Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sign of the Times

Our dear friend and insane sign holder, Edgar Bellefontaine, is back. For those of you who aren't familiar with the story of Edgar, click here for a refresher and start with the bottom post, working your way up.

Anyway, I saw Edgar today at his usual post on the outskirts of the plaza at the Daley Center with a new sign:


Technically, wouldn't that be FBI Agent Chris Saviano's child?

More Drew

Media darling Drew Peterson is up to it again, this time discussing his new engagement on Nightline, which will air tonight on ABC. Here's a snippet: "I'm good to her and I treat her better than she's ever been treated. . . . But I will acknowledge that I would have concerns if I was the friends and family of this young girl." I think whoever wrote the article forgot to include the bracketed subtext of his quote. Here's how it should have read:

"I'm good to her [for now] and I [have made a calculating and deliberate effort to] treat her better than she's ever been treated [by a man who plans to murder her]. . . . But I will acknowledge that I would have [serious, entirely legitimate] concerns if I was the friends and family of this young girl [because, rest assured, she will not -- I repeat, she will NOT -- survive her first year of marriage. One day, she will wake up in the middle of a forest preserve, drugged, naked, and bound, and I will be standing over her holding a hatchet, wearing nothing but steel-toed boots, a Speedo, Ultimate Warrior face paint, and a smile. I will cut the ropes from her feet and say, 'You will have a two-minute head start. In three directions, there is nothing but forest for miles. In the other direction, there is a road less than a mile away. Kathleen, well, she chose incorrectly. Stacy almost made it to the road. When you see them, do tell them I said hello. Tick tock tick tock.' And then I will hunt her like an animal, eat most, if not all, of her flesh, burn the remainder of her corpse into ash, spread it sparsely throughout Will County, and do it all again in another two years. Yeeeee-hhaaaaaaa!!!]"

Bacon Explosion

By now, you may have heard all of the buzz about something called The Bacon Explosion, which for some reason was reported in the New York Times the other day.

Here is a link to the actual recipe from BBQ Addicts. Bacon, seasoning, Italian sausage, more bacon, and barbeque sauce, all wrapped up and then hickory smoked. I just came in my pants a little. Okay, maybe it was a lot.

Weakest Man Ever

So last night I was at the IU/Northwestern game up in Evanston. Along with Tradd, Goni, Chambers, Morgan, and Colin, we were sitting up in the nose bleeds in section 303. There were four kids sitting in the front row of our section and then an empty row or two, and then us. In front of the kids was a walkway between the 200 and 300 levels, and, in front of that, the last row of section 203. Of these children, three were floppy-haired boys, aged approximately 14, 14, and 10, and there was a girl who was approximately 14.

During one of the timeouts in the second half, Northwestern had a contest at one of the baskets where a little girl tried to make shots from various circles within 60 seconds, winning prizes with each shot made. The crowd gets into it. Everyone has a great time. Or, at least they usually do.

A couple forty- to fifty-year-old men sitting in the last row of section 203 stood up, along with their children, who appeared to be in the 10-12 range. They weren't standing up for any real purpose other than to stand up. The 10-year-old floppy-haired kid -- we'll call him Younger Brother -- asked them to sit down because they were blocking his view of the contest. One "man" -- we'll call him Giant D-Bag -- was wearing glasses and a kelly green t-shirt (that said "basketball coach" over the left breast) tucked into blue jeans. Giant D-Bag tells the Younger Brother, in so many words, to piss off, and Giant D-Bag remains standing. Younger Brother's older brother -- we'll call him Dave -- didn't appreciate a giant douchebag talking to Younger Brother like that, so Dave animatedly told Giant D-Bag to sit down and not to talk to Younger Brother like that (without swearing, mind you). While the other people who had been standing up politely sat down, Giant D-Bag did not.

Instead, he ungracefully climbed over the railing that was behind his seat, got onto the walkway -- all the while staring at Dave. Then, without saying a word, he pointed at Dave, and then pointed down the walkway, as if to suggest that he and Dave should exchange words in private or perhaps engage in some sort of slap fight. Giant D-Bag walked down the walkway towards the exit. Dave just sat where he was.

Thirty seconds later, Giant D-Bag returns. With FIVE cops. He motioned to Dave as if to say "officers, that's the horrible man I've been telling you about." The cops assessed the situation, probably realizing very quickly that this 75-pound beanpole with floppy hair was 125 pounds smaller, a foot shorter, and 30 years younger than Giant D-Bag. Dave explained what happened. The cops made Dave and Giant D-Bag shake hands. As four of the cops walked away rolling their eyes, one lingered behind and told Younger Brother that if Giant D-Bag gives them any more trouble, to come find a cop. Giant D-Bag then spent the next half hour standing in the entranceway to the next section over, cooling off.

Everyone who witnessed this whole incident agreed that it might have been the weakest thing we've ever seen. A grown man whose t-shirt implies that he is a basketball coach cannot handle getting yelled at by a 14-year-old, so he goes running to the cops. I wonder what he told them. Seriously. "Excuse me officers, there is a menacing child over there who nearly threatened me. He probably has a gun and drugs. I'm so scared. Please remove him from the arena." And then on the walk over, he stayed behind the cops, whimpering "I am so scared right now, you guys. Oh my God. You guys talk to him. I can't. THAT'S HIM!! AAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!"

More than anything, I feel bad for Giant D-Bag's two sons, who had to witness their father tattle on a prepubescent in an IU shirt, rather than get up and say, "I'm an adult. Don't talk to me like that. However, I will sit down because I am, in fact, blocking your view. Also, I'm a giant douchebag."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Metal Up My Ass

There will be not Tuesday Top Ten this week because, well, it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

Along with Gregerson, Chandler, and DDT, I saw Metallica last night at Allstate Arena. As expected, it was an awesome, energetic show. Their stage was in the middle of the arena -- in the round, if you will -- so everyone was running all over the place for all sides of the arena to see, except Lars, since it was hard for him to carry his drum set.

They played a great set too, mixing the old with the new. Here is their set list, with album in parentheses after (notice that they didn't play anything post-black album and pre-Death Magnetic):

Main Set
That Was Just Your Life (Death Magnetic)
The End Of The Line (Death Magnetic)
Creeping Death (Ride the Lightning)
Ride The Lightning (Ride the Lightning)
One (. . . And Justice for All)
Broken, Beat And Scarred (Death Magnetic)
Cyanide (Death Magnetic)
Sad But True (Metallica (the black album))
Wherever I May Roam (Metallica (the black album))
All Nightmare Long (Death Magnetic)
The Day That Never Comes (Death Magnetic)
Master of Puppets (Master of Puppets)
Blackened (. . . And Justice for All)
Nothing Else Matters (Metallica (the black album))
Enter Sandman (Metallica (the black album))

Suicide and Redemption teaser (Death Magnetic)
Last Caress (The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited)
Motorbreath (Kill 'Em All, an album that, as you may recall, has had a profound impact on the life of Greg Weeser*)
Seek And Destroy (Kill 'Em All)

Here are some pictures taking with my extremely awesome camera phone:

After the lights went down right before Metallica came on.
Frickin' giant coffins shoot frickin' laser beams.

Here are a couple other random shots of the stage and crowd
No large-scale metal show would be complete without fire. Watch out James! Too soon? During "Seek & Destroy" (the last song of the night), a bunch of giant black Metallica beach balls were dropped into the crowd, presumably by Satan or some sort of giant master puppeteer.

Feelin' Fine Indeed

According to Chinese Astrology, 2009 should definitely be the Year of Feelin' Fine for those of us fortunate enough to be born in a Year of the Snake. And you thought I was making all that "2009: The Year of Feelin' Fine" stuff up. Hell yeah, '05, '17, '29, '41, '53, '65, '77, '89, and '01 babies!

T-Shirt Hell is Closing

T-Shirt Hell -- an online t-shirt store so vile that it is blocked at work -- is closing February 10. Everything is on sale in the meantime, so if you want a t-shirt that is almost guaranteed to offend someone, then get 'em while they're still available.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Progression of Das Boot

Last night was Reed's birthday party at Prost. Even though Reed had already ingested two liters of beer, someone decided it would be a good idea to give him Das Boot -- which is German for "the boat," but for some reason has been equated with a two-liter glass boot filled with German beer.

Here is what I call "The Progression of Das Boot":

1. Das Boot is poured.

2. Das Boot is consumed.

3. Das Boot is victorious.

Look Out for the Purple Acid

In case you haven't heard the latest news in the saga of the man who was twice elected to govern my state, Rod Blagojevich is officially off his rocker (not that he wasn't already). You see, according to G-Rod, this whole impeachment thing is just part of a maniacal plot to raise taxes.

Yes, Governor, the reason why you tried to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder was part of a plot by the General Assembly to raise taxes. It all makes perfect sense now. This man is absolutely delusional, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Does he even have a publicist or a press secretary anymore?* I assume his speeches are written in white crayon "so no one can know what I will say but me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lunch meeting at Morton's with Aldous Huxley and the Cookie Monster. Fetch me my zeppelin!"

* The answer is apparently "yes." It turns out that Blago just hired Drew Peterson's PR firm (thanks to Christoff for the link). Yes, the same PR firm that allowed Drew Peterson to court and propose to yet another 23-year-old future victim. It definitely all makes perfect sense now.

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 1/24/09

This should have been posted on Thursday, except AT&T decided that it would be a good time to allow a circuit to malfunction, thus preventing any signal from entering my home.

Approximately twelve-year-old girl discussing the collarbone with a group of male and female friends: "It's what all guys find sexy about girls."
--Chicago, Jonquil Park, Sheffield & Wrightwood
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Fortysomething male at Hold Steady/Tom Morello concert: "I just love taking hits of acid. I love seeing that little rocket ship."
--Chicago, House of Blues
Eavesdropper: AlyK

Disgusted female, after seeing woman on TV with short hair: "Ooh. I hope she had cancer to get hair like that." [she did]
--Chicago, Seminary & Montana
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Woman on Metra train: "I got one of them lizard things."
Man: "A salamander?"
Woman: "No, a 'geico.'"
--Chicago area, Metra train
Eavedropper: Tron

Elementary school teacher: "I think a good vagina is an important part of every conversation."
Twentysomething lawyer: "But not the word."
Teacher: "No. No, the word is key."
--Chicago, Fireplace Inn, 1448 N. Wells
Eavesdropper: RobD

Female 1 at Hold Steady/Tom Morello concert: "I'm not a fan. I'm not a fan of his work."
Female 2: "Who?"
Female 1: "Jesus."
--Chicago, House of Blues
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Bartender: "Here in Boston we are a bunch of assholes. You see Larry bird on the freeway with a flat tire you say, 'Hey Larry, I love what you did in the '80s. You have a flat tire? Well fuck you. I ain't stoppin'.'"
--Boston, Black Rose, 160 N. State St.
Eavesdropper: AlyK

Woman on the phone at work: "My chair just made me queef."
--Barrington, IL
Eavesdropper: Tron

Kid in Target: "Barry's wenis! I see Barry's wenis!"
--Chicago, Target, Elston & Logan
Eavedropper: GMYH

Former Lakers/Pistons guard Smush Parker, updating his tattoo situation for an L.A. TV station: "The latest is I got two naked women tattooed on the inside of my forearms. . . . I just love women. It's self explanatory."
Eavesdroppers: Tron and probably millions of others

Thanks to all who contributed, and when you overhear something hilarious, email it to for inclusion in the next Midwestern Eavesdropping.


Dude leap frogs over another for dunk. Damn.


Congrats to fellow LTHS Class of '96er Cary "Luckiest Man in the World" Stolarczyk, who was revealed as the guy who won $1 million when Blackhawks wing Martin Havlat scored a goal at exactly the 10-minute mark of the second period of the Hawks' loss to Minnesota on Monday (it was a promotion that backfired horribly for the Illinois Lottery). And to think, only 14 years ago, he and I were smoking imaginary cigarettes out of the windows of Ms. Blachinski's trig/pre-calc class during winter. I assume that memory's worth at least a couple grand.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Questions Never to Ask in an Interview

I was perusing the "internet" last week when I saw an article linked off of Yahoo's home page called "Ten Questions Never to Ask in an Interview." I was intrigued, so I took a look. You need to look no further than the section of my sidebar entitled "GMYH's Guide to Interviews" to know that I am a bit of a savant when it comes to interviewing tips. Hell, I've fucked up enough interviews (on both sides of the desk) that you would assume I know what works and what doesn't.

All of the taboo questions in the article are unbelievably common sense. Anyone who doesn't know not to ask these questions doesn't deserve to be employed:
1. "What does your company do?"
2. "Are you going to do a background check?"
3. "When will I be eligible for a raise?"
4. "Do you have any other jobs available?"
5. "How soon can I transfer to another position?"
6. "Can you tell me about bus lines to your facility?"
7. "Do you have smoking breaks?"
8. "Is [my medical condition] covered under your insurance?"
9. "Do you do a drug test?"
10. "If you hire me, can I wait until [more than three weeks from now] to start the job?"

With that, here are my suggestions for other commonly asked questions you should never ask in an interview:
10. "What's one thing you don't like about working here?" Interviewing people who are stupid enough to ask a question that will never get an honest response. Oh, I mean I can't really think of anything.
9. "Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" No one in the history of the world has carried a banana in his or her pocket. Stop staring at my crotch.
8. "What's the social atmosphere like?" Chill out, Pete Doherty. Why don't you just ask me whether people shoot up in the bathrooms and fuck in the stairwells? The answers are yes and yes, by the way, but still.
7. "I see you went to [insert name of college]. I had a friend who went there and loved it." That wasn't even a question, asshole. Even if it was, what the hell do you expect me to say? "Oh, well then, would you like a job here?"
6. "What are your hours like?" I'm a lawyer. They suck. By asking me this question, I assume you are (1) an uninformed moron who does not understand the profession you are about to enter and (2) not willing to work all weekend after I give you rush assignments at 5:00 every Friday afternoon.
5. "What do you like most about working here?" I have never heard a response or given a response that doesn't include the phrase "I really like the people."
4. "What's a typical day like for you?" Do you really want to know? I wake up at 6:30, cursing myself for ever going to law school. I arrive at work around 8 and throw up. For the most of the day, I research and write and yell and sometimes dance. Every day at lunch, there is a firm-wide pog tournament. I am known to my co-workers only as "The Hammer." At 6:30 or 7, assuming there are fewer than five partners remaining on my floor, I sprint out of the building wearing a gorilla mask. At 11 or so, I cry myself to sleep, but only after three or four hours of slamming whiskey and pogs alone while watching YouTube videos of singing dachshunds.
2. "Do you see yourself working here in five years?" No one in the history of the world has said "no" to this question in an interview, even though no one in the history of the world could truthfully say "yes."
1. "Why did you go to law school?" Because I'm a moron, and I like debt, and I like working long hours, and I like doing something completely unfulfilling with my life, and I like wearing suits, and I like weeping, and I like interviewing people who have no chance of working here, and . But most of all, I went to law school so I could make a lot of money.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Football = Pick-Up Trucks?

If I understand things correctly -- and I probably don't -- I am the only person watching the NFC Championship Game who does not own, or who is not in the market for, a pick-up truck. Seriously, every damn commercial break seems to feature at least one Chevy, Ford, Dodge, or Toyota commercial. Did you know that the Chevy Silverado gets 21 miles per gallon on the highway? Because I do. Or that a Toyota Tundra has a light engine block which somehow allows for a bigger payload? I don't even know what payload means or why I should care. Or that you can drive a Dodge Ram through fire?! I'm always ruining cars by driving through fire, so I guess this does provide a viable option. Or that the Ford F-150 has a fucking step that Denis Leary thinks you will use 60,000 times? Or that Howie Long thinks that step is unmanly? I guess he should know. After all, the man did star in Firestorm. Movies centered on smokejumpers and kidnapped bird watchers aside, I am sickened by the fact that I can spout off facts about every brand of pick-up that I will never own nor have a need or desire to own. Then again, I've always had major stability problems while towing my imaginary boat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Heavy Metal Band Name Flow Chart

What better way to kick off Hair Band Friday than with some metal. A couple days ago Greg Weeser* sent me a link to a highly detailed heavy metal band name flow chart, which accurately and ably demonstrates that most, if not all, heavy metal band names fall into five main categories: Deadly Things, Death, Animals, Religion, and Badass Misspellings. Of course, as the chart shows, there are many sub-categories, and there is inevitably some overlap.

Some of my favorite names include:

Anal Apocalypse. Ouch! Actually, I think that's a fair description of what happened the one time I downed two Bamba's burritos in one night.

Angel Queef. Is that even possible? Surely it would smell like heaven. Thhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Baal's Balls. I think Accept should do a tribute to these guys called "Baal's Balls to the Wall."

Bloody Wall of Gore. I would think all walls of gore would be bloody. I also think Accept should do a tribute to these guys called "Balls to the Bloody Wall of Gore." Sure, it's unclean, but they're already putting their balls to a wall anyway, so it's not like they're worried about hygiene.

Corncob Rape. Ouch! Actually, I think that's a fair description of what happened the one time I got raped with a corncob. See also, Anal Apocalypse.

Dëthkløk. You would think these guys have to be a Norwegian black metal band, but they are apparently a virtual/real band on Adult Swim.

Fetüs. Everything's cooler with umlauts, even unborn womb raiders. And, with that, I will be developing a first-person video game called Womb Raider about a hormonal frat guy who hates condoms, but he just can't seem to keep his dick in his pants or his ladyfriends out of the clinic. Rated M for Mature.

Lawnmower Deth. These guys must be pretty big fans of Sleepaway Camp 3. As am I, Lawnmower Deth. As am I.

Mexican Santa. Wouldn't that just be Santa?

My Dying Bride. Awwwww!

Satan's Awkward Gropings. As opposed to Satan's welcome and comforting gropings.

Thine Eyes Bleed. Well then how come I'm able to see this keyboard?

Most importantly, how have I not known there's a band called Angel Queef? I must acquaint myself with their entire catalogue. In keeping with one of my resolutions for this, the Year of Feelin' Fine, I will use the term "angel queef" when appropriate, which will actually be a surprising (and disturbing) number of times.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winning the Drew Lottery

There was a phrase my grandma would always tell be before I'd head out on a date or go hunting for gypsies: "You can't rape the willing." In some bizarre way, this sage wisdom transfers to today's story that Christina Raines -- the future dead ex-wife of Drew Peterson -- has moved in with Bolingbrook's most eligible bachelor. If -- no, when -- she disappears or is found drained of blood in an empty bathtub, should we even attempt to prosecute Drew Peterson? After all, it's not like she didn't know what was coming. Seriously, this is like a gay Milwaukeean in 1991 saying, "Sure, when I was at his place last night I noticed a couple skulls and some severed penises in his freezer and a drill and some hydrochloric acid on his coffee table next to a self-penned book entitled "How to Make Zombie Sex Slaves and Other Fun Things to Do with Drills, Hydrochloric Acid, and Gay Milwaukeeans," but there's just something so magnetic about him. I'm gonna see where this goes."

New Credit Card Scam

If you recently discovered a mysterious 25-cent charge on your credit card statement, you should probably dispute the charge immediately. Read this article for the details.

New Book: Oh The Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey

Last Friday I finished The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis. It didn't seem to get as high marks from reviewers on Amazon, compared to some of his other books, but I enjoyed it just as much as his others. The book is a series of loosely interconnected short stories unrelated to Toronto-based rapper Snow, but delightful nonetheless. It is sent in LA in the early '80s, and all of the stories are told in the first-person (as is Ellis's style) from various characters' points of view. There's even one from a vampire's point of view, which is apparently not going to be included in the upcoming film version. Anyway, I liked it.

This morning I started Oh The Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey, a memoir about some dude whose parents were San Franciscan socialites back in the day. Jessie said I would like it. We'll see. It did prompt Wilsey's mom to write a responsorial memoir called Oh The Hell of It All, so that's at least interesting.

Taking a -- wait for it -- page from Beth and Jaleh, I'm going to start listing the books I've read over the course of the year. We'll see if I can beat last year's seemingly insurmountable total of thirteen.

Books read in 2009:
The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Books Read in 2008

I read a staggering thirteen books in 2008. Here are all but three:

10. The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
9. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
8. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
7. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
6. Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman
5. Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin
4. Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction by Marc Canter
3. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
2. I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You by Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Scott Shuffitt, and Will Russell
1. Slash by Slash with Anthony Bozza

Monday, January 12, 2009

Silent Weekend

This weekend was a relatively quiet one. It started out with a bang (not literally or figuratively) at Gregerson's place Friday night with a little Rock Band. I had never played before. Needless to say, I was all over "Ballroom Blitz." What I found odd, though, is that they listed some band called Sweet as the group who sang it. I guess they must have covered Crucial Taunt. In other news, I am a fairly terrible drummer. In unrelated news, I was motherflippin' shocked to learn that neither Alex nor his anonymous wife had heard of Flight of the Conchords (by the way, the new season starts on HBO this Sunday, 1/18, at 10 p.m. EST/11:30 p.m. NST, or Monday at 4 p.m. in New Zealand).

Saturday was spent doing pretty much nothing. I recently purchased some of those adjustable dumbbells, so I worked out for the first time in four or five months, or maybe a year. According to certain health rags, women I share a bed with, and photographic depictions of me, I've put on an unhealthy bit of weight in and around my stomach, neck, face, ass, back, and, oddly, my elbows. Ergo, I have started a training regimen that should have me back down to my playing weight within three or four years, if all goes well. This, of course, assumes that I have enough room in our second bedroom to do jump squats, that I can join a high school football team, and that I am able to obtain one of those vibrating weight-loss straps for my midsection. Regardless, after my first workout, lactic acid is not my friend, but then again I was benching almost 20 pounds. PER ARM. My elbows will thank me later.

Saturday night Jester and I stayed in and watched The Darjeeling Limited, the latest Wes Anderson creation. It was quirky and cinematographically interesting, but not as funny as his other flicks.

Yesterday, Jessie and I performed our two-person musical version of "Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man" for, appropriately, Harley. It was met with mixed emotions and a decent amount of rawhide chewing. We decided to leave Harley alone with her thoughts and head to Target via The Blaab, which was plowed into a parking spot on our block. After some shimmying, I pulled off a maneuver that I have never pulled off or seen pulled off before. With the windows rolled up and Jessie inaudibly screeching at me from the middle of the street, I turned the wheel all the way to the left and floored it. The result was nothing short of astounding. The Blaab performed a complete 180, as if its back wheels were on an immovable axis. It was as if Buddha himself picked up my car out of its parking spot, and set it down right next to where it had been, facing the opposite direction. It was awesome. And with that, Jessie got in while laughing in disbelief, and we went around the block because we were now facing the wrong direction.

To top it off, with victories by the Eagles and the Steelers, my bracket in J-Diza's Super Bowl pool is perfect. If -- no, when -- the Ravens beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl (the first Super Bowl pitting two 6-seeds against each other), then you will know my name: Nostradamus.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

GMYH Bowl Challenge: We Have a Winner!

We have a winner in the inaugural GMYH Bowl Challenge. My future brother-in-law, "Horsecock" Ashcraft (his term, not mine), has blown away a field that included Shrockstar, Gregerson, Holt, Tron, Jana, Yeh, and me. Like a baby's arm holding an apple. Anyway, John, email me with your choice of any item under $25 from the GMYH Café Press Store, along with your address, and I will have your item sent to you via post.

Here are the final standings (reminder: it was a confidence pool, which is why some people with more correct picks didn't get as many picks as others with fewer correct picks):
1. Ashcraft - 362 points (22 of 34 correct picks)
2. Shrockstar - 357 (20)
3. Gregerson - 348 (22)
4. Tron - 342 (17)
5. Holt - 327 (17)
6. Jana - 324 (17)
7. GMYH - 247 (13)
8. Yeh - 237 (15)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Fuck the City of Chicago Department of Revenue, Part 2

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the City of Chicago Department of Revenue. Thankfully, I'm not the only one. For those of you in the Chicagoland area, tune into the 10 o'clock news tonight on Channel 5 for an expose starring none other than our dear friend Paul "My Car Got Stolen, Yet the City is Still Charging Me for Tickets Obtained While It was Stolen" Huffman. I just saw a commercial for the news, and Paul's lovable mug was on there, talking and everything. Anyway, tune in if you can. For the rest of you, or those of you who are too lazy or too tardy to watch, click here for the video. Or, you can just watch below:

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 1/8/09

Middle-aged, non-homeless man to approximately ten people in line at currency exchange: "Anyone got any mustard in their pocket?"
--Chicago, Franklin & Wells
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Drunk DePaul girl (noticing wedding ring): "You're married?"
Married guy: "Yeah."
DePaul girl: "So, do you live with your wife?"
Married guy: "Yeah, we even share the same bed. It's kind of serious."
--Chicago, McGee's, Sheffield & Webster
Eavesdroppers: RDC and Creature

Sober mother-in-law at the holidays: "Can I pause it, I don't have my strap on."
--somewhere in Illinois
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Twentysomething guy wearing Hurley hat approaches two guys in bar: "Can I ask you guys a weird question?"
Two guys, hesitently: "Yeah."
Hurley hat: "Either of you guys have a condom I can buy off you?"
--Chicago, Rocks, 1301 W. Schubert
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Special ed teacher: "Wait, you don't have to dribble in the special olympics? That's BULLSHIT! Just their legs are paralyzed, not their arms. (pause) That's not even real basketball."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Drunk twentysomething male after trip to the bathroom: "I tired to go to the bathroom and I ripped the drywall out of the wall."
--Chicago, The Map Room, Armitage & Hoyne
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Overly disgusted twentysomething female in grocery store on January 2: "Valentine's Day candy out already?! What an atrocity."
--Chicago, Dominick's, Sheffield & Fullerton
Eavesdropper: GMYH

As always, thanks to those who contributed, and if you overhear something funny, email it to to be included in the next Midwestern Eavesdropping.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Cover Songs

Cover songs can be fickle little monkeys. Some are brilliant remakes that turn the original on its head and supplant the original in the hearts of listeners (i.e., The Jimi Hendrix Experience's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," William Hung's cover of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs," or Cervical Implosion feat. Uter's cover of Everclear's "Santa Monica"), while others fall helplessly short of the original (i.e., The Dave Matthews Band's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," William Hung's cover of Ricky Martin's "Shake Your Bon-Bon," or Cervical Implosion's cover of The Cars' "Just What I Needed"). One thing is for sure: when done right, a cover song can kick some major ass. Here are my ten favorite cover songs, followed by a mix tape (Yes, indeed, I may have found a suitable replacement for Mixwit: This is my first attempt, so hopefully this works. It's the original version, followed by the cover version (assuming availability)):

10 (tie). "Back Door Man" by The Doors (originally by Howlin' Wolf). The original is awesome, and The Doors' cover, with Jim Morrison's shrieking and howling is just as good. It's a mischievous song to begin with, so it was a perfect song for The Doors to cover.
10 (tie). "Rosalie" by Thin Lizzy (originally by Bob Seger). Unfortunately neither the cover nor the original is on Playlist, so you'll have to just imagine in your head how awesome this song is.
9. "My Mind is Ramblin'" by The Black Keys (originally by Junior Kimbrough). Playlist doesn't have the original, but the cover is available, so enjoy. This is from the Black Keys' EP Chulahoma, which consisted of Junior Kimbrough covers. In my opinion, this is the best song off of that album.
8. "The Letter" by Joe Cocker (originally by The Box Tops). The chorus in the original version is pretty clean cut and bubble gummy, but Cocker adds a much-needed level of soul to it. When he belts into "Well she wrooote me a letter . . .," it's, for sake of a better word, perfect.
7. "Killing Floor" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (originally by Howlin' Wolf). Hendrix takes this Howlin' Wolf classic to another level on the BBC Sessions album (or the Radio One album, which is what I have). Hendrix's frenetic guitar intro is awesome, and the rest of the song is as well. It's too bad Playlist doesn't have the cover version available.
6. "The Kids Are Alright" by Pearl Jam (originally by The Who). This is probably my favorite song by The Who, so you can imagine that Pearl Jam's version must be pretty damn good for me to like it so much. Unfortunately this, too, is not on Playlist, so you will have to take my word for it. The version I have is a live version from before 2000, and it is pretty much just Eddie Vedder singing with little to no backing instruments.
5. "Jolene" by The White Stripes (originally by Dolly Parton). There is something wonderfully eerie about the White Stripes version (taken from their Live Under Blackpool Lights CD/DVD), perhaps because Jack White is singing from a female's perspective.
4. "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by George Thorogood & The Destroyers (originally by John Lee Hooker). I love this song. Thorogood took a good three-minute song with a great title and premise, and turned it into an eight-minute masterpiece with an extra back story to boot. "Eve'body's funny. Now you funny too."
3. "Nice Boys" by Guns N' Roses (originally by Rose Tattoo). This is one of my favorite GNR songs, and I was stunned when I found out it was a cover because its message fits so perfectly with GNR's message: nice boys don't play rock 'n' roll. Plus, their cover is taken from the live side of the GN'R Lies album, which means that it was recorded around 1986 before they were big, when they were just blowing the Sunset Strip out of its teased hair and eye liner.
2. "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" by The White Stripes (originally by Dusty Springfield). The original version of this Burt Bacharach-penned song was pretty good (as is just about anything sung by Dusty Springfield). Jack and Meg make it more frantic and a lot fuzzier, amplifying the crescendo at the end. Jack does a fantastic job of sounding both sweet and scared out of his mind in this song.
1. "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin (originally by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie). This cover of a 1929 Delta Blues song is my favorite Led Zeppelin song. The pounding, driving drum beat. The wailing harmonica. The bluesy guitar. The wavy vocals. It sounds like a levee breaking.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009: The Year of Feelin' Fine

Well, folks, we made it to 2009, and thank God (or whatever deity you may believe in). 2008 pretty much sucked. Sure, there were bright spots (Obama, Chinese Democracy, Cubs choke in spectacular fashion yet again in the playoffs, Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression, summer), but for the most part 2008 was a bust. The economy tanked. The housing market all but collapsed. Josh Schwartz and McG refused to take my calls. The IU basketball program imploded. Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson procreated. Hurricane Gustav. Hurricane Hanna. Hurricane Ike. Mav and Goose lose to Link. The IU football team broke my heart for the 14th time in the past 15 years. Banks failed. Nobody was kung fu fighting (whereas, in the past, everybody was). Detroit. The Hottie & The Nottie. Santa resorts to mass murder. More corruption in the Illinois executive branch. Israel bombs Gaza. The Bears bring home nada. South Ossetia. Client Nine. Lehman Brothers. Mumbai. Santa Claus. Senate payoff. AIDS. Crack. Bernie Madoff. Somali pirates off the shores. Frozen water found on Mars. Cancelled trips to Myanmar. I can't take it anymore.

But get that double barrel out of your mouth, John Travolta, because before the ball (or balls) dropped on New Years Eve, I proclaimed 2009 to be The Year of Feelin' Fine™. After the disappointment and dread of 2008, we need a change in 2009, which is why I'm imploring everyone to do everything in their power to feel fine in oh-nine, whether that means drinking more, smoking more, having more (and more powerful) orgasms, or buying more houses.

Here are my resolutions for the Year of Feelin' Fine:
-Start some shit
-Expend more calories than I take in
-Drink more
-Save no money, in order to boost the economy
-Digitize all of my CDs
-Bring back "queef," "wuzzaaaaaaaaahhhhh!" and "know what I mean, Vern?"
-Play Asshole at least once with and once without the controversial "ISU Rules"
-Become the junior Senator from Illinois
-Ask only rhetorical questions
-Work my way up to master falconer
-Finish that fucking book I've been working on for two and half years
-Get a nude portrait of myself hung at Old Town Ale House
-Ski the K-12
-Wear bandanas less often
-Continue to beat anorexia
-Start shooting Excedrin Migraine for quicker, more intense hangover relief
-Breed a wolphin with a liger
-Eat ribs at Twin Anchors
-Dance with myself
-Write, produce, direct, and star in GMYH: The Musical
-Along with Tron, write, produce, and direct (but not star in) a series of porns taking place on the Metra. The "Getting Railed" series will include, but will not be limited to "High Speed Rail," "Bringing Up the Caboose," "Juice in the Caboose," "One Way, Round Trip, Three Way?," "Fucka Fucka You You," "Laying Tracks," "Hard Commute," and, of course, "All Aboard!"
-Put something on YouTube, preferably something involving vampires
-Smoke more often when I am sober
-Attend at least four weddings
-Overcommit myself
-End some shit