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.


  1. I feel like I've been plooked in the bum after reading this. And I don't even know what "plook" means. I wish I was unemployed. I think I would spend about two or three weeks being depressed and aimless ... then I'd probably sit down and finish my EotU:Zombies! book.

    I think the point of my life may very well be to inspire awesomeness in others. That video was truly awesome. I'll come up with another meaningless video for us to do ... gimmeabreakman will post it to his channel so as that you'll share some of said limelight. Let me know if you have any seinfeldian ideas.


  2. Ooo...I LOVE spiders! If you get the blue one, I must come over and meet her :)

    BTW - super bowl party at my place, Sunday, 4 pm - be there!

  3. my favorite string of words in this post: "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,"

    italics indicates my favorite string of words within larger favorite string of words.

  4. Unemployment is divine. It just makes it hard to buy fast food. Then again, I'm not sure fast food is divine. Maybe that's the point! Damn! Who knew?

  5. 1. krumbine’s right (for once) and letting ur juices creep out is always a good idea … wow…
    im a pervert.

    2. I’d like to point out that those were MY boobs making people famous. although just yesterday I got rejected for youtube partnership (cant possibly image why) *takes another few bong tokes*

    3. fuck Corinthians. even deaf people shouldn’t be subjected to the manipulation and lies that is… organized religion.

    I still love you