Friday, November 28, 2008

My Own Personal Financial Crisis – or – Your Call Is Being Rerouted To The Land Of Wrath.

I try to call my folks every once in a while. This is what they had to say to me this weekend when I called them.
“Your call has been redirected to sprint customer finance services, please do not hang up.”
“Hi Mom! It’s me, Obsquatch. You sound weird, are you alright?”
“To make a payment to apply to your over limit or past due balance, please hold.”
“How are things in the frozen Tundra of Vermont. I really miss it; the snow, the mountains, my old friends, and of course you and pops.”
“An immediate payment that satisfies your over limit or past due account may instantly reconnect service.”
“I’m having a good time here in Chicago as winter sets in. I like the cold, but I think I’m the only person who does. Oh yeah, thanks for that bread recipe; I make my own bread now. I’m trying to get back east for Christmas or New Years.”
“Para espanol, empuje el numero cinco…”
“I gotta run. Say hi to pops for me. Thanks Mom!

So, I haven’t paid the bill in a little while. Whoops. In all actuality, it’s kind of nice not being able to call anyone. I can still get calls, I just can’t call anyone back. And I can’t check my voice mail, or get text messages, or send text messages, or play World Of Warcraft: Cellphone Edition, which I didn’t anyway. Having a phone that only works when you don’t use it is like wearing a muzzle… on vibrate.

In other news, the Seven Deadly Sins Project has started the downward spiral of despair and self-loathing that all my little projects seem to end up doing. The reason this is happening is because I have a serious problem with the “Christmas Spirit,” mostly because I think it is pure and utter bullshit. Most religious historians admit that Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas day, or anywhere near this time of year, or, for that matter, in a manger, or in front of three kings, or under a big glowing star. Most of the Dec 25th stuff is a Christian adaptation and combination of Roman (Attis), Greek (Dionysus), and Persian (Mithra) Pagan elements, all of which focus around the winter solstice. Attis was born from a virgin mother, that almond loving slut, and Dionysus was the divine son of Zeus, at least one of the eighty (he can also turn water into wine, among other parlor tricks), and Mithra’s birth was witnessed by shepherds and gift-bearing Magi. So it looks to me like lil’ baby Jesus was nothing but a faker, a liar, a copycat, at best a celestial plagiarist. And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna cut down a perfectly happy pine tree, cover it with popcorn, knick-knacks, patty-whacks, brick-a-brack and chocolate-covered pretzels, and think of it as some kind of birthday alter to a religious identity thief. Not in this dojo, mofo.

But Jesus’ obsession with stealing other children of God’s SS#’s is not why I don’t like Chirstmas, and it’s not the contrived, mass-capitalism that has gripped our nation, causing things like “Black Friday” and “The Christmas Effect.” It’s the fucking music. I am forced to listen to “The Holiday Light” radio station at the greenhouse. This causes massive amount of wrath to bubble up inside of me. It eventually spills out in sporadic fits of frothing madness. So, although not having paid my cell phone bill did cause me bouts of envy and greed, my wrath count has skyrocketed due to my dictated work soundtrack. Instead of giving you a list of the Seven Deadly Sins, I am going to provide you with a list of the most played Christmas songs over the course of an eight hour day.
Let It Snow – IV
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – VIII
O, Silent Night – XI (mostly Bocelli and Josh Groban)
On The First Noel – V
Jingle Bell Rock – III
All I Want For Christmas Is You – VII
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – VII
Little Drummer Boy – IV

Each time any of these songs makes it’s way to my ear drums, I feel like ripping the speakers out of the wall, setting them on fire, chanting some demonic incantation, ripping all my clothes off, and throwing myself into the fish pond. But remember that this is just a log of one day of the radio observation. We’ve been piping in “holiday music” for a week now, so if I add all these bits of rage together for the week, the numbers start looking like this.

Lust – 27
Wrath – 289
Gluttony – 11
Greed – 3
Pride – 29
Envy – 13
Sloth – 22

Thank god that Linus and Lucy is considered “Christmas Music.”

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Losing My Mind, Just In Time For The Hollidays - or - Sketchy Snowmen Talk To Me In My Dreams

Music by:
Faith No More - Jizzlobber from Angel Dust ©1992
Mr. Bungle - Ars Moriendi from California ©1999

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sons Of Susan Get Lost In Inertia - or - My, What A Nice Van You Have

Today, Chicago got its first snowfall. It didn’t stick around very long, but it never does. It was peaceful and beautiful and quiet and the whole of Chicago seemed to slow down and say, “Hey, I know that the next five months are going to be hell on Earth, but that’s kinda pretty.” It reminded me that I still haven’t written about the wedding that marked the end of the warm weather and the beginning of the cold weather. So without further ado, here is a recap of a part of Ryan and Hadley’s wedding as I remembered it a few days after the fact. Unfortunately for Ryan and Hadley, this part of their wedding has absolutely nothing to do with their wedding, but more to do with how I got there.

October 25th, 2008

Holy crap. Where to begin. I guess I have to make a list because lists are the best way for me to remember what actually happened while also aiding in the construction, demolition, embalment and the eventual resurrection of a time line of events that I don’t exactly remember, but have proof of their happening.

8am – woke up after 4 hours of sleep to meet Caroline for coffee
8:30am – Meet Alan in big white van that smells of beer, butt and Neitchz.
8:31am – Alan, Caroline and I wait for Mike in a parking lot at which point I cue up Surfin’ Bird by the Trashmen on the van stereo.
8:32am – Madness takes over as the volume knob on the borrowed van is cranked up in a way that would make nipples want to fall off and become sustenance farmers.
8:33am – Surfin’ Bird is dubbed the official song of the next 48 hours. Parking lot dance party / conniption fit ensues, onlookers take interest but do not interfere. Overcast skies, slight drizzle, light winds from the west, 85% chance of awesome.

8:34 – Everybody’s heard about the bird.
8:35 – Mike loads gear into van while Surfin’ Bird is declared the best song in the galaxy.
8:38am – Alan, and his new huge orange tinted sunglasses that fit over your normal glasses which have peripheral lenses in the ear pieces so you can see your ear hair growing, and also which come with a convenient clip that attaches to your sun visor so you don’t have to look for where you stashed them on your last road trip or last week’s visit to the old country buffet, gained a new persona. Van Guy VanDriver. When we would pass another van, he would say things like, “Hey, nice van, I have a van, too,” and, “My van has the power window / power locks / powerless passenger upgrade. What do you think about that, other van guy?”
9:30am – Picked up Freddie. Also picked up a rented digital P.A. system that I still haven’t paid for. With the successful assembly of 5 of 6 of the Sons Of Susan in a van, which was packed to the gills with equipment, instruments, and an exorbitant amount of clothing for one overnight trip, we headed to Michigan to play a wedding for our musician / alcoholic friend, Ryan. He was marrying his sweetheart and partner in crime, Hadley. In a world of darkness, sadness, and deadly sin, they are truly made of awesome. They are beacons of love and bacons of hope in a loveless world of single, bass playing people named Obsquatch.
10:00am – Overcast, drizzling, 70% chance of pointless arguments and tasteless humor.
10:01am – Obsquatch notes that, “the world truly needs more truly mad scientists like Nicola Tesla.” Discussion of Tesla’s positive vs. negative effect on the world followed including a discussion on whether or not he was responsible for an explosion that destroyed five hundred thousand square acres of land in Siberia in 1908, or it was aliens. The point was not brought up that Tesla might have been an alien, which would make both Van Guy VanDriver and me right.
10:27am – Freddie’s Jokes Are Horrible. Thus begins the “Every Bit Of Humor That Escapes Freddie’s Mouth Is Hilarious And Terrible” chronicles, or E.B.O.H.T.E.F.M.I.H.A.T.. Part 1 – “Why does Michael Jackson like twenty-eight year olds? Because there are twenty of them.”
10:32am – Groaning continues.
10:43am – The van that Van Guy VanDriver is driving at breakneck speeds, is equipped with XFM which is just like the real radio but a lot more expensive so that you don’t have commercials to cue you when to change the station. We began to play the radio game, where you get one point for being the first person in the Van of Terror to name the tune and one point for naming the band.
10:44am – Got sick of playing the radio game.
11:03am – EBOHTEFMIHAT Part 2 – "Liberace was great on piano but he sucked on organ."
11:15am – Everyone is happily forced to wear Van Guy VanDrivers Sunglasses. A photo was taken but because we were going so fast, time and space bent around us and the image is slightly altered. The sheer levels of awesome that were prevalent in the Cosmic Van of Radness also effected the photo.

11:20am – Van Guy VanDriver mentions, “my phone is so smart, it knows when we cross a time zone and automatically switches back an hour.”
Obsquatch responds, “That may be smart, but in a Terminator way because it just wants you to age faster and die off so that it can spend your hard earned money on internet porn.”
Van Guy – “My phone is so smart that it knows that you don’t ever need to spend a dime to get internet porn.”
Obsquatch – “Every phone knows that, but your phone is such a dork, I saw it playing Magic The Gathering in the high school cafeteria.”
Van Guy – “Nooooooo! Why, smart phone? Don’t you know that’s social suicide?”
12:30pm – Partly cloudy, windy, 90% chance of crappy food and indigestion.
12:31pm – We are burger KINGS!

I had a Burger King Veggie Burger with Chicken Fries, a truly confusing mix of vegetarian and carnivore fair. I also think I went back for a second burger called “Death by Bacon.”
12:35pm – In my mind, I renamed my second burger “Regrets by Bacon,” and relinquished control of my window to Van Guy.
1:07pm – Caroline suddenly shouts out, “I’m getting sick and tired or all these mother fucking snakes in this mother fucking van!”
1:45pm – I invented game I call Existential Rochambeau. Caroline and I got really good at it. It is just like paper-scissors-rock, except you make up what ever you want to use besides paper, or scissors, or rock because those three things always loose. The winner must me unanimously agreed upon which was easy when it was “Mushroom Cloud vs. Carebears” and "Van Guy VanDriver vs. Bad Pirate Impersonation" but got tricky at “Darth Vader vs. T-rex” and “Robot Dancing vs. Origami” and even harder at “Pez vs. Queen.” To clarify, it turned out to be all the Pez and all the Pez dispensers in the world vs. Queen and the legacy they left on Earth. Initially, Queen was declared the winner of this epic battle, but after mulitple appeals and numerous long distance phone calls, Pez eventually won. It was a long and arduous battle involving multiple member of my family and the, up to this point, totally forgotten 6th member of the band.
2:26pm – Van Guy VanDriver goes 87mph in a borrowed van that was given to us under the condition that we keep in around 65. The seat belts in the back do not work and I became a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, and Shaker all at once just to make sure I got one of them right in case the van suddenly transformed into a sub-sonic flaming ball of death.
2:34pm – Van Guy VanDriver pulls into our hotel and we meet up with the 6th Son of Susan, who was dearly missed during this road trip. The wedding is hours away and showers are needed, but before debriefing, this photo is snapped and the madness is frozen in time, forever.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The 80’s Just Got Even More Rad – or – This Guy’s Gonna Get An Ass Full Of Pipe Wrench

I know when I've found genius at work, and the person who remade these confusing 80's videos by replacing the lyrics of the tune with what is actually happening in the video is right up there on the genius chart. Just above "angry boxer turned super happy toaster spokesman" and right below the inventor of Chia Pet.

I crack up just thinking that someone had to storyboard the original videos at one point. I know that musicians are up for just about anything, especially when they were all super coked up in the 80’s, but just imagine some video director saying to you, “Ok, you’re gonna fly around a library following a librarian that will tweak your nose in front of a string quartet while the guitar player makes out with this chimp which should distract the viewers from that black guy kicking the crap outta the Jew in the Periodicals section.”

In other news, I’ve continued to keep track of my deadly sins but have started calling myself on them as they happen. This seems to creep out whomever I am talking to. I am starting to yell out the sin I commit, I pull out my little black book, flip through my easy-to-read sin tabs, and check off a deadly sin with out skipping a beat in the conversation. Here’s an example of the conversation to follow.

“What? What the hell was that, Obsquatch?”
“Well, if you really want to know… we were talking about how nobody really likes New Jersey except for people who live there, and I started thinking about these signs I used to see in Vermont that say ‘Don’t Jersey Vermont,’ and then I remembered the only time I went to New Jersey on purpose and how depressed I got looking at the endless suburban sprawl that New Jersey-ians call wilderness, and then I felt proud to grow up in such a beautiful place like Vermont. And that pride was deadly.”
“That, and I was picturing that blond in the coffee shop drinking her grande-caramel-half-caf-macchiato-double-shot-of-espresso-re-caf-with-soy butt naked.”
“Lust, right?”
“No. Sure she’s cute, but I really wanted to see her spill it all over herself and run out screaming naked bloody murder.”
“Right… wrath.”
“You got it. But you were kinda right, I was also picturing the crazy old lady out front of McDonalds riding a mechanical bull, wearing nothing but a tiara, and trying to eat a polish sausage doused in mustard. That’s lust.”
“Anyone ever tell you that you are one sick puppy?”
“Yes, and I’m proud of it, my friend.”
“I’m not envious of you.”
“Then you are half the deadly sinner that I am.”

Let’s do the numbers.
Lust – 19
Wrath – 44 (I had to take down all the decorations I had been putting up for three days, and replace them with new ones that don’t look as good. That was the closes I’ve ever come to the veins in my forehead exploding. Why is it Christmas time right now? Grrrrrrr… 45)
Gluttony – 7 (I’m so hungry)
Greed – 1 (I wanted S.O.S. to make more money for playing our friends wedding because we kicked so much ass! Crap! Pride! Crap!)
Pride – 22
Envy – 5
Sloth – 13 (It took me five days to move twenty feet. I’m easily distracted by Lust, Wrath, Gluttony and Pride)

Bite Me, Cactus - or - How To Look Suicidal While Maintaining That Natural, Healthy Skin Glow