Thursday, May 31, 2007

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 5/31/07

Here you go:

10-year-old girl at White Sox/Devil Rays game, while Elijah Dukes is at bat: "Don't hit me!"
--Chicago, Comiskey Park, 35th & Shields
Eavesdropper: Crazy Legs

Thirtysomething female, after trying on comfortable sandals, in crowded show store: "I think I might have just had an orgasm."
--Chicago, DSW, Halsted & Clark
Eavesdropper: GMYH

70-year-old man nearly falls over at a baseball game. Smarmy twentysomething male says: "That's what happens when you wear khaki shorts and a shirt tucked in with a belt!"
--Chicago, Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Elderly Man: "Excuse me, miss? You need to eat!"Tiny Blonde: "That's not what the media tells me."--Chicago, Clark & Arlington
Eavesdropper: RobD

25-year-old special ed teacher, talking about being drunk at a friend's wedding: "I think I made out with a guy in a phone booth. I hope it was my husband."
--Chicago, Cornelia & Damen
Eavesdropper: GMYH

10-year-old girl walking through down center of L train: "This train smells like pool water!"
10-year-old boy: "Naw, it smells like bananas."
--Chicago, Purple Line train
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, Chenandler Bong

Twentysomething musician, being completely serious: "Fallin Down is a phenomenal movie. It's almost as good as Fear."
--Chicago, The Store, Halsted & Armitage
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, Gemkeezi

Drunk guy eating burrito: "It fucks me in the ass. (pause) Or I rape it in the mouth."
--Chicago, LaBamba, Halsted & Wrightwood
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, RDC, Weez, Jesterio

Drunk chick eating huevos con chorizo at 4am: "I feel like the male anatomy is gross. Sometimes I just have to close my eyes and pretend."
--Chicago, Los Tres Panchos, Diversey & Lincoln
Eavesdroppers: Gregerson, GMYH, Ari, Floppy Burrito

Girl: "Don, this is my fiancee, Tom."
Don: [handshake] "Hey, how are ya?"
Tom: "I'm great. What do you do?"
Don: "Oh, I recruit sales reps, facilitate that between management."
Tom: "You should work for me. I make a ton of money."
Don: (in a tone that suggests he hopes Tom is joking) "I'm doing just fine, buddy."
Tom: (Points at Don's friend) "I make more than you and him combined."
Don: (steps into Tom's space) "Are you serious right now? You are such a bitchboy for saying that. You fucking bitchboy."
Tom: (falling away, off-balance, swings at Don, punch glances off, brouhaha ensues)
Girl: "Don! Don! What are you DOING?! That's my fiancee!!"
Don: (kneeling on Tom, stops swinging momentarily) "Yeah, but he's a fuckin' bitch!" (continues swinging)
--Chicago, Stanley's, Lincoln & Armitage

Eavesdropper: RobD

Drunk female on the sidewalk in front of a bar, yelling at her friends: "I just need a boyfriend! I was supposed to get a boyfriend tonight!"
--Chicago, Mad River Grille, Sheffield & George
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Bitchy girl to girl standing in handicapped area: "Excuse me are you handicapped?"
Other girl: "No, but my sister is, and I'm helping her."

Bitch girl, realizing that other girl is obviously standing next to a girl on crutches with huge leg brace: "Oh."
--Chicago, Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison
Eavesdropper: Gemkeezi

Here's another example of something that's not technically eavesdropping, but deserves to be included. Here's an email I got:
"This isn't necessarily something that I overheard, but it is a story that must be told, for I have discovered a new, more sinister version of the fecal phantom. I entered the bathroom on my floor for my daily 10:00 appointment. To my delight I notice that all stalls were available, since I will not begin the meeting if anyone else is in the room, this is a good thing for me. Unfortunately, the good vibes ceased upon opening the first stall door. There, sitting on top of the toilet paper dispenser was the core of what used to be an apple."
--Chicago, Wacker & Dearborn
Eavesdropper: RDC

Thanks everyone. Continue overhearing hilarious stuff and send it to, and it will be included in the next installment of Midwestern Eavesdropping.

Billboard Hot 1

In the Chicago suburb of Glenview, a billboard for a salon/medical spa is causing quite a stir.

As you can see, it points out "problems" with her skin, body, etc., and explains the "solutions" offered by said salon/medical spa. For some reason, this is really pissing off a lot of soccer moms. I know I hate being forced to look at beautiful things while I'm driving, and maybe that's the problem that people have with it. I guess I'm failing to see where the offensiveness lies. Is it because she's bearing her legs? Is it because she's lying in water and giving the viewers a sultry look? Or is it because she's hot and has a great body? I'm guessing it's the last one. If the exact same billboard featured an ugly, wrinkled, or overweight woman (or a combination of all three) in the same pose wearing the same thing, then I'm guessing there would be a lot fewer "offended" people (or at least fewer offended females).

Frankly, I think it's effective advertising for a salon/medical spa. It would be even better if it had a side-by-side before/after shot of, say, Rosie O'Donnell or Dame Judi Dench (with the arrows and "problems"/"solutions") as the before shot, and then this woman as the after. Now THAT is effective advertising. Phhtt!

A-Z CDs - Day 18

Sometimes I forget how much I love The Doors. Not today.
153. The Doors - The Doors (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - A phenomenal debut, featuring megahits "Light My Fire" and "Break On Through," as well as many other gems, including songs inspired by mescaline, the Oedipus-inspired "The End," which infamously got them banned from the Whisky-a-Go-Go in LA (I guess the owner didn't like the line, "Mother, I want to fuck you all night long.") The world hadn't really seen rock 'n' roll this dark when this came out. As one guy once said (loosely), "On the radio, people are listening to 'Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter,' and here comes this guy talking about fucking his mother."
154. The Doors - Strange Days (last listen: 1-2 years) - Probably my favorite Doors album. "When the Music's Over" is an 11-minute masterpiece.
155. The Doors - Waiting for the Sun (last listen: 1-2 years) - My first tattoo is a colorized version of the lizard on the inside sleeve of this album.
156. The Doors - Morrison Hotel (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This one has "Peace Frog," which is my favorite Doors song.
157. The Doors - Soft Parade (last listen: 5+ years) - Probably my least favorite Doors album, Soft Parade features a horn section and was generally overproduced.
158. The Doors - L.A. Woman (last listen: 1-2 years) - This is their final studio album before Jim Morrison's death, and it's a really good one.
159. The Doors - In Concert (last listen: 1-2 years) - Great live album. The version of "Light My Fire," intertwined with "Graveyard Poem" is nice, as is their cover of "Gloria." I also enjoy "When the Music's Over." The man can shriek.
160. The Doors - Greatest Hits (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - For the beginning or casual Doors fan, this double CD greatest hits album is a perfect, and it's only $9.99 on Amazon, which is a great price for a double CD. Many thanks go out to Gemkeezi, who got my liner notes from this CD signed by Robbie Krieger when he caddied 9 or 10 years ago for Krieger (who Gemkow described as "a walking soul").

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A-Z CDs - Day 17

Another GREAT day of CDs. The Ds rule.
144. Def Leppard - Vault: Greatest Hits 1980-1995 (last listen: 5+ years) - This is a good greatest hits album for the casual Def Leppard fan, although 2005's Rock of Ages CD is more extensive. Vault only has one from High 'N' Dry, and none from On Through the Night.
145. Def Leppard - Slang (last listen: 5+ years) - This is their 1996 post-grunge, pseudo-alternative album. While it's not the Def Leppard I knew and loved, it did spawn the 1996 tour that included the best concert I've ever attended.
146. Def Leppard - Yeah! (last listen: 0-3 months) - This is the album they put out last year full of covers of songs by bands that influenced them (i.e., mostly British glam from the early '70s), including The Kinks, Badfinger, T. Rex, David Bowie, Sweet, Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople, Free, Faces, and Thin Lizzy. I really like their covers of "Don't Believe a Word" by Thin Lizzy, "Hell Raiser" by Sweet (with accompanying vocals courtesy of The Darkness's Justin Hawkins), and "Stay With Me" by Faces (sung by guitarist Phil Collen).
147. Def Leppard - Yeah! Bonus CD (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - This has a couple interview clips with the guys, as well as several more '70s covers, including a pretty good cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl," The Stooges' "Search & Destroy," and Bowie's "Space Oddity."
148. Derek & The Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (last listen: 0-3 months) - As you may or may not know, this is my all-time favorite album, which means I have a lot to say about it. Not only is it the greatest post-breakup-sitting-alone-in-a-dark-room-with-a-bottle-of-Jack album, but I'm not sure there's been a better rock and roll album made since its release nearly 37 years ago. For the three of you who don't know the back story behind this album, it was recorded while Clapton was madly in love with Pattie Harrison, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison. You can't manufacture the kind of emotion that pours from this album, and I'd be hard-pressed to find another album as emotional as this one. It's essentially the sound of a man ripping his heart from his own chest, offering it to the woman he loves, and then laying it down on vinyl after she rejects it. And doing a bunch of heroin and cocaine and drinking a lot during the process. Bobby Whitlock's hearty, blue-eyed-soul voice provides great backing vocals (and lead vocals at certain times), and Duane Allman's guitar on the album's last 10 songs perfectly complements Clapton's guitar, allowing both guitarists to things they would not have been otherwise able to do alone (especially on the blues covers, "Little Wing," and "Layla"). I'll hit a couple of the album's highlights (including links to the lyrics, so you can read the pain, even if you can't hear the pain). The album starts out with "I Looked Away," which sets the stage for the kind of emotion the album is going to have, as well as the subject matter ("And if it seemed a sin / To love another man's woman, baby / I guess I'll keep on sinning / Loving her, Lord, till my very last day."). "Bell Bottom Blues," while not written about Pattie, is a solid, heart-wrencher, with Clapton and Whitlock bawling, "Do you wanna see me crawl across the floor to you? Do you wanna hear me beg you to take me back?" "Keep on Growing" is a rollicking song that provides yet another great example of Clapton and Whitlock's intertwining voices. "Anyday" is my favorite song on the album. I get goosebumps every time I hear it. It's pure agony, with Clapton and Whitlock's call-and-response taunting the man (Harrison) who would accept his wife back "after she's left you for another," yet the singer still can't quite get the girl. After my girlfriend sophomore year fucked (or so I assume, since I wasn't there) her ex-boyfriend (who she has since married) the night after she told me I was "the one," this song provided some solace. Granted, it didn't undo the fucking, but it let me sing/yell along with someone who had experienced similar emotions. I'm not bitter or anything, and frankly I'm better off because of it, but I hope she has AIDS. "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?" is frantic -- both hopeless and hopeful at the same time. I like their cover of Hendrix's "Little Wing" more than the original (which I like a lot to begin with), thanks again in large part to the intertwining of Clapton and Whitlock's voices exuding heartbreak. "Layla" is, well, "Layla." The album ends with the acoustic, Whitlock-written-and-sung "Thorn Tree in the Garden." It's the perfect ending to the album. The song literally aches. And with good reason: Whitlock wrote it years before the Dominos were formed, after one of his roommates got rid of Whitlock's dog while Whitlock was out. So there you have it, my favorite album. Go out and buy it, soak it in, and fucking love it. Or at least next time your girlfriend/boyfriend breaks up with you or you fall in love with your best friend's wife/fiancé/girlfriend, let me know and I'll let you borrow it.
149. Neil Diamond - 20th Century Masters (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
150. Willie Dixon - I Am the Blues (last listen: 2-5 years) - Chicago blues legend and Chess Records session man Willie Dixon performs many of the famous songs he wrote. I always forget how ridiculous Dixon's songwriting contributions are, since most of his songs were made famous by other bluesmen or rock bands. Some of the biggest ones are on this album, including "Back Door Man," "I Can't Quit You Baby," "Spoonful," "I Ain't Superstitious," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "You Shook Me," and "Little Red Rooster." Not too shabby.
151. Domestic Problems - Patiently (last listen: never) - I think I acquired this one at Blue Gate. It sat on a table in the entranceway for over a year, and no one claimed it, so I took it. Not knowing at all what to expect, it's actually pretty good. It's kind of funky, kind of Sister Hazel, and kind of Blues Traveler.
152. The Donnas - Spend the Night (last listen: 1-2 years) - A fun, straightforward rock album, even if some of the songs start to sound the same.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

They're Baaaaack

I love long weekends, so prepare for a long post.

With the approaching long weekend, Jester and I started flipping out Friday afternoon. She called me at work, imploring me to make a reservation for us at Sapori, a really good Italian restaurant to which she had a $50 gift certificate. Knowing that I had to finish some stuff up at work, I made the reservation for 7:30, thinking that would leave me plenty of time, even if I left as late as 6:30. What I failed to remember is that the CTA exists for the sole purpose of inconveniencing me when I am forced to rely upon it. I left work at 6:20, after which I randomly met up with Chenandler Bong at the Clark & Lake stop. All was going well until after we dropped off the lucky souls who got off at Sedgwick. Between Sedgwick and Armitage (which is the stop after Sedgwick), we sat on the tracks at several places, sometimes for 15 minutes at a time. What should have been a 3-5 minute ride between stops was closer to 35-40 minutes. Thus, I had to get off at Armitage and take a cab to Sapori in order to arrive at 7:28. Luckily really good Italian food and beer have a fabulous calming effect on me.

The big news of the weekend is that, after nearly two years of marriage, Jessie and I finally got engaged.

Also, Greg Weeser* was in town from LA. A group of us met up with the Brothers Weeser* (minus Tim, unexpectedly) at Emmit's Pub, down at the Halsted/Milwaukee/Grand intersection. Emmit's, of course, was featured in Ocean's 11, when they meet Linus, Matt Damon's character. In addition to the appearance of the Eldest Weeser*, Danny "Boy Who" McKeever and Jeremy "Floppy Burrito" DeMuth showed up for what turned into a mini Cossitt Class of 1990 reunion. Among the topics discussed were: was Ms. Allman related to the Allman Brothers?; is Mrs. Bean still alive?; so, do you think Miss Jacks was a lesbian?; and whether The Better Half of 60 Minutes was the greatest talk show on Jones Intercable public access television during the early to mid '90s.

As Emmit's neared closing time, one option came to the forefront: The Vu. Not everyone was on board, but Gregerson, Jeremy, Ari, Minnie, and I certainly were. Upon arriving, the usual spot was open: in the back of the bar, by the Trivia/Erotic Photo Hunt machine and the Silver Strike machine. After tearing it up on trivia and photo hunt for a while, the five of us hit Los Tres Panchos for some much-needed sustenance. Minnie went with huevos con chorizo, which seemed like an odd, but respectable, choice. Burritos and tacos seemed to be the more popular choice among the group.

The most important news of Friday night came via text message from Lizzie, via Jester, while I was at the Vu. As a backdrop, you should know that this coming weekend I'll be heading to Huntington for Jessie's brother's high school graduation. The previously mentioned text message informed me that Hot Sundae will be performing at the Huntington North High School baccalaureate ceremony. Yes, THE Hot Sundae. Okay, well, maybe not THE Hot Sundae, since THE Hot Sundae was a short-lived fictional group formed in Pacific Palisades, California in the early '90s by three female Bayside High School juniors (one of whom was addicted to speed), whose only song, "Put Your Mind to It (Break a Sweat)," failed to chart, but did spawn a memorable video. The Hot Sundae that does exist, however, as you may recall, is a Christian rock band formed at Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. Back in July of aught six, I ridiculed them on this very blog, and then engaged in an electronic mail dialogue with lead singer Amos "Q-Tip" Caley, during which I found out that the guys in the band have pretty good senses of humor. Since then, Hot Sundae has apparently changed its name to Attaboy, undoubtedly because of some multi-billion-dollar lawsuit spearheaded by Lisa Turtle. The fallout from the lawsuit surely caused great internal dissention in the band, as evidenced by the group's decidedly more serious pictures, their new-found hipster clothes, and their less kempt hair styles. Gone are the zany facial expressions we came to expect from Q-Tip and Jeff "Amsterdam" Edgel -- traded in for pictures that say, "Hey man, got another Valium? It's for Jesus." In addition to smiles and t-shirts, the band parted ways with Kyle "Chrippie" Brenneman (whose "Clear the Road, I'm Sixteen" attitude, $50-a-week Coca Cola habit, and constant finger banging of chicks on the tour bus probably got old after a while for everyone else) and Zac "Black Diamond" Hill (no band wants a redheaded guitarist), bringing in legendary Huntington-area bassist Chris "Sandman" Brumbaugh, whose beard suggests Amish, but whose earring screams Mennonite. With the addition of the Sandman, the group has taken a noticeably secular turn, mistakenly covering W.A.S.P.'s "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" at a recent show at the Huntington Methodist Church. Explained Sandman, "We thought it was called 'Fuck the Beast,' which we assumed was an anti-devil-worshipping song. It turns out W.A.S.P. doesn't stand for what we thought it did."
Unfortunately, I will not be attending said baccalaureate, since it was this past Sunday (it must have been a . . . hot . . . Sunday -- ah, thank you) and my time machine is still forty years from invention. Otherwise, I would have been front row. Or maybe I was. Think about it.

When my head hit the pillow, it was 4:41, and I was pleasantly satiated.

Saturday morning I woke up non-refreshed, on account of the 6 hours of sleep I got. Since I am a wonderful person, I made some pancakes for Jester and myself. After that, we took Harley over by the lake to chase some squirrels. Yet again, she came up empty-mouthed.

The most important even of the weekend occurred Saturday afternoon: I downloaded Castlevania for the Wii (for those of you who do not have the pleasure or luck of owning a Wii, you can download old Nintendo games for $5 a pop). Man do I suck at Castlevania. But with 5 to 6 hours a day of practice, I'm confident I can get past the third level.

In the evening, Bohmann came into the city, and the two of us met up with the Brothers Weeser* and Noreen (and a little later, some of Greg Weeser*'s friends who also happened to be in town from LA) at Piece in Bucktown for some live band karaoke. After my performance last time, I penalized myself and spared everyone else by not singing anything this time. On the bright side, Piece had their own malt liquor on tap, aptly named Dolomite. It was actually pretty good (as are most of their beers), but the best part was that it came in a pint glass with a small paper bag around it. Bravo, Piece. Brav-fucking-o.

Tired of hearing people butcher the likes of "Living on a Prayer" (I didn't know it was possible to not know the words) and "Purple Rain," we decided to head around the block to Pint, where Jeremy and Shannon met up with us. Everyone had some beers. Some people had some smokes. Good times were had by ALL.

My head hit the pillow and Jessie hit me in the face at around 4:11.

I arose at around 10:35, again feeling the opposite of refreshed. Luckily the ingestion of beer cures hangovers because I went to the Sox game with Morgan, his brother Christopher, and his buddy Hans. It was a gorgeous day for a baseball game: low 80s, sunny. Plus we had great seats, about 20 rows right behind the plate.
At the game, the question surfaced: what is the top American rock and roll band? I say The Doors, followed closely by The Beach Boys. Morgan had the same two bands, but with the order reversed. So then we started spouting off various American bands, and putting them in the top 10 or top 250 or whatever. Anyway, I came up with my own list of what I think are the top 10 American bands. There are several qualifications: (1) no solo artists (even if they had a band behind them), so James Brown, Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Aretha are out; (2) no hybrids bands with fewer Americans than non-Americans, which rules out Fleetwood Mac, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and The Band; and (3) lack of production/longevity, not writing own songs, or not playing instruments hurt some bands. Here's my list:
1. The Doors
2. The Beach Boys
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival
4. Velvet Underground
5. Buddy Holly & The Crickets
6. Aerosmith
7. The Allman Brothers Band
8. Guns N' Roses
9. Pearl Jam
10. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Also receiving votes (either from me, Morgan, Christoper, Hans, or Morgan's wife Melissa): Beastie Boys, Cheap Trick, The Drifters, The Eagles, The Everly Brothers, Grateful Dead, Jackson Five, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Outkast, The Ramones, REM, Santana, Simon & Garfunkel, Sly & The Family Stone, The Supremes, The Temptations, Van Halen, and Wu Tang Clan.

Anyone I'm forgetting?

After the game, I headed back up north as quickly as possible, and then Christoff, Jester, and I headed up to Kyla & Alex's for a good ol' American BBQ. As expected, the conversation at the BBQ turned to queefing -- whether it happens, what it smells like, what it sounds like. Pretty standard. It was a pretty thorough discussion on both sides of the gender fence. As a group, we came to the conclusion that a queef sounds either like air brakes ("Phhtt!") or someone with a really high-pitched voice saying "queeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeef." Yeah, I know, we're children.

Invigorated by discussions of one of the worst bodily functions I can think of, we headed to The Waterhouse for some beverages. After some chick queefed, things got weird, so we all went to The Burwood Tap, in remembrance of Hillbilly Sunday. Joining us there were the Brothers Weeser* and McKeever. The discussion once again turned to queefing and The Better Half of 60 Minutes. My quest to reintroduce the word "queef" into common vernacular is coming along swimmingly. Phhtt!

After some chick queefed, they closed the bar, things got weird, and several of us introduced Greg Weeser* to LaBamba, since we assume he can't find Mexican food as authentic as Bamba's in southern California. I was reminded how good the cheese sauce is at Bamba's, and I'll be damned if I don't love steak burritos.

The clock read 3:30 as my head hit the pillow. An early night.

Jessie and I bought bikes. Hers has a basket. Mine doesn't. We're dorks.So we rode around Lakeview, randomly riding by Sheffield's, and who do we see walking outside, but McKeever. I see the guy maybe 5 times since high school graduation before Friday, and three times since. We decided to stop into Sheffield's and have a couple beers and some dinner with Danny. I guess Sheffield's just recently got food, and it's BBQ fare -- smoked, at that. I love smoked BBQ, so this was a welcome addition. The brisket sandwich was really good.

The clock read 10:49 as my head hit the pillow. I haven't slept that soundly in a long time.
I didn't go to trivia tonight. Those SOBs better have won.

A-Z CDs - Day 16

The Ds are a pretty solid part of my collection, holding both my favorite song and favorite album ever.
134. The Darkness - Permission to Land (last listen: 0-3 months) - With songs about genital warts ("Growing On Me"), shooting up heroin ("Givin' Up"), defending your woman's honor ("Get Your Hands Off of My Woman (Motherfucker)"), and believing in a thing called love ("I Believe in a Thing Called Love"), the Darkness's debut album pretty much rocked the shithouse.
135. The Darkness - One Way Ticket To Hell . . . And Back (last listen (0-3 months) - In addition to the title track, "Knockers" and "Hazel Eyes" are two of my favorites off this one. It's too bad Justin Hawkins quit the band to save himself from drugs and alcohol. I would have liked another album or two.
136. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (last listen: 2-5 years) - I used to listen to jazz when I was studying in law school because it had no words to distract me.
137. Dazed and Confused (soundtrack) (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
138. (Even More) Dazed and Confused (soundtrack) (last listen: 5+ years) - Because what's a Dazed and Confused soundtrack CD without "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts?
139. Deep Purple - Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple (last listen: 2-5 years)
140. Def Leppard - On Through the Night (last listen: 0-3 months) - A rough, but solid, hard-rocking debut from the boys from Sheffield, establishing them as late New Wave of British Heavy Metal stalwarts. "Wasted," "Rock Brigade," and "It Could Be You" are my favorites off this album.
141. Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry (last listen: 0-3 months) - With Mutt Lange on board to produce, the "sophomore slump" was nonexistent for Def Leppard. This is trying its damnedest to wrest Hysteria from the title of My Favorite Def Leppard Album. High 'N' Dry is an all-around solid, rockin' album, with "Let It Go," Another Hit and Run," "High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)" (voted #33 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs), and of course "Bringing On the Heartbreak" (followed by Steve Clark's 3-minute instrumental masterpiece, "Switch 625"). "You Got Me Runnin'" is now my second favorite Def Leppard song (behind "Pour Some Sugar On Me," which is, and will always be, my favorite song ever by any band).
142. Def Leppard - Pyromania (last listen: 0-3 months) - A lot of people don't realize that the only album that charted higher than Pyromania in 1983 was Thriller.
143. Def Leppard - Hysteria (last listen: 0-3 months) - The first album after Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident, Hysteria was (and is) a mega hit, selling over 22 million copies to date. One of only 3 rock albums to have seven singles make the Billboard Hot 100, Hysteria was a hit factory: "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Love Bites," "Animal," "Hysteria," "Armageddon It," "Rocket," and "Women."

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Hancock On The Road Is Worth A Frivolous Suit in the Court

So the father of Josh Hancock -- yes, the very same Josh Hancock who got hammered and drove into the back of a tow truck a few weeks ago, ending his little experiment with living -- is suing various entities as a result of his son's death. (Thanks to Christoff for the link.) He's suing the restaurant where Josh got hammered. He's suing the restaurant manager who was apparently managing Josh getting hammered. Those two seem mildly reasonable, since they may have overserved Josh -- although any lawyer worth his shit knows that the restaurant manager can't be sued individually for actions taken at her job on behalf of her employer. Vicarious liability -- that's first semester Torts. But I digress. The kicker is that Josh's dad is also suing the tow truck company that owned the tow truck Josh plowed into -- because he was hammered. Better yet, his dad is suing the driver of the car that was stalled on I-64 that caused the tow truck to stop -- the same tow truck that Josh Hancock plowed into -- because he was hammered. Guys, I wish I was making this up. Now, I'm no lawyer, but I'm not really sure how, after your son voluntarily drinks himself to being twice the legal limit, then drives at 65 mph into the back of a PARKED tow truck on the interstate, that your son's intoxication and reckless actions were somehow the fault of the guy whose car broke down.

There is speculation that he may add as defendants: the St. Louis Cardinals, since they allowed Josh to be on their team; Dwight D. Eisenhower, for spearheading the national interstate system on which Josh was forced to drive drunk; God, for creating the Earth and, alternatively, the Big Bang, who produced the Milky Way; the ancient Egyptians, for inventing beer; and Abner Doubleday, for being believed to have invented the game that caused Josh to be a member of the Cardinals, thus placing him in proximity to the bar that allowed Josh to pay for drinks; A Flock of Seagulls, for recording the song to which Josh was totally rocking out that caused him to take his hands off the wheel momentarily; a flock of seagulls, for inspiring A Flock of Seagulls to name themselves; and Hitler, because he's a dick.

Runnin' With the Devil
So last night I "ran" in the JP Morgan/Chase Corporate Challenge, which is a 3.5 mile race around Grant Park, in which nearly 23,000 corporate workers from the Chicagoland area compete. It was my first competitive race since I smoked Ari in the now-legendary barefoot sprint down Halsted and Diversey in September 2005. The JPMCCC was mildly frustrating, since when the starting horn sounds, you essentially walk for 5 minutes before you get to the start line, but the clock has started nonetheless (it's not one of those fancy races where you get a chip to calculate when you cross the start and finish line). The first mile and a half is essentially slow jogging, mixed in with random bursts of running when spaces clear. Not that I'm a distance runner by any means, but it was kind of annoying, since all of the "walkers" were supposed to have started in the back, so as not to get in the runners' way, but I was passing walkers for the entire race. Finally after the 2-mile mark it started to space out a little bit, such that I could actually run the rest of the way, capped by a literally blinding sprint to the finish. What's sad is that the 2:50 it took me to run the last half-mile (during which I blinded myself) was slower than the overall pace run by the women's winner (although slightly faster than the pace of the second-place woman, so I got that going for me). The race made me realize that running 3.5 miles on a treadmill in air conditioning is much different than in 80+ degrees with 80+% humidity. I am definitely not in outdoor-running shape. I slept like Josh Hancock last night.

A-Z CDs - Day 15

124. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and The Poor Boys (last listen: 1-2 years) - "Effigy" is a great, mildly haunting song off this album that you don't hear enough.
125. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicle (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - I challenge anyone to dislike CCR. Seriously, I've never met a single person who hates CCR. Some people may be indifferent, but no one hates them. Because that would be impossible, even if John Fogarty pronounces "burnin'" as "boynin'" in "Proud Mary." My favorite songs off this CD are "Lodi," "Green River," and "Someday Never Comes."
126. Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash (last listen: 1-2 years) - "Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now."
127. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - So Far (last listen: 2-5 years)
128. Culture Club and Boy George - At Worst, The Best of Boy George and Culture Club (last listen: 2-5 years) - I am not ashamed to say that Culture Club's Colour By Numbers was the first tape I ever bought with my own money. Anyway, the first 8 songs of the Best of CD are solid (all the hits you know and love), but the remainder is solo Boy George, which is an odd mix of techno pop, reggae, adult contemporary, Prince rip-offs and "The Crying Game." I also find it strange that there is a picture of Annie Lennox on the cover of the album.
129. Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow (last listen: 5+ years) - I used to think I was sensitive. This CD is probably my favorite mistake, even though I now realize that song is not on this album.
130. Cruel Intentions (soundtrack) (last listen: never) - Apparently this didn't make the trip to Dubai either. It has a couple songs you'd immediately recognize ("Praise You" by Fatboy Slim and "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve), and while I wasn't overly impressed with the CD as a whole, I didn't want to stab myself in the ears all that often.
131. Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill (last listen: 0-3 months)
132. Cypress Hill - Black Sunday (last listen: 5+ years) - I always forget what a great album this is, and it's more than just "Insane in the Brain." The "Son of a Preacher Man" sample in "Hits from the Bong" is otherworldly. I also enjoy "Hand on the Glock," the sequel to "Hand on the Pump" (from the first album). And who can't relate to "I Wanna Get High," "Legalize It," and "A to the K"?
133. Danzig - Thrall - Demonsweatlive (last listen: 2-5 years) - Of course you all know the hidden 93rd track, the studio version of "Mother," but the remaining 7 songs are solid as well. The "Thrall" part of the album is in the studio, while the "Demonsweatlive" part is live, apparently in a location where demon were sweating. With the album cover artwork and songs like "Snakes of Christ" and "Am I Demon," it's easy to forget that Glenn Danzig was a big fan of early rock 'n' roll, as evidenced by his inclusion of a cover of "Trouble," penned by the legendary songwriting duo of Lieber & Stoller for Elvis's 1958 film, King Creole. Interestingly, along with Glenn Danzig, the album was produced by Rick Rubin.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Stickiest of the Icky

No Midwestern Eavesdropping tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

New White Stripes Video
AOL Music has the exclusive release of The White Stripes' new video, "Icky Thump." As expected it's weird but good, and it features a lot of red, white, and black. I can't wait for the new album to come out. Ever since I got White Blood Cells in 2002 (and their first two albums shortly thereafter), I've been spending my time anxiously awaiting new White Stripes albums. Without hesitation, I consider them the best rock and roll band on the planet. How two people can make that sound is beyond me.

Kings of Leon Concert Footage
While it's not from the show I saw last Saturday, MSN Music in Concert has footage from a show the Kings of Leon did at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. I only had a chance to watch a little bit of it, but it seemed to portray the same energy as the show I saw.

I Am a Golden God
Apparently my A-Z Extravaganza has inspired Jaleh to do the same. This is actually the first time that someone has openly admitted that I have inspired them. You have no idea how much that scares and empowers me.

A-Z CDs - Day 14

117. Alice Cooper - Greatest Hits (last listen: 1-2 years)
118. Counting Crows - Recovering the Satellites (last listen: never) - I have no idea how I acquired this CD, and frankly, it scares the shit out of me.
119. Cream - Fresh Cream (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - Cream pretty much kicks ass.
120. Cream - Disraeli Gears (last listen: 0-3 months)
121. Cream - Wheels of Fire (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
122. Cream - BBC Sessions (last listen: 1-2 years) - Two versions of "Steppin' Out"? I'm in heaven. And I love the BBC dude's voice.
123. Cream - Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream (last listen: 5+ years)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monday Morning Coming Down

Holy mother, get ready to read.

Friday evening was life-changing. It seems that both Christoff and Lutzow have birthdays around this time of year. To celebrate, a rather large and boisterous group went up to the Chicago Brauhaus in Lincoln Square. For those of you who don't know, Lincoln Square is the neighborhood where all the krauts hang out. It's known for its great beer and backbreaking efficiency.

The Brauhaus is your standard traditional German restaurant, complete with liters of beer, a wide variety of sausages, and oompa bands that like to play "Country Road" by John Denver. Once such band (of the two that played that night) was led by a man who I firmly believe was the inspiration behind Dutch metallurgical hedonist Johann van der Smut, a.k.a. Goldmember, even though the band leader was not Dutch nor in possession of a gold member.

Let's get to the point, right? Well, after a couple liters, Christoff and Lutzow decided to order Das Boot -- a two-liter exhibition in glass footwear and binge drinking.

As you can see, Dan Weeser* is unbelievably excited about it.

The birthday gents were nice enough to pass that shit around.

Nice work Timmy. Maybe you'll try to squeeze out some ketchup with the lid closed again.

Understandably, Dan had a bit of a Napoleon complex.

It turns out, Das Boot turns Ryan into a kraut-killing demon.

Noreen was unbelievably excited about it, while Jessie was in tears.

After Das Boot, more beer seemed like a great idea, so more liters were ordered. I used my middle finger to indicate my feelings towards Ryan, which he countered with one of his legendary "Christoff Ear Stares."

Dancing with old Nazis is apparently what you have to do at the Brauhaus if you're a woman. Seriously, they come up to your table, point at a girl, and shoot you with a Ruger if you don't comply with their wishes. We learned quickly that they do not ask; they command.

One such Nazi was named Otto -- seriously -- and he took a particular liking to Jessie, although he was not afraid to forcefully explain how to polka. "Short step! Short step! Nein! Nein! Nein!" He is shown here with Lutzow, preparing to stab him with a dagger than I assume he keeps with him at all times. Because he's a Nazi.

Lutzow also got his picture taken with one of the bands. Apparently instead of promoting a CD of some sort, they promote postcards from the motherland.

At the end of the night, I found the Brauhaus to be more comforting than Alan Thicke's voice.

Saturday morning, several of us headed to Gregerson's for some grillin' before the big Sox/Cubs game. When those who had bleacher seats left early, several of us stayed behind and rocked out to some Air Supply and Barry Manilow to pump us up for the game.

The game itself was terrible, given the result, but the seats were pretty good. Jester, Uter, Gemkeezi, and I sat together.

For me, the highlight of the game came in about the 7th or 8th inning. The middle-aged preppy man sitting in front of me got a combo Italian beef and sausage sandwich. It took him damn near 45 minutes to tackle this thing. Rather than eat with dignity, this guy went at it like a pig at a trough. He would lift the little carton to his face and slurp up the Italian beef crumbles. It was embarrassing to watch, yet I could not look away.

After the game, Gemkeezi and I walked to the Riv, where we met his brother Pat for the Kings of Leon show. Before the show, we randomly saw Mike "Chumps" (or at least I think that was his nickname in high school) Campea. They were phenomenal. If you get a chance to see them, I highly recommend it. They played almost all of their new album, as well as a nice mix of stuff from their first two albums. The crowd was extremely energetic, including some guy in front of us who jumped up and down the entire show.

After the show, the Brothers Gemkow (minus Dave, Myke, Dan, Ben, and Chad, of course) and I (and Pat's friends Jose and Jodie) got a burrito and went to The Store (minus Jose and Jodie), where we were to meet Crazy Legs Hirst, but the cab ride took 30 minutes to get from Uptown to The Store, so Crazy Legs pulled his standard ghosting, and left before we got there. I ended up leaving about 2:30am. After 15 hours of drinking, it was time to rest my eyes and liver. Luckily there were several stretches of an hour or two where I didn't have anything to drink, or else I might have killed myself.

Sunday night was my last class in this term's Second City course. Several of us from class went to Burton Place for "a couple drinks" after class. Because I continuously fail to learn from my mistakes and firmly believe that I am invincible, I rolled into bed at 2:42 a.m. To say that Jessie was livid would be an understatement. It turns out cell phone reception in Burton Place is not great and my phone has a nice little button on its side that switches it from vibrate to regular mode in my pocket. Thus, I did not receive several text messages and phone calls indicating that she might want to come out with us. I think she also might have been mad because I got home close to 3 a.m. on a Sunday night. It's quite possible that I'm one of the biggest morons on the face of the Earth.

I dragged ass all day, until 7pm, when my next Second City class started. Only two more classes until I get a show on the third stage, well kind of. We found out that the class as a whole writes a show, which is concerning because Australian Andrew and I switched into this class (since the other class was offered from 12-3 on Sundays), and no one is very funny in the class. So now we're going to have to be associated with them when we all write a show together. At least you'll know who wrote the funny sketches.

Mike "The Ulltimate Lactose Hater" Ullmer and "NaviKate" Rohrer have decided that now is not only the right time for them to live in sin together in a town known for providing local college football players with well-paying summer jobs in exchange for little to no work, but it is also the right time to write about their adventures (or, more appropriately, misadventures!) in weblog format at I only hope that, in the future, their posts will have less of a kerning-related to non-kerning-related post ratio.

Since I'm sick and tired of writing about the past few days, I'll make the trivia recap brief. We had 2 teams this week because the Parents Weeser* were in town, so they had a team with the Brothers Weeser* (minus Greg, of course) and Noreen and Nick "I Grew Up a Half Block From the Weesers*" Myers, whose brother is Mike Myers (not the dude from Halloween, although there was a question about Donald Pleasance).

The other team, Throw Ron Mexico to the Dogs, was comprised of me, Jester, Gregerson, Christoff, Chenandler Bong, Tradd, and Greg's friend Nick. As you'll recall, last week we got 4th, which was the first time in 10 or 11 weeks that we didn't get first or 2nd. Remember when the Bulls didn't win the championship in '94 and '95 and then came back in '96 and murdered everyone on their way to an NBA-record 72-10 regular season record? That pales in comparison to the clinic we put on at Rocks last night. We ended up winning by 9, which I'm pretty sure is a trivia record, but no one keeps track of those stats, as far as I know.

I must sleep now, since I'm running in the JP Morgan/Chase Corporate Challenge tomorrow, which is a 3.5-mile 22,000-person clusterfuck in Grant Park. Should be sweet.

A-Z CDs - Day 13

108. Eric Clapton - Crossroads Disc 3 (last listen: 2-5 years) - This disc contains a couple more Derek & The Dominos songs, and then the rest is solo Clapton.
109. Eric Clapton - Crossroads Disc 4 (last listen: 2-5 years) - This one is all solo Clapton, from late '70s to late '80s (before Journeyman). It's my least favorite disc from the Crossroads box set.
110. Eric Clapton - The Cream of Clapton (last listen: 5+ years) - This is a good first Clapton album, encompassing the "highlights" of his work from Cream to the late '80s. I like it better than Timepieces (another Clapton greatest hits album).
111. The Clash - London Calling (last listen: 0-3 months)
112. The Clash - Combat Rock (last listen: 2-5 years) - I don't like it as much as London Calling, but it does have their two biggest hits, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and "Rock the Casbah."
113. Joe Cocker - Greatest Hits (last listen: 2-5 years) - Ever notice that nearly all of Joe Cocker's hits are covers? I'm a huge fan of his version of the Box Tops' "The Letter." Interestingly, one of the few songs on the album that he wrote or co-wrote, "Woman to Woman," was used extensively in "California Love" by Dr. Dre and 2Pac.
114. John Coltrane (Priceless Jazz series) (last listen: 2-5 years)
115. Sam Cooke - The Best of Sam Cooke (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
116. Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend (last listen: 0-3 months) - If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that you can never have enough Sam Cooke. With 15 more tracks, this compilation is definitely more extensive than the "Best of" CD, adding what I would deem essential Sam Cooke songs like "Another Saturday Night" and "A Change is Gonna Come." "Bring It On Home To Me" (on both CDs) is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A-Z CDs - Day 12

102. Eric Clapton - Slowhand (last listen: 2-5 years) - Aside from the several classics ("Cocaine," "Wonderful Tonight," "Lay Down Sally") on this one, I'm a big fan of "The Core."
103. Eric Clapton - Journeyman (last listen: 2-5 years) - This is an up-and-down album. Some of the songs are solid ("Pretending," "Bad Love," "No Alibis," and "Before You Accuse Me," which is my favorite song on the album), but others are kind of too slow.
104. Eric Clapton - Unplugged (last listen: 2-5 years) - Great Unplugged album. Obviously "Tears In Heaven" is heart wrenching (as you probably know, it was written after his four-year-old son fell from a 53rd-story high-rise window to his death. The acoustic version of "Layla" is okay. I've never liked it as much as the original. "Alberta" is one of Jessie's favorites, and "Rollin' and Tumblin'" is a good song no matter what.
105. Eric Clapton - Pilgrim (last listen: 5+ years) - Milquetoast
106. Eric Clapton - Crossroads Disc 1 (last listen: 1-2 years) - This disc covers the Yardbirds, Mayall & Clapton, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and some Cream. "Steppin' Out" from the Cream years is a great instrumental.
107. Eric Clapton - Crossroads Disc 2 (last listen: 1-2 years) - This disc covers more Cream, Blind Faith, Delany & Bonnie, some early solo stuff, and some Derek & The Dominos. The fast version of the Dominos' "Tell the Truth" is my favorite one of this disc.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Recap...

Will be along in the next day or two. I'm busy as hell this week.

A-Z CDs - Day 11

92. Jerry Cantrell - Boggy Depot (last listen: never) - Another one left behind by the Dubai guy. I never really liked Alice in Chains. This album seemed to last for hours.
93. The Cars - Greatest Hits (last listen: 2-5 years) - You might think I'm crazy, but I always forget that I own this album, which is a shame because it's always just what I needed.
94. Johnny Cash - 16 Biggest Hits (last listen: 0-3 months) - Good album. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" doesn't get as much love as it should.
95. Catfish Haven - Please Come Back (EP) (last listen: 0-3 months) - Jessie and I saw these guys open up for The Hold Steady last October at The Metro. They are better live than on CD.
96. Cheap Trick - The Greatest Hits (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
97. Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Zoot Suit Riot (last listen: 5+ years) - Yep.
98. Cinderella - Long Cold Winter (last listen: 0-3 months)
99. Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton (last listen: 2-5 years)
100. Eric Clapton - Rainbow Concert (last listen: 2-5 years) - Good live album, I think, especially since it marks Clapton's return to the stage after a two-year heroin bender. It has a good cast, too, including Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, and Ronnie Wood.
101. Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard (last listen: 2-5 years)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wang Dang Doodle

Yesterday after work on the L, I finished reading Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and The Dominos by Jan Reid. Once I got home, I listened to the album, since I've been itching to do so since I started reading the book, and it will probably be another week or two before I get to it at work in the A-Z CD Extravaganza. As you may or may not know, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs is my favorite album of all-time. Thus, I was interested to learn about how Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Gordon, Carl Radle, and Duane Allman came together. I liked the book, but I wanted more about each song. There was a decent amount about "Layla," as well as a good back story about "Thorn Tree in the Garden," which it turns out Whitlock wrote years earlier after a roommate "had taken [Whitlock's] dog and done away with it." There was also a decent amount about "Tell the Truth," and its various versions, as well as a short back story about "Bell Bottom Blues." In addition, I had no idea that Duane Allman came up with (and played) the now-transcendent first seven notes of "Layla." I had always assumed it was Clapton. Nonetheless, I wanted to know more about the other original songs on the album: "Anyday" (my favorite song on the album), "I Looked Away," "Keep On Growing," and "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?" Those songs were kind of glossed over.

I have now begun to read Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf by James Segrest and Mark Hoffman. For those of you who don't know who Howlin' Wolf is, he was a Delta/Chicago bluesman, who had one of the most unique singing voices ever. His voice sounded like ate gravel and nails, and smoked a carton a day. Good shit.

A-Z CDs - Day 10

82. Boston - Boston (last listen: 2-5 years) - I used to love this album back when I was in high school. In fact, according to Bohmann, I once declared that Boston was the greatest band in rock and roll history. While I was slightly off, you have probably heard every song on this album on the radio at some point in your life. After all, it was the best-selling debut album of all-time until a little band by the name of Hootie & The Blowfish came along, but there will be more about Hootie in a couple weeks.
83. David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (last listen: 0-3 months) - Great all-around album. In addition to "Ziggy Stardust" (which is one of my favorite songs of all-time) and "Suffragette City," "Soul Love," "Moonage Daydream," "Starman," and "Hang On To Yourself" are also fantastic songs.
84. David Bowie - Best of Bowie (last listen: 3 months to 1 year) - A great introduction to Bowie, spanning his chameleon-like nearly 40 years in music.
85. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare (last listen: never) - This was one of the CDs that arrived on December 31, 1969 (i.e., today). I ordered it without listening to a single song or 30-second sample. I like it. It's a shame I won't be able to listen to it for another 10-12 weeks.
86. Boyz II Men - II (last listen: 5+ years) - Along with ABC and BBD, Boyz II Men comprised the East Coast Family. Granted, II is no Cooleyhighharmony, but it was a mega hit machine for Boyz II Men: "I'll Make Love To You," "On Bended Knee," "Water Runs Dry," "Thank You," and an a cappella cover of "Yesterday" to boot. Their songs made panties drop, or so I would assume, since I did not see so much as a single pair of panties drop in 1994. Or 1995. Or the first 9 1/2 months of 1996, and even then I don't think I actually saw them drop (because I was sobbing tears of joy), nor was I listening to Boyz II Men.
87. The Bravery - The Bravery (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
88. James Brown - The Very Best of James Brown (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
89. Jimmy Buffett - Songs You Know By Heart: Jimmy Buffett's Greatest Hit(s) (last listen: 2-5 years)
90. Bush - Razorblade Suitcase (last listen: never) - The guy who lived in my apartment before me couldn't leave a copy of Sixteen Stone, could he? Actually, it wasn't terrible.
91. The Byrds - Greatest Hits (last listen: 5+ years) - I never realized how many Dylan songs are on The Byrds' Greatest Hits. No matter, I suppose. It's a good album. My favorites are "So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star," "Eight Miles High," and "My Back Pages." David Crosby's picture on the cover of the album is particularly hilarious.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 5/17/07

This edition of Midwestern Eavesdropping is dedicated to Bob Barker, who is ending his legendary run as The Price Is Right's host. It was an honor, sir, to have my pet spayed twice.

Mother and 10-year-old daughter stroll down the sidewalk drinking Slurpees, when mother says, nonchalantly: "No, I just can't get over Roberto's death, so..."
--Chicago, Wrightwood & Halsted
Eavesdroppers: GMYH & Jesterio

Cubs' pitcher Ted Lilly is batting and has an 0-2 count:
Husband: "It's a pitcher's count right now."
Wife (who is also a 25-year-old special ed teacher): "Oh no, it's not a pitcher's count. It's a batter's count."
(Husband looks at her with a very confused look on his face)
Wife: "You don't know what you're talking about."
--Chicago, Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

50 year old doctor talking loudly on his cell phone in the ICU: "How would I know? I am a lung doctor and that sounds like a testicle problem." (Pause) "I would not go to a plastic surgeon. You want it to look as natural as possible. I would try an urologist."
--Louisville, some hospital
Eavesdropper: Kells P

Fat man on cell phone on Mother's Day: "No, mother, I said it and I meant it. If my wife died tomorrow, I wouldn't shed a tear. Not a single fucking tear."
--Chicago, Chicago Ave. & Michigan
Eavesdropper: RobD

High school male #1 to high school male #2: "I wanna piss on your girlfriend's ankles."
--Chicago, Wabash & Madison

Eavesdropper: Jesterio

On a post-it note in the copy room: "I want to tell you that you have received anonymous death threats from Gary."
--Chicago, law office, Wacker & Clark
Eavesdropper: Ari

This isn't really an eavesdropping per se, but I found it odd:
I get on the elevator this morning at work, and there's only one other person on it -- a guy who looks about my age wearing a suit with his top shirt button unbuttoned and an orange tie loosely tied, listening to an iPod, and wearing sunglasses in the elevator because his future is just that bright. Within seconds of getting on the elevator, he hastily grabs his phone out of his pocket, flips it open, says "bitch" in a loud whisper, then closes his phone and starts to dance in a restrained but celebratory manner.
--Chicago, Wacker & Madison
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Thanks to everyone who contributed. Keep your ears open. When you overhear something hilarious, email it to, and it shall be included in the next terribly important edition of Midwestern Eavesdropping.

Christoff and Amazon

Loyal GMYH reader Pissed Off Christoff turns 27 today. Burn in hell, you rotten motherfucker, but have a wonderful birthday.

Rumors are circulating that Dan "Piss And" Binegar is above average/exceptional according to his employer. I have no reason to doubt that the rumors are true, so please take that into account when you are considering whether or not to hire a judicial clerk.

So I recently ordered a couple CDs from Amazon. As such, I have been tracking my package, eagerly awaiting its arrival. Here is the chronology that I have been provided:
  • On May 11, 2007, somewhere in the US the carrier was notified to pick up the package.
  • On May 14, 2007 at 3:03:00pm, someone in Forest Park, Illinois noted that it was in transit.
  • On May 15, 2007 at 1:17:00pm, someone in Forest Park again noted that it was in transit. How it has taken 3 days for a package to travel the 10 miles from Forest Park to my office in the Loop is beyond me, unless it was walked over by a 93-year-old midget with scurvy who was walking on his hands and refused to walk on his feet despite the fact that he couldn't walk on his hands for more than seven feet at a time. But that's not really the issue, because . . .
  • On December 31, 1969 at 3:59:59pm, somewhere in the US, the package received an arrival scan. This is particularly intriguing because it is 37 years, 5 months, and 23 days ahead of the estimated arrival date of May 22, 2007.

I'm hoping to get it sometime before my A-Z Extravaganza ends.

A-Z CDs - Day 9

72. The Black Keys - Magic Potion (last listen: 0-3 months) - Keys
73. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Take Them On, On Your Own (last listen: 2-5 years)
74. Black Sabbath - Paranoid (last listen: 0-3 months) - Probably the best CD left behind by the guy who went to Dubai. "War Pigs" is my favorite Black Sabbath song. In addition to that song, the title song, and "Iron Man," the whole CD is solid. "Electric Funeral" and "Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots" are two of my favorites.
75. Black Sabbath - Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath (last listen: 2-5 years) - This is actually the only Black Sabbath non-greatest hits album I've ever bought. I find it slightly darker than Paranoid. Aside from the cover art, which is more or less evil, it contains songs such as "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath" and "Killing Yourself to Live." "A National Acrobat" is probably my second-favorite Black Sabbath song.
76. Black Sabbath - Sabotage (last listen: never) - Not as dark, but contains cowbell. You can definitely hear how hair bands were influenced by this album.
77. Black Sabbath - Greatest Hits (last listen: 1-2 years) - This is a great starter album for someone looking to get into Black Sabbath. I bought it in high school, having only really heard "Paranoid" and "Iron Man." Once again, the cover art is great, with an adorable little apocalyptic (perhaps post-bubonic-plague) scene. When I first heard it, I was surprised to find out how melodic and soft (relatively speaking) some of the songs were (i.e., "Changes," "Tomorrow's Dream," "Laguna Sunrise"). Thanks to this album, when I was a junior in high school I transcribed the lyrics to "War Pigs" and told my mom I wrote a poem. She hesitantly explained, "Wow, that's really dark. It's good. But dark." After that I had to go away for a few months.
78. Blind Faith - Blind Faith (last listen: 0-3 months)
79. Blue Öyster Cult - On Flame with Rock and Roll (last listen: 2-5 years) - Of course "Don't Fear the Reaper" has achieved cult status because of the "more cowbell" sketch on SNL, but "Burnin' For You" and "Godzilla" are pretty good too. My only complaint is that at the beginning of their otherwise decent cover of The MC5's "Kick Out the Jams," they implore "brothers and sisters" to "kick out the jams," instead of the "motherfuckers" who were prodded to do so in the original, but then again BOC has always been PC.
80. Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (last listen: 0-3 months)
81. Bon Jovi - Cross Road (last listen: 1-2 years)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

All Things Must Pass

Trivia Recap
The Reign of Terror is over. By that I mean both the mass executions in France from September 1793 to July 1794, as well as the string of victories for our Rocks trivia team. Last night, Larry Flynt Wins Again (comprised of me, Jester, Gregerson, Christoff, Chandler, and Gregerson's friends Nick and Cincinnati Bengals t-shirt guy -- since we had more than 6, we had to rotate one person out each round) fell mightily. The player-chosen category from last week was Harry Potter. We brought in Jester as a ringer, since she has read all of the books, but the 16-point round proved to be extremely obscure and spell-heavy. To top it off, the name-that-tune round, instead of its usual 1-point-for-title-1-point-for-artist format, was changed so that the title and artist were worth one point each and then for a bonus point you had to name the year that the song was released. We got every title and artist right, but only 3 of the years right. We were only one year off for all of the other ones, except one (who knew that Eddie Money's "Two Tickets To Paradise" came out in 1978?). Disheartened and sluggish, we finished in fourth place. The guy (yes, singular guy) who finished in first place aced the Harry Potter round and got 18 out of 20 in the music round. He ended up winning by 7. It was emasculating.

While the loss hurt our chances of a four-peat, it is probably best for the future of trivia at Rocks, since our continued winning would have undoubtedly begun to discourage other teams from even showing up. As Lily Miranda said in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, "Nobody wants to go to a camp where everyone's been slaughtered." Speaking of being slaughtered, last night's second place team's category next week is '50s and '60s music for the name-that-tune round. Have they even been paying attention to who I am?*

*For those of you who don't know who I am, Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegün once called me the "greatest knowledge bank of '50s and '60s popular music the world has ever known." Sam Phillips of Sun Records described me as "an unbeatable force in '50s and '60s name-that-tune trivia." Berry Gordy explained, "[GMYH] knows more about Motown's first 11 years than I do." Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, and Donald "Duck" Dunn once said, in unison, "His ability to recognize songs suggests that he was in the studio for every single song we recorded at Stax as a backing group or for ourselves." Sir George Martin quipped, "[GMYH] is the fifth Beatle or, technically, now the third Beatle." Sam Andrew of Big Brother and The Holding Company claimed, "[GMYH] was our real lead singer." Or at least I assume they would have, if they had any idea who I was.

Maxim Hot 100
Maxim released its annual Hot 100 list. Lindsey Lohan was #1. Frankly I don't see it. She's cute, in that drugged-up, I'll-do-whatever-the-hell-I-want kind of way, but I can think of at least 40 women hotter than her, including a pregnant Salma Hayek (whose #90 ranking is a travesty, pregnant or not). Maybe it's because I think so little of Lohan as a person that any would-be attractiveness is masked by her self-righteousness and ability to run over people in her car. Or maybe it's because she's not the hottest woman in the world. Every other woman in the top 15 is hotter than her.

Not number 16, though, because that would be Ashlee Simpson. Not Jessica, but Ashlee. Jessica came in at #41. Granted, I've always thought Jessica Simpson looks slightly cross-eyed, but under no circumstance should Ashlee be ranked higher than Jessica in a beauty contest (or a singing contest, or a life contest, although maybe a lip-synching contest or a getting-booed-off-the-stage-at-the-Orange-Bowl contest). Nose job or not, Ashlee Simpson is a Jay-Leno-chin-having, talentless hobgoblin. Am I the only one who thinks she's not attractive? If Ashlee Simpson is hotter than the likes of Maria Sharapova, Kate Beckinsale, Jamie King, Halle Barry, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Autumn Reeser, Evangeline Lilly, and Stacy Kiebler, then you might as well stab me in the eyes because it doesn't fucking matter anymore. Next year, I'm looking for Bea Arthur, Mama Fratelli, and Barbara Bush to make solid runs at the top 10.

Rothko Smrothko
I was pissed off enough back in November of Aught Five when a Mark Rothko "painting" sold at auction for $22.5 million, but now I am frankly livid. Yesterday another Rothko painting, aptly entitled "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)," sold at auction for $72.84 million, breaking the record for postwar artwork. Look at this thing. When I vomit profusely -- and precisely -- all over canvas after eating curry rice, cotton candy, marshmallow fluff, Tootsie Rolls, and strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups, all it gets me is arrested for vandalism and disorderly conduct, whatever the fuck that means. But this guy does essentially the same thing and it fetches enough money to buy a small island nation. Granted, that money is not going to his estate, since the U.S. has no droit de suite (or artist resale royalty right), which actually makes it worse because it means that a Rockefeller (literally) is profiting handsomely from what I would describe as little more than a giant, multi-colored domino with no numbers. It's not that I don't think it takes talent to create this work of "art," it's just that it doesn't take much talent. If I can do it with vomit, then it means it's not worth more than $17 million, tops.

A-Z CDs - Day 8

62. Chuck Berry - The Great Twenty-Eight (last listen: 1-2 years) - My only knock on this album is that it doesn't include "My Ding-a-Ling"
63. Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen (last listen: 1-2 years) - Whenever I listen to this album, I forget how good it is. "Song for the Dumped" is a classic.
64. Ben Folds Five - Naked Baby Photos (last listen: 5+ years)
65. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (last listen: 2-5 years) - Remember the mini swing revival of the late '90s? BBVD was at the center, complete with an appearance in Swingers. I still like it. "You and Me and The Bottle Makes Three" is eternally catchy. Just try to listen to it and not throw Heather Graham around your waist.
66. The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
67. The Black Crowes - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (last listen: 3 months to 1 year)
68. The Black Keys - The Big Come Up (last listen: 0-3 months) - I
69. The Black Keys - Thickfreakness (last listen: 0-3 months) - Love
70. The Black Keys - Rubber Factory (last listen: 0-3 months) - The
71. The Black Keys - Chulahoma (EP) (last listen: 0-3 months) - Black Keys

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Ever have one of those moments where you think to yourself in disbelief, "There's no way in hell someone could be that stupid. I mean there's just no fucking way. How could anyone ever in the history of the world think that's a good idea?" Well, when I heard about the following incident I thought the same. Good Lord is it an exhibition in poor decision-making. Apparently Scales Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee is gunning (no pun intended) for the title of "School Most Likely to Be Found Liable for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress." Rather than not stage a fake gun attack on sixth graders during a class trip, Scales just went ahead and did it. "During the last night of the trip, staff members convinced the 69 students that there was a gunman on the loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, even pulled on locked door." Kids were crying, thinking that they were going to die.

The assistant principal explained that it was supposed to be a "learning experience." What they were to learn from this remains to be seen. I'm not sure I could think of a worse possible learning experience for a group of 12-year-olds than to threaten them with their lives just weeks after the worst mass murder in US history. I suppose the fake attack could be deemed a raging success if the goal was for students to learn any of the following: (1) how to sob uncontrollably; (2) your teachers really are here just to torment you and make your life miserable; (3) every day you should fear being murdered by a gunman -- every fucking day -- so be prepared; (4) never take class trips; (5) the teachers and administrators at Scales Elementary School should never have been certified as teachers or allowed to graduate from college; (6) never trust adults -- ever; (7) the steps necessary to develop an irrational fear of state parks; or (8) how to become dependent on anti-depressants before you're a teenager.

Here are some other "learning experiences" Scales plans to implement:

  • One by one, the kindergarteners are brought to the principal's office, where they are told that their parents were violently dismembered and eaten by The Boogie Man, who will be waiting outside the school to "finish the job." The stated purpose is to teach the kids about sharing.
  • In order to teach the third graders about stranger danger, their teacher is "pretend raped" and "pretend stabbed 67 times in the chest" by a "pretend transient named Gary" in the middle of an otherwise boring lesson about how to write in cursive.
  • Every kid in school is forcibly injected with what they are told is the AIDS virus. This way they will appreciate the importance of safe sex, at least until they are told on their respective 18th birthdays that they were injected merely with saline. Gotcha!
  • To teach the entire school an important lesson about the value of proper dreaming, the principal hires Freddy Krueger as the school janitor.

Of Gluttony and Imbibing

This weekend was a mélange of gastric delight and the consumption of spirited beverages. Friday night, Jester, Kyla, Alex, Ari, Minnie (new to GMYH recaps, I believe), and I headed to the recently opened restaurant The Gage (on Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park), where Tracey is now working in some sort of managerial capacity. Anyway, the food was really good. Since I have never come across something that starts with "Scotch" that I don't like (tape, whisky, guard), I decided to get an appetizer called a Scotch Egg. Praise Dionysus, this thing was unbelievable. It's a hard-boiled egg, covered with a layer of ground pork sausage, and then the whole thing is deep fried. It was orgasmic. I seriously thought about ordering three more as my main course. Instead, I went with the "locally crafted sausages," which comes with a side of "crisp brie potato." The smoked veal sausage proves once again that calves were meant to be raised in movement-inhibiting cages, and the potato was really good too. Ari and Minnie described the caramelized lobster as "the best food [they've] ever had," and everyone else had rave reviews as well. Overall, the food was excellent. Even though the portions were not huge, it was enough food to make you full.. It's a little pricey, but I would definitely go back. After all, I haven't yet tried the roast saddle of elk.

After our three-hour dinner at The Gage, we all headed up to The Waterhouse at Lincoln and Paulina. Meeting us there was none other than former City of Chicago resident Greg "Look Out" Bohmann and his friend Rich. As expected, someone was turning 21 there that night and had a party, which allowed Tracey and Ari to scavenge the remains of the giant chocolate chip cookie cake that was left behind. In other news, I was given a free shot of Patron by a waitress who apparently had an extra. It's amazing how much smoother good tequila is than Cuervo. On the cab ride back is when Jessie got feral and decided to use bad words to express her displeasure with some people getting into a cab in front of us.

On Saturday, Jester and Tracey went shopping in the afternoon, while I spent most of the day doing yoga and finger painting while wearing nothing but one of those midriff football jerseys with "86" on it, while watching reruns of Hart to Hart and production outtakes from the filming of K-PAX. Absolutely brilliant, particularly the seemingly hundreds of takes where Kevin Spacey said "Your produce alone has been worth the trip," and the director kept making him redo it until "produce" sounded more like "protuss," and then Spacey flipped out and said, "I'm not saying it like 'protuss' unless I can eat an unpeeled banana on screen."

For dinner, Jester, Ari, Tracey, and I went to Pizza Capri at Belmont and Sheffield. Between the four of us, we ordered three pizzas and some ravioli. The "Thai Pie" was pretty good. Just ask Tracey. She's ordered it before.

Saturday night, Gregerson, Chenandler Bong, and I headed to The Store (it's a bar, rather than an actual store -- who knew?!?!) to see Pat Gemkow and occasionally Chris play some music for a crowd. It was good. After the show, I put on one of my spellbinding 15-song jukebox sets, starting with "Baba O'Riley," and culminating with an inspired version of "November Rain," by some band called Guns N' Roses.

Sunday morning Jester and I went to some new waffle place on Clark (between Surf and Oakdale) called Baladoché. They sell what are called "zücker waffles," which are just like regular waffles, but taste slightly different. We both had waffles covered with Nutella. The deliciousness of the waffles and the use of umlauts overcame the fact that the restaurant's is dangerously close to rhyming with "bag-o-douche." Obviously the marketing geniuses behind this didn't talk to me before deciding on a name. Otherwise it would be called It's a Waffle, Motherfuckers, EAT! Interestingly, all of the prices on the menu are such that the total with tax for everything comes to an even dollar amount. They also offer gelato and are not afraid of explaining the benefits of gelato over ice cream. Apparently it tastes better and is better for you than ice cream, or so I was told several times.