer (Matt, not Chris), Reising (Abe, not Adam), Andy Wood (Pi Kapp, not deceased lead singer of Mother Love Bone), and Colin (Trent, not Powell). IU beat the Whining Illini, so that was good, although the game was closer than I would have liked. On the bright side, we did hear some King Konga over the speakers after the game.

My total hours slept for Friday and Saturday night came to about 21.5, which is more than I usually get in three nights of sleep, so that was awesome.

Did anyone else have that dream Thursday night where you were a cop and Forest Whittaker was your partner, and you guys had a HUGE convict (picture a fatter version of Michael Clarke Duncan) that you were transporting, and for some reason you decided to stop a grocery store, which was connected to a bar, which was connected to a bowling alley, and then the convict escaped in the store/bar/bowling alley, so you and Forest Whittaker were running up and down every aisle looking for him, saying things like, "How hard can it be to find a 350-pound man in a grocery store?", and then you run through the bar and almost get hit in the head with a dart, and then you open the door to the bar's cellar, and the convict is in there, and he begrudgingly comes up the stairs, and you and Whittaker hold him down and give him two tranquilizer shots, but the convict is deathly afraid of needles, and your injection into his arm goes well, but Whittaker for some reason decides to inject his leg and hits not flesh, but all shin bone, to which the convict rightfully asks, "Did you just put a needle in my shin bone?" and then the convict finally passes out from the tranquilizers, and then there is an ad on the bar's TV for syringes, which you thought was apropos because you had just used your last syringe with the aforementioned tranquilizer? No? Just me?

Also, did anyone have that dream last night where you were at some sort of slumber party and Axl Rose showed up and was watching a movie with you and your friends, and everyone was pretty cool about it, and then Axl started to get mischievous, and he wanted to play some pranks on people sleeping in other rooms, which included some unknown prank where the window needed to be open, but when Axl opened the window, he realized it was raining outside, which meant that this unknown prank could not go forward because, in Axl's words, he "didn't want anyone to get wet," so then everyone just went back into the living room and continued watching a movie? I have to think that some of you had this dream. Holt, Christoff, Veeser, Busch, you were there.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Good Bye Sweet Princess

A couple things today:

First, Midwestern Eavesdropping will be postponed until next week.

Second, did anyone else have that dream last night where the temperatures had risen into the 60s or 70s, prompting George and Tim, the owners of Rocks, to open an ice cream shop (perhaps a shoppe) at the southeast corner of Halsted and Division (in that brick building that now houses the Chicago Bungalow Association), and they let Jessie go behind the counter and make her own malt, and lots of people pulling boats behind pickup trucks were parked outside? It can't be just me.

Third, the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has named Chicago the #1 binge-drinking city in the US. My theory as to why our fair city received this distinguished honor is as follows:
  • The Irish. It's the curse of those people, you know.
  • Chicago's plethora of neighborhood bars mean that a pint is never farther than a couple blocks' walk. Seriously, within one block of my apartment there are no less than four bars.
  • During the harsh winters, there is nowhere else to go except bars and nothing else to do except drink. It's true.
  • During the blistering summers, Chicagoans need a frosty beverage to cool themselves off.
  • During the five to seven days a year when the weather is perfect, Chicagoans cream all over themselves, and feel the need to take advantage of the many outdoor patios and beer gardens available for binge drinking.
  • Chicago's sports teams drive their fans to drink. Chicago's sports fans are extremely passionate, which doesn't bode well for livers when you consider that the Cubs haven't won a World Series in 99 years, the Blackhawks haven't won a Stanley Cup in 46 years, the Bears haven't won a Super Bowl in 21 years and are currently led by Rex Grossman, the Bulls will never be as good as they were in the '90s, and Sox fans are cynics, most of whom fear that it will be another 88 years between World Series victories (which would be 2093 and, interestingly, would mean that the Sox had won 3 World Series rings in the 185 years since the Cubs' last ring).

So you see, if you got rid of the Irish, the bars, passionate sports fans, and all weather, Chicago would just be your average Los Angeles (which came in 15th of 15 metropolitan areas in the binge-drinking study, with a paltry binge-drinking rate of 18.6%), and I don't think anyone wants that.

Fourth, I'm sure that by now most of you have heard about Scott Wiese, the diehard Bears fan who is making good on his pre-Super Bowl promise to change his name to Peyton Manning if the Bears lost. At first I thought, 'what a moron,' but the more I think about it, this move is genius. First of all, even if the judge doesn't approve the name change, he lives in Decatur, Illinois, which means the mere fact that his name was mentioned in national media outlets guarantees him at least two or three pieces of that legendary Decatur ass. Second, if the judge does approve the name change, then Wiese – er, I mean Manning – will have guaranteed a reservation at any and every restaurant where he wants to dine. "Hello, Olive Garden, I need a table for one tonight at 7. What's that? You don't have any tables for tonight at 7? Hmm, that's interesting. Perhaps I failed to mention my name: Peyton Manning. Oh, a table just opened up? That's what I thought. Smell ya later, douche." Of course his little experiment will backfire spectacularly if the real Peyton Manning dies within the next couple years, perhaps in a freak accident involving moooovers, steam burns from a cappuccino machine, or an errant, forcefully thrown newspaper. If that happens, fake Peyton Manning will just seem like a giant asshole.

Fifth, why am I not surprised that Anna Nicole Smith died*? It seemed like she had tempted fate long enough. The grim reaper has been after her for years, accidentally missing her and instead hitting her husband, her dead husband's son, and her own son. At least her infant daughter was spared by death's haphazard hand, and should now have a normal life, aside from the fact that she is named Dannielynn and for the past several months she has been ingesting whatever barbiturate-and-TrimSpa-infused milk spewed from the two boulders that resided on Anna Nicole's chest. On the bright side, Dannielynn will have possibly inherited nearly a billion dollars and will never have to experience the misery of trying to comprehend her drugged-up mother attempting to string together some words to form a sentence. Dare I say that Dannielynn's life will be better without Anna Nicole? Indeed, I dare.

*Jessie's theory is that she died of a "TrimSpa Cocktail," which she assumes was comprised of TrimSpa pills, cocaine, and Xanax

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pull the Trigger of My . . .

Well, trivia at Rock's last night was a bust. As previously mentioned, since Gregerson's team finished second last week, he got to choose a category, and he chose D-1A college football mascots. Unfortunately, the category ended up being far too easy because Kevin (the guy who runs trivia) picked big schools that everyone's heard of, and he made it a match game, so all the answers were right there. Our team, No One Famous Died This Week (comprised of me, Christoff, Gregerson, and Remus), was neck and neck throughout the entire night, finishing third by a couple points. The second-place team, Peyton Manning Has Crabs, put up a valiant effort, considering it was just one dude. His category for next week: The Family Guy. That should be good.

By the way, did anyone else have that dream last night where KISS was playing a private show (unmasked, unfortunately) at a second-floor bar in a mall-like structure (possibly Fourth Street Live in Louisville), and a bunch of people that you went to grade school with were there, and rumors were flying that Kate L. and Danny M. were "fucking" (that's not your term, but rather the term used by the chick in the dream who told you), which apparently wasn't good because, according to Kate's mom, who was chaperoning, Kate was married (although her husband wasn't there, and there may have been some underlying marital issues, but you really didn't get into that because you thought it was pretty sweet that Danny was boinking Kate, especially since they grew up on the same block, and you know what, if she wants to get it on with a friend of yours, who are you to object?), and a couple other girls (possibly Katie S. and Kate W.) were complaining that members of KISS groped them, and you came to Ace Frehley's defense because, while Ace Frehley may unknowingly ingest his wife's contact lenses and may pretend to eat super steak nachos alongside bats, Korean-American females, and distraught Revolutionary War generals, Ace Frehley does not -- you repeat, does not -- grope women, and the girls confirmed that it was only Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley who groped them, and then they actually started to prod and tickle you to demonstrate how they were groped by Stanley and Simmons, and, despite how uncomfortable and "icky" the tickling and prodding made you feel, you didn't really care because you were five feet from KISS, who was playing a private show only for Cossitt School's Class of 1990, and they played "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Got to Choose," "Calling Dr. Love," "Ladies Room," and possibly "Deuce" before Gene Simmons started taking requests from the audience, and you wanted them to play "Shock Me," but Ace Frehley had been replaced halfway through the set (presumably by Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick, or Tommy Thayer), so no one would be able to sing "Shock Me," so then you drew a blank on what you wanted them to play next, but then Greg Weeser* (who, interestingly, once dated Kate and is very good friends with Danny, but whose feelings toward their alleged carnal relations can only be described as conscious indifference) requested "Strutter," which was a pretty solid request, and then after the show you went to your mom's house to figure out what other songs you should have requested by looking at your collection of KISS vinyls, which were sitting on top of your wooden dresser in your old bedroom (which was severely warped, although this is the first you've ever seen of that), and none of which corresponded to the real KISS album covers or names, except for 1977's Love Gun (which makes sense, since that was the year you and many of your classmates were born), and then you discovered under the KISS records that you also had three Iron Maiden albums, which you thought was kind of ironic because you really only started getting into Iron Maiden within the last year, but the presence of the albums suggested that you had access to their music for the past twenty to twenty-five years? No? Just me? Man, you guys need to start having better dreams. Needless to say, I'm going to make an effort to post more of my dreams, since they exhibit just how mentally unstable I am, and I'm sure some loyal GMYH reader will have had the same dream, perhaps even from a different point of view (band member rather than concert attendee, wife rather than husband, dominatrix rather than gimp, victim rather than strangler, etc.), which I think would be interesting and worth knowing, so I can correct any uncouth behavior (or behaviour, for you British readers).

By the way, Harry and the Hendersons starts at 7:05 Central tonight on HBO Family West (channel 508 for those of you with DirecTV). I will not be watching.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

You Better Astro-Not Do That Again

I don't know if any of you have heard about this, but NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak went bat shit nuts this past weekend and drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront a woman named Colleen Shipman, who Nowak perceived to be a "romantic rival" for the affection of fellow astronaut (and total dreamboat) William Oefelien.

After reading the story, I think you'll agree with me that this is almost as crazy as the time Russell Huxtable was being pursued by both his future wife Anna and her chief rival for Russell's affection, some trick named Adda. In order to show Anna that she was his main squeeze, Russell decided to have Anna's name tattooed on his chest, but he was suffering from a cold at the time. The tattoo artist misunderstood him and tattooed "Adda" across Russell's chest! Oh the irony that he was being pursued by two women with similar sounding names! Understandably, Anna forced Russell to have the tattoo removed, leaving him with a permanent scar. The kicker is that Russell had always told Cliff that he got that scar fighting off a Nazi panzer attack in WWII. Everyone shared a good laugh because maybe the earring that Theo got to impress a girl wasn't so bad after all. At least he didn't try to straighten his hair and burn it all off instead, like Cliff did once upon a time in an attempt to impress Clair.

On second thought, Nowak's story is probably funnier than all three Huxtable stories combined. Here are the important details:
  • Nowak -- who is married and has three kids -- apparently had (and possibly still has) the hots for Oefelien, despite the fact that his last name is nearly unpronounceable. But, the guy did pilot the Discovery this past December, and he did "beg[in] his aviation career as a teenager flying floatplanes in Alaska." That alone is enough to make any female astronaut moist, save for Christa McAuliffe, Judith Resnik, Kalpana Chawla, and Laurel Clark, of course (too soon?).
  • In her arrest affidavit, Nowak described her relationship with Oefelein as "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship." What she's describing sounds a lot like "friendship," but hey, I'm not an astronaut.
  • After somehow finding out that Shipman was going to visit Oefelien in Orlando, "Nowak raced from Houston to Orlando wearing diapers in the car so she wouldn't have to stop to go to the bathroom." Thank you Associated Press for putting that picture in my head.
  • Nowak's end to these urine- and feces-soaked means was to confront Shipman. Thus, Nowak got Orlando International Airport -- they have a great people mover there, by the way -- and waited for Shipman to land. She then boarded the same shuttle bus as Shipman and followed her to the parking garage. Oh, I forgot to mention that Nowak was wearing a wig and a trench coat.
  • Once Shipman got to her car, Nowak confronted her under the classic "I'm wearing a wig and a trench coat, so I need a ride" guise. When Shipman refused, Nowak sprayed pepper spray into her car. Shipman somehow drove off and called the cops.
  • As with most astronauts who stalk their rivals like prey, Nowak only wanted to scare Shipman into talking to her about her relationship with Oefelein, but didn't want to harm her physically. Nowak's story was further bolstered by what police found in her car, on her person, and in a motel room where she was probably going to take Shipman to "talk": a BB gun, an unused BB gun cartridge, pepper spray, a steel mallet, a 4-inch folding knife, rubber tubing, $600, garbage bags, latex gloves, emails between Shipman and Oefelein, an opened package for a buck knife, a letter in which Nowak professed her love for Oefelein (why she needed this to kidnap and murder Shipman is unclear, but then again, I'm not an astronaut), Shipman's home address, and handwritten directions to Shipman's house.
  • If it was Nowak's intent to woo Oefelein after kidnapping and murdering Shipman, you would think she would have presented herself a little bit better than this:Jesus, she looks like that tranny that Felicity Huffman played in Transamerica. No wonder she was worried about Shipman moving in on her non-boyfriend.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Worst Weekend Ever

In a wildly successful effort to keep me humble, God -- or, more appropriately, Odin -- once again rained shit upon me this weekend.

The day or two before the weekend was ominously good. Wednesday night, IU beat #2 Wisconsin, which was obviously a nice win for the Hoosiers. Thursday night I bought a $10 "Merry Millionaires" scratch-off lottery ticket, which ended up being worth $100. It was at that exact moment that my karma ran dry.

In spite of predictions made by Pennsylvanian woodland creatures, the temperatures dropped, such that I don't think double digits were reached at any point this weekend. Further toying with me, God (or whichever god is in charge of this kind of shit -- probably that drunk asshole Dionysus) propounded the following Yahoo horoscope:
"If your ego has been feeling a bit battered lately, get ready for that to change today. But don't look to outside forces -- this change will come entirely from inside of you. Suddenly, you'll accurately see how you compare with other people -- and you'll realize that you possess remarkable abilities that other people do not. Take an objective look at how you're progressing on your latest project. You're way ahead of the competition, so keep going!"
Given that Friday evening I would be trying out for VH1's World Series of Pop Culture, I thought this was a good sign. But I also thought Boston was the greatest band of all-time at one point in my life, so I may have a tendency to misjudge the importance of certain things.

I met up with my teammates, Beth and Jaleh, at the W on Lake Shore, which is where the tryouts were being conducted. Our team name was Sink the Biz, which we assumed guaranteed victory. The way WSOPC tryouts work is that every hour about 20 teams are ushered into a big room. Everyone must individually take a pop culture quiz, consisting of 50 fill-in-the-blank questions, in 15 minutes. After the quiz, they tally up the scores, come back into the room and announce the 3 or 4 teams with the highest total scores (i.e., when the scores of all 3 teammates are added together), who then get to be interviewed by the people from VH1. They don't announce any scores or anything other than which teams advanced. These tryouts took place every hour all day Friday and Saturday. Saturday night, VH1 chose 8 teams from the winners of prelims to come back on Sunday for a tournament played in the WSOPC format. The winner of this regional tournament automatically advances to the WSOPC. There are five regional tournaments, so the remaining 11 teams are chosen by the show's producers (from the pool of the regional tournament losers).

The quiz itself was not nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be. Unfortunately, VH1 binds everyone who tries out with a confidentiality agreement, or else I would reveal some of the questions. I thought they had a nice mix of questions from the '80s, '90s, and '00s. There were definitely some weed-out questions, some of which I knew and some of which I didn't. Overall, Beth, Jaleh, and I felt pretty good (at least like we got 40+ out of 50). We were devastated when Sink the Biz was not called. Our theory is that we were tied for 4th with several other teams, one point behind the three teams that advanced. Obviously our theory cannot be proven, nor did it provide us with any solace.

Friday night we all went to Alive One to drown our sorrows. When we got there, it was pretty empty. At first we sat at a table with a Steely Dan record shellacked into it. It turns out that Jaleh shares my intense hatred of Steely Dan, so we moved to a table featuring miniatures photos of The Doors. Much better.

While at Alive One, we encountered a six-foot-six Scandinavian vampire named Vlad, who had an unbelievably large jaw and perhaps the worst smile in the history of the world. [GMYH Note: While his name was not Olaf and he did not know the words to "Berserker," Vlad did have a pretty sweet on-command "metal face." I did not confirm, but have a strong suspicion, that when he asks a woman to have sex with him, he says, "Would you like some making fuck?"] He was flanked by his undead, non-Aryan, smug boy toy, Szandor, who apparently mistook the below-zero temperatures for rain, as evidenced by his slicker. Surprisingly their images showed up when photographed, but maybe it's just that they don't cast reflections in mirrors. Regardless, we all got a good scare. This would be the most pleasant of all my dealings with Scandinavians this weekend.

There was also some dude wearing one of those ridiculous looking winter hats with a bill. Whoever invented those needs to be castrated (or oophorectomied). Nothing quite says, "I am a giant douche" than a guy who refuses to take off his billed winter hat (which is for some reason tilted slightly to the right) when he is inside a bar. That guy must get so much ass, mostly from chicks who wear furry boots with their jeans tucked into them and sunglasses that are far too large for their heads. "Look at my fuckin' hat, bitch. I'm so damn cool I gotta wear a hat to contain as much heat as possible. I'm sure as shit not letting any heat escape from my head or letting any water run down the right side of my face. You're hot. I like your boots. You know my dick is huge, right? Let's cut out the pleasantries, finish our Grey Goose and tonics, go back to my place, and get fucking naked. I wanna see your pussy. We'll listen to Coldplay. I'll probably make you come like 800 fucking times, but I probably won't come because it's unlikely that your mouth, vagina, or anus is large enough to accommodate my enormous member. Maybe I can use one of your boots." How he was allowed north of Beaumont's remains a mystery. Interestingly, my anger and intolerance could have been displaced by joy and acceptance had he only been wearing a captain's hat.

Saturday started out nicely enough, with a trip to Stanley's for their renowned breakfast buffet. After that, Beth left, and the rest of us went to Christoff's to watch IU lose to Iowa in Iowa City. It might have been one of the most infuriating games to watch, mainly because every time down the court there was a foul called. Seriously, there were 56 fouls called in the game. That's one every 42.86 seconds. There were only two players who saw court time that did not commit a foul. One of them played for four minutes, and one of them for one. Despite the fact that IU had only 2 more fouls than Iowa, Iowa went to the free throw line 14 more times. Is it me, or has Adam Haluska been at Iowa since the Clinton administration? Didn't he come in with Acie Earl? Needless to say, I'm sick of seeing his boney, sallow face. And after Saturday, I'm also sick of seeing his fiancé's fake tanned, botox-injected face. Good Lord, ESPN, we get it: Adam Haluska is marrying up. One shot of his fiancé would have sufficed, rather than 318. She isn't Mateen Cleeves's mom, for Christ's sake.

After the game, we went to Ikea because Jessie wanted to get a platform bed, and I wanted to get some more spacious DVD shelving. We picked out a nice dark brown bed and loaded it into The Blaab, who was happy to see that we were supporting a Swedish economy still recovering from its economic crisis in the '90s. Some deep dish pizza from Uno's calmed everyone's appetites, and we headed back to the city. It was a low-key night, which involved watching Beer Fest while I assembled my new DVD shelves. Of the Broken Lizard films, I would say that Beer Fest is the worst. It lacks the hilarity of Super Troopers and the Brittany Daniel of Club Dread.

Sunday started out decently enough. I woke up, had some cold pizza, and watched some VH1 Classic. Jaleh took off in the morning, and at some point in the early afternoon, Jessie and I decided to put our platform bed together. You can imagine our surprise when we opened the three boxes to find that our bed was not the dark brown we picked out, but rather the complete opposite: white. Thanks Ikea. Good work on putting the right colored stickers with the corresponding beds. Fucking Swedes. What should I expect from a country with a sizeable population of people who practice Germanic neopaganism? Explaining to a livid and manic Jessie that I was not about to go back to Schaumburg, I assembled the white bed, whereupon I ran into another problem: there was no middle support beam. It turns out that you have to buy that separately. I sure would have loved to have been told that the first time I was at Ikea. Again, the Swedes falter. What should I expect from a country whose foreign policy is one of deliberate neutrality? I wonder if Laplanders run into these kinds of problems with any sort of regularity. Desiring to sleep in a bed Sunday night, Jessie and I decided at 2:14 (approximately 2 hours and 16 minutes before we were to be at Christoff's house for the Super Bowl) that we had to go back to Schaumburg after all. The Blaab ensured that our trek was smooth and fairly fast, as we cursed the Swedes the whole way there and back for their lack of directional ability. What should I expect from a country that has a unicameral legislature? What is this, Nebraska? On the way back, we picked up Ari, who was also going to Christoff's. We arrived back at our place a little before 4, and tossed the middle beam on the ground for assembly after the Bears game.

The Super Bowl was one of the least watchable Super Bowls since last year's barnburner. The smorgasbord of cream-cheese- and sour-cream-based dips did little to comfort me while the Bears stopped playing football after the first quarter. If the game wasn't bad enough, I thought the commercials were generally sub par this year. The Letterman/Oprah commercial was good, as was the Bud Light ad with the foreigners. What the fuck was with the suicidal GMC robot? Is that supposed to be a metaphor for all of the recently laid-off GM workers? If so, that's hilarious.

After the game, I was excited to put the finishing touches on the new bed and get to sleep. Obviously I wouldn't be mentioning it if it went that easily. After installing the middle beam and the spider-leg-like metal rungs protruding from the beam to the side ledges, I assumed that insertion of the mattress would mark the end of this Swede-hate-filled experiment. Of course not. When I put the mattress down, it bent around the middle beam, creating the kind of convex shape that makes sleep both uncomfortable and unpredictable. It seems that there are some separately sold slats that prevent this, which, of course, Ikea does not make clear. Thank you again King Gustav for spawning a country of bastards who bathe themselves in purposeful ambiguity. Then again, what should I expect from a people whose unpredictable musical taste ranges from Ace of Base to black metal?

Thus, last night, I slept on a bare, sloped mattress, with an unattached fitted sheet, a disheveled bed spread, and blood boiling with the rage of a thousand Irishmen to keep me warm, while Jessie slept in the twin bed in the second bedroom. I awoke this morning still angry and confused. Did anyone else have that dream where different teams of fighter planes were involved in a race from California to the Upper Peninsula and then you had to shower in a closet full of clothes? No? Just me? It probably relates to me having to go back to Ikea to get those fucking slats.

This morning the temperature on way to work was -11, without the windchill. Tomorrow is a high of 14. In the completely irrelevant words of Elmore James, I'm gonna get up in the morning, I believe I'll dust my broom. I guess they could be relevant if I switched out "dust" for "poke out" and "my broom" for "the eyes of every single blond SOB whistling 'Mamma Mia.'"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bluff the Donkey Updated

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 2/1/07

Here's some Midwestern Eavesdropping. Not much, but some:

Twentysomething librarian looking at her possibly autistic dog: "Do you ever bubble over with joy for how much you love our dog?"
--Chicago, Kenmore & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething special ed teacher: "I want to have a goat farm. That would be my dream. . . . [My husband] and I have talked about this and a goat farm would be perfect for us. I've just never met a goat I didn't like."
--Chicago, Rock's, Schubert & Lakewood
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Guy on his cell phone: "This is another thing that pisses me off about myself...."
--Chicago, Loyola Law Library
Eavesdropper: ½ Pint

Guy walking out of bar: "Did you guys see that? I just knocked some guy's sword out of his hand."
--Chicago, Deja Vu, Lincoln & Kenmore
Eavesdropper: GMYH

I want some more submissions, people. Dammit you guys, start eavesdropping. I want a concerted effort to listen in on the conversations of strangers, and when you overhear something hilarious, ironic, stupid, or disgusting, email it to