Thursday, September 30, 2004

Walken a Mile in His Boots

Everyday I am working on my voices and impressions that I can and can not do well. While typing yesterday's blog I was listening to some music. Nancy's Sinatra's "These boots are made for walkin' " came on. I could not help but imagine if Christopher Walken was in a shoe store and that song came on the PA. He would bend over and pick up a pair of boots, turn to the clerk and say - These, BOOTS are made, for WALKEN! I am, Christopher WALKEN. That's, just what, THESE boots will DO. One, of THESE DAYS, these BOOTS will, walk, all OVER YOU.

That really made my day yesterday and I thought I would share that. Yesterday was the first time I really tried to do a Walken, it was rough to say the least but I was able to amuse myself. I then turned Conan on and Walken was visiting. Sean Connery knows the novelty of his voice. Christopher is learning quickly too.

He was supposed to promote his new movie. He is the king of anecdotal tangents.

Conan: I hear you want to be called Chris Walken?
Walken: I SAW, my name, on the screen and it LOOKED, so long. It looked, like a TRAIN.
Conan: Alright, Chris. Chris Walken that sounds pretty good.
Walken: Try and say Christopher.
Conan: Christopher
Walken: guzenheight!
Conan: What?
Walken: Say it a gain.
Conan: Christopher.
Walken: guzenheight!
Conan: What?!
Walken: Christopher sounds like you'RE sneezing.
Conan: No. No it doesn't.
Conan: I hear you like to cook.
Walken: I like FRUIT.
Conan: Ok, how do you tell if it is ripe.
Walken: I like, avacado.
Conan: Do you eat a lot of avacado?
Walken: I've got no GRIPES with the man, that SELLS the, fruit. It's NOT, his fault.
Conan: So how do you pick ripe food?
Walken: I was on an AIRPLANE. I sat next to a DOCTOR, and asked HIM, how can you tell, if someone is sick? He SAID, it is just LIKE, picking fruit. Grab and squeeze, and you CAN tell.
Conan: You are one of my favorite people to talk to.

I love Christopher "guzenheight" Walken.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Rules of Working in Retail

Last night I partook in the first phase of my orientation at a retail store that best suits the budget of a college student. No matter which one you guess, I'm sure you'll be on Target. Get it?! HA! Anyway the cookie fun time has just begun. I am convinced that the majority of retail employees have been cheerleaders at one point in their life. Store meetings are just like pep rallies. Both hand out stale tootsie rolls.

Here are some rules of retail.

1. The "R" in retail stands for redundancy.
This fine opperation has a renovation going on. A full frontal renovation. Every single part of the store is being altered. Three different people spoke to us new staff and all had to mention "we are going through a remodeling. If you didn't notice." If I didn't notice? Stevie Wonder could have noticed all the contruction. Hey but I guess my intelligence is a mirror image of my wage, so can you tell me once again what is being remodeled?

2. Sexual Harrassment, bad?!
With all do respect, the video of how not to behave is hard to watch. Fortunately I was not the first to laugh at it. Myself and two other people without the hanger in their shirt found it beyond salvageable. My question is this. If it is not permitted to ask personal questions about coworkers, how do you learn about what interests them? If you only see them at work how can you create an out of work relationship? Prohibiting sexual harrassment in the workplace only breeds stalkers, and we know how that turns out. So please, go ahead and speak your mind. The cold shower is better than the restraining order.

3. Retail has its own language.
Instead of actually just working hard on the task at hand, retail spends countless hours on cute obnoxious names for terms we all accepted. For instance; normal word- customer. retail word- guest. That word is the farthest from the truth. Last time I had a guest over and they wanted a drink I didn't charge them and then give them a ten question suvery on my service. Why is it businesses are afraid to admit they are in business?

4. Hard work yields small dividends.
During the eight reference to the renovation, the girl mentioned that it was 75% complete and the store was going to celebrate the accomplishment (nothing like a premature celebration). She said that for all the hard work, pizza will ordered. DANG! Man I have not had pizza since like, lunch. Now, that I had two pieces of the yummy grease ball called Pizza Hut I will bust my tail for another 40 hours. What? I also get a fun sized Snicker? Aww heck, you are the coolest manager. Hey, do you need your car washed? I can do it on my fifteen minute break.

What I learned last night was that we are all a team. A team that gets treated differently on an individual basis. I also learned that retail is so exciting and comprehensive that orientation had to be split into two nights to prevent the newbies from spontaneously breaking into work. If anywhere in the world, a musical were to randomly occur it would be in a retail store.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Trust Me I'm a Professional

Many things can go wrong during a day. It is not how we get into the tough situations but how we get out of them that makes us different. Well, recently there have been some mishaps on the homefront. The biggest being the internet connection. There are two things necessary to know about my family. 1. My family has the largest hesitation to engage in new technology (it was the late 90's when we got our first microwave). 2. If someone else in my family does something, even once, they are a professional at it.

Take the computer. In the spring I bought my own Mac. I still am learning the ways of the Mac. Upon moving home my family decided to get rid of the dial up and go dsl. So, who has to set it up? Why yours truly. For if my mom and step dad were to install it I would hear about seven new swear words and an unending monologue on the wonders of the typewriter.

Installing the software that eventually led to new viruses (thanks sbc) was not much of a problem. Contrary to any lame comic (note irony) I followed the directions and only had to call the help line four times. Tangent time: I don't believe that any of the answers I give to the Knight Rider voice screening the call actually are filtered to proper personel. No matter which way I answer my problem will be outsourced to the land of curry... And we're back.

Eventually things get up and running and I think I can enjoy my efforts. Nope. Why? Well, first whenever someone else has a computer problem my mom volunteers me to not only help, but solve any problem. When people ask if I am good with computers she replies with "yeah, he has his own."

Plus, my family insists on asking more questions like "is that normal?", "so can I have ANY email address?" or "what is that flashing light?" I answer each question with as much general knowledge as possible until someone follows up with another technical question. There comes a point where the blind man leading eventually says to his companions, "look, I don't have a clue to what is going on."

When I told my family that I although I knew plenty of computer information, I did not have all the answers. Formerly elated, they wear the expression that asks "then what did you learn at college?" I confessed. I am not the computer savy guy that exists in office labrythns across the nation. I am not the IT guy that comes over and asks you what went wrong using only acronyms. I am Mike, the home office IT guy, I field the questions that impare people from even making it into the aforementioned office maze. Questions like; how do I turn this on? where is the paper? or is it ok to log out now?

Things like that make me the resiliant homeland computer savant. I take great pride in how my limited knowledge/ignorance is strangley liberating.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Do You Take This Empty Chair? To Have and to Hold...

As I have mentioned before, there are a boatload of friends getting married in the coming year. This Friday starts the four weddings in which I will be attending. It is the only one of the four that I am not standing up in. I am trying to figure out who will die in the next year to complete the four weddings and a funeral theme. Best of luck to everyone on avoiding that.

The response to a wedding invite is becoming as difficult as writing out the congratulatory check. Will you attend? With a guest? See, one of my set backs is that I am a recovering momma's boy. I listened to my mom with her unconditional wisdom. She told me to mark that I would bring a guest. Even at that moment I had no girlfriend let alone any prospects.

This is going to be a minor issue when at the reception when I am greeted by the couple and they ask where my date is and I have to say something came up. The bright side is that I plan on going hungry to the reception and eating two entres. There is no sense in letting things go to waste. Plus I think I ordered the chicken.

The wonder and joy of the wedding reception lies within the various conversations at all the tables. No matter who is seated together, they will all critique the hell out of the most randomly frivolous detail. Meanwhile those same women are wearing so many sequins that the dj shines the spotlight on them. Elderly people will be in full effect; ounces of chanel, smeared make up, and of course questions. When are you going to meet someone and settle down? The day you stop wearing smelling salts as perfume I will reconsider my views on marriage. I remember when you were only as tall as my knee. Well, I guess the fact you remember is reason to celebrate.

Sure enough there will be the following on Friday, Long Island Ice Teas, old people "not getting" rap music, ugly dresses, blind date set ups, the electric slide, my mom telling me to stop drinking after I start to smile freely, and an ever so classy scuffle for the boquette.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Bungalow Debacle (part 2)/ Who's Joe?

Friday night seemed all to perfect. Improv show at 8, birthday party afterwards. No one should have a problem with that. At approximately 11 pm all the parties were gathered; Eric, Steve, Kathy, Justyna, myself, Joe (yep, the name is back), and Allison. The night progress in typical fashion, the party was split into the two groups, Second City crew and young attractive people from all over the world.

I never declared my pursuit of the ladies. It was put upon my by Kathy, and she was going to help. This help came with her finding out who was availible. I was right next to her while she asked this young woman "are you married?" She then turns immediately to me and says "Mike, she is not married. Go for it." Thanks, thanks a bunch Kathy.

The action did not pick up until the night was ending. I decided it was time to leave. Saying good byes went well until Justyna hugs and says "ooh you can't go now, you have not met any of my hot girl friends." I take that valid point to heart and decides to stay for a moment. That decision was made when Allison says "I think she wants you to stay." Now I (romantic moron) somehow segues into a conversation with Allison. "I should meet someone new before I leave. Come take a seat with me."

She does and that my friends was half the battle when meeting the new gal. The other half of the battle, finding out if she is single. It was already known she was exceptionally beautiful. Throughout the whole "meeting" the question that was trying to surface was status. Even Arthur could not get this sword from its stone inconspicuosly. Conversation was going well, she began to mock my job prospects which is a silver lining since the whole unemployment was an open target. Time passes, about 30 minutes since the I told my cronies that I was leaving.

I then glance over my right shoulder to give Steve and Eric a sign of moral success. No point in informing Kathy since she placed herself in the front row, three feet away and very well could have heard it all. Steve misread the signal of - check this out!, as HEY I NEED SOME HELP! Eric warned Steve that he would ruin the encounter of us. Well Steve has been stranded at sea for sometime too, so he pushed on.

Allison and I were talking for at least seven minutes before even acknowledging him. Within that time he hovered over us, bobbing back and forth as though he was a buoy in the Atlantic. Each bob has made with his cusped hands hesitant to extend yet deliberate to interfere with the conversation. Eventually, he leaned forward and said "well, I am Steve." He STILL stood there for another minute in silence. She then invited him to sit down. Where I echoed "Yeah, Steve, why DON"T you take a seat?"

Oh and he did. As if I did not already have my cards out on the table he pretty much walked her through what I was up to. Our conversation, granted not like a life altering, was going well yet declining before Steve arrived. The thing is I was nearing the info exchange (at least in my mind) and when he sat down it went in the opposite direction. Just when it can't get anyworse, enter Joe. Who is Joe? I don't know either, but he was the back up wrench incase Steve, Kathy, or myself could not mess things up enough.

The scene then played out to having three guys around one girl. Which if this was a cartoon the bubble above each guys head would say "what are you doing tonight?" and her's would say "not you." She was pretty much in an awkward situation and I don't blame her for getting out by any means. Apparently she and Joe agreed to leaving together before the night started.

So was I blocked by him without even knowing? Kathy clearly tried to help me meet girls, granted she was so sincere it backfired. Steve romantically nearsighted or still on his wing man learner's permit seemed to mix things up and trip his own teammate up.

However, I the main suspect here had the attention and lost it. The blame could be pointed to anyone. At this point all we have is a social murder. The lesson learned, know the signals before walking on the field.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Bungalow Debacle (part 1)

Last night I made it out to Justyna's birthday at the Bungalow lounge. A great time was had by all. However this great time did not come without a social murder. A classic who done it one could say. The details so crazy that I will have to stop now and write it out tomorrow. Afterall, tonight is the night of excepting the unexpected. Octoberfest in September. Until part 2.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Late Night Tragedy

I was watching tv last night and decided that it would be good to see what comedic veterans Leno and Letterman had to offer. Now I have only heard limited ammounts of their stand up material that got them the job. I flipped on their shows and within moments the shame I felt made me turn the channel. Neither one has an impressive show that is capable of their qualities and skills. It is sad to watch two greats tread water with no help near is sight. Well the COB is right there behind them playing the game and waiting his turn.

Leno was on my tv for only three seconds. I flipped and saw Jay holding a zoo animal. Good-bye Jay. Nothing will ever clearly demonstrate the lack of ideas from the writing staff like ten minutes with monkeys, pigs, and baby tigers. The bit is so played as well. Jay fumbling around the animals afraid to engage with the animal out of a fear of an involuntary bladder. Ooh! Stop! Animal urination has never been so funny to people over the age of seven. The late night show format is to bring people on with new projects. Pretty sure animals have been a long tradition at the zoo.

Letterman for me is the show I watch on vacation. I would watch him more but I am not a fan of Paul Schafer, the illegitimate child of Rod Roddy. Anyway, Dave does a better job of selling the drama. The body language of the performer will indicate the confidence in the sketch. Look at how Dave does a better job then Jay. Dave has this great crap segment of will something "sink or float?" How one of the mighty has fallen into a fourth grade science experiment.

Remember the late night war? Ratings, animosity, revenge and above all fear of being second best. Jay and Dave have resolved things to the best they can. When the two were at eachother's throats it made the nation a separated community. By that viewers were brought together to see which show was best and then would make their decision and distance themselves from the other. I used to think that creativity only comes from frustration and disappointment. Both have made their mark on broadcast history and seem to be happy with rather different audiences. The Tonight Show is written to entertain the retirement communities around the nation. Late Night with David Letterman is written mainly to entertain future fraternity members of America.

In times like this I thank Conan O'Brien for being such a consistantly fresh comedian. Low tech humor with bold choices that make a dog puppet have their own comedy cd. Neither Jay or Dave have a spin off success. Plus the empathy of another tall man succeeding in the biz is always encouraging (Leno is like seven inches shorter than me). .

Two greats are now so contoured to a target audience that they forgot what got them the job in the first place. Taking chances. It is ironic that we will risk all we have to get to a goal, but instead of continuing the path of risks and uncertainty we choose to plateau our lives. Just like a heartbeat, the constant up and down lets you know you're alive, that plateau is not the high water mark we thought. Many times it is a self induced flat line.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Wait. So Now You Want to Hang Out With Me?

Amazingly, five years have passed since last I walked the halls of my highschool. I now have recieved two separate notices of the reunion event. Five years. I will not be able to attend since I have a show but what is funny about the high school reunions is that once the date is set and the invite is in my hand I feel the urge to track down classmates and confess to having a crush on them. Which I am sure is unnecessary since I was proficient at the blatant gaze from across the room (or aisle).

I really have no desire to brag or complain about my life to the people I went to school with. I am confident that they have matured and become respectful people. Except the moron that broke into his own friends house high on drugs. He stole money and jewelry from the family of his best friend and even had a gun involved too somehow I think. The beauty is that he has his mugshot on the Illinois Department of Corrections. They list all his tatoos and frankly by the lameness of the tats alone he should be taking it unwillingly each day there. Maybe he'll be out for the tenth.

It costs $55 to attend this function with four other graduating classes. For $55 I can sit in the new field house and rub elbows with the class of 79 as well. There is an open bar to boot. Just incase we can't be friends at least beer will help us pretend.

One of my favorite memories of high school was the holiday food drive. It was a contest winning class gets pizza. Somehow pizza is the universal grand prize to every contest. I am sure in heaven they tell everyone - well you have all done well in your past life so God and all the saints would like to show a little appreciation- here's some free pizza!!! Two slices each, and we only have 12 two liters of RC so drink moderately.

Back to the drive. The needy soon become a secondary matter. Teachers were telling students the importance of winning and beating the other homerooms. So, students wised up and only brought in the high point non-perishable items, like macaroni and cheese. There was so much mac and cheese that the needy were deeply disappointed that no weed came with the mass quantity of mac and cheese.

Memories are a lot like Wisconsin. Great to visit but not quite the ideal residence. HA! I love you Ripon, Waukesha, Lomira, Hartford, and Milwaukee (Chicago's Parking lot). Just a little retribution for the lame F.I.B. campaign. Much love and well done Pack.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

CNN v. 60 Minutes - The Battle of the Nitwits

Where have you gone credible news source? Put down the pina colada and leave the conga line at Club Med, for the journalistic farm system is submerged in five feet of bong water. I have been on sabatical from watching news programs for weeks and then I turn on the tv yesterday and this morning to descover some junior reporters have taken the helm of CNN and CBS's 60 Minutes. It is not a matter of how these people got the job, I am just concerned that no one is running the high school newspaper.

Mr. Dan Rather decided to use some unconfirmed information about President Bush's guard record ( I believe). Unconfirmed information is also known as allegations, rumors, or even urban legend. This all is just a cry for attention. Apparently no one was sitting next to 60 Minutes (or CBS for that matter) in the cafeteria so the leader of the blind mice went out on a limb and said that his dad could get Aerosmith at the Homecoming parade. Amazed, people listened and sat right down with Drather. It took only moments before the tell tale heart pounded through the hollow frame of CBS.

No matter what one's view is on this nation's political status this is the kick in the head we needed. There are numerous 24 hour news networks. 24 hours, think about the ramifications of errors. If CBS was a chief chef making the main course, no matter how good they are they will make mistakes. When the meat and potatoes are ruined you are left with nothing but a plate of garnishes and vegetables. Which is pretty much like being a vegan or something (and we all know how senseless that really is). That alone should scare us straight to be more diligent. Those people are a whole issue on their own to address.

I turned on the morning news to check highway travel times, the weather and who was in the wrong place at the wrong time last night. NBC has a portion of the newscast called "watercooler chat." Hey America, if you can't come up with your own mindless banter at work it's no wonder you can't talk to your children at home. I digress.

The segment was so rich that I had to actually sit down in anticipation of the anchor to end the piece with "GOTCHA! We're full of it." Not happening. Apparently CNN reports that some random national costume designer is reporting that the latex masks of G.W. Bush are selling more than John Kerry's. STOP THE PRESSES! This is not just news this is front page news. Of course W is selling better. Alfred E. Newman (cover of Mad Magazine) is much more cooler than a white california raison puppet reporting for duty.

It gets better. This costume store reports that the sales of the masks have predicted the outcome of the past five or so elections. The anchor rattles off the winners. Reagan over Dukakis. I am sure Dukakis's unprecidented level of political ineptness had nothing to do with the fact that he lost. They even mentioned the previous election of Bush v. Gore. Golly! I just didn't know the voting scandal in Florida was based on what the Golden Girls and several rafts of future MLB infielders wore for Halloween. Out of sight out of mind I suppose.

So when you register to vote don't forget to ask for your mask too. Like the future presidency, the mask will cause irritation, leave you gasping for fresh air, impair perception and of course lend deaf ears to what is really going on around you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's Over

Well well well. In a matter of 36 hours many things have ended for me. Let's start with yesterday. I am on a softball team lead by my brother and we have not won yet. My favorite excuse most teammates made during the first 7 straight losses was that "the ball is being hit everywhere we're not on the field." Perhaps my brother should have advised the team that the opponents will actually try and hit the ball away from them. At times we definitely were recreating the opening scenes of Major League. It was only a matter of time before we caught the ball. Catching is such a remedial task but to our team's surprise it was integral in winning and making it 7 innings. We now are 1 and 7 and I am sure we are posied for a stellar view of the playoffs from afar but hey we rocked last night and slept with a smile.

I have job interviews on the first three days this week. As the week progresses so does the dignity of each potential. Residing in the "any job is good at this point" state of mind I applied for a seasonal job. You know it is not a fit for you when upon arriving for the interview you are dressed more formal than the manager. Today I was interviewed by Target. See, I love to wear khakis but just don't know enough about electronics to work at Best Buy.

What makes the interview fun was that I was in a cramped office and having to stand whenever the manager needed to leave and confer or bring in another department head. It was then made cumbersome since I pulled my hamstring last night at the game. So like a grandpa I would stand as awkwardly as possible. Long story short I got the job. The only thing that they did not like was my lack of availibity on the weekends. I mentioned the classes I took at SC. The manager said that management people are asked to be availible 7 days a week.
Translation- 1. we think you could be management material (phew! I thought my Spanish degree destined me to running a laundry mat) 2. Target management consists of indentured servants.

I jumped in the pool about 20 minutes ago. It is rather dirty and from above the leaves at the bottom look like bodies. I went in only to have my fellas retreat into my pelvis. I looked at the thermometer it was 70. I then realized unheated pools suck. To make a bad situation good I snorkeled. Yep, imagine a 6'5" guy with a neon orange snorkel and mask. Snorkeling in the backyard pool is definitely a reason that I am single.

Then came the birth of the moronic idea of the day. I chose to do a handstand underwater while swallowing a mouthful of beer. Kind of an underwater keg stand. The first go was a fail, I bounced back up choking on beer and water was coming out my nose. Second run was a complete success and I left the pool a winner.

Farewell to my friends of the past weeks; summer, losing, and most of all unemployement.

Monday, September 20, 2004


leaking pipes on a
personal Xanadu
rusted structure
that was once the covet
to an abyss of yesteryears
salvage what is
redeemable to the soul
investor that bought
high yet sold

plans on the morrow
are to be changed by
the unseen front
to let the pipes leaking would
rot the blissful vision
to fix the leaking would strip
the opportunity to develop what
is never intended yet is always desired;


Sunday, September 19, 2004


It was all so hush hush. Invite only. Well, evite but that is only because the only people that use invites for their party tend to also give out goodie bags for showing. Fort building, Franzia drinking, and honorary Golden Girl Lily Berman turned 23 this Saturday and she had a private party in Chicago. The guest list included friends old and new, many unemployed- it's been going around.

Incase one is looking for a place that is classy yet keeps the windows open when it is fifty five degrees out should go to Alive One. It was tight. There was another guy watching the doorway to the back room of the bar. Rif raf filter was in full effect.

I walked into the room and was thouroughly amazed by the sight of a packed room. For a moment I began to think that maybe she was going away on a long trip. Never has there been a 95% success rate of invites actually attending. Once again I was the tallest person in the place. That may not seem overly relevant but since I was told that more than a few times I felt it is justified. Hey you are really tall. Thanks I tried to do something that would match my shirt.

Upon the recommendation of one Brian Raczkowski (not at the party, he was busy giving credibility to U of I's electrical engineering department), I drank Blue Moon off the tap. It was really good. The catch was that everyone was on a three hour open bar with the cover to Lily's bash. Almost every ten minutes the guy from Barbados was bringing back four 7 and 7s. What was more captivating than his drinking habits was the unsettling resemblance he has to Donny Osmond. I chose not to mention this since it really is not a cool resemblance to have.

I caught up with a bunch of people that graduated ahead of me at Ripon and that essentially eliminated a need to visit for Homecoming. During the evening we updated eachother on the growing marital epidemic that has been sweeping the nation and claimed the lives of too many friends. One being my RA from freshman year. This guy embodied the smoothness of John Shaft and he got married. His legacy shall live on.

I left the party out of the fear most suburbanites have when visiting the big city at night. I was afraid the car was going to get towed. This paranoia is born even if one parks legally. The cause - the space was a pretty good one. Almost too good to be true. After hesitantly gloating over my space across from Steppenwolf Ben (Lily's fella/hell of a Cranium teammate) told me of his courage/apathy when faced with parking restrictions in Chicago. "Let it play on Maxwell, let it play on." I did. Until it finally consumed my every thought forty minutes later.

I am convinced no one in Chicago drives their car, they just leave it curbside to taunt the bagel-eye suburbanites. Don't stare at the lights too long you'll go blind I hear. By the by, happy birthday Lily.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I Don't Get It

There are some things that are happening in our world that make little or no sense. Why must we insist on having options if one of them is clearly the best interest for people. If Diet Dr. Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper why do they even make regular Dr. Pepper? Just put that stuff that is healthier in the regular can and then work on new diet recipe.

Why is there a search for another Partrige Family? They are making the hopefuls actually sing, and act which Danny B noted that they never could sing in the first place. Well the acting is subject as well. VH1 presents this show like it is one of the biggest shows that America wants back in their life. No. We had Hanson in the early 90's and sent them back to their home.

Fat Joe the rapper is well, a very fat man. Ironically he is a vegan. He plays the big tough guy vibe and then you hear him speak and he is just a talking stuffed cabbage. The prolific lyrics of telling all your "n@#%@@^%" to throw the rock away and just lean back, lean back, lean back" keep this man at the forefront of social growth. He is not even black. He is a sun-dried latino. No one should be afraid of this guy, clearly he can be outwitted, and most definitely out ran.

Chip Carey, the commentator for the Chicago Cubs is as inept at play calling as they come. His womanizing alcoholic grandfather was a legend in sports, and more notable after a couple strokes or heart attacks. Steve Stone was saying that one of the players looked incensed. Which means angered or enraged. Chip immediately says, "yeah Steve he also looks pretty angry." How did this dillhole get a job? Was Harry actually sober long enough to refer his grandson? The Carey legacy lives on with fifth grade level of vocabulary and colorful commentating descriptions like "wow" or "he's not batting very well." For the sake of the Cubs I certainly hope this guy falls into the bottle and comes out with over sized blue tinted glasses.

I am not sure if I will ever understand cetain parts of life but my refuge can be taken in the fact that the aforementioned probably won't either.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Oh Yeah! Guilty Pleasures

I was driving to improv practice and a certain song came on the radio. Now, this song is not typically embraced by most males- that are straight. Anyway, it got me thinking about the little things in life that bring us joy in such an embarassing manner that we are bewildered by the pleasure. I don't know why I like it but I do. We all have them. Some of us like to share in the humility a guilty pleasure allows.

With the world of music there is one song that I have such an afixiation over that I can't help. The song is (I am sure other men have a concealed appreciation.) Madona's "Like a Prayer." I find the song to be such an upbeat display of irony that lasts near six minutes. A tramp named (by herself mind you) after the virgin mother, sings a song of love/desire by drawing a parallel to prayer. Then throw in the images of the music video. Turns out Madona sees Jesus as a black man, which is crazy since Jesus spent his life in the middle east thus is caucasian as they come. Sorry NAACP. The logic of the Vatican triumphs once again. She then covets a statue of the black Jesus. Their love affair is forbidden so she must watch him locked in a chapel while she dances around a field with burning crosses. I am pretty sure he was digging her until her saw poor taste in ambient lighting. There is even a choir involved somewhere, which is always a winner. Better yet a children's choir would have probably saved her Pepsi deal.

Starbucks. I am most ashamed of this occurence. There is one at Piper's Alley so during break I go spend $6 on coffee and cinnamon swirl coffee cake- reduced fat of course. There is something special about being in a Starbucks. I am compelled to speak ignorantly about politics and the economy. It is my duty as a patron of the robust regime to take conversation out of context and ellaborate on the severity of such dialogue. If there was a battle between Starbucks and Oprah I don't know who would come out on top. Well my money would be pulling for the Chilean espresso over any book club.

My new tv guilty pleasure may be premature to declare. However if it lasts then I may be very well hooked for a long time. It has been years since we have watched such angst between young people while they battle internal demons to become the upstanding person they can be. Move over Dawson, Joey, and Pacey. Here comes Jack and Bobby the new WB drama. I honestly like the concept of witnessing the youth of an American President. Tie it in with the melodrama that would rival any Lifetime program and you have a television gold. Gold I say!

When creating your personal Xanadu, the columns look classy. Just keep in mind that a few lawn ornaments will keep you grounded with the rest of the mortals.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Just another note. I hate the damn United States Postal System. My package sent out on August 30 still is mia and this woman now tells me that it could have been pushed back a few days because of the holiday. I was about to tell this granny that Labor day is a bullshit holiday, if it were maybe President's Day I could understand. Knobs.

St. Elmo's Fire

At this very moment of writing St. Elmo's Fire is on tv. Commercial free mind you. Watching this movie just lets me know a few things about life. If you look back from a distance, everyone looks like an idiot. Whether it be clothing or hair or simply being named Judd or Emilio. Another thing I have noticed is that although the rise to success is exciting, the pending crash/leveling off is typically more captivating.

Perhaps I will look at my favorite movies of the 90s and realize the acting was lame. Probably not. I watched them while growing more than any other time of my life (mainly since I was born in the 80s). I am trying to compare St. Elmo's Trainwreck to a movie in the 90s. Could Good Will Hunting work? No it was hands down better. Perhaps the reason for the success of Elmo is that it is based on self indulged people during the age of self importance.

Will we ever have another caliber group of actors as the brat pack? All in all they really weren't that great it was that they had great chemistry. I would like to cast Heath Ledger as the next Rob Lowe. Girls dig him and stilll have not caught on to the lack of acting capabilities. Jake Gillenhal (wrong spelling I am sure) embodies Emilio Estevez. Besides the Young Guns series, whenever Emilio or Jake is on screen I am forced to think "How the hell did he get there?"

Kirsten Dunst would make a swell drama queen like Molly did. Ally Sheedy is best represented by Katie Holmes. Not to say if I was aware of 80s movies I would have liked Ally, I just think the crooked smile should be carried on for a new generation. I was unaware of Demi Moore's start. I thank God that I didn't see this movie before she actually became good. That reason alone I choose Julia Stiles. She chooses the biggest bone headed roles that she will have to explode with dramatic integrity. Laws of probability justify my reasoning.

What about Judd Nelson? Aw hell, Judd can stay. FYI this movie blows. It is so bad I could not even watch it to appease a girl. Which by the way I have never seen Pretty in Pink, 16 Candles, or the ever fawned over Dirty Dancing or Grease in their entirety. Yet I still can go on living.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What's My Name?

Recently I went to visit my friend has she moved into a new place with her fiance. Both of them are new in their careers and work long days. So what is the logical decision to be made when one is gone for more than a third of the day? Get a puppy. Nothing like rescuing the dog from that cold metal cage and putting him into a carpeted cage that heats well since there are only two windows in the apartment.

That is not even the craziest thing. This dog is a terrier/bulldog mix. They named the dog moose. A dog named moose. Although rather catchy, the naming that goes into pets simply is the names people would name their kids but are afraid to do so.

If animals are as smart as wacko animal shrinks say, then once they learn their name is another animal there will just be a very large identity crisis for the animal. They may have well as named the dog cat. Is there really an inappropriate pet name? If you know any of my step brother's animal names you would say apparently not (Sh!t for brains, etc). The naming just lets know who is in charge.

It works that way for humans. Johnny Cash's a boy named Sue. Nothing sends a message to the kid that says "I'm in charge" like naming a boy Sue. On the other hand the whole junior business is something I have mixed feelings about. I like the honor of a family being passed down through a name. However that is for what the last name is used. I also believe that the junior business is wrong. I feel if the man lead his life right the first time, why would you make a version 2.0 or on? Well I just want my son to be just like me. Well as sick as that sounds let's just hope his emulating of you stops short of sleeping with your wife (his mom).

Family togetherness can start or end with a name. I guess that choice is up to everyone. Just don't always use the first word that pops in your head, like apple.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

20 Days til a New Me

Somewhere I heard that if you do something for 20 consecutive days it will become engrained into you daily routine for the rest of your life. Ok well there is a better chance, no garauntees. This is important on many levels. Physical health, professional goals, personal satisfaction can all be satisfied if one drinks a tall glass of determination.

My physical health is really not good. My height is the perfect facade for an impending heart attack from the aforementioned sausage and cheese products. I need to exercise more. How did I come to this? Before I answer you should do the same test. Run up a flight of stair (more than 7 stairs helps) and take a big hop at the top step. When you land and your chest is still shifting like tides in the ocean ask yourself this question. Am I a woman? NO. Only women should have a chest that moves as liberally as a bobble head doll.

The other test of change is as simple as putting on a pair of pants. To me when my stomach storms and conquers my belt buckle like some anemone I know it is time for a few sit ups and a few less pizza slices. The belt buckle is my fuel gauge, nothing sends chills down my spine like a freezing cold metal pressed upon the navel region.

Being tall allows a grace period that most people are unaware exists. I tell people that I have a ponch and they are quick to say "no way, you're tall." Yes, tall and with a ponch. I used to think that it was never ment for me to be in shape. Let's be honest sexy is rarely funny. If I had a six pack and was doing well in stand up the world would be thrown off its axis. Hell, if I had a six pack I would walk around without a shirt in December. (sorry for the mental image)

Have you ever tried to start a new routine? This 20 day thing is harder than it appears. Currently I am past 20 straight days of not going to work. So the good news there is that I am ready to accept unemployment as long as it runs rampant in my life. Today is day 3 of forcing myself out of bed by 9:30 am. I know most of you just dropped an f-bomb at my general direction, but hey I am trying to better myself here.

Like the saying goes, you can't blame a guy for trying, but you sure can blame him for failing. Good luck on your next 20 days.

A busy little bee

In the next few days I will be performing more than I could have imagined. Just to keep tabs on the 7 year plan, let me inform you readers of what is going on.

Tonight: 9 pm Holiday Club 4000 N. Sheridan. $5 cover (I think). Comedy showcase. Come by and check out some new material and some classic Maxwell words.

Saturday: Last Night. I am filming my first short movie that I as well wrote. I will be acting in it too aside some great friends that are ready to step into the indy film industry.

Sunday: Audition for an Improv troupe that actually pays. Downtown Chicago.

Monday: Audition for a theater company that as well pays. Downtown Chicago.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Better than the Wurst

Labor Day can indeed be embraced and celebrated by such people as the unemployed. See the so called holiday gives the unemployed one more day with the people that they love so much and always ask about the proximity of the next "real job."

I certainly love telling pipedreams to my family and friends about whatever prospects I have. Specifically, I like to apply for a really great job that I don't have a single qualification. That way I can see everyone struggle to utter words of confidence that have the value of a plastic champagne cup.

All in all the unofficial end of summer went rather well. I had my first cheddarwurst and it was delicious. Honestly, have the good folks at Johnsonville made a bad product? I don't think so. They could encase anything and I would eat it. On the other hand their constant pursuit to inject whatever byproduct of the earth into the link is a bit troubling.

I ate brats/sausage products for four straight days. Four days people. I woke up today with the sausage hang over, thinking I should get a pick up truck and start omitting prepositions from my daily vocabulary.

I was able to meet my brother's future mother in law. She is a reserved woman, especially when my brother and I are joking around. It was a fun conversation because everything we tried to talk about she had no desire to really respond. The situation was made harder since she is living in Singapore and seems to dismiss the whole portion of her life as many say "in the states." General conversation was made into a NASA precise topic of golfing - in Malaysia! when she got her hands on the conch. Ooh, golfing in Malaysa that is pretty exotic but have you ever golfed at the LOST MOUNTAIN? My golfing story is more compelling since 1. Anyone can find Malaysia, but not every Tom, Dick or Magellen can find a LOST MOUNTAIN. 2. Standard golf courses are huge allowing for a large margin of error, I conquered a couse where everything is miniaturized. One little elbow twitch and suddenly the ball is on the baby Nile headed to the lagoon. It is harder than it appears to be a mistake free golf diety, or genuinely uniterested intrapersonal growth.

I did not even bother to ask if there were cheddarwursts in Singapore.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I could care less.

I am a huge fan of autumn and whatever wonderful memories may insue during the barrage of holidays and meaningless days for a parade. Fall is wonderful for many reasons. One being it puts an end to the mundane summer sport of baseball. Thank you NFL for having off the field issues that are mroe captivating than any story in baseball. Pro football is great, even when your team is in the cellar you can be cheering for the sport in general. I could care less about college football.

The biggest hang up on the sport is that after a five month season there still is not a unanimous champion. There are so many colleges that play that the NCAA does not know how to regulate a decision. A decision. Make one. Make tournament- like every other damn sport. Who's wonderful idea was it to have a computer rate the quality of a team? Is that not why the games are played?

Secondly, holy excessive sponsorship batman! Almost every game has some mega store sponsoring the every play. That fumble was brought to you in part by Ex-Lax. Come new year's day there is so much football that it takes away from the actual achievements of a good team. Sorry Notre Dame fans, no Sugar Bowl- excuse me Nokia Sugar Bowl, you will have to watch your team play in the Jiffy Lube Bowl or maybe the highly coveted Blockbuster Bowl. Upon hearing that a team is playing in one of the lame bowls I certainly hope they realize that their degree in Agricultural Science might be needed to make a buck or two.

Even though I am not a big fan of college football I still know the most important rule. Beat Michigan. It amazes me how I am so apathetic to the sport yet will revel in any loss by that team. Which is a shame because Michigan is a nice state with a catchy tourism campaign (YES! Michigan).

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Maintaining the Personal Equilibrium

Not every day is a cup of sweet tea, nor is every day dog gone aweful. Reason being life has a way of balancing itself out. It just seems whenever the day is going swimmingly the night is as good as tv show on PAX. The reality check is something we all need to self induldge in before life inflicts one on us.

There are plenty of things to do as pick me ups. My personal favorite is public transportation. No matter how futile my life seem, no matter how inept I am at romance I know I can turn to the mass transit system to make my worries seem like the b story. Whether it is the train or the bus, upon arrival I learn from the facial expressions alone that my life is not nearly as bad as the people around me. These people are so distant from hope and emotion that you'd think the train was going to Auschwitz.

Public transportation is also good for another boost to your day. Never before in my life have I felt that I was more physically attractive than anyone else. Now I am not saying that everyone on a bus or train has fallen from the ugly tree. Just most of them look like they are coming off a trip induced by a China paper plate of hard core narcotics. If you ever feel like an idiot get on a train/L, wait no more than fifteen minutes before some dufus runs in, and gasps "which line is this? Is this the green line?" Hey Mr. Magoo, I guess you missed the big sign on the side of the train that says GREEN in green (right next to the door of all places). Suddenly common sense beats the plight of a dead end job.

Life is not all sunshine and Will & Grace reruns, so regulating the buzzkill is a large task. When my day seems to be going to well I like to turn on VH1. Chances are that there is an episode of "The Fabulous Life of..." which is an exact take off of E!'s "It's Good to Be..." Both shows would be more appropriately titled "Shi* You'll Never Have" or "Rich People to Live Vicariously Through." Nothing shatters hope like hearing that some ridiculously rich person has 100 $35k watches.

Whether employed or not, try to find a job. Nothing can strip the dignity, self-respect, and inner peace of one like a job hunt. Never since the quest to lose one's virginity are these words uttered - I'm sure you're good but you're just not good enough for me. One story that hits home is when submitting for a position and then get the phone rejection. This is a new tactic for employers to shift leverage further away from the applicant. The call reminds the applicant of such position applied for, then the company says something along the lines of "well the posting you applied for is no longer open, however we do have a lower position availible. How do you fell about less pay?...still interested?"

What comes up must come down, and what goes down will eventually land face up.