Friday, December 31, 2004

Apparently I am not so sneaky after all.

Looks like I spoke too soon about successfully dodging the birthday photo-taking last Tuesday. First I saw myself in the background here...and then (how did I miss this?) I'm right here!

My favorite shot of $in?

Right here.
Year-end wrap-up.

Thanks to The Watergirl for saving me the trouble of having to actually put together a few cohesive paragraphs summing up my year. Instead I will just use this handy-dandy questionnaire I found one her site. Lazy? Yes. So what?

Also, I wanted to mention just how awesome the last Sweet Alice Tuesday of 2004 was. Multiple birthday parties combined with folks on vacation plus lots of beer and spirits made for a terrifically fun and dance-filled evening. An added bonus? I managed to escape being photographed all night long! Double-plus-good!

Okay, the wrap-up...

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Um, hmmm. Thanks for the light and easy puffball start-off there. I guess seeing my dad die was something I've never done before.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, I joined a gym late last December and I'm still going there regularly and I reckon that's the closest thing to a resolution I yes, I did keep my New year's resolution.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! My brother and his wife introduced my nephew Alex into the world.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Um, yeah.

5. What countries did you visit?
This year? Only Mexico. I was lame.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money! Then I can visit more foreign countries!

7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
The day my dad died. For obvious reasons, I think.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Last year I said I wanted to expand my writing to other venues and I did, so I'm pretty happy with that.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not visiting my dad enough while he was in the retrospect I was obviously avoiding even the prospect of his not beating the cancer that was eating him up.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Other than Betty's mistaking my hand for a steak in the middle of the night, I did pretty well this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I don't know. I was pretty pleased with the "More Cowbell" shirt I got Photogal this Christmas.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My brother Sean. Let's just say that, to my family, he was indispensable this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Let me think...there's another local booking agent that misinterpreted some things I said and then passed them on to some bands I worked with but I got over that sine I really, in retrospect again, think it was an honest misinterpretation. I guess if that's the worst I've seen this year then it's been a pretty good year!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Debt from the almost year of being unemployed. I hate debt. Ugh.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
David Bowie at the Rosemont Theater. It was awesome.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
The Killers ditty "Somebody Told Me" since it marked the beginning of the New York dance-rock invasion of Sweet Alice Tuesdays this spring/summer.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you (i) happier or sadder?
The same I think.

(ii.) thinner or fatter?
About the same, even though I go to the gym religiously. However I have put on a fair amount of muscle while at the same time still drinking the booze and eating the sweets so I guess if I'm holding the status quo that's a pretty fine place to be.

(iii.) richer or poorer?
Even with a generous raise from my boss earlier this year I'd have to say poorer. I haven't been booking nearly as many rock and/or roll shows as I used to...

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading. I so miss having the time to read like I used to.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sitting at home missing a kick-ass rock show because I'm lame and tired and (getting) older.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my mom, my brothers, my sister-in-law and my awesome nephew…and Photogal!

22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
I think I fall in love a little bit with every new friend I meet, so sure.

23. How many one night stands?
Did Photogal and I have any sex while standing up at night this year? I can’t remember….

24. What was your favorite TV program(s)?
Arrested Development. I also re-fell in love with Sledgehammer.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. Actually the only guy I was slightly miffed at -- aside from the aforementioned booking agent -- straightened things out with me this past Tuesday so everything is all good.

26. What was the best book you read?
It's been a slow reading year for me, but I did enjoy D.F.W.'s Oblivion. I'm still reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and will risk my Snobby Lit-cred to say it's a highly enjoyable read thus far.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
By discovery I'll take that as music that took me by complete surprise. In that case, the Surferosa show at Schuba's fits that bill perfectly. Absolutely crazy.

28. What did you want and get?
Quite a few multi-dic DVD sets that I would have never bought for myself.

29. What did you want and not get?
That free iPod...folks keep signing up but only one whas actually completed the trial offer. Oh well, I will be patient.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Geez, I hate this question. Spiderman II ruled sequel-wise, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou ruled emotional-wise, Fahrenheit 9/11 just plain ruled as long as you took it with a grain of salt and The Incredibles helped me split the appreciation level evenly between four years old and thirty-two years old. Not a very artsy list, I admit, but honest nonetheless. Oh yeah! I also dug Shaun Of the Dead...funny.

31. What did you do on your birthday?
I booked a rock show with most of my favorite Chicago bands and got drunk as a skunk. I ended the evening spinning my friend Kristi upside down in Estelle's while Photogal and my little brother patiently waited for me to run out of steam.

32. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Seeing my dad beat cancer.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
The same look I've been rocking for the past couple years. Jeans, T-shirts, Docs, the chunky leather watch...face it, I look like a gas station attendant half the time. I rediscovered my love of black suit coats though.

34. What kept you sane?
Betty the Beagle.

35. Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
Pardon the dirty old man tendency, but Lindsey Lohan finally came across my radar with Mean Girls. I also began to really dig Jude Law's acting so you could say I fancied him a touch.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
What political issue DIDN'T stir me up? That's a better question...

37. Who did you miss?
My dad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Lucy the Dog…whom we rescued in Wicker Park shortly before moving the West Side.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
Um, no. It'll just sound so cliché.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Um, no.

So there you have it. See you next year!

Monday, December 27, 2004

I'm on vacation...
downin' Red Bull and eatin' Cheetos, y'all!

So expect sparse posting. Especially since I got so many kick-ass DVDs for Christmas (methinks I'm gonna spend one whole day watching Brazil in all its varieties and commentaries alone) and I really need some down-time doing nothing. Also, last Wednesday I was too lazy to get off the couch and change the channel when the OC came on, saw the Chrismakkuh episode and am now intrigued. So my brother lent my the whole first season so I can get acquainted with the show.

Damnit...and I had been doing so well at avoiding that particular cultural groundswell too!

Oh well, back to my vacation. Answers to the Quiz will be posted in a few days so get yours in now!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Need to kill a few minutes?

I made a Quiz for you!

Take my Quiz! and then check out the Scoreboard!


What if Pete Townsend and Brian Wilson teamed up? More to the point, what happens when you mash songs by The Who and song by The Beach Boys together? You get The Who Boys.

Download The Who Boys Who Vibration album, it's fun!
Third wave of ska, my ass!

Almost all the press about the Blue Meanies tends to lump ‘em into the whole ska movement of the ‘90s and hails them as the vanguard of the “third wave of ska.” That’s a bunch of crap. The Blue Meanies are as much a ska band as the Beatles are a skiffle group. The Blue Meanies are a punk band in the sense that they literally draw on EVERYTHING around them, chop it, dice it, spruce it up and then launch it in a terrifyingly energetic live show. In this respect they are far more similar to, say, Mr. Bungle than they are to the Toasters.

My history with the band goes waaaay back to my first years of college when I would dance my ass off at their shows and I eventually traded a few letters (remember those archaic things in the pre-internet days?) with the Meanies’ frontman Billy Spunke. I remember when my band opened for them we thought we had reached the top since we respected the Meanies so much. Years passed, I lost touch with the band as they grew further afield of what turned me on musically and eventually I heard they had broken up.

I heard a few months ago they were reuniting for a few shows in Chicago to launch the re-release of Full Throttle -- which confused me since Kiss Your Ass Goodbye was such a better disc – and I grew slowly excited at then prospect of seeing ‘em perform again. Fast forward to last night’s packed, sweaty and PBR and bourbon drenched show at The Double Door and all I could do nothing more than agree with Spunke’s musing, “Who would’ve thought this would happen?”

It was a fun show. Not so much filled with familiar faces as it was filled with familiar memories. When the group kicked into “Grandma Shampoo” as the second song in a looong set I was suddenly 18 again and in the Gallery down in Normal slamdancing and making out with my first serios college and freaky dancin’ girlfriend. When the band kicked into “Ace Of Spades I was moved to call my friend Dan Ryan, whom I haven’t spoken to in well over a year even though we used to be inseperable, and had to share the fact that one of our favorite bands was playing his personal theme song. Then I asked him if it was true that he was dating the Fox morning weather girl and he assured me he was. Definitly the hottest girl Dan’s ever dated. Anyway.

The long and short of it is that I had a blast last night and realized you could have fun with nostalgia without drowning yourself in sentiment.

Vacation in the land of cute!

I start my vacation tomorrow and will probably post during that time, but in case I do get my holiday wishes and do nothing other than watch DVDs and drink bourbon all next week I suppoes I should leave a few pictures to tide you over.

First, we have a photo of my friend Darcell's new dog. His name is Sam. Hopefully I'll get to meet him one day becasue he looks super cuddly.

Then we have my nephew displaying a predominant trait that runs through my family...the ability to "turn on the charm." Adorable, eh?

Hmmm, you can't get cuter than that so with that, I will wish you a Happy Festivus.

On to the feats of strength!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Sometimes these things are so right on they're scary!

You Are Liz Phair!

Sexy tough indie girl...
Who's not afraid to be a little girly
"I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary
Average every day sane psycho Supergoddess"

Who's Your Inner Rock Chick? Take This Quiz

These things are NEVER wrong so I am a Supergoddess! Please address me as such from now on as a drunkenly wallow in my newfound power-trip.

Hmmm...maybe I ned to stop staring at my computer screen and go for a walk or something...
It's awful quiet around here...

It's that time of year when almost everyone is out on vacation¹, so the office is pretty desolate. The plus is that I'm getting a lot of work done, but the minus is that it's, well, a little creepy. One of the engineers even told me he liked the fact I'm such a heavy typist -- since I'm writing quite a few manuals I'm typing alot lately -- as it reminded him that there were in fact other folks in the vicinity. this place would be a great setting for a zombie movie or something riht now.

So in the spirit of the holidays, I give you this:

More Fun With Santa™ photos can be found here. Hee-larious. And with that, back to my heavy typing of the instruction books that keep rushing down the line at me.

¹I'm saving my own vacation for next week. I'm deathly afraid Photogal is right this second busy dreaming up chores and tasks for me to accomplish during my time off, when all I want to do is loaf on the couch watching DVDs and maybe go out and get it on with a little holiday consumption of various libations a few nights next week.

Late start this morning, gotta get into work. Last night was (obviously) fun. I got to meet, though not really talk to, some of the other writers for Chicago MetBlog as well as one of the Gaper's Block folks.¹ Bloggers are cooler than you think.² Much loud music was played and many Festivus shots were consumed. I was also able to explain the historical importance of The Clash to James in under ten sentences. (They key to understanding the band, by the way, is to understand that they were one of the first punk groups to actually employ the notion of a melting pot of influences rather than merely paying lip service to or merely aping their heroes.)

Tonight is the Blue Meanies reunion at Double Door. I can't wait. Those guys were my heroes in the early '90s even though they sort of strayed from what I thought were their stronger points around 1996 or so. Whatever. They always put on a killer live show and tonight should be extra vicious and chock full o' Holiday Cheer™!

Apparently my friends are more than capable of having fun when I'm not around.

Seeing the two pictures below makes me really wish I hadn't missed the GinaJayleeKelly Holiday Party last weekend...

Oh well, there's always next year!

(Though, of course, you girls don't have to wait that long to have another party, y'know.)

¹For the record, and I can only speak in reltion to the experience of meeting the other bloggers, but we blew away the preconception that bloggers need be pale, quivering, overweight types fertively typing away by the glow of a computer screen. Chicago bloggers are a pretty good looking bunch. And we're smart too! But you knew that already.

²Though I can't figure out for the life of me how I didn't end up on this blogger's site. Is there no justice in the world that obviously revolves around me?!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


It's our
and our

What better way to spend one of the longest nights of the year?

DJs Tankboy
Rudy Tuesday

Hosted bar with FREE BOOZE from 8:30pm-10pm
FREE Pizza and Wings from 8:30-10pm
Stunning musical selections from 8:30pm until 2am

Pssst...I also have it on good authority that
Jenny Evil will be providing baked goodies too!

The hottest tunes.
The slinkiest holiday greetings.
The sexiest DJs in Chicago.
Festivus joy minus the Feats Of Strength.

What more could you ask for?

Tonight and every Tuesday.
Only at Ten56.


And don't tell me I never teach you nothin'!

On this day in 1970, Elvis Presley met with President Richard M. Nixon in the Oval Office to discuss fighting drugs. If memory serves me right, since I was of course the one to give The King a ride to the White House that day, Elvis was stoned out of his gourd at the time and I had to wipe off a bit of peanut butter and banana paste that had attached itself to the corners of his mouth just before he was admitted to his audience with the Prez.


Monday, December 20, 2004

Seriously dude, it's freezing out there.

Yesterday we were supposed to go ice skating, but since I find no fun in using other's dead and frozen bodies as my skating surface we decided to invite my mom and brother into the city for lunch at a Jewish deli a few blocks from our place and then a viewing of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

The movie rocked, by the way. Aside from being so visually influenced by Edward Gorey that it's not funny, it also reminded me of something that might have been created by a younger Tim Burton with today's technologies. It was everything a holiday movie for kids should be; dark, creepy, murderous, filled with dread punctuated by occasional moments of (brief) triumph and an ambiguous ending. As Mr. Burns would say, "Excellent."

ADDENDUM: To be fair to Burton, I did see the preview for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and that looks like it will indeed also rock. As a matter of fact, I think while it was playing all I could say was, "Holy shit" and that was the point Photogal punched me in the arm and reminded me we were surrounded by a bunch of kids who were there to also see Lemony Snicket¹. Johnny Depp looks downright creepy in the previews so that gives me hope that the movie will be just as twisted as Roald Dahl's original visions. "Excellent," again, I dare say.

¹Which reminds me, it's really not a movie for little keep 'em over the ages of eight or nine since that's about when they stop babbling and can enjoy a good nightmare inducing holiday yarn.

Friday, December 17, 2004

I totally shouldn't do this, since I was keeping it for myself...

...but I ran into Scott last night and I decided that everyone should be exposed to Local H's wickedly killer version of Britney Spears' "Toxic." It's been a regular tune at Sweet Alice Tuesdays and people always ask where I get it.

Here's where you can get it to. Just left click on Brian and save the high quality MP3.

Enjoy and have yourself a Happy Festivus.
Unexpected vacation day.

So I just got back from taking Betty the beagle to the vet for a visit that extended far beyond what I expected so I, due to the gracious nature of my boss, decided to take a last-minute vacation day. Now, however, I have no idea what to do with myself for the remainder of the day!

Let’s see, I have a good friend from out of town coming in today and my brother is coming in to hang out with me tonight AND Mark is playing his last show with Light FM AND my friend Julia is having a holiday party so I have the evening pretty well covered. It’s just the hours in-between then and now that I’m not sure how to fill.

I was listening to Bill Moyer on Fresh Air in the car on the way here and they were talking about his imminent retirement from television tonight but they also mentioned that, at seventy years old, he’s celebrating his fiftieth wedding anniversary with his wife this week.

Fifty years. Wow.

Sometimes I wonder if Photogal and I will ever hit the fifty-year mark. Sometimes it seems certain that we will and at other times it seem equally certain that we will be lucky to hit the next-five-minutes mark. I think that’s not unusual though. I mean, sometimes I’m certainly less than perfect and, while I would never say the same about her myself, I’m sure Photogal feels she would fall in the same category. That’s fair, right?

Anyway, I was listening to Bill Moyer and I thought back to high school when I first encountered his interviews with Joseph Campbell that led to my own reading of The Power Of Myth, and I realized that Moyers had had quite an effect on me through his introduction of Campbell into my life. Before then I had been a pretty basic Catholic boy filled with the usual self-doubt and self-polluting tendencies, but with the introduction of the themes that coursed through The Power Of Myth I realized that my idea of spirituality needn’t be constrained to one narrow religious view since the precepts that formed the basis of that religion seemed to form the basis of pretty much every other religion that was out there. This immediately expanded my world-view and helped me understand the concept of “different yet the same” that has, I just discovered, informed my own personal philosophy.

Neat, eh?

Then I started thinking about all the teachers I've had that have made a difference in my life and how I should list them and write about them and pay them tribute in an effort to continue building the basis of the mythology that has formed and informed my own life and, while I believe I should do that in the near future, I realized that would probably bore the hell out of anyone other than myself right now.

See, this is the kind of stuff I come up with when I have too much free time so I think it’s time I put my day off to good use and play with my dogs right now.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Avril Lavigne is a roller derby fan? Who knew?!

Let’s hear for Avril giving a shout-out to the oh-so-lovely and oh-so-tough ladies of the Windy City Rollers!

See? She’s got taste…
FAME...I wanna live forever!

This guy has some mad dancing skillz and is oh-so-suave...right up until he totally busts himself. (credz Photogal for this link)

And once you've succesfully digested that little flick, you can get your own groove on right here. (credz Melissa for that link)

No time to really write anything today since I'm super pressed for time, but here's a photo of me at Photogal's Christmas party getting a smackeroo on the cheek from the guy who put the whole soiree together. Good job Wenner!

Sorry about the camera angle, as the party was drawing to a close Photogal realized she had completely forgotten to snap any pictures so I ran around just blinding everybody with the flash and trying to capture the best record I could of the festivities. I'd say I captured the spirit of the party pretty well in the above photo, wouldn't you??

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Do I look like I'm kidding?

I am seriously enjoying about 60% of the new Kelly Clarkson album. Seriously. She's getting all girl rock-ish and it suits her pipes well. Do the songs have any blod or guts? Hellz no, but they sure are a lot of fun.

Also, she could also very well be this generation's Bonnie Tyler, so where's Jim Steinman when you need 'im?

Now, everyone breakdance!

My nephew is straight out of Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Okay, enough frivolity, break's over.
What I learned last night.

  • When it’s really fucking cold no one shows up at Ten56. Okay, amend that. People show up when it’s cold after it’s been cold for a while, but Chicago has been hit by the frigid winds pretty late this season so folks haven’t had time to adjust.
  • Skid and Jeramy are troopers because, even in the cold, they’ll show up and shoot pool all night long.
  • Skid is also a true gentleman because he realized the guy he was playing pool against was the same guy who took a swing at him a few months ago. The guy didn’t remember so Skid took the high road and just kept on shooting.
  • Photogal loves the Southern boogie-rock and so do the majority of the folks left over from drinking the free beer from 8 until 9 at Ten56.
  • Better Off Dead is still laugh out loud funny even when you’re only reading the subtitles.
  • Stripes is awfully similar to Full Metal Jacket in that the first half of the movie is genius but the closing act is less than perfect. This doesn’t keep either Bill Murray or Matthew Modine from being any less godly in their acting abilities.
  • Fifteen minute cab rides home are the perfect time to plug in your iPod.
  • Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon is the perfect soundtrack to pipe through your iPod on a fifteen minute cab ride home.
  • Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of the Moon reminded me of the only thing I really enjoyed about getting high in high school in that I would go home, pull on my Walman’s headphones and pop in the Floyd. Or Jane’s Addiction’s “Ted, Just Admit It.” It really just depended on my mood.
  • I can’t believe that’s Rudy in the picture below. (You can click on the photo itself to enlarge the picture and get a better look.)

  • I mean, he looks like he’s seventeen or something! It’s wild.
  • I’m getting off topic, aren’t I?
  • I also learned that when the girl that grabbed your ass at your girlfriend’s Christmas party shows up at the bar you’re DJing at it looks really bad…until another of your girlfriend’s co-workers shows up and it turns out he suggested the bar.
  • Apparently girls ask other girls how they met their boyfriends, how long they’ve been together and stuff like that, especially when the girl asking is going through a break-up. I guess it’s some sort of “well, it works for them so it’ll work for me someday” thing. For the record, guys never ask each other those sorts of questions. At least they don’t ask those questions of virtual strangers.
  • Chicks dig the shorter hair. Who knew?
  • Punk rockers can’t tell the difference between a Lindsay Lohan track and The Muffs. Seriously. Nothing funnier than watching some skinhead bop along to Lohan’s “First.”
  • Tom really will stick around all night long to make sure I don't play anything by Paris Hilton. He didn't catch the lohan track either, though. Ha!
  • Man, is Better Of Dead so funny!

Okay, now I’m just repeating myself, though the repeated point really cannot be stressed enough, so I’ll take my leave for the day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

As of today, my inevitable Best Music Of 2004 list is up over at

You know you've been waiting breathlessly for me to sum up my views on what was hot (i.e. "That's hot!") and what was not (i.e. "Bummer, dude.") because you value my opinion oh-so-much. Right?

Tankboy's Best of 2004 List is right here
so make with the clicky clicky!

In other news, the lovely Photogal will be guest DJing along with me for the crew over at Ten56 tonight so expect lots of cowbell. From me? Expect lotsa cool new music as well as a flurry of holiday tunes since I'm in that holiday mood.

Slalom y'all!

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Public Service.

A few days ago the Chicago Tribune refused to run the daily strip of the Get Fuzzy cartoon. I read this almost regularly because a) Canadians are generally pretty funny, b) it tends to be less than reverent and a bit skewed about lots of things and c) the artist obviously grew up on Bloom County like I did. Anyway, I ended up going on-line to see what sort of content was contained in a strip so offensive that the Trib refused to run it. Here it is:

(Click on the image to blow it up if'n you can't read it so good.)

That is fucking hilarious! How could you not run that?! I mean, really. Too much.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hubba hubba.


This week's Entertainment Weekly just popped through my mail slot and the photo of Lindsey Lohan is, um, how do you say? Hubba hubba. How could Fez go from that to Ashlee Simpson?

And can it be said that, unlike some people, I have never lost faith in Lohan? I might have to spin that opening track off her new disc on Tuesday. Along with Paris Hilton's lead-off single, "Screwed," which is surprisingly not awful.

Friday, December 10, 2004


Download your own cards here.
Cut 'em up.
Hand them out.

Have plans for the weekend?

I do. Tonight is Photogal's holiday party for her place of employment which means I'll be getting liquored up with a bunch of crazy and fun advertising types.

Tomorrow is a crunch becasue Josiah and the Ginas are playing at Pontiac about the same time Woolworthy and Menthol are playing Bottom Lounge. I've gotta be at Pontiac, but I'm gonna try and make both shows.

I suggest you do the same. You never know how long a good thing's gonna last...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Why my company’s holiday party kicks your company’s holiday party’s ass…unless you had someone like the Flaming Lips play at your party in which case I retract my claim.

Seriously, I am absolutely NOT the guy who goes to company functions. I like the people I work with and even enjoy spending time with them outside of the office, but forced jaunts of “fun” usually feel pretty flat for me. So it was no wonder that I viewed this year’s holiday party, my first since I was out of town last year at this time, with a bit of trepidation. Also Photogal tends to frown at me furiously drinking at these sorts of events in an effort to “loosen up” and “integrate” more fully.

I needn’t have worried at all. The party included, but was certainly not limited to, the following events:

  • A kick-ass steak dinner was served (Photogal had the fish) and even though our wine was late due to a painfully old server that Photogal really thought should be at home knitting things for grandkids there were two other bars that were open the whole time.
  • Our water glasses had little ice cubes that light up when they came in contact with water. This was way cooler than I’m making it sound.
  • Hula dancing and a dude who did a fire dance. This was thrilling if vaguely upsetting due to certain of the male dancer’s, um, attributes slipping out of the extremely small strip of cloth covering his, um, attributes. The ladies loved this though.
  • I loved watching one of the guys I work with put a flower in his hair, don a grass skirt and dance with with wife. He rules.
  • Air hockey!
  • Also, Ms Pacman, Galaga, basketball, foosball and a number of other arcade games revealed when the walls on either side of the dining room opened up to reveal hidden rooms behind them.
  • On the other side was an area filled with freshly baked cookies, chocolate fountains, all kinds of sweets and some guys making personal ice cream sundaes for everyone.
  • A monkey! To pet and hold and feed! (He really liked strawberries covered in white yogurt.)
  • Personal massages and manicures. I hadn’t had a massage of any sort for about five or six years so that was REALLY nice.
    - Cash prizes! I only won twenty bucks that was stapled to a rose but, heck, Photogal got the rose and I walked out with twenty bucks I didn’t have when I walked in!
  • Did I mention the monkey? Yes!
  • We had party crashers. Another company was having their own party across the hall and, next to ours, it was pretty sad. The plus was that their company seemed to be filled with hot twenty-something females so I certainly didn’t mind them sneaking in. A couple of the other attendees did not share my view and as one of my co-workers was over heard saying, “I told that little bitch to get out of our party before I kicked her ass.” Okay, fair enough.

Most importantly, even though there was LOTS of free booze flowing I was having such a great time I didn’t even drink that much. I also learned that when it comes to the dance floor, a great number of my co-workers are fearless about shaking their thing and I really respect that. I might have even danced too if I hadn’t been so worried that my, um, over energetic style might have put someone’s eye out or something.

Yes, my company holiday party pretty much completely rocked. How was yours?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My nephew is so "street."

NOTE: This picture-only post is in no way connected to Tankboy having woken up late because there was no alarm set and he really didn't have time to write anything before heading off to work. Also, this post is in no way riddled with self-doubt that the phrase "street" may be incredibly passe and totally date Tankboy and betray that he is no longer really "with it" or "down with the kids these days."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

$75,000 haunted canes and haunted thongs?!

The cane.
The thong.
My thoughts on both of these.

For real.

Thanks for having so much time on your hands you could bring this to my attention, Photogal!
Too much money makes baby turn mean?

I work in a rather wealthy suburb of Chicago. Okay, rather wealthy may be an understatement.

I work in a filthy rich suburb of Chicago.

Just this morning I was almost run off the road by some anorexic housewife driving an H2 and trying to juggle her venti Starbuck’s glass and her cell phone. A few days ago I had to pick up some groceries on the way into the office and the guy bagging my stuff was already almost out the door with my goods before I had finished paying. I caught up to him and he informed me everyone got their groceries carried to their cars.

I had two plastic bags of groceries!

I told him it really wasn’t necessary and marveled to myself that some folks would actually allow some young dude to carry their six-pack of SlimFast out to their imported SUV. Could people really be that lazy? Even worse, could people really feel such a sense of entitlement?

Apparently so.

I won’t even go into the nightmare of trying to order a coffee at Starbucks if your income is obviously under three hundred grand a year.

The kicker is that I never see people smile around here. The few times I’ve seen even the facsimile of a smile it usually comes across as a pained rictus stretching across the cheeks and jaw, and for all I know it could just be a poorly healed face-lift. It’s just so…foreign…to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t entertain any playful notions that any of these folks feel in the least bit unfulfilled or unhappy. Actually I’m quite certain that they are, as a general group, very pleased with both themselves and their station in life.

I suppose that when I was younger I would either hate or pity the people that live out here, but that is just the sort or knee-jerk reaction prompted by intolerance disguised as a disdain for a class system. Instead I can view these people as annoying when they cut me off or butt in line in front of me or treat their hired help poorly, but they really behave no differently than the impatient driver downtown or the harried office assistant trying to get five coffees upstairs ASAP before she gets chewed out by her boss.

These are people with goals and ambitions that are foreign to me, but their behavior is merely average albeit a behavior exaggerated by that sense of entitlement I mentioned earlier. I just wish they’d hang up their fucking cell-phones if they’re going to try and pilot a half-ton of metal and a venti Starbucks at the same time.

Let's hear it for $in!

Rudy and I will be joined by $in tonight at Ten56 as we turn up the rock and/or roll at our Sweet Alice Tuesday residency.

Come and marvel at my unfortunate song selections!
Stare in awe at Rudy's unspeakable love for both Paul Westerberg and Barry White!
Allow a shocked a stunned silence to envelope you as $in tears into his massive air guitar!

Slalom y'all!

Monday, December 06, 2004

My company throws a hell of a holiday party.

Even someone as "too-cool-for-school" as yours truly had a blast. However, I have no time today to describe how fun it was to you. Instead, I offer this picture of my friends Jim and Gidget?s sure to be psychologically traumatized child for your enjoyment:

See what happens when ex-punk rockers have babies? Actually, a kid could not ask for two cooler parents. Jim and Gidge are the epitome of awesome. And look how much fun that baby is having before she can even walk? Yow!

Friday, December 03, 2004

So you don't have any plans yet tonight?

I'll be at InnJoy to see/hear/dance to the sounds my friends Jeramy and Omar will be spinning. Tunes by New Order and the like will certainly be spun and boys in eyeliner and girls, um, with generous attributes should be in abundance.

Also, there’ll be free drinks from 9-10 so you can’t beat that!
At least I think I'm funny.

So tomorrow my company is having their holiday party and each year these things have a different theme. This year has a nautical/cruise theme so everybody keeps asking everybody else what they’re going to wear to stay within the theme.

I keep saying I’m wearing Speedos®, a fake tan and some big gold chains since that's what I would imagine most folks wear when they’re relaxing on a cruise around the Bahamas.

I keep getting funny looks each time I say that...
Ungodly hours.

Why oh why oh why did Photogal set Betty the Beagle's vet appointment for six tonight? That means I have to be up waaaay early to get into work waaaay early so I can leave early enough to battle the rush hour traffic all the way back to our house before I can pick up Betty and then battle traffic to get to the heart of that treacherous and godless wasteland known as Lincoln Park.

To those outside of Chicago, Lincoln Park is an area populated by Jettas and bubbly gals with perfect hair and make-up looking to marry slighlty soft aging frat boys with bulging expense accounts and suspiciously oily looking hair. This is the land of tequila body shots and social smoking. It is as foreign to me as the locales in Survivor (oddly enough, the tee-vee show of choice around Lincoln Park.)

Enough whining since this could easily turn into a paragraphs-long rant but I have to go...I'm in a hurry y'know.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Just a thought.

I forgot how quickly and easily one can style short hair in the morning! And at the gym, after I work out, all I have to do is wet my hands, scrub said hands through the thicket on top of my noggin and, voila, punky/preppy goodness ensues!

And now, another photo of me enjoying my new haircut:

And, under the heading of “holy sheez”:

The most requested online definition this year was "blog" -- a word not even yet officially in the dictionary, Merriam-Webster says. (full story)

Y'know, that seems so silly it has sucked the snark right out of me.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Deja vu, only better

Photogal did such a superior retouch job on this photo I just had to post it again. If you would like to compare it to my previous pitiful attempt at filling in Lucy the Dog's eyes, click here.

Last night was surprisingly fun given the amount of snow that was thrusting itself onto Chicago's braod shoulders. The bar was actually crowded and folks were really digging the music. Also, in the middle of our DJ sets I snuck out and got a huge haircut from Jenny Evil. See?

Ain't I handsome? Jenny rules. Anyway, I have loTs more pictures from last night on my camera phone (I love the fact it takes good photos in next to no light) so maybe I'll share when I have the time. Right now I have to go grocery shopping on my way into work. I love days when we test recipes on appliances because it means I get to snack all day!