Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 29 A DJ's Dream Job

I DJ'd the wedding of Sandy & Andrew tonight. The ceremony was held outside so they had these fans made up to keep cool. The other side had the wedding ceremony program printed out. I thought it was a great idea. Unfortunately most people didn't take one because it was barely 60 degrees with a 25 MPH wind. Now some brides would be upset about these conditions. Not Sandy. I've known her for about 10 years and I have never seen her upset. She always has a big smile on her face. The reception was a blast. The dance floor was packed all night (a DJ's wet dream). It didn't matter what type of song I played, dance, oldie, country, rock, hip hop...everyone young & old danced to it. I had a great time (another DJ wet dream come true). The party was going so strong that the bar was extended to midnight. Andrew had about 10 pizzas delivered around 10pm. There were still about 150-200 people there at midnight dancing to my standard last song, Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get It On'. I wish Sandy & Andrew all the best as they begin their lives together. I have a feeling these two will do just fine together.

August 28 Chicago's Two Seasons

There is an old joke here in Chitown about our seasons. Chicago has 2 seasons, winter and construction. Like most jokes, there is some truth to it. The toll road has been under construction for the better part of the past 5 years, now they decided to add another lane. And since Obama started handing out TARP money like Pacman Jones at a strip club, most of the local roads are also under construction. Today I got stuck on the northbound I-294 toll road between 159th St and 127th St, approximately 6 miles, for 75 minutes. Welcome to construction season and when it's over we get winter.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27 Same Old Song And Dance

It has rained for two straight days. I can't take it anymore. The dark clouds, the non stop rain, the monkey butt, some call it swamp ass, caused by working all day with wet pants. My SADD has reached a critical point. I finally found a doctor, Conrad Murray, who swears he can provide some relief to me. Soon I'll have an IV drip loaded with Propofol. The good doctor says his last patient loved it.

August 26 The Old Lady In Charge

Fluffy is now older than any dog we've ever had, she is 11 years old. She has slowed down a little and when she first gets up she walks with a limp. But she still loves to go for a walk or a car ride. We got her in 2001, back then we had a shitty old couch and we let the dogs onto the couch. Then in 2005 we bought this couch and stopped letting the dogs onto the couch. We have always let the dogs onto the beds. A few years ago I even had my friend, Eric, build a little three step staircase so Fluff could get onto the king size bed upstairs. But Fluff doesn't use it much anymore. She has decided it is okay for her to sleep on the couch. At first she would jump off if she heard us coming. Then she would jump off when I yelled at her. Today she lifted her head, gave me a fuck you look and put her head back down. Now I have two ungrateful old ladies living in my house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25 This Week's Douchebag

Welcome to a new feature for my blog. It is a work in progress, I hope you like it. Since the world is falling apart all around me, my head feels like it is going to explode on a daily basis. I get furious when I read about people who need to be removed, either from their elected office, their jobs or in some rare instances from my world. I don't know if it will be a weekly feature or not. It probably could be a daily feature. But for the love of God, please pay attention. We can no longer allow these people to continue abusing their positions at our expense. So the inaugural douchebag is Todd Stroger. If you really care, then read the Sun Times article. This is only one of about 50 corruption charge stories I've read about this piece of crap. Please help remove him from office, even if you do not live in the very corrupt Cook County. Thank you.

August 24 Forrest Gimp, The Fanook and the AIDS Patient

Forrest Gimp (Chrissy) was doing her rehab exercises when The Fanook (Oslo) and the AIDS Patient (Fluffy) decided to join her. I needed a blog picture since I've been behind all week. So here's a quick story. Chrissy is Forrest Gimp while rehabbing from her ALC surgery. Oslo is The Fanook because he just acts like one. Fluff has looked like an AIDS Patient ever since Chrissy shaved most of the matted fur off of her. And that concludes today's blog. Tune in again tomorrow. Same time, same Bat Channel.

August 23 Pearl Harbor Photos

I received this e-mail today.
Thought you might find these photos very interesting; what quality from 1941.Pearl Harbor photos found in an old Brownie stored in a foot locker. THESE PHOTOS ARE FROM A SAILOR WHO WAS ON THE USS QUAPAW ATF-11O. I THINK THEY'RE SPECTACULAR!PEARL HARBOR December 7th, 1941

As usual, I check with to verify the story. It turns out the pictures are real. The story is not true. The pictures are archival photos from the US Navy. Always double check the bullshit you read on the internet, especially this crappy blog.

August 22 White Sox, Red Heads & Fireworks

Tonight I went to the Sox game with Patty, my friend Bob and his date, Jane. I got tix from Patty O, a friend from my hockey team. His seats are in right centerfield, I haven't sat out there since the 2005 playoffs. Luckily, the White Sox, who have played awful lately, actually managed to win a game. John Danks didn't have his best stuff but he muddled his way through it and got the win. I spent most of the game with this cute little red head staring at me and smiling. She had me smiling & laughing most of the night as I kept telling Patty how great it is to be a child and have no concept of how much the real world sucks. It is conversations like this that prevent most people from going to ball games with me. Anyway, after the game we watched the fireworks with Bob & Jane. Overall it was a great fall evening. I know it is August 22nd, but the game time temperature was 59 degrees. It should start snowing very soon around here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 21 Summertime Blues

Eddie Cochran once sang, "There ain't no cure for the summertime blues". No there isn't. If you don't live here in Chicago, let me update you on the lack of summer weather this year. Here's a picture from each of the past three days. I never used to believe in weather related depression, now I'm sure it exists. If you prefer R&B over R'n'R, then this summer's song could be Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine".

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 20 Hockey Playoffs

On Wednesday night my hockey team lost the first round of the playoffs in overtime 4-3. It would be easy to blame the 4-0 disparity on penalty calls, including the one that lead to the OT goal, but we played flat the whole game. The locker room was as quiet as I can ever remember hearing after the game. I played the whole game but didn't make one play the entire game. We did win the next night in the bronze medal game or the loser bracket as I call it. Anyway it was a good summer league with a disappointing finish. Sorta like the Chicago Cubs the past few seasons. One thing that got accomplished this summer is that Ian McDonnell has created our new team emblem. It is fashioned after the gnome we keep in the beer cooler. Now we have to get it transferred to our jerseys.

August 19 No Music No Life

I hope you appreciate the trouble I go through to take pictures for this blog. I saw this sticker in the window of this guy's car. Then I had to follow him through traffic and pull along side him at a light to get the picture as he took off. Anyway, I really liked the saying on the decal. So now it is today's blog. The tragic irony of the decal is that it was put out by the now defunct Tower Records. I just checked they still exist online but no longer have brick & mortar stores.

August 18 Back to Work

Welcome back to work after a long weekend. First I am given a notice saying "NO MORE VACATION DAYS WILL BE ALLOWED IN 2009 WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL FROM GLEN MULDER". Well fuck me. He works about 3 days a month and now he decides no one else can have a day off. If I was a cynical smart ass. I might have added the following to the notice "THIS IS DUE TO THE COMPLETE MISMANAGEMENT OF THE COMPANY BY THE OWNERS WHO RARELY SHOW UP!" Then I was given another notice about not collecting $39 from a COD customer. MOTHERFUCKER!!!! After I explained how the company did not lose the money (the time was covered as travel to my next job) and this customer still owes the money, I received a half assed apology. So what do I get for my troubles, I get stuck working until 11pm and eating the $64 worth of Sox tickets pictured here. And a thank you for being a dedicated employee...oh wait...that didn't happen. Finally here's the kicker to the whole story, I returned a day early from my vacation because I knew we were short handed.

August 17 Parents

We spent the day with my parents. We just drove along the lake, stopped at Lakeview Beach and the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City. It was a nice relaxing day. Since I have lived far away from my parents for over 25 years, I rarely get to spend a day like today with them. It made me wonder how different my life would be if I lived near them over the past quarter century. I know I would go out to eat with them a few times a month. Of course I would have to pick the restaurants, they like to eat at places close to them even if the food isn't that good. I would stop by just to say hi. Then probably chastise them for smoking so much or sitting on the couch watching CNN all day long. At least then my mom could physically smack me for being a brat instead of verbally smacking me over the phone. Deep down, I'll admit I wish I did live closer to them. I might goof on them, who am I kidding, I do goof on them. But I wouldn't trade them for any other parents. My mom's sense of humor, her love of family, her strong will to do the right thing, my dad's love of the beach, of music and his strong work ethic, always demanding to do the job the right way...these are some of the things I see in myself that I am damn glad I got from them. As for being a smart ass, I'm pretty sure that is a genetic trait too. So I'll blame that on them too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 16 It's A Family Affair

My nephew, Kyle, graduated from high school this year. My father-in-law turned 70 last week. What do these two events have in common. Nothing, except today was a Happy 70th Birthday and Graduation party rolled into one. That didn't leave much for those of us in between 18 and 70. Of course, Chrissy's mom had food for 150 people and about 30 showed up. So there was plenty of food and beer and family. It's been awhile since I've seen most of the people at the party. It was good to see Chrissy's cousins, Mark & Lisa, their parents Monica & Ed. I had fun catching up with the somewhat newlyweds, Erica & Matt. I spent some time shooting the shit with Scottie. (Erica & Scottie are cousins to Chrissy) We played bean bags with my dad & my 8 year old niece, Kristian & her brother, Kyle. The Mize & Perz families were there also. Aunt Ann was there too, so we goofed on family members while eating chicken legs. It was a good day spent with family, so what if it rained on & off all day. We saw a great rainbow.

August 15 Cleveland Rocks

There are two things I try to enjoy everyday of my life, good food and great music. Today was a very special day. We started off at Cleveland's West Side Market. This market has been around since 1840 and in this building since 1912. It is everything a market should be and every city should have one this good. As you walk down the aisles you are visually assaulted by an incredible variety of gourmet food. I could have spent hours just taking pictures and talking with the vendors. We ate breakfast with the regulars at the West Side Market Café. Unlike the regulars, I had orange juice with my challah bread french toast. Not the energy drinks offered by the bartender who was actually referring to the beers on tap.

Then we spent the afternoon at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There aren't many pictures because you are not allowed to bring a camera into the Hall of Fame. Besides that, it was a really cool place to spend a few hours. They have a ton of artifacts, posters, records, stage costumes and instruments from the inductees. The Springsteen exhibit covered two floors and had a lot of interesting stuff from Bruce. I really enjoyed the 6 pages of possible lyrics to Born To Run. It showed how he changed the song and finally edited it down to the classic version we all know. I also learned something about myself today. It was my mom's idea to visit the R'n'R HOF. She told me that as soon as it was built she wanted to see it. And she was thrilled the night before about finally being in Cleveland to see it. As we walked up to the museum she had that child like excitement about being at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She reminded me of me. It was then that I realized I inherited that wonderful trait from her. Thanks Ma.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 14 Road Trip

My parents said they were coming to visit us, but it turns out they really came to Chicago so we could drive them to Cleveland. Why you ask? Because they, which really means my mom, wanted to see the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame. So today we headed out on a road trip to Cleveland. Our first stop was in Goshen, IN. Chrissy watches Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and she saw an episode about the South Side Soda Shop & Diner in Goshen. It definitely had that old time diner look and my Philly Cheesesteak sandwich was very tasty. We walked through downtown Goshen to another old fashioned candy & soda shop, the Olympia Candy Kitchen. Damn, a little town in the middle of nowhere with two soda shops. I thought I stepped backwards through time about 50 years. Surprisingly, the Main Street of Goshen appears to be thriving. Lots of small businesses throughout the downtown area. It's worth a trip to see how pleasant life used to be and can still be. We got to Cleveland about dinner time. After checking into our hotel, we took the trolley to the Warehouse District of downtown Cleveland. This revitalized area is full of restaurants and bars. It was a beautiful night for walking around the city. We settled down at a sidewalk table outside the Metropolitan Café. What a fantastic end to a very pleasant day, the street scene, the setting sun, the very good meal and of course the inevitable argument with my father. I knew it was too good to be true 10 hours spent together and no harsh words between us. I swear I was just soaking in the twilight after eating a delicious pasta & seafood dish, just enjoying the bustle of the streets, people watching, happy to see Cleveland's downtown alive again. Then my mom goes to the bathroom and slowly it turns. I honestly do not remember what started the argument. But my father was livid at me after I called him Rush Limbaugh for not letting me reply to his ranting. You need to know another fact to really understand how strange our arguments about politics are...we both lean toward the Democratic side. Somehow we argue about an issue that we actually agree on. Do not ask how this is possible. Anyway, the waiter & waitress working the outside tables are now afraid to pass our table. I calmly try to point out the flaws in my father's argument but am shouted down with several f-bombs thrown in for good measure. Someone walking down the street actually took a picture of us arguing. As usual it ends as soon as my mom returns to the table, shockingly my dad calms down immediately. The rest of the night goes smoothly with my mom never leaving us alone again. Here's a picture of my dad sitting next to his Ritalin, my mom.