write. type.
Apprendre de Moi

name: Alicia
age: 24
screenname: cryztalina, since 8th grade and going strong
email: randomlifeinprogress@hotmail.com
Momentary Obsessions

book: LOTR - JRR Tolkien
song: "Isala Iciibi" - John Chiti
quote: "Bufi!"
mood: Content
Go immediately

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Read every day
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Wherever the whim takes me, it takes you

Ferdy on films
Funniest Ever
Second funniest ever, from my future city
Everyone feels better after they listen to "The Entertainer"
Why I love Belmont and Clark
One of my favorite songs. You only wish I was joking.
Why the Internet is the worst sometimes
People Who Should Come To The Manor More Often

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

[ey-ey mukwaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiii]

Greetings all, from Zambia! I'm in Lusaka right now and don't have much time on the ridiculously slow and somewhat expensive Internets, but I thought I'd drop a line. I am having a ball and miss everyone a lot! So a little about what I'm doing ... I'm studying iciBemba (look it up!) and will be the BOMA (look it up!) volunteer for Serenje district in Central province. Right now I'm looking forward to finishing up with training and swearing in on April 25th so we can get this party started.

As for Zambia in general, it's insanely gorgeous and the people are absurdly kind. I attribute the latter to the fact that aside from a brief and minor struggle for independence in the 60s, most of the population has never seen war. Either way, they are warm and open-hearted in general, and I feel so completely at ease here that I can't imagine life without this experience now. As for the landscape, it's like living in a dream. The friends that I've made here and I agree that the sky is bigger here, and that the pictures we've taken simply don't do the land justice. I don't even think with all the vocabulary in the world I could describe it's richness appropriately, but suffice to say that I am going to be living in an area with so many hills that I call them mountains.

On top of all of this, I feel more like myself here than I have in at least a year. I have made a ton of new friends but I still miss the old and think about all of you often. I am more sure about myself and my goals than ever, but even more than that I am sure of how blessed I am and have been, and how lucky I am to have all of the friends I do. I miss you all daily and you are in my thoughts! When you think of me, don't worry - imagine me having a brilliant time and all smiles, and you'll be spot on.

If you know me well, please e-mail me or message me on Myspace when you can; also, please write if you feel up to it! I have a new address I can give to you if you contact me.

Oh, yeah, and I dropped my iPod down the pit latrine. Those of you who know me well should be laughing hysterically at this point.

[Goofball Central has set up shop in Serenje, Zambia]

Monday, January 28, 2008

[The pupil in denial]

So it's finally coming to it, and the range of emotions I feel is off the charts. More than anything I'm just anxious to get the show on the road, start this new chapter and get the hell out of the old routine. But there's something funny and bittersweet about that: I already am out of the routine. I no longer live in Chicago.

In looking forward so long and in yearning for something different so strongly for such a while, I failed to realize what a hold on me the city obviously has. It is fun to hang out with my dad and stepmom and stepbrother, and it's fun now to be hanging out with my mom but, really, I've never felt such an emptiness. Somehow it's like the void that's left after all the crying and tears of a breakup are done and the remnants of the life you had together are scattered in the wind; you'd think that you'd be happy to be moving along but you are really just heartbroken that you aren't heartbroken anymore. That's not to say that I'm not still sad to have left my Chicago life behind - I miss my friends so much.

But aside from these normal reactions to a formal goodbye, there's something else, something more depressing. I almost miss my anger and frustration with my Chicago experience more than anything else. Doesn't make sense, does it? It's like the opposite of a breakup, really. When the dust settles after someone tears out your heart, and you get over the hollow feeling - you know, that feeling that your bones are as light and as empty as a bird, that anything could crush you - you usually start experiencing the joys of life with the sweet tentativeness of a longtime smoker who quit and can smell shit again. But I am feeling the opposite. I know that when all is said and done it's my love for my friends and the city that will last. It will be the good memories that I turn to. For now, however, isolated in Michigan with nothing to do except exercise, eat sensibly and be responsible, I have found myself dwelling on the bad thoughts. I feel like some kind of ghost or something, like I died and the world just kept on spinning but I didn't get to leave, I was stuck in the same rut with the same bad feeling with nothing to do for eternity except to dwell on it.

I think my constant consideration of all of the bad situations I left behind is three-fold, so bear with me. One, I think that there is a sense of guilt. I never resolved any of the problems with people, I just parachuted out of there like some cowardly soldier leaving everyone else to save my own skin. Two, I think there's more than a touch of arrogance to the feeling that I've been left behind. I feel like I did the work without any payoff. I spent nights grinding my teeth and drinking away bad thoughts and believing in the good in people selfishly, perhaps. All the stress I thought fell on my shoulders was supposed to be my redemption, maybe? That in the end everyone would turn to me like a surprise party, and all the angry, tense faces would melt into smiles and they would all explain it was a test, like Miranda July expounded, and that they just thought I might appreciate it more than others. Yeah, right - as if I'm the only person to ever have to go through anything, as if the things I have been through are even all that bad. Also, the arrogance of feeling left behind includes just that - I'm sad that I'm not missed. It's extremely difficult for me - a person who wants everyone to like her and will compromise almost anything to believe she's right even when she isn't - to realize I'm not different, or a martyr. I'm just a regular person, and time goes on.

It's really the third reason that makes the difference, and that's probably the most true. It's that I had bottled up so much emotion, good and bad, that by the end it's as if I needed a full body transplant just to survive. I'm out of the situation and now I can see so much negative crap that has to be identified, owned up to and then removed. And it hurts, like a snake bite that you have to suck all the venom from, only there are so many a body shouldn't have lived through it in the first place. It isn't like I'm unique in that. The only difference is that I haven't dealt with any of them as they happened. My own stubborn will kept me from acknowledging the necessity of dealing with pain and life's many unhappy occurances, and I turned to a bottle or another distraction until the waves passed and I felt normal again. Only now do I realize that I wasn't ever feeling normal. I was feeling like a liar. And I was.

I realize that most of this probably is rambling and incoherent to some people, and overly negative to others. Really it's not that bad. I'm just realizing some things and I needed to get them out of my head, I think. After all, what is a blog for? To sum it all up, I guess, I'm just kind of in a weird place. I am between lives right now, and, although everything is moving really fast, it feels like I have this moment suspended in time to contemplate what I left behind before I look forward again to all the brilliantly wonderful things that are coming. Really, I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. So, I suppose while I wait for this show to get on the road and all that, I should start to feel some more gratitude for the things I left behind, even the bad stuff. I know how many amazing experiences I have ahead of me. I'm just making room for it.

[Life goes easy on me most of the time]

Sunday, January 06, 2008

[I don't know what generation we are]

I suddenly realized, it's almost here. I have 8 days left to work at a job a loathe, and yet, suddenly, all I can think of is all that I've done okay, and things that I am thankful that I am not.

For example, I'm glad that I'm not going to be working at this job that I loathe for the rest of my life. I am thankful that I never let myself fall for the boy that I still wish I would have fallen for. For that matter, I'm thankful I never let myself fall for those who could have taken his place. I am thankful that I have never moved home, no matter how easy I thought it may have been. I'm thankful I never hurt anyone's feelings intentionally. I'm thankful that I have started to learn that its okay if I hurt someone unintentionally. I'm thankful I became addicted to cigarettes, and I'm thankful for the law that banned them from bars. I'm thankful I have never encountered murder, and that I do not understand how to rationalize it. I'm thankful that my mother went through her second childhood while I was going through mine. I am thankful my father wasn't there when I wanted him most.

I know all these things might seem cruel, but they are actually strength. I have had such a lucky life, why should I berate myself so? Why should I think that one or another's viewpoint means one thing or another, or anything at all? It makes me happy to believe that there is something out there that will make me happy. It makes happy to believe that I am going to do real, actual, tangible good when I'm there. It makes me happy to believe that I am launching others into their promised goals, only because I am leaving and it makes them question what their whole deal is.

I know that I seem solipsistic, and maybe narcissistic, but I believe some things are good. There are times that I wonder what I could have done more, why certain people hate me, and why I haven't understood it enough to just let it go ... but that will be something that will fade with time anyway. I believe in redemption, even when the person at fault has done nothing wrong. I believe in it, despite it all.

I don't know if all of this makes me more or less selfish, but I hope that by tomorrow, at least, I will be sure that it's the latter. Nothing can fix the way I feel inside, there's no way that a word or a song or a friendly thought will affect my attitude until I change it myself. I'm the one who has to decide whether to sink, swim or float. The only thing I know for sure, at least, is that I won't give up.

It's swim or die. Fuck floating.

[you know, the most recent one, something about the 2000s]

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

[I piddled]

Seriously - I feel like I just won the lottery. This news is the best news EVER.

The best part? I will be back from Zambia in time to camp outside of some suburban theater complex in a half-assed costume on BOTH opening nights.

[Only half joking]

Friday, December 14, 2007


Me: [Reading headline aloud] Major League Bombshell...?
Ian: Oh, yeah, they just released a PDF document that proves a lot of players have used steroids.
Me: Oh ... I'm glad I don't care.

[Little to the left ... bit to the right ... There. Perfect]

Friday, November 30, 2007

[This gun's for hire]

You know what peeves me? The spectacular fall of all of the favorite big stars of my youth. Why oh why must they all go crazy? I love People magazine as much as the next American girl born after World War II, but seriously? I wish I didn't have to know about how nuts my stars are. Allow me to make a tragic, tragic list.

Mel Gibson. Boo, forever.
Whitney Houston. Crackhead.
Tom Cruise. You know.
Alec Baldwin. But I love you anyway, baby!
Robert DeNiro. Who knew he was a huge jerk? Nobody messes with Terry Gross, not even you, Bobby D.
Britney Spears. Stop. Just stop - stop it, stop, stop. Now.
Brad Pitt. You ruined everything!! You were the best ever, now you top the worst list! When asked if he would do another Oceans movie he didn't say, "No, we all know the series has run its course" like he should have. He said, "It's time for us to put away childish things." Oh, really, Brad Pitt? Really? Does "childish things" include your 1,486 kids? I sure hope it does. Jackass. Your abs used to get us all through a hard day. Now it just pains me to look at them.

There is, however, some lasting grace in Hollywood. How do I love thee…

Kevin Costner. Normalest. Ever. Call Whitney and tell her to stop doing crack.
George Clooney. I don't even mind the clique pictures of you in a tux with your tie slightly undone. It's still sexy!
Nicole Kidman. I didn't really like her that much in the first place, so it's not that big of a deal that I don't like her now. But I do respect that she's consistently tactful. She's got class.
Richard Gere. Friends with the Dalai Lama? Loves it.
Christina Aguilera. Wow, you're actually kind of, well, normal-ish. Who knew.

Can we please leave the tabloids to the people we didn't like in the first place? I don't mind reading about how much more Spencer sucks with each passing day. But leave the ones I think are good alone. Please?

[I got bees on my head, but don't call me a bee-head]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

[You better kiss me]

83 days left til I leave for training
37 of which I'll be in Chicago (not counting a few odd days I'll come back for goodbyes)

The numbers are totally sad and totally amazingly happy at the same time - how can that be?? I am so excited but I am also so scared to leave my friends and family. I know once Christmas passes it will all go so fast, what with getting together all of the stuff I'll need, visiting family, et al. But right now I feel like I'm treading water in the shallow end of a pool. Yesterday I said "Peace out," to a co-worker I didn't know very well. I am sincerely losing it.

[Because you just might miss me when I'm gone]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

[Work is killing me softly, with its lack of song]

It's been getting harder and harder to manage daily life knowing all the changes that are coming. This is the first time in years that I have looked forward with such zeal to Christmas—I've got the spirit! Only now it's not the "spirit" of all the gift giving and getting and/or food making and eating, it's the spirit Doc was talking about when the Grinch’s heart grew 10 sizes. Seriously, the percentage of mushy, heartfelt thoughts to regular Alicia thoughts has greatly increased of late. I'm worried that by the time I'm supposed to be on the plane to Africa I will have already * poof * ed into a rainbow and floated away.

But, of course, my feelings of impatience and complete aggravation with the slowness of the clock at work have tempered those feelings. I've been stealing moments here and there to surf Zambia blogs, and another volunteer just sent me a Bemba guide he found so we all could start thinking about learning the language.

Nikwisa kuli icimbusu? = Where is the toilet?

The most important thing to learn in any country to begin with, I'd say.

[Seriously. Even this only took 10 minutes]

Thursday, November 15, 2007

[Thanksgiving is the balm]

Next week is Thanksgiving and I have to admit, it kind of snuck up on me. I am looking forward to all the staples of going home to my mom's: sitting around, laying around, sleeping, watching terrible movies, long walks (that one kind of came out of nowhere, didn't it?), eating delicious treats, imbibing and all the general laziness that usually ensues when my brother and I get together. Oh, which reminds me, I am also looking forward to seeing my family ... that slays me every time.

When we first lived in the dorms, Jeff and I were looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving much the same way I am now and we were sitting around with Mandy talking about it. I wrote down the conversation, for posterity:

Jeff: I can't wait for Thanksgiving!
Alicia: I know, turkey!
Jeff: And pie!
Alicia: And stuffing!
Mandy: Yeah, and family!

{awkward, ashamed silence}

Also, has anyone else noticed how there's an American holiday for every one of the deadly sins? I'll prove it:

Lust – Valentine's Day
Gluttony – Thanksgiving
Greed – Christmas
Sloth – Any federal holiday that students get off but don't know why
Pride – Birthdays
Wrath – Halloween (horror movies sustain this theory)

The only one I can't pin down is Envy. I suppose Christmas and Birthdays are good for that, because of all the stuff you want. St. Patrick’s Day has been suggested, simply because of all the green, as have Cinco de Mayo (because we wish we had it) and Hannakuh (Because they might wish they had Christmas). But I could never settle.

As for the Holidays + Deadly Sins = Holy Awesome! the trajectory seems to have gone 1.) flee religious persecution 2.) burn witches at the stake in name of religion 3.) set up greeting card companies 4.) indulge worst impulses. Nice! Makes me want to read Motley Crue's autobiography again and then set off some fireworks.

[Hedonism: Past, Present and Future!]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

[I'm in a glass case of emotion!]

Ever since I found out precisely where and when I would be going as a Peace Corps volunteer, I've been tripping over a different feeling every few hours. The dust has slowly started to settle on the reality of my new life path, of course, and I've found two major thought processes have trumped the rest: Holy Shit I'm Going To Africa and Holy Shit I'm Going To Africa. Doesn't make sense? Just indulge me for a minute here:

A.) Holy Shit I'm Going To Africa (inflection on Africa, high-pitched squeak at the end, wide-eyed deer face). This is the sneakier of the two feelings, and it's always lurking about in the shadows. When I first read my invitation, I was elated, excited, ecstatic and all other happy e-words. I couldn't stop smiling for days. But then the terrible, crushing fear snuck in the back door and unleashed a barrage of questions. What if I'm not strong enough? What about all the frustrating moments, will I be able to cope? What if I make some hilariously absurd cultural blunder? What it's lonlier than I thought? Am I prepared?

I realize hesitant feelings are healthy, and I know, like my family and friends keep reminding me, that fear and questions are a sign that I'm taking the situation seriously. But still, there is a feeling of dread that sinks on my shoulders now and then, when I feel like I might have overestimated myself. The fear ranges from the totally silly (What if I'm not funny when I get back?! Most of my humor is topical!) to the preposterous (What if I lose touch with my friends, and they forget about me?) to the dead serious (What if someone in my family is hurt, or passes, and I miss it?), but they all get equal face time.

Like I said, I know that addressing these concerns is natural, and probably even a really good thing. But that doesn't mean it isn't scary, that it doesn't put me in a (seemingly) lonely, introspective place.

But, then, along comes...

B.) Holy Shit I'm Going to Africa (inflection on holy swear-word, all roared through happy smiles). And it's true! I am! I am going to be living a dream that I have had for years, I am going to be in another culture, I'm going to be challenged to become better, stronger, all the things I've wanted for so long. So what if things change? They will change for the better. So what if I get frustrated? No growth comes without a struggle.

I've gotten a chance to briefly get in touch with several people who will be in my training class, and this just reinforces all my sugary good feelings. It seems so far that while we all come from different backgrounds and life situations, we will get along swimmingly. See what B does to me? It makes me want to use words like swimmingly! In all seriousness (and in all take-myself-too-seriously-esness too, apparently), I'm thrilled and I am looking forward to going so much sometimes it feels like I might burst out of my skin. Aside from the personal growth, here is a short list, in no particular order, of some other things I'm looking forward to:

1.) The climate
2.) The mountain bike
3.) The wildlife
4.) The mud hut
5.) The new friends
6.) Starting work on my project
7.) The food

I go back and forth between the feelings, obviously, but for the most part I can't stop smiling. It's so clearly what I'm meant to do. It can be bewildering when something so good gives you the same physical feeling of a kick in the gut, of a total heartbreak. It's because it's completely new, completely out of my comfort zone and completely the right choice.

On a totally unrelated note, please watch this.

[1:41 pm: smells like someone's eating Belizean food. Over and out]

Monday, November 12, 2007

[It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you]

You may have noticed the addition of what may seem like a totally inaccurate clock on the left. While it may be wrong for Chitown, it is actually my new time: Zambia time!

That's right - I'm going to Zambia with the Peace Corps! I found out awhile ago, but have decided to keep it a secret from this blog, since it has become Murder Alley of late. I've been lurking around the Internet for the past few weeks though, trolling other Peace Corps blogs, when I came across a couple of people that are actually going to be in my training class! Reading their blogs got me excited again about mine, and I couldn't keep a lid on it anymore. If I'm going to be dealing with (the prospect and probability of) dysentery, malaria and a hole as a toilet, I think I can deal with the Internet's version of Jack the Ripper skulking about my corner of the web.

So, obviously, I'm excited. Getting ready to deal with the details of actually shedding my First World life and diving into a totally new world is both exciting and terrifying. Mainly I'm excited about the work I'll be doing as a community education developer, and mainly I'm terrified about Becoming A Grown-Up. Just filling out paperwork for my visas and new passport has been a challenge - the kind of challenge that is totally ridiculous. Have you ever met someone who is really slow to understand something that everyone else around him just gets? Like, they just don't get how to not burn toast, or something. Einstein stopped telling his colleagues about the theory of relativity because they didn't get it and it frustrated him. Don't invite trouble by trying to explain to me the simplicity of doing taxes, making doctor's appointments and all other Grown-Up Activities. I will not understand. Incidentally, I will also not understand when you try to teach me how to tie my shoes without using the bunny ears method, but I digress.

Like I said, I will probably start to wander back here now and then, and hopefully won't stay away so long. I will also be adding a PC disclaimer soon, because now that I've revealed my true identity as a soon-to-be government employee I have to remind you that my kooky thoughts and bonkers feelings do not, in fact, reflect on the Peace Corps. More later (hopefully), when I can spare a moment from daydreaming about Africa.

[There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do]

Monday, September 24, 2007

[Ho-o-ld on, sweet talkin' woman]

I hate it when someone comes in and takes all the fun out of something.

[Don't let the sun go down on me]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

[Communication breakdown all around]

I think everyone has lost sight of what's most important. And that is this. And a nice glass of wine, but I digress.

I just wanted to share that I am officially cleared dentally, which means that, one day, my teeth might have an exciting adventure in a far-off land! While the rest of my body rots away in a trailer in west Texas, drinking what I call tequila sunrises, listening to the Texas Tornados "Little Bit is Better than Nada" and petting a three-legged dog named Shelly, it is entirely possible that my teeth will be changing the world. By that time we'll be RFIDed the hell up, so I'll be happy for them, and may even wish them well. Though I will be bitter and short-sighted about it at first, and maybe even take them on the Jerry Springer show for a paternity test.

The best part about it is, when I told my Grandpa about getting a full mouth X-ray the first words out of his mouth were, "Is that so they can identify the body?"

While it may offend your womanly sensibilities at first, I implore you to look past the crassness, and see it for what it is: pure comedic gold.

The end, new paragraph.

[You got an argument? Get a life, like my teeth did]

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

[Everything's just wonderful, I'm having the time of my life]

So, we meet again. And in such a place as this? You wouldn't believe.

I'd like to tell you about how I met the Lilliputians with their tiny poking sticks, or that I went to the moon with a bunch of drunk astronauts and I had to bring them home, but I really can't. It appears as though I am just a regular schmo these days. And damned if that doesn't just piss me right off!

It's gotten to the point in waiting for "life" to begin that I've decided I can't wait anymore. I've spent a great deal of time doing less than I should, and I've gotten even less for it. I've wanted to use these hands and this heart and this head full of knowledge and naivete for so long that I've started to lose sight of the whole point - helping people. Now and then I've been worried that perhaps I just wanted to help myself, that I don't really have what it takes to be ship-shape and shipped off, to go to a land like none I've ever seen and change things for the better ... but, ah, then.

I remember it's really not about me, in that I realize that it is. Doesn't make sense, does it? I've been coming to realize that that is really the point. I'm just me. I've been more blessed than most and I have the luck that a million pots of gold couldn't match because of it. What help could I be to someone in another country if I didn't have the benefit of the education we so often degrade (and, probably rightfully)? How could I help if I hadn't the luxury of spending so many summer days drifting on a river or a lake, feeling sorry for myself because there wasn't anything else for my brain to think about? And why would I be even thinking about going away to a foreign land to teach whatever it is that I have in me if I wasn't restless, and eager to do so?

I think I may have lost you, but I also think that that seems all right. Perhaps, so I don't lose you again, so I may be of service in this instance, at least, I'll remember that the job that I think is so upsetting, and such a waste of valuable youth, and perhaps give myself - and it - a little slack. The idea that I can sit in a cubicle and hear a stranger over the miles answer me when I say, Does so-and-so still work here?

"Yes, and, might I add, I think he's more good-looking than ever."

Or perhaps I could recount the moment I dashed off an email to a friend that basically read, Bullshite, you don't have friends - bullshite.

And received an email back explaining that while the recipient realized that as a working journalist who I had briefly spoken to the day before he probably wasn't the person I intended to send it to, he did have a story to share about the time when he accidentally sent an email meant for his friend that ended up in his boss's boss's boss's box making fun of the boss's boss's boss.

Or perhaps you'd like to hear about the time that I was informed by a journalist that the reason Telluride, CO, is named as such is because when the miners left their homes and families for the promise of immeasurable wealth, the women pulled out their handkerchiefs and yelled to the men who had already switched their loyalty:

"T'hell you ride!"

But then again, maybe you don't want to hear about any of that.

Couldn't blame ya.

[I know it's not the life that I chose, but I guess that's just the way that things go]

Thursday, June 28, 2007

[I'm having the time of my life]

Things I like today, often accompanied by totally unnecessary explanations:

Walnuts. I cannot get enough of walnuts! I have been eating them like they are ranch dressing lately. Yeah, just cups of the stuff, on anything and with anything.

Mimi Smartypants. Is it just me, or does she just keep getting better and better? I was worried that by reading her book I would know her too well, all the chemistry would be gone and I would tire of her antics. Not so! The honeymoon will never be over.


Tim Fite. Download the whole album, sick back, be totally amazed. Easy peasy, portugese.

Talk of the Nation's Political Junkie. Hero, not zero.

Things that make me want to poke out my eyes:

The CIA. You think that just because they released these documents now it means they aren't still doing this shit? Pitiful.

Body fat.

The amount of money I spend on, basically, nothing. What the devil? You're telling me I don't even have a quarter until Friday?

Ann Coulter. SHUT. THE. HELL. UP.

People who don't like it when people use inappropriate periods. Eff. You.

[Put that in your pipe and smoke it, eh?]

Friday, June 01, 2007


I'm feeling much better now. I just wanted to point out that, other than the copy editor thing, this isn't about any one person but about my bottle up and explode mentality.

Incidentally, I'm drawing up plans for a novelty board game called "Clue: the Bush Administration Edition." That is all.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

[Ah, yes, dipshit. A fine word. Now where's my brandy?]

Sorry I've been away. I pride myself on not taking away from my journal writing for personal blogging (the written word is so romantic) , but I have something to say that just won't be done justice in my journal.

Let's start with that, actually. Not a well-constructed sentence, right? I have a thought: WHO CARES. Most of the people who read my meandering nonsense on this blog know that I write for Chicagoist. Well, I've fucking had it.

And if I were a parent, I would go so far as to say I've had it up to here.

I can't please everyone. Scratch that, I can't please anyone. From jerks to grammar nazis [SIC, A-HOLE!] to elitest copy editors, I've been blasted and handed my ass every day I write a post. And I'm a daily writer. I have yet to write the first lowbrow response that comes to my brain — and you know my brain, there are plenty of them — because that's not what I think blogs are supposed to be about. I think it's good to get people talking with some exaggerated, fiery bullshit because of just that — it gets people talking. I don't care if they don't agree or if they don't like me, I think to myself. This is an interesting conversation. THIS is what I want to read. Well, you know what? I've gotten nothing but bullshit from all sides for so long, and I've just gone off the deep end.

So here, to whom it may concern, is MY side of the fucking blogging - because, you see, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want in my corner of the Internet universe, sully up your ocean view and lower the property values:

a.) I am not an idiot. I write my posts within a 1 hour span that I have worked out especially for Chicagoist. I have forfeited my breaks, and I eat lunch at my desk. Forgive me if I misspell a word because, you see, the copy editor doesn't like me. Really, I can't blame him.

b.) I am not going to apologize for being irreverent. Some of the time I think that what I'm saying is right on, and sometimes it is something I think right now. Either way, what the hell is wrong with you that you don't have shit to do but criticize another person for the next 4 hours? It's one thing to disagree, it's another to say you'll "burn her house down."

c.) You are being an asshole. Not just you, and not just you. All of you. Every one. I have never, ever thought it was appropriate to go to a blog and just start spouting off my opinions as if I were god, and then end it all with a nice, "And that's why the writer will never amount to anything, because she's clearly an idiot." YOU DON'T FUCKING KNOW ME. All you have to judge me on are short, semi-daily posts on a blog about Chicago. You don't know my thoughts, my feelings - NOTHING. Do you know that I've actually been accused of not liking Daley in the comments sometimes? That, if nothing else, proves that whoever the person is has never, ever, EVER met me.

d.) Who are you anyway? Gee, I'd really like to refute your opinion, but all I can see is that your name is "my two cents" and that your email is "anonymous@anonymous.com." Well, my two cents, here's mine: brave behind the keyboard, bad in the sack.

I'm not sorry, I don't thank you and you're not welcome. This has been eating away at me bit by bit for months, and I'm so fucking over it it's ridiculous. I read blogs — am I crazy to think that there should be courtesy? My biggest problem with the Internet is that you lose all inflection, emotion. When someone says something, you read it like you want to read it.

Actually, my biggest problem with the Internet is the nastiness. Am I crazy that I read stories, posts, blogs about Chicago, DAILY and they don't invoke my ire? What the hell, am I taking crazy pills or something? I read it, I digest it ... I don't know. When I comment on a site I use my name. I stand behind my words. Not only that, but I don't personally attack the writer. I realize that it is an opinion. Geez, can you imagine what the world would be like if it were just a bunch of people screaming at each other about their irrelevant opinions? It'd be like a GD Evangelical Christian rally in front of a Planned Parenthood. And, I might add, I wouldn't go to their blog and act like I was lost and then get all huffy about my opinions. For christ's sake, indeed.

If you read this and hate it, fine. I welcome all angry words, anonymous thoughts, irritated bystanders and spam about Viagra. I also welcome silence. I'm not trying to rewrite anybody's opinion. I have never had a problem with people not liking my work. I just realized, um ... about a half an hour ago that I needed to remember that I had my own place to vent my own opinions. I'm not a self-involved monster. Nor am I a great writer who thinks she's going to make it big in journalism through her daily gig at Chicagoist. I am just me. And these are my opinions.

Whew. I feel better.


Friday, February 23, 2007

[You think your average juror is King Solomon?]

Well, I've finally digested it, tossed it about in my head and turned it over in my mouth. It doesn't taste sweet, or bittersweet, or any other word one could use to describe "The Notebook." It's not sour, either, though, just ... different. Like last week when I had Indian food for the first time - I've never tasted anything like it. Nothing even comes close.


I am actually pleased that my plight has provided you with inspiration. I'm not even too proud to admit that it's just what I need, scream for off rooftops in a cold black night: A hero on a prose steed. The discerning eye of a writing Imam, someone who can pull up on a golden ship and help me clean up the mess I've made of the clean seashore. Someone to see through the jumble of words and problems that plague my wakeful mind as I watch my eyelids.

You have absolutely pegged me, but the problem I do have is that it's anonymous, making me feel like someone's watching through the window, or I showed up naked at school, or, more simply, that feeling you get when you walk up to a group of people and they all fall silent, look to the floor. But mostly it is frustrating to have the abominable snowman dirty up the carpet with his big, Yeti feet and then vanish, so no one believes me that I saw it, I know it's out there and I have proof. He's showed me some magic trick pulled from the shelves of a cluttered shrine to kiddom, but he refuses to show me how to do it - only it's not just a Chinese finger trap, it's my life. I would desperately welcome someone who understood it, could decipher the symbols I've been scratching my head over for years.

In short, my reaction is inconclusive. It has yet to motivate me to take any form of action, but it has the wheels turning, like every philosophy class you've ever taken: You take an idea here, nod to a thought there but, ultimately, they are just lofty ideas that you can't catch, elusive wisps of something half-remembered or half-forgotten, and frustrating because of it. You want to gobble them up, swallow them whole, take them as your own and make them a part of you. But they aren't my own, just another step towards them.

And after all that, and a gulp of fresh air, I can't leave off without the most important thing, probably the only pure emotion I've felt about it: gratitude. So? Thank you.

[He calls himself abominable! Can you believe that? Does he seem abominable to you? Why can’t they call him the Adorable Snowman or the Agreeable Snowman, for crying out loud?]

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

[Down on the corner]

This snow really isn't kidding. I ended up tromping around in it tonight (on an adventure) and I noticed it in my calves like I do on a hot summer day walking in the sand by the beach. And just like in those times, I always end up envying the dogs.

Anyway, I'm going through some change again and I thought it best to trumpet empty promises into cyberspace over it. I guess they won't really be empty if I follow through, but it's hard to pin a person down on that stuff, like that one kid who got the straight edge tattoos when they were 17 and now they have to lie all the time and say they still dig them. The promises consist mainly of writing more, though that doesn't necessarily mean here, either. I'm a quarter of the way through laying out my zine, so I figure it's about time that I just fucking finish it, right?

But that kind of opens a can of worms. After seeing some friends last weekend I got the strongest sense that I'm not who I was before, and whoever this new person is, she isn't welcome at that particular table in the cafeteria anymore. I know that's not true, that my mind blows things out of proportion about 2.3 times a day, so this is probably just a mega-load, but it still got me to thinking and, in that way, I suppose I owe these people a bit of a thank you.

I don't want to be who I used to be. I want to grow and change constantly, I want priorities to match what is most important in my life and I want to use every talent that I've been given as much as I possibly can. Well, without ever meaning to, I'm sure, this group's reaction to me the other night got me to thinking that it's not that I've changed that would bother anyone. I'm still me, and everyone changes. Nor is it that my priorities are fucked up, because they aren't. It's the last one, and it's got the scarlet letter 'L' for Lazy written all over it. I should just emblazon it on my jacket — come see the laziest person from here to Calcutta! That's right folks, step up and get close enough to touch talent but never see it! Watch her waste away, it won't take too long!

It's all a big joke, and after a day or two of brooding and feeling sorry for myself I realized that it isn't all that bad. I've come to think that the "bad" in the idea of not appreciating the good if you never have the bad simply means bad times. It's not true. In this case, for instance, the bad is a few months of summer and fall slipping through my young fingers and falling hard into the pit of winter sloth. A lot of things have happened over the last few months that I haven't really wanted to deal with, so I've drowned out the thoughts of them with alcohol and forgot my lonely mood.

And for awhile, I didn't even get bored. It always takes a few days for the kid who gets sick and is excited to stay home from school to realize that staying home fucking blows and so does the Montel Williams show.

Well, now I am bored, and I have had a mirror thrown up to my morose and lackluster self, and I haven't liked the reflection. So, that's it then — I can change. Oh, and nevermind that part I said earlier about empty promises. These things take time, so just give me a minute. I've never been a sprinter.

Basically, it's:

And sometimes when you're on
You're really fucking on
And your friends they sing along
And they love you

But the lows are so extreme
That the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in its absence

But you'll fight and you'll make it through
You'll fake it if you have to
And you'll show up for work with a smile
And you'll be better
You'll be smarter
More grown up and a better daughter or son
And a real good friend
And you'll be awake
You'll be alert
You'll be positive though it hurts
And you'll laugh and embrace all of your friends
You'll be happy

[You're weak but not giving in ... not even to this effing snow]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

[For those in peril]

When I heard this today, I actually cried a little. Not big alligator tears all over my cubicle or anything, but a feeling definitely misted my eyes right up. I've never felt so much gratitude for the courage of others, and I don't give one shit about how sentimental or sappy that sounds.

It also moved me when this military wife admitted that those "support our troops" stickers and magnets piss her off. I recommend listening to the whole thing, but she basically says that she feels it's a way people assuage their guilt for not getting in a uniform themselves. Some reactions, including those from other military families, went the way of anger or frustration with her for saying that. Honestly? I think anger at someone saying something like that is a way to assuage your guilt is proof that you are afraid they're right. As for me, I do support our troops, but until I read about the 1,000 soldiers who lined up against "their" cause today, I never felt more guilty for not being brave enough to be one of them.

On a lighter note regarding the troops, the Onion is genius as usual.

["Bush Announces War Exit Strategy: 'We'll Go Through Iran'"]

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

[Cheer up, Sleepy Jean]

I really, really think I pissed the ants off this time. It's not as if I have some sort of sick fascination with killing them or anything, but this time I think I really did a doozy.

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to explain briefly.

Every apartment I've lived in in Chicago for the last three years has had ants in one form or another, ranging from very benign to totally horrifying infestations. In the place on Halsted, for instance, there were so many of them that I couldn't leave so much as a fortune cookie IN THE WRAPPER on my floor. They were in the walls, see, because we lived above a bar in a pretty shitty apartment. They would freeze during the winter, sure, but in the summer they would be everywhere if you left so much as a breath of food within their teeny, tiny grasp. One time they even figured out that they could get on the coffee table in the living room. They were all over an Oreo that was left out and Chris walked in drunk from the night before and ate it. Bleck. Of course my room was the only room they really ever returned to, though. Ants fucking follow me around.

Anyway, the next place wasn't so bad, and this one isn't either. This is ground floor so it's natural that there will be a few here and there. I honestly haven't seen any at all until this week. Jeff left and I have this big ol Manor to myself. So, of course, the ants came marching in. They could probably smell my fear.

I carelessly tossed my pillow off the loft during a fitful slumber the other night, plummeting it onto the "couch" below and knocking off the entire bowl of popcorn that I thought sounded like a good idea at 4 am drunk the night before. When I wake up less than two hours later I go down to clean up the mess and lo! Fucking ants. I have no fucking clue where the grimy little bastards are coming from, so I just start stomping around like a creep-out. I squashed em and threw them in the garbage can to dispose of moments later and then I vacuumed.

Now comes the part that's really irking me. I was sitting at the keyboard tonight, a full two days after the incident, when I start to feel tiny sharp pains on my forearm and then the side of my hand. I look and, again, lo! Fucking ant! Just one little bugger. I usually would call it a scout, the one that goes out to see where the food is and if he doesn't come back then they know that's not a good way to look. But I'm not sitting by any food. In fact, he's treating me like food.

That's when it hit me. It's not a scout - it's an insurgent. Or a freedom fighter, or whatever. Maybe I killed the wrong little guy or something, maybe he was outraged at my ants rights abuses. If an ant can carry 5 times its own body weight, then couldn't a whole bunch of them carry me off like some kind of demented Lilliputian story line from the future? Good thing I sleep in the loft, I guess.

But now, I ask you, what disturbs you the most about this tale:

a.) That I'm dead serious about being scared of ants carrying me away, moreso than I am about serial killers and stray bullets or whatever?
b.) That I somehow brought my sad little story around to the present state of world politics, using an ant that I am seriously afraid of as a metaphor?


c.) That I could be right, and I will one day be found half-eaten to death by ants.

[Fucking ANTS!]

Saturday, November 18, 2006

[You're getting carried away, feeling sorry for yourself]

Life has a weird way of showing you how to go about it. I'll admit, obviously, none of us have owners manuals, there's not a tutorial or anything, but things seem to click into place every time you let go and let it happen.

I don't know if this is universal. The only thing I can say is I've gone through one of the toughest times I've ever had to deal with, from petty thievery and computer loss, to a decision that changed my physical and emotional health in the near and distant future, respectively, but I know that what I know is basically nothing. I've been surrounded by people my entire life who keep forgetting that I'm at least two years younger than I am. I've always bucked up, chinned up, everything they tell you to do, but I have to wonder, do any of us have any idea what we'll come up against tomorrow? I doubt it.

I know that I drink every night to chase away my thoughts, the ones I'm too worried will change the status quo. I know that this is not the same thing my father did when he drank, because I know that I don't know real demons.

Drink up, baby, stay up all night
with the things you could do
you won't
but you might

No, my assault of the "human condition" is much more basic: It's a waste of potential. It's working all day and using that as an excuse to relax with a beer. Nothing wrong with that, sure, but for someone who knows better, who realizes it runs in my veins as the most powerful opiate ... well, that's just negligence, isn't it? Especially when we're talking about Grade A youth, right? Right?

I know. There's not going to be an answer. That's the other thing I've started to understand. I don't even care. I'll just crack another beer and tell you about this

Stupid memory of me in the temp house on White Lake Dr., where the termites ate our treehouses even as we made them, where I lived in the laundry room/dining room because my sister came home, she came back into the fold and who could deny her a room? where I was afraid of werewolves attacking me, Mom made chop suey for dinner one night. This was a good meal, with all the proper nutrients, but it was one of the five dinners we had eaten for at least a year. That night, my mom pressed the lid on the pan while it simmered for the last time. The pot was going beyond the clearing, it was caput. So when she finally realized the lid wasn't coming off the pan, we took it into the garage, where we all watched as Ben hit it with a hammer to try to jam the lock loose. When it was finally obvious that it wasn't going to happen, we all laughed so hard.

"Well, we're just going to have to go out," Mom said.

For people that only eat chipped beef on toast and chop suey every night, that sounded like a dream. We ate like kings that night.

For my mom, chopped suey made from fresh and frozen veggies, and all that, meant five dollars. But she must have found the change for at least seven more, for all of us, for that one night we ate fast food. I know that now even as I scrounge for change in the deepest recesses of every bag to get on the train. No more leaving $5 in a coat to find next winter. Can't afford it.

There's no point to all of this... it's just an experience, a memory tacked together on the barest of foundations. I guess on some level it means:

I wish I could rake leaves.
I hope I have time to ring the bell again.
I hope I make it through my childish nonsense.


I doubt it.

People that you've been before
that you don't want around anymore
they push and shove
and won't bend to your will

[I'll keep them still]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

[Party on the left, Party on the right]

Hey, mofuckies! I've got a really interesting post regarding the hilarity/perplexity of people having audible bodily functions in public places, tied in somehow with the fact that "People's Gas" is a ridiculously hilarious name for a real life company, but I've got something else important to announce.

We're having our first event at the storefront, and I want you all to be there! It's this Saturday, here's the essential information, but email me if you'd like/need more:

Begovenit 1: The Harvest
Saturday, November 4, 9 p.m.
@ The Manor
7011 N. Glenwood
Chicago, IL 60626

The Manor (7011 N. Glenwood) 9:00pm - readings and a short performance. Spark the mind before you dance. $5 for refillable beer cup, relatively disgusting mixed drinks for a reasonable fee. Take Redline to Morse, north exit. Lunt and Glenwood.

P.s. I just want to remind you, this is for everyone - even if I don't know you. Come and show your support while my roommate Jeff gets his theater company off the ground and we hold our first zine reading in the new space. Come on - it'll be fun!

[Be there or it's your ass]

Sunday, October 22, 2006

[Dancing makes the heart grow fonder]

Now that we've been in the Manor for a few weeks and everything is starting to settle into a sort of routine - however out of the ordinary - people are starting to notice we're here. I don't think my roommate and I ever really thought about what it would mean to live in a street level storefront space beyond the interior world we could create here. We were too busy making plans for what we can do, where things would go, when the hell our shower is going to be put in (it's a whole thing) that we really didn't think about the people around reacting to it. So far we haven't really opened the place up to anyone aside from friends and rehearsals for the theater company, but I've finally started to notice.

Maybe it's because I'm around all the damn time - that's a whole different thing... I'm relatively unemployed (yet another whole thing, but not as bad as it sounds, I assure you) so I'm around in the early afternoon before I go wander around, run errands, work, whatever. We get a lot of peekers. It all started the night Jeff and I were watching a movie before we put up wax paper on the floor to ceiling windows in front. This guy peeked in, checking it out, which isn't weird. But it was midnight or later, so we didn't go to the door to chat, we just figured he'd go away. Nope, he definitely didn't. He found a little hole in one of the cardboard boxes we had up and just... fucking... peeped. Then he started to flash a little keylight around. Jeff pointed at him, like, hey, I see you. The guy pointed back, like, hey, I can see you, too.

"Of course he can see me," Jeff laughed. "He's looking in our window... what..? Heha!"

So after what had to have been at least two minutes of this strange courting ritual we answered the door, not opening it fully as we might have during the day. There stood a man holding a can of Busch.

"Hi, hi there, I'm a Native American, and I was just looking in at the place, I wanted to see what you were doing with it. I'm sort of an artist, I'm sometimes down in the art space on the corner there." He points.

The conversation went on for a minute or two, us explaining, him explaining, but it never really recovered for us after the moment he pointed out that he was Native American. Like that was some kind of explanation... oh, I can't even type this, it's too funny still.

Not everyone is as interesting as this guy was, but everyone's as harmless. It's just always a little surreal, a sort of "Is this really happening right now?" The other day I had the door unlocked because the building workers were coming in and out working on things for us and this guy just opened it.

"This is cool... Are you guys opening a restaurant or something?"

Yes. Yes we are. Mama's Fish and Chicken, to be precise.

I don't know, it's not that weird, but I've never really lived in a neighborhood where people are so interested in what's happening in the community. They come with friendly smiles and open ears, they're all excited about what we're going to be doing. They're just honestly curious, which isn't something to complain about. But it IS, sometimes, something to laugh about later. Was I just run over by a truck? Am I dreaming? I mean, it feels like I'm lucid, but if you're crazy, you won't know it.

Everything's changing now, there's no schedule or order to keep things "normal." And I know, above all else, that is good for me. My brother reminded me of one of his best words of advice picked up along the way, "You know you're learning if you're uncomfortable." Sure, there's always a little too much alcohol for what's probably good, there's a few too many days of late sleeping past the alarms, but I don't think there are many people who know what life will be like after graduating college. It's like being in limbo some of the time, and really dark, at least for me, for a bit, like being without purpose, like being in purgatory.

It's only since I've accepted that the purgatory is self-inflicted that I've relaxed a bit. No, this won't necessarily be one of my proudest times. There's little action, and that's why I'm uncomfortable. But damn if I'm not learning, a helluva lot. It's not something tangible, that was hard to get over, but then that thought ... not everything is going to come easy, especially the good things, the ones worth waiting for.

Then again, the people will come to the door and windows and peek in. They're probably all just waiting, waiting to see what happens. I don't know, but I think it will be something good. So, that's all that matters for now, right?

[Things are gonna change, I can feel it.]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

[you can learn a lot of things from the flowers]

The CTA was like a time warp tonight. Usually it takes me years to get nowhere special but tonight, didn't it come through to bring me home? Yes, yes it did. I got here is 17 minutes, barely having time to pick up my newspaper. Sometimes time is funny like that, of course, making you feel like you've been somewhere an hour, when really you've been there for 10 seconds. Tonight it was vice versa, thanks be.

I, of course, didn't want to spend my extra time rationally, by going straight home and being there, all tucked in and warm at the Manor. No, I decided to go hunting for an open liquor store or, failing that, some doughnuts from the White Hen. I think you know what I got.

As I was leaving the Hen a woman came towards me:

"Can you spare any..."
Interrupts, "No, I definitely just spent my change."
Speaks through my rudeness, "cigarettes?"

"Yes, actually, I can spare that."
"If you'd spare me two, I'd pray for you."

This reminds me immediately of the time that Hunter asked me if I'd give him a massage and I said no, but I'll pray for you. This makes me smile. I hand out two cigarettes.

"You... man. You know, sometimes I might talk a little crazy, but when I get real quiet." Pause.
"You need a light?"
"Yeah, sure, honey, thanks."

She cupped her hands around my right, which held the lighter, to block the wind and rain. I lit one for myself. She told me the story of her night, and just how she got to the neighborhood which, it seemed later, we share. Apparently she sat down on a porch to avoid the rain. I can't blame her, since the rain tonight is the worst kind, the kind that doesn't pour, it doesn't slant, it just steadily reaches in with wet fingers to all the places you thought you had covered when you bundled up earlier to block it. On top of that, it's windy, so the rain isn't coming one way or another, it's the kind of windy splatter that comes up under the umbrella and catches it, turns it inside out, and makes you feel like a fool for trying to best Mother Nature in the first place.

So the porch she sat down on obviously belonged to someone, two someones, and they were none to happy to see the middle-aged lady with the side ponytail and the smeared lipstick sitting on it. The woman threatened to call the police and, instead, called an ambulance, saying that the person on her porch had a stab wound through her hand. From what I could see, this wasn't true, but - well, who knows what goes through people's heads. The men in the ambulance said she had a choice: The hospital or the drunk tank. She wasn't drunk, but in the 5 minutes I had been talking to her there was a few mentioned of crack and methadone, which I assumed the storyteller partook in.

She explained that they released her, because they didn't want to put her in triage incase she ran away...and then there was some mention of getting out of the hospital, fit as a fiddle, and falling on a little step while she looked for the bus. She held out her hands.


I didn't, but I nodded. They bent backwards, she said, and it hurt like a mother. Why couldn't this have happened before she got to the hospital? She's going to get the bill, she said, and when she does she's going to knocking on the door with the porch and the ambulance lady, and holding out the bill for her to sign. I told her I doubted that would do any good, and she knew, she was only kidding.

This is where the story started to get a little garbled. She started to get a little lazy with her speech, running strings of words up on top of the eachother, hugging a friend as they walked by. As we finished the last embers of our dying cigarettes the wind blew, knocking my umbrella from the rope I held it from, flying it down the sidewalk a ways.

"That's my cue,"
"Oh, I know, thanks for listening to my shit. I know you got some change in there."

No, I don't, I shook my head, but take care, and she says me too. I don't have any change, but I know it's coming, I can feel it for all the times the CTA takes me home in a heartbeat, only so I can end up there late after an intersting conversation with another person on a rainy night. It's not like we learn something tangible every time we have a chat with a stranger, but tonight, maybe she just needed someone to listen to her shit, to smoke a cigarette with. Maybe she didn't. Maybe she was ready to go home to her "old man, a real predator, wants me to give him a blow job after I let him use my pipe" - maybe she just took the chance for a cigarette, no matter who from. It really doesn't matter. For my part, I know that it's time to get moving when the cue chimes. It's time for a change, it's time to buck up and get moving, to start on the path that won't be so easy. Nothing's easy, of course. That's why I wouldn't give away change even if I had any to give.

I'll need it to buy cigarettes for the next person who comes along.

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
especially in the month of June.
You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
It's a golden afternoon.

[Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite.]

Friday, October 13, 2006

[Not out causing a ruckus, which sucks]

The most annoying thing about getting up every morning right now is the fact that I have to go upstairs to use the shower in the bathroom of the one-bedroom apartment I'd rather forget about. It really shouldn't be that big of a deal, you'd think, but it's pretty simple: I don't like to leave the Manor anymore. I just don't. I would hang out here every night and every day if I could. Unfortunately I only get a couple hours in the afternoon and sleep, but still. I blame it not on work, but on the shower situation.

One thing I will say, though - looking for jobs really sucks ass. I forgot how much it sucked, in fact. The big problem here is not that I'm looking for another average waitressing job, but that I'm hoping to become a Real Life Journalism (TM). That means that every time I send out a resume, every time I type up a cover letter, I'm nervous as shit. I make stupid mistakes and clumsily mispronounce names over the phone. The thing is, I really want these jobs! There's really something at stake here, besides a shorter supply of unnecessary disposable income (you know, the stuff beyond rent). I'm interested in what they do! I care about my appearance! It's all very confusing, to tell the truth.

For example, I got a call from a friend of mine telling me that the Chicago Journal was looking for someone to fill a position for 3 months there, and I jumped at the chance. I wrote everything I was going to say to the lady down on a napkin, put it on my bedside table, and went to sleep.

I suppose the first thing I did wrong the next day was decide to make the call downtown, so as not to waste a single minute. I couldn't find a building where I wasn't bothering anyone by talking on the cell phone, and then I couldn't find a building where I could get reception. I finally made the call from the DePaul Center on State and Van Buren, while eating a piece of pizza from Sabarro (or as I call it Bizarro (no good reason)). Then, I didn't take into account the fact that I was hoarse from a good night of drinking. On I plunged anyway, and made perhaps the most embarrassing phone call I've ever made in my entire life.

It all started to go downhill when I called Jeff Danna my "colleague" and then explained that we had worked together, and then it just got worse. At some point I got stuck in a loop and kept saying the same sentence over and over in slightly different ways. I must have said it about 3 times. Then I offered her my phone number, but couldn't figure out a way to finish the tragic phone call. I couldn't pull the trigger. So I got stuck in that sentence about my interest one last time and hung up.

It's awful.

"In order to live, in order to justify living, we can't just fill up the space of our lives with empty amusement, with pointless light and sound and words - we're going to have to try harder now." - Al Burian

[Big Losers 'R' Us]

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


This must be the funniest thing I've seen since the grape stomping video. I don't even care if it's real or not:


It definitely doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, October 06, 2006

[Everything's coming up Alicia!]

Ohhhhhh... glorious Internet. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven't done any posts, at all, pretty much all summer. Allow me to extend my sincerest apologies, beg your pardons, and explain. Since I have neglected blogging for so long, I will set up a little choose your own adventure for you to follow, which will be totally ridiculous and will most likely confuse both you and me. Even so, I'll carry on.

I have been gone all summer because:

A.) I have been living under a rock with only a tube to feed me liquified potato chips and, obviously, have not been able to access the Internet.

B.) I haven't had the Internet at home, and have been forced to visit the Harold Washington Library between two jobs as often as possible.

{Turn the page}

For those of you who have chosen option A., please put down the book. You're a silly person, who obviously didn't think of many aspects that choice would have led to. For example, if I'd only been eating potato chips all summer, do you think my fat, sausage-like fingers would even be able to press down the dainty keys on the average consumer keyboard? No, you didn't think about that, did you. You also didn't think about the logistics of the feeding tube - who is putting the potato chips into the liquifier so that I may be fed? Do you think anyone has that kind of time? Aside from that, if someone was going to do that all summer, why the hell would they let me out now? This isn't Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It's the real world.

For those of you who chose B, you are probably now feeling small stabs of pity for me, imagining the stench that rises from the computer terminal area on the third floor of the downtown library, the long wait times, and the annoying guards who insist you open your bag to show the contents, but then don't even look at the contents. (What's that, some sort of bowling ball candle? Move along.) You are right to feel pity.

I haven't had that great of a summer. My roommate Jeff and I have lived in purgatory for the last month, three beds stuffed up against the wall of a studio apartment in Rogers Park while we waited for our real place to be ready. Now, however, everything rules. We have moved into our storefront off the Morse Red Line, which is appropriately named "The Manor." And I have Internet, as of today. Life? It is good. I'll waste more of our time tomorrow or the next day, probably, and make up for some lost posting, but now I have to go to work.

[I'm only nominally sorry for the absurdity of this message]

Monday, July 17, 2006

[Nice job...well, for you, anyway]

So, I went home for the 4th of July (and surrounding days) and it was a blast. Except for a couple of things that I felt it necessary to post on because, a.) I barely have had a spare minute all summer to post a damn post as it is, and b.) the stories are really out of control.

First of all, there's a tremor in the force. It's the birds. I don't know if anyone else has any stories - if you do please share - but I have noticed nothing but really, really, really, REALLY strange things to do with birds within the last week. It all started with my roommate Jeff, who told me that there was a bird where he works on Navy Pier that was running into his and his co-workers heads. While it would suck if it happened to me, at the time I thought it was funny. Oh - but what did I know! Ten minutes after I heard, a bird landed less than 2 inches from me on the bench I was sitting on. After that, it only got worse. In the order that they happened, here are the horrific bird incidents of the past few days:

1.) Bird in Jeff's head.
2.) Bird next to me on bench.
3.) Bird poops on my arm while I'm eating dinner on Mom's deck
4.) Bird found dead (by me) on grandparent's back porch
5.) Bird flies into window at Mom's house
6.) Bird comes into grandma's house at midnight, via a net, via my cousin, via his apparent mental disability, or something.

So, yeah. Watch the birds, they are planning something big, I think. Other than that, I wanted to share the fact that, while I had nothing but fun while home for the holiday and visiting my grandpa who recently won a fight with cancer, I did get really beat up. Not by a person - oh, no, then there would be rhyme or reason, I'm sure. Nope, it was due to clumsiness, drunkenness, other parties involvement and my own meandering existence. I have decided to also list my injuries over the 5 day stay, as I found the bird list to be quite fun.

1.) I fell in the shower. Yes, much like an old, old lady, I got out of the shower and didn't realize the floor was still wet. I took a tumble for the ages, and hit the back of my head directly on the corner of the counter top. I have a big, ugly bruise on my upper arm and a horrific swelling+bruise on my neck and behind my ear. gross, really.
2.) I punched my leg through a dock. My brother thought he'd be helping everyone if he fully punched through, thus breaking, the broken board on the dock in front of my grandparent's house. Well, he may have helped everyone else, but punching the dock in the late afternoon led to me going to meet them at the end of the dock later in the evening when it was dark and landing literally right through it. Thank goodness I wasn't flailing like I usually am, or running or laughing so hard that I was off balance, because I fell right through and managed to get out with only (ONLY) a 6 inch bruise on my left knee.
3.) I got an enormous sliver on the bottom of my foot. While this isn't the worst, by far, it still sucks because it means I've had to limp around as much as possible the last few days. And it hurts because I'm a huge baby.

That about covers it, but I thought it necessary that I sent some belated "Happy Birthday, America!" wishes to everyone. No more time now, but I'm going to try not to be such a stranger.

[because faces come out of the rain when you're strange]

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

[Tuesday's Gone]

I miss the days when I was surrounded by friends and I didn't feel alone. I know this is the kind of bullshit I should write in my journal, but seriously; I've neglected my blog for so long I thought I ought to offer something real.

Upstairs I have my best friend from high school. She is amazing: Funny, adorable, happy, hilarious. Everything you could want in a best friend, right? No. Because in a few minutes I'll have my best friend from college here, and she will be amazing, adorable, happy, hilarious. They are all beautiful, fun, flawed but in a good way and the only difference is me. What the fuck? I feel like a slob, a loser, a weirdo. I come off as all these good things because I want to.. or better yet, I imitate - I'm just me, but better because I'm playing this or doing that. I'm always busy because I don't want anyone to wonder about me - Why I don't buy new clothes, for instance (insecurity with weight) - or why I don't I do anything but laugh ("I'd hate to be there when the laughter stops" -Friends) or why I crumble every time someone offers me a real relationship - what the fuck is wrong with me? I can think of a million answers, of course, but I know the real one.

It's about time I shut up and went to bed.

[Rock Lobster]

Monday, May 22, 2006

[Doo, doo, doo looking out my back door]

I walked out the door from work the other day and thought one thing and one thing alone: WTF, mate - what's the deal with the GD weather? Seriously, maybe I'm a ten year old, but I have been nothing but excited for it to be warm all the time. I'm the kind of twat who will wait until it's really, really, warm to start doing all my summer shit and I'm sick and tired of this tempermental cold nonsense. Rain! Rain all you like, Mother Nature! But, pretty please, can it at least be warm rain that is fun to ride my bike in??

Other than that, I am truly sorry for not updating more often. And by more often I mean at all, really, in the last two weeks or so. I graduated and realized, almost immediately, how much I had taken for granted having an office space and a personal computer at my disposal at all times. My computer, unfortunately, is woefully virus-ridden so I write to you now from my kind roommate Jeff's laptop in what I think is a really awesome coffee shop I will now start frequenting, called The Fixx.

Of course, now I have to bid adieu, because I can't stay on this thing any longer. I'm just a big blog-tease, until I get my precious laptop. I promise, I can't let you down forever.

[No, YOU'RE crazy]

Thursday, May 04, 2006

[Bound to feel it]

Well, now, I have had quite a damn week. A little bit out of control and way too much beer, but I gotta say, I'm still in high spirits. How can I not be when I know that next week on Wednesday I'll be done with school! Done. With. School. How damn exciting is that? I have been in school for my entire life. I've never known a fall when I wasn't starting some kind of schooling. I feel so liberated that - if I really wanted to - I could go live in a van! Hell, I could be a hobo, if I really set my mind to it.

In other news, this morning I woke up a little later than usual and was just dilly-dallying around the house when my roommate came in from outside and said, "Haven't you noticed what's going on outside?"

"Why no," says I. "No I hadn't.

Lo and behold, at least two fire trucks, police cars and emergency vehicles were blocking off my street because the house just three down from us was burning. By the time I got there the thing was a burnt-out crispy shell. The whole situation failed to make any real impression on me, except for two things which I will impart now:

1.) Though no humans were in the house at the time, a dog died in the blaze. That sincerely made me well up, and I'm not even a dog person. Well, I mean, I'm not a dog person until I see that some jackass locked their dog in the car, or left it at home by itself to die in a fire. I know it's probably not their fault, but it just seemed so sad.

2.) I can actually sleep through anything. Anything at all. I mean, I'm talking no less than six screaming sirens ending up on my tiny streets and stopping directly in front of my door, hosing out a blazing fire, and I don't stir a bit. The only thing I thought later was, "oh, so that's what that burnt smell was." What a nerd.

So, bear with me for the next few days, because I am finishing up with finals, etc.etc. and probably won't be updating much. But then I'm going to get a new computer, so perhaps I'll be updating more, whadaya say? Then I have to finish my new zine.

Speaking of zines, you should come to Mojo's coffee shop on Saturday night and watch us local yokels read from our little publications, it'll be glorious. 2849 W. Belmont, probably 7 or 8. It won't last long, but it'll be sweet, to be sure.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

[I can't do anything today, there are birds dying out there!]

I am elated and thought I would share: I found out today that my feature story on bathroom graffiti in Punk Planet is now on the stands! Yay!

Also, my sister was here last night and we had lots of fun until I sort of ruined it a tiny bit by freaking out for no reason. I'll make it up to her. Tonight my mom is coming to stay for a couple days, and that will be fun because she says things like "Boy, Roy, Chip-a-hoy!" and "Oh, Cry-eye!" We call them Margieisms. My brother and I are compiling a book, which I expect you to read and fully enjoy in 10 to 20 years.

I'm going to go to Tower and look at a copy of Punk Planet. I will leave you with a quote from Hunter, which he said the other night when I offered to get a round of drinks:

"No, I'll get it. It's my turn on the ferris wheel of alcoholism."


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

[Guns n Roses and the Cure, mixed in a bucket]

Jenny pointed out something very, very funny the other day: Pre-teen girls are the funniest thing ever. That came to my mind this morning because I was thinking about Satanism, and I remembered something so strange that I had stricken it from the pristine record that is my oddball mind - when I was 13 (ish?) I used to sit at Barnes & Noble for hours at a time. Seriously, my mom would go on a date or go to aerobics and I would ask her if I could along and she would drop me off at the book store. There I would sit for upwards of three hours and read. But that's not the funny part, no, not at all. The really great part was what I was reading:

I was sitting in the new age aisle reading Wiccan, astrology, alien, ghost and "spiritual" books. Oh, yeah, and all the stuff that Anton LaVey wrote. What, what, WHAT! I hear you say? Oh, yes. Right in the little strip mall with the Olive Garden and the Elder Beerman (that's probably comically spelled wrong, but ah, well), there I was - sitting crosslegged in the aisle, both guilting and freaking out passers by as well as employees. What a screwball! I can't help but wonder, now, why I don't constantly credit those evenings with why I'm a bit of a nutjob. But then, on the other hand, I always wonder if maybe it's all the nonsense like that that makes me who I am today - and I'm all right with that.

For example, I know that Anton LaVey was born in Chicago's Gold Coast, and that there is an infestation of a certain kind of brown spider on the side of the John Hancock building every year that people attribute to that. I also know your whole personality profile per astrology if you give me your birthdate. I know what the hell the Celestine Prophesy is, which is one of those things people would talk about in salons and parlors, you know, in the year that the first Real World came out, on Queen's in Toronto, or whatev. I also own two books on vampires. Go figure.

On a somewhat related note, Mark in the office said something really funny yesterday. Where Jenny said, "13 year old girls are the funniest thing ever," Mark pointed out - Have you ever noticed how you can say you like children, but when you say a specific age you sound totally creepy? You can say, "I really love chilren," but if you say, "I really love six-year-olds" then you are grade-A cretin. And rightly so, you perv.

On a totally unrelated note, I took the Brown Line to school today and got off at the library stop through the southwest exit. That exit is spooky. It's got one of those huge floor to ceiling turnstiles, which I suppose I'm okay with, but the thing creaks. It sounds like the beginning of "A Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott, like a ghost carriage slowly spinning its wheels or something. I walked toward it slowly, dreading my own turn, as the lady who elbowed me on the el stepped through and the sound started up again like an old police horn. When I walked through it myself I felt like Fairuza Balk in "Return to Oz"...To sum up, it was like actually being IN a horror movie. I always figured I wouldn't mind dying a horrific death if I could have not only the scary sound-effects but also, like, Marilyn Manson's version of "Sweet Dreams" playing in the background. Speaking of which, what happened to him anyway?

[Who am I to disagree?]

Friday, April 21, 2006

[A figure of speech, just a matter of time]

"I figure we're doomed, we Americans: A simple people with sophisticated weapons versus terrorists with simple weapons and complicated grievances."

That is an excerpt from Dream Whip #13, in which Bill recounts his wandering around Europe. He doesn't reveal this revelation until he steps back on American soil, which I think is what made me agree with him, wholeheartedly, in an instant.

It seems so surreal, in the context of what's going on in the world today. But what is even more odd for me is applying it to American history as a whole. It's not hard to see trends in our history; the nation is still just a baby compared with the rest of the world. And that's what bothers me, I think. A New Yorker story alleging that this administration might be seriously thinking of nuclear weapons on Iran is just one piece in a square peg/round whole puzzle that makes me cringe. We're like a bull in a china shop, turning every which way against an imagined threat just as we've done our entire history.

There's never been any need to do some of the things we've done, and not just when we're playing war. My brother always points out that, while our foreign policy is schizophrenic at best, turning for everything from elections to moods, our domestic policy is nothing to brag about. The way the country dealt with Native Americans, for example. When I told him that driving west the one thing I kept thinking about was the expanse of space, and how, with 80 percent of our population living in and around cities now, there really was plenty of room for everyone. More simply: It was land we didn't end up wanting anyway. My brother's response was to note the remarkable lack of foresight, memory and planning our country uses. If there had been any true debate between the two sides of the Native American argument for example - that is, removalist versus absorbtion - we might be living in a very different world today.

Take Chicago's history, for example: For a significant amount of time, the swampy onion field that happened to be the connection to three of the major bodies of water on the continent was a frontier town and stopping point where Native Americans (mainly the Potowatami), French fur trappers and even the first British settlers lived in harmony. What was wrong with that? Later, instead of reaching back to those common roots we chose the most rash and impossible route we could find. They would send out liasons bearing the white flag of truce and we would slaughter them because they didn't speak English.

It isn't that much different today - without any awareness of the customs and culture of the people we've invaded this time, it will and arguably is ending just as poorly.


Well, there's my soapbox speech, I guess, a few rambling thoughts from a meandering mind. Now, if only I was done with work. It's an icy tundra in here.

[Straying, falling by the wayside, I guess we never knew]

p.s. I am reading the long mag piece John Kass wrote about Mayor Richard M. Daley a few years ago and I absolutely love it. Isn't it odd that no one has written a full biography about him yet?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

[We have a winner - Ding!Ding!Ding!Ding!]

A conversation in the Chicagoist listserv about a post on a once-favorite dive bar turning mainstream in Wicker Park got me to thinking about hipsters. And by thinking, I mean angrily, angrily ranting.

I'm really sorry about this, but I'm going to have to rant about everything I hate about hipsters. It's been building up for quite some time, so it's gotta come out. But I do want to preface this by saying that I was not, in fact, quantifiable as a hipster/jock/yada in high school or jr. high, and I don't know if that's why I don't feel the same way as others might. I was pretty much like I am now. I don't know why I feel like you need my bio in order to see where I'm coming from. I guess because I want it to be clear that this isn't hipster backlash because I'm insecure.

On the contrary, this is about almost 4 years hanging out with zine kids and being irritated when hipsters from that stupid anarchy cafe ruined a good time with their insecurity. It's about having very good friends in plenty of "groups" - nerds (where I spent most my time, of course), sporty girls, older people, younger people, drama and choir kids, beautiful people, ugly ones, rednecks, smarts ... I'm an equal opportunity befriender.

But, still, the growing up and living your life mad about what happened to you in high school thing totally eludes me.

So, I bring you:

Everything I Hate About Hipsters (A Rash Generalization for the Kids)

One of the most annoying things about hipsters is they preach about all this shit - accepting others, riding bikes and mopeds, not eating animals and all that ladidah, about how they haven't ever been accepted by people and they feel awkward when they're out of their element. In reality, they are actually the biggest assholes there are. I can't listen to another hipster complain about jocks in any seriousness until they step inside a place/bar/whatever they don't "belong" in. What a bullshit excuse not to make friends.

I will point out that this is not the 80s and you are not Molly Ringwald, nor or are you Duckie. Until I can take any scenester, or whatever kind of person for that matter, to whatever goth or jock or dance party or redneck bbq I want, then I will not listen to this drivel anymore.

Don't proclaim anything until you know who the hell you're talking about. I know ten times as many kind and fun "prep" or "jock" types who aren't afraid to hang out with me when I'm in my cat eye glasses than I know even one hipster that doesn't have their head so far stuck up their ass and back in 8th grade that they can even step outside of themselves for one minute. That's not a lie. I think attitude is a fucking joke.

[Whew, I feel better. Sorry about that. Well, sort of]

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


While reading the paper (they should have made the motto "the easy-to-read-on-the-train one") this morning, I was fairly groggy. I noticed a few peculiar and/or hilarious things in it, but I put it down because I thought I was just tired. While driving through New Mexico in the middle of the night my friend Jeff thought the white lines in the middle of the road were bunnies jumping in front of the car, so now I believe those lack of sleep hallucination stories.

Anyway, I picked it up again later and just laughed and laughed. I was totally right! The paper was crazy today! You may or may not see all of these as being as funny as I did. I'll provide commentary where necessary. Here's a taste, in no particular order:

1. "Italian leader: China once used babies as fertilizer"

2. "Neighborhood living in fear of woman's cat"

3. "Michael Schiavo: I had decided to give up fight" - then why
are you still milking the media, a-hole!

4. "Elders: Divorce while asleep is still valid"

5. "Matchmaker sued for not finding date for married man"

6. "'Policy geek' also rides Harley, likes to bowl" - referring, of
course, to President Bush's new chief of staff

7. "Don't treat L snackers like criminals" - This was actually a
featured letter to the editor, but I thought it counted.

I actually feel the need to include the first few lines of this one:

"On Thursday night, March 16, two friends of mine boarded the Red Line during rush hour on their way home from work. One of them, poor lamb, unaware of the severity of his actions, ate a Cheeto on the platform. Emboldened, he stepped on the train and ate another one."

Then there's some yada, yada, yada where they were followed by the police and ticketed - whatev. It's hard to feel bad for someone who felt "emboldened." Anyway, here's the start of the last paragraph:

"I propose some snack-themed civil disobedience, a Frito Bandito flash mob on the train, all crunching simultaneously, drooling preservatives and yellow No. 5, demanding our uniquely American right to snack where and whenever we please without being issued nuisance tickets or hauled off to the joint like D.C. schoolkids."

WOW!!! We just found Chicago's newest writing sensation! This follows the proud tradition of people who absolutely refuse to finish their rambling, incoherent sentences, and I can only assume the letter writer has William Faulkner theme parties with her "poor lamb" friend. (Nevermind that I didn't include her actual argument - she can make fun of me in her blog any time she wants.) I just wanted to include this in my post because of the shining "show don't tell" writing the person probably learned while studying "english" so he or she could get a high-paying job at the English factory downtown.

8. "North Lawndale, Chatham to get Starbucks" - No way! This
reminds me of the Onion headline about Starbucks setting up Starbucks in
bathroom of existing Starbucks.

9. "Enron readies defense" - Hey, it gave me a little chuckle

My favorite, number 10, needs a little explanation. It has nothing to do with the actual story or headlines, but, while reading it consider: Don't you think the head and the subhead should have been switched? Maybe?

10. "Suspect: I slapped, choked girlfriend" Subhead - "But has
denied drowning her 3 kids in Clinton Lake"

It almost sounds like an afterthought, or some "No purchase necessary" detail that would be sped up in Pro Tools on a radio commercial.

[Some people call me space cowboy]

Monday, March 27, 2006

["Ten O'clock Titty. Oh, yeah, right...Bareback titty"]

So I am really, really officially procrastinating on homework right now. I do feel 100% better after my week of vacation from school and work and even Chicago (sorry about the lack of posts), but right now that good feeling is manifesting itself in feeling so good that I don't have to do my homework. I'm not sure if that works any better than the dog story did in grade school.

Okay, so I'm not going to rehash all the stories from my vacation that I've already told a million times, but I will recap. To preface, it was all a part of my birthday celebration, which isn't actually until this Sunday. But I had to consider all of that my bday present for various and sundry reasons. Okay, recap:

I drove to Las Vegas with my friends Jeff D. and Sam. We took the north route to avoid tornadoes and flash floods, and so ended up in the worst blizzard I've ever encountered (and I'm from Michigan). El Nina, you saucy bisky. We almost died a little, and ended up taking the south route the rest of the way anyway to avoid becoming the new Donner party in the mountains. Saw the Hoover Dam and the World's largest truck stop, which was actually more like the world's largest drive in chapel. It had figurines of cows that looked like they were drunk for sale at rates above and beyond $50. People are so weird. In Vegas we stayed with our friend Jim whose family has a condo out there. Jeff won $600, Sam won $500, Jim broke even with a $250ish hand and I found $100 in my pocket, which I promptly spent. We also sang karaoke and watched dueling pianos. Jeff and I drove home the south route, which entailed little more than the western hemisphere's largest cross. It was white. We drove straight through after a certain point and I got 0 hours of sleep before getting on the train home to MI. I stayed with my sistoro, who had a fabulous 30th bday party, even though her bday isn't until Tuesday (we're alike in the dragging out of birthdays). She was brave and managed to get our parents in the same room for an extended amount of time for the first time in 15 years.

So that was pretty quick, considering all the details I could have included. Anyway, it was fun, and refreshing. Besides all that, though, it gave me soo much perspective on so many things it's ridiculous. That's why I hightailed it through that story, because I want to spend a paragraph or two on my new insights.

First of all, I understand America a little better now. Sure, at least 80% of the population lives in cities now, making us an urban nation, but the bulk of America is this vast, open space. I know that is something we all know technically, but until I actually saw it with my eyes I don't think I ever understood. It was like the first time I saw a mountain. It's an easy concept to grasp, but the awe from reality always gets me.

The first thing I really noticed was how easy it is to erase the highway and signs from your view and see what it looked like when people first saw it, when the first natives of this land spread out over it far and wide. It's bittersweet really, I mean - there was and is still room for everyone out there. There's just these miles and miles of land, as far as the eye can see, of nothing (like Iowa. Iowa is the most boring place I've ever seen, like ever. And I'm not apologetic about that statement in the least).

The expanse of space is amazing, especially in Oklahoma and Texas, which we only went through parts of, where the ranches look peaceful. I'm not even really one for nature, but I was dumbstruck. I can only imagine what it would be like to sit on the top of some big hill and look around at the acres thinking how proud I was that this was all mine. I don't know if any of this sounds like a conclusion persay. Even if there was a conclusion in all of this, I don't know that I could put it into words. I just know that before the furthest west I'd been in a car was Iowa City. I've been south and east in cars, but never west. And the west is America, when you consider land mass.

When I talk about elections, I'll have some idea of what I'm saying, because just knowing where people are literally coming from can make all the difference in the world. And when I'm talking about history I'll button my lips and listen to people I might not have otherwise. I'll have the memory of the windy plains or the rusty windmills or the houses in the sides of the plateaus and next to the signs for handmade blankets at a rate of $5.99. They're coming from a knowledge base and generations of a totally different though pattern than I have ever had.

Well, I was going to say more, but I think I just heard the buzzer for my pizza. That's a lie. I actually just heard the buzzer in my brain telling me that if I don't get started on this paper I really won't finish it. But I guess I didn't really have to share that with you.

Before I sign off, two things: I saw my sister's friend Adam for the first time in awhile which was awesome. He told me a funny story about his friend Jim, who apparently sounds a bit like Bobcat Goldthwait, who used to go around asking people if they'd ever heard of the "So" bus. They'd say no and he'd say, "It's this bus to hell and when people found out where they were going they'd say, 'so?'" It's pretty rare that you meet a young person who already sounds like what they will sound like when they are 78.

And zwei:

New favorite music = Thin Lizzy and CCR. All we wanted the entire trip was to hear some Thin Lizzy on the radio, and we didn't at all. Finally, we were in gridlock at 8 in the morning near Gary, IN (P.S. A question I'll elaborate on another day - what the hell do people drive to the city for? Seriously? I'm not listening to one more commuter complain about gas while the Metra is still even remotely running) and this song came on, which we thought was a little bit appropriate. But we were also running on no sleep, so that might be why. I'm subjecting you to it anyway.

The Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy

Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven't changed, haven't much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy

They were asking if you were around
How you was, where you could be found
Told them you were living downtown
Driving all the old men crazy

The boys are back in town

You know that chick that used to dance a lot
Every night she'd be on the floor shaking what she'd got
Man when I tell you she was cool, she was red hot
I mean she was steaming

And that time over at Johnny's place
Well this chick got up and she slapped Johnny's face
Man we just fell about the place
If that chick don't want to know, forget her

Friday night they'll be dressed to kill
Down at Dino's bar and grill
The drink will flow and blood will spill
And if the boys want to fight, you'd better let them

That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song
The nights are getting warmer, it won't be long
Won't be long till summer comes
Now that the boys are here again

[won't be long, won't be long until summer comes]