Sunday, April 30, 2006

George Clooney is so dandy, and he cares!

I understand that George Clooney considers himself to be this great humanitarian liberal who isn't afraid to speak out against the injustices of Sudanese genocide and Bill O'Reilly. And usually I can take him a little bit seriously because, frankly, he's isn't Martin Sheen or Sean Penn. And I'm so glad that he doesn't wear purple goggles like Bono; those have never and will never be cool. Also, U2 sucks balls. My point is that George Clooney seems like a nice guy with a good head on his shoulders and I can respect him for that. And look at those eyes. Those eyes are the eyes of a man who is upset, goddammit, and he's not afraid to show his concern

So my question is this: Why is George Clooney wearing blush? Seriously, something is going on with those cheeks and I don't understand, just like I don't understand the atrocities in Darfur. But since celebrities seem to care, I better get my act together and look that shit up on Wikipedia.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I have dreams where I'm pregnant. Give me your goddamned seat, lady.

Anyone who reads the Missed Connections section on Craigslist knows that occasionally people write posts where they bitch and spew out pseudo-racist and -sexist comments, sparking more and more posts written in retaliation to the original posts, the later posts, and so on and so forth (I can't believe I just used "so on and so forth," but I'm leaving it in there anyway).

As a big fan of the Missed Connections and someone who aspires to have one written about them, I still read the website every day. And those stupid, poorly-written, weakly-argued posts about how women hate Mexicans who talk to them really piss me off. There's a section called Rants and Raves, and that's the forum for all of your debates on the Lincoln Park Chad and Trixies.

Last night, after getting home from drinking a fair share of PBR at the Empty Bottle, I came upstairs and checked Missed Connections in the hopes that I would find one that read, "You looked so dashingly handsome in your tan London Fog windbreaker. Your short read hair is adorable. I really wanted to pull you into the photo booth and make out with you." Obviously, I didn't find that post, but I did see one with the headline, "To all the men on the brown, red, and purples [sic] lines - w4m - 22." I thought, "I RIDE THE BROWN AND RED LINES THIS MUCH BE ABOUT MEEEEE," and opened up the post. Unfortunately, this is what it said:

I just have to say THANK YOU to all the gentlemen out there who wait for the ladies to board the train first and always offer up their seats to us. You have manners and I appreciate that!

To all you slumbags that have no manners and push in front of us and grab the seats on an overcrowded train, SHAME ON YOU! You'll never have to bear children, wear heels, deal with tampons and a cramping uterus, and get shorted on your pay check just because you are a woman.

It may be 2006, but unfortunately it is still a man's world and the ladies deserve a break - or a seat on the train at the very least.

Oh no she di'n't.

So, with my body full of liquid encouragement and my mind full of embittered rage, I wrote a reply.

So are you basically saying that, as a woman, you admit to being the weaker sex? (Wo)Man, you have to deal with tampons? Oh, that sucks. You definitely deserve to sit down more than me.

I love how, as a man, I'm automatically the bad guy. I mean, I may claim to be a feminist (because the term not only applies to women) who believes in equal rights for everyone, regardless of gender, but I shouldn't be able to sit down on the Brown Line? Look, HONEY, my knees quake just as much as yours, and just because I have a penis doesn't mean I'm any stronger than you and can take a thirty minute ride standing up.

(And seriously, I hate the rants/raves posts disguised as missed connections as much as the next guy/gal, but COME ON. If I want to sit down, I'm going to sit down, and the last time I checked, the CTA only wishes that we give up our seats to those with disabilities, and (also, the last time I checked) menstruation does not count as one. So DEAL WITH IT.)

Granted, I was playing Devil's Advocate quite a bit here because I consider myself to be one of those polite people who opens doors for everyone and, if someone else is standing in front of an open seat, I'm not going to knock them down to sit there. But seriously, I hate this Trixie brand of feminism that makes women think that men are shit because we don't ovulate. You think you have to deal with pregnancy? I've had three - three! - dreams where I'm pregnant in the last six months. If that doesn't give me the right to sit down wherever I want, I don't know what does.

I woke up this morning feeling like a dirty bomb had detonated inside my head, and then remembered about writing the post. Expecting there to be about eight other posts written by angry women about how I'm horrible, I was excited to find only one, indeed written by a woman, who seemed to agree with me.

To the OP: I'm a 22 year old female who commutes on the red/brown line trains a good portion of the day and whereas it's quite polite for ANYONE to give up their seat on the train... I think you need to get over it. You're 22 and you need to sit down for the duration of your train ride? I find this hard to believe. You, my dear, are lazy. Quit complaining and get on a less crowded section of the train if your bloated, tampon-laden body needs a seat

No one should ever be obligated to give up their seat on a train for you unless you are crippled, elderly, or carrying 85 pounds of something. If you want to be treated equally, quit screaming about your differences.

And quit complaining about your tiny paycheck. I don't know what your job is, but you obviously are bad at it, because I'm a full-time student and I make $30k+ a year at my part time job. Yes, PART TIME job.

I love how the author of the third post is a full-time student with a part-time job that pays over thirty-thousand. She's obviously a stripper. Hey, whatever pays the bills!

Friday, April 28, 2006

An open letter to Pete Doherty.

Dear Pete,

I'm not the type of guy who writes a lot of fan mail. In fact, the last fan letter I wrote was to Stephen King, and I was in sixth grade. (This probably means nothing to you since my guess is that you don't do a lot of reading in your spare time.) Basically, I'm writing to you because, honestly, there isn't a celebrity right now who blows my mind as much as you do. Because, seriously, when I see stuff like this, my brain just stops functioning.

Sometimes I think, "Man, it's weird that John Q. Celebrity is probably living their life right now. I wonder if he's doing something superstar-like or if he's doing something a normal person would do, like walking his dog or taking out the trash." Luckily for people like me, there's VH1, but, honestly, I rarely find myself wondering, "Hey, I wonder what Hulk Hogan's son is doing right now." This morning, after reading about how you injected heroin into the arm of a random, passed-out fan, I thought to myself, "What is Pete Doherty doing right now?" My guess is that you're probably also passed-out, or being arrested. Do you have a dog? Do you ever take out the trash? Or do you just go through your neighbors' trash? What's it like being you?

And seriously, what's it like to be a rich junkie? I've seen crackheads on the El train, and they look about as fucked up as you, but I don't think they do anything other than ride the CTA and scare the shit out of tourists. I mean, what do you do? Only about one hundred people listen to your music. You get arrested every other day. I mean, do you literally spend every day high as hell and fucking around on an electric guitar? Really? I mean, I know that you're not taking showers or brushing your teeth. Are you having sex with overrated supermodels? I. just. don't. understand.

The last part of this letter is a request, really, and it's not just a personal thing because I think a lot of people would also benefit from this. Will you please date Courtney Love? Please? I can't think of another amazing celebrity pairing. Seriously, a very public relationship between you and Courtney would keep me interested. Fuck TomKat. Bradgelina? No thanks, they're too busy raising eight kids. Vaughnifer? That just doesn't make any sense. You and Courtney (or, Courtherty)? Perfect. Think of the possibilities! No one else loves heroin more than Courtney. You could tour together and put on amazing shows stunts that will go down in rock and roll history. You could show up to award shows and try to converse with Pat O'Brien and Joan Rivers. And could you find anyone else who is willing to have horrible, drugged-out sexual intercourse with you? No! Courtney is USED to horrible, drugged-out intercourse!

Seriously, Pete, will you consider this? I'm sure Courtney would be up for it. And really, the coupling would make life much more exciting for the three of us.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ashamed, but clever.

What people on the El will think I'm reading:

What I will actually be reading:

I could do without your Roberta Flack.

Last year there was this freshman at JMU whose LiveJournal I discovered. At first I couldn't tell if I thought he was funny or an asshole. After reading for a few weeks, I decided he was, indeed, an asshole. I HATED him and his blog, yet I couldn't stop reading. It's kind of like how my dad couldn't stop watching the woman with the giant purple hair on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Or with me and Bill O'Reilly.

I'm admitting this because I understand (sort of) the mentality of the d-bags who leave anonymous comments on other people's blogs. I mean, I've done it. And I'm probably as big of an asshole as that JMU kid, who named names (full names) in his blog even though pretty much everyone in his department read it, as well as wrote stuff like, "I judge people by their handshakes like a Baptist minister outside of an abortion clinic." Well, maybe not as big of an asshole. And I'd like to think that I'm a better writer, too.

Okay, I'm still better than him. Whatever.

I admit that lately I have been too negative, and I wish I wasn't pissed off all the time and could deal with my peers' idiosyncracies. But I can't. I blame my mother (I told her this last night and she said, "Hey! I'm trying to be a nicer person, too! I've been doing really well lately!"), who would probaby just place blame on her mother. Aside from genetics, growing up with a bunch of kids who were unnecessarily mean to you for your entire elementary through high school education does leave one slightly bitter toward the majority of humanity. I'm trying to get over it, so please understand that I'm working hard here.

Now, having said that.

Yesterday afternoon, a co-worker tried to call me out on a mistake that I DIDN'T MAKE. Not only that, but he did it front of my boss, and it was completely unnecessary and inappropriate, and it took all the energy I had in my body not to say, "Well, what the fuck do you want me to do about it?!" After he walked away my boss looked confused, and I explained to her and she just kind of rolled her eyes. Luckily she likes me, and hasn't been joining in on the blame-the-temp game that the rest of the office has enjoyed playing so much this week.

I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy Administrative Professionals Day, or: Why I Hate My Job.

I don't really hate my job, it just bothers me sometimes. Like today, when I have reached the apex of how much I can handle without wanting to kill myself with paper clips.

Apparently it's Administrative Professionals Appreciation Day (I would have stopped at Hallmark to pick up a few cards had I known before eleven o'clock this morning), and my boss ordered a lot of pizza from Giordano's for everyone. I thought, "Great! I woke up late and didn't get time to fix a peanut butter (and no jelly) sandwich! Now I don't have to buy lunch, and since I only ate a bowl of Crispix for dinner last night, I can ease the feeling that my stomach hates me and wants me to die!"

For those of you who don't know, I'm a picky eater. That's the very short version of the story. When it comes to pizza, I'll eat it with pepperoni or just cheese. Nothing else. Of course I was an idiot to think that there would be an endless supply of either (or both!) kinds of pizza for me to feast upon while I create files because we keep losing applications. (This probably occurs because we just got a filing room. This morning.)

So when I notice that people are quickly heading to the ex-conference room / new filing room, I put down the files I'm working on and follow them in. Only to discover the remaining slice of cheese pizza making its way onto a coworker's plate. Then I scan the table and check out my options. Hmm. Spinach? No. Veggie? No. Sausage and mushrooms? Well, I guess I can pick them off!

So I grab two slices (and if you're familiar with Chicago pizza, you'll know that two slices of non-stuffed crust pizza is probably less filling than a peanut butter (and no jelly) sandwich) and head back to my cubicle. I realize for the first time that I am the only person in the office who does not have a personalized and laminated sign that reads, "On break!!!" I sit down and begin to literally lift up the cheese (which at this point is practically solid) and pull out the large chunks of sausage and the mushrooms (which I decided look like manta rays, which remind me of vaginas thanks to Dorothy Allison). I'm left with two tiny, pathetic slices of cheese pizza and a mound of sausage and mushrooms. I'm very happy we didn't all eat together as a group in the new filing room.

I guess that's all for today. I should go before my break ends. I don't want to be written up for using the internet!

Monday, April 24, 2006

You're the only friend I've got, Blog!!!

Dear Blog,

Let me tell you about my weekend!

On Friday night Lindsay and I went to a dinner-party hosted by a guy who I only sort-of knew over the internet, but since he seemed not-psychotic and went to William and Mary (so smart and not-psychotic), I thought it couldn't be too bad of a place to make new friends. I did meet some potential friends - I just hope my being unnecessarily drunk on cheap (but Chilean) Merlot didn't ruin my chances.

[Sidenote: I've been pretty good about not binge-drinking lately. Ever since the night I got drunk at Julia's cocktail party and passed out / threw up on the coat-bed, I took it considerably easy. But seriously, meeting a lot of strangers requires some wine. That's a fact. Look it up on Encarta. If you don't live in 1998, look it up on Wikipedia. I promise it's there.]

[Another sidenote: Why do I always get drunk and stranded on the far-west side of Chicago and sit on the side of the road for a long time waiting for a cab? I should put some taxi numbers in my phone. Notetoself.]

On Saturday Julia and her Northwestern audiology friend Renee invited me to see My Morning Jacket (!) and The New Pornographers (!!) perform on campus for fifteen bucks (!!!). We went, and it was hot hot hot (it was in a gym, for Christ's sake). Stephen Malkmus opened (I'd use a couple of exclamation points if I gave a shit about Stephen Malkmus) and, as always, I was standing next to the opening act's BIGGEST FANNNNNNNNNN!!!!!1111111ohmygodi'mgoingtopeemypantsbecauseiloveyousomuch. This kid (loudly) yelled, "I LOVE YOU STEVE!" Then he turned to his friend and (loudly) told her, "I WANT YOU TO CALL ME THIS WEEK SO WE CAN GET TOGETHER AND I CAN BURN YOU ALL OF PAVEMENTS ALBUMS AND IT'LL BE THE GREATEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE." THEN this kid started (loudly) saying, "MAN, WHY DOESN'T THIS CROWD SUCK SO MUCH?!" I wanted to (loudly) respond with, "BECAUSE WE'RE STANDING HERE IN A SWELTERING GYM WATCHING SOME DUDE PLAY SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR AND ONLY HALF OF US KNOW WHO HE IS." But I didn't. Because I'm too nice.

Anyway, after he finished his set, I patiently awaited for the New Pornographers to come onstage. And they did, and I thought, "Hey, I wonder of AC Newman's niece will be with them again this time." She was Neko Case's stand-in on their tour with Belle & Sebastian, and I assumed since Neko was fresh off her tour, the Newman niece would still be with the band. And then I saw a mass of red hair jump on stage, and I lost my shit. Neko. Fucking. Case. And man, when she belted out "Mass Romantic," I thought I was going to die. But then two assholes behind me decided to start a mosh pit. To the New Pornographers. Because that makes a whole lot of sense.

After the Pornos, Julia and Renee went to sit down, and I stood up front waiting (during the thirty-minute sound check, I'd like to add) for My Morning Jacket. And I came to the conclusion that I really hate people my age. Especially people my age at concerts. I was surrounded by a hundred of them and I had to listen to them converse about things such as naming off their dream My Morning Jacket set-lists and how Neko Case's solo work sucks because it's "too country". And the worst part was that I was alone and couldn't make fun of them with anyone else.

[Sidenote: I know that the people behind me who were naming off songs they'd like to hear shouldn't bother me, and I feel like an ass that I found them annoying. But to the girl in front of me who complained about Neko Case: well, you're just an idiot and you have no idea what you're talking about.]

The worst part was when the group of indie-tastic nerds to my right began singing Sufjan Stevens. I mean, SERIOUSLY. Why. WHY? WHY MUST I SUFFER THROUGH THINGS LIKE THIS?! I'm not a better person for it. I'm only more bitter.

My Morning Jacket finally came on, and they were amazing. They kicked ass. Unfortunately, Julia and Renee had to leave, and my stuff was in their car, but I wasn't very disappointed because I had a lot of fun up to that point, and I think if I had stood there for three more songs I would have gotten to that point where I just get bored with standing and want to hear something else. It always happens - at every show. So I ended the evening on a high note.

So there you go, Blog. That was my exciting weekend. I'm sorry you missed out! I'll invite you next time.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

My head is burnt, y'all.

So here's the thing about having bangs: sure, they cover up your enormous forehead (which you can see below), but they also make you look like an idiot when you've been in the sun all day (as you can also see below).

I spend the day in Hyde Park touring University of Chicago. It was a beautiful day, and it's a gorgeous campus. I met with the co-director of the MAPH program (who I was pleased to see had several Flannery O'Connor books in his office), as well as the program coordinator and one of the mentors.

I really, really want to go there.

When I got home, I checked the mail and found the transcript I ordered from JMU. The big fat 2.970 stared me in the face and said, "You aren't getting into grad school, jackass." Then it punched me in the balls.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's all your fault.

I woke up this morning a little after eight, which is usually when I get on the train at the Southport stop. Luckily, panic-mode sets me into overdrive, and I jumped out of bed, threw on nice pants and a sweater, brushed my teeth, and slammed my bedroom door a couple of times (Janna sleeps through her alarm worse than I do - she'll let it buzz for over an hour and I discovered that if I shut my door loud enough she'll wake up and turn it off). I managed to get out the door at a reasonable time, make it to the train, AND STILL get to work ten minutes early.

Even though I managed to get to work, albeit looking a little frazzled, I've come up with a list of people who I blame for making me oversleep this morning:

1. Curtis Sittenfeld, for writing Prep, which I was reading after midnight last night.

2. My friend Lisa, for letting me borrow Prep and convincing me that it wasn't just trashy Chick-Lit.

3. The people in the MAPH department with whom I'm meeting tomorrow in Hyde Park for intimidating me so much that I am too embarrassed to be seen with a copy of Prep and forcing me to finish the book before tomorrow morning.

4. The people at Apple, for fixing my computer so damn fast. If I didn't spend five hours on my computer last night, I would have found more time to read Prep, and then I wouldn't have to stay up until after midnight reading it.

5. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who gave me nightmares about their "baby".


7. Chipotle, because I haven't mentioned Chipotle's tacos nearly enough in the last week.

8. My mother, who is the root of all my problems. She doesn't read this, but if she did, she'd be happy to know that I'm still a child and blaming her for everything.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Life lesson #342.

Don't buy black socks from H&M.

There's a reason they were so cheap. While everything else that you buy from H&M falls apart after one wash, these suckers keep leaving a disturbingly large amount of black fuzz on the bottom of your feet even after several washes. That's what happens when Indonesian children make your clothes. You should feel guilty, you bastard.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Gattaca (The Band).

Christina and I started a band over the phone last night. I'm on vocals and keys; Christina is on guitar, lion manes, and art direction. As you can see by our cover, our first album is called Life Doesn't Want You 2 Know The Answers, which features the first single, "Two 2 Tango".

Pitchfork has already given us a 7.3, people. Go buy the record.

Next April: MACRoCk 2007! Next May: Top of the Pops!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Hot lunch jam!

Don't let the title fool you. I'm eating a pretty pathetic peanut butter sandwich. Also, there's no jam, or jelly.

I have two quick stories to report on while I'm allowed to use the internet, since I'm on my own time.

On Friday, after being angry with Apple and, in general, life, I decided, "Hey, I'll get a haircut." Maybe I just like to fit in as many shitty things into one day. That way the rest of my week seems really awesome in comparison.

Of course, I made the mistake of going to the Hair Cuttery on Southport. It's right on my block and convenient, so that factor seemed to outweigh the fact that it's expensive and, you know, pretty shitty. I sit there and wait for a few minutes with a couple other awkward dudes who definitely did not need a haircut. They're the kind of guys who get the number six on the top and a two on the sides and freak out three weeks later when their hair is longer than five-sixths of an inch.

I like to be more creative, which was probably my problem on Friday. My hair was LONG, probably the longest it's ever been, but I liked it save for the feathered thing it was doing on the sides. So I told my girl to cut even it out, trim the sides, and to thin it out on the top. I remember saying the words, "I like the length in the front." Yes, I liked the bangs. I need the bangs. My forehead is seven inches. I need the bangs.

She decided that she didn't like the bangs, I guess, because before I realized what was going on, she was cutting the hell out of them. And now I'm left with what is basically a Caesar. Or possibly something that looks like this. In short (ha!), I'm not happy about it.

The other story is one that I meant to write about last week, but the story paled in comparison to me wearing my underwear on backwards, so I saved it for today when, really, I have nothing exciting to talk about. Long story short: I found my eighteen-year-old cousin on MySpace. (Finding family on there always beats finding old high school friends / enemies.) I thought it was really funny because this is the cousin who I got in trouble because I showed my mother his AIM profile's gangsta rap lyrics (he deserved it, because he and his brother once told his father that I had "I hate America" written on my profile two years ago (which was not true) and my grandfather freaked out and thought I would be "marked" by the government). He's since then blocked me on AIM, so I'm definitely not adding him as a friend on MySpace. (The same rule that I reserve for high school classmates applies to family members: they have to add me first.) I was talking to Sarah on lovely old Google Chat / GChat / GTalk / Whatever, Google, and I suggested (sarcastically, by the way), that she add him as a friend. She did, and he added her back. Which goes to show you some people will be friends with anybody on MySpace, even twenty seven-year-old French teachers in Chicago.

I just wonder if he'll ever notice that his cousin is also friends with this "random" girl in Chicago. I somehow doubt it.

PS. If you're interested in my cousin, ladies, this is what he writes about himself: "I'm a senior at this dirt school Culpeper. I enjoy reading books and just having a grand old time with my pals. I cant wait to get out of this town. If you want to talk im me on [I'll at least keep his screenname private]. O, and i hate reading books."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Today I witnessed a small sample population of humanity. Boy, are we in trouble.

After my computer shut off four times in an hour, I broke down and went to the Apple store. Oh boy, was that fun.

Michigan Avenue is probably the worst street in Chicago. I'd have rather dropped my computer off at Wrigley Field. Hell, that would be so convenient - it's only three blocks away! Michigan Avenue, unfortunately, is never convenient. A twenty minute train ride and then ten minutes of walking: not fun. I can't tell what's worse: avoiding drunks on Clark Street or weaving through groups of tourists outside of the American Girl Place. Should little girls be buying dolls on Good Friday? Jesus wept.

I managed to shoot into the Apple store and avoid the greeters (the lowest on the Apple store food chain, I'm sure) and ran right up the stairs. I made an appointment for 1:30 at home (I was hoping I could get a free psychoanalysis while I was there). I waited for a few minutes in front of the Genius Bar when David, easily the nerdiest one behind the counter, called my name. This guy looked like he was plotting to kill someone with the power of mathematics while I explained my iBook troubles.

David agreed that I should send it in, and luckily my warranty is still good for another month. They do charge a fee, however, for backing up my files, so I slid my credit card over to him. He took away one hundred dollars and gave me an Apple ProCare card. "You get a lot of great stuff with this!" he told me. The great stuff include personal training (hour-long sessions with a Mac expert), worldwide access ("...if you find yourself with a software question in London, or just want to book an iMovie session in Tokyo, come by the nearest retail Apple store and we'll help you out."), and "next in line, first on the bench" service at the Genius Bar. What more could I ask for? Oh, I know: an Apple cocktail. I'm sitting at a computer bar, sweating my ass off because the fucking store is ninety degrees, and I have everything. Can't I just get drunk? No? Okay, I'll take that plastic card. I can add "Apple ProCare" to the growing list of pointless organizations to which I belong.

I managed to get out of there in about twenty minutes, but not before I checked my email on one of the computers. Yes, it's a terrific thing that the Apple stores have eight thousand computers with free internet access. I'll admit that. So I stepped up to an iMac and went to GMail, only to discover that the person who checked his/her email before me forgot to sign out. Oh, and they also forgot to change the language back to English. After standing there for a few minutes to figure out what "Log out" was in Portuguese, I gave up and walked to a Powerbook. I wrote a quick email, ending with the line, "i hope the guy
explaining to an old man next to me CAN READ THIS AND SEE HOW MUCH I HATE HIM." That's how aggravated I was at the time. Not only was I hoping to offend some Apple Genius by writing about him in an email, but I also didn't even write a grammatically-correct sentence.

Getting out the store was a highlight of my day, but then I realized that I was still on Michigan Avenue and had to walk three blocks to the Chicago red line stop. I think the best part of that commute was walking behind a father and son. The father, who was probably wearing a shirt that he paid over a hundred dollars for, was trying to explain to his son, who was carrying an overflowing Lacoste shopping bag, why he didn't think he needed to make a reservation at the Ralph Lauren restaurant because, "I'm going to be spending one hundred dollars for the two of us to eat lunch." That's right. You tell those bitches at the hostess station. You? Make a reservation? With your vague European accent? Ohhhh, no. I don't think so, either.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Genius of the year!

For the past three weeks, I've tried to convince Sarah to go with me to Strega Nona for two dollar martinis. The last two weeks she was either busy or hungover, but last night she agreed. I was excited because, even though my obsession with the dirty martini is over (thanks to watching what were several of them fall project in the alley behind Julia's house that one time), two dollar alcohol is two dollar alcohol and two dollar alcohol is always a good thing.

So Sarah called when she was on Southport and I walked out to meet her in front of Strega Nona. As I crossed the street, however, I noticed that the side looked somewhat differently. Since I don't really walk north of the 3700 block on Southport, I figured something could have possibly changed about the street, but I doubted it.

Then I realized that Strega Nona was no longer there (which explains the broken link above).

No, the building is still there, but the facade is completely repainted with a brand new awning advertising the establishment's new name: "Take Five". I walked to the front and looked inside, and it's a sports bar. Another fucking sports bar. That's exactly what Wrigleyville needs. And here's the best part: It's called "Take Five" because everything on the menu is five dollars. CLEVER, HUH?! That's just what I need: more drunk Cubs fan stumbling around my neighborhood. I mean, it's nothing new, but now they're going to be cheap, drunk Cubs fans.

I felt like a big idiot, but I was also angry because I had eaten at Strega Nona less than a month ago. I don't understand how they had time to repaint the building and hang up twenty plasma TVs in less than a month. And without warning! Couldn't our waiter (who, as I remember, sucked - just like everyone who worked there...hmmm...) have mentioned something? "Oh hey, before I take twenty minutes getting your check, I thought I'd let you know we're closing next week."

Sarah and I ended up at Guthrie's, though, and we had a good time. Paying three dollars for PBR, though, is hardly a consolation.

It really doesn't come as a surprise that I managed to not notice that one of my favorite restaurants, one that is about two hundred yards from my house, had closed. I mean, I'm the type of guy who doesn't realize until 9:30 that he's wearing his underwear on backwards.

Which I did.


I am twenty-two years old.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I hate everything.

This afternoon I got an email from my manager, which was also sent out to everyone in the office, about "internet usage." Basically, we're not supposed to use the internet at work. This is news to me; I thought it was okay to be on the internet since no one told me not to, and also because everyone else uses the internet so blatantly.

From now on if our bosses or manager see us on the internet when we're "supposed to be working", we'll be written-up. I'm curious to know how one gets written-up in an office setting. What happens exactly? I was written-up once in middle school for talking in class, but nothing happened. I think if I had gotten one more write-up I would have gotten detention. Can they give me detention at work?

Since I'm on the computer all day long, and our whole system is based through the internet, I find this extremely ironic. I also think it's sad that this rule has to be placed on adults because they're all too lazy to actually get their shit done. This rule is going to make work suck one-hundred-percent more than it does now. Part of the reason I liked my job was because the office seemed so relaxed. Lately, however, after getting sassed by my manager for standing next to her while she was on the phone (another rule that I was told after the fact) and her annoyed attitude whenever I ask her for more work, I haven't enjoyed it so much. I know I'm not supposed to like it very much, but I'd appreciate not being treated like a nuisance because I get all of my work done. Hey, what do you think is going to happen now that I can't update my blog during the day? I'm going to get everything done much sooner, and I'll have to bother you more frequently. Brilliant.

Also, Apple STILL SUCKS. I called the store on Michigan Avenue to "set up an appointment" to drop off my computer to be repaired. I was told to do this by the technical support lady I talked to last night. When I called, however, the automated message told me that they do not make appointments over the phone. Seriously. What. the. fuck. So I go online and try to set up a time, and the system tells me that all of the "Mac geniuses" (that's what they are called, I'm not making this up) are too busy to help me. Finally I get pissed and call Apple back. This time, I get Kyle, who actually sounds like he can process a thought. I figure this out when his response to my computer's strange behavior is: "Oh wow, that's really weird. It shouldn't be doing that." THANK YOU. I'm glad someone can verify that I'm not the only one who thinks my computer shouldn't cut off at random.

I tell him to just send me a box so I could ship it back from home. Kyle then tells me to make sure to back-up my files. "Usually they'll just reinstall the operating system and do a clean sweep of the hard drive." I was afraid of this. Once my friend got her computer back from Apple and discovered that everything had been deleted, including all of the music she had compiled. "I just wanted them to fix my computer," she said, "not ruin my life." When I sounded weary about doing that, Kyle said, "Hey, try taking the battery out and just running it with the power cord in."

"Oh, I didn't know you could do that," I replied. "I guess that makes sense."

"Well, I've never done it on a Mac," Kyle said, "I'm not sure what will happen."

So I do that, and it works alright. Kyle and I agree that the battery is probably just effed up, which makes sense. Thank you, Kyle, for getting shit done. It always takes four tries to find a technical support person who has a brain.

So now I've got a huge hole in the bottom corner of my computer where the battery should be. I have to take it to the Apple store soon to see if I can get a new battery under warranty (since I've had the computer for eleven months now) instead of paying $130(!!!!) for a new one.

I just want one good thing to happen this week. It's already Tuesday and my week has gone to shit. Hey, I'll settle for breathing through both nostrils. That'd be nice.

Get me away from here, I'm dying.

On Sunday night Nicole came home from work around seven o'clock, and I went into her room to visit with her. I was lying in her bed talking to her, and I started to get really sleepy so I decided to take a nap. Even though Nicole told me not to. She kept trying to wake me up so I'd pretend to actually wake up, but then she'd walk away and I'd fall asleep again. Because I'm a mature twenty-two-year-old who naps in his roommate's bed.

Anyway, I slept for about an hour and when I woke up, I could feel that I was beginning to get a sore throat. Nicole had been sick all day, so of course I caught something from sleeping in her bed. Are ya happy now, Nicole?! Jeez.

So yesterday I woke up and I felt like someone took a crap in my head. My body was aching and sore, and my throat hurt a lot. I made it to work but only managed to stay until two. I spent the rest of the day in bed, which made me mad because it was so nice outside and I didn't want to be sick. Stupid body!

Today I'm feeling slightly better, although I think I have a fever and my nose is all stuffy. I somehow managed to leave the house early this morning, which is weird, so I got to see what the people who ride the train twenty minutes earlier look like. I wasn't impressed. I also made some woman mad because when people got off at Belmont to transfer to the red line train, I rushed to sit down and she and her man-friend had to sit separately. Well, lady, that's what happens when you make out on the Southport El platform.

I would leave early today, but I have Friday off (it's Good Friday - hurrah for Catholic employers!) and I really need the hours. Stupid real world.

In other news (which I'll go through quickly), Nicole got a tattoo. I saw Friends with Money on Sunday afternoon and I really enjoyed it; I love it when Catherine Keener plays angry characters, and I was definitely in the mood for it (I was pissed off all day for some reason, and I kept playing Martha Wainwright's "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole" on loop). I had crazy dreams last night (which makes sense; I always have weird dreams when I'm sick), and the one I remember had to do with Basic Instinct, which I have never seen, and it basically involved Sharon Stone having sex (in a not hot way) and then killing people. I felt weird when I woke up, unsure if it was from my illness or from watching ice-pick stabbings.

Ok, I can't get my brain to function on anything right now, so I'm ending this post. I apologize for its suckiness. Hopefully something exciting will happen before tomorrow!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Baseball season is going to keep me from dancing at Barleycorn's.

I received a letter yesterday about how much my summer is going to suck, beginning with this afternoon. I remember thinking the weekend of fake-St. Patrick's Day was bad, but this is going to be pretty difficult to deal with.

I never had any school spirit. I hated having to sit through pep rallies in high school because, honestly, I didn't care. It was easier to avoid having an opinion about JMU's football team for the first three years I was there because we sucked. Real hard. Then, of course, we won the national championships during my last year, and then people lost their shit over the stupid Duke Dog, which placed second in the Capital One Bowl's Mascot Challenge (ironically, we lost to the mascot of the team we beat at nationals). I thought it was pretty funny since everyone went cah-razy over the online vote. I was sitting in the library one night and I watched one guy sit at every single computer in the lab and voted for the Duke Dog. Uh, loser?

My proximity to Wrigley Field does not make me a Cubs fan. In fact, after interacting with plenty of them, I'm leaning towards disliking Cubs fans. But it's not a personal thing. I think it's mostly that I hate drunk twenty-somethings yelling at me and my friends as we walk by the Cubby Bear (voted "Best Neighhorhood Bar" by Maxim!!!!!). Since the numbers of drunk post-grads rises immensely during baseball season, I tend to be a little annoyed with the whole Cubs fanbase.

There's also the correlation between Cubs fans and Jimmy Buffett fans that bothers me, which was evident last fall when Jimmy Buffett played two concerts at Wrigley Field. Not only were bricks shat all over Wrigleyville, I could hear "Cheeseburger in Paradise" from my house. Not cool, y'all.

Meanwhile, Chicagoist reports on Wrigley's opening day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pitchfork agrees.

From Pitchfork Media:
In other Sonic Youth news, Sonic Youth's upcoming record, Rather Ripped, is scheduled for a June 13 release courtesy of Geffen (the vinyl lands on the band's Goofin' Records). But you knew that already.

What you didn't know, and what has just reported, is that Moore, Kim Gordon, and their daughter Coco will appear on the May 9 season finale of "Gilmore Girls". Apparently, the trio (with Coco on "shakers"?!) will play an acoustic version of the Rather Ripped song "What a Waste".

It's official: "Gilmore Girls" is now the coolest show on television. Sorry, "Aqua Teen".

It's in the bag.

I don't have anything specific to report, and since I've been long-winded as of late, I decided to reward anyone who is still reading with this:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Computers are gayballs.

Oh, iBook. You so crazy.

So I called Apple's support line last night after again trying unsuccessfully to turn my computer on by simply holding the power button. I wasn't on hold too long, surprisingly, before "Glenn" picked up and started assisting me.

Basically, I proved that not only am I incompetent with computers, but I'm also incompetent with life. When Glenn asked me my first name, I thought for a second and said, "John," thinking that I would have the computer registered under my full name. Then he asked for my phone number, and I gave him my parents' number, which didn't bring up my record. After giving him my cell phone number, he says, "Uh, okay...I have a record under the name Tyler?"

"Oh. Yeah, that's me. Sorry." I think tried to explain how I go by Tyler but my first name is John, but it was much too complicated for him so he just said, "Ok, John, once the correct window comes up I'll be able to help you."

So then I sit there on the phone with Glenn in silence for five minutes. Literally five minutes. I started walking around my room and dusting, then picking up clothes and folding them. I could hear other Apple employees in the background on the phone with other disgruntled Apple customers, one girl in particular who kept saying, "I honestly don't know the answer to that, actually." Surprise!

Finally, Glenn asks, "Still there?"

"Yup." He asks me for the serial number, so I pull open the keyboard and give it to him. Then he asks, "Ok, John, what can I help you with today?"

"Well, Glenn, my computer cut off last night and now it won't come back on."

"Oh..." he responded, rather taken aback, as if this was the first "My computer died" he had heard in his whole two weeks at the support line. "So, what happens when you press the power button?"

The power button?! Oh, I hadn't thought of that! I sighed and said, "Well, nothing, I tried that," while casually pressing the button for my own sake. But of course, the computer beeped in response, awake from its slumber.

"Oh," I said. "Uh, it just turned on." Glenn laughed.

Even though I was proven a dumbass while on the phone with the guy whose brilliant response was, "Try pressing the power button," I was ecstatic to have my computer back.

Even though that only lasted for a few hours before it turned off again.


Instead of calling Apple back, I decided that I must be doing something wrong. Since what seemed to cure it the first time was pulling the keyboard off, I did that, and then did the old Nintendo trick: I blew on it. And guess what? The computer turned back on. Yay! My computer isn't dead after all! I was ecstatic again!

For ten minutes. Then it turned off again. Sigh.

Fuck you, Apple.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I was planning to write a (somewhat) humorous post today about having more awkward bathroom experiences, this time at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night when some dude started talking to me at the urinal, but I figured that another entry about how my life sucks right now is in order.

Last night, after realizing that my lease ends in three months which means that I'd have to start looking pretty effing soon for a new place even though I don't have the money for a security deposit or the job security to rationalize signing a year-long lease, I had a massive panic / freak-out session with Kristin about the usual issues: money, job, grad school, and a little thing called "Am I moving home to Virginia when my lease ends?" Right now, it's not looking good.

So after getting off the phone and finally calming down, I started watching the second-half of the Gilmore Girls DVD I received in the mail yesterday. When I get depressed, I watch it and am thankful I'm not Rory, 'cause she sucks. Hard. Seriously, why does she suck so much? And why am I always asking questions like this about fictional characters on WB shows? I need a real hobby. Anyway.

So the disc is scratched, and stops playing right when Logan's family tells Rory that she sucks (at least I'm not the only one who thinks so). So I turn it off because I was too impatient to clean the disc, and started getting ready for bed. After changing, I found my iPod and plugged it into my computer so it would be fully charged and ready for a fun eight hours of work.

And then my computer shut off and now it won't come back on.

Of course, the feelings of panic and depression quickly turned into rage as I held my thumb on the power button, repeating, "TURN ON YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKING PIECE OF SHIT I HATE YOU YOU FUCKING CUNT BALLS COMPUTER AOSJDL;ASJFLK ;AM SFL;KWJEORIJ SEOFI;JAS." When I gave up and walked outside to cool off and stomp and pace on the front porch, I finally calmed down, came inside, and went to bed.

The computer thing really pisses me off, since its whole "I don't really feel like charging right now," spell fixed itself randomly yesterday morning. I would much rather it just lose its charge on occasion because it still kind of worked, albeit briefly. Now, however, it is no good to me. And the only thing I can think is, "Am I going to lose my five thousand songs and twelve hundred pictures? Oh! How about everything I've written since college, as well all of my best academic papers that I uploaded from my computer at home? Where are they now?"

And I have no patience with computer support services. If Apple is so great and accessible, then whythefuck do they have a "Help" section on their SUPPORT PAGE? Shouldn't the SUPPORT PAGE be easy enough to navigate without explanation? Is that too much to ask? Oh, and here's an idea: Do you think you could post the Apple Support phone number on the main page so I don't have to spend fifteen minutes searching for it? I mean, that's fifteen minutes that I could be spending on hold. Thanks, Apple.

God, I miss my Dell. At least that eight-hundred-pound piece of shit would turn back on when I wanted it to.

So there you go: add "computer" to my palette o' problems. Now I have to deal with eight hours of clerical bullshit before I can finally make it home, drink my three remaining Red Stripes (left over from when I got accidentally drunk last Thursday evening, which is another story for another day), and have a nice chat with Apple.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I am my mother's son.

This morning I received an email from my mother. She sometimes will write specifically to ask me something and then add short references to what's going on in her life.

The actual reason she emailed me this morning was to ask if I have gotten any tax forms from my bank. It was a short and sweet paragraph, getting right down to business.

Then, she goes into the breaking news segment:

"I have an appointment in Richmond at 1:30 for a mammogram today, so I’m not going to work this morning."

She just put that right out there. Hey, that's not awkward at all. I'm just glad my mother is keeping things in check.

[Side Note: One night a couple of years ago, my mother mentioned that she had an appointment for a mammogram the next day. She said that to prepare for the checkup she was going to go out to the garage and place herself between the car's tire and the cold cement floor. I hope you have something to look forward to now, ladies.]

Luckily, the medical information stopped there, and she turned to news in the entertainment world:

"For some reason we had Showtime and the Movie Channel over the weekend (in fact, we still do this AM), so we watched Crash last night. I thought it was really good. It was hard to watch though."

I don't really remember anything from Crash that was "hard to watch." I'm also surprised that it is on Showtime already, so I'm kind of hoping that she watched this Crash by accident.

After wrapping it up with a quick "Love you, Mom," she realized that she forgot to mention the best part:

"P.S. I also tried to watch Liza with a Z, but it was awful – what a ho. She was on Ellen’s talk show one night last week, and she must be the world’s biggest idiot."

So there's your news. Mammograms are no fun, Crash is kind of rough, and Liza Minelli is a ho.

I'm just too ambitious for my bladder.

At this point I'm going to start using "awkward" as a verb because, honestly, I awkward everything up. I think I spend most of my days awkwarding. It's not even a recent realization. I've been awkwarding for years.

In fifth grade I had this thing about going to the bathroom. Well, that's not an accurate description. Here's the thing: Every day after lunch, on the way back to our classroom, our teacher would stop us at the bathrooms and we'd line up and go in. It was our only organized bathroom break of the day, although, thankfully, we were allowed to leave class occasionally to relieve ourselves because, you know, we were ten-year-olds and children aren't really ready to control their bladder until at least eleven. That's really the only good part of being a pre-teen, at least in my case, and since I didn't hit puberty until I was old enough to drive, I had extra time to work on my bladder's maturation while the rest of my male classmates were using deodorant and showing off their mustache-growing skillz.

Anyway, I digress. Sometimes I would actually have to pee during those organized bathroom times, but I would usually wait until later that afternoon. I wasn't uncomfortable peeing in the same room with other boys or anything. My concern was that, as usual, there'd be some ass who would cause trouble in the bathroom ("Aaaah! There isn't an adult in the same room as me! I'm going to kick over these trashcans and then throw urinal cakes at the mirror before I go into epileptic shockkkkk!!!!!"). Since we were in fifth grade and our teachers' favorite method of punishment was to reprimand everyone within twenty feet of the troublemaker(s) ("Tyler, did you hear Dennis say the H-word?! No recess for a week! I also want you to write, "I will not stand by while my peers break rules," three-hundred times. Due in two hours!"), I would just wait until later when I could use the restroom without fear of being punished because some other boy happened to urinate on the walls.

There was one day, however, where I really had to go after lunch. I mean, I could feel it already. I usually would wait at least an hour and a half before asking my teacher to excuse me; if I asked too soon she would usually make me feel guilty about just having the chance to go after lunch. When I returned to class, I tried really hard to hold it for that long. Finally, after about a half hour of crossing my legs and trying not to noticeably bounce in my seat, I asked if I could go.

To my astonishment, the teacher said no. The bitch said no! She just told me, a ten-year-old without the rational thought (nor the bladder) of an adult, that I could not go to the bathroom! I almost started to cry when she made a fuss about how we always pass the bathroom right after lunch and that I missed my opportunity. Instead of crying, however, I held back the tears. I was no longer discreetly bouncing in my seat. At this point my desk was shaking. I had to pee, dammit!

After waiting for what seemed to be the longest fifteen minutes ever, I raised my hand. I begged, 'cause I ain't too proud. "Pleeeease. I neeeed to go!" She sighed and told me to hurry. I bolted through that door and ran-walk (because I was still trying to use some discretion and good taste) down the hallway. When I got to the bathroom, I burst inside, furiously yanking open my belt as I made it to the urinal.

Only I didn't make it in time. As soon as I stood in front of the urinal, I let go. I was so fucking close! I had almost made it! I was so angry and upset that I started to cry. I fastened my belt and started walking out the bathroom, only instead of turning left to return to my class, I turned right to head to the nurse's office. I was a fifth grader; the nurse could fix all of my problems.

Luckily, the hallway was deserted, and I counted my blessings that none of my classmates were out and about (because they all used the restroom after lunch). As I walked toward to the nurse's office, a door opened and out walked the vice-principal. She glanced at me as she headed up the hall, did a double take, and stopped mid-step. I'm sure the tears running down my face, the large wet spot running down my legs, as well as that I-just-peed-my-pants waddle tipped her off. She sighed and said, "Okay, Tyler, I'll call your grandmother."

(Did I mention how this was probably the fourth time I had peed my pants since coming to that elementary school in the second grade? Sorry, I forgot.)

About forty-five minutes later, after sitting in the crowded (of course!) nurse's office, my grandmother burst in, ready to take me home. (In retrospect, I realize that peeing your pants was the best excuse to get out of school early. Sure, you could pretend to be sick, but then you'd have to keep up the pretense at home. You'd be practically rewarded for peeing your pants. All you had to do was change your underwear and pants, and then you'd get to watch day-time TV all afternoon). While she was checking me out at the office, my teacher burst in, rather embarrassed. After my grandmother yelled at her ("WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TELL A TEN-YEAR-OLD HE CAN'T GO TO THE BATHROOM?!"), she asked me why I didn't go after lunch with the rest of the class.

Here was my chance to tell her how I felt! I had the opportunity to stand up for all of those well-behaved elementary school kids would get punished for what their classmates do! I could have stopped the practice entirely!

Unfortunately, I was feeling put on the spot, with my teacher and grandmother standing there, expecting a good answer to a pretty rational question. The first thing I said was, "Uh, I don't like going to the bathroom with the other boys."

There was a pause, and my teacher put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I understand. It's not unusual for a boy your age to be uncomfortable with his body." I was a little taken aback by that, and then I realized what I said. She thought I just didn't want to pee in front of other people? Fuck! I blew it! Not only that - now she thought I was "uncomfortable with my body".

From then on, my teacher decided that I should have the opportunity to use the restroom anytime I wanted. "If you need to go, you don't even have to ask! You can just get up and I'll know!" That's not what I wanted. I didn't have an overactive bladder or anything, I just wanted to be able to go when I needed to. Now I had this dumb bitch thinking that I had body issues. Me! A ten-year-old boy with body issues!

If there's one thing I can appreciate about being in the work force is that even though I'm expected to get here on time, get my work done, report my time cards accurately, and leave on time, there's no one to tell me when I can go to the bathroom. I drink a lot of water just because I can. Sometimes I have to think about things like this and I realize that being an adult isn't so bad.

So go fuck yourself, Mrs. Swink.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Steve Jobs is going to hear about this.

I have a bad track record with computers. I can break any computer, really. I remember when we first got a computer. It was a Gateway and I was in ninth grade (yes, I was that old - keep in mind that we didn't get the Internet for another two years and even then my parents refused to give me the password). Gateways, at the time, were the Shit. Remember those boxes with the cow print? Oh, man, was that tiiite. Then everyone bought Gateways and suddenly everyone's computer was a piece of shit, including ours, which my parents kept for another two years after we had less than a gigabyte of memory left on the hard drive.

When I got to college, I got a Dell. Dells! Woo! Dude! Dells! They're black, not white! Dells are the Shit for realz! Plus, I had like eight million gigs of memory (more like thirty gigs, but compared to the Gateway's four, it was amazing). Plus, I could get on the internet and download things whenever I wanted. I could actually install computer programs. That was hot.

Then the Dell started to break and all of a sudden everyone was like, "Ew, Dells are horrible computers." Everyone who bought their Dell during freshman year were suddenly carting that heavy box to the campus computer center, praying they could remove the spyware and Limewire and get it fixed. We were all told that we were idiots because we were using Windows 98. Ew! Windows 98?! What were we thinking?! Must. Get. Windows. XP. Our problems will be solved!

Then we all went and upgraded our operating systems to XP. Our computers did work. For a month. Then we were back to pounding CTRL+ALT+DELETE forty times before our computers responded. And those blue screens! Ugh! Blue screens! What could we do?!

Well, the obvious answer was to spend our graduation money on Macs. Remember Macs? We used to play Reader Rabbit on them in first grade back when they were called Apples. Plus, the same people make iPods! Oh shit! iPods never break! MacMacMacMacMacMac! They're white, not black! They come with free Apple stickers that we can put on our cars! Safari! Firewire! Let's put a lowercase I in front of every noun! MAC!

Well, now my lovely Mac has decided that it, like every computer I've had before, hates me. Sure, I can't get viruses, but I would like my computer to function. For example, WHY is my battery power decreasing when I have the computer plugged in and the "You are charging your computer right now, don't worry!" icon is up at the top of my screen, right next to the percentage that is telling me, "You have two minutes left before your computer dies. Stop listening to your iTunes."

Sometimes, out of the blue, my computer will think, "Hey, I don't really want to display anything on my screen right now. I'm going to go black." I don't know if I offended it when I Googled pictures of Peter Sarsgaard to leave as MySpace comments of if it really didn't want me to find out who will be in the film version of Dallas. I'm sorry, Mac, but I can't actually shut you down properly if I can't tell where my touch pad is navigating.

And iPhoto? Don't get me started. Don't even get me started. Can we think of a better way to store my photos? I mean, do we ever remember the specific date when we snapped "Drunk Picture Number 123"? No. We don't. We don't even remember where we were when we took that picture, so how the hell would I remember what month it was?

Oh shit, I'm on zero percent now. Gotta run!

Happy Birthday, Carissa!

Today* is Carissa's birthday. Carissa was my only real English-major friend and, unfortunately, we only took one class together at JMU. We made up for it, however, by sitting next to each other in the library every morning not reading our required reading and instead watching people walk by and, yeah, occasionally making fun of them.

I love Carissa because she has no shame about walking up to strangers and asking them questions. She's a spunky little bulldog in a 23-year-old's body. If a man in a trashy Tidewater Virginia bar tries to hit on her, she'll work her magic and get herself a free drink and then somehow insult him without him even catching on. She's a smart one!

Next month Carissa is leaving us (US?) for Africa for two years. I still can't believe she's doing it, and I still can't picture her living in Africa. (Just look at how pale she is. Please, Carissa, get some SPF 80.) I'm so proud of her - she's the only one I know with the courage to go into the Peace Corps, and while most of my "politically active" friends sit around and complain about things, she's actually going to be doing a great service. Godspeed, you crazy ass!

*April Fools! Carissa's birthday was yesterday. (Did I forget that it was yesterday or deliberately plan this April Fool's prank**? Oh, you'll never know.)
**(It wasn't a very good prank.)