Sunday, October 30, 2005

And then we watched The Torkelsons.

I had a dream last night in which Jennifer Lopez dropped by to visit the new house.

She had blonde hair and I said, "Hey, Jen, what's with the hair? Are you working on a new project?"

She looked at me, a little confused, and said, "A 'project?'"

I replied, "Oh, you know, it's what we in The Biz call 'filming a movie.'" We both laughed and she playfully slapped me on the arm and said, "Ohh, you."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Uh...go Sox?

I joined the workforce today. Sort of. I just temped at an art associates office, putting framed posters into boxes. I got really dirty, and for some reason I was told to dress "business casual." I don't understand the obsession with professionalism in the real world.

I also got totally lost trying to find the office because I'm an idiot who only freaks out on the CTA when I have to be somewhere at a certain time. Otherwise, my internal compass kicks in and I always know where I'm going. Today, however, I spent thirty minutes walking around in the River North neighborhood when I really needed to be in the Loop. Silly me.

There's a parade tomorrow for the White Sox. I hate sports but loooove parades!!!!!

This morning on the red line, this crazy man was yelling / singing about how his wife left him for the White Sox. I tried to be like everyone else and completely ignore him, but the red line crazy people really fascinate me. Especially when they have garbage bags tied around their heads like do-rags, as this unfortunate man did. My favorite thing that happened was after being ignored by silent passengers for about twenty minutes, he decided to fold his coat into a pillow and tried to sleep. He kept shouting, "Stop talking, I'm trying to sleep!!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

There are worse things than being unemployed.

Can you imagine how much it would really suck to be in Ashlee Simpson's backup band?

I can just imagine a shitty band convention where members of The Offspring feel a little bit better about themselves after chatting with Ashlee Simpson's bassist.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Starving blogger.

Last night Laurie and I finished the first season of Gilmore Girls. We sat in silence for about five minutes, and then started freaking out because we desperately wanted the second season. It was around 10:30, and we were frustrated because we've been insomniacs for the last few weeks (being unemployed also means there's little to wake up for before noon), and we've spent the last couple days being enthralled with Rory's relationship with Dean and being mostly confused by Lorelai's random references that never seem to fit the context of whatever conversation she's having. We have the first two discs of the second season at the top of our Netflix queue, but we won't get them until Wednesday, and we seriously considered going to Blockbuster. Then, of course, we remembered that we don't have money because we've been unemployed for almost three months.

I would probably feel better about my unemployment if I could achieve a starving artist existence. Alas, I'm not artistic, nor do I write anything that doesn't go in a blog. I don't think "starving blogger" has the same effect.

I do, however, make many mix CDs with pretty liner notes for friends.

I was on The Facebook the other day and looking at everyone from my high school. My high school was very, very small. There were less than seven hundred students when I graduated. There are ninety-nine on Facebook, and it surprised me that Washington and Lee produced that many college-bound graduates, much less ninety-nine people who can type their names and interests into the Facebook profile editor.

I sort of have a job, though it's unpaid. I'm going to be contributing concert reviews to Angst magazine. I guess the woman who's publishing Angst was really desperate for writers, because she continued to email me after I sent her my resume. Also, she asked me what kind of music I liked and disliked. One of the bands I said I hated was My Chemical Romance. Guess who's on the first cover of Angst? Yup. Whoops.

Anyway, I'm writing a review of the Broken Social Scene / Feist show at the Metro on Friday. I'm going to spend the next few days reading pretentious Pitchfork Media concert reviews so I'll know what I'm doing. My friend Steve told me I should avoid using "awesome" in every sentence and use fancy words. I'm going to try for "transplendent."

I had a dream the other night that was very Po-Mo. I was sitting at an information desk of some sort and this eight-year-old boy came up and asked me what time it was. I looked at the clock, which said 7:20, and without thinking (you know how you just know things in dreams), I said, "It's New Porno Time." Of course this doesn't make any sense, nor is it particularly funny at all, but in my dream I laughed so hard that I dreamt that I woke up, found a piece of paper next to my bed, and wrote down "It's New Porno Time!"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I was almost kidnapped and murdered once.

I haven't done anything all day other than watch twelve episodes of Gilmore Girls. But whatever. I should have been more aggressive and job-searchy, but yesterday's scary almost-interview / almost-murder slightly disheartened me.

I found an internship on Craigslist on Monday. It was for a small Chicago magazine doing exactly what I wanted to do (be an editorial assistant). I didn't realize it was an unpaid internship until after I sent my resume and received a reply from this guy, Avi, who told me that interviews were being held on Tuesday between 1:30 and 5:00. So I emailed him back, saying that I would be free anytime between 3:00 and 5:00. I figured I could at least see what the hours were like and see if they had any real job openings at the same time.

So then I get a reply saying, "Great, see you then!" I was confused, because not only did I have a two-hour window to just "drop by" for an interview, I also had no idea where the office was. I sent another email and got another reply, giving me the address and saying to ask for "John Doe" (I won't use a real name for reasons that will become clear - sort of).

So yesterday I was getting ready for the interview and just didn't really want to go because it felt like a waste of time. It was unpaid, and already the contacts at the magazine seemed really weird. I just had a strange feeling and even referred to it as "my fake job interview" in my head. Janna and Laurie, however, told me that I should go, so I left a little before three.

I walk about a block from the El to the building, which from the outside looked like a generic high-rise office building, which is what I was expecting. I go into the lobby and was immediately confused, though. Instead of an huge open lobby with elevators and a directory of the offices, I found a small room occupied only by a black man sitting at a desk.

"Can I help you?" He asked, and I told him what suite I'm supposed to go to (because I was told to go to suite 1101). He asked me my name, then picks up the phone. I told him that I was to see John Doe, and he snapped, "I know!" Oookay. Then he says into the phone, "Hi, John. Tyler is here," and then tells me to go up. As I ride the elevator I think about how even the lobby doorman was so unprofessional on the phone.

I get to the eleventh floor and turn to the left when I walk out of the elevator. Curiouser and curiouser: I find that the hall in front of me is made up of just plain, green, bare doors. None of them look like office suites like I'm used to seeing in office buildings. I turn around and go around the corner, thinking that suite 1101 must be the other way. Alas, I find the same thing: just plain doors. I immediately sense something is wrong, because the hallway looks like something you'd find in a hotel or an apartment building. As I start looking at the numbers on the doors and find 1101, I realize that I am in an apartment building.

Immediately I start to panic, because I'm really creeped out. There's nothing on the door saying that it is an office, not even a sign saying the guy's name or the magazine's name. I try to think of what to do, and I quickly decide to get the hell out of there. I run back to the elevator and push the button, but then I run to the stairway, thinking that I really don't want John Doe to walk out into the hall to find me. Meanwhile, I'm dialing my Laurie's cell phone, and I start to tell her how creepy it is. She starts to tell me that maybe this magazine is so new, the publishers don't have an office yet, but I can tell she thinks it's kind of creepy, too.

So there I am, running down flights of stairs, my heart about to jump out of my throat, and I'm thinking, "I'm not hanging up just in case someone attacks me in the stairwell." When I get to the sixth or fifth floor, I push a metal screened-door open in the middle of the stairwell, and it locks behind me. Then I start to get even more nervous, and as I continue down the stairs, I realize that every door leading to the hallways on each floor are locked from the other side. At this point I'm convinced that I'm going to die in the stairwell. In hindsight, it could have been worse; I was dressed very nicely that day and looking very professional.

Anyway, false alarm: the ground floor door was unlocked, and I nearly ran out of there, noticing a sign on wall of the parking garage that I was just about to be trapped in the Gold Coast Condominiums. Yes, it was an apartment building.

Even if that was a legitimate interview, I'm not embarrassed that I ran out because a. it was super sketchy and b. if the interview atmosphere is awkward - which it would have been if I went in since I probably would have expected to be stabbed at any minute - then the job atmosphere would probably be weird, too.

But the good thing about the situation is that I can say that I was almost kidnapped and murdered once. You never know - it could have happened.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This is why I can't watch The OC.

There's a reason I don't watch TV. That reason being that no matter how shitty a TV show is, if I happen to watch it for even a couple of weeks in sequence, I get addicted.

There's the occasional show that I will allow myself to become addicted to, and that is Degrassi: The Next Generation. It's an amazing show. Plus, it comes on eight times a week, so I don't have to commit to one single hour, and I feel that it's not so much an addiction as it is a hobby. My weekly schedule isn't based around Degrassi.

Living with three girls and having only one television has had it's impact on me, especially my Tuesday nights. Now I watch the fucking Gilmore Girls. Yes. That's right. Gilmore Girls. And not only have I seen all the episodes of the the current season, I started watching the first season on DVD last night.

Sally Struthers is on Gilmore Girls and her character's name is Babette. In this episode I'm watching, her cat died, and all of Stars Hollow has turned up for the funeral. Also, Lorelei is totally going to do Rory's teacher. But after the funeral. Let's have some respect for Cinnamon.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Virgin Megastore sucks hard.

Today I bought the new Liz Phair album from the Virgin Megastore on the Magnificent Mile and I felt like douche times twelve.

I purposely bought it there instead of some indie record store. I knew that if I went to some hole in the wall, the black hoodie-clad staff would silently judge me for buying the "new" Liz Phair.

And we all know that the staff at the Virgin Recordstore can't judge anyone. That's because they work at the fucking VIRGIN MEGASTORE.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Improv celebrity sightings.

I think I'm the first to admit that I'm generally star-struck by literally anyone I see perform any kind of act, even if they aren't particularly famous. I have an autographed copy of a Magnolia Electric Company album, and I feel that most people wouldn't know who the hell they are. And back when I was in college, if I happened to be drunk in a bar and someone from a JMU theater production was also there, I might tell them that I liked them in whatever experimental play about incestuous rape they were in. I don't know why. I'm stupid.

So I'll bring this to the present. My roommates and I have had sort of a Monday night tradition where we'll go to a bar down the street that has two dollar burgers and then go to Improv Match Game at Improv Olympic. I think I've been every single Monday night for two months - maybe I've missed a week, I don't know. There are a couple reasons I go. One would be that I am obsessed with Match Game; I think it's one of the best television game shows ever. I was Charles Nelson Reilly for Halloween once; I wore the red and white-checkered leisure suit that my dad wore on his honeymoon. No one knew who I was, of course. The second reason I love Improv Match Game is that it's free, and I can't afford to go to a real improv show.

The Improv Match Game has six improv "celebrities" as panelists. They're really not celebrities; the only one I had ever seen before was Molly Erdman, who is on the Second City mainstage and was once in a Sonic commercial with some other improv dude I saw perform once at the UCB theater in New York, and who occasionally gets work on VH1 clips shows (thank God for those, by the way, or otherwise those comedians would have NOTHING to do). Molly's a pretty regular panelist, as is Noah Gregoropoulos, whose claim to fame is that he was a writer for Dharma and Greg for thirteen weeks. The third panelist that I've seen perform several weeks in a row is Jeff Griggs, who wrote a memoir about being Del Close's assistant - a book that is currently being optioned to be a movie directed by Harold Ramis.

Improv Olympic is practically next-door to Wrigley Field, and it's just three blocks east of my neighborhood. I was still surprised, however, to spot Noah walking out of the Jewel parking lot in the direction of my street one night when I went grocery shopping. It was kinda cool to see that he lived in my neighborhood, and there's been this big joke that we should be friends with him since, other than each other, we really don't know many people in Chicago yet. That was about a month ago, and I've never talked to Noah, because that would be weird.

I should probably include here that I have, however, talked to Molly Erdman after a show. I mentioned she was in a Sonic commercial, and I sent my friend Christina a link with Molly's picture because she had also seen the commercial. Christina didn't think that Molly was the same woman, and I told her that I'd prove her wrong. One Monday night after a couple PBRs (which, I remember is my third reason for going to Improv Match Game: it's the cheapest place to buy beer), I walked up to Molly after the show and told her that she was the subject of an argument I had with a friend. I explained the situation, and she said yes, she was in a Sonic commercial, and she was glad I won. And it was super awkward, and I vowed to never make an ass out of myself in front of, basically, non-celebrities that I watched perform every week.

On this last Monday, I was walking down a street in my neighborhood, literally half a block from my house, and I watched Jeff Griggs walk into his apartment. Sure, I thought it was kinda cool that a published author was living down the street, and it did make my neighborhood seem a little bit more awesome, but I don't really care either way, because I haven't even read his book or possess a single opinion about this guy. But of course, after the improv show, he was walking home in front of us. And I felt like such a tool because there was absolutely no way to get around him, no way to make it look like he was following us.

So great, this is my life. I've stumbled into a situation where I could potentially look like I'm stalking someone I don't even care about.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"Insulin pump mistaken for phone."

Oh, man. What a great headline. Too bad the actual news story that followed wasn't interesting. Apparently, a substitute teacher confiscated a student's insulin pump because she thought it was a cell phone.

I was hoping it'd be more along the lines of, "Blind man picks up what he thinks is phone, only to discover he just injected insulin into his head."

We're hometown people that you know!

Last night I was online trying to figure out a way to check my credit card balance. In the process I found the website for my hometown bank. Now, this surprised me because I didn't even think they had a website, and when I got excited that maybe I could finally access online banking and actually know for certain what my balance was. Of course, the website was just a list of services my bank offered, as well as the occasional testimonial about how much Peoples Community Bank of Montross kicks ASS.

Here's my favorite, which I think gives you an idea about my roots:

"I take my lawnmower racing seriously. Because the charities I race for do serious work. And when I need cash for spare parts or a quick fix, I always turn to my community partner Peoples Community Bank.

-Hudnall Haydon, Northern Neck Lawnmower Racing Association"

Yes, lawnmower races. I've been to tractor pulls before, but somehow I missed seeing grown men on lawnmowers compete against each other.

The lady whose insides are broken.

Whoa! Tom Cruise knocked up Katie Holmes faster than you can say, "Holy Scientologist baby, Batman!"

I think we all know what this means.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Missed Connections.

I'll start this post by saying that I read the Craigslist missed connections page everyday. My goal for the next few months, besides becoming employed, is to have a missed connection post written about me. It's yet to happen, but that doesn't mean I don't find enough entertainment reading every other post Craigslist publishes.

My favorite thing about Craigslist is how the anonymity just makes people go completely crazy. Sure, about seventy to eighty percent of the ads on there are written by assholes. When Jimmy Buffett played two concerts down the street at Wrigley Field, I not only cold hear "Cheeseburger in Paradise" from my house and had to maneuver past drunk Parrotheads on Clark Street, I also read about twenty missed connections that occurred at the concerts.

Then, there are posts that people write that pisses off some guy in Wicker Park. That Wicker Park resident will usually respond, making fun of the author of the previous post. Then all hell breaks loose, and about ten to fifteen different authors, including the first two, end up posting about the stupidity of the author that preceeded them. Then two or three people will write posts about how posts like that shouldn't be published on the missed connections page, but rather the rants and raves page. The whole cycle usually lasts for two or three days.

Yesterday, a man posted an missed connection about a girl reading Atlas Shrugged on the Purple line:

Atlas Shrugged on the purple line - m4w

You were riding the Purple line southbound on Monday evening at 7:15-7:30ish. When I stepped on the train, you were enthralled with your wonder of a book, ATLAS SHRUGGED, and you looked appropriately wonderful the enire way. For the 20 minutes I sat three seats away from you, you did not once look up from your novel, and only stopped once to drink from your bottled water.
I do not want a response to this, and I doubt even more that someone like you would frequent a site like this. I wanted to say, however, that you were the closest I have ever seen to anyone being a model of competence veiled in a body of beauty and art. Your striaght blond hair and simple khacki skirt with white blouse said enough of your taste, with none of the frivolities that most use to display their personalities (obnoxious colors, Ipods, piercings). Your practical sandals were nearly the same color as your shoulder length dark blond hair, and I only wish I would have gotten a better look at your downturned eyes.
From now on, when I read Atlas Shrugged, you will be the vision that I conjure in my mind when Dagney Taggart is mentioned, and I will look for you again on the route; not to be noticed by you, but to enjoy the sight of a goddess completely content in the enjoyment of her moment.

John Galt (...If only...)

Yes, this guy is obviously an asshole. Yes, he probably masturbated to Ayn Rand's portrait on the back cover of his copy of The Virtue of Selfishness. No, we wouldn't want this guy to get away with a post like this.

Here's a response:

RE: Atlas Shrugged on the purple line - m4w

uhhhhh.... creepy... creepy guys like this are what i think about when i read Atlas Shrugged... i really hope that girl was reading that ridiculous book with her tongue in her cheek...

the Ann Coulter Fan Club called... they are waiting on you, creepy dude..

Then, a second response:

I wished I ran into someone reading Atlas Shrugged. I would've asked them to marry me. Once I was reading Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal on the addison bus and some old guy from the cubs game asked if I had to read it for class, and I punched him in the face. Except that didn't really happen...

This could be taken either way. Maybe she was being sarcastic. Maybe she's just another Rand fan.

Those posts were published yesterday, and this evening the original post's author responded:

A quick response to your comment on my posting about the woman I noticed on the L line.

I believe there is very little that is more evil than misuse or laziness with the spoken word, and you clearly are either very stupid, lazy, or evil. Your two lines of embarassment served to show that, among other things, you...

1) ...would rather not take the time to make a real rebuttal or comment, but would rather throw out short remarks that can be neither refuted nor taken seriously, as they have no basis in fact or logic.

2)...more than likely took personal offence to this posting, which probably puts you in the category of one that is bathed in frivolities in leiu of a moral code... I suppose you have piercings, tatoos, gaudy clothing, too much makeup, etc, which is probably appropriate since your body has never served a moral purpose or been used for much other than sensual gratification. Degradation of a mind and body that does nothing but spew insults and negativity without fact is a natural course.

3)... clearly have not even READ the book, as you had to steer the post to another completely unrelated topic, Ann Coulter. If you do not see that the world is driven by more than partisan hatred, you will never see how irrelevant political orientation is when placed next to individual will.

4)... are incapable yourself of admiring something beautiful for what is is. It seems that you are either too caught up in your idea of what beauty/right is to let it be threatened by the ideas of another, or you merely are incapable of seeing something as 'great' without placing some evil or disgusting motive behind it ( you wrote " creepy guys like this are what I thinnk about when i read Atlas Shrugged).

So, I would tell you to get a life, but instead I will just ask you to stay out of other people's lives until you have something productive to add to them.

I'm just going to repeat this part again, because it's too good to be true. Also, because it was in the CRAIGSLIST MISSED CONNECTIONS:

"you more than likely took personal offence to this posting, which probably puts you in the category of one that is bathed in frivolities in leiu of a moral code... I suppose you have piercings, tatoos, gaudy clothing, too much makeup, etc, which is probably appropriate since your body has never served a moral purpose or been used for much other than sensual gratification. Degradation of a mind and body that does nothing but spew insults and negativity without fact is a natural course."

I hope this continues for days...

Harriet Miers

I posted this on Monday on my MySpace blog, but since I didn't really have anything interesting to say right now in my first blog here, I decided to just repost it.

I usually don't get too political in blogs because, honestly, if you wanted to read some asshole's view on a political issue, you could go to one of a few other thousand blogs. Or Fox News. However, when I saw Harriet Miers's picture on Monday morning, I couldn't help but come up with these comparisons.

First, here's a picture of Miers and Bush, taken Monday morning:

Here's a picture of Tammy Faye Bakker:

And finally, here's a picture of Robert Blake in Lost Highway: