Saturday, October 27, 2007

BeHold BeArhead


I've joined the "tour de force" that is Bearhead, a once solo project of my buddy Zach, now a skull vibrating sonic wrecking ball power trio. Of all the projects I've been in, my projects with Zach have always made me bleed the most. We are gearing up to unleash Bearhead upon the masses. Check out the bearhead myspace page, add us as your friend (we'll pick you up at the airport if you ask cause that's what friends are for) and then watch us musically rip your face off live. Here are some dates we've booked. Write them down, spray paint them on your ceiling, write it in lipstick on your mirror, carve them in you arm or use this as a way to finally make use of your iCalender.

11/1 we will be "rehearsing" in a plexiglass cube at the Museum of Contemporary Art at 1pm. This is part of an exhibit.*
11/9 we open at Frohmans (Western a block north of Division) doors at 8ish.
11/13 we headline at the infamous Mutiny, show begins around 9.

More details to come. Join the friend list and get all the news plus new ultra low-fi recordings that the concrete layers union says are a more than suitable replacement for a sledgehammer. Beware the Bearhead.

* later that night, a band that Zach got kicked out of, is opening for a band that I got kicked out of, is opening for someone else at Sub-T's. Dejected art kids vs unemployed emo musicians in a no holds bared cage match of flailing skinny kids.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My 4 Wheelin' Brother

My Brother is getting married next year. He and his future wife, Kassy, live a mind boggling lifestyle; a wild ride of hiking, camping, rock climbing, ice climbing, fly fishing, white water rafting, and together, they have been confusing dieters from around the world. They are vegans with a plus, the plus being a full compliment of pork. They live on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and get regular visits from Black Widow Spiders, curious Elk, Long Horn Mountain Goats and the occasional Bear. This life they lead is awe inspiring to me, mostly because I am currently sitting in my underwear at 1pm and am amazed by anyone who wakes up before 10am. Each of them have probably hiked a good 2-3 miles up a glacier or down the Grand Canyon before I've even slapped the snooze button for the first of 12 times. They posted this video on their wedding site. It's a high speed tour of her parents pork farm and I think it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Buddy the House Plant: This Lily's no Pansy

There’s no culture like Horticulture like no culture I know.

This is my obsession. These are my buddies. They mean more to me that you ever will. I am making trading cars for my house plants, this is the first.

Spathiphyllum: The Peace Lily

Name: Spathiphyllum
Pronounceable Name: The Peace Lily
Nick Names: Monkey Dick, The Green Peace Monster, Steve
Age: 5 1/5 years
Number of times re-potted: 5 (6 including a freezer bag, which isn't a pot)
Other facts:
This is the one that started it all, this exact plant. It was a gift from a heart-breaker who thought that my pig sty apartment needed something to brighten it up. Over the course of it's 5 1/2 year life, this Peace Lily has lived in 7 different apartments, has been split in half to be donated to a kindergarden class along with a plastic penguin, has traveled over 1600 miles in shotgun of my (down deceased) pick-up truck while planted in a plastic freezer bag of dirt, and has been brought back from the brink of death multiple times. At it's most meager moments, it was only 5 semi-healthy/semi-dead leaves in a large coffee mug which was it's home after living in the plastic bag. Now, in all it's glory, my Peace Lily has the largest pot in the house, is a whopping 3'6" and takes up an entire window by itself.

Interest and Hobbies:
Architecture, WWII documentaries, Mini Golf, Women with missing toes, Turkish folklore.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CLP #9: - Semicolons Are For People Who Don't Get Enough Fiber

Craig's List Project #9

Well, that was a surprise. The ladies that responded actually impressed me, they had complete thoughts and complete sentences and twisted senses of humor, just like me. I assumed that anyone reading my most recent post would be tempted to write back to me, they might write two or three sentences before realizing that it would 'be a gross miscalculation of self preservation to allow that many red flags to go unheeded.' That's what buzzes though my head when I think of talking to me. Actually, that only buzzes through my head after I've ordered and eaten multiple shinny, sweaty hotdogs that have been rolling for God-knows-how-long in the local 7-eleven's hotdog roller. Regardless. What I didn’t assume was that these people would be cool. Here are some highlights, now etched in e-stone for all freak shows to see.

“Your post gives me hope. [It] was so horribly refreshing that I couldn’t resist responding...that, and you are tall and lanky which I love.” At this point in my life, I’ve figured out that I could scream to the world that I am a baby-seal-beating, puppy-eating, Scientologist, Republican, clown-suit-at-the-gun-range-wearing scum bag and there would be someone winking back at me, whispering “I think that’s hot, baby.” I’ll never understand it. Onward! “Why am I on CL? For the same reasons you are. It’s easy to look at it as a last ditch effort or a place for all of the a-holes…” Ahem, very easy. “…but maybe not. I will be happy to continue this interaction after I am off of work and at home in my sweats and having my left-over Chinese food.” And just like that, I’m interested. It’s not the standard, “I’m smart and sexy and love to wear a silk teddy while making bacon for my lover’s breakfast at 3pm,” bullshit. That is the standard, right? This is a down to earth, “deal with it” type of response. The exact kind I wasn’t expecting. This lady has prioritized cold, left-over Lo Mein before me, and that’s a good choice. Being lower than Lo Mein means you can only go upwards, so I decided to write her back.

After sending her this picture of me head first in a snow bank, which is a result of Shawn's blizzard-shopping-cart-driving skills, while still reserving the right to “crush her dreams like I would a sandwich made with Wonder Bread,” she respond again. “Who has time to put with mornons? I don't. I will now go and fester in my cube, which is really more like an icebox. My office could double as a meatlocker. You are welcome to squash my dreams like wonderbread. I prefer [you] to tear off the crust [of my dreams] and roll it into a tiny ball of [crushed dream] dough.” Either she has called me a moron and is a butcher, or she thinks I’m a genius and likes playing with her food, or both, all of which turn me on in some strange way which I’m sure has an abbreviation in the Casual Encounters section. Regardless. I don’t think I’ll hear from her again, as I had to work in Rhode Island for the week and received this discouraging message while I was out of town and not responding to the world outside of my national touring wedding band. “Did I become a Wonder Bread Sandwich?” No. You are not an easily crushable, porous, starch based vending machine product that no one really wants but will buy in a heartbeat for $1.75 during lunch hour delirium. You are so much more than that. Onward!

Here is my favorite response.
Lady - "I have no interest in dating you, but i think i love you!"
Obsquatch - "I love that you love not dating me. We are so good not together and just perfect for ourselves. I'll always wonder about what we never thought about sharing with each other."
Lady - "I think that you are going to be the best relationship that I have never had! I think it is better for you to know now, that I drive a REALLY fast car, and I only date men that have lots of money and own a condo with a rooftop deck so i can watch the cub games. Thanks for trying though!"

You will plague my dreams, woman of my plagued dreams. Onward!

”Dear A-hole (as you've not included any sort of name)
I must say, your post def[initely] brought a smile to my face. Although, what a naughty trick to play! I just thought I'd drop a line and say thanks for making my otherwise soul sucking morning a lil more entertaining.

[Expletive Deleted, and by expletive, I mean her name, which is Jessica]
P.S. As a fellow truck driver, I can sympathize with your loss...I can only imagine the heartbreak that would follow the loss of such a great machine.”

I wrote her back, stating that she, as a fellow truck driver, might be the only person who correctly perceives my new car as a ture and dear loss. By some mystery of time and space, Jessica and I started discussing alternative weight loss programs. Including the following:

The Inferno: Dante’s Diet. Like in the 8th circle of hell, dieters/falsifiers are forced to run in a river of shit while being whipped by demons for eternity. This targets the abs and the hamstrings while strengthening the core and gives you a great cardio work out. Loss of soul and eternal damnation are potential side effects.
The Prometheus Weight Loss Program: The Stolen Fire Of The Gods Burns Away Your Blubber Overnight. Eat everything you want, carbs, sugars, fats, everything! Never work out and still lose weight due to a giant eagle ripping out your digestive track every night while you are chained to a rock. Act now, supplies are limited. Call in the next 10 minutes and get a second intestine-eating, giant eagle free!
Drinkin’ Drano: A Time Tested Cult Classic Weight Loss Program Are you not a rocket scientist and still want to lose weight? Well, you don’t need a degree in aerospace engineering to understand the fluid mechanics of this program! Drink Drano, lose weight. A nice spin on the traditional laxative method.
Honestly, I came up with these by myself, Jessica didn't provide much support for my breakthrough weight lost ideas, but she was trying. And that’s what counts here, public humiliation. Onward!

Durring this whole process, my true love did reveal herself to me. Grace plucks my heartstrings completely unlike anyone else has ever plucked me before. She is elegant and feminine, yet stern and probably able to pummel me. We had a fleeting romance, sweet nothings posted on the wings of butterflies and then it was over. My “dirty skanky-ness” drove her from me and in a fit of passion and rage it was declared that, “you [meaning I, Obsquatch] be dumped, bizzo.” Grace, I’ll win your heart yet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CLP #8: WWJT,B? Who Would Jesus Taze, Bro?

I couldn't help myself. I only hope cupid is a merciful second shot, cause last time that son of a bitch gave me a black eye, and kicked me when I was down.

incase you missed it, here is my posting for me, really.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I quit smoking in January while hacking up a lung at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with my brother's fiancée. Adam, my brother, was drooling away in La-La land on the couch of their house at the time, drugged up to the high heavens on pain killers due to a spiral fracture he sustained to his leg while he was white water rafting. The drugs made him constipated and boy did he let us know. He called his movements, “grenades” during this medicated time peroid. A steel rod, 2 screws, 4-6 pins and two surgeries later, his leg is fine and he and his fiancée are rock climbing again like champions, or more like Billy Goats. I haven't had a drag of a cigarette in over 9 months.

When I was a smoker, I liked to think that I was an incredibly good smoker. I smoked obsessively, almost 2 packs a day. I’d smoke the most on nights when I'd go out on the town, or days when I had something important to do that I didn’t really want to do, like breath. Smoking was the very first and the very last part of my day, everyday. I could blow smoke rings, great smoke rings. I could blow them across a large room, at people. I used to name my smoke rings when I was bored and smoking alone: Jan, Bob, Timmy, Peter, Oswald, Denise, Theo, Rudy. I enjoyed blowing smoke rings into things, kind of like target practice. I’d shoot smoke rings out of my mouth at glass table tops, or towards window fans, or through screens and watch them get ripped apart. I used to blow smoke rings over hot cups of coffee and watching them catch a "thermal" and float up to the ceiling. Coffee and cigarettes go incredible well together, just like crystal meth and more crystal meth. People would ask me how I do it, how I blew smoke rings and I’d try my best to explain. “Make an O with your lips, put your tongue in the middle of your mouth, open your jaw as wide as it will go and pop it half way shut.” Once I had explained this, the people that asked for directions would try in vain to make smoke rings. Mostly, they just looked like fools making fish faces while I pummeled them with puffy, billowing, perfect smoke rings to the face and chest. I could average about 5-7 good smoke rings per drag of a cigarette. The first two would always be the best; the thickest, fastest, and most accurate, and the last couple rings would almost always fall apart instantly. I dreamed of learning how to blow smoke X’s so that I could play myself in tic-tac-toe.

I always completely put out my butts when I finished a cigarette. I, to this day, hate anyone who lets a smoke burn out in an ashtray. I only set one trashcan on fire through all my 15 years as a smoker. In that same amount of time, I’ve managed to burn holes in 3 of my favorite winter jackets, 2 black tee shirts, a pair of parachute pants, a jump suit, a red silk tie (I hate red ties but I always seem to buy them. Maybe I’m a republican, maybe I’m a communist, maybe I’m a matador.) a green pair of Umbro shorts from grade school gym class, as well as countless pillows, couches and coffee tables. I play bass so I have thick calluses on my fingertips and could pick up burning embers and “cherries” without really feeling it. That being said, I burned myself quite often as well as my clothing. I never put a cigarette out on my tongue or hand, but I’ve accidentally burned my little Obsquatch after I dropped a smoke in my lap while driving. That wasn’t very much fun.

I could hand roll smokes perfectly, with or without a filter. I never used a rolling machine. I could roll a cigarette while driving down Mass Ave in my pickup truck (also know as The Deathtrap) in the middle of winter going 50mph, through the snow, surrounded by crazy angry swerving Bostonian drivers while listening to classic rock radio and not increase my car insurance premium or the deductible. I, only once, have raided an ashtray, unrolled the butts and rerolled the used tobacco into a new-ish cigarette. It tasted like pan-seared ass in a garbage reduction sauce with subtle hints of putrid plum and rat poison. Although I never did it again, I thought about it when I was poor and being seduced by he cigarette-butt-porcupine living in Swampthing’s ashtray/desk (see “The Bachelor Party”).

I have owned and lost a total of 5 Zippo lighters, two of which were gifts from very close friends, one of which was once my roommate. He gave me a red Zippo that I lost in a taxi a few months after he gave it to me. I chased the taxi for a quarter of a block until I was completely out of breath. I had made up a rule that all red lighters belonged to me because I had been losing lighters at an alarming rate. I decided to only buy red Bic lighters and I claimed all red Bic lighters I saw to be mine. My roommate, unknown to me, already owned a red Bic lighter before this rule went into effect. I stole his lighter with the annexing zeal of the British Empire. As to never have his lighters annexed again, he bought me a red Zippo, which I lost because I wasn’t fit enough to chase down a slow moving taxi to a stop light 100 feet away.

The first cigarette I ever smoked was a Camel Straight. I was 13. I smoked it in the woods behind my house with a friend of mine who lived around the corner. He had the pack of cigarettes locked up in a toolbox he hid under his bed. He had bought a combination lock for this toolbox so that his mother, even if she found the toolbox, would not know he was committing the eternal sin of smoking at the tender age of 13. We took extra precautions to sneak undetected out of his house, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon in the middle of summer, and secretly and silently crept through the woods for a half hour until we were sure we were under deep enough cover that no parents that might have trailed us would see or smell us smoking. I had two in a row and was so proud of myself for not coughing or barfing, that I went back to my friend’s house the next day to smoke two more of his smokes. I started bumming smokes the day I started smoking them.

I preferred Old Gold cigarettes to all other brands. If I couldn’t have those, I’d choose Lucky Strike Lights (with a filter), then Parliaments and finally Camels. I would buy discount brands with laundry money when things got tight; Basic full flavor cigarettes were known to be an appetizer, a garnish and a dessert to a meal made up of Ramen Noodles and “Processed Homogenized Cheese Food Product” sandwiches. The neighborhood shopkeepers knew my brand (depending on which odd variety they stocked) and would have them ready for me when I walked in on my way to or from work. They also knew that if I came in at 10:59 pm, one minute before they closed for the night, and I was laden with quarters, nickels and dimes, that I’d be buying 100’s.

Buying smokes by the carton was something I never did, unless I was in the south where you can buy a carton of smokes for the price of one pack in the north. Being a carton smoker requires the smoker to admit that they absolutely must have access to cigarettes at every given moment. At this point, one should also admit to not knowing why he or she would keep cartons of cigarettes in the freezer. That’s where carton smokers keep the packs they haven’t gotten to yet, in the icebox. For some unknown reason and by some unknown process, “it keeps them fresh.” The freezer is where they must go once you’ve bought them from a store that has kept them unrefrigerated for weeks, maybe months since they came off that unrefrigerated delivery truck which was packed at a dry storage facility, which warmly held onto millions of cigarettes made at some sweaty factory in the south, where it is almost always hot. Keep those smokes on ice, carton smokers.

I liked soft packs because I never really knew how many butts I had already smoked or how many I had left until I had to raid my laundry money again. I didn’t wear a watch for the same reason; I didn’t want to know how long it had been since my last smoke. To keep my smoking under control, I created rules for when I could have my next cigarette. When I was driving, I’d allow myself one cigarette per street, and I’d follow that rule to a T, even if it meant going the long way so I could make more turns and smoke more butts. What’s four extra right hand turns if those right hand turns are the scenic route through flavor country. At work, I could only take a smoke break if the computer I was working on needed to do an unsupervised process, such as restart (“I don’t know what’s wrong, but I think restarting with solve the problem.”) or print a piece of paper (thanks to a 1992 first generation laser printer which had a 4 minute warm up cycle). At a bar, I would only smoke if there were no cigarettes butts in any one of the many ashtrays sitting on the bar. I’d take it upon myself to put those ashtrays to work. Obviously someone put all those ashtrays out there for a reason, and obviously someone cleaned out those ashtrays regularly for a reason, and that reason was to support and encourage my smoking habit. I had no self-imposed smoking restrictions while watching TV, sleeping, shadow boxing, doing yoga, needlepoint or showering.

Being a non-smoker has been great. I hate the smell of smoke, and I hate the smell of me after hanging around smokers. Chicago has passed a smoking ban, which takes effect on January 1st, 2008. With only a few months left with the stink, I am as cynical as ever. I hope never to smoke again, but I might just slap on a nicotine patch once in a while just for fun. They give you really messed up dreams. For real. If you want my advice, which is awesome advice, then quit smoking and find some meaning in your life, ya’ filthy rapscallion.

Friday, October 05, 2007

CLP #7:“This May Seem Like Gibberish To You, But I Think I’m In A Tragedy.”

Craig's List Project #7

Backfire [bak-fahyuhr] [intransitive verb] – A plan or action that rebounds adversely on the originator; to have the opposite effect of what was intended.

A few years ago I discovered that using swear words in sentences to increase the validity and intensity of a statement or opinion was futile and counterproductive. More over, it made me look dumber. Dumber than what, you might ask? Just plain dumber. I started to doubt the marvel and stirring majesty of something that was “fucking awesome,” and rightfully so. Replacing class with crass to get a point across was a mistake that I made for years as an idiot. It backfired. By dropping F-bombs, telling fart jokes and making indecent comments about one’s mother, I got a bit of the stink stuck on me. The same idea holds true for Blogging.

What was meant to be a laughable experiment in exploiting the rampant idiocy of the personals section of Craig’s List, ended up being an unpleasantly ironic adventure in self debasement, emotional detachment and personal humiliation as I basically put my self respect through a cheese grater. At first, I thought it was funny. By being totally dishonest, I honestly thought that I was funny. And I probably was. But the whole project changed as I moved from looking at it from an ‘anyone looking for companionship on Craig’s List is comically socially screwed up and must be humiliated,’point of view, to a project that made me feel like, ‘I am some kind of heartless, soulless monster for seeking out people to humiliate in a context where they are looking for companionship. I am socially screwed up and that is humiliating.’ I am only talking about my take on my own actions. I’ve gotten plenty of comments from friends and strangers that would be much more destructive had they used less swear words. I guess the F-word is a blessing in disguise.

Again, I ask myself, “Hey dipshit! This isn’t a question!” That’s true. I guess I don’t ask myself that, but, “Hey dipshit! What’s the point?” seems to be a recurring conundrum. And after asking myself this enough times, I started to figure out how self-centered I actually am, conscientiously and sub-conscientiously. I wanted to know about other folks, how ridiculous and shallow they are, how they would react to what I thought was minimal stimulation. I learned more about myself. I ended up learning that I could easily deceive people into amusing me. I also learned that I like deceiving people who I think are simple, which means that I am selfish, deceptive and shallow when I put my mind to it. On top of all that, I learned that I need to find a real girlfriend, which means that I’ve got to stop being selfish, stop being deceptive, and stop being a fucking dipshit... or stop being a dip.