30 September 2006

viva la spooky

i went with kim and kristin to the kane county fairgrounds today for a flea market. that's yay and all, but it was basically a flimsy pretext for going out and finding some nifty old cemeteries. we loves us some creepy cemeteries. after we cleaned out our wallets buying ataris and a 1929 chicago skyline photo (wait, that was just me), we checked out some st. charles graveyards that were of supposed ill repute. kim had stumbled upon a website that listed more cemeteries than you could shake a stick at, some of which said 'small, much vandalized' or even 'highly vandalized.' score.

we trekked out to south cemetery off 7th avenue, where my increasingly crappy camera proceeded to die upon arrival. no matter; south cemetery's reputation was greatly exaggerated. well-kept, hardly the hellhole the site had made it out to be. next we hit prairie cemetery, which was north of st. charles really, among magnificent houses and a wetland preserve. fabulous place. unfortunately, prairie had been cleaned up much like south, with a lot of newer headstones that were kinda cool. i guess the site submissions from 1986 needed some slight updating.

disappointed, we hiked to back down to st. charles to north cemetery, on 5th avenue this time. huge. your typical old city cemetery. we were drawn like magnets to the older section, as always. kim found a row of family stones by this really creepy old tree. so, standing in front of said tree, i took the following pictures (click on to enlarge please):

no flash.

with flash, a few seconds later.

with flash, a few seconds after that.

yeah. that middle one, with all the mist and orbs? the kind that shows up in supposed 'haunted' pictures? i've never taken a photo like that before. i stood in the exact same spot for all three, taking them all within one minute, i'd say. the only thing i changed was whether or not the flash was on. thing is.. i didn't feel anything while i took the photos. i didn't feel a disturbance, didn't feel like anyone was with me, didn't feel a cold spot or anything. of course i was totally jazzed i caught a possible spirit on film, while kim and kristin hadn't gotten any such pictures. and of course, i'm honored that i was chosen to get the photo, for whatever reason.

i'm gonna try to not stay up all night totally creeped out now.

29 September 2006

a little slice of decadence

i've just mixed baileys into silky, voluptuous hot chocolate from the restaurant downstairs. the word 'magic' just got a new definition.

(btw, yes, i'm nipping baileys at work.. and yes, i do want to fight about it.)

27 September 2006

work is a four-letter word

this place pisses me off to no end. it's not so much the work as the incompetence of the higher-ups. the thing is, these aren't the usual corporate douchebags. my office is relatively cool. but for some reason, these otherwise smart men can't make a decisive action to save their lives.

case one: there's a girl in my office - let's call her 'Princess' - who is, in the most basic of terms, useless. she started out as a temp like i did, ending up a permanent trading assistant. i really have no idea how. she's rude on the phone, she takes forever to explain anything and treats you like a five-year-old while she does so, she's got a voice like a dental drill, she blames everyone but herself when she fucks up, she takes frequent smoke breaks, she orders food on the company dollar and never eats it, then bitches at me when i pick a place that's too expensive.. i could go on and on.

her latest thing is falling asleep at her desk. she's done it three times, with her boss finally catching her at it and sending her home. justice? no! instead she got a week off because her grandmother died. a week. my boss only took one day off when his own mother died. the kicker is, she didn't take the whole week.. she was s'posed to come back friday but came back today. that put the day right in the shitter.

she's had a colorful history with prescription drugs (she's a vegan and has a multitude of physical things wrong with her.. i swear before god those two things are related) so obviously she used those and the grief she was experiencing to get out of whatever abject laziness she's pulled. she gets yelled at, she's insulted by her coworkers openly.. yet she's still here. the mind. fucking. boggles.

case two: this girl - let's call her 'Hatey' - didn't do any work whatsoever. she hated her job, she hated the people, she hated her bosses and argued with them considerably, writing spiteful emails behind their backs (work emails, i might add). was she fired? eventually.. it took months and months and months, and she took another very good employee down with her, but she was finally let go. whew.

then one morning i'm mailing some stuff for another boss, called 'Sucker.' i notice an envelope addressed to Hatey. since i loathe myself, i hold it up to the light.. yup, it's a check. a fucking check for a deadbeat girl who slept under her desk and played internet games the last several months she worked here. meanwhile the proles around the office, of which i am one, haven't seen bonuses in forever.. they used to come on a semi-regular basis. or so i'm told. i've only ever gotten a christmas bonus. i hate to bite the hand that feeds, but when your potential money is going to an ignorant slob, i can't help but feel a little pissed off.

26 September 2006


this morning i found five dead birds outside my work building. not crushed or mutilated, just dead. i think they were all sparrows. i've noticed more dead birds around town lately in the same condition. what gives? is it the endtimes already?

25 September 2006

the ironing is not all that delicious

at the risk of jinxing myself, i have the remote possibility of becoming a member of chicagoist. i applied for a 'weekender' position a few weeks ago - they don't normally post on weekends, or didn't use to - and have submitted a few stories. two of them got posted yesterday, kind of on a trial basis. if i keep it up and turn in quality stuff, i might get hired for realz. glee!

now for the down side.

as my friends and family know, i was in an abusive relationship for a few years, mentally and emotionally. i finally managed to break it off when our lease was up; we went our separate ways. however, he would still call me at all hours, he sent me upsetting mail.. he even showed up at my doorstep one time, driving from ohio. once i moved into a new place, i changed my number, but he's asked friends about me.. i don't know when it will ever end.

the thing about chicagoist is, when they list their staffers, they put their full names. i don't know if that's a strict policy or not. i just googled myself this morning and came up with very little, nothing that could tie me to anything tangible. but if i'm googlable through chicagoist... i don't know, i'm afraid bad things could happen. i hate the thought of hiding behind an alias when everyone else uses their real name.. i'd feel like a chickenshit. hell, i don't even know if an alias is an option. but i know what i've been through.. what price must i pay to be able to do what i want?

20 September 2006


so i'm sitting here at work at quarter to 6 in the evening. i'm sucking down a coors light (don't make fun, it's all we had in the fridge) and getting a mite tipsy. what's my first thought upon realizing my state... head out to a bar for some more? hook up with somebody and hang out? or...go to an art gallery?

if you chose the very latter, you now fully know how much of a geek i am. i think i would, too, if i didn't have to do fuckin' laundry.

17 September 2006

a trip in the wayback machine

crickey. scott sent me a link to the rockstar game, but i haven't even begun down that road. instead, i got to thinking about all the old band names i or those close to me have come up with over the years. problem is, i haven't really consolidated them into one volume for quite some time.. i just write them down as they come to me, so they can be in sketchbooks, on post-its, on freaking napkins for all i know.

so, i dug out all my old sketchbooks (back when i used to actually draw) searching for band names. i'm never sure this is a good idea, but i rediscovered some wonderful phrases and facts. for example, retsyn is made from vegetable oil. the literal translation of 'sarcasm' means 'to tear flesh.' i feel as if i was so much wiser back then. and who could forget 'dark is the suede that mows like a harvest'? adam heck wrote that in my book in.. jesus, '97? something like that. ah, adam, how i miss you. nothing a little zabasearch can't clear up. oh yeah, i also drew a little game called 'honkey kong' that went something like this.

didn't find so many band names, and it's now way too late to start playing that game, but mark my words.. one day, Spooky Biscuits is gonna be big. or Rusty Bacon. or maybe MC Squared... i'll sleep on it.

10 September 2006

i will remember.

oh man, is it ever nice to pee in my own toilet again. 10 hours of standing around in intermittant rain, with autumn fully making its entrance into the city. and for what?

pure, unadulterated bliss.

i skipped saturday's touch and go show to celebrate my bday, which at this point, i would just as soon forget. i also hate punk. saturday's lineup was silly with punk bands. instead i spent the day recovering at the golden nugget (mmmm biscuits & gravy) and spending some quality time with kim & scott, namely eating pizza hut and watching mst3k. happy birthday to me!

sunday, however, i was touch and go's bitch again. my intention was to show up at noon for arcwelder and stay at least until pinback, possibly for calexico, the last act of the night. didn't totally go as planned...

arcwelder: missed half the set. the north avenue bridge that i was planning to cross was out, so i had to run for a bus like a dillhole. i ended up getting in at 12:30. i really liked what i saw, though. wish i could have found a cd in reckless's tent.

quasi: didn't see. i dried down a lunch table instead, after picking up a decent dog at the whole foods booth while trying not to get it wet. somehow i managed to finish my faulker book. is it wrong to read a book in full, then read cliff notes for it in order to understand it?

monorchid: horrible. the best thing i can say is that their set was blessedly short due to equipment problems.

enon: um.. not what i was expecting. a friend highly recommended them, so i snuck into the audience. it was a bit underwhelming. i enjoyed the music with synths better than the standard bass-guitar-drum combo. there was also a stagehand for that particular stage who i wouldn't have kicked out of bed for eating ramen.

three mile pilot: cool. this band started both black heart procession (band i really came to see #1) and pinback (band i really came to see #2). if i hadn't seen and heard with my own eyes and ears the melding of those two bands, i wouldn't have believed it. zach smith and pall jenkins harmonizing? a real treat.

tara jane o'neil: didn't see. if i'd stood in one place for any longer my legs would have left without me. at this point i slipped the surly bounds of the fest to wander around and take some pics. i'ma post the 'em on my flickr page.

seam: see above.

brick layer cake: ok. so i get back from taking pics, thinking i'll be back in time for black heart procession. i get up way near the front, all excited and shit, i'm so close. then they bring on this guy who.. jesus lord. it was just the one guy playing guitar by himself, 'singing' (i use the term loosely). i'd forgotten that this guy was playing a mini-set before bhp came on. pissed, i gave up my place and went to take a leak, not realizing he was only going to do two songs. i ended up pretty fucked placement-wise.

black heart procession: good as always. 'tropics of love' just makes me go all gooey inside. however, i just saw these guys in august and they basically did the same stuff. i noticed myself getting slightly bored, even though i love 'em to death. the only thing they mixed up was, they threw 'good love is hard to find' by tom petty in there. odd choice, but it worked.

cocorosie: didn't see. there was no way i was going to get fucked for pinback like i had for bhp, so i anchored myself near the front for the hour that cocorosie was on. (they played the other stage while pinback tuned up.) in the meantime i managed to meet a very nice young man named nick (i think i'm older than he is, so i can get away with calling him that), which definitely helped to pass the time. going to the fest by myself was pretty hard.. it was really nice to find someone to talk to. i barely realized a huge crowd had grown around us. suddenly it was time for...

pinback: the weird thing about pinback was, i hadn't realized rob crow looks the way he does. at first glance it seemed like someone had let a mental patient loose upon the stage. who is this guy who looks kinda like a trucker, but also knows all the words to these songs? he sounded different and not loud enough, imo.. it took me a song to adjust. but after that.. sigh. he talked to the crowd a lot, saying how he was a fanboi for all the other bands on the bill. points scored.

they played only two songs i didn't know, and even those kicked my ass. lessee, what did they play.. 'bloods on fire', 'the yellow ones', 'syracuse', 'sender', 'non-photo blue', 'penelope', 'prog', 'fortress' and 'afk'. i can't describe the wonderful, wonderful feeling i got hearing these songs live. and christ, i've only really been a pinback fan for two months. there's just something about them, when all the sound comes together...it's a thousand epiphanies. i found it amusing that they need five guys on stage to replicate what two do in the studio. my only wish was that they'd done 'west' (actually got up the nerve to yell it, too). 'concrete seconds' would have been truly awesome as well. next time.. ?

oh yeah, just to reiterate.. rob crow is fucking insane. nothing like how he comes across on a record. the closest is 'afk' where he cuts loose a teeny tiny bit.. compare that to jumping around on stage, letting his guitar clatter to the floor, turning into a one-man mosh pit.. all the while, the other members are calm as a coma, just churning out the song. great, great stuff.

calexico: no disrespect, but after pinback, who the fuck cares? not i. i booked it before the huge flood of hipsters let loose onto north ave. all i wanted was a caramel apple cider from starbucks and a nice, warm bed. i got boned on the CAC (they were out of apple juice), but a hot choc made up for that.. and the bed is still waiting for me.

despite the weather, the hours of standing around, the hanging around by myself (i didn't see one person i recognized, outside of band members), the putting up with of couples and goofass hairstyles and huge bushy amish beards (i pray this trend dies a quick death), the shuttle to and from the venue and getting lost while i do so.. one millisecond of pleasure i received from one song made it all worth it hundreds of times over. i'm so, so glad i went. i look forward to seeing some of these bands again in the future. many many thanks to chicagoist for affording me the opportunity to go in the first place. i would have done it without you, but you made it much cheaper! :D

08 September 2006

impromptu gravel dancefloor

ex...haus...ted. my legs scream for the sweet, sweet taste of oblivion so that my muscles might knit. but first, my review of touch and go's first day of shows...

shipping news: missed 'em. i got in just as they were wrapping up their set. i took the metra north, thinking it'd be easier than taking a cta train and transfering to a bus. sure, it would have been easier, had i gone the right way... i got some nice pics out of it, tho.

supersystem: very good. one of the bands i came to see. it surprised me that they recreated their sound using so few instruments onstage. i also hadn't realized three different guys take vocal duties, but that's just me being dumb. the bassist? train wreck. i have no idea who let him past the elite chicago too-cool-for-school guards, but he was goin' fuckin' nuts up there, made all the weirder by how early it was still.. wrapping his mic cord around his neck, getting really into the music, dousing the audience in bottled water. i felt almost embarrassed for him, but judging by their video for 'whitelight/whitelight', seems like he's like that 24/7. hey, it was entertaining.

girls against boys: listened from afar. i've never been into them, but they played their seminal album 'venus luxure' in its entirety, which must have been a trip for their fans.

ted leo: better than i expected. i've dabbled in his music, not taking a stance one way or 'tother. good stuff live; tight, energetic, and he's got a great voice contrasting with the simplistic punk-like music. he was rather affable with the crowd, too.. very comfy up there. a town favorite, for good reason.

!!!: ah. another band i came to see AND dance to. and by god, i did, along with a good portion of the crowd. one of the singers (out of two) bore an unfortunate resemblance to carrot top, from what i could see. however. that did not stop him in the slightest from pumping the stiffass hipster crowd up and getting those hands in the air, as if we just didn't care. i don't remember much from the songs they played, i only know those funky white guys kicked my ass, just like they said they were gonna. mission accomplished. i must now go collapse.

06 September 2006


play that song again and go to hell when you die


oh oh, i could strangle you all
oh oh, did i say that out loud?

fuck, i love pinback.

03 September 2006


i live in dumb central. my part of town is not known for its intellectual creed or world-class culture. clark street, right outside my complex, is instead renowned as a place to get blasted on a nuclear scale. hardly the work of rocket scientists, that.

on a somewhat related note, couples abound. mostly pretty couples, but couples no matter what. whenever i see a guy by himself he's either fratastic, jogging or, if he resembles an entity in which i'd be interested, he must have left the gf at home and is currently talking to her on his cell. there goes that idea.

how do these two concepts intersect? today i was returning from best buy (my dvd player sucks) and saw two guys grilling in the courtyard. two girls were planted by the front door, talking (one let me in, which was nice). as i passed, the two girls walked up to the two guys and just.. started talking. 'hi, you guys grilling? we're new here' 'yeah, we're new here too' 'hey, that's great! blah blah blah' etc.

this is why i don't even try. if i'd done that, i probably would have just been left hanging. my irritation mostly stems from the fact that they made it look so easy. if i'd seen a cute guy out there grilling and gone up to him and said, 'hi, you grilling something?' i would have felt like a complete ass. it's fucking obvious that he's grilling something. but apparently these guys didn't seem to mind that strain of conversation one bit. it's all well and good when you've got some trixie eye candy in front of you, eh.

someone please shove a crayon up my nose so i can be normal and happy.