17 December 2007

all in the name of pretty girl science

i just did something incredibly silly and extremely geeky.

i'm on a venture brothers kick lately. my ex patrick first introduced me to them over the summer. i was instantly hooked by the ultra-violence, obscure pop culture references and classic comic book drawing style. there are so many great characters, but the monarch and dr. girlfriend are just such an awesome, awesome pairing.

in one episode, dr. girlfriend is asked what shade of lipstick she wears. she replies, 'pink poodle...it's a MAC color.' i love her lipstick on the show, so i paid special attention to this...the makeup worn by a fictional cartoon character. yeah, i need help.* forever after, MAC cosmetics - which i knew was a high-end line, but that's about it - has become linked in my mind with the venture brothers. for further strengthening, saturday night i stumbled upon a mockup on co-creator doc hammer's deviantart page for a DIY triana orpheus costume. what lipstick does she wear? MAC's cyber. not just any cheapass purple lipstick put out by walgreens at halloween, like you'd expect from a proper goth teenager! no, she wears a $14 tube of lipcolor i've never heard of. hilarious.

so tonight my xmas shopping took me to (ugh) macy's, where they have a MAC counter. every time i passed it i smirked to myself. when i was done with consuming, i passed by one more time.. and thought, why not? why not try to find cyber and pink poodle, for some S&G? cyber was easy enough; the counter girl looked like she ate it for breakfast and pointed it right out when i asked. and there, at the top of the lipglass display, was a very pink poodle. mirthed, i had no reason to stay...except they all looked like really nice colors, especially that one there, the mattene shade.. can i try it on even if i have a cold? i can? how's it look? ...sigh, yeah, i'll take it.

long story short, i blew $14.50 on lipstick that i never, ever would have bought if it weren't for that meddling TV show. on the bright side, it's really nice stuff, and i think it looks damn good on me. it just better justify its cost in the long run.

* what really got me was listening to the directors' commentary on the DVD.. doc hammer, who voices dr. girlfriend, thought they might get free product out of the mention. they didn't, but i found it highly amusing that two raunchy, smartass guys were hoping to get free makeup out of a plug on their show.

12 December 2007

snapshots of a work christmas party

our party was at the 10 pin lounge next to the house of blues. it's the third year in a row we've done bowling. some thoughts on the evening:

- the party was slated to start at 6; most of the guys were going to go downstairs after work at 4. eric went on a beer run around 2. cuz two extra hours of drinking isn't enough.
- i left later than the others.. took a cab to the joint and looked around. no one there.
- found the boys in an opulent lounge off the sax hotel. this is the kind of joint you do opium in. they even offered an absinthe cocktail (absente, sugar and water), about which i inquired intensely, but declined when the waitress said no one she'd served it to yet had liked it, and that it tasted like 'rubbing alcohol.' not a good choice for the first drink of the night.
- instead, i got the girliest drink on the planet, a lotus martini. dark pink drink with a pink flower for garnish. which, naturally, i wore.
- the big boss in dallas made us all bowling shirts, replete with names (and a pocket!). pretty snazzy.
- treated to the sight of a hunky coworker changing into his shirt right there in the alley. he was wearing an undershirt, but he was nice enough to take that off too. wish i'd gotten a picture.
- we took a group picture in our shirts, in the hopes of making it into our holiday card. a glass was broken during the proceedings. no matter; they just knelt amongst the shards. good thing, too, or else those pictures would never have been taken.
- someone chose three tool songs from the video jukebox. i never thought i'd see 'prison sex' in any setting with my coworkers. thanks to whoever did that; no joke.
- couldn't breathe for most of the night. i carried my hand sanitizer everywhere i went. like i'm not enough of a dork already.
- i bowled a 34, which i'm blaming squarely on my horrible cold.
- at one point a pin got stuck in the gutter. mark asked one of our waitresses to go down and fix it. so she hauled her skinny gum-smacking ass down to the end of the lane to the tune of catcalls and hooting. upon returning, she got a hearty outbreak of applause. in that instant, i hated the entirety of earth.
- near the end of the night, i got into a conversation with wallace, one of our guys out in cali. he mentioned that he writes, and we got on the subject of poetry and hemingway. he's actually convinced me i might have to go back and check hemingway out again. patrick will be so proud.

my regrets? having this stupid cold, only having two drinks because of this stupid cold, missing work today so i can't see how the hangovers turned out/who showed up. that's usually the best part. oh well.. there's always next year.

07 December 2007

a warning

do not fall asleep with a cold-eez lozenge in your mouth. ever. i'll be lucky if i taste anything else ever again.

05 December 2007

gingerblog 2007: gaming edition

so last year i did this gingerbread thing, right. you might have read about it. since i like questioning my sanity every once in a while, i decided to keep the tradition alive again this year. the only thing is...the 'test market' is a remarkably small audience. not as small as it was a few months ago, but no one in my immediate physical circle (except one) will understand what the eff i'm doing. in short, this one's for me. (and my gaming clan, and my online friends, and a few thousand kotaku readers.)

a longass time ago, i played an online computer game called mega team fortress. when i say played it, i mean i played the fuck out of that bitch. i had no job, was out of school.. i was the archetypical nerd living with her mom and staying up until 5 am playing a mod of a mod of a mod of quake 1. (funny, the more i write, the less nostalgic i become.) i got involved in the community, created my own maps.. even my first four boyfriends (ever!) came out of playing this game. to say i loved mega was probably an understatement.

i started playing in november '98; it had already been around for a while before that. it started out with people playing many different maps, a different map for every server, if you will. as the years wore on, the number of popular maps dwindled, until most capture-the-flag servers were playing a map called 2fort5. two forts facing each other, one for the red team, the other for blue. simple enough. that and a few scant other maps were still being played when i left the scene. (to show what it looked like, a thoughtful fellow put up a mega TF 2fort5 rampage up on youtube. i never thought i'd see the day!)

skip forward to october, 2007. slavering geeks everywhere went mad with ecstasy over the orange box, which included a little game called team fortress 2. i was one of those geeks, secretly pining for my own TF days of yore. sure, i played a variation of TF, but who's counting? naturally since 2fort5 had been so popular in the first Team Fortress (and i'm guessing team fortress classic for half-life, but i never played that), valve decided to remake the old standard, complete with intelligence rooms, chicken wire and cows. aside from a few minor differences, it's the same 2fort i love, hate and know to an embarrassing degree.

that degree's going to get even more embarrassing when i undertake this year's holiday project: 2fort, gingerbread style.

now that's all well and good. it shouldn't be *too* tough.. no ceiling, two stories (three if i can figure out how that would work).. a structure not unlike a dollhouse with sniper decks. for the most part, i'm forgoing the fanciness of the new 2fort and kind of getting back to basics. what i'm really digging on are the nine different character classes in TF2. valve executed them with such graphical and stylistic brilliance that i want to bring them into my little gingerbread world. so, to go along with 2fortgb, i will attempt to render each of the nine classes in fondant. this is where i take flight and delve deep into the heart of madness.

however, to show it's not impossible (and how much i need a date), i gave the pyro a go a couple nights ago. keep in mind this is ONLY A PROTOTYPE. the finished pyro will lookd a damn sight better. if not, i'm feeding them all to neighborhood cats and taking up cross-stitch.

30 October 2007

shame on you, wamu

a washington mutual saga:

  • bought a glut of computer parts at the end of september. shipment was delayed due to mismatched address. huh.. i switched my address over in may 2006 with no problems. whatever. resubmitted the orders.

  • tried to buy a separate LCD monitor. same problem: address didn't match. i couldn't seem to buy anything else online, either.. my card wasn't being accepted.

  • visited wamu directly. they told me my problems stemmed from my debit card expiring in november, and that they sent out a new card oct. 1.

  • waited three weeks. worried about chicago's craptastic mail system misdelivering my card, or perhaps losing it entirely.

  • visited wamu again. this time they told me two things:
    1. somehow the active period on my card for my old address had been changed from 2004-2006 to 2004-2056, trumping my current address; and
    2. they never sent the new card.
    got them to fix the address mess and get the new card sent.

  • tried to get money yesterday from two different machines. both told me 'unauthorized access.' had to put off buying new gaming headphones, not to mention getting cash (without huge fees), paying for things, etc. until my new card arrives.

thankfully, the new card was in my mailbox when i got home. but what if it hadn't been? my CTA card's almost empty, my wallet's packing nothing but flies, and i sure as hell ain't carrying around checks with me. and if my card had been put into the wrong hands, say so long to my bank account. fucking anyone could have activated it. they don't ask for anything person-specific, just for you to call from your home number (which i didn't - i used my cell, which still worked). besides, the old card shouldn't have been deactivated until the new one was active anyway. thanks, wamu, you should know better than this.

21 October 2007

the Zeusaphone

here's one of those instances where i find something cool - not just kinda cool, forgettably cool, but intensely, blow-you-away, kick-my-ass cool. i was researching brass instruments on wikipedia in a move that will hopefully become apparent soon, when one of the related links pointed to something called a 'zeusaphone.' in a nutshell, it's a tesla coil engineered to produce sounds with every discharge of electricity. oh my jesus, is it cool. i guess it was just invented/discovered this year by a U of I electrical engineering student. (woo illinois! and such) a description would not be complete without the appropriate visual aids:

there's also a more linear youtube vid with two (2!) coils playing out 'dance of the sugar plum faeries.' i'd totally pay to see this; this guy should do a tour. ..except maybe he should skip rhode island.

01 October 2007

the universe can stop shitting on me now

earlier today i wrote about how i poured almost a paycheck's worth of money into a new gaming rig. i bought all the stuff through newegg, which is pretty much my go-to for all things computer (now that fucking comp usa up and left). i come home from work tonight to find an email in my yahoo inbox. it's more than just a 'we received your order and it's in process.' it's more of a 'there was a problem and we need you to verify that your shipping information is the same as what your card has on file, even though you've ordered plenty of stuff with us before through the same card with no problems.' now maybe this is my mistake, since i can't check yahoo at work and now have to wait a whole extra day, but.. no. it's THEIR fuckup. this is $1200 worth of merchandise they're now sitting on for no logical reason. and i put a rush fucking order on it, too, so i'd have it in time to game for the three-day weekend. four days left, fuckos.

next item of business in karmic fuckery: the cubs game on wednesday? you know, the first game of the post-season, of which the cubs (the cubs!!) are a part? 9 pm CST start time. so i get to watch about an hour of it, maybe an hour and a half, before i have to sleep. brilliant decision there. i know programmers and the MLB are counting on nationwide cubs fans to stay glued to their sets until midnight, but come the fuck on. that's just not fair. and what about people on the east coast? talk about screwed. how can you appreciate the adrenaline of playoff baseball when your eyelids keep drooping? dumb.

finally (for now), i was flipping through my handful of HD channels i can get over-air with my antenna. one of my favorite discoveries when i first got my HDTV was a channel called The Tube. it's kinda like how MTV used to be, back when they actually played music. all videos, some old, some new, most i hadn't seen in forever ('orange crush,' anyone?). i just saw a commercial on WGN for the Tube last night, advertising it as 9.2 on your digital stations. that's what made it so unbelievable that when i flipped to the Tube just now, i was greeted by a screen that said it was now off the air. a trip to their website confirms it. what the fuck? i can accept that it's off the air (give me a few days, though.. that really sucks), but why show a commercial a day before yanking it? why bother? 'there's this cool music channel out there that you might not know about, and guess what? you never will! hahaha!'

i don't fucking get it.

dangerous living

last night was very special. i did it. i took the plunge. it'd been a few years coming...but i finally got around to buying parts for a new computer. i feel so much better now. (well i would if i'd gotten a decent sleep last night.)

only about $1200 all told. however, that's before i drop more coin on a flatscreen LCD monitor (i'm thinkin' 19", or whoever has the best deal) and, naturally, games. i've done this twice before.. the morning after is usually spent still sifting through computer websites, hoping desperately that i made the right choices. we will see in a few days!

28 September 2007

very, VERY belated thanks to mr. becker...

remember that little gingerbread house i cooked up nearly a year ago? i just found out today that lynn becker, chicago architectural critic extraordinare, mentioned me in his blog. why oh why didn't anybody tell me? i feel like a goon. never again will i speak ill of those who google themselves, for otherwise i NEVER would have known.

26 September 2007

ah, wilderness!

so i went camping this weekend. it's something kim and our mutual friend kristin do every year, but i've never gone with until now. and up until this point, the only camping i've done are the cabin and RV kind. i haven't blogged about it until this point because i've been laid up with se-vere bug bites on my ankle. (more on that later.) we went to lake kegonsa state park, a very pretty slice of land in southeast wisconsin. a few highlights:

after a hectic half-day at work, we set off for wisconsin. thankfully our campsite was gorgeous, although we can't say the same for our neighbors. we became very familiar with the exploits of one 'skylar' and her hardcore wisconsin mother. oi. the weather seemed hot, but otherwise perfect.. until kim broke out the weather radio. severe thunderstorms, it said. heading our way, it said (in its creepy text-to-speech voice). maybe they'll miss us, we said. alas, it was not to be. rain started falling while we ate our salmon dinner; it was all over after that. it probably didn't stop until around 11, with us falling asleep far before that. we still got in a few ghost stories, though. not the best thing to read before sleeping. i should know that by now, right?

our main activity for saturday was visiting with my aunt judie and cousins micki and dan. i saw judie and micki after christmas, but i hadn't seen dan for about 25 years. yeah. we met at a mcdonald's in janesville, about 25 miles from our campsite, and then went to our family graveyard. jesus, that's weird to write. i've never seen anyone buried that i'm related to, but apparently at westville cemetery near elkhorn, i'm related to everybody there. wild, huh? westville was named after a bunch of folks named west, who intermarried with another family named hodges. a ton of them are buried there, along with some interlopers i don't know about, but who are undoubtedly a part of the family. some time ago, a woman gave my aunt a book that detailed three families, one of them being the hodges; i think it was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. in the book were photos taken of the cemetery in the early '80s, when the book was done. so, in effect, we were able to compare westville today to the westville of 20+ years ago. it was amazing. my little cousins (once removed? i forget how that works when they're the kids of your first cousin), isabelle and zoe, ran around doing crayon rubbings of gravestones, which i've always wanted to do. it's so great to instill a sense of history and familiarity with cemeteries in youngsters. does my black heart good.

we ate lunch in abbel's corners, just a stone's throw away from the cemetery, then went to an ice cream shoppe in whitewater. for some reason i thought a malt would give me less ice cream than two scoops or whatever, so i ordered a blue moon malt. christ, they must have put seven bloody scoops in there. it was good, but i couldn't finish it for the life of me. down the street we found a consignment shop that also had three cats up for adoption. that was where i met my first autistic kitten (which, if it weren't kinda sad, would make a great band name). at least, the shop owner *said* he was autistic (and not to touch him), but i'd never heard of such a thing, nor did i find any info on the 'net when i got home. he was an adorably tiny stripey thing who never stopped moving and hardly ever made eye contact.. he looked ADHD to me. i hope he gets a good, caring home, i really do.

since the weekend was pretty nice (save for the rain), it wouldn't have been complete without a total cluster saturday night. i was a little tweaked mentally.. visiting a family boneyard was a lot to take in, plus i wasn't looking forward to sleeping in a tent in a pitch dark campground again. friday night was effing spooky for me. kristin and kim wanted to take me out to a field to see all the stars. sounded cool. we swung by the flush toilets in the car on the way. while kristin did her business, kim and i sat outside.. and wondered wtf was happening when kristin's car alarm started going off. turns out she dropped her key fob in the toilet. the fob was shot; none of the buttons would work, including the panic button. kim got pissed at the constant alarm and slammed kristin's door, which pissed her off in turn; i just felt creeped out and a little nauseous and wished to god i was in my own bed back home. after a few minutes of floundering, a ranger showed up, summoned by angry campers. thank goodness he did, too; we were on the outskirts of the camp, and it would have been a bitch to find the rangers' office in the dark. he disabled the audible part of the alarm, but the lights still kept going crazy inside the car, especially when kristin tried to start it. no dice. the deactivation switch didn't work and the alarm book had no code or instructions on disarmament. fun. eventually the ranger dug in under the steering wheel, removing fuses one by one and seeing if that would do it. it did. huzzah! thank you so much, ranger brian. i hope kristin made good on her promise to send you a fruit basket. :) and kristin: just thank your lucky stars it wasn't a pit toilet.

overall, i guess i'd give camping a 7 out of 10. yay for nature, getting away, hard work, barns and horsies, flame-grilled burgers, pumpkin farms and helpful rangers...nay to car mishaps, spontaneous t-storms, hungry insects, putting away tents and my own easily spooked self. those damned bugs.. they really went to town on me. i could barely walk yesterday. all the more reason to sit on my ever-widening ass.

03 August 2007

did anyone see the decade that hit me?

on wednesday, i got the dreaded email. it was from a girl i hadn't seen in many, many years. ten, to be exact. she was informing me of Fremd's 10-year high school reunion. dear god, did this day come so soon? sure, i think about my old school chumpals sometimes. and i figured, graduating in '97, that it should be coming sooner or later. but not, like, in reality! and definitely not now, at the near-nadir of my social life.

i've been fighting chronic lower back pain for about a month. don't know what i did. the only thing i can think is lifting my a/c unit into my window, then doing some crawling IT work at the office. even with that, after a few days of rest it should dissipate, correct? no dice. i don't care what anyone says, 27 is too young to get this kind of pain day after day. the quack doc put me on a naproxen regimen, basically superpowered aleve dosages twice a day for three weeks. so far the pain is still present.

as a result, i haven't wanted to do anything, including exercise. i haven't had too good a track record ever since the wedding; i'm starting to feel like a tub. i was pretty much a tub in high school, too, but damn if that isn't what i want to present. the thing's in roughly three weeks. three stinkin' weeks! i dunno, man. it's also $55 without a guest. i knew my school was well-off, but jeez. barring any unforseen events, i think i'll skip out. my only worry is i'll go to my 15th or 20th reunion instead...and have a heart attack when i see how old everyone is.

16 July 2007

my day at pitchfork

so. i ended up at pitchfork this saturday. somewhere along the way i got the lineup mixed up with lollapalooza's, and consequently thought there were much cooler bands (or at least ones better known to me) at the show. i absolutely knew i wanted to see Battles.. mark turned me onto them a few weeks ago and i got hooked on 'atlas' hardcore. plus he got me all hyped up by going on about how he saw them live and how mind-blowing it was. (damn him.) so when the opportunity to snag a press pass came up thru chicagoist, i jumped on it. i also wanted to see Girl Talk, but knew 90% of the crowd would want to see him/them too.

if it had been any other weekend, things might have turned out differently. i accepted the pass wednesday, then got slammed at work thursday and friday.. i had to cover for not one, but two people that were out. both days. not a happy camper was i. beyond that, my lower back and right ankle have been giving me problems, so i wasn't the most mobile of peeps. not what you want to have going on when you go to a huge rock festival. if i had a nickel for every broken branch i nearly rolled my ankle on, i'd be writing this on an iphone.

the weather was fantastic, but in my typical cloud of pessimism, i brought my umbrella just in case. skilling and all. i saw the first band, the Twilight Sad, a scottish band who had the lovely distinction of being called the Cunts in their homeland. if we weren't such pussies, they'd be called the Cunts over here, too. ..unless there's already a band called the Cunts here, which is a possibility. anyway, they were okay.. the frontman had a accent so thick you needed galoshes. feminine sigh.

i saw at least one girl who came prepared in that respect. dear god, some of the most questionable fashion choices went down on those grounds. oversized sunglasses? check. tweed fedoras? check. wide white studded belts? check. cowboy boots with shorts and skirts? check. neckerchiefs? check. feathered hair? check. long Journey-style hair? check. and so on. i felt like drew barrymore in 'never been kissed' or something, trying to infiltrate the valley of the hipsters in my pink gauzy blouse (yes, a legitimate blouse) and jean skort (oh yes, a skort). in retrospect, though, i'm glad i didn't have anything in my wardrobe that would have made me fit in. and you know what? while standing in line at various points, i could hear people behind me making fun of other people. sooo.. why dress like idiots again if no one believes in it? who exactly are you trying to impress?

after the Twilight Sad i lost interest in the stage and wandered around union park. i plunked down some cash for whatever Pinback CDs WLUW had for sale, trying to assuage my guilt on knowing most of their catalogue but not paying for any of it. *sheepish look* i took a look around at the crafts people had.. it smacked of the same ironic lemming mentality of everything else. a table proclaimed 'i love potatoes' and had pictures of potatoes shaped like hearts. that's great. this costs money? then there were the mounds of ironic tees and posters and fugly purses. i was interested in one guy's version of CTA signs; pretty good condition. but $40? for an 8"x10", when i could get my hands on a 12"x16" that was actually up in a station at some point, for half the money? they were in good condition would have been a great apartment addition, but come on. and shit, is that even legal? was the CTA getting a cut of his stuff? i didn't even check the prices on most other tables, for nothing really caught my eye.. until i came to a little comic book niche. figures i'd get sucked in by comics. i toyed with the idea of picking up gangsta rap coloring book, but got a little surprise for kim & scott instead. (shh!)

yeah, i felt old, which should not happen. i was just completely out of my element. and tired. and grumpy. and alone. it didn't help that i didn't know 95% of the bands playing. seriously, i like going to shows, but the huge outdoor fest isn't my style. hugeass lines, festering port-o-potties, swarms upon waves of people EVERYwhere. and i didn't even stay for the worst of it. i crammed my way in to see Battles, who totally rocked my sockless ass - 'fucking sick loops' i believe is how one guy described their style - and decided i'd review the food and go home. (the press pass didn't come NSA.. i had an article to write and wanted to cover as much as possible. oh yeah, i also felt like a tool in the press tent, since that's where people did interviews with the bands. you know, actual journalists.) i guess after i left it got mega packed, with basically nowhere to go if you didn't want to see a particular band. i can only imagine the lines to the ATM (just one), food vendors and port-o-potties. yuck.

it's the kind of thing i regret going to, but if i hadn't gone, i wouldn't know just how much i'd regret it. think i'll stick to club shows from now on. i just pray Pinback doesn't headline one of these things. oh, the dilemma..

22 June 2007

what i do in my spare time

every now and then i check out thinkgeek.com to see what fun, shiny things i would buy if i actually sold stuff on ebay. i will get a friggin shirt from there eventually, i swear. they sell a lot of stuff from penny arcade and they used to have a nifty blanket from megatokyo. amongst their wonderful geekery is das keyboard. i coveted that thing from the moment i saw it. what geek wouldn't want to display her prodigious typing skillz after she's used a computer day in day out for the past 15 years? i would have snapped one up but for the price: 80 skins. yeah, a blank black keyboard is cool and all, but to pay $80 for it? hell, i thought, i could make a keyboard like that.

...make a blank keyboard, you say?

like anyone wishing to take on a project, i turned to the internet. i quickly found this little tutorial on a site called sane asylum from a guy who had experienced the same indignance when faced with das keyboard's hefty price. being the pack rat that i am, i had an extra keyboard laying around that worked okay, except the spacebar is kinda jacked and leans to one side. perfect for experimentation.

i followed the steps as well as i could. i started out in summer of '05, i believe, then lost the verve and put it away for a while. lately i've been bit by the project bug again, so i dug the old beast out again and finished what little i had left to do tonight. behold, the final creation.

having done the entire tutorial, i'd like to review/simplify/decant it here:

1. clean. pry up all the keys with a flathead screwdriver (be careful with the big ones, there's probably something extra keeping them tethered) and clean it all out underneath, preferably with compressed air. wash the keys if you have to, i know i did. use gloves for all your tasks.
2. sand. 150 grit sandpaper works great. cut it up into strips and wrap it around a cylindrical object. i found a spray paint can worked best for me. caveat: you can't do this for any keys that have bumps, like F, J and 5 on the number pad. i accidentally sanded down my F key before i realized what i was doing. now i feel kind of lopsided. you also can't do this for big keys, like the space bar and backspace. you just have to sand evenly by hand and make sure to keep a smoothly curved surface. another thing: make sure to sand in whatever direction you want the end product to be in. i sanded my regular keys vertically and my space bar/ctrl/alt/etc keys horizontally. it was easier and it looks better.
3. smooth. here's where i differ from sane asylum, but only by circumstance. he advises 600 grit sandpaper to smooth out the roughness created by the heavy-duty second step, but even at the hardware store, the highest i could find was 320 grit. no matter, it worked fine.
4. shine. ultra fine steel wool put a nice gloss on the keys (that unfortunately is hard to show in pictures). i forwent the pliers and just held the keys in my hand, working them against the wool. easier to keep a straight line that way. the more shine, the more satiny and heavenly the keys feel as you type.

i'm really, really digging my new, fully-funtional toy. the keys feel extra nice in a way i've never noticed in a keyboard. i'm finding i still look to know what key i'm pressing, like in a cut/paste situation, but it's as if i instantly envision it in my mind anyway. my only regret is that i didn't practice on my lone black kb first, cuz that would have looked ultra sweet. but this way, i can mod it with paint or glaze and not have to worry about priming it. now i have the confidence to experiment with other keyboards for some antiquated steampunk effects... muahahah.

19 June 2007

the creepy crawlies are here!

it's about damn time! i'm finally seeing cicadas, almost a month into the invasion of brood xiii. however, the weird thing is, i'm seeing them downtown.

see, the creepy red-eyed buggers (unless they've got blue eyes.. huh, reminds me of a new order song) are out in droves, but only in certain parts of the city and suburbs. beverly in the south? check. downers grove? check. park ridge? my coworker lives there and man, do they gross her out. but around my neighborhood, i've seen nothing. neither have a lot of city-dwellers.

the theory is that brood xiii cicadas kind of got displaced during their 17-year hibernation due to 1. lack of a thorough root system (they burrow into the roots of trees), and 2. increased construction and ground turnover. easily believable, with the amount of development i see in some places. so in my mind, it would make sense if the severity of the swarm was ringed out in the burbs where there's more stable greenery, then lessening and lessening as you get closer to the epicenter of chicago, the loop.

like i said, it's all theory.. which was blown out of the water yesterday when i saw a live cicada in my office building lobby, right outside the elevators. i actually nudged it with my shoe, not knowing what it was and thinking it was dead. since i hadn't seen one, i didn't know it was a cicada at the time. then today after work, i saw another live one crawling near an underground parking ramp. i went to take a pic, but i forgot my non-digital macro sucks, so it flew away before i got a chance. i saw two more on my way to the train station, their bodies mangled by traffic.

it's weird, but pretty amazing at the same time. i lived out in the burbs during the last cicada freakout, but i don't remember a thing about it. it either wasn't that great or i was living in the wrong burb. but now, i can say yeah, i saw cicadas. i was part of the process. why, though, am i seeing them in what should be a cicada ghost town?

17 June 2007


grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. so i had nothing going on this weekend, aside from some mucking around with my computer/tv setup. i haven't gone to the club for a while, so i thought, hey, why don't i go to the club? my legs hurt friday, so i put it off till saturday. and put it off.. and put it off.. until i was wide awake at midnight (damn iced raspberry mocha) and bored as shit. i figured, what the hell? i'd been jonesing for it for a few days, and they start the really good music after midnight as it is.

i got all dolled up and headed down to neo. little did i know i stumbled into an aftershow party for some band i've never heard of. seats were chained off. music was unfamiliar and worse, sub-par. worst of all, the dance floor was swarming, absolutely packed, with douchebags. it was as if they joined together to form one huge undulating douchebag. except they didn't undulate that much. i can't fucking stand when people get on the dance floor and don't dance. utterly foreign concept here. i don't care if you're drunk. if you're drunk you should be dancing more. and put that fucking sidekick away or i'm ramming it up your nose job.

goddamn. i go to neo to get AWAY from these fucking people. i could see goths around the fringes, watching instead of dancing. i wanted to walk up to someone and say 'wtf?' i left after about 25 minutes. was gonna walk home, but i could see the endless parade of soused yahoos shouting at me from beer gardens and threw in the towel. oh, and my cabbie was nice and creepy: after i got in, he sang 'pretty woman' in a very off-kilter voice. thank god he shut up after that.

$15 down the drain. left in my apt at 2 am to seethe and bitch. hey, craigslist is 24 hours, isn't it...

16 June 2007

right up there with the 'bag-o-glass'

in the spirit of chicagoist, i feel the need to recycle all the wonderful things i've seen on the internets lately. here's a blog post from a former associate editor of the aforementioned local website. i don't plan on having kids - i'd rather stick my head inside a hive of killer bees - but it makes me happy to see people like matt reproduce. we desperately need a new generation of well-read smartasses.

thomas the tank engine recall

but camo is SO out this year!

ran across this while perusing the online version of the fortean times:

A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called "Gay Bomb."

[...] "The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soliders would become gay," explained Hammond.


we have got some SERIOUS FUCKING PROBLEMS with this stupid asshole country.

15 June 2007

the search continues

crushing on a guy. pretty badly, in fact. quiet, works hard, some would say boring. i would say he's got great eyes, a sharp tongue and a wonderful scent (a mixture of fresh laundry and burberry). single, too, an amazing rarity.

he's also moving to new york in two weeks and won't be back for a long, long time.

back to the drawing board...

04 June 2007

a white wedding

so my sisty ugler got married yesterday. if anyone out there knows my sister, you know she's the goofiest, least fussiest, bullshit-less woman out there. she married scott, a man totally her equal. their wedding totally reflected their personalities. yeah, there was some behind-the-scenes drama and whatnot (her blog has some of those details), and i had to deal with being in the same state as my estranged father and his wife, but even that wasn't as bad as i feared it would be.

friday kim and i were going to pamper ourselves at a salon. she was due for a massage and mani, i was going for a mani and pedi. i took friday afternoon off, aiming to leave beteween 1 and 1:30 to get to a 2:10 vet appointment, then jetting to the 3:30 spa jobber. work problems meant i couldn't leave till 1:30 when i wanted to leave at 1:15, making me about 20 minutes late to the vet. even though i called ahead, i spent 45 minutes in the vet's waiting room, with the actual appointment taking about 20 minutes. long story short, i got to the salon at 4:20, forcefully missing the pedi entirely. yeah, the mani was the real reason i went, but i was sooo looking forward for high-paid slaves to work my callused feet to a buttery pulp. the topper? they made me pay for the pedi i missed. yay. (i went and got a much cheaper one the next day.)

saturday i got a ride from annette, a fellow bridesmaid, up to illinois beach resort in zion, where the wedding was taking place. really nice spot, steps away from a windswept beach. we went thru the rehearsal (think herding cats) then did the chancery for dinner (think tomato lemon cream angel hair pasta with italian sausage). mm. scott and a bunch of his friends from maine hung out till the wee hours with booze, but i left them to their own devices pretty early.

sunday we got all fussed up with makeup and hair. after all that noise was done, we were greeted with a beautiful june morning. we flew through the ceremony (clocked at an amazing nine minutes), but not so fast i didn't get a chance to hear the waves breaking behind us and an opportunity to put my waterproof mascara to the test. then, suddenly, a married couple was presented to us, traipsing down the aisle to sonic youth's version of the simpsons theme. it was glorious.

asides: i've been dieting hardcore to fit into this awesome dress i bought for $10 at a garage sale that just happened to be the same color as the other bridesmaid dresses. with the right application of shapewear, i managed to pull it off...all except for sitting down. ugh. so the reception was a bit difficult. i still managed to pack away a decent amount of french toast and sausage. brunch food ftw. did i also mention aunt flo decided to drop by that day too? oh well. also, i'm extra super thankful to patrick for coming as my date even though he'd worked a double shift at bubba gump shrimp co. to make up for time off sunday. i didn't get too many pictures since i was in the bridal party, but i got one of each bridesmaid, as well as kim, mom and plenty of my bouquet.

i ended up taking today off, not because i'm hung over (although patrick did scare me up a mighty nice piña colada), but because my damn throat hurt like a bastard from allergies and talking so much. i must now rest, and by rest i mean play mortal kombat. kim and scott go to disneyworld (yes, disneyworld) tomorrow for their honeymoon. i desperately want them to come back with a picture of scott splitting a 40 with mickey.

30 May 2007

mortal kockup

i don't blog much. and i usually don't blog about stuff that just took place. but i have to blow off some steam.

i've been waiting on mortal kombat: armageddon for the wii for ages now. pretty much since it was announced, at least since december. i put myself down for preorder at gamestop. the release date said sometime in february. no prob, i can wait a little while, right? while i waited (and waited and waited) i saw what all they were planning on doing with the wii controller. looked like some pretty nice shit. simple interface, good way to integrate the motion sensing capability. needless to say, i was stoked.

yesterday i got the call: it came in. since peapod came last night and i had to wait for it, i went out today instead and snapped it up. what i found when i got home was greatly disappointing.

it doesn't work with the wiimote.

i thought it was something i was doing. i even shut off the wii and turned it back on again. but no. i can bring up the wii 'home' page with the wiimote from within the game, i can navigate just fine with the thing outside of the game.. but the stupid game doesn't work with the innovative piece of machinery around which it was engineered. i finally got it to work with the gamecube controller, but who the fuck wants to do that? i bought it so i could rip out a man's spine out merely by waving my controller back and forth on a whim, not mashing buttons like every other gimpass figher!

i'm hoping i'm still at fault somehow. i'm gonna look around this morass called the internet and see if anyone's having the same problem. you'd think since nintendo pushed the release date so far back, they'd have put out something that works. i expect this kinda shit from sony or microsoft, not nintendo.

UPDATE: sigh.. false alarm. nowhere in the manual did it say to unplug any gamecube controllers if you wanted to use the wiimote. i unplugged it and voila. works like a charm (pretty much). now i gotta learn all those moves...

27 May 2007

call me ms. augustus gloop

been a while. i don't know what it is about blogging that makes me not want to do it. i figured i'd have filled up half the internet by now with crap from my brain.

my sister's getting married in exactly a week. yesterday we threw her her bachelorette party. we didn't bar-hop, we didn't hire a stripper, we didn't go to a wolves game (an act we have done in the past). what'd we do? we went on a chocolate tour of chicago. and omg, it was the best damn idea ever.

the entire tour took place in the gold coast/river north area of the city, all along michigan avenue. our tour guide was a spritely, animated woman that i never would believe ate a piece of chocolate in her life, just by looking at her. listening to her talk, though, you could definitely sense her passion for it. we hit six shops in about three hours, all giving out samples of some sort:

- teuscher, 900 n. michigan. sample: champagne truffles. it's a tiny shop with cute little european hand-made figurines that have chocolates inside. i'd never heard of the place, but it's what you think a typical small swiss chocolate place would be like. i bought a bar of 88% dark chcolate. they had 99%, but that plunge is just too deep right now.

- lindt, water tower place. sample: choice of raspberry, orange or dark truffles, along with a "spring" truffle of white and dark chocolate. one wall was floor-to-ceiling truffles, the rich, creamy truffles lindt is known for. a mother and her two kids kept darting in and out of our group, which got kind of annoying, but the truffles made everything bad melt away. i came away with a peanut butter truffle that i ate on the spot, a cherry & chilli dark chocolate bar, and a chocolate crème brûlée bar.

- godiva, water tower place. sample: chocolixir, a blended drink kind of like a frappucino without the coffee. holy SHIT. everything had been delicious up to this point, but the chocolixir blew me away. it was pure liquid chocolate that went down smooooth. nathan, one of the godiva workers, was very nice and looked quite good too...until he said he and his partner had just adopted triplets. goodbye, sex drive. i didn't buy anything, but am kicking myself for not getting their chocolate-covered raspberries.

- hershey's, 822 n. michigan. sample: reese's crispy crunchy bar. this was a marked step down from the other stops in terms of both atmosphere and selection, i felt. it was geared much more towards kids than the typical artistic chocolate shops, kinda like the disney of chocolate stores. plus the only thing that made our sample stick out was that it was new. i didn't turn it down, though.

- vosges, 520 n. michigan. sample: pieces of goji chocolate bars, which are made with goji berries and pink sea salt. this is the real reason i wanted to go on this tour. i've loved vosges ever since i picked up a naga bar from binny's on a whim. vosges is known for very unusual chocolate combinations, like olives, wasabi and curry powder. i blew the most money here with four bars: calindia, woolloomooloo, red fire, and mo's bacon, which had just debuted the day before. that's right, peeps, motherfuckin' bacon. (maybe that's what the "mo's" stands for?)

- moonstruck, 320 n. michigan. sample: an espresso-laden daisy made from dark chocolate. seats!! thank god they had seats, i was about to fall over from standing and walking and standing some more. moonstruck's a full-fledged café with lots of room, and not a few delicious truffles. i bought two truffles, amaretto and honey caramel, and was disappointed only when they were gone. if i hadn't been full up with sweets and nothing else, i would have gone for a peanut butter milkshake. oh well.

after the whole thing was over, we headed to goose island on clybourn for some much-needed real food. i ate so much yesterday after being on a diet for two months, i don't know how i wasn't majorly sick. i needed it bad, though. to be without chocolate for so long.. oh, the torture. the shame! now i just have to get through another week before i can start nibbling away at the treasures in my fridge...

03 May 2007

fashion backward (and loving it)

kim says i have an obsession with mary janes.

i say baby, i'm just gettin' started.

16 April 2007


some time ago, i obtained my very first HDTV. silly me, i didn't really equip it with the right firepower, so it's been a very shiny, sleek paperweight as far as TV is concerned. games look orgasmic, but i've still had to hook up the old rabbit ears if i want to watch anything live.. and it comes in as well as on my sister's old hand-me-down rustbucket.

then i went to a droolery party on sunday at kristin's. her tech-savvy boy was on hand, scattering when we really got down to business. before he did, though, we got to talking about the fantastic reception they got on their own HDTV. (the cubs sucked with that much greater clarity!) rudy informed me that before they caved and got comcast digital, they'd had an HD antenna to pick up local channels. of all that i'd read about HDTVs, i didn't know it was possible to do such a thing, and without sacrificing a big chunk of my money and patience dealing with middleman satellite companies. i can't get directv through normal channels due to a partnership my landlords have.. and naturally the consumer connectivity with that middleman sucks donk.

fascinated by the idea that i don't have to settle for beautifully-rendered static, i went to radioshack to get an HD antenna. when i asked the guy if they had any, he said that *any* antenna would work to get HD channels. i resisted the urge to call bullshit, but resolved to try it at home.

with the help of antennaweb.org, i figured out what local HD channels correspond to what numbers. fox's normal chicago channel, for example, is 32; their HD channel is 31. and i swear, i'll be damned if i didn't connect my ancient rabbit ears, flip on 31...and see a crystal clear picture. granted, i forgot that they've moved the simpsons to 10:35, but i digress. it fuckin' worked! not only does that mean i can watch programs and not feel like a gimp.. it means i could have watched the entirety of March Madness while taking full advantage of my equipment. talk about mixed feelings.

11 April 2007

someone left a cake out in the snow

been a while. i'm still doing stuff, but i hardly ever feel like blogging about it. this, however, was too good to pass up.

it's my three-year anniversary at my job on thursday. at least, unofficially. i've been coming to this office day after day for three years, but my company didn't hire me permanently until jan '06. so technically, i've only worked there for a year and a quarter. *snicker* tell that to my graying hair and frequent headaches.

anyway, what i've done for the past two years (i think) was buy a cinnamon bundt cake from corner bakery. nothing wrong with that in the least. but whilst looking for dessert recipes for easter, i had a hankering for something lemony. (i went with peanut butter & chocolate, the latter to placate kim.) so i decided to suck it up (hrhr), buy some actual lemons, and make a lemon layer cake, complete with frosting.

tuesday's my workout day, so that took me to 6. i stopped at the store on the way home, so that took me to 7. then when i got home, i could barely stand up, so i rested till 7:30. ok! time to roll up my sleeves and bake a cake before 10. no sweat. ...except i didn't even start on the filling till 9:30. said filling required boiling, and in order to get the two cake layers to stay without slipping off one another, it had to be competely cool. i ended up sticking it in the fridge and, because it was still so gloppy, i frosted the outside of the cake with it, rendering the actual frosting obsolete. whee.

went to bed at 11:15. got up at 5 to wash my hair. after surveying the heap of pale yellow crap on my kitchen table, i decided to break out the frosting after all and coated it right there. so i had a freshly frosted cake...but no cake carrier. the best i could do was a disposable pizza pan with no bag big enough to hold the whole ensemble. with time slipping away, i decided to carry it until i could catch a cab. so what if it was exposed to the elements for five minutes? it'd be better than the stares i'd get on the train.

that's when i saw the blizzard outside...

it took me several minutes and an ATM stop to catch a freaking southbound cab. i almost wound up taking the train anyway. thankfully my cake didn't capsize, but it did end up a little soggy. i don't think that will make much difference in the final taste. i'm almost glad i'm on a diet, so if anything's wrong with it, only my coworkers will suffer. hooray!

30 March 2007

this could be big

i was poking around the internet, looking for the source of the movie quote "note to self: feed the fish mayonnaise"* (like you do), when i stumbled upon an old entry on a blog called Erudite Redneck that i felt i should share with you. for you see, some ideas are bigger than all of us.

the gist? a "searchable database for the best strip clubs in the country." the name? Lapquest. shit, how i wish i'd thought of that one.

* it was "night shift" with michael keaton, not to be confused with the classic stephen king short story collection of the same name.

28 March 2007

ashes to ashes, crust to crust

by some miracle, i actually made my own dinner tonight, a yummy taco salad. while slicing green peppers i pondered my gingerbread house, which was still sitting on my kitchen table, in the exact spot it's been for about four months. (i never could figure out what to do with it.) i thought i noticed the chimney starting to come away from the roof a bit, and wondered when the whole thing would just pack it in.

i didn't have to wait long for my question to be answered. whilst devouring my salad and watching futurama, i heard a loud crash come from the kitchen. figuring my cat to be involved somehow, i checked out the situation and found this:

i guess that's it then.

after singing an impromptu rendition of "the end," i immortalized the moment (see above) and went back to my salad. i heard another crash a few minutes later. more of the roof had collapsed, so that i had to take the entire top apart. the royal icing had become so brittle nothing would stay together. i knew this day would come, if not by my hands than by nature. although a couple people suggested i light the thing on fire (both named scott, oddly), i couldn't bear to do such, since that's what doomed its inspiration. oh well. it was a good ride. i hope to continue my new tradition by making something equally batshit crazy this holiday season. my only hinderance is my imagination! (and my patience, and my social calendar, and my dependency on food for life, etc.)

23 March 2007

credit where credit is (over)due

so i'm sitting at work, minding my own business, when my boss comes up to me and hands me some stuff. we have this thing at my work called the 'superstar' program, where people can nominate you for doing a fantastic job above and beyond for whatever. lo and behold, i was nominated to be a superstar for helping one of our gals in dallas! i ended up with a notepad, a yellow star-shaped stress squeezie, and a fitty dolla bill. not too shabby, considering my company. after all, the only other superstar in our office went to the silly bitch of whom i've spoken before. the girl who used to fall asleep at her desk. for some reason, that caused me not to have much faith in the whole superstar thing.

however, i am letting bygones be bygones. hell, 50 bucks is 50 bucks, correct? correct. woohoo!

20 March 2007


remember "you don't know jack"? i sure do. i'm sure a few key family members do as well. well, i just read that there are now full-on YDKJ episodes available online, one a day, in addition to several DisorDats (pick and choose minigames). one more thing to make me reconsider killing myself! woohoo!

meh 'n' stuff

saw "300" last night, on imax. holy flircking snit, was it awesome. i was a little apprehensive, since i'm not familiar with the comic at all, i didn't get in on the hype, and i heard mixed reviews all over. but it was so utterly worth it. the only way to see it is on imax, too. warriors thirty feet high...leperous councilmen displaying every misshapen wart...blood splattering every conceivable surface. just thinking about it releases my endorphins all over again.

other than that, i've been really tired lately. various muscles always seem to be sore for whatever reason, and i'm not even working out as hard as usual. last week it felt as if my quads were rotting from the inside out. i started to pretend my bottom half was nonfunctional in order to rest it. so i haven't felt up to much. i predict that will change now that the relatively sultry 60° weather is becoming more frequent. springward ho!

06 March 2007

more of the same

coworker 1: did you see 'talladega nights'? did you know Borat's the Perrier racer?

coworker 2: you're really not that smart, are you?

02 March 2007

adults say the darndest things

overheard at work today...

Coworker: Mike, why don't you go ahead and yell out that name we call each other? Starts with a "W", ends with an "L", got a couple of "O"s in there?

Boss: ..."Wookiee"?

28 February 2007

a new addition to the family

with my old CRT TV really hitting the skids (the sound got fuzzier and fuzzier until it was fuzzy all the time), i finally, finally broke down and got an HDTV. samsung, 32", LCD, from amazon. $1000 with free shipping. and oh my is it ever sweet.

i did not receive it without some tribulations, however. the delivery guy kept asking me out, even going so far as to hug me (!) and kiss me on the neck (!!!) after he set up the box. very, very surreal. unfortunately 1. i wasn't interested and 2. i wanted to dive into 720p goodness. he seemed to be okay with it.. it felt like a 'hey, i'll give it a shot' kind of situation. still, ultra weird on my end.

but! the set's looking great so far. checked out a couple movies on it (even made washed-out london look decent), played some wii with new component cables (not really made for HD, but i'll take it), and i discovered an extra-long S-video cable that works from my computer's vid card. verdict? i can watch downloaded stuff on my new HDTV:

so. honking. jazzed.

27 February 2007

bone china, let the summer come again

i keep a personal start page on my PC with lots of links i visit frequently. it beats google's plain jane website; plus i get to use self-made graphic tiles that i wouldn't ordinarily get to see in practice. anyway, i haven't updated it in months upon months, so i was rolling through various websites and blogs looking for links. i came across olivia's personal (well, business, too) website, which i didn't know existed. somewhere within that quiet mass of beauty and technical prowess, i saw this photo. click on it, i'll wait.

now tell me you can't see the huge, puffy clouds hanging overhead, stark against a velvet blue sky.. feel the strong late summer sun beating down upon your body, as sure as the wind slices through your bones today. this photo, despite its seemingly grim subject matter, is so evocative of the coming seasons that i just.. can't.. i simply can't wait till it's summer. and yet, without this hideous winter.. i wouldn't want summer nearly this much. bright, shiny days, you will be mine again...someday.

21 February 2007

farewell, carson's

i didn't work out today, so i figured i'd make up for it by walking to avenue and buying some pants. (infallible logic, i know.) however, on the way there, i got sucked into the tragedy that was carson pirie scott's final day. i didn't know it would come so quickly; reports i'd read said the 28th was last call, but i guess today was the final day you could buy retail merchandise. not that there was much left:

in fact, the only merchandise left was some fur coats, seriously slashed at 80% off. if i didn't hate fur i would have been all over that shit.

as sad as the ground floor was, the basement was.. well, crazy. they had an amazing amount of stuff for sale down there, just not the typical retail things. a table of angels went for $225 each. a fetching pair of bamboo-style screens could be mine for $300. there were nails, a half-used steno pad (which i seriously considered buying), old printer ribbons, mattresses and box springs, torsos on hooks, cabinets, etc. it was like a garage sale, but eerier. i felt as if i were in an abandoned building with a bunch of other people, just looking for wreckage to scavenge.

i made out with two signs, a red christmas banner and a square blue sign that just says "F", cuz i'm mature like that. i toyed with the idea of just walking out with them, since they didn't have prices. according to one of the associates, they were worth a buck together. okay, fine, good deal, sez i.. until i had to dig out another dime. they charged me tax on two flippin' wasteass signs they weren't even planning on selling. in addition, they attached two ugly orange stickers that i probably won't be able to get off completely. thanks. whatever.. i'm just pissed i didn't see that this clock was for sale earlier. it only costs as much as the HDTV i just bought...if i were richard nickel, i would have canceled my order and bought the damn clock. who needs a ceiling fan anyway?

i'll miss carson's. i'll miss the jewelry section to the utmost. i'll miss being able to look out of curved glass onto downtown state street at night. i'll miss the retail experience without the extreme snootiness. but most of all i'll miss, at least for a little while, being able to walk into a functioning, breathtaking piece of art.

18 February 2007

kitty wellness

i took my troubled kitty to the vet yesterday. it's been almost a month since her last transfusion (god that sounds so unreal), and i wanted to see how she was doing. intially, the vet gave me a diagnosis of myelodysplasia, a rare blood disease where bone marrow makes only immature red blood cells. a semi-effective cure in humans is a bone marrow transplant, but i was told those aren't done on cats. not knowing what to do, i kept feeding her the meds they gave me and hoped she wouldn't bottom out again.

when i asked for advice, the vet said i should get in touch with U of I down in champaign-urbana, since they have a great vet program. they talked back and forth with my vet, and thankfully, they talked right before my appointment yesterday. turns out the problem's not with her bone marrow, but with her autoimmune system: it's attacking her red blood cells before they have a chance to mature. big difference between that and not ever making any mature RBCs. as a trial, the meds bailey's been taking function to stop the faulty immune system from destroying those RBCs. the vet did a blood count, which ended up right smack dab in the 'normal' range! so far, my kitty's okay! finally, a vet session that didn't end with some crushing, horrible news. i just wanted to share. yay!

14 February 2007

black wednesday

another valentine's day come and (almost) gone. i celebrated in true single fashion by blowing a nice chunk of money at lord & taylor and nibbling on a 72% dark chocolate ghirardelli bar. oh, and getting toasted.. nicely toasted.

speaking of toasts, this brainwashed holiday reminds me of a favorite toast of mine, of unknown origin:

here's to the men we love,
and here's to the men who love us.
but the men we love aren't the men who love us,
so screw them all,
and here's to us.

keep the faith, sistas.

13 February 2007

winter wonderland

i am so not here today. how can anyone work with this beautiful weather? and i mean that with all sincerity. when i walked out this morning, the snow was all virgin in the vast expanse of my courtyard, pure confectioner's sugar, cold to the tongue. i threw on some old police stuff onto my ipod - cuz i'm a bandwagon jumper like that - and drifted off into some enchanted world. i was probably the only one smiling throughout my entire commute. this wonderful snow is what keeps a little light burning in my heart for chicago winters. i hope it never stops.

..provided i don't have to drive in it, anyway.

10 February 2007

piddling pooches prohibited

a crappy companion cartoon to a story i did on chicagoist about dogs pissing on those huge headless statues in grant park.

09 February 2007

unspeakable hearts

okay, i've been drinking, so bear with me. apparently kim enjoyed my hearts very much, of which i am very proud. we made plans to get together tomorrow (saturday). getting ready to go home from work today, i get one of those damnable ideas, much like building a freaking gingerbread house, that won't go away until realized. i pick up a package of godawful chalk hearts (made from bone meal & earwig honey) and aim to do a little candy graffiti...

my materials.

how i got the sloppy slogans off.

someone at necco has an unhealthy obsession with the '80s.

some scraped hearts.

words, words, words...

and finally, the fruits of my labor. (obviously, best viewed large.)

two more late entries.

i need help.

05 February 2007

those most blackest of ♥s

now that the super bowl is history, the media is free to focus on my most hated holiday: valentine's day. case in point: even as i write this my coworker next to me has been talking to his sigoth for what seems like two hours. makes for a very fine ipecac. verily, the only way to get through this hellacious sugar-soaked mush fest is to riff on it mercilessly. so to prove to myself i still have the mind of a 10-year-old who just discovered swearing, i went over to the good ol' candy heart generator. you know those goddamned "conversation hearts" that are good for nothing but chalk substitution in inner city schools? (fuck, there's an idea...) borrowing heavily from bittersweets, mst3k and a lovely site highlighting the substance behind these tasteless atrocities, i put the machine to work:
classy, eh?

03 February 2007

stephen colbert wants his elephant

so i did a chicagoist post today about wikipedia. the gist of the story is that wikipedia is being cited more and more in legal cases as a legitimate resource. i want to know who was smoking what when the first case went through citing anything from a website where anyone in the freaking world can write anything they want. hell, wikipedia itself lays out a disclaimer on their site saying they're responsible for absolutely no information posted in any articles. how on earth can that be cited as legal precedent? are judges and paralegals looking at a wiki article and saying to themselves, "hm, that looks about right"?

wikipedia's been made fun of a lot in the past. and sure, broad satire or blatant revisions can be funny (or lame - i remember seeing brian urlacher's entry a couple weeks ago where strippers were mentioned in every sentence), but easily fixed. it's the subtle twisting of facts that worries me.. facts that may or may not be true, but inserted quietly enough into an entry to where it seems believable. the whole thing boggles my mind. a completely democratic website with very little accountability just cannot stand up in the legal system as far as i'm concerned. it's ridiculous.

who am i, though.

off to finish my jaw-droppingly delicious homemade pizza and watch mst3k's "the day the earth froze." appropriate for this weather, no?

30 January 2007

attention all philanthropists

k.. i know what i want for my birthday/christmas/whateverthefuckelse present:

bloc-weekend festival

clark? two lone swordsmen? bola? autechre (though it's really hard to be excited about that really)? kool keith? shittons of other idm/electronic/weirdass music? in england? in an indoor off-season ski park??

kill me now so i can go to heaven.


so very depressed. hate winter. hate cold. falling to the communists. so cold. so depressed. don't want to do anything. can barely move. so tired. went to bed at 7 last night. so, so tired. so depressed. want to curl up in bed and cuddle. no one to cuddle with. hate earth. hate universe. go to hell.

29 January 2007

to HD or not to HD?

i need a new tv. there's no question about that. the sound starts to go fuzzy after an hour (getting worse from there) and it's too damn dark overall.

here's the thing, though: to what do i upgrade? i don't feel i 'deserve' an HDTV, as much as i want one, cuz i don't have cable/satellite and hardly watch tv as it is. unless i got HD-capable channels, i'd feel like i was wasting it. i've seen so-called 'enhanced' tvs, somewhere between standard CRTs and HDTVs, but those seem like a cheap copout.

when i got my xmas bonus last year, i swore i'd use part of it to nab an LCD HDTV. as the months wore on and i couldn't commit to a model, i talked myself out of it. but now that i'm thinking of it.. i bet zelda would look pretty sweet on one of those things, even if the wii isn't truly HD-compatible. i bet i'd be able to see things at night, too. what a concept. but the money.. oh, i don't know...

28 January 2007

sweet dreams

last night i dreamt i slept through the superbowl. i went to take a nap and slept right through the damn thing. when i woke up i turned on the tv and they'd won. so pissed i was. not really that i'd missed the game, but that i'd have to put up with dozens upon dozens of smug, self-satisfied bears fans for the next year and, possibly, the next two decades. the white sox winning in 2005 was one thing. cubs and sox fans are split up pretty evenly around the city, i'd say. but fucking everyone is a bears fan around here, except for a smattering of cheeseheads and other out-of-towners. whatever. i should bear down for misery either way. they win, fans brag and get drunk and rub it in your face. they lose, fans get angry and grumble for the entire year. what's funny to me is, whether they win or lose, there will probably be rioting around here. we silly gooses in chicago can't tell the difference!

21 January 2007


i know it's been a while since i rapped at ya, people. a lot has happened and i haven't felt like recording it on the interweb. first i got a little stomach virus the weekend after the new year's 5k. couldn't hold down water. it blew.

then i learned my kitty has relapsed. she was taking medicine for her stubborn blood parasite, but her blood count dropped so much she needed another transfusion, so that means the meds weren't working. fearing the worst, the vets took a bone marrow sample, the results of which i should hear early next week. she's a health mess, but she's home and getting feistier, since she's got all that other kitty blood in her now. i hope she's all right.

for some good news (fuckin' finally), kim got engaged! YAYYYY! it's been a long time coming. i figure if she and scott have put up with each other long enough, lived together since may, and they haven't killed each other by now, they gotta tie the knot. many many congratulations to them both!

i also went to a bears game viewing party at a tiny little theater on the south side today. i'm not a bears fan, but i tend to get caught up in the mass hysteria of chicago sometimes when it comes to sports. 'twas fun. the first half we had to watch it like this:

but in the second half, they got it set up like this:

i love technology.

01 January 2007

crazy in crazytown

one of my new year's resolutions this year is to keep doing crazier and crazier shit. i seemed to set a good precedent with the gingerbread house, which was pretty fuckin' crazy. what's even crazier, i thought? doing a 5k walk on new year's day.

i'd never done one before. i've been working out lately - not as much as when i was doing the house, since i was on a diet at the same time. (surrounded by cookies and candy + hardcore diet = crazy.) but i figured, 5k is a little over three miles. i have to walk two miles to get groceries in the summer, so this shouldn't be all THAT bad. note that i say "in the summer." the weather today sucked teats. cold, windy, dreary. it could have been worse, but it was still miserable. on the other hand, it was the perfect weather for the race organizers to be blaring "new year's day" by u2 over the speakers. very desolate. to make things worse, my monthly visitor tagged along and tagged hard. not the best of circumstances. i was also surprised at the lack of water or nutrition bars at the end of the thing, since it was sponsored by powerbar. i hear they give away a ton of free shit at these things. oh well. i'd do another one for sure.. just at a different time of the year and month. i should have my artifical knee installed by then. they'll have to chop this one out if it doesn't stop throbbing.