Friday, January 30, 2009

This Is Why I Love The Rev - or - I'm A Dumb Fuck Too!

Tripp is my hero. This is my favorite video, ever.

There is a long story behind our friendship, maybe when I'm not so hung over on a weekday I will tell the tale of how we happened to meet. It involves a tiny car, a big river, a huge cup of coffee, and a drive-by baptism.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birds, Cars, And Melting Faces - or - This Is What The Unemployment Gods Wanted Life To Be Like

After weeks of filling out applications, tweaking resumes, writing cover letters and filling my life with let down after let down, I’ve decided to take a few days off and enjoy being under employed. The first step of which was to write something down for this little site. I failed, so I ended up making some prudent purchases at Target, including my new favorite fashion statement.

I still have a job as head audio engineer of a nine to twenty-one piece jobbing band, and that is what is paying the bills. I have work every weekend, including a few trips out of the windy city. I’ll soon be driving to a gig in Des Moines, Iowa, where good times go to die, and there is a trip to LA to play a “red carpet after party” in the planning stages right now. I could use some sunshine, palm trees and decadence. There is work for me, but I much prefer having a day job as well. I feel it validates my existence by forcing me to put on pants before 1pm. I haven’t written anything down in a while, but I’ve been making these little videos because I’ve been inspired by Krumbine. He is like this obnoxious little angel on my shoulder who tells me that, although financially I’m not worth a flaming pile of alpaca crap, my creative juices don’t have to stop creeping out of me, and subsequently creeping out a large percentage of the elderly. Alas, Krumbine has recently posted a video that has thrust him and a few of his constituents into a wider limelight than the one that shined on him previously. The video is about boobs, of course.

So, he’s famous. Did I have a point? Um…

Yes, so I’ve been looking all over for work for the last month or so; I edit and mail out on average twelve to fifteen resumes and cover letters a day. But, as of last Thursday, I have decided to give up for a week. The funny thing is that as soon as I gave up, good things started happening. This last weekend was, simply put, my best weekend ever. Here is a seemingly endless five-point list of what happened to me over the last few days. Let's have a parade.


I was hired to read some scripture as part of an ASL (American Sign Language) class for translators in training. This course was, obviously, for translation of sacred scriptures in church, so the class was held at the North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago. I’ve honestly been inside of a church three times since 1994; one of them was a Unitarian service, which is the religious equivalent of blowing bubbles for God's amusement. Another one was a gig that my Irish band, One Of The Girls, was hired to do as part of a service about the Trinity. We played a song called, “All God’s Creatures Have a Place In The Choir” and I was allowed to distractingly moo like a madman through out the entire piece. And my last and most recent jaunt into God’s cabana was in December 2006, when a mostly messy, slightly pungent, hippy Jewish girl and I attended Tripp’s Christmas Sermon. He talked about cookies, in what I like to call, his “God voice.” The big, booming voice that I don't hear when he is singing the chorus of "Take On Me" in the band. I consider myself to be spiritual, but in no way affiliated with any religion in particular and am more of a heathen, or heretic, or sinner or blasphemer than anything else. The point being when I heard that I was going to be reading scripture in a Church, I was afraid that the walls were going to catch on fire and the building was going to crumble around me. When I got my script, I realized that I was getting a swift kick in the nuts but God himself. Here are some snippets of what I read, in Church, to some deaf people. The irony does not escape me.

A reading of Paul to the Corinthians 6:12-20

I will not be dominated by anything.

“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.”

Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?

For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

I missed the translation of “fornication” by the ASL translator as I was reading because I was more focused on having to potentially dodge lightning bolts from the heavens, but I imagine it was a lot of pelvic thrusts and the pointer-finger-in-and-out-of-the-opposite-fist gesture. The Winged Man was the pastor for this sermon class. He is another on my “on Gods good side” friends, and had previously picked out the scripture as part of a sermon he had delivered a week or two previous to this class, and upon my arriving at the church, he asked me if I wanted to say “fornication” or not, to which I eagerly replied, “totally!” Now, I wasn’t expecting to steer deaf folks, or their translators, away from making whoopee. In fact, I agree more with what fornicator Jenna Jameson had to say about fornicating in an interview with William Shatner.

Jenna – Orgasms... I mean they are fun but, that’s like the period at the end of the sentence. I like all the verbage.
Shatner – Oh I see.

The sky did not roll up like a scroll, the moon did not drip blood, the sun was not blotted out, but what did happen was I was asked by the instructor of the class to be part of a conversational ASL translation class. Basically, she wants to pay me to talk to deaf people about anything on my mind and have students translate my blathering madness into ASL. I am totally into this as I think that, just by talking, I can sprain someone’s wrist and confuse the hell out of a deaf person. I wonder what I sound like in sign language.


Mar Caribe is a great band, they played at the Hideout. I went, had a blast and got some side work as a sound engineer for a week long residency at The Whistler, which is Chicago’s hip new bar. Earlier that day, I trimmed up a Ficus Benjamina tree at a rich persons house. I made $75 and trashed her living room while she worked out on a Nortic Trac even though there was plenty of snow on the ground to actually go skiing. Rich people are the opposite of rad. After I had her money, I went to Target, bought a chin up bar, a new shower curtain, a dust pan, some Edamame, and blue sweat band. I love that sweat band. More than you will probably love anything in your life. I wear it a lot. I ended the night with a bunch of drinks with Alan from the Sons of Susan. We went to the Sovereign on Broadway, where it’s always $2PBR bottle night. Some lady had her purse on the bar where I was sitting and had moved down three seats and wasn’t paying attention to it, so I walked up to her with her purse and said, “Don’t worry, I didn’t go through all your things and take your money because I am rich. Filthy stinking rich.” I was wearing my brand new sweat band and a ripped plaid flannel at the time. I know how the rich people dress. Alan is awesome, we got drunk, again, which is one of my favorite ways of ending a good day.


I finally got to go to work for real. It had been six weeks since the band I work with had a gig, and I was itching for some mixing. I was realizing that I could survive on just the sound work alone, and I could start really focusing on going back to school to get a Masters, or a clue at what I want to do to make money. I was also realizing that my sweat band is a driving force for good in my life, so I made a video about it.


This day made the shit river that is currently my life seem little easier to paddle down.I called Alan and Nathan and we hopped into my car to go to a pet store.
I bought a mouse for Ikus.
They checked out the finches.

I got to hold this guy.

I am seriously contemplating buying a tarantula. There is a blue one at the store. Yes, she is blue. She has red feet. She eats crickets and babies. She will live to be forty years old. After holding the one that is not blue, I am almost positive that I will buy the blue one. I am going to wait ten days and get used to the idea of maybe owning a poisonous spider. It might be a social red flag, and isn’t a step in the right direction of getting a girlfriend, but the little lady is completely made of awesome.
After holding the tarantula, we went back to Nathan and Alan’s pad and played Trivial Pursuit. The questions were lame and only one person got a pie piece after a half hour. Ally said that my negative energy was affecting the cards; I think at that point I told the actual cards to fuck off, just to make sure my negative energy was not being lost on them. I got frustrated and left, like the jerk I am. I went to see my buddy Colby. He and some of the finest musicians in Chicago, were playing Frank Zappa’s album / rock opera “Joe’s Garage” Parts I, II, and III front to back. He has been working on this project for nearly fifteen years. To say it was a success is an understatement. This is the only way I can describe it. At one point, the two guitar players were soloing and a friend of mine leaned over and said, “They are melting each others' faces.” In fact, they were melting faces throughout the packed bar. I think I drank somewhere around thirteen Guinness while my face was being melted. I've never felt so plooked.


I continued to not care that I wasn’t looking for a job. Swampthing works as a automotive photographer. He gets to test drive shiny new cars and he stopped by my place with a toy.

After the joy ride, he told me that his wife was going to a transvestite burger joint to play bingo and that I should come over and eat chili. I followed directions. I’ve had more fun this past week than I have in years, and I continue to not send out resume after resume, cover letter after cover letter, and I’m smiling about it. It’s about fucking time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Loss Is Like Wet Newspapers - or - That Is One Rocking Tear Solo

My good friend, Esther, recently lost her father. She spent a lot of time at his bedside while he was in the hospital. She says she now cries whenever she does the dishes. I have never experienced anything close to that kind of loss, but I wanted to make her feel better, so last night she and I drank a bottle of wine and tried to laugh about anything. We talked about her family, and we talked about my family. She told me how her dad had little nicknames for her and her sisters, they weren't inventive nicknames, just the first syllable of their names, but that is how the sisters refer to each other now, by their father given nicknames. She told me how she never liked his new wife and how he would brush that off with a smile. “Oh, Es, she’s alright.” I told her about my Grandmother. How she used to always carry cinnamon Dentyne to keep my brother and I quiet, and how she used to make baseballs out of matzo ball soup. I told her about my Grandfather; whose kisses were like sandpaper covered with spit and who had the thickest New York accent I’ve ever heard. She told me how her kids think she’s crazy. I told her how every girl I meet thinks I’m crazy. She offered me a steak taco. I gave her an Old Style. We talked about regret and how there shouldn’t be any room in someone’s life for regret, but it sneaks it’s way into your head and beats you to a pulp while you’re not looking. Then the next thing you know, you are a pile of pulp when all you want to be is a pillar of solid; pulp isn’t solid. Pulp is mushy. Pulp is gooey. Pulp is wet leaves, the insides of pumpkins, the left over coffee grinds. We do not want to be used coffee grinds. We are not pulp, Esther and I. We are solid.

While we were talking, I remembered this video from my childhood and showed it to her.

Even though that is a killer butterfly collar, and could mostly shoot this large man into orbit if a strong enough gust of wind came along, I will tolerate absolutely no bashing of this video. Free To Be was one of the best kids movies ever, man. Epic.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shakespearian Car Assaulter Insults – or – I Know How To Make Upside Down Question Marks Because My YouTube Dream Girl Dumped Me

It's a sign¿

Yesterday, I woke up and it was snowing. I had to take my car into the shop for a 5K mile tune up. It has taken me a year and a half to rack up five thousand miles on my car; according to AAA, the national average annual mileage is 12K – 15K, it jumps to 22K for people in Los Angeles. I am riding my bike in the wintertime, I am walking to the grocery store, I am recycling everything, I am wearing a mask, I am saving the world, I am a fucking superhero.

My car doesn’t need a tune up, it needs a force field. Over the year and a half I’ve owned it, some ugly and venomous toad (As You Like It) has keyed it 360°, some other deformed, crooked, old and sere, ill faced, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere, vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind, stigmatical in making, worse in mind fool (The Comedy of Errors) smashed my front window, yet another heedless jolthead (The Taming of the Shrew) has booted it and towed it away, and, most recently, a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood (King Lear) disguised as a valet attendant smashed in my front bumper and caused $1302.78 worth of body damage. All these villains, they are a disease that must be cut away (Coriolanus). My car needs to learn to stand up for it’s self and fight back against this blatant aggression. I need to buy my car some Tae Bo videos.

I went for a walk because it was going to take over an hour to get my car unnecessarily tuned up, and the coffee in the waiting room was lake water boiled to a thick, brown mud. There was no creamer either. So I left and noticed just how many people despise the weather where they live. It is Chicago. Chicago might be on the same latitude as Vatican City, but we all know that it is closer to Siberia than it is to the Mediterranean in January. The blatant rudeness of the Chicago cold isn’t a detail that one could possibly forget; it gets damn cold here and everyone knows it. Leg hair frozen to your jeans cold. Frozen boogers in my beard cold. “I didn’t think that is a real temperature” cold. “Hey! Where the fuck did my balls go?” cold. It wasn’t that cold out yesterday, only 9°F, but people were huddled over themselves like there was a city-wide scoliosis epidemic. I was wearing my boots, like I do when I go outside in winter, and felt rather weather proof, so I walked to the lake.

I brought my camera because I was going to compare my current life with King Midas if he were a scatologist, but when I got my camera set up on a small lighthouse, on a jetty, surrounded by slowly colliding icebergs and more tones of gray than I’ve ever seen at one time, I didn’t say anything besides, “I like it out here.” I guess that makes more sense.

You can watch a higher quality version of all of my videos via my YouTube account, Obsquatch. There is a "watch in high quality" button at the bottom right of the video screen. If you do that, you can see the bird I was watching as it flies by.

Music - Ten-Day Interval by Tortoise, ©1998 Thrill Jockey Records

Monday, January 12, 2009

Samson Was A Bad Ass - or - I Could Improve The Bible, It Just Needs A Part Written For Me

It is a strange sensation, being alive in bad times. That’s all I’ve seemed to understand over the last couple months; these are strange sensations, and these are bad times.

It is strange to think that the people that I know best can look at me and think, “so this is what a face dive looks like,” and the people that know me mostly in passing can look at me and think, “he’s looking better than ever.” It makes me wonder who is more wrong. Regardless. I’ve found a new place to look for humor; it’s the Holy Bible. I haven’t been hit by lightning yet, but if He has any aim at all, He’ll get me. And if the good lord doesn’t have good aim, then I’m going to laugh while the world burns around me. Someone very crucial to me being who I am, once said to me, “The problem with being a martyr is that you have to die.” I can honestly say that nothing in my life has enough drive that I would die for it. Samson was, and continues to be, a complete badass, but in today’s ideology, he’d be considered a terrorist. Who knows which side is right? I don’t.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Stolen Lines #1

I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway. “The War of 1812! Photosynthesis! The Magna Carta! Dante’s Inferno! The Nevile Brothers!” She knew she had my balls in a sling and was just enjoying watching me squirm. “The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria! The Prime Meridian! The Cotton Gin! The Great Muppet Caper!” A particularly playful smile crossed her obviously amused face. “6.02X10^23! The Communist Manifesto! James Earl Jones! The 1964 Ford Mustang!” I finally took a breath, inhaling the taste of eminent failure, along with the stagnant air of the crowded bar, deep into my lungs. “John F. Kennedy! John Wilks Booth! John Quincy Adams! John Wane Gasey! John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt! Spandex!” An explosion of beer erupted from her glass and momentarily threw my attention as she stifled her laughter. Undaunted, I continued my trivia rampage. “The Cuban Missile Crisis! Sensory Deprivation Tanks! The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! Knit one, pearl two! Colonoscopy!” I was never going to get this right, which meant that I was never going to see this girl again. “Chris Fucking Kringle! The Mother Fucking Easter Bunny! Jesus Fucking Christ! Fuck it!” I could keep going, probably for hours, but I knew there was no point. “I fold. How the hell am I supposed to know your favorite trivia answer when I know nothing about you besides the fact that you sneeze into your beer when a stranger yells ‘Spandex’ at you?” She tilted the last of her beer down her throat, placed her now empty glass bar with a little more force than necessary, wiped her mouth with her wrist and said, “Well, from now on, that’s my new answer.”

This post is in response to Law With Grace’s project, Stolen Lines #1. I, under orders from Grace herself, stole the first two sentences from Night of the Avenging Blowfish, by John Welter. I am only a patsy in this cut-and-dry case of copyright infringement.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Resume Building, Schmesume Building – or – I’m So Easily Distracted By Boobs… I Mean Art

Don Frio sent me this completely inappropriate for work link while I was working on my resume so that I can get a new job and feed my seven children. Productivity instantly grinded to a standstill and my children are all jerks.

Mostly, this site is about boobs and how great they are, mostly. There are a few other points (tehehe) that are brought up from time to time. Here are some examples of the knowledge of the ages that resides within this website's dominion.

“Everything is a self-portrait. A diary. Your whole drug history in a strand of your hair. Your fingernails. The forensic details. The lining of your stomach is a document. The calluses on your hand tell all your secrets. Your teeth give you away. Your accent. The wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Everything you do shows your hand.”
- Chuck Palahniuk

“When you can’t imagine how things are going to change, that doesn’t mean that nothing will change. It means that things will change in ways that are unimaginable.”
- Bruce Sterling, in his annual and excellent State of the World discussion

“I fucking love it! Not the song, but the fact that this Grammy nominated piece of shit is a full fledged phenomenon sung and emulated by children and pre-teens all across America. Why? Because it advocates cumming on a “ho’s” back and then putting the bed sheet on her so that when it dries it resembles a cape.”
- David Cross, regarding Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat”

“A grown-ass man should be able to change a tire, drive stick, do CPR, set a bone, gut a fish, build a wall, throw a punch, shoot a gun, shotgun a beer, build a fire, run a barbecue, change a diaper, recite three lines from Animal House, light a fart, and eat a pussy.”
- Vice Dos & Don’ts

Friday, January 02, 2009

Clean Slate Syndrome Is My Kind Of Dysfunction – or – I Hope 2008 Didn’t Forget To Wipe

It’s the second day of 2009, and here I sit, in my only pair of tighty-whities, at my desk, surround on all sides by knick-nacks collected from the last 365 days; plants and power tools, empty glasses and dirty dishes, a twisted knot of USB and power cables connecting my digital life to my real life, two hot dogs, and a piping hot bowl of oatmeal with entirely too much maple syrup in it which is just the way I like it. Yesterday was the first day of 2009, and I say it’s about Goddamn time 2008 ended. It started so well, with the state wide smoking ban, and a new job at the Greenhouse, and a shiny new car, and all. And it looked like it was going to be a great year, and for the most part it was. My brother married a beautiful, wonderful woman whose drippy nose during the wedding ceremony made me feel like a hero. My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, showing the world just how unbreakable true happiness is. My country elected a strong, smart man to lead us, a shocking change of pace from our track record of the last few decades. And I finally grew a real mustache and followed it up with a surprisingly successful first attempt at a full beard. I also decided that plaid is my favorite color. Quite a list of accomplishments.

But then there was the shitty side of 2008. A whole mountain of shit. A pile so putrid, which stank up this country so effectively, that the odorous aftermath of a drunken White Castle binge could be considered an air freshener. I’m speaking of the Sarah Palin supports that slathered the internet with blatant racism in the guise of political activism. I’m speaking of the Corporate greed that became so overwhelming, it collapsed the money markets of the entire world. I’m speaking of the fact that my car got vandalized three different times, and then booted and towed, serving up a serious divot in my savings account. Oh yeah, and I lost my job at the greenhouse. What the fuck, 2008?

This pungent accumulation of sociological feces brings me to my point. Clean Slate Syndrome. Clean Slate Syndrome, or CSS, is when you find yourself in a situation where your past actions and situations no longer have any connection what-so-ever to your current state of affairs and therefore negate any validity or legitimacy of you previous self. Your slate has been sandblasted clean, by or against your will, and you must now completely redefine yourself to the world. It’s my favorite syndrome, Clean Slate Syndrome. To some, it’s the scariest thing on the planet, and I understand this now more than ever. I am currently in the process of being launched into the vast unknown without much besides my white-knuckled, panic-stricken, death-grip-locked hands clenched for dear life onto my butt cheeks. As I am catapulted away from everything that has become routine and normal in my life, an eerie and completely unjustifiable calm overcomes me; I find myself twisting, somersaulting and careening, head-over-ass, through countless unfamiliar situations. No work, no bread, no crutch, no girlfriend, no back up plan, no clear path to success ahead of me. It is simply terrifying. How the hell did this happen. I remember in November asking myself if the economic crisis was effecting my life and I distinctly remember coming up with the solid answer of, “No. Not in the least.” So I asked for a raise so that, at the tender age of 30, I might be making more money than I did stuffing envelopes while I was high as a kite throughout the summer of 1995. I did not get a raise. Instead I was “let go.” in 1995, I had long hair, dull wit, sharp fingernails and drawer after drawer of homemade tie-dyed tee-shirts. Now I have messy hair, a different belt buckle for every day of the week, a beard, and make less money. So why am I so calm? To me, it is yet another shot at being cosmically reborn. I will find work, I will make dough, I don’t need a crutch, that cute girl will totally fall for me, and I will continue to go forward through this quagmire with hubris and self-righteous indignation, because only hard drives and semi trucks back-up. In the meantime, I think I need a haircut.

Who Are The Idiots In My Neighborhood - or - No! You Be Quit!

This was brought to my attention by Mr. Bearhead himself, and reported here by the Chicago Tribune. Behold the Idiocy.

Fifth Third Bank robber busted after leaving behind own pay stub, FBI says

—Steve Schmadeke
December 30, 2008

The note handed to a Fifth Third Bank teller Friday was clear enough (despite some language errors): "Be Quick Be Quit. Give your cash or I'll shoot."

What was even clearer to FBI investigators examining the note was that they were not dealing with a criminal mastermind. The alleged robber, identified Monday as Thomas Infante, 40, of Cary, had written it on the back of his own pay stub, which helpfully provided the FBI with his name and home address.

"It's fairly unusual that we see something that specifically stupid," said FBI spokesman Ross Rice. "But overall, we see a lot of strange bank robberies."

Infante is accused of robbing the bank at 4017 W. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago of about $400, according to an FBI affidavit filed Monday.

His demand note, written inside the bank on a torn half of his pay stub, matched up with the other half, which was found outside the bank doors. The pieced-together stub showed Infante was paid $165.99 by Jewel Food Stores on Oct. 23, according to the FBI.

Infante was arrested at his Cary home and allegedly confessed to investigators, according to the FBI affidavit.