Archive for February, 2007

That’ll Do… Elephant. That’ll Do.

Monday, February 26th, 2007

On my way to watch the Academy Awards last night my very excited friend said the Oscars are like the Superbowl for her. I told her I just watch them for the commercials. This was my favorite part of the Oscars this year:

I haven’t gotten choked up at a commercial like that since that Office Max commercial with the teacher and her husband. (Anyone want to try to find that on YouTube? I couldn’t. It might have been Staples.)

I used to love the Oscars, but I never forgave them for picking Braveheart over Babe. I guess I just like stuff with animals.

You Must Whippet

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

It’s once again time for the International Kennel Club dog show at McCormick Place. I don’t know if I’ll make it over there again this year, but I was there last year. There are a lot of dogs — pretty much everywhere you look. If you don’t want to see dogs everywhere, it probably isn’t the place for you.

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If you want to see a guy grabbing his dog’s balls for a good twenty minutes then it definitely is the place for you. We passed by a fella grooming his Old English Sheepdog (one of my favorite breeds ever since the archery scene in Disney’s Robin Hood.) He was super-nice and told us all about the breed while he delicately brushed his dog’s coat with his right hand. And his left hand? I don’t know what he was doing with his left hand, but let’s just say Chester looked a little uncomfortable. After casually wandering through the grooming area we walked past him again… and his hand was still up there! Anyone into showing dogs know what that’s all about?

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My other favorite part of the show occurred at the agility competition. You may have seen this on TV. It’s basically a dog obstacle course. It was exciting to see the really fast dogs bolt through the slalom obstacle and leap over the hurdles, but most of the dogs were pretty mediocre. Some clearly had their minds on other things. One little feller decided after a couple half-hearted leaps that it was the perfect time and place to squat out a little kibble surprise.

The International Kennel Club was prepared for this. A woman wearing an official IKC polo shirt appeared carrying a bucket of cleaning supplies. I figured that she was charged with cleaning up after the inevitable accident. That was not the case. Instead she handed the bucket to the dog’s handler and watched as the handler cleaned up Sparky’s deuce. I was shocked (and incredibly amused.) Isn’t it embarrassing enough that your highly-trained dog took a crap in front of a couple hundred people? Couldn’t the IKC at least provide a crapper-picker-upper and leave the handler with a little bit of dignity? Apparently not.

By the way: Wow! Two dog poop stories in a row!

Happy Poop Day

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

I have a terrible sense of smell. If there’s ever a gas leak, I better hope someone else is around. I also have bad tastes in smells. I don’t like the smell of coffee. I recently admitted to kind of liking the smell of horse manure. Kind of. Shut up.

Thanks to temperatures way up in the 40s, the sun is shining, everyone’s smiling, and the snow is finally melting… revealing countless piles of dog poop.

My neighborhood reeks.

Happy Poop Day!

It’s Easy To Count To One

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

I work with computers for a living. Often when I tell people that, the response is, “I could never do that.” But, like many things, computers only seem confusing. Don’t get me wrong, a modern computer is a pretty amazing culmination of science, technology, invention, and manufacturing, but I’m convinced that anyone can understand how they work. So I’m going to start explaining it.

Computers aren’t magic. They don’t hate you and they don’t cheat at video games. In fact, there’s not all that much going on in that box. All computers really do is store and manipulate numbers. In fact, they just store and manipulate two numbers: 1′s and 0′s. They just do it really fast and with a lot of them.

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All Hail The Break-Up Song

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Last week at the Double Door I played all breakup songs. I like writing breakup songs. I like playing them. I like hearing them. I just wrote a new one over the weekend. A breakup (of sorts) is the reason I started writing songs.

There’s something about them that just about everyone can relate to. I was in my car yesterday and heard the Tom Petty song “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and was all, “Yeah, you said it, Tom.” And I don’t even smoke pot.

I think it’s possible that half of all songs are about breakups. So I’m going to do a scientific experiment here: I put iTunes on shuffle and will list the next 25 songs that come up. The ones in red I’ve categorized as breakup songs. Before I get to the list, some ground rules:

  1. Don’t judge my crappy taste in music. This is for science!
  2. I have a couple Lucinda Williams albums in there and that might throw off the sample set since I’m pretty sure all of her songs are about a guy what done her wrong.
  3. I was going to count songs about jilted romance as well, but after receiving this argument from resident music expert Kurt Hirsch, I changed my tune: “I think at least a semblance of a relationship is necessary in order for a song to be a ‘breakup song.’ I understand your ‘turned down’ = ‘break up’ hypothesis, but, at first blush, I do not think I can subscribe to it. It is a slippery slope, my friend.” So to be considered a break up song, there must be evidence of an actual relationship.
  4. I’m skipping instrumentals, sound effects, anything under 30 seconds long, podcasts, jazz, classical music, Andrew Bird songs and other misc. crap in my iTunes library. I’m also skipping my songs if they happen to come up.

Here are the results:

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Simple Joys

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

You know that song from Pippen, “Simple Joys?” You don’t? What? You say it’s incredibly dorky to like musicals? And of all the musicals, it’s most especially dorky to know all the words to Pippen? Well, screw you then. You like Scottie Pippen, don’t you? Same thing.

Shut up.

My point is, while walking to the Wilson red line stop (my latest search for a route to work while the Montrose brown line stop is under construction) I helped push a lady’s car out of the snow. I swear, this is one of my favorite things to do. It’s one of the reasons I love snowstorms. It’s one of the few times strangers help other strangers for no reason.

So if anyone needs help getting their car unstuck, give me a call. Now put it in reverse. Okay forward. Try reverse again! Okay, turn the steering wheel to the left…

Uncommon Ground

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Start off your March on the right foot: It’s time for another Uncommon Ground show.

I Still Prefer Drumline

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Stomp The Yard was a bit of a letdown. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous movie, but I can’t help comparing it to Drumline — maybe because it had the exact same plot! And when it comes down to it, I think marching bands are cooler than steppers. Also, I kind of thought the Mus (bad guys) were better steppers than the Thetas (good guys.) I know DJ put on his dead brother’s gloves at the end, and I know they showed his moves in the superest of slow motions, but the moves? Meh.

What really made the movie were the other people in the audience besides our crew. (And thanks to the running crew for humoring me… yet again.) There was the incredibly large lady who kept turning around to make sassy comments to us: “Oooh. He think he all that!” and the little girl who must have sat in every seat in the theater, but none for more than 5 seconds.

I think the world needs a good double dutch movie.

By the way, I’m looking out my window right now and it’s snowing up. I think all this DayQuil is getting to me.

A Vat of Boiling Oil Sounds Pretty Nice About Now

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Everyone’s grumpy about the weather. It doesn’t really bother me — probably because I don’t have much of a commute and I wear long underwears.

Then again, it might be because I agree with Colonel Sanders, who said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just different kinds of good weather.” That always stuck with me because I’m a sap. Also I like those biscuits. (I’m working on becoming more of a cynic. Any pointers?)

But right now Corbin, Kentucky is a balmy 26°, and the mercury in Chicago is hovering around 1°, so what does Colonel Sanders know about bad weather?

Besides, he’s not really a colonel, you know.

Double Door

Monday, February 5th, 2007

My favorite band, Divebar, is having a CD release show at the Double Door on February 6th. It’s gonna be a rock and roll Tuesday night. I can’t tell you enough how great their band is. You should all come hear them play and buy their CD.

Also, I get to open for them, so that’ll be fun.

Around The World

Monday, February 5th, 2007

I stayed up until two in the morning watching Michel Gondry videos.

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