Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No one will ever steal my movies.

I just went out to get the mail and found that I got a movie from Netflix. The package was ripped open and luckily whoever wanted to watch a movie tonight did not actually steal mine.

I guess they didn't want to see Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Everyone's too stupid.

I'm at work. And I know I shouldn't blog at work. But if certain people are allowed to blast "Toxic" from their cubes, then I'm going to take it upon myself to blog on my lunch break, which I have voluntarily reduced from an hour to a half-hour (that means two and a half more hours a week, people, which is twenty-five whole dollars before taxes!).

My coworkers are kind of odd. I won't single any of them out because the majority of them are just slightly strange. No one talks to me other than nodding or saying hello in passing.

Generally, they all look like they should be models for the Guess Who? game characters. You know exactly what I mean.

Luckily, I hook up my iPod to the computer speakers and listen to my music all day. While my neighbor drives me crazy with his Latin music, I drive him crazy with my Fiery Furnaces.

I've come across some really obnoxious things while processing these applications. Personally, I believe that if you can't fill out the application correctly, you should rethink a college career. For example, people leave questions blank all the time. I'm not talking about those regarding ethnicity. I'm talking about stuff like whether they will live on or off campus. Sure, it's a tough decision, but if you're applying from Minneapolis, you might not want to commute to Lincoln Park everyday.

Also, the kids who don't capitalize proper names when filling out the online application drive me crazy. That means I have to go back and fix all of the names. Look, kids, this is college. There isn't going to be someone checking your work anymore.

Oh, and here's a good one: this girl wrote down a zip code in place of an area code. I swear people, the children are our future.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Blah-didity blog.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is on HBO right now. I've seen it a million times, and it's not that great. But dammit, it makes me want to move to Savannah tomorrow. Unfortunately, I can't afford a million dollar home in the old part of town. I wish I could afford to go there on vacation again, and this time not stay in the run-down HoJo.

I had the same reaction yesterday when I watched Rent, which was god-awful. But it (surprisingly) made me want to move to New York. Maybe some day.

On Friday night Lindsay met me at the Beat Kitchen for the Voxtrot show. The opening band was Probably Vampires, and they were pretty good - kind of indie rock Motown. They did a really great cover of "Ring of Fire". I liked them enough to buy a CD at the end of the show (which was two bucks) and then they gave them out for free. Well, at least I supported indie rock.

Voxtrot was pretty good, but since they played my favorite song in the middle of their set, I got kind of bored. I also realized that I like them so much because they're very light-hearted, early 20s rock. I'd see them again at MACRoCk if I can make it there in April.

There's not much else to report; it's been a pretty slow weekend. I wish Christina had a blog so she could describe her visit to the Tank Museum in Danville, Virginia for everyone.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Overheard right before seeing bad college improv:

Girl 1: "Hey, right after this there's a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament."

Girl 2: "Yeah... I'm not going to go to that."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Now I need to figure out how to put this on my resume.

Remember how I mentioned maybe a month back how someone contacted me about a picture on Flickr of Laurie, Kristin, and Dan walking home from a Cubs game. Well, unless you're a great stalker, you probably don't, so I'll refresh your memory. This guy who runs Cubscast wanted to use the picture for a photo caption contest at the Cubs convention. I checked back after the convention and saw another picture, so I assumed they weren't going to use it after all.

Then today I was bored at work and Googling myself (of course), and I found my name on the website. They ended up using the picture after all, which I thought was pretty exciting. Here's the picture with the captions. I don't get most of them because I don't care about baseball, but maybe one of my readers is a Cubs fan and will enjoy this.

  1. "Hey! We Just got back from our study abroad...did we miss anything?" - Tom
  2. "I can't believe she bought the same outfit as me and then I find out Sosa left the Cubs, it was soooo embarassing." - Freddy
  3. "Wow! That girl must have been at the convention too. I wonder why everything Sosa was so cheap." - Kevin
  4. "You know I love you baby, but I love Sosa more." - James
  5. "Dang! Where did we leave our pom poms?" - Joey
  6. FIRST PRIZE WINNER: "Which way to the casting call for 'That 90's Show?'" - Dan
  7. "Its all just a conspiracy, we know in our hearts Sosa still plays here" - Steven
  8. "Man, this walk to Japan SUCKS!" - Ryan
  9. "Leaving Wrigley dejected, they found out Sammy had not come back from the Happy Fairyland mom told them about?" - Steven
  10. "Maybe she'll go out with me if I convince her and her friend Sammy is still on the team." - Marty
  11. "I know baby, it's hard to swing the big stick without being juiced. Want to go to Hi-tops?" - Adam
  12. "That girl in the middle is probably pretty hot." - Dave
  13. "Hmm, 21 is also the legal drinking age. Coincidence?" - Aaron
  14. "This is the closest Sammy Sosa can get to getting a Triple Double." - Jimmy
  15. "Katrina victims Ron and Cheryl Davis with daughter Judy begrudgingly sport their donated Sammy Sosa attire. Ron Davis - 'I asked for some D-Lee shirts but this was all they had.'" - Dave
  16. "Sammy Sosa (right), left unsigned and unwanted by even the likes of the Northern League Schaumburg Flyers, begins his shameful walk from Cooperstown (after his ill-fated attempt to persuade the head of the Baseball Hall of Fame to wave the 5-year retirement requirement just for him, as he hoped to be inducted into the Hall of Fame while still an active player) to the Trump Tower in New York, where he will live with his only remaining friend (Donald), his two remaining fans (pictured), and any of his family willing to put scorn and shame upon their names for generations to come." - Phil
  17. "Don't chicks dig the long ball?" - Tim
  18. "After finally getting off the juice, it was revealed that Sammy Sosa was actually white. His fans still stick by him." - Doug
  19. "Sosa Fans Go HOME!!!" - Jeff
  20. "A bulked up Sammy Sosa tries to sneak back into Hohokam Stadium for tryouts, dressed up as a white guy and two white women, but those skirts aren't fooling anyone. The bright whiteness of his left leg is obviously clown makeup." - Leif
  21. "How do you say 'HOLY COW!' in Japanese?" - Kyle
  22. "You know hunny, maybe that girl over there would like to find out why they call me 'Slammin' Sammy.'" - Derek
  23. "Girl: If you really loved me...you would've worn the skirt too!!" - Bryant
  24. "ok girls for this year we're going to have to get corey patterson jerseys!" - Steve
  25. "blonde cheerleaders have been 'berry, berry good to me'" - Chris
  26. "Why can't I quit you?" - Brad
  27. "Sammy Sosa spelled backwrods is asos ymmas...no mas!" - Scott
  28. "What people don't know is that these three people thought they bought Derrek Lee t-shirts" - John
  29. "Is this the Cubs clothing we can win?" - Todd
  30. "Dude, if the Bears lose to the Panthers in the playoffs, me, my girlfriend AND her abnormally pale friend will wear sosa jerseys the rest of the year!" - Bebo
  31. "Two Sosa's and his Baby" - Rob
  32. "Sosa's new girlfriend. If only his relationship with Dusty Baker was just as good..." - Jason
  33. "In order to increase their fanbase, the new and improved Tampa Bay 'Rays' change their colors to red, white, and blue." - Chip
PS. I don't think the winning caption is funny. My favorite is number thirty, only because it blatantly makes fun of Laurie's snow-white tan.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oh, you crazy Googlers!

Ok, I'm all for people reading my blog and finding it on Google and such, but this is ridiculous.

In the last two days I've had over thirty referrals from Google searches for a certain African-American themed film starring a man dressed as a woman (no, not Big Momma's House 2, the other one). I made the unfortunate decision to sarcastically say that I was really excited to see the movie, and now people are checking out my blog because of it and, frankly, I can't imagine they are enjoying the experience.

I think it's really funny when people find my blog on Google searches because I once wrote all six of the words in their search phrase. And I've Googled things before and found off-the-wall results, but you can usually tell when some results are not what you're looking for. So it baffles me why people are clicking on my blog. Maybe it's because I share a name with the man who dresses in drag in the certain movie with a Greek character's name in the title?

Also, someone searched for "A family reunion Pizza project use spreadsheets algebra". Seriously, some middle-school Googler was trying to cheat on his homework and he was an idiot and clicked on my blog. Why? WHY?

Oh, and here's the best part: This morning, around 7:05 eastern time, someone in Durham, North Carolina Googled "Tyler C0ates Montross". Uh, is there someone from my past haunting the streets of Durham? A long-lost friend / enemy / relative? I only know of one person from JMU who moved to Durham, and I don't think she'd search for me on Google. So, long-lost friend / enemy / relative - please, announce yourself!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Highs and lows.

The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs song confuses me. It doesn't really sound like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But I kinda like it anyway.

In my last post I mentioned my new obsession with Nick Cave. I made an observation that I should include here. If you fall asleep listening to Nick Cave and then continue to sleep several hours with it playing, you will inevitably have nightmares. All I remember was that my dreams had a lot of cocaine and murder in them.

Last night I reached a new low. I got way too drunk again and again (!!!) passed out on the coat-bed. At one point, a party guest came in to get his stuff to leave and said to me, "Hey, can you hand me that coat that you're laying on?"

I also realized that having two martinis (which, really, is about six or seven shots of vodka) is never a good move, and I shouldn't have been surprised when I eventually threw up over the railing of my friend's porch. What's worse is that I needed help cleaning up my mess, and I fucking hate that. I really fucking hate that. I hate getting that drunk and being the guy that needs help. I know "everybody's been there" and I "shouldn't be upset" about it, but I am. I'm really embarrassed and it just makes me realize that my post-graduate drinking habits have left me feeling like an asshole nine times out of ten, so I'm going to quit it. I don't want to drink.

Now, I am trying to figure out if I should quit completely, or if I can see myself having a beer or two in a bar (since my behavior usually gets out of hand when I'm at a party supplied with free alcohol). I decided that there are more positive aspects about this decision than negative. For example, I spend a good chunk of my non-rent money on alcohol. In college I blew money on thrift store clothes and music and movies and books. I don't buy any of that stuff anymore. My credit card statement lists charges from bars and restaurants, not Barnes and Noble. I would rather buy good books and see good movies than blow my money away on what will quickly become a hangover and embarrassment.

In other news, Lindsay read a story that I wrote and left a million comments, so I'm looking forward to working on that again. I really need to start writing fiction again, even if it's just little pieces of prose that don't come to conclusions. I need to make a habit of it so I can motivate myself.

I have a new prospective crush that I'm excited about, so that's an exciting thing. Also, I had lunch with new friend Erin this week, and it's nice to meet someone on my own who I actually enjoy.

I'm going to start doing research on the MAPH program at UChicago. Eric seems to think I could get in, but I'm still not sure. When I become a bit more financially stable, I'm going to look into the GRE again and actually prepare for it this time.

There are several shows that I'm looking forward to. Voxtrot is playing at the Beat Kitchen on Friday, Jason Molina is playing Schuba's next Monday, Belle & Sebastian and Jenny Lewis in the middle of March, and Sarah Harmer and Neko Case at the end of March. Hey, if I don't spend all of my money on liter-bottles of wine at Jewel, maybe I can afford tickets! Whatta thought!

Friday, February 17, 2006

I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear.

I'm sitting on my bed wearing a collared button-up shirt and a tie and a sweater. I was going to go out with Lindsay and Kristin but I bailed because, frankly, I'm tired and broke and my knee hurts. My knee started hurting yesterday. It does this weird thing when I sit where it just hurts for a while, and when I extend my leg my knee-cap clicks. It's happened before; I think it started when I fell on my knee in sixth grade. It hasn't really bothered me in years, though, so I'm curious as to why the pain has started up again.

I'll wear my hipster-formal getup tomorrow night at Julia's cocktail party, so don't worry. I know you were quite upset.

Work was uneventful. Luckily, I got to sit down at the computer today instead of shuffling files all around the office. Seriously, why would anyone put random files into boxes and not alphabetize them? Isn't the alphabet the very basis of filing? Apparently not in university admissions offices.

While I fooled around on PeopleSoft processing checks for application fees, I discovered how awesome Google chat is. I talked with my friend Marjilla all day and it was fun. I realize that it's the same as talking to someone on AIM, but the novelty of Google chat hasn't worn off yet. It's only been a day.

I listened to seven albums today: Rilo Kiley's The Execution of All Things, Prince's Purple Rain, Lou Reed's Transformer, Nick Cave's The Lyre of Orpheus, Abbatoir Blues, Murder Ballads, and The Boatman's Call. I'm pretty much obsessed with Nick Cave right now. I downloaded Murder Ballads before I left for work, and tonight I got Let Love In and Tender Prey. It's a heavy, heavy night.

But don't you worry, I also downloaded the soundtrack to Little Shop of Horrors.

I'm currently trying to get through Fay by Larry Brown, and it's rather disappointing. Everything that has happened so far has been extremely predictable and somewhat contrived. Hopefully it picks up soon or I'll just go on to something else. Danielle Trussoni's Falling Through the Earth comes out next week, and I'd like to finish it before she does a reading in March and Women and Children First.

I don't have anything snappy to end this with, so I'll leave you with this article. The poor man had to apologize to Dick Cheney for getting shot in the face. Oh, Republicans! I'll never understand you!

Typical office exchange.

Gabie: "You know who you look like to me?"

Me: "Uhm, who?"

Gabie: "Have you ever seen Rent?"

Me: (Silent sigh) "Yeah..."

Gabie: (Giggle) "I told my friend, 'This boy at work looks just like that man from Rent!'"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm the dumb one, obviously. I can't even make coffee.

I learned yesterday why I can never do drugs.

I've started to drink coffee in the mornings since I have to be awake before noon and stay awake all day at work. Janna just got a new coffee maker for her birthday, so I was excited about being able to make it at home instead of paying two dollars every morning at Julius Meinl.

Let's just say I really don't know how to make coffee, and I realized this yesterday when I made the strongest coffee ever. And then had two cups of it.

I get to work and start the actual data-entry part of the job where I'm looking up people on PeopleSoft and adding documents to their applications. I realize that not only do I not know what the hell I'm doing (my boss trained me on PeopleSoft in about an hour on Friday and I quickly forgot everything), but I'm also high as a goddamn kite on caffeine. I'm all shakey and jittery and I can't keep still. My stomach feels weird and I'm freaking out.

This feeling lasts until midnight.

Long story short, I'll never do any major drugs because caffeine will fuck me up.

Also, I had the craziest train ride home where another woman's nervous breakdown almost resulted in my own. I considered writing a missed connection about it, but Christina said it was mean. Here's what I was going to write:

I was sitting across from you on the first train this afternoon on the red line. You stared at me for most of the way, occasionally taking sips from a paper bag-wrapped bottle. You were in your late forties, dirty blonde hair (with actual dirt!), bloodshot eyes. You were even wearing a hat that had the same navy blue and baby blue pattern as mine. When we got to Fullerton, you started crying and talking to yourself while continuing to stare at me. I missed what you were saying as I was busying listening to my iPod and trying to avoid eye contact with you. Was it just me, or did we have a connection?

In other news, my brother found out that he got 1850 on the SAT. Keep in mind that the SAT is out of 2400 now. And that's really good. If you take away his writing score, he got a 1240. On his first try. My brother is the smart one. I didn't break 1200 on my third try.

Maybe he can write my grad school recommendations.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Janna!

My roommate Janna is the kind of girl who can fall asleep on public transportation. She also lost her cell phone twice in the last week. About six months ago she was hit by a van and broke her collar bone. I think she's supposed to go on a date with a guy who doesn't speak English this weekend.

Janna has some weird luck, and not just bad luck!

This week she did well at an audition for a national tour of Cats. Also, she snagged a commercial for a Chicagoland car dealership. Chicagoland readers, look out for "Dancing with the Cars." You might just see Janna waltzing with a Lexus.

Happy birthday, Janna! I hope your twenty-fourth year brings you some more randomness and awkwardness!

Happy Birthday, Emily!

In real life (in the non-blog world), I call Emily by her full name. Unfortunately, she's instructed me not to use her last name on here because she's now a grown-up school teacher and she's afraid of her Catholic school students googling her and finding out about her crazy college stories.

Like the time she went to a party and it sucked so she decided that we should try to steal random, worthless objects. She snagged a sink drain.

Emily may have made out with the most people associated with our college radio station, and that's quite a feat.

Happy twenty-third, Emily!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm really excited to see Medea's Family Reunion.*

Woo-hoo! One hundredth post!

Today was exhausting. It's weird that sitting down all day writing names on file folders can be exhausting, but it was. I had to deal with crampy fingers and a co-worker who believes there's an office-wide conspiracy against us temps.

After work I headed down to the Harold Washington Library to see Koren Zailckas read from Smashed. I was excited about meeting her since I refer to her as "my sort of writer friend" (we were sort-of friends because we had only communicated through MySpace). She recognized me when I raised my hand to ask her a question during the Q & A session and said, "Hey!" It was funny.

After the book signing we went to her hotel for dinner at the fanciest place I've ever been. We had thirty-dollar dinners. Neither of us finished them because they were complicated and had lots of food that we didn't like mixed in with the stuff we did like, but it was paid for so it was okay. I was happy that she's so nice and down-to-earth. I asked her if she had a concept of how famous she was and she was like, "I'm NOT famous." Eh, her book is on the New York Times bestseller's list so I think she's sorta famous.

Anyway, we talked about writing, Mississippi, books we like, and James Frey, who she exchanged emails addresses with before the scandal broke. It was fun meeting up with her and chatting.

I should go to bed because I'm tired. This whole 9 to 5 thing isn't that wonderful. Duh.

*This is a lie.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Well, today was my first day of long-term, full-time work.


It was about what I expected. The three of us sat at a desk and basically filed for a while because we didn't have any DePaul security passes or online accounts yet. We had to go through thousands of loose files that made up parts of undergraduate applications. It made me so thankful I wasn't applying to college again. I was about to have a panic-attack-flashback to senior year of high school. It was nice to know that my life is much better five years later.

Also, I got to read some of the personal statements, letters of recommendation, SAT scores, and high school transcripts. You would not believe the DUMBASSES who apply to college. Seriously. Dumb asses. I wanted to call these kids and ask, "Hey, do you honestly expect to get into a college with a 1.89 GPA? If you failed Algebra II three times, you probably should avoid college." I have no idea what DePaul's reputation is, but it's hard to believe that these people can get into college.

Also, every letter of recommendation is exactly the same. The only way to distinguish them is by how poorly- or well-written they are. Honestly, how did some of these people become teachers? "I am writing on behalf of Kate Blahdiddyblah's application. It's such a pleasure to write this letter for Kate. Kate is such a hard worker. Kate works really hard at school. Kate is quiet in class but she's really smart. And a hard worker. Kate was even the president of the math club!"

We're not supposed to be doing this full-time. Eventually we're going to start updating Excel spreadsheets with information about what courses at other colleges will transfer to DePaul. Or something.

There are two other guys, although one of them left for lunch and didn't come back. I'm not sure what happened to him. The other one is... Well, let's just say I have this great luck where I always have at least one asshole in my life. Thankfully, he's my coworker. I shouldn't go into details for that reason.*

I ate at Chipotle for the first time during my lunch break and it was intense. My other random story from the day is that I think my red line train passed the Chicago heap of burning tires on the way home. Smelly train.

Also, Nicole found this kid on MySpace and I'm totally going to request friendship.

* That's a lie. Here are two exchanges I had with this dude:
Him: "So why do you want to go to Ole Miss?"
Me: "Well, I want to study Southern lit, and Oxford is the hometown of Faulkner and John Grisham pumps a lot of money into the school..."
Him: "Hmm, Faulkner. I tried reading The Sound and the Fury and I just couldn't get into it. I mean, it wasn't beyond my mental capabilities, but I just couldn't dig it."

Him: "Hey, you were an English major - do you have a book recommendation?"
Me: "Uh, I'm reading One Hundred Years of Solitude right now, it's pretty good..."
Him: "I've heard of that. I'm a big fan of... Have you heard of the band Tool? They have this list of books on their website and that's on it. I thought about reading it once."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

No poopies on the carpet, Peter Sarsgaard!

This weekend was kind of lackluster.

Friday night we all went over to Dan and Kristin's and had a housewarming / birthday party for Nicole. Kristin and I had spent the afternoon making a Coke cake (the cola, not the drug), and it received mixed reviews (most people just thought it was a weird combination of flavors, while I still think it's fucking amazing).

I slept until four on Saturday and wasn't feeling too well so I opted out of the rest of the group's plan to go to live-band karaoke in Wicker Park. Instead I got to see SNL for the first time in a really long time. It was an okay episode, but Prince was the musical guest and his two songs were really great.

Since I slept until four, I didn't get any sleep last night, so I literally spent hours on Flickr adding pictures to random photo groups. I'm really obsessed with that site.

Tonight we went back to Dan and Kristin's to watch the Super Bowl which was boring. We did get to see some of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, which was much more exciting. Well, it got old, but I was more excited about the half hour of it that we watched than I was about the whole Super Bowl. We kept naming all of the puppies after random famous people, and my favorite was Peter Sarsgaard. Think about it: it's a pretty awesome dog name.

Tomorrow is my first day at the new job. I'm really happy that I'm working, even if the job turns out to suck. It'll be so nice to be making steady money and not have to worry about starving, being in debt, and having to move back to Virginia. Kristin's doing some research work at UIC and she says she gets a lot of emails about job openings, and I'm hoping that her connection to that information and possible connections at DePaul will help me find something permanent.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Official Work Force Member, 2006.

Today was my second day at the really hip retail store. I don't like it much. It's a lot of work and my bosses are my age and that feels weird. Also, I'm one of the very few people who aren't college students. Also, it's not full time and they only scheduled me for twenty four hours next week. Also, everyone wears the same pair of girls' jeans and have the same asymmetrical haircut.

The good thing about it is that I've met cool people and I like them. So far there aren't many people that annoy me. Make sure you read that carefully - there aren't many. When I got to work this morning at 4:30 and we sat around chatting while waiting for the shipments to come in, I kept thinking, "Would it be bad to write about this person in my blog? Would it be easy for them to find it?" The answer is yes, and I'd feel guilty. I'll just say there's at least one kid who is kind of like an eight-year-old who is constantly starving for attention and holds on to conversations by saying ridiculous statements like, "I bet riding a bike is like a second language to you," or by pulling out his driver's license to show you how he used to be two hundred pounds heavier. Oh shit, I just wrote about him. Eh, well.

Oh, by the way, I'm quitting because I GOT A REAL FUCKING JOB.

Well, technically it's not "real". It's a long-term temporary position that may go into June. But I'm excited because it's full time and pays well and I WON'T HAVE TO MOVE HOME. Seriously, it's so good to know that. I'm staying in Chicago!

I am kind of bummed that I won't get to see the cool people I met this week, so I might tell the manager that I can work occasionally on the weekends. I mean, I still want the discount - I didn't even get the chance to use it!

Anyway, that's all the news I have. We still don't have the internet or cable, but since I've got a real job I figured I could afford to use the wireless connection at Julius Meinl.

Happy Birthday, Nicole!

Nicole is my new roommate and I'm excited she's in Chicago. She's really easy to talk to because she doesn't talk and I get to just talk, talk, talk. Before Nicole I just had a blog and random readers who couldn't really stop me mid-thought.

Here's something you should know about Nicole: She's kind of like the Samuel L. Jackson character from Unbreakable. She's very fragile. Take this crazy story that happened two summers ago, for example. Nicole and a bunch of her friends (this was pre-Tyler's-my-awesome-friend) went to this lake to go swimming. There was a huge cliff that was about thirty feet above the water's surface. Always a daredevil, Nicole jumped off the cliff into the water. Unfortunately, she got a wedgie. A really, really bad one.

Did you know that you can rip your anus from getting a bad wedgie? It's true!

So Happy Birthday, Nicole, and welcome to Chicago! Hopefully the cold weather will be kind on your fragile anus.