Thursday, March 30, 2006
I posted the picture this morning because I wasn't sure if I would be at my desk today, since we're pretty much finished with the backlog of applications and now we're doing "clean up". But, here I am, so I get to post. Wee.
Anyway, the point of the picture is that I need a haircut. Badly. When my hair can defy grafity without the help of product, something must be done. It's especially long in the front, which is a first; I actually have to use Janna's flat-iron or my hair will flip-up and look really bad. I also have to use gel just to tame it. It's a beast.
Speaking of beasts, Nicole called last night around nine o'clock. "Are you home?" she asked, and I said yes. Then she said, "Okay, good. I'm standing outside and there's an animal standing on the porch in front of the door." I walked to the hall to look out the window on the door and, sure enough, there was the neighborhood possum that I've seen rummaging through the neighbor's trash. I knocked on the door and, instead of walking down the stairs, it walked up the stairs to the third floor deck. Nicole ran in really quickly, and we stood there at the window for a while staring at it. It finally went back down the stairs and we saw that it had a big chunk of fur missing on its right side. Nicole then thought it was cute, but I'm still a little weary of a possum hanging out around our house.
I've been pretty good about getting to work on time. I've only overslept twice, which is amazing considering I got Cs in two English classes simply because they were at 9:30 and I missed two many class sessions from not waking up. I set two alarms every morning - one on my clock and one on my phone - for 6:30, but I hit snooze for (and this is the goddamn truth) fifty minutes. Which means I get up at 7:20 everyday, which gives me enough time to shower, get dressed, fix my stupid hair, and fix the occasional sandwhich all before I leave the house around 8:00. And I think it's stupid that I go through fifty minutes of waking up every five minutes just to walk across the room to cut my alarm off, but I'm afraid that if I just set my alarms for 7:20, I wouldn't wake up until 8:00. This is a really pointless fear, however; on Saturdays I wake up in a panic around 7:30 thinking I have to get out of bed and go to work. Every Saturday. I can't wait until I don't do that on the weekends. My dad told me it'll probably be another twenty years before I'm used to it.
I'm going to see Sarah Harmer at Schuba's tonight with Julia and Canadian-friend Rebecca. I had forgotten until yesterday afternoon, so it's kind of like finding ten dollars in your coat pocket. I already bought the ticket, but that was so long ago that when I remembered yesterday I thought, "Yay, free concert!" But not really. Anyway, Julia has an extra ticket so if anyone has actually heard of Sarah Harmer and likes her (Weakerthans fans: she sings with John K. Sampson on "Benediction"), let me know before 8:00 tonight.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I had a thought after reading some Faulkner on my lunch break: "I just need to find a cute girl who likes good music, Faulkner, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls."
I've had two applications recently where "Pagan" was chosen as the applicant's religious preference. One was a 49-year-old female divorcee, and the other was a 19-year-old gay male. That seems about right.
When I got back from my lunch break this afternoon I had an email from funny-lady Julie Klausner, who performs at the UCB Theater in New York and was the creator of Cat News. She said that she was Googling herself and found a reference to one of her appearances on Jake Fogelnest and Jackie Clarke's radio show. I was pretty excited, then kind of embarrassed, since this is the post that she found, where I admit to having an online obsession with Jackie Clarke as well as a general obsession for most slightly-famous people. I'm surprised she emailed me rather than become a little creeped out. Bold move, Klausner!
I apologize for the post - I've been trying to stick to one topic lately, but nothing too out of the ordinary has happened lately, and I did get shit from a few people for my long post about how I don't like medium salsa from Chipotle. At the same time, however, it's my blog and I do what I want. I appreciate people reading it and commenting and everything, but don't expect too much from me. I'll write a week's worth of blogs about Chipotle if I feel like it, or I'll post my results for online quizzes like, "How Chicago are you?" or "What kind of kisser are you?!"
What is Your "True Tractor"
Love the Vintage Tractors eh
Quizzes by myYearbook.com -- the World's Biggest Yearbook!
PS. I totes KNEW it was Massey-Ferguson because that's the kind that my grandfather took to the one tractor show / tractor pull I went to!!!!!1111
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
So after finishing most of the applications that I have to complete today (I have three left), I decide to treat myself to Chipotle. I mean, what brings up my spirits other than Chipotle?
So I waltz across the street to my lovely, yet crowded Chipotle. While in line, I notice the JMU alum with whom I had an awkward interaction with a few weeks ago. I avoid eye contact. That's the anti-social Tyler we all know and love!
Then I get up to place my order with the woman who screeches unintelligibly, "FO' HER' O' TOOGO?!" and I only stutter once. Good sign! Usually I trip over my words, either bumping into people in line or landing face-first in the guacamole. This is where I always get nervous and flabbergasted, and I make it through! Next stop, salsa! Oh, but salsa is so easy. "Mild and medium, please!" Oh, Tyler: your day is shaping up!
As I watch the woman slap a ladle-worth of medium salsa onto my tacos, I realize that I meant to ask for mild and hot salsa. See, the hot salsa is the only one that doesn't have chunks of, you know, vegetables in it, but since it's too hot on it's own, I mix in the mild salsa which is just chunks of tomatoes. The medium salsa, however, is some kind of green chili, which I find disgusting because I don't like eating slimy green things. Since Chipotle is the loudest fucking space on the planet, I can't stop the woman, so I'm stuck with the green, medium salsa. Great.
So I pay and am about to leave when I think, "Hey, I'll put hot sauce on my tacos. Yes, Tyler, that is the obvious remedy to the situation."
Two minutes later, I'm back at my desk. I unfold my aluminum foil-wrapped lump of tacos, pick up the first, and take a big bite. Immediately, I notice two sensations in my mouth. One is the feeling of the green salsa's slimy particles slipping around my tongue, and I am disgusted. Unfortunately, that disgust is quickly overshadowed by the burning sensation of the hot sauce, which begins on my tongue but then spreads to my lips and throat pretty damn quickly.
So now my mouth is on fire, my eye is watering (because I touched it with a hot sauce-tainted finger), and I couldn't take more than two more bites of my taco. Luckily, I brought a turkey sandwich for my real lunch today, maybe subconsciously predicting that I would somehow fuck up lunch.
Life is hard, y'all.
I'm really frustrated with this MTV/Rolling Stone thing. Since I don't have any writing samples that fit the criteria, I have to just write them up this week. I managed to do one on Sunday night, and it took me two hours to write a minor five-hundred-word essay. It used to take that long for me to write something three times that length. I sat at my computer last night, trying to get something out for the second essay, but I couldn't think of anything. And there's absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be able to do this. I used to go to Carrier Library two hours before a paper would be do for a class and write it and eventually get an A on it. I'd do that about twice a week. So why the hell can't I manage to write a five-hundred-word essay on Gilmore Girls or the Neko Case album?
I don't even particularly want to be on this show; I'm basically filling this stuff out because it was supposed to be fun. Now I feel like I'm applying to college or something. I'm spending an hour looking at pictures of myself, trying to figure out which one someone in the casting department at MTV would like, or trying to come up with my top five non-fiction writers, as if there is a right answer. I wouldn't say I want to be a journalist. Sure, I'd like to be a writer, but I don't think I'd want to work for a magazine. It just doesn't really appeal to me enough for me to get motivated to complete the application.
But now I can't quit because I've told too many people that I'm going to do it. Damn my big mouth!
There are a couple of other things that have been bothering me. One would be the realization that if I plan to find another apartment before my lease is up, I need to save up money for the security deposit. This poses a problem, however, since my three hundred dollars a week doesn't really allow me to save up a lot of money. I basically make enough to live here and pay for the occasional cheap entertainment (by the way, cheap entertainment does not imply strippers).
So that leads me to the job situation. My time is up in June, and that sucks. The last two months have flown by, and I'm afraid the next two will do the same. I have absolutely no ideas. I have a revised resume but I haven't applied to anything, simply because I obviously don't know how to look for a job (reference blog entries from October to January as proof). I've sent my resume to Kristin's dad, and hopefully one of his contacts will pull through.
I like my job alright. It's pretty mindless, but I get along with the people I have to work with and the atmosphere is pretty relaxed. Apparently I'm kicking ass here; my boss told me yesterday that I get through the most applications, even beating the full-time people who do my job year-round. This, of course, is the story of my fucking life. I'm a hard-worker and can do pretty much anything an employer tells me to do (I had no idea how to use PeopleSoft when I got here), but no one is willing to give me a job and train me at something new. How the hell do I write, "Oh, my boss told me I was better than the full-time people at my last temp job!" on my resume?
One of the other temps who has been here since March left yesterday because his assignment ended. He is thirty-eight and used to be an IT manager before he lost his job. Now he makes nine dollars an hour temping (less than me, which is weird - I guess not all temp agencies will pay ten dollars, so I'm pretty lucky). And that sucks. I don't ever want to have to deal with that.
Also, I hate every single pair of nice pants I own. I own four pairs and they all suck. The Dockers dress pants my mother told me I had to buy don't fit right; they're too baggy in the leg and too short, and I feel like an idiot. I might break down and go to H&M after work today and buy a new pair of pants that will likely shrink or fall apart after I wash them.
I watched half of Prozac Nation last night and it's really horrible, which is a shame because I loved that book so much. It's honestly put together as if it's a film school project. Christina Ricci does a really great job, but at some points she seems like she's trying to figure out, along with me, what the hell is wrong with the movie she's in.
I do have one good thing to report: I'm not wearing long underwear today, which is the first time since November. Hooray for Spring.
Monday, March 27, 2006
SUV guy replies, "Don't worry, she's just going to sleep in the driver's seat."
It's officially Springtime in Chicago, y'all.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Have you ever dreamt of writing for a major national magazine?
We are looking for dynamic, motivated young writers who have a passion for culture and want the chance to show their stuff at one of the world's most respected magazines.
We will choose a group of talented writers to work for the summer in Rolling Stone's New York offices as FULL-TIME STAFF WRITERS, with all of the opportunities and responsibilities that entails. Your experiences will be filmed for an MTV show exploring the fast-paced world of publishing and entertainment journalism.
At the end of the summer, one outstanding writer will be chosen to receive a ONE-YEAR CONTRACT as a Contributing Writer to the magazine.
Whether your specialty is music, film, sports, fashion, or politics, whether you're a working journalist, the star of your school paper, a blogger, or simply out to prove you have what it takes to fulfill your dream, we want to hear from you!
So Christina says I have to at least apply for this because "it's my Project Runway." And I suppose she's right. The worst that could happen is that I don't get picked. The second-worst thing is that I would get a call-back and a free trip to New York and then not get picked.
The only problem I can think of right now is that I have to supply three writing samples as well as film a five-minute video where I talk about how great I am and why I want to be on the show. I think I could probably get a camera from somewhere, and I suppose I could write three things about movies, music, and pop culture to show that I have strong opinions. Of course, there's this: I'm not MTV material. I'm just not. I'm not even aggressive enough to fight with someone I'm living with (I assume I'd have to live with the other people on the show?). But, as Christina said, "There has to be at least one skinny guy in the group of hot hunky guys." I suppose that's somewhat true.
So I might as well apply. I mean, what else do I have going on? The deadline is April 7, so if anyone has any pointers for my videotape (because, admit it, we've ALL watched at least one full season of The Real World), give me a holler.
I also realize that if I go through with this I can no longer make fun of Steve for applying to Mensa.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I happened upon one of my Diaryland journals last night (the more "secret" of the two, which a lot of people still found). I get a kick out of going back and reading what insights I had when I was a sophomore and junior in college. It's kind of like when I re-read The Perks of Being a Wallflower over Spring Break during my sophomore year. When I was in eleventh grade, I loved that book - it was one of my all-time favorite books ("all-time", of course, referring to the maybe seven years I was capable of reading novels). I thought the protagonist was "just like me" and I related so much.
I read it again when I was just two years older, and I thought, "Man, I wanted to be like this kid? This guy is a loser!" I mean, he was. He was whiny and annoying. The most interesting things he did were read Ayn Rand, do drugs, and whine. What a relatable character. It made me realize that I wouldn't even have been friends with me in high school if that's what I was like. (At the same time, though, I still hated the people who I was fake-friends with in high school. You know, the friends by proximity that quickly forgot your number a week upon registering for their freshman writing courses.)
I have the same reaction to my journals from two years ago. Hell, I was pretty annoying six months ago. It's so funny that in about a year I'll look back at my blog posts from this last month and thing, "GOD. What an asshole."
At least I'm not quoting Dido lyrics, though. Man, that was a really bad point in my life.
There was one entry, however, that I wrote a couple of summers ago. It was about whatever problem I was having with whatever girl, and I was being whiny and bitchy and all emo as fuck about everything. This stood out to me, though: "It's been another long summer of sighs and longing for something I can't have. Of course, it's still undetermined whether I can have it or not, it's just a matter of waiting. And waiting. And then what? The inevitable heartbreak that I should be used to by now."
I think that pretty much describes my outlook on life. I stress and stress and stress about X and when X doesn't turn out the way I hoped, I get all depressed and then start to cope by stressing over Y. I'm doing it now, with the job hunt. And then with the GRE. And then with grad school. It's this cycle I go through year-round: I'm always on the lookout for something to get all worked-up about.
There was an entry where I quoted a line from Lost in Translation: "The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you." I'm still at this point in my life where I have no idea who I am and what I want. I need to figure those things out.
I don't know why I'm writing all of this. I guess I just wanted to blog something today and, unfortunately, today had to be one of those days where I was feeling all nostalgic while simultaneously worrying about where I'll be in six months. Oh, if only a homeless person had hit on me this morning! Then I'd have something somewhat entertaining to write about.
I don't want to think that from now on I'm going to feel more optimistic about things, that finding my old journal has somehow made me a better person or felt better about where I am right now. All I can hope is that in a year from now, I'll look back at this and think, "Hey, that's when things started looking up!"
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Weird item number two: Richard Dreyfuss got married in Harrisonburg during Madison Week.
According to People magazine, Dreyfuss married his Russian girlfriend, Svetlana Erokhin, unexpectedly at the Harrisonburg courthouse. Says Andy Perrine, JMU spokesman and associate vice president of communications and marketing: "[O]ne look at Svetlana and you wouldn't be surprised he wanted to marry her. She's beautiful and has a sultry Russian accent. She clearly is head over heels in love with Richard, who is captivatingly funny. They were like two young loves who couldn't seem to get enough of each other." Thanks, Andy. That was spectacularly US Weekly worthy!
I think my favorite part of the article described an interaction between Dreyfuss and one of Harrisonburg's finest, Deputy Bill Spinar, the dude who stands by the metal detector at the courthouse. Spinar said, "I happened to glance at him and said, 'You look like Richard Dreyfuss.' He said, 'I am Richard Dreyfuss.' I said, 'Yeah, sure you are.' He said, 'Seriously, I am Richard Dreyfuss' ... and he laughed at me."
Hey, UVA - how many washed up celebrities from the '70s have gotten married in Charlottesville? None? That's what I thought. Go Dukes!!!
Monday, March 20, 2006
I'm sick on the cold. For realsies, Chicago. Let's do this. It's pretty much Springtime everywhere else but here. I'm tired of wearing silk long underwear. I'm tired of sweating through three layers of shirts at work. Yeah, that's right. Three layers. Of shirts. In March.
I have successfully written a new resume, one that I'm pretty proud of. I've sent it to a few friends who have responded with accolades of the highest order. "Oh, Tyler! You make me want to hire you so hard right now." That sort of thing. I sent it to my mom this morning, and of course she found some typos and things that "sounded really fucking awkward, Tyler" (the "fucking" is my emphasis; I'm sure she thinks that all the time, though). My mom is really good at finding mistakes in mostly everything I do. I don't mean this in a bitter way. I appreciate her keen eye and attention to detail. (Thank God, by the way, that she doesn't read this. I know that she's aware of my blog's existence, but I think she knows that it's better for both of us that she doesn't read it.)
The reading at the Metro was really good. Tom Perotta read from Little Children, which I now really want to read. A Columbia College professor, Alexis Pride, read from her forthcoming novel, and it was pretty entertaining even if it reminded me a lot of Dangerous Minds. The event began with Dorothy Allison reading part of her memoir Two or Three Things I Know For Sure over the loudspeaker with the house lights down, and then she took the stage at the end and read an essay with the most graphic descriptions of lesbian sex I've ever heard. I wasn't really surprised by her decision to read it, but Lindsay was, and she was pretty shocked by the language. (Here's an example of the tamer stuff: She compared her labia to a manta ray.) I bought a copy of her book Trash and got her to sign it, and while I was trying to come up with something really cool and clever to say to her, my star-struck nature only allowed me to say that I liked Bastard Out of Carolina. She was nice, although she was much more interested in Lindsay than me.
The whole event made me start thinking about taking creative writing courses. Which made me think about doing creative writing in grad school. Which now just makes me mad because I change my ideas about graduate school education every week.
Speaking of grad school: I was looking at UChicago's website this morning, specifically the creative writing department of the MAPH program. I finally decided that the website is written as if someone is having a conversation with you and trying to outsmart you with complicated language and sentence structure. If I already can't quite follow the website, I'm becoming more nervous about applying. It's not lookin' good, y'all.
I met my new friend Sarah for drinks at Guthrie's on Saturday night (after a quick old skool pregaming sesh with Nicole where we both had two Mike's Hard Lemonade). Sarah's as funny in person as she is online. Also, I can get over the fact that she's in her late twenties. I mean, she is the same age as my favorite babysitter. Also, she had a master's degree before I entered my junior year of college. But I won't hold that against her; she links me on her blog and I think we all know how much I like people reading this.
Speaking about my own vanity: I took pictures of myself at work on Friday.
Speaking of pictures of myself: My new MySpace pic is the shit.
Here's something I just thought of today: It's kind of creepy that Cher and Josh get together at the end of Clueless.
Finally, in keeping with Chicago's fascination with extending St. Patrick's Day for as long as possible, I'm wearing one of my cable-knit sweaters today. I can't think of anything that the Irish gave America that's as important as the cable-knit sweater.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Back when I was just twenty years old and before my multiple drunkypants experiences, St. Patrick's Day meant very little to me. I basically just wore a green shirt and that was it. Bo-ring. The only exciting thing that happened that year was watching my friend Diane yell at a crazy girl that I didn't like very much.
We were sitting on the Quad, probably dodging frisbees and dogs. (Oh, how I miss being able to sit outside on March 17th. Eff you, Chicago.) Diane was dressed in black, I believe, in protest because she's Irish and "Irish people don't give a fuck about St. Patrick's Day." While we were sitting, our friend's cah-razy roommate comes up to us. She was cah-razy in that Renaissance Fair way, so of course she was decked out in a green peasant dress and some kind of bodice contraption. I don't know; I don't know the names for Middle Ages clothes because I don't care. She sat down with us, much to our embarrassment, and started talking about fairies and dragons and the like. Okay, that was probably exaggerated, but it wouldn't have surprised me if she pulled out a twelve inch blade she bought from a dude named Perrytail at Ye Olde Shoppe of Knivs in Busch Gardens.
After blabbing along about the Loch Ness Monster or something, she turned to Diane and says, "Why aren't you wearing green?"
Diane replies, "Because it's stupid."
To which crazy acquaintance replies, "You're stupid."
And Diane yells, "No, I'm Irish. We don't wear green and we don't eat fucking corn beef and cabbage."
Maybe you had to be there, but I found it really amusing, especially since there's always a handful of anti-St. Patrick's people, but most of them don't have a specific reason other than they want to stand out for not "selling out" or something. There's really about "selling out," but those people are probably dumb enough to think that there is.
#2: Junior Year, 2004.
I was born in September, so I was still not twenty-one by the time St. Patrick's Day rolled around during my Junior year. Luckily, second semester of that year was when I started going to parties on a regular basis. During that semester I threw up from drinking for the first time as well as made Dean's List for the first and only time. Go figure.
I went to a party at my friends' house, which was called the Lifestyles House because it was sponsored (I'm not kidding here) by Lifestyles condoms. Like many of their other parties, they gave away condoms as party favors (in plastic Easter eggs). For some reason, there was some surprise when people ended up having sex in the bathroom. Now I understand why parents object to handing out condoms in school. You know how people are with condoms.
The other excitement of the night (and no, I'm not talking about when a very drunk Christina tried to incite a dance circle to the Grease Megamix) was when two frat dogs from Kappa Alpha Douche broke into a fight of sorts on the front porch. They were visiting from Radford (again, go figure), and both had their fair share of cheap beer. One had begun to pass out on the floor of the porch while the other one (who was obviously more of man because he could hold his Beast) stood above him, yelling because he wanted to go back to the Douche house and crash. After kicking the other guy a few times, he took off walking aimlessly down the street. I can only assume he thought he was still in Radford and knew his way home.
After he left, the crowd that had congregated to silently watch the ordeal began to break up, until one girl became concerned for the drunk guy who was passed out on the porch. She and a couple of other people picked him up and tried to get him conscious, which was quite an effort. I usually really hate watching drunk people make asses out of themselves, but seeing this tiny girl smack the KAD brother over and over was pretty amusing. Eventually, the other guy wandered back into the house and the girl yelled and him and he started to cry. Best play ever, man.
Also, at some point (perhaps the actual St. Patrick's Day night?) this picture was taken:
Notice how we look barely old enough to drive, let alone drink really bad beer that Kristin thought would be festive since it was called "McSorley's".
#3: Senior year, 2005.
Ah, the joys of being twenty-one! I remember when I was a freshman my friends told me, "You know, I think it's dumb that you have to wait until you're twenty-one to drink. I mean, most people over twenty-one don't even drink that much because it isn't fun anymore." Of course, this is a lie. Not only did most of my money (read: parents' money) go to two-dollar pitchers of Natty Light and countless Red Stripes, I also drank much more after I was twenty-one because apparently I thought paying for beer at bars instead of getting it for free out of a keg was much cooler and more sophisticated. I know now that drinking Natty Light is never sophisticated, even if you drink it out of a glass instead of a red plastic cup.
The night started at Dave's Taverna, our favorite Thursday night spot. Because we were cheap and low-class, we opted out of the pitchers of "Irish" beer (Heinekin comes in a green bottle!) and instead ordered many pitchers of Natty Light. Luckily, my roommate being the crafty Midwestern girl who carries food coloring in her purse, it was green and festive. Things got hazy. Things were written on my arm. We started drawing things on our tongues with food coloring. We are super-cool people.
Then I decided that it would be a great idea to go to a friend's house for a party, so I drive myself and two other people to said party. Over the summer when I would go meet friends in bars, my mother would tell me not to drink drunk, and I'd get offended. Later I would realize that I shouldn't be offended, because I am the type of reckless asshole who has driven drunk. I'm not proud, I'm just being honest.
The theme of the party was not St. Patrick's Day-related; rather, it was a "religious rites" party. As one might imagine, the host of a religious rites party on a Thursday night should not expect a fantastic turnout, even if she spends the afternoon making a huge cross out of posterboard, gold paint, and glitter. Still, I think I had fun, although my only memories of the party are these: a. being extremely inappropriate with Laurie's breasts, shouting, "This is where the milk comes for the baby!", and b. taking communion. Yeah, I took communion on my friend's living room floor because my friend Doug, who was dressed as a Mormon, was handing out wafers. Again, classy.
The next morning I woke up and had one of my top-five hangovers, which didn't begin until I made it to my Faulkner class and sat through a guest speaker's lecture on Freudian homoeroticism in Light in August. I also had two messages written on my hands: "I heart to get off cats (and people)!!" and "That's not what your great-grandma said, ho!"
I think I'll be taking it easy tonight. St. Patrick's Day has lost it's fun at this point; I realize it's just a dumb, drinking holiday. There's no candy involved, just Irish car bombs and green beer. And really, you can do that any old time. Plus, after witnessing last weekend's loser-fest on Southport and on Clark, I realize that I don't want to be one of those assholes anymore. I'll stick to just wearing my green Saucony sneakers and being satisfied with that.
But for all of you: Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Unfortunately: a. Lollapalooza in the beginning of August; b. water bottles will probably cost twenty-five dollars; c. there will be always a couple thousand people between me and every band; d. I have no benefactors who will shell out one hundred and fifty dollars; e. I don't tan.
So there we go. I will not be attending Lollapalooza this year.
Tonight Lindsay and I are going to some thing at the Metro called "Fighting Words: Literary Rock and Roll". It's part of Story Week, which is going on right now thanks to Columbia College. Dorothy Allison, Tom Perotta, and some other author I don't know will be speaking about...rock and roll? I don't know. I know I like Dorothy Allison and Tom Perotta, and I also like free things, and getting books signed by authors. So there.
I don't really have any plans for tomorrow night other than getting the hell out of my neighborhood. I already experienced St. Patrick's Day, Part One last Saturday. I avoided a crowd of people in green waiting in line at the Mystic Celt on Southport (which is EASILY the worst bar on the street). Later that night I saw a guy slip onto Clark Street when he attempted to catch a football that his brodudesterbuddy threw at him from the opposite sidewalk. He narrowly avoided having a cab run into his head. I was rooting for the cab. I've had enough of Poor Man's Mardi Gras and it hasn't officially happened yet.
They just announced the lineup and I lost my shit.
Here's a sampling:
Death Cab for Cutie
The Flaming Lips
Broken Social Scene
The New Pornographers
Iron & Wine
The Go! Team
Mates of State
The New Amsterdams
August 4-6, Grant Park, Chicago. Let me know, people.
PS. I'm definitely going to the Pitchfork Music Festival, and if Intonation adds some more acts that I'm going to that, too.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
So, Kapa, I'm upset. I'm hurt. I thought we had a good relationship. Until I got your letter last night.
Now, come on, Kapa. I'm a good tenant. I always pay my rent on time. Always. Except for one time. But hey, it was March first! February had JUST ended. You know how February is a short month - it just flies right by and all of a sudden, it's March! Whoa, were we having too much fun?! It must have been that crazy Valentine's Day evening where I sat at home by myself watching Equus and wanting to die. Yup, I had so much fun that the next thing I knew, it was March fifth and our rent check was due the next day.
Luckily, you have the whole deal where I could drop the rent off at the office and still be in the clear. Oh, Kapa! I'd love to stop by and visit you. Of course, I got there after hours and, to my surprise, you don't have a slot in the door! How can I send you love notes in the mail if you don't even have a mail slot! Oh, you! Always playing hard to get.
So my only other choice was to drop the check in the mail. And please, Kapa, please see the irony in the location of the mailbox being at the corner just a few doors down from you. I thought you would. I thought you'd be tickled! I thought to myself, "Oh, that Kapa is going to laugh when she hears this one!"
Now, Kapa, you've been good to me. I love that it takes you two weeks to cash my checks. That's quite a nice gesture. But really, did you have to charge me a one-hundred-and-five-dollar late fee? I mean, it was just one day late, and it was the first time in six months I'd been tardy. I'm sorry!
So, if this is how it's going to be, then so be it. I'll send you your one hundred and five dollars, but I'm through. It's all give, give, give with you these days, Kapa, and I'm hurt. You cut me deep there, Kapa. You cut me deep.
Also, we have ants again, so you better take care of those little fuckers.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
So yeah, stuff like that happens every day.
Luckily I don't have too many encounters with people I don't know very well. At school or at home I would frequently avoid eye contact or duck into grocery store aisles just so I could get out of talking to someone I didn't know that well. So what the hell was I thinking about ten minutes ago when I was standing in line at Chipotle and noticed that about six people back was another JMU graduate that I met once when I moved here. I don't know him at all, really, but we have a mutual friend and, since we have met before, I thought I would say hi.
What I thought would be a social swan dive, however, quickly turned into a belly flop. I stood in front of the drink machine and waited for him. I said his name when he came closer to me, but since we were in Chipotle and a strange variety of music is always playing loudly on the stereo (seriously, who decided to put in Steve Earle at the Chicago Chipotle?), he didn't hear me. So I stood there for a couple of seconds and finally he realized that I was there and recognized me. And we had an awkward thirty second conversation where we "caught up" or whatever (basically, I told him I have a job across the street, to which he replied, "Oh. I work down the street.")
The moral of the story is that I will not make friends in yuppie Mexican fast-food restaurants, but I will get some damn good tacos.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Seriously, Belle & Sebastian was so good that I had forgotten that I saw the New Pornographers by the end of the second set. I mean, the New Pornographers were good; I even commented, "They are just a great band. How could anyone not like them?" They were pretty top-notch; even fake-Neko Case was pretty good (if I knew her actual name I would surely use it there). But seriously, they couldn't hold a candle to Belle & Sebastian.
I've never been to a show before where something crazy and unexpected happens. You always hear about them from friends. For example, at the Feist show in DC, Jenny Lewis just showed up on stage. Crazy!
Well, tonight was memorable. In the middle of B&S's set, Stuart introduced a song by saying, "So we got this email from a guy in Chicago who wanted us to play this song and he suggested that his wife get up on stage and sing with us. We haven't played it in a while so we'll give it a shot. Are you guys here?" Four hands pop up right in front of him and he says, "Oh. That's you? That's convenient." So then this large gal gets up on stage dressed in what looks like Renaissance regalia and everyone gets nervous. You can feel it. "They're going to play a song and this bitch is going to fuck it up." Then they played "Lazy Line Painter Jane" and, I swear to God, the girl nailed it. I was so surprised and excited for her. Not only did she get to sing on stage with Belle & Sebastian, but she was fucking amazing, as well!
Because it was such a big venue and sold out, I got to mix with all of the concert goers that are at every single concert I've ever been to. Seriously, you know the type. I'm always stuck next to the annoying girl with pigtails who insanely dances to everything and, when people get pissed because she's pushing them out of her way to flail about, starts to loudly ponder, "Why the fuck are these people at a show if they're not going to DANCE?!??!?!" Yes, I was next to her the entire night. She also happened to the that girl who is the opening act's BIGGEST FAN EVERRRRR. She's the type of girl who extends her arms to the opening act's lead singer, as if to somehow magically pull his energy out of his body and into hers. She also is prone to screaming, "AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO LIKES THIS BAND?" My guess is that she didn't even know that the girl singing with the New Pornographers was not Neko Case.
Then there are the dudes - yes, dudes - who look like they showed up at the wrong concert. Right before B&S went on I was pushed forward by this guy who was trying to get closer to the stage. He was wearing a pre-worn baseball cap and had that chin-strap type of facial hair. (It should have been an arab strap. Zing!) I was convinced that he was there to see U2, but when I noticed later that he looked up to the ceiling "with arms wide open" whenever B&S made a reference to God or any higher power, I realized that he was just a drunk Creed fan.
Then there are the hilariously ironic guys who yell out "Freebird" at indie-rock shows. Shut the fuck up.
Also, I love the type of people who are about twenty feet from the stage yet are sure that the band is going to take their requests. They even say please! "Play something from Sinister! Pleeeease, just one song! Pleeeeeeease???" I thought I was going to start yelling out with them just so they would play something from that album and get the girl behind me to quiet down.
Ah, I guess it's just been a while since I've been to a large-venue concert (the last was in October when I saw Broken Social Scene). It was a good night out, however, I had fun. I danced a bit, doing impressions of what our friend Megan (our resident B&S fanatic) must have looked like dancing at her fourth - yes, fourth - consecutive B&S show in five days. I'm sure I couldn't do her dancing justice. (As I'm writing this I'm hoping that Megan has a sense of humor and shares Kristin's and my feelings of nostalgia when we think of B&S videos of random girls playing recorders and dancing sloppily to "The Boy With the Arab Strap". I hope she does!) I would most definitely see them again.
Friday, March 10, 2006
I've spent most of my day listening to Belle & Sebastian. Four hours of Belle & Sebastian. I'm excited about tonight.
Last night's alumni get-together was weird. Piece was crowded and we couldn't sit with the rest of the group, so it was just the five of us who knew each other at JMU and then a woman who graduated in '98. Then everyone else we met were in their thirties, and I felt weird. Mission accomplished!
That's about all I've got going for this post. I apologize, this was dumb, but I'm going to post it anyway. I've noticed that in my last few posts I've had nothing of real interest to report; I've just been writing at work so I can avoid, um, work.
Oh, for those of you who are going to be at home tonight and not seeing Belle & Sebastian and the New Pornographers in Chicago, watch 20/20 because Koren Zailckas will be on.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
You know what else I find fairly disgusting? People who clip their fingernails in public places. Specifically at work, at neighboring cubicles. Seriously. There is absolutely NO REASON why you can't wait six more hours until you get home. Or even just do it in your car - at least there's a little bit of privacy and, more importantly, I don't have to HEAR THE CLIPPING OF YOUR FINGERNAILS.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Me: "Do you need to get in here?"
Coworker: "Yeah... I need to go through the Bs."
Me: "Oh, ok, I'll get out of your way."
Coworker: "Yyyeeeppp...I need the Bs, 'cause I already talked to the birds."
Here's something I like: the new Neko Case album. I think I'm just going to have to buy tickets to see her at the end of March. I think I'll even pass on Jenny Lewis next week. That's how much I'm enjoying Neko Case right now. I'm going to pass on the girl I've had a crush on since The Wizard came out in 1989. Sorry, Jenny, I'm a grown-up now. I like grown-up things.
I'm really excited about seeing Belle & Sebastian / New Pornographers this weekend, but I found out today that Neko and Dan Bejar are not touring with the Pornos. Why, exactly, would they tour without two of their three vocalists? They also have the more distinct voices, so I think that's weird. I'm still excited about seeing them, though.
Last night I ventured up to Andersonville to hear Danielle Trussoni read from Falling Through the Earth at Women and Children First. I still haven't finished the book, but I still contributed to the brief Q&A. She recognized me from MySpace (yes, I'm a nerd), and I talked to her after the reading. She was very nice and not at all what I expected (based on her memoir).
I got a package from my mother yesterday filled with various food items, including popcorn, pretzel Goldfish, and Girl Scout cookies. I think it's funny that my mom never sent me care packages from her when I went to college. I guess that because I only lived three hours away she figured I could drive home if I wanted some goddamned Thin Mints. I'm sure she imagines what I'm eating here everytime she sits down to dinner at home, believing that I'm wasting away to nothing here while spending all of my money on wine and CDs. I do eat, Mom, I promise.
I traveled two floors up this morning to the student union to get a drink from the Coke machine, and it was the first time that I actually felt like I was on a college campus (other than seeing the random student passed-out on the floor down the hall). There was a lot of activity: people on laptops, people reading their economics textbooks, people playing pool and arcade games (Which I suddenly realized might be a staple at "student unions" across America. Eff you, JMU, for not having arcade games of bonafide student unions. Taylor Down Under can suck it). There's even a rooftop deck that overlooks State Street and faces the Sears Tower; maybe I'll spend my lunch breaks up there when the temperature breaks sixty-five.
I'm so glad that it's basically Spring here in Chicago. It was forty-one degrees when I walked to work this morning, and I didn't even need to wear my hat. I'm excited about warm weather. I want to go exploring more and take more pictures. Steve half-assed a proposal for a photo scavenger hunt on Friday night. I think it's a good idea for warm weather, though, and I'd be up for it.
Monday, March 06, 2006
There's not much going on today. I'm slightly peeved about the Oscars, which is nothing new, since every year something sucky wins. Crash? Brrrnt. Apparently the most obvious films are the only thing the Academy finds accessible enough to pick as their favorite film. I think most people by now know my position of crap like that. I think Crash will soon take the place of The Shawshank Redemption as the most bland movie that everyone seems to be so obsessed with.
I'm pretty frustrated right now with my financial situations, although I'm very lucky that I'm not more in debt than I am. I'd like to thank my mother for placing a $500 credit limit on my credit card, and for raising me to feel guilty for every non-grocery purchase I make. Still, I don't have any money from my job yet. I'm still waiting on my check that was supposed to come on Friday. If it doesn't come today, I'm in big trouble; rent was due this weekend and my check will bounce if I don't manage to get another $300 in my account tonight or tomorrow. I'm definitely looking forward to making a comfortable living.
I think I would enjoy my current job if I got paid a few dollars more an hour and it was a permanent position. I'm really not looking forward to being unemployed again in June, and I still haven't finished my resume. I just wish someone would write one for me, or at least guide me through writing one myself, since I really have no idea what I'm doing. I've surprisingly made it this far on what I've got, which is little to nothing.
Man, I haven't had a hamburger in forever. I can't wait until I can eat out again!
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Sheriff takes the sex out of stings
Reacts to outcry over $1,200 paid for sex, including tips
SPOTSYLVANIA, Virginia (AP) -- A Virginia sheriff said Friday he will no longer allow detectives to receive sexual services while investigating suspected prostitution.
Spotsylvania County Sheriff Howard Smith made the announcement after his officers spent $1,200 at massage parlors last month and sparked a public outcry.
Smith defended the practice as necessary to obtain a conviction but told his department he was suspending it.
"As sheriff, I understand the feelings and concerns the citizens of this county have expressed," Smith said in a statement on Friday.
"And I empathize with those feelings," he added. "Because of the public's express response, I have suspended this practice."Court documents show that four times last month, county detectives allowed women at Moon Spa to perform sex acts on them -- once leaving a $350 tip. A total of $1,200 was spent during the visits, Smith said.
He said multiple visits were necessary so detectives could build trust with the operators.
Detectives shut down Moon Spa last month. The two suspected operators and three women accused of working there face several charges, including prostitution and sodomy, Smith said.
Smith maintained the sexual contact was necessary to obtain a conviction. But law enforcement officials say undercover officers only need to get an offer of sex for money to move the case forward.
The practice has been used in Spotsylvania since at least 2003.
Earlier this week, Smith told The Washington Post that sexual contact is needed during the investigations because most professionals know not to say anything incriminating. And conversation is difficult, he said, because masseuses at the Asian-run parlors in the northern Virginia county speak little English.
But several members of Spotsylvania's Board of Supervisors have spoken out against the methods used in the investigation.
"All of us ... have been worried about this episode tarnishing the county and making us a laughingstock of the nation," board chairman Henry "Hap" Connors said Friday. "That's why I came out early on and asked the sheriff to cease using these tactics."
Spotsylvania Commonwealth's Attorney William Neely said he respects Smith's decision to end the practice, but refused to apologize for the officers' tactics.I love that people are charged with sodomy in Virginia, but the best part of the story is that one of the women was charged with a misdemeanor: "living in a house of iniquity."
Oh, Northern Neck folks. You so crazy.
What will win: Brokeback Mountain
What I want to win: Capote
What should have been nominated: The Squid and the Whale
Who will win: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Who I want to win: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Who should have been nominated: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale
Who will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Who I want to win: David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Who should have been nominated: Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale
Who will win: Felicity Huffman, TransAmerica
Who I want to win: (I haven't seen any of these movies, so I can't pick.)
Who should have been nominated: Laura Linney, The Squid and the Whale
Best Supporting Actor
Who will win: George Clooney, Syriana
Who I want to win: George Clooney, Syriana
Who should have been nominated: Owen Kline, The Squid and the Whale
Best Supporting Actress
Who will win: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Who I want to win: Amy Adams, Junebug
Who should have been nominated: (I'm pretty content with the nominations in this category.)
Best Original Screenplay
What will win: Crash
What I want to win: The Squid and the Whale
What should have been nominated: The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Best Adapted Screenplay
What will win: Brokeback Mountain
What I want to win: Capote
What should have been nominated: Syriana (It was nominated for best original screenplay, but it was based on a book.)
Also, why are there only three songs nominated for best original song? What about "He Was a Friend of Mine" and "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" from Brokeback Mountain? How did those slip through the cracks?
Friday, March 03, 2006
I've had a rough couple of days. My knee has been sore for about three weeks now, and I hit the apex of pain on Wednesday when my thirty-minute ride on the El seemed like an eight-hour ride where someone was shoving sharp objects into my joints. When I got home I realized that my knee was quite swollen. This was also the night where I was going to redo my resume and such, and, of course, none of that happened. I spent the night with an ice-pack on my knee and being angry at everything. I got mad at Project Runway several times, mostly about Santino and once about Daniel Vosovic (you know it used to cool to see kids your age who were famous? well, now I hate it when people who are my age are famous). Then I ended the night with an online argument with Julia over whether or not "growing pains" actually exist. (I know they don't, but I was just in the mood to argue.)
I have nothing to do this weekend. I suppose I could clean my room. I have a huge pile of clothes on the floor at the foot of my bed that could probably go into my dresser. Actually, most of them could go into the dirty clothes hamper. I get to feed Dan and Kristin's cat this weekend because they're going somewhere. Out of the country. Kristin called the other day to ask me and explained that Dan told her to have a bag packed and her passport ready on Saturday morning because they were going somewhere until Wednesday. I guess things like this actually happen to people, and I guess I'm glad it's happening to someone I know.
Joe told me that one of his friends is having a belated Valentine's Day party, and apparently if you wear pink you get free alcohol. I still don't get this whole "paying for alcohol at house parties" deal. JMU definitely spoiled me. I do have an ugly pink tie that I found in my dad's leisure suit, so I suppose I could wear that, but the idea of being drunk with mostly strangers doesn't sound so exciting.
Although for the past two days at work I've listened to a lot of Iron & Wine and I'm in a very makey-outy sort of mood.
Still, I should try to do something productive this weekend, like mail the mix CDs I've promised people and finish Falling Through the Earth. And I'd like to get "Islands in the Stream" out of my head.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Then I got to work, and thirty-two applications later I'm exhausted and frustrated. I found a class at DePaul that starts in the Spring that I'm interested in taking. I looked up the tuition for graduate courses and I found that it's about $430 per credit. Which means that the one class would be about $1700. Yikes. Then I decided to look up the tuition for University of Chicago because I'm just a masochist like that. My heart literally sunk into my stomach and my boss had to call the paramedics to come and yank it out of there and put it back into place. (Did I say "literally"? I meant "figuratively". Sorry about that.)
So tonight I'm going to spend the evening working on my resume (which includes making up what my job title might be, because I have no idea) and watching movies. If I do more than the "watching movies" bit, I'll be satisfied with myself. Let's go, motivation!