Thursday, October 29, 2009

Otherwise Happiness - or - ZNZN Is Selling A School Of Fish

I was gifted another fish. This one had been living in the filtering bucket of the Koi pond in the Greenhouse, undisturbed, unfed, and out of sunlight for probably close to a year. There were two of them, both very pale; almost translucent, white and silver, with blue and gold flecks around the eyes.


So, after work we had a couple IPAs and he gave me one of the pale, almost see-through, silvery, lil' fishies. I named him Subway Tan. That's the kind of tan that one would get if they spent their life underground; pale, translucent, and blue around the eyes.

Oblivious to the sordid details surround his existence, Subway Tan is an otherwise happy fish.

ZNZN is a close friend of mine from, gasp, the 90's. Together, we've been classmates, roommates, Go-Kart-mates, and drinking buddies. I've spent Thanksgiving at his families table, but most importantly, ZNZN and I were in a Nirvana / Weezer / Pixies cover band together called The Sofa Kings. At his surface and at his core, he is an artist. ZNZN has started an online store for his version of found art. This piece blows me away.

The description reads as follows:

I dated a beautiful girl when I lived in Philadelphia. She gave me a bag of dried sardines as a going away present when I moved to Greenville. Smelly, potent and in a bag. Just like our relationship.

I made This to commemorate That. Approximately 2' x 2'


I guess that means that...
Oblivious to the sordid details surrounding their existence post mortem, the subjects in the piece School Of Fish are otherwise happy dead fish.

To own School Of Fish, click here.

[edit]Why did I edit this post? Cause I don't know if it would get me fired and I'm not willing to find out. Cheers.

Update 'Bout Friday - or - More Forgotten Details

It turns out that there were two other people that I threw over that wall on friday. It also turns out that I was slapped by three more people than I originally thought. We (all five of us) reconnected tonight at a Steak House Mints show. We were all dubious of each other, and kept our distance til the show was long over and there was no threat of a repeat of a spontaneous royal rumble. Eventually, we showed each other our birthday battle wounds and laughed and laughed and laughed about how ridiculous that 40th birthday party was. My elbow still hurts, but now I know that I'm not the only one who might be limping away from the police if the neighbors ever find out who was causing all that noise and throwing people over that wall.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holy Pumpkins, Batman - or - I Found Freska

I found three cases of Freska in a parking lot of a supermarket as I was on my way to Tripp's house to carve pumpkins with him and his wife last night. So we sipped citrus seltzer soda and ice-cream-scooped our pumpkins guts out. It was a blast.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lace Up A Coping Mechanism - or - Ready, Steady, Deal With You Shit

It seems like when ever there are bad decisions made on my part, the only way to get them off my mind is by running. I have a bad knee, a bad elbow, a huge bruise on my ribs, and a rather stiff neck from the weekend, mostly from Friday night, but my two jobs and my obsession with Go-Karts has chipped a bit of stiffness as well. It's when I'm the most banged up that I get the most satisfaction from getting my ass outside and running around before work. I guess it breaks the crust off my bones, rips the moss off my feet, and makes my lungs burn. It is cloudy and cold and I'm excited to get moving and start sweating. And if there is one thing I learned from Zombieland, it's that you don't wanna be a fatty when the zombie apocalypse comes around, which will most likely be a few weeks before world's crust starts to invert itself in 2012.

Whoops. Almost forgot to feed the fish. Bon Appetite Toejam, Reverend Thelonious Belafonte, Monster Truck, Boozehound, Short Bus, and Shit Head. Don't jump out of the tank while I'm away today.

Rule #32 - Enjoy the little things

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A List Of Things That Happened On Friday Night - or - Don't Throw People Over That, Young Man

•Did nothing until 3:00pm. Absolutely nothing. In my underwear.
•Visited a new friend at a coffee shop who was wearing one flip flop and one cowboy boot.
•Drank a $3 cup of tea and learned the basics of tango with my hands outstretched and my eyes closed while sitting down. This is my friend, Grainne (pronounced Grahn-ya) dancing with her teacher in Singapore. It is all improvised.

•Went to see Where the Wild Things Are alone, which has become my favorite way to see movies. The commentary of the two little girls sitting behind me made the movie at least four times better.
•Drove home in the rain.
•Went to my boss's 40th birthday party at my favorite Sushi joint.
•Got hammered on White Russians, wine, and Jack Danial's at my boss's Condo on the lake.
•Helped burn a homemade Effigy of my boss in Lake Michigan as a tribute to his life's successes and because he has always wanted to go to Burning Man.
•Got yelled at by the neighbors for playing with fire.
•Jack shots, Jameson shots, Tequila shots.
•No water.
•Threw my boss over an eight foot wall onto the beach.
•Threw a trumpet player over the same wall, onto my boss.
•Got yelled at by the neighbors for throwing people over walls at 1am.
•Jumped over the wall to avoid being yelled at by the neighbors.
•Received a slap in the face from my 40 year old boss.
•Lost my glasses.
•Received a flying elbo drop by my 40 year old boss while trying to find my glasses.
•Tried to climb back up the wall but was once again slapped in the face by my 40 year old boss and then sent flailing, butt first, eight feet back down the the beach.
•Couldn't breath from laughing.
•Was informed by the neighbors that the police were on the way.
•Blindly ran away, laughing and yelling incoherently.

This is when things get embarrassing. In fact, they get so embarrassing that I'm not going to tell you about the homeless person I gave $20 to tell my friend where on Earth I was because I had no fucking clue as to my whereabouts due to my lack of glasses and the river of whiskey flowing through my veins. I'm not going to admit that I couldn't stand up when I heard my hired homeless person tell my friend, "Come get this guy, he is fucked up." You'll never know that I sat my drunk ass down in the middle of a city garden until my friend, who had to be up around 6am, picked my worthless ass up and had to endure an alcohol induced mental breakdown in the car, in my hallway, and in my apartment as well as an assorted douchey behavior grab-bag. I'm not gonna tell any of you that I puked in the sink, took a shower that quickly turned into a bath and then passed out in the bathtub for the third time in my life. And if you never know these things, you'll never judge me for them. Maybe it's high time I was judged for my shitty behavior. Fuck it. No delete key.

Endless thanks to my friend who gracefully put up with all that bullshit. The most unfortunate part of her involvement is that I was a lot of fun to be drunk with until I lost my glasses, couldn't see, didn't know where I was, what I was doing, or how to stand up. Everyone else got the fun Obsquatch, and my friend got the shit end of the stick. Sorry about handing you that stick, I didn't mean to give you stick with poo on it.

I'm going to try to make it up to her by racing her on go karts tonight. Sober. I think I'm going to be that adjective for a few weeks. Sober. It's got a necessary ring to it. I love Go Karts.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are - or - A Look At A Book

I just got back from seeing Where The Wild Things Are. I give it two wolf claws up. See this movie.

I am always dubious of my favorite books becoming movies. Choke, The Time Travelers Wife, Bridge to Terabithia, X-men, Transformers (although not a book, it was still ruined by being put into a movie formate). I was actually headed to the theater to see Surrogates, because I am a Bruce Willis junky (and I will gouge your eyes out with a pepper mill if you make fun of me for that), but it opens next week. So there I was, willing to spend almost $10 on a movie, which is a mind set that doesn’t occur often in my life, and I was split betwixt Zombieland, which got two dismembered undead thumbs up from Krumbine himself, and Where The Wild Things Are, which happened to be my favorite book as a little wild thing. I’ve gifted that book to wild things of all ages and it always is appreciated by either the recipients, or the keepers of the wild thing.

The writing is great, from the opening scene in the wolf costume to the last. It is not typical children humor or childrens storytelling, thanks to the efforts of screen writers Spike Jonze (Favorites include Weezer, Beastie Boys, Adaptation, and Being John Malkovich) and Dave Eggers (Favorites include Might Magazine, What is the What, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Chicago’s own Boring Store). Max is unruly in a charming yet slightly off-putting way. In fact, the charm vs. this-could-easily-go-wrong tension is present through out the whole film and at points creates some very drastic emotional reversal-of-fortune moments. The voice acting is superb, and if you have any inkling of seeing this movie, I suggest NOT RESEARCHING IT AT ALL and surprising yourself with every scene, every sound, and every image that gets splashed before your eyes.

The book is 20 pages if that so there was a lot of room to work with. The Wild Things are believable because the CG is perfectly integrated with that classic guy-with-fuzzy-zipper-showing-costume-and-huge-ping-pong-ball-head-on look. The movie feels real, from the claws ripping through trees to the sand in the hair and getting everywhere feeling. I believed every second of it. Every second.

Some scenes had me laughing my ass off, and yes, I even dropped a tear at the appropriate moment, something that happens even more rarely than me turning down a hot dog, and left the theater feeling good, wanting to write about it, wanting to share this book, this story, the movie with anyone who would listen.

The wild thing in me loved it, and so will you. Unless you suck.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Attention Johns (The Opposite Of Attention Whores) - or - Why I Don't Watch TV

I know that I said I was going to try to clean up my language, but mother fucking ballon boy has stirred my rage pot and I find it hard to not swear at endless hordes of fuck stains who were glued to their TVs that made this stunt go so well. People are willing to do anything to be entertained. Instead of clicking over to or listening to the radio for more details as it turns out that Mother Fucking Balloon Boy was a hoax, and as Krumbine points out, an epic one at that, I went for a run and watched the sun rise over the lake. That little run is more awe inspiring to me than any episode of The Wire, or Lost, or Nancy Grace-esque News Meat Grinder will ever be. I'm looking for entertainment outside of the box. Oh, and the half hour shower I took afterward can only be as physically rewarding as, well, this...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun With Plants - or - Hey! Let's Get Drunk And Rip Off Our Family Member's Limbs

It’s too late to write anything of consequence, and I’m just getting out of work, which is the only time I really get to do any writing these days, because I can’t write while I’m at work, even though my brain might be on fire with ideas; things to think about, things to write about, things to do in Chicago in winter, because if you don’t have a list of things to do in wintertime in Chicago, where winter will kick your ass sideways for months on end, then you usually don’t find yourself having fun over the course of the winter no matter what the temperature is like. One of my favorite things to do in winter is go to the Chicago Botanical Gardens and hang out with an Agave Americana that is at least eight feet wide. The Agave is the plant that Tequila comes from. When an Agave plant is about to die, it puts up a huge bloom spike, sometimes more than twelve feet tall. This big Agave at the CBG put up a bloom spike this summer, so it’s gonna kick the bucket soon. So it goes. You can’t morn a plant like you can a grandparent or a pet hamster, but I plan on visiting that Agave a few more times before the awesome staff at the botanical gardens rip that huge mother sucker tequila plant out of the ground and make way for something else that is just as cool.

Did I mention that I dig me some plant life? Maybe this will help prove the point.

Speaking of Agave, death, and being a boozehound like my new fish…

I just have to pause for a second to see if anyone has any idea in what direction I am headed with those three topics, because there is a very clear and direct connection betwixt them, and if you know it, you are pretty much my favorite…

So, speaking of Agave, death, and booze, I reread my favorite Greek myth tonight while I was working at the Chicago Cultural Center. Agave was the mother of the King of Thebes, which was an ancient city that was built by people who were brought forth from the Earth from the planted teeth of a dragon who happened to kill the people that were originally supposed to build the city. I swear it. Regardless. Dionysus, the god of partying, stumbles his way into Thebes one day. The King of Thebes doesn’t like this kid named Dionysus, who is a drunk, loves his wine, wears grape vines on his head, tells everyone he is a god even though he grew up in India, and happens to be the King’s cousin (Agave’s sisters son). This punk, Dionysus, trots into town with a bunch of his drunk ass friends, mostly women who just love to party, and starts wooing all the ladies in Thebes to join him to party all night long in the woods. The King doesn’t like this kid, especially after the little punk seduces Agave, the kings wife, and all her sisters to join his wine orgy in the woods. The King starts capturing his followers, but they keep escaping back to the woods to do more keg stands. Eventually, Dionysus meets the King and, after telling a story about how he was kidnapped by pirates but escaped by turning their boat into a floating vineyard and transforming his attackers into fish, he gets the King to check out his party in the woods. The King agrees to check it out for himself but decided he wants to murder his drunk cousin once they get into the woods. They arrive at the party and all his drunk bitches don’t see the King, they see a mountain lion, and in typical drunk bitch behavior, they decide to rip it apart with their bare hands. Now, you might ask, “Which drunk bitches decided to do this?” Of course it was Agave, the Kings mother, and her crazy ass sisters. By the end of the story, Agave is dancing around a campfire wearing nothing but her son’s head as a hat and pounding wine, all because Dionysus doesn’t like it when people don’t believe that he is the son of Zeus, and by son, I mean another one of the seemingly countless children of Zeus’ rape victims.

I love this stuff. Soap operas got nothing on Greek Mythology.

The King’s name, Agave’s son, was Pentheus, as in the second half of the word Nepenthes. Nepenthes is another one of those plants that I really really like, and got it’s name from the Greek word Nepenthe, which is basically an ancient Greek Prozac. You’d want to become an antidepressant drug too if your mom ripped you to pieces and wore your head as a hat.

Oh, and as another little side note, the EU got it’s name because Zeus kidnapped a little flower-picking fourteen year old girl while he was disguised as a bull, and swam across the ocean so that no one could ever rescue her. But because she wanted to kill herself rather than be his concubine, Aphrodite released her and named Europe after that little suicidal kidnapped childwife, whose name was Europa. Way to go Europe, you sick fuckers. Your whole continant might as well be name Lolita. I guess this puts a new spin of the whole Ronin Polanski living in exile in Europe.

Let's compare!

Ancient Greek Agave

Agave Americana

See the similarity? Holy fucking Zeus' thunderbolts, Batman! Who could miss it?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I've got so much to say, but absolutely nothing to write about. So you get to suffer. I swear it's not your fault, there is just too much going on. I've written five songs on my Rhodes, and I'm playing with Imelda. She, by the way, is my hero. I've got projects going that involve shovels and irrigation. I need o pay more attention to my savings account. I have friends who are facing the long arm of the law for no apparent reason, and I've got rent to worry about. That is why you don't hear from me, here, now, or recently. I've got stuff to do. I got these things on me, and these things that I wish were on me, but aren't, but should be.

Rest assured that I bought some vegemite.

I don't understand that substance, vegemite.

I hope it's a hiccup in human consciousness, like W was, but it is hard to believe that an entire continent likes vegemite.

Australia, convince me.

Because that stuff is just plain wrong.

Where is my beautiful mystery?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Feelin' Zippy - or - A New Obsession

Last wednesday I went Go Kart racing. It was amazing. I left with some bruised ribs, burns from the engine block up and down my right arm, a ringing in my ear, whiplash from being driven into the walls by some of my closest friends, and the biggest smile I've had in years.

I was told that I was "dangerous to drive behind," by one of my friends who drove me into the walls. I was also told not the eat the free sausage that was part of the buffet line that the party before us let us dive into once they had eaten their fill. I ignored that advice and regretted it after a few turns on the first race.

I'm headed back to the track tonight with the other obsessed members of our Go Karting team.

My race name is Speedy Mofo, and I am dangerous out there.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Imelda Sessions #1 - or - Toast

I recently jammed with Imelda De La Cruz.

I mess up a lot, but we are practicing as often as we can and will someday play a show together and you will be invited. Until then, enjoy.

Let's pretend that we haven't lost
Any time.
Let's go on like there's nothing wrong,
Before we loose our minds.
Like dream, like a song, like a beautiful lie
I don't know why it has to be
So flawless all the time.
Let's just skip the history
Of your perfect life.
Like a wind that blows
All the beauty for miles.
So raise a glass to forgetting
Seedy pasts
For never wanting
To make this last
Yes, I'll drink to that.