Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stephon Marbury Hates Living Dogs

I know I said I was cutting back on GMYH, but when shit like this presents itself, it's hard not to comment. New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury for some reason felt the need to opine on Michael Vick's dog fighting charges "while promoting his basketball shoe in Albany, N.Y." This makes sense, since nothing gets me thinking about why dogs should be electrocuted like a good shoe publicity event.

Apparently that one year at Georgia Tech didn't include a class on thinking before you speak. Here's what Marbury told an Albany news station: "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors."

From what you hear? Who the fuck are you talking to? Michael Vick's cousins? In most "sports" the losing contestant's head isn't slammed into concrete until it dies. If that was the case, you would have been killed 157 times over the past three seasons.

And there's a reason it's behind closed doors: BECAUSE IT'S ILLEGAL, YOU FUCKING MORON. Plus, people generally don't like getting splattered with dogs' blood in public.

And we (by "we," I mean people who don't run dog fighting rings) do say things about people who shoot deer and other animals. Turns out there are hunting laws that regulate what kinds of animals you can kill (i.e., you're not allowed to shoot pandas, spotted white owls, or humans), as well as when and where you can kill them. Maybe it's different in New York or Virginia, but here in Illinois, we don't have a dog season. And last I checked, Vick wasn't making jerky out of the dead dogs, or using their pelts to make a nice, warm blanket, or even grinding their bones into powder for goofer dust. Hoodoo aside, for the most part, there are rules against murdering animals.

Marbury also said, "I just think that he fell into a bad situation." That tends to happen when you start dabbling with rape stands, injecting dogs with stimulants to make them better at killing other dogs, and ordering the systematic execution of dozens of dogs. You know what he could have done? He could have said, "Hey cuz, could you be a lamb and not do things on my property that jeopardize my NFL career? Oh, and while you're at it, can you remove that pile of dog carcasses?"

New Poll: Sexiest Accent?

As expected, The Beatles cruised to a comfortable, crushing victory over Picasso, taking 87% of the votes, settling once and for all that The Beatles are more important than Picasso.

This week's poll asks a simple question: what's the sexiest accent? British (which includes all British-derivative accents, such as Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, New Zealander, and South African)? Latina/o? Eastern European/Russian? Italian? French? Unfortunately, I can only put 5 options on there, otherwise I would have included Southern, Minnesotan, and Canadian.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Second City Show

I'm usually not one for shamless self-promotion, but at long last I am nearing completion of the Second City writing program, which means that it's almost time for my Second City show. (By "my" I mean "my class's".)

It will be running Friday nights at 7:30 from October 12 to November 9 at Donny's Skybox Theatre at Second City (1608 N. Wells St., in Piper's Alley). Tickets are $10, $8 for students, and $5 for Second City Training Center students. The show is tentatively called No Offense, Asshole. As the title implies, it's an R-rated show. There are 6 people in my class, and we each wrote one of the full-length sketches in the show. In addition, we wrote a sketch and a song as a group. Thus, if you laugh at something, assume I wrote it, and if you don't laugh at something, assume I didn't write it. I will undoubtedly be posting reminders as the shows near. Anyway, I hope you ALL come see the show, even you Christoff.

Bone to Pick: Remake of Enter the Dragon

So there are rumblings that Enter the Dragon is going to be remade. I'm sorry, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This actually sickens me. I literally threw up pig's blood all over my office when I read the story. What's next, a remake of The Crow?

Who could possibly fill the shoes of Bruce Lee? No one. That's who. Not even his younger brother, Jet Li. And what about Jim Kelly (the actor/martial artist, not the former USFL quarterback) and John Saxon? You can't duplicate their contributions to the film. And Chuck Norris is sure as hell going to want to be credited this time around. The only thing that could possibly translate would be the gratuitous nudity, which transcends time. But in the internet age, people don't really need kung fu movies to satisfy their naked Asian chick fetish.

Maybe this won't be a problem after all, since whoever remakes Enter the Dragon will soon have the benefit of going back in time to bring the real Bruce Lee into the future. Frankly, the possibility of time travel kind of freaks me out, having seen Back to the Future II.

New book
Well, I finished reading Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga. It was pretty good. In my opinion, it wasn't as good as The Dirt (Motley Crue's biography/autobiography), but it was pretty close. Shame about Bonzo.

Anywho, I started reading Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. Punk is one of those genres where I don't know as much about it as I would like. So far, I've only gotten about 56 1/2 pages into it, and so far it's discussed pre-punk influences (the Velvet Underground, The MC5, and Iggy & The Stooges), so it's extremely enjoyable thus far.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 8/16/07

It's been a couple weeks since the last Midwestern Eavesdropping, so this one is pretty large. Lollapalooza (and travel to and fro) provided some good ones. Anyway, here you go:

Drunk chick stumbling down sidewalk to female friend: "People with Down Syndrome always look younger. They have very child-like features. (pause for a few seconds) Probably because they don't live that long."
--Chicago, Seminary & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Girl walking alone, talking on the phone: "You should see the sunshine. (pause) I want you to lay next to me. (pause) And I'll wear my white bathing suit."
--Chicago, North Avenue & Dearborn

Eavesdropper: RobD

Drunk Guy #1: "Cornhole boards are supposed to be 4 inches high in the front and yours are only 3 inches tall. What did you measure these with, your dick?"
Drunk Guy #2: "You're right, I used my dick. But I also used it to cut the hole in the middle."
--Indianapolis, Brickyard 400, infield

Eavesdropper: Wee Wee

2 girls and a guy walk into pizza place at 2:30am:
Girl 1: "Do you sell pizza by the slice?"
Pizza Guy: "No, we only sell whole pizzas."
Guy: "Is it cold?"
Pizza Guy: "No, we sell whole pizzas."
Girl 2: "But do you cook it?"
--Chicago, Papa Romeo's, Diversey & Wilton
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, Jesterio

25-year-old special ed teacher: "Unless you're a cat, then you live 7 times."
Eavesdropper: The Loose Lipped Lithuanian

Passenger on plane stuck on runway for 2 hours: "This is about as fun as an ingrown hair in your ass that you have to pull out with tweezers."
--Chicago, O'Hare International Airport
Eavesdropper: AlyK

Twentysomething female discussing Adderall: "I did it on the way to a strip club, and they kicked me out 'cause my nose wouldn't stop bleeding."
--Chicago, Lollapalooza, Grant Park
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Guy talking about the trapped miners: "You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet."
--Chicago, somewhere
Eavesdropper: Tron

Drunk female concert-goer, upon entering port-a-potty at night: "Is there a light in here? (pause) Where's the light?"
--Chicago, Lollapalooza, Grant Park
Eavesdropper: Jesterio

25-year-old special ed teacher: "I'm scared of sleeping with strangers."
--Chicago, Wishbone restaurant, Lincoln & School
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Beer vendor and cotton candy vendor at baseball game stop on same aisle, blocking all pedestrians:
Beer guy: "Hey candyman, move up a couple steps."
Candy guy: "Hey beer man, get the fuck out of here."
--Detroit, Comerica Park
Eavesdropper: Tron

Scrawled on the wall in a port-a-potty: "Danny Glover is Satan."
--Chicago, Lollapalooza, Grant Park
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Drunk, stoned chick coming home from Lollapalooza: "I like going to see bands that are really good."
--Chicago, Brown Line train
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Two drunk girls talk during The Hold Steady:
Drunk girl 1: "What band is this?"
Drunk girl 2: "I don't know."
Drunk girl 1: "I love you."
Drunk girl 2: "I love you too."
--Chicago, Lollapalooza, Grant Park
Eavesdropper: Chenandler Bong

Drunk chick on way home from Lollapalooza, after having a conversation having nothing to do with exercise or calves: "I think I don't know how to properly stretch my calves. Do you know what I mean?"
--Chicago, Wellington & Sheffield
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Girl: "Stop making me laugh so I can swallow."
--Chicago, Wrigley Field bleachers
Eavesdropper: Tron

Guy who is working on beer #23 for the day: "How far do you think you could throw a midget? Seriously, if they had a harness on do you think you could pitch one ten feet?"
--Indianapolis, Brickyard 400, infield

Eavesdropper: Wee Wee

Drunk Galvestonian guy and drunk girl are having a conversation about baseball, and guy says to girl: "For a girl, you're in the upper 9% of baseball knowledge."
--Chicago, Chi-Town Tap, Lincoln & Kenmore
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Drunk Galvestonian guy, after his group of friends sings happy birthday to a girl: "Isn't this just like camping?"
--Chicago, Chi-Town Tap, Lincoln & Kenmore
Eavesdropper: RDC

Thirtysometing male: "At Smith College, I fucked Kristi Yamaguchi's cousin."
--Chicago, Chi-Town Tap, Lincoln & Kenmore
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Two twentysomething females on crowded elevated rail car:
Girl #1: "I used to want to be an archeologist because I thought it would be cool to dig around in dirt to find old stuff, but then I figured I would have to do it the rest of my life."
Girl #2: "Plus you'd have to, like, work with old people in hats."
--Chicago, Brown Line train
Eavesdropper: GMYH

At this eavesdropper's request, he will remain anonymous:
"I just had an at work bathroom experience that is more disgusting than that a common fecal phantom. While doing my business in stall 1 of 3 I noticed a rapid rubbing sound (RRS) coming from stall 2 of 3. I have no idea if the person in stall #2 was in the bathroom when I entered, or came in after I sat down, if I had to guess I would say he was in the stall upon my arrival. I have no idea how someone could not hear me enter, lock stall door, sit down, and make a plop noise, unless they were in some state of euphoria. Not convinced that the somewhat obvious rapid rubbing action was taking place, I did a pre-flush thinking that my neighbor would then without a doubt know he was not alone and any subsequent RRS would have to be innocent, thus non-masturbatory. To my surprise, the pre-flush prompted a stop to the RRS followed closely by the departure of the occupier of stall #2. Fortunately he did wash his hands before heading back to work. Please help me think of common public bathroom actions that would produce a rapid rubbing sound. If this ends up on GMYH, please don't use my name or my company name."

Thanks to everyone who contributed. Keep up the good work. And remember, whenever you overhear something hilarious, email it to, and it will be included in the next exciting edition of Midwestern Eavesdropping.

A Break

Hi guys. Before you read this post, I just want to say that I love you and I am in fact still in love with you. Nonetheless, it's not you, it's me.

As many of you don't know, I started writing a book last summer. I have about 240 pages written, but I'm not making the progress I'd like to be making. A few days ago, I had an epiphany: just a little basil would really spice up that chicken. I also realized that I needed to devote more time to this monstrosity if I ever want to free myself from the restraints that come with being a low-profile litigator. Thus, I will be cutting back on GMYH while I devote time that was used for blogging to finishing the book.

In all likelihood, the book will never see the ink of a printing press, but I'll damned -- damned I tell you -- if one day when I'm 40 I'm looking at myself in the mirror thinking to myself, "You asshole. You know you wouldn't be sitting here blogging had you finished that book you were working on. It was brilliant. Despite what Jessie said, you did have the ability to write it and maybe even get it published, or at least self-published on Mike and Kate's 1900-pound antique printing press. By the way, you look horrible."

And please don't ask me what the book is about. I will give you this much: it's autobiographical, and it's horrifying. That's all you need to know at this point.

Before you start freaking out about what you're going to read on the internet while you're supposed to be working, I want to stress that we're not breaking up -- just going "on a break." This gives me a chance to see what other things I can write and gives you a chance to see what other blogs are out there. We'll still see each other now and then, and our encounters will be perverse and passionate trysts, designed specifically to keep you wanting more and to get my rocks off.

I will still be posting now and then when I have a bone to pick with the world or when something funny happens or when people's bathroom habits merit discussion (which, as we know, is more often than expected). And I will still be doing Midwestern Eavesdropping, so keep those ears open. And I'll have a new poll every week to maintain the level of integrity and thought-provocation you've come to expect from Give Me Your Handrew.

It's fitting that this announcement comes on the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. You know, he and I had a lot in common: both white; they way we have shaken our hips has at one point been considered both obscene and orgasm-inducing; 1977 was a pivotal year for both of us; both of us are thought of as the "King" of our respective professions (him, rock and roll, and me, aggrandizing myself). Now we'll both share August 16 as a day of bitter endings -- his a bit more permanent than mine.

Finally, I know what you're thinking: "What about the rapings? Sweet Jesus, GMYH, what about the rapings?!" Dearest reader, you have nothing to fear: the rapings have not -- and will not -- cease. It'll take more than signs alone to stop FBI Agent Chris Saviano.

New Poll: The Beatles vs. Picasso

Well, it looks like Bret is the overwhelming least favorite character from Flight of the Conchords, garnering only 13% of the votes. Meanwhile, Jemaine edged out Murray with 47% of the votes to 39%.

This week's poll is a rehash of a heated argument Morgan, Jester, Melissa, and I once had: Who is more important in the history of the world, The Beatles or Pablo Picasso?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Whole Lolla Goodness

Here's the long-awaited recap of Lollapalooza and the days since. Thanks to Christoff, Chenandler Bong, Jester, and Louis Daguerre for the photographs.

Friday 8/3
Cast: me, Jester, Ari, Liz, Kyla, Christoff, Chenandler Bong

The first day of Lolla (that's what the kids call it) started with The Fratellis, a bunch of Scottish blokes who know how to rock. Their songs are catchy (think Arctic Monkeys with some Beatles and '70s glam mixed in), and I think they were funny, but I couldn't understand a damn word.

Within two hours of being at Lollapalooza, Ari threw her underwear away.

We chilled out for a while, watching Sun Volt, as we awaited Christoff's arrival. He showed up, and we all got some eats. We were heading to Polyphonic Spree, but heard the intoxicating blues harmonica of Charlie Musselwhite on a side stage, and thus, stayed there.

After that, it was the Electric Six, a tongue-in-cheek, rollicking, fun-loving bar band. I enjoyed them. Christoff found the lead singer to be annoying. While they played, it was reassuring to see a 15-year-old smoking Marlboro Reds, knowing that he'll be dead in 30 years.

Next up was The Rapture, a dance/punk group. They were okay.

From there, we went to get a good spot for The Black Keys, and heard a little of G. Love & Special Sauce while we waited. The Black Keys put on a good show as usual.

We moved up after The Black Keys to get a good spot for Ben Harper, and stayed put, listening to Femi Kuti & The Positive Force. There was a group of thirtysomething preppy douchbags in front of us. One was wearing Croakies, and another guy was wearing a pastel pink button-down shirt with black athletic shorts.
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals put on a hell of a show. I would definitely see them again. During "Burn One Down," the cloud of pot smoke hovering over the crowd was pretty impressive.

Then Eddie Vedder came out and sang an acoustic duet with Ben: Bob Dylan's "Masters of War." Very nice.

From all accounts, Daft Punk (who was the other headliner Friday night) put on a hell of a show as well, complete with a giant pyramid on stage.

After the shows, Christoff, Ari, and I went to Wellington's for a couple beers. While there, none other than Dan "My Former Best Friend, But Then We Had a Big Falling Out Senior Year of High School" Hucker came up to our table. He and I made our amends, so that was good. Christoff and Ari headed to the Golden Apple, while Hucker and I got sloshed and caught up.

Saturday 8/4
Cast: me, Jester, Ari, Christoff, Chenandler Bong, La' Maze, Tron, Joe

One lesson I learned (that was apparently not obvious to me) was that andouille hash is not the perfect breakfast before a long day of outdoor concert viewing. Live and learn, I guess.

Saturday was overcast. We tried to get down to Grant Park in time to see Pete Yorn, but showed up about halfway into his show. Jessie and Ari went to that, while Christoff and I headed to Silverchair, where we met up with Chenandler Bong. In addition, La' Maze "What The Students Want" Johnson met up with us, looking as much like Morpheus as ever. He jetted halfway into the set and was never seen again. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure.

Silverchair was pretty good, and they didn't even play "Tomorrow."

After Silverchair, we attempted to see Cold War Kids, but it was too packed, so we had to subject ourselves to Motion City Soundtrack. More like Motion Shitty Soundtrack. I think the lead singer mentioned their soon-to-be-released album 15 times. I don't like emo or screamo, or whatever the fuck genre it is.

Three tickets to Lollapalooza: $570
Seven beers: $49
Five hits off stranger's joint that may have been laced with angel dust: free
Taking a break from motherhood: priceless

After that, we went to see Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah. We parked ourselves along the railing behind the wheelchair section, by the sound booth. It was a great spot, aside from the fact that the handicapped port-a-potty was about 10 feet in front of us. Better yet, some drunk and/or stoned girl tried to solicit Christoff's help in getting a boost over the fence to use the handicapped bathroom. The best part was that the security guards waited for her to jump the fence to stop her. She failed to understand why she wasn't allowed to use that particular port-a-potty, and she left a flip flop behind in protest. Musically, CYHASY was fine, but the lead singer's eerie, woman-like voice was too much for me, so we went to get a good spot for The Hold Steady.

We got a pretty good spot for The Hold Steady, and they put on a great show, as usual. Craig Finn was his usual spasmodic self, The Kub kicked ass on guitar, Franz was dressed in a 3-piece suit, and the bass player and drummer were there too.

We chilled out during Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as it had begun to rain. Then we got some food.
Chicken on a stick from Lee's Concessions is a good idea, but getting the hot sauce and spicy mustard is not, especially considering the aforementioned andouille hash.

We then went to stake out a place in a thicket of trees while we listened to the last half of Patti Smith. We did not venture far enough to see her on the big screen, since we would have turned to stone. Or did we?

Interpol was the headliner Saturday night (along with Muse on the other side -- how Muse or Interpol got headlining spots was unclear to any of us). The drizzle and Interpol's corpselike stage show did not provide us with enough incentive to stay for more than 36 minutes.On our way home, we stopped at Vaughan's for a "couple" beers. At Vaughan's, we learned that all of the gay guys that work with Christoff think he has "great DSLs." At least things won't be awkward next time he runs into one of them, and the guy is just staring at Christoff's mouth. Jester and I left Vaughan's around 1:15, and I was finally able to make amends with the andouille hash and the hot sauce and spicy mustard.

Sunday 8/5
Cast: me, Jester, Ari, Christoff, Chenandler Bong, Floppy Burrito, Tron, Will, Gabe, Shane, Christy, Magdog

As soon as I stepped out of the door on Sunday, I knew that I was in for a long, hot day. The air was thick, damp, and suffocating. I probably drank close to 200 ounces of water on Sunday, and sweat out at least that much.

Christoff and I got to Grant Park before the gates opened. When said gates did open, there were people sprinting to be in the front row for Pearl Jam (who would be playing a mere 8 1/2 hours later).

Meanwhile, Christoff and I saw was Juliette & The Licks, fronted by Hollywood screen siren Juliette Lewis (My Step Mother is an Alien, Mixed Nuts, Catch and Release), who put on a hell of a show, dressed as some sort of leather-clad Native American. They played punk-inspired grrrrl rock. I would definitely see them again.

After that, we headed to the stage where Pearl Jam would be playing. We staked out a spot about 15 yards diagonal from the left side of the stage. This meant that we would be seeing every band that would be playing on the AT&T Stage that day.

First up was Dax Riggs. Most of his songs seemed to be centered around suicide, the end of the world, and ways to feel terrible about life. This was the density of the crowd during Dax Riggs. It did not stay like that.

Next was hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco, who provided a much-needed energy boost for the sweat-soaked crowd.

After that was Kings of Leon, which I was pretty pumped about seeing. They put on a great show, and Eddie Vedder came out for their last song, "Slow Night, So Long," breaking two tambourines in the process, so that was cool.

After Kings of Leon, I ventured out of the masses to get a couple ales. In doing so, I saw some dude OD, complete with eyes rolled in the back of his head. It was pretty sweet. Fear not, a couple splashes of cold water, and he returned to being just stoned out of his mind.

By this time, it was standing room only and it would remain so for the rest of the night. My Morning Jacket was the last pre-Pearl-Jam act to play on the AT&T Stage. They put on a really good show. For many of their songs, the Chicago Youth Symphony backed them. Their final song was a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up," which was pretty cool.

Jessie hates talented children.

No attempts to leave were made after My Morning Jacket ended. The sea of people was reaching six figures, stretching back the entire length of the field. Here are some shots of the crowd before Pearl Jam started.At least one of those people had taken a shit in a port-a-potty and taken something with him. Seriously, this guy had toilet paper hanging from his shorts for the better part of four hours.

In addition, a sweaty, sleeveless man, who we have since affectionately dubbed "Unfrozen Caveman," was standing by us. At first, we were frightened of him, but he turned out to be a decent guy, later punching some dude who tripped and touched Ari's boob.

I realized I had to pee before Pearl Jam went on. The empty water bottles and beer cups became more and more alluring as each minute passed. Meanwhile, Christoff had snuck in a bottle of red wine, which by this point had been brought to a nice rolling boil after 8 hours in 90-degree heat and 95% humidity. Gabe was thoroughly impressed with the whole thing.

Pearl Jam put on an awesome show. They played lots of songs.The highlight for me was when Eddie Vedder took advantage of a captive audience of 100,000 to tell people to boycott BP Amoco because they are trying to get legislation passed that would allow them to pollute Lake Michigan (which is where Chicago gets its drinking water). He even wrote a song about it, called "Don't Go BP Amoco."

The second encore was pretty cool. It started out with an acoustic anti-war song with just Eddie and Ben Harper.

Then, they finished with an all-star jam of Neil Young's "Keep On Rockin' in the Free World," complete with Ben Harper, Perry Farrell, Dennis Rodman (who hoisted Eddie onto his shoulders), and Lance Armstrong.

When the show ended, I had about 60 ounces of urine waiting to exit my body. How do I know it was 60 ounces, you ask? Well, I knew that the port-a-potties would be too long of a wait, so everyone formed a wall around me while I pissed, filling up an empty 22-ounce beer cup. And then an empty 20-ounce water bottle. And then another beer cup. It was glorious.

Monday 8/6
At about 12:23pm, I was in the bathroom at work. Someone came in, peed in one of the urinals, didn't flush, and then walked straight out without so much as a rinsing of hands, barely zipping up in time to open the door. Urinal phantoms?

Monday night, or possibly early Tuesday morning, I had another one of my standard weird dreams. I was in my brother's room at my mom's house, which was carpeted for some reason (it has hardwood floors in non-dream-world). While I didn't think much of the carpeting at first, it turned out to be very helpful given what was to happen. For reasons that remain unclear, Anna Nicole Smith was also in the room with me -- and not the post-TrimSpa Anna Nicole that died. We're talking about the giant, drugged-up mongoloid that graced our TV screens on The Anna Nicole Show. In my dream, she was alive and unable to listen to reason. I may have been her manager, press liaison, or simply a confidante. Whatever I was, I tried to leave the room and she tackled me, and then proceeded to sit on my back, refusing to let me up. The fact that her mongoloid breasts were near my face did very little to appease the suffocating. Eventually, I wrestled my way out. I was so distraught that I ate a raw egg. As some of you know, my mom's house does not have air conditioning. The heat was so unbearable that it began to cook the egg in my mouth. While the risk of salmonella decreased, I found myself with a new problem: the egg had solidified in my windpipe and I was unable to breathe. As I went down the stairs, I passed unfamiliar faces who apparently knew me by name, but failed to recognize the universal signal for "I'm choking," instead thinking that I was putting my own hands around my own neck as part of some hilarious gag. When I got to the kitchen, there were probably 5-7 people there, none of them responding to my choking signal. The kept asking me what was wrong, and I kept pointing to my mouth because I couldn't speak because my windpipe was blocked by the raw egg that had become cooked in my throat. "If you tell us what's wrong, maybe we can help you," my mom explained. Finally, I bent myself over a chair to perform the Heimlich on myself, and a nice young woman realized what I was doing, so she came over and have me the Heimlich, catapulting a small omelette across the kitchen. Everyone let out an "ohhhh, you were choking," and I grabbed some water. I also had a dream that Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras formed a doubles team. Watch out Woodruff and Woodbridge!

Tuesday 8/7 through Thursday 8/9
I was unavailable much of those days because I had to return some videotapes.

Friday 8/10
Well, Vandaley Industries' run to the championship ended in the title game with a 6-4 loss. This would have been easier to swallow had 5 of the other team's 6 runs not come on 2 errors by outfielders not named Andrew.

After the game, the team drowned its sorrows at 7-10 Lounge, and then Christoff, Gregerson, Dan Weeser*, Chenandler Bong, and I headed to Chi-Town Tap for some $1 bottles.

Within minutes of arriving at Chi-Town Tap, I encountered a gregarious, overserved, bearded Galvestonian known only as "Texas Dave." He was instantly enamored with the fact that, like him, I am an Astros fan. As a sign of gratitude for our mutual fanaticism, Texas Dave informed me that there would soon be "like ten hot chicks" at his table. I thanked him for his generosity, but showed him my wedding ring and went to sit back down at our table. As threatened, a gaggle of women soon entered the back room, surrounding Texas Dave. Of the ten, approximately zero were "hot," and most of them were simply average looking, with dudes, or both. About twenty minutes later, Texas Dave offered up one of his minions to us, sending a tall, heavyset fellatrix to our table, presumably with strict orders to do whatever we told her to do. Unanimously, we sent her away after a few minutes of painful small talk. So that's what it feels like to be on the other side. A half hour later, Texas Dave approached our table, aghast that we turned down his cum dumpster. Texas Dave does not respect the bounds of marriage, which make sense, since ain't no woman that can tie Texas Dave down.

Saturday 8/11
I went out to Naperville for a night out with The Ocho (minus Gemkeezi). Burritos were consumed at dinner. Drinks were consumed before, during, and after dinner. As expected, the night ended with some poker playing while watching double deckers. I also received 2 giant itch mite bites on my back, although Marv Albert is still a person of interest.

Sunday 8/12 to Tuesday 8/14
Extensive weeping. Rest in peace, Merv. Rest in fucking peace. You too, Rirruto.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Whole Lolla Delay

Sorry about the lack of a Lollapalooza recap. It will be up within the next couple days, and it will include a scathingly honest look at the last week as well.

In the meantime, there haven't been too many bright spots for the Sox this season, but Bobby Jenks has retired the last 41 batters he's faced, tying a major league record. That's the equivalent of about 1.5 perfect games. He should just pitch every inning from now on.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Poll: Flight of the Conchords

Well, the race was close, but Pitt and Notre Dame tied with 6 votes each, compared to Louisville and Missouri's 5 votes each in the vote for who the 12th Big Ten team should be. Luckily Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney recently came out and said that the Big Ten is NOT looking at expansion after all. Thank God.

This week's poll is quite simple. In Flight of the Conchords, are you a Bret person, a Jemaine person, or a Murray person?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The End of A to Z

Well, after 62 days of aural pleasure, my alphabetic journey through my CD collection has come to an end, and I'd be a fucking liar if I told you I didn't learn a thing or two:
1. I listen to approximately 8.597 CDs a day.
2. If I work for 17 hours, I can listen to many more CDs than if I work for 9 hours.
3. Australian architects who move to Dubai leave behind mostly bad CDs.

In some respects I'm sad, but I am definitely excited about being able to listen to the new White Stripes album, the new Arctic Monkeys album, the Fratellis, Dr. Feelgood, and those 2 Van Halen CDs I bought before I started this thing. And I know we're all looking forward to the return of Hair Band Friday, even if I haven't been keeping you updated on the tawdry escapdes I have every Friday on my desk, underneath my desk, in my swivel chair, on both of my wooden arm chairs (stacked on top of each other), up against my windows, on the HVAC vents, on the floor, on my bookcase, between the bookcase and the wall, and while drenched in goats' blood.

Thanks to all of you who put up with A-Z every day and who actually read it. On the bright side, this meant that I was guaranteed to have at least one post each week day. On the dark side, this meant that you were subjected to my opinions on KC & The Sunshine Band, I Mother Earth, and 2 Sponge CDs.

An unnecessarily detailed recap of Lollapalooza will be up within the next few days (probably Thursday or Friday because I will be out of town for work from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening). I am awaiting some pictures from Ari, Liz, Jester, Christoff, Chandler, and anyone else who might have pictures of the three-day fete. As a little teaser, I will say that my recap may or may not involve underwear. Think about it.

A-Z CDs - Day 62

524. The Best of Southern Rock (last listen: 2-5 years) - Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, .38 Special -- it's all here.
525. Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (last listen: 5+ years) - I don't know if any of you have heard of Jimi Hendrix, but he was a well-respected guitarist in the late '60s who met an untimely death at the age of 27.
526. Super Box of Rock (Disc 1) (last listen: 5+ years) - This is a frustrating box set. It contains a really good collection of oldies. The problem is that only a small percentage of them are the original versions. The rest have been rerecorded (read: ruined) by new musicians, leaving in tact the original vocals. The result is that the rerecorded songs sounds like cheesy, cruise line takes on the originals. More like super bad.
527. Super Box of Rock (Disc 2) (last listen: 5+ years)
528. Super Box of Rock (Disc 3) (last listen: 5+ years)
529. Swinging Big Bands (last listen: 2-5 years) - A nice big band collection, featuring the hits of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman.
530. Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This 2001 compilation produced by Jack White features songs by Detroit garage bands, mixed in with short blues instrumentals. It's an awesome collection, with songs from The White Stripes, The Von Bondies, The Detroit Cobras, The Dirtbombs, and Soledad Brothers, among others. My favorite tracks are "Black Girl" by The Paybacks, "Red Death at 6:14" by The White Stripes, and "Black and Blue" by Ko and The Knockouts.
531. Tube Tunes - Vol. 3: The '80s (last listen: 2-5 years) - A highly recommended collection of '80s TV theme songs. Rather than point out any highlights, I'll just list all the shows: WKRP In Cincinnati, Dukes Of Hazzard, Facts of Life, Dynasty, Greatest American Hero, Hill Street Blues, Family Ties, Silver Spoons, Cheers, Miami Vice Theme, Who's The Boss, Charles In Charge, Equalizer, Growing Pains, Love Boat, and My Two Dads.
532. Urban Outfitters Sampler #11 (last listen: 1-2 years) - I got this free with a purchase at Urban Outfitters several years ago, and it's a nice 16-song sample featuring songs by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Rufus Wainwright, and The Stills, among others. My favorite songs on it are "This Is Our Emergency" by Pretty Girls Make Graves, "Magheeta" by My Morning Jacket, and "Girl" by Pepe Deluxe.
533. Woodstock Rock - 20th Anniversary Collection (Disc 3) (last listen: 2-5 years) - I bought this used, and I can't find it on Amazon. I don't quite understand why some bands have songs on this, since not everyone performed at Woodstock. Nonetheless, it's a solid collection and a fitting end to the A-Z CD Extravaganza. "Closer to Home (I'm Your Captain)" by Grand Funk Railroad is a phenomenal song in my view. Johnny Winter's version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" is good. And what Woodstock-related collection would be complete without Country Joe and The Fish's tongue-in-cheek, anti-Vietnam anthem, "The Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag"?

Monday, August 06, 2007

A-Z CDs - Day 61

513. Jagermeister Let It Pour (last listen: never) - I got this compilation at some point in Bloomington, and I've never listened to it. It's an odd mix of funk, soul, and death metal. And of course a Jagermeister-sponsored compilation wouldn't be complete without a Rich Hardesty song: "Phuck You Song," which is apparently what Jagermeister calls the "clean" version of "Never Wanna Fuckin' See You Again." Way to pretty much ruin the song, Jager.
514. Millennium Funk Party (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This is a pretty good collection of '70s funk. My favorites are "You Dropped a Bomb On Me" by The Gap Band, "Tear the Roof Off This Sucker" by Parliament, and "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton. Also included is a truncated version of "Rapper's Delight" by Sugar Hill Gang, a song I love, but I'm not sure I consider it funk (and I like the long version).
515. Motown Legends, Volume 3 (last listen: 2-5 years) - Can't go wrong with Motown. My favorites off this one are "I'm Gonna Make you Love Me" by The Supremes and "I Wish It Would Rain" by The Temptations.
516. Only Rock 'N' Roll - 1955-1959 (last listen: 2-5 years) - A good collection of early rock 'n' roll hits. My favorites are "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters, "Donna" by Ritchie Valens, and "Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison.
517. Only Rock 'N' Roll - 1975-1979 (last listen: 2-5 years) - I definitely like the '50s compilation better. Highlights include "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates, "Oh Girl" by The Chi-Lites, and of course "Saturday Night" by The Bay City Rollers. Lowlights include the Michael McDonald-sung "What a Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers. He really is an asshole.
518. - Another Original Instant Classic (last listen: never) - I'm not sure when or where I got this promotional 5-song CD. It features songs by Pitty Sing, Adam Richman, and Pure Reason Revolution, none of them particularly fantastic.
519. Q Rocks (last listen: 1-2 years) - This is a really good collection of modern rock that came with an issue of Q magazine (a British music rag) that I got in London back in aught three. It features songs by Foo Fighters, Audioslave, My Morning Jacket, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, among others.
520. RS 500 (last listen: never) - This came with the Rolling Stone issue that listed the 500 greatest songs in rock history. This CD does not include 491 of those songs, but it does include songs by Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, and The Who.
521. Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits (Billboard) - 1970 (last listen: 2-5 years) - All ten songs on this one are good.
522. The Rock 'N' Roll Era - Roots of Rock: 1945-1956 (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This is another Time-Life series where I ordered the first CD at a low price, then canceled before I started getting a CD a month at $49.99 or whatever it might be. Anyway, this CD is awesome, featuring some of the pre-rock-and-roll-era blues, R&B, jump blues, and doo wop songs that influenced what would become rock and roll. My favorites are "Sixty-Minute Man" by The Dominoes (an innuendo-laden , "Caldonia" by Louis Jordan (a jump blues classic), "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Kings (thought by many to be the first rock and roll song), and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" by Lloyd Price and "The Things That I Used to Do" by Guitar Slim (two New Orleans R&B/blues classics).
523. Sounds of the Eighties - 1984 (last listen: 2-5 years) - Yet another Time-Life one-and-done CD. It's a good one. Rather than list the many wonderful songs from my childhood that are on this CD, I'll just let you click on the link and see for yourself.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A-Z CDs - Day 60

After billing just north of 17 hours today, I didn't have time to search Amazon for the links or discuss the finer points of the ESPN Jock series. Deal with it. At least in less than 10 hours I will be watching The Fratellis kick off Lollapalooza.
497. Burning London: The Clash Tribute (last listen: never) - I got this free at some point my senior year at IU, but I've never listened to it. The originals are much better, although the highlights include Rancid's version of "Cheat" and Third Rye Blind's version of "Train in Vain."
498. The Compilation Vol. 2 (3DMas and AliveOne) (last listen: never) - I got this CD free at AliveOne (bar at Halsted & Schubert). It's a compilation of lesser-known bands, some of which you may know, including The Redwalls, Umphrey's McGee, Disco Biscuits, and Nada Surf.
499. Greatest Disco Groups (last listen: 5+ years) - There's nothing quite as humbling as when a co-worker walks into your office when "It's Raining Men" is playing.
500. Disco Mania (last listen: 5+ years) - But I'll be damned if "Shake Your Booty" doesn't command respect.
501. Do You Remember - Vol. 4 (last listen: 5+ years) - A good collection of late '50s pop, including "Donna" by Ritchie Valens, which is a great song. "Good Golly Miss Molly" by Little Richard is always a good listen. The CD also features Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, and Paul Anka, among others.
502. Do You Remember - Vol. 6 (last listen: 5+ years) - This is a nice compilation of early '60s soul, including songs by The Drifters, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Ben E. King.
503. The Doo Wop Box Disc 1 (The Birth of Doo Wop (1948-1955)) (last listen: 2-5 years) - I'm a big doo wop fan, and this box set contains just about every doo wop song you could ask for. "Earth Angel" by The Penguins is my favorite song off this CD.
504. The Doo Wop Box Disc 2 (The Rock 'N' Roll Explosion (1955-1957) (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - "In the Still of the Nite" by The Five Satins is a good song.
505. The Doo Wop Box Disc 3 (Doo Wop's Golden Age (1957-1959) (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This is my favorite CD in the box set. My favorites off this one are "Maybe" by The Chantels, "I Wonder Why" by Dion and The Belmonts, and "For Your Precious Love" by Jerry Butler and The Impressions.
504. The Doo Wop Box Disc 4 (The Doo Wop Revival (1959-1987)) (last listen: 2-5 years) - Good ones off this one are Randy and The Rainbows' "Denise" (IU History of Rock and Roll Professor Glenn Gass's favorite song, or at least one of them) and "Stay" by Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs.
505. The '80s Pop Explosion (last listen: 5+ years)
506. Garage Band Rock (last listen: 2-5 years) - A short but sweet collection of garage band classics.
507. All the Best from the German Beer Garden (last listen: 1-2 years)
508. Greatest Hits of the '80s - The Decade of Excess (last listen: 2-5 years)
509. Guitar Rock: The Heavy '80s (last listen: 1-2 years) - Awesome
510. Hard Rock Essentials: The '60s (last listen: 2-5 years)
511. Jock Jams (last listen: 5+ years)
512. Jock Rock (last listen: 5+ years)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New Poll: 12th Team in the Big Ten?

Thanks to those who voted in the Fold vs. Wad poll. An overwhelming majority of you prefer to fold your toilet paper. Thank God.

So the Big Ten thinking about adding a twelfth school. Personally, I don't think it should happen. Notre Dame is always bandied about, and the other schools mentioned are usually Pitt, Missouri, and sometimes West Virginia. I'll throw Louisville in there for shits and giggles.

The Big Ten and Notre Dame should never be affiliated, as far as I'm concerned. With OSU football and Illinois basketball fans, the Big Ten just doesn't have enough room for another overwhelmingly annoying fan base. If they go with any school, it should be a large public university (like the rest of the conference, aside from Northwestern) with a solid athletic tradition (like the rest of the conference, aside from Northwestern and Purdue). Notre Dame is not a public school, so they're out. Nonetheless, let's take a look at NCAA championships:

West Virginia - 14 (although 13 of them are in coed rifle)
Notre Dame - 13
Louisville - 2
Missouri - 2
Pitt - 0

If West Virginia or Notre Dame were added, they would be good enough to come in tenth in the Big Ten in overall NCAA championships, ahead of only Northwestern (4) and Purdue (2). Obviously, Louisville, Mizzou, and Pitt can't cut it (at least Louisville's 2 titles are in a revenue-earning sport (men's basketball)). Frankly, I don't think any of these teams is of an athletic caliber worthy of inclusion in the Big Ten.

Plus, I don't like the idea of the Big Ten having to be split into two divisions because it's almost impossible to do it without splitting up traditional rivalries or making certain division unbelievably unbalanced football divisions, reducing the likelihood of multiple BCS berths. Here are some possible division alignments:
With Pitt/West Virginia/Louisville:
West: Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue
East: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt/WV/Louisville
North: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Northwestern
South: Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State, Pitt/WV/Louisville
With Mizzou:
West: Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois
East: Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State
North: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Northwestern
South: Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State

So, who should the Big Ten add, Louisville Missouri, Notre Dame, Pitt, or West Virginia? Unfortunately, Blogger is limiting my choices to five, otherwise I would have had a choice for "Other" and "No One." I choose no one.

Also, feel free to leave some comments about who you would like added (if not included in my short list).

Mickey Rourke

I don't have time for an extended recap of the weekend and preview of this weekend, so here's the Reader's Digest version:

-Softball - we won; I popped out to the pitcher
-Amy Lee in town
-Bohmann's birthday bash in Bucktown
-Gemkow playing in Bucktown with the LG crew in the hizzie, including The Dane
-Rocks for dinner with Gregerson
-Taste of Lincoln Avenue with Andy "ATPW" White; his wife likes Harley
-Saw Hairbangers Ball at the Taste of Lincoln Avenue
-After going straight from work to Rocks, Turns Out The West Coast Offense Can Be Stopped wins trivia; hair band "name that tune" round gives us 23 of 24 points; did they not think I would know "Bang" by Gorky Park?
-Watch Another 9 1/2 Weeks while I work at 11pm; life is both terrible and pretty fuckin' awesome
-Maybe drink
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

A-Z CDs - Day 59

As promised, now begins the compilations. Sadly, I was busy as hell today, so I didn't have much time to contemplate what I was listening to.
490. 1970s R&B Classics (last listen: 2-5 years) - A great little collection of '70s soul, featuring Marvin Gaye ("What's Going On"), The Temptations ("Just My Imagination"), and The Miracles ("Tears of a Clown"), among others. But my favorite song on the album is Dobie Gray's "Drift Away." What a great song. The Chi-Lites' "Have You Seen Her?" is also pretty good. And "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers is a classic. There's really not a bad song on this CD.
491. AM Gold - 1971 (last listen: 5+ years) - Part of the Time-Life AM Gold series that I bought one CD, and then canceled. My favorite one of this CD is "Don't Pull Your Love Out" by Hamilton, Joe, Frank & Reynolds.
492. The Big '80s (VH1) (last listen: 2-5 years) - One of the better '80s compilation.
493. Blues Masters - Vol. 3: Texas Blues (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - I highly suggest the Blues Masters collection. The CDs span from the '30s to the present, and all four of them that I own are great. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's "Okie Dokie Stomp" is my favorite song on this CD. It's a fast-paced, boogie-woogie-style guitar-led instrumental. Stevie Ray Vaughan's version of "Texas Flood" is always good, as well.
494. Blues Masters - Vol. 4: Harmonica Classics (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This one is great, featuring the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, and Junior Wells.
495. Blues Masters - Vol. 6: Blues Originals (last listen: 1-2 years) - This is a great compilation of original blues songs that were famously covered. My favorites are Howlin' Wolf's "Back Door Man" (covered by The Doors), G.L. Crockett's "It's a Man Down There" (covered by The Allman Brothers Band as "You Don't Love Me," most famously on the Live at the Fillmore East album), and "That's All Right" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (which has the distinction of being the first single released by Elvis).
496. Blues Masters - Vol. 15: Slide Guitar Classics (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This is just a solid album from start to finish. Is there anything more pleasant to listen to than a slide guitar? The answer is "no," Kevin. My favorites off this one are "Too Much Alcohol" by J.B. Hutto & His Hawks, "Is You Ever Seen a One-Eyed Woman Cry" by Earl Hooker (possibly one of the best song titles in blues history), and Canned Heat's version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'."