Sunday, March 30, 2008

How To Lose A Job In One Stupid Question - OR - I Know Why The Caged Housewife Sings

The things that have happened to me that I like out way the needs of the many. My life continues to be good while your life only gets worse and worse.

I started my new job at Gethsemane Garden Center on the north side of Chicago a few weeks ago. Today, they gave me a Gethsemane T-shirt, which means that I was worth hiring. They also gave me a book about plants and a little bag full of plant clippings that I have planted and will have to keep alive in order to become a full time employee. I honestly live about 100 feet away from this place yet it is a whole different world within its walls. I wear an apron (which I fold in half to make it seem more like a utility belt; complete with bat-pruning-sheers, bat-sharpie-pen, bat-price-tags, and exploding-shark-repellent-bat-spray), and I answer questions about plants, sunlight and dirt.

I now have more houseplants than you can shake a goat at. The newest ones include, but are not limited to: Silver dollar Jade (carjacking, crack head, deadbeat-dad asshole), Purple Passion (total slut with endearing eyes and a taste for the tasteless), White Ice Begonia (investment banker that has missed out on his youth and is making up for it by wearing punk band T-shirts to the office), goldfish plant (Miss misunderstood, prom queen, republican, close talker, scary driver, jaded single mother of a seven year old rubix cube champion), Mass Cane (Siberian taxi driver with no eyebrows, a fake leg and a two hour story about the invention of shoelaces), and Jasmine Belle-of-India (cross-eyed and single-toothed harbinger of the apocalypse, drives a '72 Brat and plays harmonica at other peoples concerts between yelling requests for more pickles), just to name a few. They waste away all day and keep me up at night. While I toil and work my fingers to the bone to keep their little plant stomachs full and their little plant attentions occupied with soccer games, ballet class and piano lessons, their voices in my head get louder and louder. It’s enough for me to want to go crazy, give them all away, buy a mini-van, a leather studded thong, earphones with radio antenna on each side and walk around town with a goldfish in a huge martini glass, reciting Mother Goose and Kafka while eating raw hot dogs and drinking mayonnaise and prune juice. I’m not sure if you want to hear more about these guys or not, but don’t worry, there will be a lot more talk about plants in my future.

I, surprisingly, was offered three other jobs this week, all of which would have paid more money than the garden center. The most interesting of which was an interview for a $48K + benefits position doing tech support for a company that designed user-unfriendly bankruptcy assistance software for bankruptcy lawyers (Grace, wanna team up and make the world dept free and full of bad credit?). I asked if I could bring my flamethrower to work. They asked me how I got the interview in the first place. I shrugged, said I wasn’t sure, stood up and walked out. I’ll never get a good paying job with benefits, and I just don’t know why.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Buddy The House Plant; The Voices In My Head

I’ve posted a few notes about my plants and how they take on a bit of personality once I get them into my apartment. Either they wanna wrap you up side the head with a tire iron or sacrifice you to the Fire God, Zamphinod, my plants seem to have developed rather strong opinions and almost dangerous behavior quirks. Let me introduce you to a one more member of my secret society of the plantish.


This on is my favorite

Latin Name: Haworthia Attenuata
Common Name: “Zebra Plant”
Star Wars Name: Hawat Sucafri - Atascion of Fariptu

Oh, Haworthia. You are the one that started this crazy love affair. The madness of falling in love with lower life forms started with you, ya little spiky bastard. I saw you in a succulent wreath over a year ago and made the people at the store remove you from your cacti brothers and sisters and put you in a tiny plastic pot so I could take you home with me. I made the people mix you some soil and sand and I got instructions on how to take care of you, even though the instructions were to “basically leave it alone.” I took you home, put you in a bigger pot against the instructions that were given to me and put you in my window. There you sat, in my bedroom window, for weeks and weeks while I pretended to ignore you. I was only pretending, though. I couldn’t stop thinking about you; how tough you are, how bumpy your little white ridges feel, how cool your leaf spikes grow in circular patterns. I would come home from work and pick you up and play with you, feel your texture and give you succulent food. And how you grew! No one loves you as much as I do. Just stay with me tonight, just be near me while I dream, just make me smile that crazy smile and you and I can trip the life fantastic together! What? Don’t talk to me like that? Stop yelling at me! Why do I always have to be the bad guy? Can’t, for just once in my life, I come home from a long day of work and have dinner waiting for me? Yeah, well, your mother is a complete idiot, and I never liked her. That planter makes your butt look big. What a nightmare you turned out to be. I want my Jefferson Starship collection back.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One of the Girls Invades The Northside - OR - Terror Level Green, With A Chance Of Song, Dance And Vomit

As the storms of fortune shower each of us with a deluge of riches, power, women and small porcelain clown dolls, One of the Girls wants to share our copious success with you. As Chicago’s only Blue-Irish-Folk-Grass band and the owners of a vastly successful men’s lingerie chain, One of the Girls invite you to join us in celebration of St Patrick’s Day with a weeklong series of shows, smattered across the north side of Chicago. The "Girls" have been working out and doing Pilates to strengthen our core and to finally get that hourglass figure we’ve been dreaming of. We are primed and ready to conquer even the most sober St. Patties Day non-enthusiast, and dare I say, even the most English. I recommend starting the celebration early and joining us and our toned, sexy bodies at the RedlineTap on Tuesday, tomorrow. We will be performing with Sexfist (Chicago’s premier Bluegrass authority), and might possibly even do a tune or two with them, starting at 9pm. Bring a friend, bring a lover, bring a goat, but leave your morals at home because when “One of the Girls is opening for Sexfist at the Redline,” you don’t want your morals to get in the way of having a good time.

Here is a list of all of our up coming shows this week. We demand that you attend all of them.

Cheers!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dr. Potty Mouth – or – A Funny Thing Happened To Me At My Prostate Examination.

Due to an $800 health insurance billing screw up, I needed to find a new doctor. After almost four hours of searching the web, flipping through packets, calling Blue Cross, calling doctors, becoming depressed and giving up, eating a sandwich, reading some Kafka, becoming confused, cleaning my room, becoming motivated, resuming my search, adjusting my benefits, increasing my deductible, joining the Blue Choice Select Health Care Network, then disowning the Blue Choice Select Health Care Network, finding Jesus (he was wedged under my couch next to some old socks and a neck tie I’ve been looking for for months), and contemplating the “oxford comma” argument, it turns out that I live across the street from a doctor who is part of my network. You’d think that pissing in the alley behind your house is not a good way to find a health care provider, but in my case the relief was doubled.

The Rev. Tripp Hudgins has a blog. He recently posted a video about taking part in a panel discussion about communication. He touches upon the fact that there is a lack of a sign language “word” for poverty. During this panel discussion, the Rev admits to tossing F-bombs around with reckless abandon. As I have pointed out in previous posts, a dirty mouth usually deteriorates the validity of a point, but when it’s a Southern Baptist minister on a panel of def lesbians telling a room full of college students that there is a community of people based around the use of cuss words, then the point is happily taken. Preachers can say “Mother Fucker” in public without consequence; in fact people will take them more seriously in some contexts. “The rewards of the collar,” as Tripp would say.

I started working out a lot this year, not quite a New Year’s resolution but close enough so that I feel like I’m letting myself down if I don’t go do something active at least twice a week. I run along the lake, do push-ups before bed, I’ve joined a gym, I lift weights and I even can touch my toes for the first time since high school since I’ve started doing Yoga on Wednesdays. I’ve started eating better also; less pasta, more veggies and things that need peeling rather than icing. Regardless, I regularly slip up and get some White Castle at 3am after a long night working for rich douche bags at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. But, honestly, who cares; I can enjoy a slider or 6 now and again. I also have a soft spot for breakfast burritos. Either way, early in the morning or late at night, these fast food binges take a toll on my innards. I get heart burn from Coke, the farts from White Castle and the runs from anything made at McD’s.

I have recently wanted to get my cholesterol checked as part of my “I’m Too Lazy To Think Up A Better Slogan For Losing The Weight I Gained After Quitting Smoking” campaign, so I scheduled an appointment at the doctors office that I had recently pee-ed on. He asked about my health. I told him I was healthy. He seemed up tight. He asked about my job. I told him I was a musician and a sound engineer. He seemed to relax and told me he was a singer. I was on my best behavior. He asked about my eating habits. I told him about my inner turmoil after fast food. He asked about my asshole, more specifically if I have ever had someone jam anything up there to check on my prostate. I said “no.” I seemed up tight. He suggested I think about getting an exam. He started freely swearing shortly after that in very odd places. “Holy shit, your heart is in great health. It is pumping twice as much fucking blood as a normal person’s heart with each fucking pump,” and “You mother fucking badass, your blood pressure is low as shit, bitch,” and “fuck yeah, player, you are a healthy-ass mother fucker.” Ok, maybe it wasn’t quite like that, but the f-bomb made it’s way into conversation a few times shortly after he recommended that I get my asshole invaded. I guess if it’s your job to tell people that you need to stick your finger in their butt, then you’d better be able to say “shit” and “fuck” to the people who own those butts. I don’t think anyone would say that examining prostates is one of the “rewards of ten years of medical school.” Turn your head to the left, and fucking cough.

monday videoblog: talking about talking

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How To Turn A Crappy Song Into A Smash Hit

Just add Manic Depressive Muppets.