Monday, October 29, 2012

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I can't believe I've gotten to the point in this blog where I am quoting Tom Petty songs as my subject, that's pretty hacky is it not? Sigh. My mind is a little preoccupied right now as I have a big date tonight with a vicious little minx named Sandy.

Yep. I've been on the east coast for a month and the powers that be have already decided to send a hurricane directly at me. If I was a crackpot or a moron I would take this as some sort of sign that God is trying to punish me for pursuing a decadent lifestyle or some crap like that. Or possibly it's Chicago making a last ditch effort to convince me to come back and stay in the land of Italian Beef and deep dish. Whatever the motivations for Sandy coming to pay me a visit is irrelevant now cause she's coming regardless. Here's the one thing that is abundantly clear to me: hurricanes suck.

I'm from California where our preferred form of natural disaster is the earthquake. I love earthquakes. Now, don't get me wrong, they are horrible and cause terrible destruction. I don't like that. What I love is that when an earthquake hits you have no idea that it's coming and if you're still standing 15 seconds later you know that you're going to be fine. I can't even remember how many times that the earthquake was over before I even began to duck and cover. Not so with hurricanes.

We've known that Sandy was headed this way for the at least the last 4 days. Do you know what that kind of advance notice does to a horrible neurotic like me? I'm a mess. I'm like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills right now. I'm so excited about experiencing my first hurricane, so excited, so excited. . . I'M SO SCARED. I've tried to put up a brave front. I bought a lot of booze and Jesus candles (as well as water and food) and made jokes about it. I told friends that it was nice knowing them when I left the bar after football today. As long as you can joke about something it can't be that bad, right?

Yet inside I'm so afraid that Sandy is going to wreak havoc on everything and my brand new apartment that I haven't even moved into yet will be underwater by tomorrow night. All of the horrible thoughts are in the back of my mind festering. All I keep thinking right now is that I've been super nervous for 2 days already and the damn storm hasn't even shown up yet. Once it hits it will just go on and on for what will seem like forever. I flip out when I don't have a solid internet connection for 20 minutes, I'll be certifiable if there is no power for days on end.

The thing that galls me to my core is that I have all of this time to get upset about Sandy. Why can't it just show up out of the blue like an earthquake or a tornado? Watching the weather channel and waiting for things to hit the fan  is the absolute worst. Of course I'll gladly keep waiting forever if the storm wants to change the direction and leave me alone. So, how about it Sandy? I promise I won't hold it against you if you stand me up and head back to sea.

(Serious note: I'm totally prepared and I'm going to be fine. If things get bad I have friends at higher ground who can take me in. I got this.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Hidden Joy of Alleys

Alleys have a horrible reputation. When I think of an alley I conjure up the image of poor Bruce Wayne watching his parents get killed. If I keep thinking about them I recall all the times I have spent wandering down the alleys of Chicago drinking out of a paper bag. Lastly I will think about El Scrapito diving into dumpsters and throwing every thing of any value into the back of a pick up truck that is made up of 8 different trucks welded together. Never had it crossed my mind that alleys were ultimately the salvation of my beloved Chicago.

Now that I am living in the shadow of New York I understand the true value of alleys; alleys provide a place to store garbage while waiting for pick up. You see, here on the east coast they do something which I find absolutely repulsive, they just stack the garbage on the sidewalk. This is why the entire city smells like shit, especially at night. Since there is no where else to put it every business just throws bags of crap on the sidewalk that sits there reeking until it gets picked up. Do you think every bag stays closed? OF COURSE THEY DON'T. All sorts of refuse leaks out of the bags and stays on the sidewalk until God knows when.

Even worse than the stink and the leaks is the obstacle they provide. The other night I was walking back to the train and I had to cross over the to the other side of the street because there was an actual dam of garbage blocking my way. This is not hyperbole or exaggeration. The entire sidewalk was blocked by a chest high pile of trash. I would have needed to pole vault over it in order to proceed but I forgot to bring my pole that day.

I don't know how people have learned to tolerate this nonsense. It is repulsive. Unfortunately I think the only real solution to the problem would be to do what we did in Chicago; burn the city down and start over. Even a supreme jerk like myself isn't going to suggest doing this. Therefore I have been left to brainstorm a better system. Here is what I have come up with so far:

  • Burn the garbage. Yeah, this isn't a real solution but I like burning things.
  • Have a very small window in which the garbage can be put out so it will only sit out for an hour or so. Since the majority of garbage pickup seems to be in the middle of the night this is impractical.
  • Build some sort of underground dumpster that opens up at the end of blocks. Everyone drops their garbage in it and then the garbage men come by and get it later. Sure, this is probably really expensive but it seems worth it to me.
  • Giant garbage catapults on top of buildings capable of launching all trash to the nearest landfill. It would work.
  • Dump all the garbage in the river of slime that runs under the city as seen in the documentary Ghostbusters II.
OK, so other than #3 none of those are real solutions, and that one would probably be really frickin' expensive.I just think something has to be done to eliminate the stink and annoyance of all the garbage sitting on the sidewalks. Until then I'll just wish I was nose deaf as I wander around my new home at night. I certainly never thought I would be homesick for alleys.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cheeburger Cheeburger? No. No.

As I couch surf my way around the fine metropolis of Jersey City I have been subjected to some things that have made my blood boil. I have a great deal of pride in my adopted hometown of Chicago and I tend to get a little defensive about her. I understand that I need to adjust to some new things but a few of them have been more difficult than others. An absence of Italian Beef is particularly disheartening, flat greasy pizza is equally troubling.None of these experiences rankled me more than learning of the existence of a burger place called Cheeburger Cheeburger.

I was watching the YES Network (whose horrors will probably be a subject for a post in the future) and an ad for this wonderful burger joint came on the screen. The second I heard the name I wanted to storm down to the nearest location and set it ablaze. There can only be one "Cheeburger Cheeburger" and it sure as hell doesn't come from some chain in New York. It comes from the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago. That's it, that's the list. 

Sure, everyone loved the skit on SNL back in the day. I even understand why someone would be tempted to name a place Cheeburger Cheeburger. If the skit wasn't based on an actual location I think I would even give them a pass. Before I decided to unload on them I did a little due diligence and looked at their website. Maybe, just maybe the place would have an iota of the character of the Billy Goat.Wrong again idiot. It's a Fudrucker's rip off. That's it. 

There are no pitchers whether they be on the walls or of beer. There is no double chee, the best. There is certainly no VIP room or pictures of Royko on the wall. This chain bastardized the tag line that made the Billy Goat famous without taking anything away from what actually makes the Goat so damn great. I bet this has been very successful for them as well. I bet a bunch of morons go out of their way to hit up Cheeburger Cheeburger because it brings back fond memories of the SNL skit, and it's not there fault. They've been duped by a clever marketing man who has no respect for history. The creator of this abysmal chain should be hit in the face with a bat and dragged down to the bowels of Michigan Avenue to experience the real thing. And when they try to order fries with their burger I hope they bring down the full wrath of the Sianis family upon themselves.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Eastern Time Is the Worst

On first consideration one wouldn't assert that a certain time zone was superior to another. For the most part very little is different. Sure,  it might suck adjusting to the new schedule when you first travel somewhere but I never believed that it would matter once your body clock was adjusted. I was wrong.

The Eastern Time Zone blows. Nothing brought this to my attention more than this past weekend's football games. I have no idea how in the world people wait until 1pm for football. It's the worst. Ideally I want to wake up, throw on a "semi clean" Bears jersey and be watching the game within 20 minutes. As I get older this has become less possible as I wake up earlier and earlier. At least it's a possibility on Saturday's when the games are an hour earlier but not in this wretched time zone. One of the best things about tailgating is getting to drink breakfast booze. Yet when it's 11:30 I can just start drinking beer, I don't need to ease my way into it with a bloody mary or mimosa (I'M A MAN!) that late in the day.

It's even worse when it comes to the night games. I don't want to wait until 8:30 for the games to start. What if I wanted to eat dinner at the bar while watching the game? By that hour I will have chewed off my own leg. I'm a night owl and even I want to go to bed before the end of these games. Unacceptable.

Don't think that my football watching skills are the only thing the Eastern Time Zone destroys. Oh no, it has found a way to ruin all aspects of my life. I hate missing out on things. It drives me insane. I'm the kind of person who is always the last person to leave a party because I'm horrified that something super rad will go down right after I leave. Now I have to adjust to the fact that the entire rest of the country goes to bed after I do. AND IT ENRAGES ME. What if something really cool happens but I miss it because it's 11pm out here. I probably would have completely missed the OJ chase had I been cursed by the Eastern Time Zone.

So, it appears that I'm left with three options: 1. Stop whining. This entire blog is founded on the basis that I will never stop whining about trivial things so I'm pretty confident we can cross this one off the list. 2. Move to the west coast. Now, I don't feel like I'm the one that needs to chance. This time zone thing must suck for everyone out here even if they don't realize it therefore it would be selfish for me to leave them in such a a horrid situation. Therefore it looks like we only have one real option: 3. Reverse the Earth's orbit. Hear me out on this one, it'll be totally cool. Everything will change for everyone and it will be exciting and new. The Earth has been spinning this way for a few billion years (or 7,000 if you hate science). Isn't it time to experience something new? I feel that things have stagnated and we need to spice it up. So I think it's time that we get our scientists on this. We can build some super engines to change things up. Or we'll just get Superman to do it. And then, finally, after billions of dollars of efforts I will be able to enjoy football at the appropriate hour and our long national nightmare will be over.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It puts the seeds on both sides of the bagel or it gets the hose again

There are some things in life that seem so amazingly simple to me that I trick myself into believing that no one could possibly mess them up. Oh what a naive moron I am. People are so incompetent that they will always find a way to fuck up things that should be completely nonfuckupable. What is worse is that the majority of the time they don't even believe that they are making a mistake. Instead they will justify their jackassery by saying that they are "doing it their way" or "making it their own." Sorry friend, you are wrong. When you make a bagel with the toppings on one side it is because you are an incompetent fool.

Growing up in Cali we frequented a bagel joint called Phil A Bagel. It was the greatest. The bagels were soft and had toppings on both sides. They were like heaven. I never knew that there could be such a thing as a bad bagel. Then I moved to Morris, IL and my world was rocked, there were no bagels. None. Sure, I was probably wrong for thinking that a rural town in the midwest would have the delicious breakfast treat of the Chosen. As far as I know there was only one Jewish family in Morris and for some selfish reason they didn't run a bagel shop. Jerks. It was a bad situation and I was forced into accepting mediocrity or worse when it came to bagels. 

When I lived in Chicago I found, with some help, a couple of places that made good bagels. Sadly all of these places were a pain in the ass to get to and Einstein Bros and Dunkin Donuts were so much closer. For years I would justify eating sub standard bagels by mumbling "better than no bagel." In retrospect it was sad how I compromised one of my core values; that bagels should be delicious. 

No longer will I compromise. As I sat here in Jersey City sipping an iced coffee (with ice cubes made of coffee! Holy shit!) and munching on the most delicious everything bagel that has ever been made on this Earth I came to the epiphany that I can't live the way I've been living. I will never settle again. I will only dine on the bagels of superior quality for the rest of my days. When I go out with a real estate agent who rambles on about the schools I will tell them to shut up and give me the lowdown on the bagel scene. When I venture back into the midwest and crave a bagel I will tell my stomach to pull it's head out of it's ass and order biscuits and gravy. And then I will wonder if my stomach has a head and an ass. 

From this day forward all of my bagels will have seeds on both sides. On this day I shall liberate myself from the tyranny and oppression of hard bagels with minimal toppings. I am going to scream out to the world that I will not go quietly into the night! I will not vanish without a fight! I'm going to live on! I'm going to survive! Today I celebrate my Independence Day (from bad bagels)!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A video game review that is only 23 years late

For the last two weeks I have been spending the majority of my nights crashing at the places of friends gracious enough to have me. While I fully appreciate that they are doing me quite a favor it is only natural for me to critique each domicile I spend some time in. For example:

Place A has a dog that I am allergic to while Place B has a cat I'm allergic to.
Place A is roughly 200 steps from a Dunkin Donuts while Place B is at least twice as far away.
Place A has a glorious bathroom with soap that makes me want to eat my hands while Place B as the most poorly designed toilet placement I have ever seen forcing me to sit "side saddle" while taking a shit.

Yet there is one factor where Place B shines that is making me consider staying forever and ever. Place B has a working NES.

So it is only natural that I have spent most of my free time over the last two days playing the Lord's finest invention Tecmo Bowl. Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl cause me to experience such intense feelings of adoration and love that I guarantee no human will ever be able to replicate them. Yet as I cozied up to Tecmo Bowl for the first time in years I was shocked to learn that all I could see were it's flaws. As much as I loved weaving up and down the screen as Walter Payton scored yet another touchdown it irritated me that such an idiotic tactic worked. Even more annoying than that was that there were D lineman closing in on Payton 50 yards down field. Now, I don't want to besmirch the late Payton but I'm pretty damn sure that the small handicap of death wouldn't slow him down enough to let a D lineman catch him from behind. From this point there was a bit of a snowball effect as I found every little part of the game to be flawed.

One particularly egregious flaw has to do with the cut scenes included after touchdowns. I get it, it was the 80's and they couldn't put in a special little dance for each player. Yet as I watch the two players high five each other I can't help but cringe at the fact that they are white. Look, I'm not saying that the game needed to show the attention to detail to have different cut scenes depending on the race of the player involved. It just seems so jarring that the guys are white because it's damn near impossible to score with a white player in the game. Unless you are using Steve Largent (and who the hell would pick Seattle?) chances are that the player scoring the TD is black. The only other notable exceptions would be when a quarterback runs it in or if, God  forbid, you stopped using Walter Payton and spread the ball around to Cap Boso. As a quick aside about Boso, his wikipedia page references a play in Tecmo Bowl that allows you to easily score with him. Way to go champ! I digress. If the cut scene was two black players instead of two white ones it wouldn't have become the butt of many ill thought out jokes. 

I became even more infuriated when the computer went into "F You" mode against me. F You mode has become a common thing in video games over the years. If you play the computer and beat up on them for long enough it will eventually have enough. It's sort of like when Skynet becomes self aware. At this point the game will seemingly cheat in order to finally beat you. This happened while I was 10-0 with Chicago (I'd call them the Bears but Tecmo didn't get the rights from the NFL so they are just Chicago, kind of like when Old Style would release the "Chicago Football Can" w/ the Bears schedule on it) and hoping to go undefeated on the season. For those not in the know when you are on defense you attempt to guess the play of your opponent. If you guess successfully all of your players are unblocked and the play is almost always a loss of yards. The computer did this to me not once, not twice but twelve times in a row. I was even doing stupid things like calling a run when it was 4th and 25, something no actual football team would ever do. Yet the computer guessed it because it would not let me win. This of course led to me turning off the game and going to bed furious. I even ended up dreaming about Tecmo Bowl and the same damn thing happened. It was awful.

The last little flaw I want to bring up is really just silly, I don't even think I'm that angry about it. When a team is kicking a field goal it is possible to tackle the holder. . . and the kicker will still make the field goal. Earlier today I kicked a field goal with the holder and a defensive player lying on the ground no where near the kicker. I giggled and spit out a little Mountain Dew because of it. Actually this flaw is pretty rad. I withdraw my complaint.

All in all it was nice to be reunited with Tecmo Bowl. Sure, the old girl put on some pounds and has a few more wrinkles now than she did years ago but I know that I'm no spring chicken myself. More importantly she still allowed Bo Jackson and Walter Payton to run roughshod all over the place and I shall always love her for that. That is until she goes into F You mode again. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The lunacy of breaking up in modern times

About two weeks ago the special lady and I decided to call it quits. Rest assured this blog isn't going to become a pity party as I post thousands of posts a month about how sad I am. Hell, I think I still have a livejournal that I can do that on if I feel so inclined. I just wanted to take a post to explain that technology has once again reared its ugly head to make something that was already a horrible ordeal exponentially worse. I am of course alluding to the changing of one's Facebook relationship status.

Breaking up is shitty, everyone knows this. You know what's shittier? Having to talk about it. Back in the day I was able to have my heart broken and then spend the next couple of weeks curled up in a ball on my floor listening to The Cure and no one was the wiser. Then we entered this brand new age where we share every goddamn detail about ourselves with our "friends." I say this because let's be honest, no one is really friends with everyone they are friends with on Facebook. Some people you only met a couple of times, some people you knew at one point but haven't seen in years, some "people" are actually bands from Scandinavia. When you are posting that a certain song is your jam for the day or a picture of the chorizo burrito you are about to inhale this isn't that big of a deal. When you are just starting a relationship it's really not a big deal to want to flaunt that either. You're happy and infatuated and have all sorts of butterflies and other insects crawling around in your belly. More importantly you want the world to know that if you aren't calling them back it's probably because you are having mindblowing sex since that's what people in relationships do 24 hours a day, am I right?

Yet when your relationship ends you don't necessarily want that information to get out immediately. People are going to want to hear the story. People are going to want to comfort you. People are going to want to immediately talk shit about the other person in an act of solidarity*. If they are good people they are going to want to buy you a drink. Mutual friends are going to feel obligated to take sides, or worse, try really hard to act like they aren't taking sides when they really are. With each friend you are going to want to handle the unveiling of the situation a little bit differently and at different times. Some friends should know before others. It's a delicate frickin' thing.

Facebook has fucked up all of that. It begs you to get on your soap box and exclaim to the world, "HEY! I'M SINGLE NOW!" I liken the experience to when Egon has to turn off the power grid in Ghostbusters. Once that sucker is up I became inundated with people asking what happened and if I was all right. Which is great. I'm not trying to be ungrateful for having so many awesome and wonderful people who care about me, don't get me wrong. What I'm saying is that it fucking sucks to have to deal with all of it at once. It's mentally draining to talk about that shit. In my particular situation (I need to find somewhere new to live) it's especially draining to discuss because I honestly have no clue what my next step is. Therefore I get more anxious each time I am reminded of that. I feel that I can have about 1 conversation per day about the whole kerfuffle, yet there is no way to make my Facebook friends take a number and wait until their turn to talk to me about it. 

If this was the only real issue I could let it go. But no. . . this is just the tip of the iceberg. What if my ex changes her status a day before I do? Now everyone thinks that I'm super pathetic for holding on to my broken dreams for an extra day. What if I change mine and the ex doesn't? Now I look like some sort of prick who was so chickenshit that I couldn't actually break up with the person; instead I just changed my relationship status and hoped that this would "fix the glitch". Luckily I was able to avoid both of these issues because we handled it like the launching of a nuclear missile, we made sure we both turned the key at the same time. Once we did it I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the shitstorm of feelings that I argued about before. Yet before I could do that Facebook dealt me a deathblow that I didn't see coming. The first thing on my timeline was the following:

"Mrs. Irrational Anger has changed their relationship status to single."

Really? This is what has to top my page right now? I'M PRETTY FUCKING POSITIVE I ALREADY KNEW THIS BIT OF INFORMATION! THANK YOU FOR POURING AN ENTIRE SHAKER OF SALT INTO THE WOUND MR. ZUCKERBERG! I sure hope that this information is still my top story in a few hours. Oh, goodie, it was. Thank you for letting me know that the demise of my relationship was more important than one of my friend's mom's posting a picture of a duck.

Technology continues to find new and innovative ways to make me feel like shit. Suddenly that bedroom floor and The Cure seems really appealing to me. 

*Unless you have definitive proof that the person was cheated on this is incredibly stupid. You know why I'm sad? Because I was in love with that person and thought the world of them and it ended. An hour ago. I don't need to hear about how you thought they were catty or that they had a weird nose. All you are doing by trying to cheer me up by saying they aren't worth my time is making me pissed off at you. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This song sucks, Pussycat. WOAH WOOOOOAH!

For reasons that are completely inexplicable I have been forced to listen to Tom Jones' ode to bestiality multiple times in the last week or two. It is a completely irrefutable fact that this is the worst song ever created. There are many factors that make a bad song: bad music, inept lyrics and poor performance. Usually hitting one out of three will make a song unbearable. Tom Jones manages to knock it out of the park and fail at all three factor on this beauty. This song is so horrible that I'm not really that angry about it. Frankly I'm impressed.

The song starts off right away with Jones caterwauling like an ass being castrated. Whenever he sings the refrain "What's new Pussycat? Woooooooah wooooooah" an angel loses it's wings. It seems to be completely out of time with the rest of the music which makes it even worse. When Jones isn't screaming like a banshee during the chorus he is uttering some of the most inane bullshit I have ever heard. Let's take a second to look at some of these choice lyrics, shall we?

"Pussycat, pussycat I've got hours. And lots of flowers. To spend on you. So go and powder your pussycat nose."

Seriously. Now, I'd like to think that this is a reference to doing cocaine. Sure, it would be the lamest drug reference in the history of drugs, but still. I can cut some slack for a drug reference, if the lyrics are supposed to be taken literally they are a whole new kind of awful. And since the song was written in 1965 I'm afraid that it's more than likely not a drug thing. . . but wait, it gets worse.

"Pussycat, pussycat I love you. Yes I do! You and your pussycat face!"

Good Christ, really? I swear that 90% of this horrific opus is just the word pussycat over and over again. The song is creepy before all of the references to different pussycat body parts. The references to pussycat noses and faces is offputting enough, then we get to this doozie.

"You and your pussycat lips!"

Here's the thing. Cats don't have lips. Really, think about it. Go harass your pet by staring deep into it's mouth. No lips. None. For a while I thought it was just a dumb little song lyric and nothing else. Then I got thinking a little bit dirtier. OH GOD NO. It's a vagina reference. So subtle. . . except that it's not subtle at all. It's just in such crummy taste that you would never even think that it was talking about that, except that it is. ARGH.

Look, I'm no prude. I own a 2 Live Crew album. I like my sexual references explicit and direct. I don't want some Welshman screaming and making tongue in cheek references to vaginas. That seems far dirtier and makes me feel sceezy.

I pray that you never have to listen to this atrocity ever again. Well, after you watch this video of Tom Jones singing it. Look at how big the backing band is! I can't stomach that this many people enabled such a vile act against humanity.


If Sam Elliot was narrating my life I imagine that I would be wearing jelly slippers and a robe while browsing Da Jewel's as he said, "Charlie was a lazy man, the laziest in all of Cook County. Which certainly puts him in the running for laziest worldwide."  

I've forsaken the blog. The blog is my baby and I have been Antonio Cromartie as a father lately. I'm going to make it up, I promise! I've just been really busy, some shit has been going down personally and professionally and I've been lazy. And it's been hot. So damn hot. All I want to do is stand in front of the freezer with the door open. 

Let's forget all of that though. Let's put this hiatus in the past. I'm back! I'm ready to rock n roll and bitch and moan like I've never done before. Unless something shiny distracts me for a while. . . just kidding. I'm back for good.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ignorance (of bus arrival times) is Bliss

A couple of years back when the CTA rolled out the bus tracker I was ecstatic. I thought it was the greatest invention since the beer coozie. Remember back in the day when you would just stand at a bus stop for hours on end hoping that the bus wasn't done for the day? While the buses have a fixed schedule that they follow on a day to day basis for some perverse reason the CTA has to be vague as hell about when service ends for the day. The Irving Park bus runs until "Mid-Evening." WHEN THE HELL IS THAT? I could make a valid argument for mid evening being any time between 7 and 11. Why not just have each sign say when the last bus will be by? It was an incredibly frustrating system and I was filled with hope when I heard that Bus Tracker was coming along to save the day. All of my bus related problems would be solved by this glorious little invention, right?

Wrong. In fact the knowledge of when buses are expected has actually ratcheted up my stress level exponentially. I'm willing to say that we were far better off without it. We like lists on this here corner of the interwebs so allow me to list every way that the CTA Bus Tracker has made me want to cover myself in honey and lay at the base of a hill of fireants. 

  • I live 4 minutes away from my bus stop, 3 if my fat ass hustles. I cannot tell you how many times I have left the house with 5 minutes left on the bus tracker only to see the Irving bus fly by seconds into my walk.
  • Whenever the above happens it is at least 18 minutes until another bus comes by. Although I have to admit sometimes this is a good thing, if I'm going out for the night it gives me time to stop at Merica's favorite dive bar, The Peek Inn.
  • Every time I impatiently refresh the page on Bus Tracker it actually delays the bus by an extra minute. I do not know how I obtained this power but I apologize to everyone I have inconvenienced because of it.
  • Once in a while there is a phantom bus. I'll watch the countdown until I'm told the bus is approaching. As I stare down the street there will be no bus in sight. It will have vanished in thin air never to appear again.
  • On Sundays and Holidays Bus Tracker give you cold hard evidence of how shitty CTA service is by letting you know that there isn't another bus expected for 40 minutes after you have failed to run down the one you were trying to catch.
  • Bus Tracker also gives you evidence as to how bunched up buses get. Today while waiting for the Western bus I was informed that there would be a bus coming in 27 minutes. And then another in 28 minutes. Followed by 2 more buses expected in 31 minutes.
The last two on the list are what drives me absolutely bonkers. There is nothing more disheartening than waiting a lengthy time for a bus only to see one or more buses directly behind it. I can't understate how furious I get when I witness this. If I had the power to do so I would get on the bus and force the driver to go 55 mph and not make any stops for a couple of miles just to even things out, I could care less if we fly by my stop, I'm doing this for the good of mankind.

The only thing that makes me angrier than seeing a bunch of buses bunched up is having an entire half hour to sit and brood about the fact that all the goddamn buses are bunched together as I breathe in the fumes of Western Ave. I was frothing at the mouth with anger by the time the first of the four buses finally showed up. Back in the day I wouldn't have been able to work up to that rage. No, it was a more innocent time before Bus Tracker. I would just stare down the street and quietly hope for a bus to how up sometime before the ice cream I bought melted. Yet Bus Tracker has taken the hope that used to sustain me and smashed it into oblivion. 

The only solution is to erase it from my phone. Well, I guess the CTA could start running their buses in an efficient manner so as to alleviate my problems. . . HAHAHAHAHA. I'm not insane, this is Chicago. We have 8 dollars in the budget and it's going to an Alderman's son's stay at home job instead of something useful. Yep, I'm going to have to erase it from my phone and willingly go back to the old days. 

Oh wait, hold on, Bus Tracker just told me a bus is coming in 5 minutes followed by 7 buses in a day and a half, I gotta run!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Serious Moment

Hey friends. I haven't posted on the blog for a long time for a myriad of reasons, the strongest being extreme laziness. I actually wrote a post about this earlier this morning but I'm not going to post it until tomorrow (or more than likely Monday) because I really want to discuss the events of the last 24 hours. Also, consider this your warning that this post is going to be a bit more serious and a lot more political than my usual "WHY CAN'T I GET TACOS AT 7 AM?!!!" style rants.

By now everyone has heard about the tragedy that happened in Aurora, Colorado. During a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises a lunatic walked in and started shooting people indiscriminately with a shotgun, an assault rifle and some pistols. 12 people were killed and 59 were injured as of the last time I looked at the news, the actual numbers have been fluctuating all day long. It is horrifying to think about.

In this day and age the first thing anybody does when they hear news is to head to their Facebook, blog, Twitter, MyFace or whatever the hell they use for social media and weigh in on the issue. Obviously I am doing this so I don't want to cast too much aspersion on people for doing so. That being said I have no trouble taking down people based on their opinion. There was one opinion that I saw expressed multiple places that infuriates me so much that it makes me see red and want to hulk out. People are arguing that if people were allowed to carry concealed firearms tragedies like this would not happen.

I'm going to repeat it one more time so that you can think about it for a second and let it sink in:  People are arguing that if people were allowed to carry concealed firearms tragedies like this would not happen.

Allow me to retort with a counter point: FUCK YOU.

How is making that argument any different than arguing that a woman got raped because she "was asking for it" by the way she was dressed? It's not. Bringing up the issue of concealed weapons in a situation such as this is basically stating that if you get shot it's your fault for not arming yourself. Who the hell would want to live in a society like that? Isn't basic safety and escaping a life based on violence the reason that people got together and created governments and society?

I understand that gun control is always a hot topic and people like to take any incident they can to argue their point but give me a fucking break. To politicize the issue hours after such a tragedy is remarkably classless in itself. Yet there is something even more revolting about taking a tragedy caused by guns and using it to argue for the further proliferation of guns. 

I don't want to get on my soapbox and argue against guns, that's not the point I'm trying to make. Sure, I believe that we should have insanely tight gun control laws and that the most important part of the Second Amendment is the first part stating that guns are necessary in order to maintain a well regulated militia (a notion that is past it's time since we have a full time military). The point I am trying to make is that it is callous and inhumane to take a tragedy like what happened in Aurora and to boil it down to a talking point in arguing for the legality of concealed firearms. It comes across as blaming every victim for failing to defend themselves. It's easy to blame a whole spectrum of things for the tragedy: lax gun laws on assault weapons, a society that glorifies violence, poor parenting, a failure to identify mental issues and provide treatment for them, etc. I have already read all of those today and I'm sure that I will read many more over the coming weeks and I'm willing to have a thoughtful discussion about each and every one of them. 

The one group that I absolutely will not blame are the victims for failing to have their own guns to defend themselves. If we have reached a point in this society where you should be expected to be packing heat to attend a movie then we have truly lost everything and should just give up.

My thoughts go out to all of the victims in Aurora and all of their family and friends.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My camera phone turned me into an asshole

For someone who is only 31 years old I really am quite a Luddite when it comes to technology. I have never upgraded a video game system until long after games have stopped being produced for them. I owned the second Stone Temple Pilots album on tape, I think that was some time around 95. Although I'll admit there was a cheapness to that switch, I owned a CD player. I just refused to buy any CDs unless I was 100% sure the album was already kick ass. When it came to cell phones I resisted for as long as I possibly could. I used to give out my friend's numbers like crazy and leave vague messages; "If you need me before 9 I should be hanging out with Jake. Then I'm going to check out some band so call Mike if you need me. After that it'll probably be best to just look for me around the Fireside." Once I finally cracked and bought a cell phone I discovered the most wonderful little gadget, the cell phone camera.

I've always been amused by rubbing my good fortune in the face of others, for some reason I can't completely enjoy anything unless I know that other people I know are at least marginally upset by my fortune. The camera phone is an amazing invention in that it lets you gloat over your friends in the blink of an eye. When I'm in Florida over Christmas you can be damn sure that I am sending pictures of my the beach to all of my friends freezing to death in Illinois. The simple fact of the matter is that I don't think I have ever used my camera for any reason other than being an asshole.

If I'm golfing on a beautiful afternoon I will definitely send a picture to someone stuck in an office.
Are you a fan of a beer that is difficult to find regionally, like Yuengleng? Well prepare to get pictures of me drinking one.
Is your favorite band in town but you just couldn't afford a ticket? What's this? You just got a picture message of me rocking out at the show? Boosh.

I find that I am the most insufferable when it comes to food. Roughly 17% of the pictures on my phone are of different burgers I had at Kuma's. I don't know why I'm such a prick, I just can't help myself. I think it stems from goodness. I'm having an enjoyable experience and it reminds me of a friend who couldn't be there, that's kind of sweet, right? Of course when I respond to this by taking a picture of my XOCO torta and send it along with a message reading "My lunch just kicked your lunch's sorry ass," it doesn't seem to be as good natured as I would have hoped for.

So the next time you see that you have a picture message from me in your inbox be prepared for the dickishness that is about to ensue. If there is one bright side I have yet to send anyone pictures of me in my birthday suit or pictures of toilets I have wrecked. Although I'm guessing that it's only a matter of time.

The 4,326th time I considered giving up on the Red Sox forever

I've done my best to avoid ranting about the Red Sox this season. With the way they are playing I could honestly write about how furious they make me every single day. Even on their off days they find ways to upset me. You would think that when they aren't even playing that I couldn't get worked up but then I find this lovely jewel. Apparently Bobby Valentine spent the weekend wandering the streets of Chicago "rapping." Hopefully he has found a new love and will quit managing the Red Sox post haste. The entire crapfest of a season game to head on Friday as far as I was concerned. Despite everything logic was telling me I decided to spend the afternoon watching the Sox play the worst team in the major leagues.

I knew things were not going my way the second I got to my seat. It was a decent seat, I had managed to avoid sitting behind a pole or anything like that. The problem was the company I would have to keep for the next few hours. To one side of me was a family with four little kids. Sometimes I enjoy sitting near kids, it forces me to act like a civilized human being for one thing. There was just something about these kids. Immediately I could tell that they had never spent more than two minutes sitting still at any point in their short little lives. This ended up being true and they would go on to spend most of the game running around the stadium far away from my seat. Bullet dodged. Then there was the woman next to me. As she turned toward me as I made my way to my seat I saw the two dreaded white letters intertwined upon her navy blue hat. NY. I was sitting next to a fucking Yankee fan, great.

I had fully prepared myself to deal with a very specific kind of asshole; Cubs fans. Meaning I was expecting to sit near some overly drunk men and women who weren't even remotely paying attention to the game. If I was really lucky one of them would throw their arm around me and tell me about how Cub and Red Sox fans are exactly the same, this has happened to me countless times at Wrigley over the years and few things grate at me more. That being said dealing with a Cub fan isn't all that difficult as long as you are in the right mindset. Yankee fans are a completely different breed of awfulness. Any chance that she would be less than obnoxious went out the window as she immediately said to her husband, "Oh no. We have one of those people sitting by us." For the rest of the game every single time something positive happened for the Cubs she would get right in my face to gloat about it. Every time the Sox did something negative she was twice as exuberant. I was deeply shamed by how badly I wanted to smash in the face of a woman pushing 70. She kept going on and on about how great the Yankees were and how horrible the Red Sox have always been. I finally got her to shut up and leave me alone when she started talking about the 27 World Championships the Yankees have won and I naively asked her what it was like to have been alive to see them all. The inning or so of silence that bought was golden.

I truly believe that my seating situation contributed significantly to the fury seething barely beneath my skin, if nothing else it exasperated a rage that was induced by my beloved Red Sox. The game started out promising with Scotty Too Poddy (oh yeah, that's a 90's WWF reference) and Pedroia getting on base to start the game. Sadly this would mark the high water mark of the day. Gonzalez would strike out pathetically and the rest of the game went in the same vein. Later in the game we were treated to a "triple" by the Cubs pitcher. Pitcher triples are so exciting! Of course the only reason this was a triple and not a single with a two base error is that the scorekeepers at Wrigley are huge homers. If it wasn't for Gonzalez misplaying the ball horribly none of it would have happened. Which leads me to my number one gripe about the Sox: WHY THE HELL IS GONZALEZ PLAYING RIGHT FIELD IN THE FIRST PLACE?!!!!

I understand that the Sox have had a tremendous amount of injuries already this year and that the lion's share of them have been in the outfield. I also respect that Gonzalez is willing to play out of position in order to do what is best for the team. My problem is with Bobby Valentine ever putting him in right field to begin with. We just spent a boat load of money to have Gonzalez as our first basemen for the next decade or so. I'm also pretty sure I'm not the first person to notice that since the great collapse last September Gonzalez has been atrocious at the plate. OK, that might be stretch, the point is that he has been worse than he has ever played before. He went damn near a month this year without a walk. Watching him at bat is like watching an impatient kid playing RBI Baseball. Who cares where the pitch is going, let's just swing at everything so that the game doesn't get boring. Instead of letting him get his head right and figure out what exactly is causing this slump Valentine decides to throw him into the outfield so he has to worry about learning to field a completely new position on top of his hitting woes. What the hell? This is completely fucking idiotic. The whole dilemma is caused by interleague play, which I despise, and needing to keep Ortiz in the game. With the way Gonzalez is hitting would it really be that horrible to give him a day or two off? Then Valentine started putting him in right at home where there is no conflict keeping Ortiz out of the game. Why? So that Youkillis and Middlebrooks could both get in the lineup. Look, I love Youk to death, but when he is hitting .215 I don't think you need to completely screw up the psyche of our franchise player to get him in the lineup. Just platoon Youk with Middlebrooks until Youk gets his swing back or Middlebrooks wins the job out right.

While my head was completely frazzled by worrying about how we are destroying Gonzalez and effectively ruining the lynch pin of our offense for years to come I was distracted by the worst free agent signing in the history of baseball. Oh Dice K, it is so wonderful to have you back. What I witnessed was absolutely the most Dice K start of all time. He couldn't find the plate to save his life and walked 3 guys in the first. It took him over 50 pitches to get out of the first two innings. During those innings he gave up 3 runs and then magically figured things out and made it through six innings without any more damage and looking pretty good at times. If you looked at it in a vacuum one would assume this was a bit of a hard luck lice for Dice K. If the team doesn't score any runs it can't be his fault, it was a quality start after all. Yet from watching him pitch it was a fucking travesty from the get go. He tries to paint the strike zone so carefully that he is afraid to actually get that ball over the plate. It's especially infuriating because he never appears to be that wild. There aren't balls bouncing in front of the plate or sailing to the back stop, instead he just throws a lot of really close balls. As a fan this just drives me batty. I'd rather see him go full on Rick Ankiel than to endure watching Dice K nibble at the plate while working his way to 3-2 count for every single batter.

Damn this blog is long. I'll wrap things up. I ended up walking out of Wrigley furious that I had even bothered to head out to begin with. I guess I had a good time, it was a beautiful day and I had a wicked good brat. Of course the Sox would go on to win the games I didn't attend. And of course I took this a little bit personally. I had such high hopes for this season, sooner or later I have to accept that I'm a fan of a last place team and just give up on them. Ah, who am I kidding? I'll torment myself all summer long.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

No anger here, just trying to cure Cancer, no biggie.

I know that this is super late to post this on here, I'm a bit of a screw up that way. I just figured there may be some people out there who read my blog, hate cancer and love drinking. If that's you please come on out to:

Nisei Lounge
3439 N Sheffield, Chicago
7-9 PM

I'm going to be guest bar tending to raise money for Kicks for a Cure. We're going to have a raffle for a signed Blackhawks hockey stick as well. BOOM.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The worst movie character ever

Before we get down to the vehemence I feel that I need to lay out a few ground rules as to what criteria I used to determine the worst movie character ever.

1. The character had to be in a good movie. When you look at a movie that is a complete pile of steaming horse crap then it's more than likely that all of the characters will be of a similar quality. What I'm looking for is a character who stands out due to their extreme crappiness amid an otherwise fantastic cast. I'd love to pick the car from Cars Who Eat People but what's the fun in that? For those who don't know, the car was a crappy beat up VW Bug and at no point in the "film" did it eat a person. Not one.
2. Jar Jar Binks is exempt. Not because he isn't the worst character in film history but because who wants to spend any of their time reading another angry nerd rant about Jar Jar? Everyone knows he sucks, let's move on.
3. The character must be memorable. It would be easy to single out a horrible cameo or a horrendous acting job by a glorified extra (Think Pee Wee Herman playing the bellboy in the movie within Pee Wee's Big Adventure.) For my consideration the character had to have a fairly major role.

Now that I have laid out the ground rules we can get down to the nitty gritty. Drum roll please. . . . and the worst movie character of all time is. . . . ROLLER GIRL FROM BOOGIE NIGHTS!

I watched this movie the other night on the HBO and was completely struck by what an all around lazy character Roller Girl is. Boogie Nights is a fantastic movie. PT Anderson really directs a masterpiece of a film featuring fantastic performances from Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, Julianne Moore and Marky Mark. Actually when I really put my mind to it everyone in this movie is above average to great, in fact Heather Graham doesn't do badly acting either. Yet in a movie where seemingly every little aspect had a great deal of thought put into it (I love that the speaker modification is called a TK-421, epic Star Wars reference) Roller Girl seems to be a cliche that was thrown in as a joke. Roller Girl is a porn star who has a quirky little gimmick; she never takes off her roller skates. Ever. For the whole fucking movie. It does not matter what sort of situation she's in.

Taking a test in school? Skates are on.
Out at a wedding? Skates are on.
Cleaning her bedroom? Skates are on.
Hanging out by the pool?
Stomping the crap out of some guy who disrespected her? Oh, you better believe the skates are on.

Look, the whole idea made me giggle a bit. The scene when she first has sex with Dirk while listening to "Brand New Key" is pretty brilliant, I'll concede that. If they want to show her always wearing skates while filming something I'm totally fine with that. But she never takes them off, that's insanity. Look, maybe Mr. Anderson had been out of high school for way too long when he made this movie but there is no way in hell they would let her wear her skates in school. I used to have a wallet chain that was 2 inches longer than regulation and they called me on it every damn day. I also know that the majority of clubs/restaurants in this world would kick her ass out in two seconds flat for skating into the establishment. Yes, hot women can get away with a lot in this world but come on.

Then I came to horrifying realization. The movie takes place in southern California, a locale noted for having warmer than average weather. Roller Girl NEVER takes off her skates. THE SMELL FROM HER FEET WOULD BE HORRENDOUS. For six years we are led to believe that she never takes her skates off. Do you have any idea what the smell would be like? I'm pretty sure that by year 2 she would have become a biohazard.

The absurdity of the character completely threw me for a loop to the point that I couldn't focus on anything other than my undying hatred for Roller Girl. Every time she came on screen I kept hoping that I would catch her walking just one time so that I could let all of this rage go. That scene never comes.

Do you understand just how much I have to hate Roller Girl for her to win this award? Heather Graham is beautiful and naked in this movie, I should have no complaints. Yet the shittiness of the character manages to over rule all of the good feelings that scene gave me. Although, to her credit, it took me roughly 10 years after first seeing the film to realize just how much I hated the character, I assume the nudity distracted me.

You know that awesome montage at the end of the movie where it shows where everyone's life ends up? For the most part it's all happy. Nothing would please me more if they replaced Reed's triumphant magic show scene* with him accidentally cutting Roller Girl in half on stage. Oh yes, that would be glorious. The movie could fade to black as the camera focuses on those stupid roller skates as they hang lifelessly out of a box while the crowd screams in horror. OK, maybe I've gone too far. She's still horrible.

* He completely reminds me of Gob Bluth in that scene. If only The Final Countdown were playing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The first rule of book club is you don't read fight club.

I want to be in a book club. Yeah, you heard me. For some reason book clubs have been taken over by women which is complete bullshit in my opinion. It is a common fact that women are unable to write good books (I have since been informed that this is not so much fact as it is my chauvinistic opinion. Or I just said it for a laugh) why should they get to have a monopoly on book clubs? As far as I can tell the majority of book clubs consist of a bunch of women drinking wine and discussing The Kite Runner once a month. If I were to join such a club I'm pretty sure I would get a lot of strange looks and feel kind of weird. Yet I yearn to read a book once a month and discuss it with a bunch of people. Everyone takes away something different from each book they read and longs to share them with others. Where as I need to be placed in a situation where I get to hear all of these diverse opinions, drink some booze, and loudly tell these buffoons that all of their opinions are wrong. As a man I am pretty much only allowed to act in this manner when watching sports, which is nice, but I need to broaden my horizons. I want to become a Jack (ass) of all trades.

God forbid a bunch of men get together and do something where they use their minds. If you were to judge men by what is portrayed in pop culture once could easily assume that men were incapable of spelling their own names let alone reading, discussing and understanding literature. Look, I love doing stupid shit more than many. I have an especially soft spot for horrid beer and sleeveless shirts. You know what else I like? Noam Chomsky, The Beats, Chuck Palahniuk and Leo Fucking Tolstoy.

Why can't a group of men get together and have a totally masculine and awesome book club? I'm sure I can find a group of like minded fellas who would enjoy doing such a thing, right? RIGHT?! Instead of reading all of the books that Oprah commands us to read we'll read manly books, like Bukowski and Hemmingway and basically anything about war and shit. We won't sip wine while we politely discuss the literature. No, we'll pound whiskey and challenge those with different opinions to step outside for a few minutes. If a book isn't good enough to get into a bare knuckle brawl over was it really worth the time it took to read it? I say no. Sure, it will be a bit difficult to avoid picking a different biography of Teddy Roosevelt every single month but I bet we can work around that. I can't be the only man out there who wants this, can I? Men in Chicago, let me know if you would seriously be interested in this. I may even be willing to host. Football doesn't start for 3 more months so it's not like you have anything better to do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I don't care if you're nocturnal, 5 am is not dinner time

Growing up we always had pets. By the time I was 24 a couple of rabbits, a slew of fish, an insane cat and the best dog ever had come and gone from my life. Since then I have been mostly pet less with the exception of some very unexceptional fish who had mere cameos in my life. Although the fish I had that lived in an old 40 oz. Colt 45 bottle (the first being named Colt 45, then Colt 46 so on until 51 I think) hold a special place in my heart they never really required much attention. Then I moved in with my girlfriend and became step father to a cat. Since then I have been super reluctant to mention what a fucking nut job this cat is lest I become that guy who talks about his cat all of the time. I mean, I know I'm pathetic but I don't want to be that pathetic. I know that I have dedicated one blog to the furry jerk and that seems like more than enough. Then I went through a monstrous ordeal last night thanks to this feline fury and I can't help myself, I have to write about her again. Hopefully this will be the last time.

It was roughly 5 am. I was sleeping like a baby. OK, that might not be entirely true as I do like to snore and thrash in my sleep. It is probably more apt to say that I was sleeping like a baby warthog. Anyway, I'm fast asleep and I as I start to come out of my slumber I feel a weight on my neck. Not on my chest, not on my face, directly on my windpipe as if something is attempting to choke me. I awoke with a start to Myrna sitting on my throat staring directly at my face. "Meow!" I toss her halfway across the room and barely contain myself from pissing myself out of sheer terror. She jumps back up on to me and puts her little head right in my grill, "MEOW!" After tossing her across the room for a second time I get up and decide I may as well go pee while I'm up. 

Once I start walking Myrna starts weaving between my legs intent on forcing me to kick her or trip and fall on my face. I go to the bathroom hoping that she won't follow me in, to no avail. For a devious split second after picking her up I consider dropping her in the toilet to teach her a lesson but I assume that will go poorly, plus I'm not that mean. I toss her out of the bathroom and close the door to micturate in peace. "MEOW! MEOW! MEOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!" Normally Myrna is a quiet cat but she just wouldn't shut up. She kept doing the weaving between the legs act and basically herded me into the kitchen so I could see that her food bowl was. . . half full.

"WHAT THE HELL?! You don't need more food you greedy fur ball. I slaved over a can of fancy feast for close to 15 seconds last night, you will clean your plate and love it before I feed you again," I snarl at the cat. Yes, I talk to the cat. Never said I wasn't insane.

 "MEOW! MEOW!" She responds while staring at her food bowl. 

Oh goddamnit. There is no way in hell she is going to let me go back to bed without feeding her. It's 5 am, it is not breakfast time. I don't give a shit if cats are supposed to be nocturnal animals in my house you adapt to my rules, dammit. We all know what happened next as I abandoned my principles and fed the damn thing. She hungrily dug in and I decided that it wasn't that bad. I had just overreacted and if I was hungry and unable to get food I would have done the same thing. Then I felt something furry run past my leg and by the time I got back to bed there was a black thing on my pillow. Apparently those 3 bites of food were all that Myrna wanted. She ruined my entire night/morning for 3 bites of food! Or maybe it was all a complicated ruse (that I fell for completely) for her to sleep in the warm spot I left on the pillow. All I know is that I have never wanted to test just how many lives a cat may have more in my life than this morning. 

Once I cleared her off and fell back asleep I had the most wonderful dream. I was in Red Square competing in a drinking contest against Ivan Drago in the middle of winter. I was shirtless but wasn't even remotely cold. This confused me for a second until I saw my reflection in the ice block that was serving as the table for our contest. I was being kept warm by the most spectacular black fur hat. It was in the typical Russian style except for one little difference. It had two tiny little cat ears on the front.

So heed this warning Myrna, if you ever wake my ass up at 5 am for this sort of bullshit again I will make that dream come true.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My girlfriend's popularity is crushing my soul

For some inane reason I have always loved getting the mail. When I was five years old it was especially thrilling despite the fact that I never got any mail for myself. When I was twelve there was an added element of intrigue as I tried to intercept a notice from school that I had actually been in detention (for using colorful language) instead of at a friend's house playing Warhammer after school the week before. When I was in college we received so little mail that each time there was something it was worth throwing a party for. In summation, I really like getting the mail.

I'm not sure if I would go quite as far as to say that I'm OCD about it but I'm definitely on the borderline. If I hear the mailman you can be damn sure I'll be running down with the mail key within the next five minutes to see what bounty he has brought. It is here that I encounter heartbreak day after day. We receive an ungodly amount of mail. Envelopes, letters, catalogs, bills, junk mail; we get it all. And every damn piece of it is addressed to my girlfriend.

What the hell did she do to become so popular? I know that a good portion of it is due to the bills being in her name but that only scratches the surface. Every single day she has at least 3 envelopes of mail. Sure, a lot of it is junk mail and bills but I feel so inadequate in terms of mail reception that I wouldn't mind getting those. She is so popular that she gets magazines that she doesn't even remember subscribing to. Then when she comes home and I point out that her mail pile is roughly as tall as I am she does nothing about it. HOW CAN SHE CONTAIN HERSELF?! I would leap into the pile gladly and rip open every envelope with reckless abandon as I reveled in the sheer volume of correspondence.  

The question I should probably be asking is what have I done to make the world shun me in the mail department? When I moved it took weeks for me to get a single forwarded letter, maybe there is a secret vault at the post office where they are keeping all of my mail. I bet I have to undergo some sort of quest in order to prove my worth to obtain it. Ugh, who am I kidding. I have no mail. I use automatic bill pay. I have asked to go paperless. I brought it on myself. Yet I still get disappointed every single time I go through all 9 letters that we have only to find none with my name on it. I assure you that I fully understand how breathtakingly stupid it is for me to feel downtrodden because I didn't get a Restoration Hardware* catalog or a "letter" from the local State Farm agent wanting to sell me stuff. I just feel like every letter addressed to the lady is sticking it's tongue out at me and gloating because I'm not worthy of junk mail.

I figure that in order to save what is left of my self esteem I need to take one of two drastic measures. I can intercept all of my special lady's mail and change her address to somewhere in Siberia, thus we will get far less mail but it will all be for me. I'm sure this plan will backfire on me leading to a chain of events where I won't receive any mail at this address any more since I will be living elsewhere. So that's out, not changing anyone's address. Which leaves us with a more drastic solution, I will sign up for every free newsletter there is. I will get rid of my automatic bill pay. I will start sending weird fan letters to D list celebs with self addressed/stamped envelopes begging for singed head shots like I did with Tom Jones back in the day. I will start becoming pen pals with guys in the joint. Sooner or later I will be getting so much mail that it will be like the court scene in Miracle on 34th Street. It will be glorious. My self esteem will return and it will be a new day. HUZZAH!

Or, you know, I will do nothing and eventually learn to stop being neurotic about stupid shit. Something tells me that is far more likely.

*Have you seen this fucking thing? It makes the phone book look like a pamphlet. I was terrified that if I knocked it off the table it would fall through the floor into the basement, it's that heavy. What in the world can be in there? All they sell is crap. Sure, it's kitschy and fantastic crap but it's still crap. Why do they need to have the world's largest catalog?

Sunday, May 20, 2012


It's been a very exciting weekend here in Chicago thanks to our idiot mayor thinking it would be a good idea to invite NATO to have their little conference in the Windy City. I hate this on so many levels it's going to be difficult to even remember to cover all of them here, some of my hatred is so inborn that I might not be able to consciously recall it. Normal people never have hatred that intense, it is all too common for me. Let's kick it off by attacking our friend Rahm, shall we?

Every time NATO has their summit the location become inundated with protesters. Why would anyone ever want to invite this trouble into their city? Rahm, that's who. Primarily our mayor has given two reasons for wanting to bring the NATO summit to Chicago. The first is that it would cement Chicago's place as an international city. Bullshit. Chicago is already internationally known and it wasn't for hosting a bunch of politicians. There have been things like The Camp David Accords that Rahm compared to the possible history that could be made by NATO this weekend. Imagine if there was a Chicago Accord. All that does is make 7 people around the world name check Chicago when bitching about something they disagree with politically, if Rahm thinks that boosts our rep he's a moron. Chicago is known for having one of the most amazing skylines in the world, fantastic food, shady politics and according to everyone I met in China for having Michael Jordan. NATO is going to do jack fucking shit in changing our reputation internationally unless something terrible happens. The other reason Rahm has given for wanting the summit is that it will bring an immense amount of money into the city. Really? Where is that money coming from? As far as I can tell everyone who has half a brain has gotten the hell out of the city this weekend. Downtown looks like a Romero movie; it's completely empty save for a few mobs of slowly moving zombies, er, I mean protesters. Does Rahm think that we're making a ton of money off of all the protesters who have been sleeping in parks? Is he that stupid? When you end up shutting down half of the city it's not going to give much of an economic boost, sorry pal.

This leads us to the protesters themselves. Goddamn do I hate me some protesters. The awkward thing is that often I find myself agreeing with them politically or at least I agree with the less batshit crazy of them. For example, I hate the idea of the city closing multiple mental health facilities. Yet I understand that I'm not going to change that by sleeping outside of Woodlawn. And I know that I'm damn sure not going to accomplish anything by protesting out side of Rahm's house when HE ISN'T EVEN HOME. (I'll admit personal irritation about this protest. Rahm lives in the next hood over and news copters were circling overhead around 7:30 waking my ass up way too early. Then when I tried to take the bus somewhere the assholes were marching around and blocking Irving Park. Argh) There are so many more productive things one can do to fight the power than protest. In my opinion all protesting really does is piss people off because you are creating an inconvenience. I respect the passion, I often agree with the stances, I just think that protesting is the wrong tool to accomplish the goals.

Specifically let's talk about that special little slice of the protesters that fancy themselves "anarchists." I know that the vast majority of protesters are going to be peaceful and just wave their signs and chant monotonous and unoriginal chants. This hatred isn't aimed at them, it's aimed at all the jackasses who rode buses to Chicago for no reason other than to start some shit. They'll be wearing hoodies, gloves, and bandannas to cover their faces while protesting in order to protect their identity. Here's the thing, you aren't going to try and stay anonymous if you aren't intent on causing trouble. Sorry, that's the truth. So you come to our city to fight our police and wreck our streets. Shockingly your behavior isn't going to woo me into agreeing with your stance that we need to smash the government. Look, I really like listening to old Anti Flag and Against Me too but that doesn't change the fact that anarchy would be fucking horrible. Across the whole world there is one constant among every culture, they have all established a society because living in anarchy is horrifying. There is always going to be someone bigger (or better armed) than you and they will destroy your ass, is that what you really want? It's such a short sighted and idiotic way to perceive the world. I hope these morons remember that if they had their precious anarchy the police that just arrested them wouldn't be charging them with a misdemeanor and letting them go after a few hours, they would be getting rid of them for good.

All of this hints at a bigger question, what's so wrong with NATO anyway? I understand from a strict anti war stance there are plenty of reasons to despise them. Although I think that it can be argued that the majority of actions that NATO has participated in were justified, I don't see a lot of people arguing for Milosevic. I don't understand the demonization of the group. Would I prefer if we lived in Candyland and there were no wars, sure. We don't. I have no problem with an organized world effort by NATO doing what was needed to get rid of Ghadaffi or the Taliban. It would have been nice if military action was never needed but that's insanely naive.

I'm going to be extremely happy on Wednesday morning when we have our city back. Hopefully everything will stay peaceful as it has so far. I hope everyone enjoyed their visit to internationally renowned Chicago and refrained from burning it down, we have a little problem with that from time to time. Feel free to come visit some other time, just leave your bandannas and pithy signs at home. Oh, this is a little uncomfortable, but can you please, PLEASE take a shower before you come back? Thanks.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Riding in Cabs: A Manifesto

On the surface there is nothing about a cab ride that should be unpleasant. It's a nice private ride from once place to another that you pay a premium price for. One would expect that because of that premium price that the experience would also be top notch. Haha, you naive imbecile. While a cab ride is almost always faster than public transportation it is fraught with agonies that are far more infuriating than what you find on the train. The combination of these atrocities and the excessive cost almost always make me wish that I chose to leave earlier and taken the bus. I've taken the time to break down each element of a cab ride that makes me want to pound my head to a bloody pulp on the glass divider between the driver and myself.

The CTA is not world renowned for smelling like roses. Yet I would rather endure a faint smell of stale hobo piss over the all encompassing incense smell of most cabs. In the winter I find myself rolling the windows down immediately lest I start coughing my fucking lungs out thanks to the burning patchouli flanked by pine tree air fresheners sitting on the dash. I don't know what exactly cab drivers are trying to accomplish with this but every cab I've ever been in smells like the bedroom of a 15 year old trying to mask the smell of pot with every goddamn scent imaginable at once. It's hideous.

The Driver's "skills"
 I feel like this is such a well known fact that I don't even need to cover it, cab drivers are horrible drivers. Whether it is because they do not understand that the pedals do not need to be smashed to the ground in order to function or because they believe that sidewalks are a "bonus lane" every cab driver makes a mockery of the rules of the road. Despite having a steel stomach I have found cab drivers capable of giving me car sickness. I'll never understand why it is that the few people whose entire livelihood is based on their ability to drive CAN'T DRIVE. I can't help but giggle at that irony.

Refusing to turn around
Every once in a while you will run into the most bullheaded cab drivers on Earth. I've had drivers refuse to pick me up because I wanted to go the opposite direction of what we were facing. Now, I understand the annoyance of this, I hate backtracking, but it was at 3 in the morning and I had been looking for a cab for 20 minutes. And you know what happens while the cab drives around the block? I pay more money on the meter. Shut your goddamn mouth and make a little extra money you crybaby. 

The Chatty Cabby
I'm not the world's friendliest person. I don't enjoy making small talk with strangers just to do it. I'd much rather stare out the window and think about whatever it is that runs through my mind. Yet every once in a while you get the cabby who cannot shut up to save his life. Fine, I'll talk with you a little as long as you have something interesting to say. The problem is that this has happened twice ever. Actually, one of those was a limo driver who picked me up instead of a cab because he was bored, so really only once. And that guy had a tracheotomy and told me a story about shooting heroin and fucking hookers in Mexico City. Unless you're going to come strong like that please just shut your mouth. Yes, I'm going to the airport. I know it's terribly exciting and I am aware that Florida is warm this time of year. . . I should start offering to tip triple to get them to shut up. Don't make the mistake of keeping headphones on either, this just makes them yell louder.

Slowest routes ever
It is almost imperative that if you know the city you are in that you tell the cab driver exactly how to go. If you don't they will take the slowest possible route, even if you simply ask for the fastest. I have yet to meet a cabby in Chicago that doesn't try to drive through Boystown or Wrigleyville when the bars are closing, even if you are going nowhere near there. They just know traffic will be godawful and that means more bling bling for them. Also beware the driver who always says that it's better to avoid Lake Shore or the highway. He's frickin' lying.

The Shocking lack of Shocks
I've always wondered if cabs were even allowed to have shocks. In a city that is more pothole than road there is nothing more terrifying than a cab ride home from the bar when you trying to hold in a few gallons of recycled beer.

The Credit Card Debacle
This is by far the most infuriating situation of all. All Chicago cabs are required to allow you to pay by credit card, but you can rest assured the cabbies are going to make you wish you hadn't. Every time I start to use the card machine I start getting yelled at. "CASH! CASH! Please pay cash, machine is, uh, broken." When I explain that I don't have any cash this usually leads to the cabbie wanting to take me to an ATM. Come on dude, just let me pay with a card. "CASH CASH CASH!!!" After a few heated minutes they always relent and by some major miracle the credit card machine works perfectly fine! I know that they get charged a little for using a card and that's why I always, ALWAYS over tip when I use a card. I even tell them this. Of course, if they fight me about it than I undertip if I tip at all. There's no excuse to fight about this every single time, get over it.

There you have it. All of the reasons I hate Chicago Cabs in one nice organized list. Ah shit, I'm late. I spent too damn long writing this blog, now I'll have to take a cab to dinner. . . . and the vicious circle continues.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The one in which I shamelessly beg for money

Hey! We're going to take a few minutes away from all the anger if you don't mind. I can't help but notice that this blog is getting a pretty hefty amount of hits, although I assume most of them are from me obsessively clicking on every link I post to make sure they work. The point being, I may have a wee bit of an audience and I should try my best to use that for good. Every year a group of my friends gets together to form the New Jersey Grabowskis and we play kickball. One reason we do this is so that we can destroy Greg Olsen, Matt Forte, and Brian Urlacher at sports. The other reason, and the real reason, is to raise a bunch of money for cancer research. Cancer sucks and everyone I know has had it mess up their life in one way or another. Science has made a ton of progress fighting cancer already and hopefully with our help they can keep marching down that path until a cure is found.

So, in a fun way of combining raising money for our team and my upcoming journey to the Kentucky Derby I have an idea. For every $10 someone donates to Kicks For a Cure I will purchase a $2 win ticket on the horse of their choice with the winnings going right back to the charity in their name. Or the horse's name if you want to be cute about it. It seems like a lot of fun and a way to trick people into donating money through their degenerate gambler tendencies. :) I'm posting the link at the bottom here and don't worry, super angry post about the shitheads next door coming up by the end of the day.

Thank you so much for any donations, y'all are super rad.

Click here to donate! The Grabowskis appreciate it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mario was a terrible role model

Recently I spent a week hanging out at my parents house. Since they have retired to Florida I find it to be more than a little boring when I am down there. I don't know anyone and after about 11 you can be assured that I'm the only one left awake. Luckily there is some salvation for me, my Nintendo.

Many times I have considered bringing it back home to Chicago so that I can waste away countless hours of the day playing Contra but I figure it's safer for my relationship to leave it in Florida. I was rocking my way through Super Mario Bros 3, the game sorta responsible for my crush on Jenny Lewis via the ridiculous movie The Wizard, and a thought hit me. Mario's life is absolutely horrid. All that he has going for him is a pipe dream (heehee) that he will save the Princess and they'll live happily ever after. In order to get that he has to endure horrors that would drive any man to madness. Giant turtles, ghosts, flying fish, asshole turtles with hammers, and cliffs galore. There is seemingly no where in Mario's world that isn't directly next to a cliff that will surely end you shall you fall. Why even go on? Is any woman worth all of that? I'm sure the Princess is a fine lady but damn, enough is enough. After receiving the 4th worthless P Wing from her after saving some ugly king from being a lady bug I would rip that shit up and head back home.

As I pondered this I stumbled upon a bigger thought, would I actually want to be any video game hero? It's an interesting question because so much of the allure to video games is living out fantasies in a way. I'll never make the NFL but I can tear it up in a season of Madden. My poor eyesight keeps me from any dream of being a pilot but I can pilot my own F-16 in AfterBurner. Yet when you sit back and actually consider the lives of any of the famous video game heroes their lives are absolutely atrocious. I'd much rather live my boring little life than have to go through even half the bullshit that the Contra dudes did. Isn't it hard enough to climb up a waterfall without bridges exploding and automatic guns shooting at you the whole damn time? I wanted to highlight just how horrendous the existence of most ordinary video game heroes was.

  • The Chef in Burger Time: He's a simple short order cook. He's probably not in the greatest shape and now he has to make burgers the size of Buicks while being chased by man sized hot dogs and eggs. His only weapon? Pepper. No gun. No sword. Not even a damn spatula. Pepper.
  • Samus: At least Metroid's hero is a pretty hot lady, I'm sure she has a pretty great life once she gets out of the hell she is trapped in. Only problem? SHE WILL NEVER GET OUT. All the Metroid games last for frickin' ever.
  • Donkey Kong (I'm focusing on the Donkey Kong Country Kong here): Finally Donkey is not a villain and he can relax at home with some bananas. No, he can't? He has to jump into all sorts of goddamn barrel cannons to go anywhere, many times he is unable to tell if he will be flung to a certain death or not? Fuck. Sucks for him.
  • Any Random Mortal Kombat Character: After struggling through 10 fights where I was shot with a spear, turned into ice, and hit by countless fireballs I have narrowly survived only to fight a four armed behemoth and a damn near unbeatable boss. Now I'm . . . champion. That's it? No riches, no women, nothing. I just get to be champion. Wonderful.
  • Kirby: Uh, actually his life isn't bad at all. He just eats everything in his way. I'm sure he has some horrible bowel issues. 
 I could go on and on. Why did I spend all of my childhood thinking that it would be so cool to be one of these characters? As best their lives could be considered infernal yet I spent half my time away from the Nintendo pretending to be them. Look at the Mario universe of characters, even when they engaged in fun activities like go karting it was still possible for them to get killed by a rogue turtle shell. When I relax I go out of my way to make sure that death is not even a remote possibility unlike these morons who use their brief respite from danger to drive on a road made out of a rainbow in the middle of a bottomless void. WHO WANTS TO LIVE LIKE THAT?!! Not me, that's for damn sure. The only video game hero I would consider to be a role model would be Leisure Suit Larry, now that would be a sweet life.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Smells like arrogant entitlement

When it comes to a long standing tradition of being the absolute greatest in their field few organizations can ever hope to achieve what the New York Yankees have accomplished. Wait a second, you didn't think I was talking about on field success and championships, did you? Because I wasn't. No, I was talking about the most impressive feat accomplished by the Yankees and their fans; being the world's largest douchebags for close to 100 years.

I'm sure that any amount of success will ruin the fan base of any sports team. It definitely makes them puff their chest out a little more, arrogance seeps in after a while. Eventually they will start talking about the Aura and Mystique of their shitty stadium (sadly not dancers at Scores like Schilling insinuated) and have internal debates about whether or not the overpriced mercenary they brought in will ever be "a true Yankee." Eventually one would think that this would ebb but remarkably it never has. Their douchbaggery may quiet down for a little while and then they go and do this.

The Yankees made a fucking cologne. Are you kidding me? Deadspin did a smell test of it the other day and the results were that it smelled a bit like Fruit Stripe gum. Personally I couldn't give a shit what it smelled like, I'm already appalled at it's very existence. Yankee cologne? What's it supposed to smell like? A combination of the soothing gel Jeter places on his herpes sores and the stale beer/piss stench of the bleachers at the old Stadium? Who the hell wants a cologne promoting a sports team anyway? When I want to impress the woman folk I don't think to cover myself in the scent of a bunch of dudes who have been sweating for the last 4 hours.

Despite the obscene price ($62 for a 3.4 ounce bottle at Macy's) I can guarantee that it will sell like gangbusters. I'm willing to bet that this Yankee superfan already has a case sitting in his mom's basement right between his Hideki Irabu bobblehead and his Andy Hawkins jersey.

So, hat's off to the New York Yankees for cementing their role as the douchiest franchise in the history of sports. Enjoy that cologne.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm trying to break your heart

Yesterday was a pretty weird day for our hero. Early in the day I had read a bunch of stuff about how it was the tenth anniversary of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. Of course I was irritated by most of what I read, big surprise. I just don't think that after a mere ten years one can proclaim an album to be classic and wax nostalgic about it. I also think that so much of the hype about YHF isn't based on the album's greatness (it is a great album, not debating that) but more focused around the crazy story about how it got shelved by their record company and the way Wilco had to fight to get it released. This is a long way of saying that I listened to the album a few times yesterday and as I watched the Blackhawks lose to the Coyotes in the worst way imaginable I heard Jeff Tweedy repeating "I'm trying to break your heart" in my head.

After I came home from watching the game at a dive bar I couldn't get the song nor the actual heartbreak dealt by the Hawks out of my head. I kept thinking about the idiocy of throwing so much of my well being into something I can't control in the slightest. The fact that my entire day was ruined by a bunch of millionaires inability to hit a frozen chunk of rubber past a behemoth millionaire goalie is moronic. As much as I hate to admit it I'm an adult. Why do I care so much about such completely trivial things? I don't have a good answer.

The amount of time I invest in shit that doesn't matter is mind blowing. I read everything I can about the teams I love, I watch as many of the games as possible and spend many hours over many beers arguing over them. For what? What's the end game? Most years it's me feeling like complete shit for a couple of days after the season. Odds are that my team isn't going to win a title and I'm going to get that miserable feeling. Even if I was the biggest front runner of a sports fan (Yankee, Laker, Red Wing and let's say Packers since they look like they could be dominant for a while to come still) I would still spend most years disappointed in the end. And I would be an asshole and a horrible human being to boot.

I've been spending all winter trying to get over the atrocities of last September (I'm a Red Sox fan). I spent the entire winter getting my hopes up that things would be different and better this year. I had planned out an entire summer of watching winning baseball. We're not even a month into the season and I already know it's not to be. They are terrible. TERRIBLE. Do I give up? No. I read more articles online hoping to get some insight into how they can fix the problems, I watch the games with extra intensity hoping that one good at bat can turn the whole season around. When I am already confident that there will be no successful payoff in the end I should back away from the season, fold my cards so to speak. Instead I'm completely irrational and invest myself even deeper into the season. Despite claiming I have given up 15 times in the last week I found myself buying tickets to go see the shit show in person tomorrow night.

Why do we enter into this whole charade of fandom in the first place? We all know that in the end we're going to end up with a broken heart. I make fun of my buddy Mike all the time for being a "sports slut." While he loves sports more than just about anyone I know he doesn't have any strong team affiliations. He just likes the games and all the players. Sure, he roots for some teams more than others, that's only natural. Yet he has no problem rooting for the Bears in the early game and then the Packers in the late game. Nor would he consider a 2-10 Purdue football season successful if the 2 wins were Indiana and Notre Dame while I would deem it better than losing in the Rose Bowl. It really seems like he has it all figured out in a lot of ways. Except it still feels wrong. It's like he's not putting his heart out there in the way that an obsessive fan does with his favorite teams. Kinda like the guy who is a playa and goes through a lot of chicks but has no serious relationships. While he may never have the crushing heartbreak that causes him to sit in a dark room for a week listening to The Smiths (2003 ALCS and Aaron Fucking Boone) he also won't get to experience the ecstasy of finding true love (2004 Dave Robert's stolen base and beyond.)

You know what? I can handle a couple of days of feeling miserable at the end of each sports season. It's the price I pay, right? If it wasn't for the heartbreak, and goddamn there has been a lot of heartbreak, moments like this wouldn't be so tremendous.

Monday, April 23, 2012

If you don't like fish your tastebuds are broken

While I have spent the majority of my life in the lovely state of Illinois (blech) I am from California. I grew up in Walnut Creek which is about 30 miles from San Francisco. Right next to San Francisco there is this place, it's pretty big, it's called The Pacific Ocean. When I get homesick (it's hard to say that it's homesick when you haven't lived there for 17 years but there isn't a better word for it) there are two things that I miss more than anything: the smell of the ocean and fresh fish. I also kind of miss fog but it's a distant third. I love smelling the salt on the breeze, I love staring out into the unending blue and I even love the ghastly smell the sea lions produce as they have taken over Pier 39.And when it comes to eating the bounty of the sea I love it all.

This is why I get filled with a deep rage when people flippantly pronounce that they don't like fish. How can someone make such broad generalizations about such a vast array of deliciousness? More often than not it is because they were raised far from the ocean and when you say "fish" they hear "Gorton's Fish Sticks" or even more terrifyingly "Filet O' Fish." I recognize that 20 years ago there wasn't exactly an abundance of fresh seafood here in the heartland but all of that has changed my friend. It's entirely possible to be eating a halibut* that was enjoying his ugly little life swimming off the shores of Alaska yesterday for dinner tonight. Despite being able to obtain tasty and fresh fish I find that there are an astounding number of people who outright refuse to even try it**.

I understand that everyone's tastes are different but I'm not willing to accept that it's possible to just not like fish. If it swims chances are that I have gladly eaten it and there is one thing I know for certain, every kind of fish tastes different. Sure, there are similarities in the way that all fruit tastes the same. Yet if someone refuses an apple and says "I don't like fruit," they will be completely derided by their friends for eating like a 3 year old, and rightly so. For some reason most people accept it when applied to fish. Well, not any more my friends. I'm leading a crusade to out these people for who they really are, scaredy cats who don't like anything different.

The simple fact of the matter is that tuna tastes just as much like clams as carrots taste like brussel sprouts. Lumping the two together as saying they taste fishy just tells me that you didn't actually try and taste them. Instead you held on to an idiotic belief that fish is weird, foreign and gross and choked down the delicious clam in hopes that you will be rewarded for your adventurousness. I'm willing to put up with people easing their way into eating seafood. Start off with some fried calamari which essentially tastes like all fried food. You don't need to begin your seafood journey with raw oysters or sushi. Just fucking try something. Get it out of your mind that meat comes in Chicken, Cow and maybe Pork. There's a whole damn delicious world out there under the sea and as my good friend Sebastian said;
"Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Under the sea
Nobody beat us
Fry us and eat us."

See, even animated lobsters know that they are the tastiest food around. Who are you to argue with him? Go ahead and take that leap and eat something a little different. Just remember that saying something tastes like "fish" is about as descriptive as saying something tastes like "food," and it makes you look like an asshole.

* I have always had a theory that the cuter the animal the tastier it is. Lamb - adorable and appetizing! Duck - divine and delicious! Chicken - Normal looking, nothing special and  pretty standard acceptable food. The halibut throws a giant wrench in my theory. Have you ever seen a halibut? They are fucking disgusting looking. They look as if they are covered in brown slime, both eyes are on one side of it's body near a weird ass pig nose. If you put a halibut next to a swordfish it's like a beauty contest between Sloth from Goonies and Salma Hayek. But I'll be goddamned halibut tastes amazing.
** While I am infuriated by her taste in food I give mad props to my friend Jenny Schindler Melander for always trying at least a miniscule bit of fish each time she is around it. I've come to the conclusion that her tastebuds must be broken and it is no longer her fault.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Woah man, 4/20 is totally our special day to, uh, what? Funyuns.

Every once in a while I get a little worried about the posts I decide to write. As a rule I try to piss off as few of my friends as possible per post. If I didn't care about what my fellow readers thought I would have already posted my 8 post oral history of Brian Foss' inability to play video games, from Ken Griffey Jr Baseball to GoldenEye and beyond! As I have more than a few friends who partake in the marijuana smoking I was hesitant to rip on them for an entire post. Then I remembered how mellow they all are, especially today, and figured that this would be akin to making fun of the Amish on TV. No danger at all. So without further adieu. . .

I'm not a pot smoker. Never have been and never will be. It's not that I'm straightedge or any of that nonsense I've just never enjoyed smoking of anything. When there is smoke in my lungs I freak the fuck out and cough all over the place. This is not an enjoyable experience for me. If you put some pot in a brownie I would wolf it down gladly. In fact, I can't think of any substance I wouldn't eat in brownie form. Mmmmmm, brownies. This is all a long way of saying that I'm not anti-drug. I'm pretty pro-drug in fact. If you want to get fucked up go ahead and get fucked up. Just don't make a phoney baloney holiday about the whole thing and fill up my entire twitter and facebook feeds with your garbage.

Do people even know why they celebrate 4/20 in the first place? You should really head over to read about it on wikipedia, it's such a wonderfully convoluted bunch of bullshit that only pot heads would use it as justification for a holiday. Seriously, the whole 4:20 thing is based around a bunch of stoners looking for a hidden crop and being unable to find it. Isn't that essentially the same thing Mormonism is founded on? Of course there are multiple theories about the origin, another being that 4:20 is the ideal time to smoke the ganj. Really potheads? You can't wait 40 more minutes until the end of work? Slackers.

Why do you need a special little day to celebrate pot smoking anyway? Why not just work it into all the other holidays that already exist? That's what alcoholics have been doing for years. St Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, any family gathering and Thursday are all specified drinking holidays. Doesn't it seem to be more than a little idiotic to promote a holiday based on doing an illegal activity? I'm not trying to get in an argument about the legality of marijuana (I say legalize it and tax the fuck out of it) but the fact of the matter is that it IS illegal, how about a wee bit of discretion? Driving 30 mph in a car with Bob Marley and Sublime bumper stickers today is just about the most obvious way to ask the cops to arrest you. Oh, that's a very nice 5 foot tall water pipe you have in the front window of your on campus apartment, it certainly doesn't announce that you are breaking the law or anything. Give me a fucking break. Just smoke your pot out of a discreet little hitter box and you'll be fine. I'm sorry if it doesn't have the same appeal or ritual that your 8 person hookah does but it doesn't make you look like an asshole desperate to get arrested either. Pretty sure you'll get just as fucked up.

I guess all my anger boils down to the idiocy of needing a special day to celebrate something that requires no celebration whatsoever. You like smoking pot, hooray. Now how about you just do so whenever you damn well please like everyone else does with their vices? If marijuana becomes legal in the US then I'll give you your special little holiday on the day that takes effect. Until then only a moron would celebrate a day that is representative of the time of day a bunch of idiots in San Rafael would gather to attempt to find a fictional marijuana crop. Seriously, it's asinine.