Friday, December 21, 2007

The Big No.

It has been five weeks since my interview at the design firm.  No call backs.  No emails.  So I knew at some point bad news was coming.  This morning on my email were those not so fun words:  we have decided to pursue further talks with other candidates and are not interested in offering you a position...  What a wonderful way to say Merry Christmas.

I am excited and thankful that I got this interview, and knew it was a long shot - all of my interviews are long shots since I am looking to change industries.  But I did not get a second interview, so they must have known for some time that I was not the one.  It would of been a bit more polite to tell me around the beginning of the month instead of the Friday before Christmas.  Did they not think of this?  Or were they more like... let's ruin that guys Christmas weekend by letting him know he's not wanted.

I'm done talking about interviewing.  I'm done blogging about it.  It just makes me feel worse about it.  Not sure how I will find a new job, but I need to do something different since sending cover letters & resumes is not working.

I'm done blogging for the year.  I might post some photos, and I will definitely play lots catch up on the many blogs I have not had time to read.  Thank you all for reading and commenting.  It has been a good year of meeting some of you, and getting to know the rest of you.  

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Step Tagged Me.

Thanks to Step Right Up for tagging me a month or so ago.  I'm slow to getting to this.  So I guess I need to do some alphabetical list of things about me.  Here goes...

Anchor Christmas beer is something I look forward to since the taste changes every year. 
I am totally obsessed with Baseball. I spend way too much time discussing the game with my brother, my pals Jason and Luke, and my White Sox family (the people we sit around). LP gets tired of it really quick. 
I love dogs, but I have always owned Cats.
I enjoy DJing... spinning records, but have not done much of it since moving to Chicago (outside of my house).
The Electric Company was one of my favorite shows as a little Niner.  So was the Muppet Show.
People who ride Fixed-Gear bike drive me nuts. Grrrr.
I do not Gamble, at all.
After reading and watching High Fidelity I wanted to quit my job and open a record store.  It sounded perfect to me.  If I did not have to earn an income, it would still sound perfect to me.
So many I's in this post... me me me.  It's getting kind of dull.
James is my favorite band of all time... but I bought my fist record in 3rd grade and it was by Jefferson Starship.
Do you remember the Spin Doctors and "Pocket Full of Kryptonite"?  Sadly, I do - I saw them at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA when that song was big.
I have a strong need to go to London... and love LP.  That reads weird.  Those are two different thoughts.  Although when I do go to London, I'll still love LP - but I do not have to go to London to love LP.  Next...
I am a sucker for chick flicks, and some Musicals.
I miss NYC, but I also realize I miss more the time in my life when I lived there.
I've applied three times to work for Oprah, but never heard back.
LP hates when I drink PBR because she says it makes my whole body smell like cheap beer.
I was never a strong Reader, and I have really struggled because of it.  I try to read the paper every day, and tackle the pile of books I have at home.  Just writing this blog has helped me with my vocabulary building.
I started Skateboarding when I was about ten years old. I still have three skateboards... but as I get older I need to talk myself into getting on it so I don't forget it. And now being in Chicago there is six months in the year I cannot skate. (I bet you thought I was going to write about a scooter for my letter s.)
I do not have any Tatoos, nor do I want any.
Remember Urge Overkill?  I do.
I've never been a big supporter of Valentines Day... it rubs me wrong for some reason.
It's all about the White Sox for me when it comes to Chicago baseball.  Yet I'll always be a Giants fan too.
I'm still waiting for XTC to tour... which will never happen.  Sadcakes.
I drives me nuts when LP blasts "Youth Gone Wild" in the car.
I have yet to go to the Brookfield Zoo. The Lincoln Park Zoo is fine, but everyone says the Brookfield Zoo is better.

As I usually do... I choooooose to tag no one... because I am no fun.  :)

A Thoughtful Gift.

Yesterday I got a call from my father-in-law in Memphis... and he was bubbly, bouncy, and very excited to tell me that he got me a really cool gift. He had just been at a pancake restaurant in Memphis and saw Willie Mitchell sitting at one of the tables. Knowing that I am a Willie Mitchell fan (he was a big part of the Memphis soul sounds in the 60's & 70's at Hi & Stax) he went over and introduced himself to Willie and got an autograph for me. Willie just happened to be in the Memphis paper that same day, so he signed the article. My father-in-law then went back to work and scanned and emailed the autographed article to me before he popped it in the mail.

I am lucky to be one of those people who really likes his in-laws... they both a good people with hearts of gold.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Favorite Albums of 2007.

Year 2007 is almost finished... so this means it is time for my annual list of my favorite music of the past year. A year that saw terrible sales, more downloads - but some fantastic releases and reissues... especially the Brit Box on Rhino (even though it is not perfect, it is a lot of fun). I was a little bummed out that I did not find more jazz releases that really grabbed my attention... but indie rock and electronic sounds seemed to keep me more than happy.

The biggest disappointment has to be the unlistenable comeback release from Siouxie Sioux - what a complete bummer of an album. My favorite reissue was the expanded version of Culture's 1978 masterpiece "Two Sevens Clash." And the two singles that were listened over and over and over by me were easily "Drivin' Me Wild" by Common with Lily Allen and also Modest Mouse's "Missed The Boat."

My Favorite Albums of 2007...
1. Band Of Horses "Cease To Begin" (sub pop)
2. Menomena "Friend And Foe" (barsuk)
3. LCD Soundsystem "Sound Of Silver" (dfa / capitol)
4. Bishop Allen "The Broken String" (dead oceans)
5. Jay-Z "American Gangster" (roc-a-fella)
6. The Broken West "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On" (merge)
7. The Narrator "All That To The Wall" (flameshovel)
8. Justice "Cross" (vice/ed banger)
9. Oh No "Dr. No's Oxperiment" (stones throw)
10. Radiohead "In Rainbows" (self released)

and the +10:
Battles "Mirrored" (warp)
Budos Band, The "II" (daptone)
Clientele, The "God Save The Clientele" (merge)
Feist "The Reminder" (cherrytree/interscope)
National, The "Boxer" (beggars banquet)
Okkervil River "The Stage Names" (jagjaguwar)
Om "Pilgrimage" (southern lord)
Pharoah Monch "Desire" (src/motown)
Rhianna "Good Girl Gone Bad" (def jam)
Stars "In Our Bedroom After The War" (arts & crafts)

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Month.

Saturday marked one month since my interview at the design firm. Yes, the same firm that called me for an interview and then it took five phones calls back to them (over two weeks) for them to call me back and set up a time. One month with no feedback or response in any way. I understand it was a little stretch for me to land this job - I had the skills, but a background in a different industry... so it was up to them to decide if they had the time to deal with my learning curve. But it's been over a month - and no word always means no job. Sorry, but it does.

Sure, it's disheartening to not get picked, or even make it to round two. I'm excelling in getting knocked out at round one for many different reasons, but the number one conclusion is my changing industries. It is frustrating that every company I have interviewed with takes over a month to get back to me, and most only do it after I make a few follow-ups, and then request some kind of conclusion / verdict.

How hard is it to send a quick email, or make a quick phone call to let a candidate know they were not chosen? This is why companies have a HR department. Rejection blows ass... but sitting around waiting for an official rejection is not good for one's mental health. Maybe they are waiting to tell me on Christmas Eve?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday Night.

Friday night after work, LP and I took our separate El rides downtown to meet at the Bean for A Gospel Christmas. Every Friday night from Thanksgiving through Christmas a different choir leads the public in singing carols. Everyone gets candles and song books... and freezes their buns off while being surrounded by strangers, the snow, and the skyscrapers of Chicago.

Chicago does Christmas so well. It is still at place where people say "Merry Christmas." It is a city that sponsors Christmas activities such as this Gospel Christmas, and is not hung up on being too p.c.

It was a fantastic time. The music was inspiring, the candles dripped hot wax all over my gloves, LP's feet were frozen... and we both appreciated having and sharing that feeling of Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Commenting, Keeping.

I have been debating (with myself and friends) about removing the comment feature on my blog. My goal was to start 2008 with no comments, although I would still comment on other's blogs (which I've been really bad about these last couple weeks... sorry).

I keep telling myself that I am doing this blog for me. I do it to better myself. I also like to make others think and laugh. I never want to be part of a popularity contest (ooooh, I got 18 comments - I must be cool, people finally like me).

The past couple months some readers have posted some amazing comments. Comments that helped me in many ways. Most just made me feel like I am not the only one going through these struggles, and some of the advice has been so helpful. Sure there has been the funny, or annoying comments - but the few gems have out weighted the idea of getting rid of commenting.

So I am keeping the commenting function, because when it comes down to it my readers are wonderful... and occasionally I'll take off the function for certain posts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


For some reason my friend Keith has been on my mind lately. I think about him on my walks to work, and then home. I find myself at work zoning out a times remembering growing up together... skateboarding, spinning records, recording music, going to shows, watching way too much Comedy Central.

I am sure it's the purchasing of Christmas gifts that is sparking these memories, see Keith always ALWAYS bought me music for presents. Every time I unwrapped a gift from him it was already opened. Keith just figured he was going to borrow whatever I got, so why not listen to it first and record it, then wrap it up and give it to me. It never bothered me one bit, it was one of those things friends just understood.

This past September marked five years since Keith passed away, but it really did not hit me until about a week ago. I was not the best friend the last couple years, and maybe I could of helped. I wish I could call him. I hope he hears me when I talk to him. The Christmas seasons with Keith in them will always be a cherished part of my life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sick, Kind of.

I had all of these plans for the weekend but got none of them done because I was sick. LP and I did manage to go get our Christmas tree (LP named it Penelope). Saturday night I came down with something... a head cold or something that makes you feel all head clogged and simultaneously hot and cold.

This meant that Sunday was a wash. My Sunday went something like this...

Woke up.
Fed the cats.
Ate some brownies.
Felt guilty so I drank some water.
Made coffee.
Ate some chocolate.
Felt guilty so ate some real breakfast.
Sat in bed and tried to read awful book.
Made some tea. Did not drink it.
Ate more chocolate.
Got up, looked at the cat, fell back asleep.
Ate canned low sodium soup.
Watched "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead."
Got really grumpy.
Went to mass but did not make it through it.
Slipped on the ice.
Watched "Cool As Ice."
Ate more chocolate.
Made Dinner.
Ate more chocolate.
Went to bed.
Got up and ate another brownie.
Went back to bed.

Feel better today. It was the "Cool As Ice" that did the trick. I highly recommend a good crappy movie when not feeling well.

Friday, December 07, 2007

More Snow Photos, from the Mobile.

This week has been about snow... and being too busy at work. So I end this week with a few photos of the snow this past week from my trusty (and crappy, way too much blue adding) mobile phone camera.

Last night I went outside and sat on the stoop, smoked a Cohiba my friend Jason gave me, and sipped on some Nob Creek while watching the snow fall. Sure it was relaxing, warming, probably not super healthy... but I was so entertained because in the house across the street was this guy playing Guitar Hero and totally getting into it. He had spins, and headbanging, and he even kicked the legs out a few times. It was complete entertainment.

The walk to work.

More from the walk to work, right after I pass the Brown Line El.

Mmmm... Cohiba.

The railing on our stoop.

Across the street... to bad I could not zoom in to take a photo of Guitar Hero guy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Today is the first morning of autumn/winter that it got down to zero degrees. It was a beautiful walk to work this morning. The skies were crystal clear and the sun was shining. Sure it was in the single digits but if you live in Chicago you have the clothes for it. When I got out of the shower I pulled on my black long underwear and danced around the house pretending I was Mikhail Baryshnikov... which made LP laugh and scared the cats.

Some people live for the summer. I live for the winter, even if I did grow up in California. And we are supposed to get another 2-4 inches of snow tonight! Snow angels!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Real Snow.

It's that time of the year... my favorite time. Snow time. I absolutely love the snow for so many reasons. Last night I sat on the couch and watched The Bells of St Mary, drank some excellent wine, and watched the snow pile up outside.

Snow time seems to be a good time to sit still (after snow angles, of course)... if only we had a fire place. It's a good time to unwind and think about life. I've been thinking (maybe over analyzing) about my career and my struggle for a new job lately. It seems like the only thing on my mind, which neglects other parts of it. It has been weighting me down. Sitting on the couch last night, and also my enjoyable walk this morning, I could not help but think that it has been almost three weeks since my interview at the firm. Not a good sign at all. After three weeks usually comes another and then in the mail is a letter letting me know how much they enjoyed meeting me, and how well qualified I am, and how they really could not fit me in. I kind of wish they would just say "You Suck." It might be easier. But the snow falling helped me see how lucky I am. I've been so busy at work this week I have had no time to blog. I have a job. I have so much.

I had breakfast with a friend of mine this week that does not believe in things happening for a reason. For example, if you meet a new friend - some may think there was a reason for it. Or if you get a new roomate and the two of you hit it off - maybe you just got lucky, or maybe there was a reason for it (fate?). It was an intriguing topic of conversation, something I never really thought about in depth. I quickly came the realization that I do believe things happen for a reason. Sure it's because of my faith, but it is also a calming way of looking at life. Not getting a second interview is the pits... but maybe it's not the right place for me. That's a difficult pill to swallow, but many people in this world face much more difficult challenges on a daily basis.

I am thankful for the snow for many reasons... and I cannot wait for the end of the day when I can go play in it some more.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Snow, Mobile Phone Photos

This afternoon I had to go down to the Art Institute of buy a Christmas present for a family member... their gift shop has perfect gifts for Great-Aunts. Right when I was leaving the house we started to get our first snow, snow that stuck to the ground. Not much, maybe an inch or two - but it really put downtown in the Christmas spirit.

Not really sure why my mobile phone adds so much blue to photos, but I cannot figure out how to change it.

Walking from the Brown Line El to the Art Institute...

Looking down Michigan Ave...

Looking out onto Michigan Ave from the doors of the Art Institute...

Buses, etc...

My friend, the Lion.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Brit Box.

I've been listening to the new Brit Box that Rhino recently released. The name of the boxset describes it well... The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit-Pop Gems of the Last Millennium (from 1984-1999). Sure it's missing lots of bands I would of included, and some wrong songs by the bands they did choose - but it sparks so many memories. Music has been such a large part of my life, and in the late 80's and early 90's I was obsessed with so much music coming out of the UK.... James... Jesus & Mary Chain... Spacemen Three... Stone Roses... Ride... Curve... Slowdive... Stereolab... Moose... Carter USM... Cast.... Swervedriver... My Bloody Valentine...

All of these songs remind me when I had so many goals, so many dreams, so many ideas of what I would be doing in fifteen years and where I would be doing it. I knew good things would come to me. I was hip. I was so into the scene and could school anyone on music knowledge. I was fun to be around. Sure I slacked in college, and sure I probably drank too much. But I had a confidence in myself that no one could take away. I always had a positive look on life. I was going to be a success.

Listening to the box set reminds me that it is fifteen years later. Sure I've live in most of the places I want to live in. Sure I reached my goal of working the in music industry. But somehow along the way I've lost some of that confidence in myself. Somehow I got to a place where I am just stuck. I feel like no one wants to take a chance on me and offer me a new job. I take it personally... because rejection is not easy on anyone - especially me. There are so many could-of, should-of, would-of situations to look back on. Maybe I would change them if I could, but that is not an option.

Music can be so much more than booty shaking and guitar solos. Music can be good therapy. Music can remind me when I had so many goals and ambitions, and that it is never too late to create new goals and get off my ass and work towards them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hello Kitty Toaster.

I did something last night that would make Not Carrie Bradshaw very proud... I purchased my very first Hello Kitty item. It's a toaster. But better than that - it prints Hello Kittie's face on the toast. Awesome!

After work LP and I had to go to Target. This is not something we do often because Target (like Wal-Mart) plays mind games with you and makes you buy things you just don't need. For me, it's usually DVDs or CDs. Last night it was a Hello Kitty toaster. We can never walk out of Target without spending at least $50, and it is often over $100. Last night, over $100.

You might be thinking Niner is a little gay (don't worry you are not alone in that thought process), but I have never purchased anything Hello Kitty before (even in my teenage punker phase) - AND I totally checked out some awesome Star Wars stuff at Target too. Well, maybe I had a little dork moment. BUT - We've been needing a new toaster. Really. And this toaster defrosts, reheats, and has a good bagel setting. Old crappy toaster did not. Well it did have a bagel setting but it did not do anything different from the bread setting (scam!).

So you can make fun of me all you want, but when you are eating your boring ass toast you'll be think of the Niner all of my awesome toastness.

Hello Kitty toaster vs boring old toaster.

First batch of Hello Kitty toast. Not bad, although it smelled like burned plastic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Out of Order, Part 2.

My desk at the office is right next to the bathroom. It's a unisex bathroom. Since I have my own space (no office, but not a cube) I try to keep the music up so it drowns out the occasional noise from the washroom. Sadly, the music does not drown out the stinkies.

On top of all of this... this bathroom has more issues than a toilet should. The plumbers come by way too often. We've had almost everything done to the bathroom, including having the floor ripped up to clear out the pipes. And now I can say we have done everything. The sewage pump broke and they had to replace it. Simple enough. Oh good god - this was the most foul smell I have ever experienced in my life. The pump is in the floor of a closet four feet from my desk. Barf. I had to leave... I had to go home. But I couldn't - I was swamped at work. The one day I just could not leave early. Life sure can play some nasty tricks.

So when you are having a bad day at work... take a big whiff. Do smell raw sewage? If not, your day is not completely terrible.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thank You... Wal-Mart.

As you loyal readers know, I am a Wal-Mart hater. If I wasn't, the indie-rock snobs might take my membership card away. I just cannot stand the place, and so I do not give them my money. Plain and simple. It truly is an evil empire.

Well... Wal-Mart saved my ass. On our drive home from Memphis, where we stuffed our faces for the Thanksgiving holiday, Jermaine (our car) drove over something... possible a dear hoof. OK, I know what you are thinking... Niner killed Bambi. I did not. But there were so many dead furry friends all over the road that it was impossible to not drive over at least a part of one of them. Well Bambi struck back, with a chunk of hoof that went right into Jermaine's rear tire. Wham-O! Jermaine's first flat. My first flat.

There are no such things as service stations any more, they are just gas pumps and mini-marts. What is open on a Sunday morning in the middle of nowhere? Wal-Mart. Salem, IL'sWal-Mart to be specific. Since we had four hours of driving to go before getting back to Chicago we could not drive home on the spare. We had to get the flat patched. Wal-Mart was our only option. How I dreaded going to Wal-Mart. Well, I must say they did a great job, quick job, and it was less than $10. Yep. I even told one of the guys how much I hate Wal-Mart, but there was no other option. He informed me since they came to town most of the auto guys now work there (yes, since Wal-Mart put them out of business).

So for this great service that saved my trip home... I thank you Wal-Mart (in Salem, IL). I promise to not talk shit about you for the remainder of 2007.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A New (Old) Book.

LP had to go by the library the other day to pick up some books for this girl she is tutoring. Libraries are wonderful places, especially for little kids. There are so many books. Books about everything you can imagine (a little kid's imagination). An overload of stories, pictures, ideas, dreams, and places. Great little spaces where one can curl up with their book and drift off into the story that is in their hands.

As we were going through the books I pulled out "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. A classic! A classic I cannot ever recall reading. Ever. I remember the pictures, well some of them, but I could not remember the story. Now I am sure I was read this story as a little Niner, but when story time came my ears tended to turn off and my mind always went wandering. I was a day dreamer in my elementry years. So I sat there at the little table in the little chair and read the book aloud. LP was shhhhh-ing me. It really is a charming story. So charming I checked it out (they had at least twenty copies there). It was the first book I checked out of a library in at least fifteen years. I also grabbed "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg... another story I had never read.

Libraries are such wonderful places. They can make me feel like a kid, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A (Friend's) Book.

My friend wrote a nonfiction book that was recently published by one of the big publishers. Well, he's more of an acquaintance... a person I loved hanging out with in Portland. Not really sure how to categorize him.

1. Did we ever do something, just the two of us... no.
2. Did he ever come over to my house... no.
3. Did he remember my birthday... nope.
4. Have I heard from him in the past six months... no.

OK, so this random dude I used to see in public places in Portland. Well, he was more than that - he was some one I was always cheering for in hopes something would go right for him. He was (is?) a person always down on his luck. Drinks a little too much. Likes the horse track a little too much. But an amazing individual with a heart of gold.

So whatever his relationship to me is... he wrote a book. When I was in Portland I went to Powell's and bought a copy. He would of given me one if I asked, but I'd rather spend a $11 and support him. I was super excited to read it and then email him and let him know how much I loved it.

Problem: I did not like it. It is not so good. It is long winded and really goes nowhere. It is another "On The Road" type story, and just lacks cohesion. A I was very bummed out about coming to this revelation. I want to place blame in the editor, someone should of helped him develop the story more, or just make it into a short story. Yet, I am still proud of him for getting a book published, and the second one comes out early next year.

But I am not sure what to email him, or even if I should email him about the book.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Dinner Party.

Last night's dinner party at the Aussie's place to celebrate the return of Loaf was over the top... good times for all... or most... or at least for me.

There were cute photo opts (the Aussie and K.i.D make it look so easy - but a good photo is hard to pose for)...

...bonding (drinking)...

...heated debates (something about Portland and some highway in Chicago)...

...super yummy food the the Aussie made and cake from Dinkel's (Classy shows how we all were consuming it)...

...capes and killer dance moves (yes, Cherry did bust out some original moves)....

... and yes the panda suit came out. The Gancer never looked so good (that is not water).

All around it was a lovely evening to spend time with friends in Chicago, and a friend from London, that blogging brought together... kind of sort of, well it did. Life is too short, and evenings like this truly make life a little better.

And yes, there was also my awesomest blue striped socks!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Poontabulous Time!

The time has come... again. The Loaf time. He has returned to Chicago! We are going to have such a poontastic time! It's going to be poontabulous! Oh, to have those poony-poon feelings. All the way from London - the Loaf has come to bring early holiday poon cheer. It might just be a poonie Christmas after all!

So if this has not won you all over to coming to visit us bloggers in Chicago... maybe you just do not have the pooness in your heart. Think about.

Weekend photos to follow next week.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Random Thoughts.

On Tuesday I went to the coffee shop across the street from my office and this lady was talking about how she just moved to Chicago. [When you enter this coffee shop there always seems to be one big conversation going that everyone is apart of] So the question was asked where did she move from, and her reply was "Portland, Oregon." I spouted out, "I hate Portland." And then that got the shop going on about Portland and those who liked it, and those who did not. I do not hate Portland, I'm just glad I do not live there. But I am not sure why I said "hate." Maybe I just wanted to get some arguments going. Probably. That's not very nice. So Portland, I do not hate you... just glad you are miles away.

LP and I have birthdays five days apart. This year my mother sent LP a beautiful new sweater... not cheap at all (Portlanders would say "spendy"). There was a card with it. The card said the usual Happy Birthday greetings and to enjoy her new sweater, and that my present was to enjoy looking at my lovely wife in her new sweater. Funny! Until my birthday came... I just got a card.

The ice skating rink in downtown opened last night! I am so excited. If you have your own skates (which I do) you can skate for free! Yea!

My friend CNR took this photo the other day. She did not send it to me, but my T1 friend SV passed it on. Public Poetry?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Poor Phone Photos.

Last night was Ben Lee at the Double Door. Good show... he even did one of the Against Me! covers, and played songs from all of his records. Yea for Ben Lee keeping it simple and poppy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unhappy Birthday.

I love birthdays... anyone's birthday. My birthday is my favorite day of the year. I don't need presents on my day - I just love thinking that this is my day (that I gladly share with Neil Young, Elizabeth Stanton, and Grace Kelly; and sadly share with Tonya Harding, Sammy Sosa, Charles Manson).

This year I woke up sad (no, today is not my birthday). I wake up every morning with a spring in my step and some annoyingly poppy song in my brain. I do lots of karate kicks and chops, and squeeze the kitties until they are annoyed with me. Just ask LP. I love the mornings. I love my birthday. But this year I just did not want to get out of bed. It's like Morrissey really did call and wish me an unhappy birthday. LP was very sweet to me, but I was in just a sad funk and for some reason I was not letting it go. No one called me in the morning to sing Happy Birthday to me before my walk to work. My mom usually calls. And at the very least LP's grandmother calls. Nope, not this year. Our landlady even got LP flowers, card, and brownie on her day. Me, nothing. Am I Samantha Baker?... "Well, well if it isn't Sammy Baker Davis Junior."

My walk to work was warm and dreary. I love the cold crisp air of autumn mornings... and this year's birthday it was in the 50's. Ug. I was over dressed, so I ended up sweating my ass off and looked like I ran a marathon when I arrived a work. After that I had to look forward to my lunch... a can of soup.

As the day went on I did receive some emails and texts from friends which was really thoughtful and made me cheer up a little bit. I know I celebrated my birthday with a few good friends the weekend before my day, but I guess I wanted a parade with wild cats and bears in tutus and marching bands and floats (no clowns). But that was not going to happen, and being stuck at work was not really curing my blues.

So I figured I would call the design firm guy (who I had been leaving messages for a week) one more time... and I got his voice mail one more time. Being in a pooper mood I left a message that told him this would be the last time I tried to call and by the way... it was my birthday. Yeah, probably not the smartest thing too do (I am so smart... SMRT... I mean SMART) - but HE CALLED BACK. Really! And I have an interview on Thursday. Crazy.

My day started to turn around, until I went to Whole Foods and Jewel to find out they were completely sold out of fresh rosemary... and this put a huge damper and my recipe for dinner. Sadness at the supermarkets. Then it bounced back, because LP did make a me an amazing cake and some family did call during the evening. I feel asleep on the couch.

366 days to go to the next one... maybe I'll get my scooter next year.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Our Favorite Things

A few months ago when LP and I were walking home one night we started talking about our favorite little things in life, and if we listed them we would notice how different they would be. So we started spouting out favorite things... and we agreed that we would keep the obvious items off the list (each other, family, frinds, life, etc.).

LP's List:
1. Chocolate
2. Baking Cookies
3. Baths
4. Massages
5. Snuggling & Comfy Beds
6. Champagne & Wine
7. Firework displays
8. Sunny Beaches
9. Booty Shaking (aka dancing)
10. Laughing

Niner's List:
1. Baseball (especially go to the games).
2. Music (listening to, going to see, buying... especially records).
3. Fuzzy Animals (cats, dogs, bunnies, bears, especially fat kitties).
4. Skateboarding (makes me feel young).
5. Snow Angels (how can you not love making snow angels?).
6. Chick flicks (Notting Hill and You Got Mail are tops!).
7. Sun rise (I am an early morning person).
9. Ice Cream (Vanilla is good enough, but pumpkin, mint, or cookie 'n cream are good too).
10. Cooking (It makes me feel creative, and useful).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

MySpace Photo.

If I had a MySpace account... I'd put this photo on the front page. It's mysterious and dorky. I like being dorky.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sad, But True.

1. I like the new LeAnn Rimes album, and I listen to it often.

2. I've been missing NYC, SF, and London lately. I've never been to London, but I still can miss it. Right?

3. A Design Company left me a voice mail me last week to talk to me about Project Coordinator position. I called back and left a message with the person that day, the next day, and the following business day (this past Monday). And nothing. They have never called back.

4. A house on our block got TP-ed last night. I have not seen a house TP-ed in years... maybe ten years. Who still TPs?

5. Last night on the El I over heard this little punker boy/girl (could not tell) say to his/her friend: "You are a really nice person, just in such a cruel and horrible way."

6. I still don't have a scooter.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

36 Frustrations.

In the month of October I applied for 36 new jobs (14 so far in November). 36. Sure some of them are long shots, but many were dead on. One for Harpo, but Oprah never called me. In that time I have had one interview... for a company that did not have any open positions, although they said they really liked me and I would be a good fit. Geee, great.

I have been looking for a new job for some time, but I have only started applying myself and working on finding a new job for about five months. Since I am currently employed it is easy to slack, but I have been very good about looking through job postings every day - and at least once a week sending out cover letters and resumes... lately that it's been three times a week.

What I have learned: If you don't know someone at the company... you probably will not get an interview. Or at least I do not. Sure I am looking to change the industry I am working in, but seven years experience as a project manager in the music industry should not be such a long shot to a design firm or ad agency... right? I have even applied for office manager jobs at firms / agencies and had absolutely no response. No response.

I've been told by a few places that I have a great resume, and my technical writing skills are sharp... but still no job. I am not sure what to do. I feel really lost. I do not know anyone in the industries I am looking for a new job... well here in Chicago. And I really cannot afford to start at the bottom. Stuck.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Random fact: Lately I've been listening to a lot of INXS and U2. It's been primarily U2's first three albums (Boy, October, War) and INXS Hits. Funny thing... I was never a big fan of either band for the longest time, probably since they were so popular I did not need to jump on that bandwagon. I admit, they both have their pluses.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Rolling Stone. Blows.

I receive a Rolling Stone subscription at work. I don't pay for it. It just shows up in the mail every so often. It really is a terrible magazine. I must admit, I rarely read the articles... I usually just peruse the pictures and then skim the album and movie reviews. It just seems like every third issue is some kind of Anniversary issue. Really. They come up with more excuses to rehash interviews or stories about the same celebrities... over and over and over. Sure they have added a few names over the years, but right now the stand-bys are: Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Bono, Billy Joe Amstrong, Al Gore, George Clooney, Dave Matthews, Madonna, Michael Stipe.... Ug.

Rolling Stone, maybe you should just stop. Maybe it's time to save a tree and stop printing your outdated magazine. Your reviews are so skewed, and usually just not right (go buy one of their five star reviewed albums and see if you agree). Rolling Stone magazine use to be (well, 20+ years ago) ahead of the trend... now they are trying to catch up. This most recent issue discusses the future of music... Bright Eyes. Gee, they are about five years late on that one. Come on... please, think about folding. And then maybe Spin and AP will follow your lead.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Saturday: Crappy Mobile Phone Photos.

Our El trip to the Loop was so not fun yesterday... we were stopped between stations for what seemed like an hour (probably only fifteen minutes) for a bridge lift. Ug. The ride was slow enough... and then having to wait around for a bridge to go up and then back down. Big farts on the CTA and bridges. The top photo was the view outside the El while we were stopped.

Macy's opened a FAO Schwarz in the State Street (Marshall Fields R.I.P.) store, so LP and I stopped in. The stuffed animals are amazing... but this is the smallest FAO I have ever seen. Complete disappointment - except for the stuffed animals.

Jason and I went to the Music Box Saturday night to see Blade Runner. Such a classic film, which Jason had never seen... and it was our first time seeing a movie at the Music Box. One weekend with so many "firsts." If you live in Chicago, and you have not been to see a movie there - GO! The main theater is fantastic!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Friday night LP and I went to see the Stars show at the Vic. It was the first time ever seening a show at the Vic (we've been there, but not for a band), and also a first time seeing Stars. What a brilliant evening. The show was prefect... definetly in my top 5 shows of all time. They played songs from all four of their albums. And they were so charming. To top off a fantastic evening... we got a cab right away!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Un-invited.

Say you are planning a get together... a night out (bowling, movie, dinner party, clubbing) and one of the people you invited also invited someone else. Someone that you did not want to come along. What would you do? Would you deal with it, or would you un-invite that person, or would you just let that person know their guest was not welcome?

Now if you found out about the unwanted guest when the person arrived there is little you can do without being super cold and rude. And who wants to be cold and rude... really? I like Gossip Girl, but I could not actually be that much of a bitch to a person. But if you had advanced warning... there are so many options. It also depends on what you as a group plan on doing because certain social settings are easier to avoid people (clubbing, rollerskating).

I guess the worst possible situation is if you plan a date with someone and they bring a friend... clearly stating that it is not a date. I did that once... I was the person that did not get the hint that it was a date. I felt pretty stupid, when I finally caught on.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

300: The Scooter Chef.

For my 300th post (yep, this is number 300) you get my Photoshop creation... Scooter Chef! Dr. Ken gave me the excellent idea with his comment the other day on my Jamie Oliver post. So working my graphics magic (Julie Gong must be proud) I have created my new hero: Scooter Chef.

Scooter Chef totally kicks ass. He can fondue like there is no tomorrow. He chops, he blanches, he flambes... but he never simmers. He loves to get baked, I mean bake. And most importantly... he gets the ladies, and makes them lots of soup. Hot steamy soup.

Thanks to all of you for reading my daily scribblings, rantings, and complete random thoughts. Oh, and Happy All Saints Day and Happy Day Of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who Slutted Halloween?

When did Halloween become slutty? Has it always been slutty and I just never noticed? It just seems the past few years I have noticed that so many women /girls dress as "slutty______" for Halloween. It's not just a cowgirl... it's a slutty cowgirl. A cop is not good enough, it needs to be a slutty cop. Judge Sandra Day O'Connor is not a crowd pleasing costume, it has to be slutty Judge Sandra Day O'Connor.

Cute is one thing, slutty is another. Maybe instead of being slutty high rise window washer... someone could just be a slut. Hooker? Lady of the night? Pole dancer? Then the sluttiness fits the costume. And maybe the next morning they will realize they like dudes groping them so much they'll change their careers... maybe a hooker, lady of the night, or pole dancer?

Happy Halloween Campers!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tagged And Answered.

I got tagged by Tabbie to do this survey... so I will. I'm nice like that.

There are rules: I cannot repeat anything the other survey taker(s) said [since I only read Tabbie's list I have no clue what other survey-takers have answered, but I really doubt anyone them would have the same answers are me, that would be too strange, yes I'm rambling...] and I have to list "5 things that I do, did or like that I’m proud of, but that others may think are totally lame. Plus, I get to tag 5 people to do the same.

1. I like to roll up my jeans. This is a very recent thing. I do it when on my bike so my chain won't get my jeans / pants dirty. But then I keep them rolled up. It makes me feels like I am on some island or beach (yeah, that makes sense). LP and my T1 friend SV think it just makes me look like a 'tard. There are many things I wear that I like that make me look like a 'tard. I just have 'tard tendencies. I like being special.

2. I don't have any tattoos... and I took out the piercings years ago. Maybe the new "cool" one day will be to be tattoo and piercing free.

3. My belly button collects so much lint on a daily basis. It's quite fascinating. I could quilt something. Really. It's a very strange phenomenon... this lint collecting. Not sure how or why it happens, but not a single day goes by without a ball of lint in my belly button. Wonder what would happen if I had an outie?

4. I tend to match the music I listen to with the clothes I am wearing. Really. It's sad. In the winter I listen to a lot of hip-hop because I have this awesome puffy coat. It makes me feel so hip-hoppy cool 'n shit, but really I just look like a major dork. I also have this awesome parka that I wear in the winter... it would be perfect for scooter riding along with some Who and The Specials, but alas I have no scooter. Lately it's been more Brit-Pop now that it's sweater time, and I've been watching a lot of Jamie Oliver. Sad indeed.

5. I go to church. Yep... I know lots of you think it's lame. I don't. So there.

I choose to tag no one.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Jamie Oliver gets me off my ass and gets me cooking. I love to cook, and I love a good challenge in the kitchen... unless I get super frustrated and realize I missed a very important ingredient way too late. That's why I am not so good at baking... there is little improvising in baking. But every now and then I get lazy and I'll stop cooking. I'll stop looking at the cookbooks. I'll stop reading about new approaches to preparing food. I'll cease using my brain to put some life into the standards. But for some reason Jamie Oliver does the trick to get me off my lazy glutes and get my brain thinking about cooking.

A few weeks ago BBC America started showing the old Naked Chef episodes from '99. There is something about his attitude and way of thinking about flavors that gets me excited to try new dishes. Plus the guy is way cool... he gets to hang out with Jamiroquai and ride a scooter everywhere. I want a scooter. All I have is a bike. Jamie Oliver does something to spark my imagination where I can run to the store (not on my scooter, since I am sans scooter) pick up a few things and put together a simple dinner that is more than enjoyable.

It really would taste a whole lot better if I had a scooter.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Movies.

Yesterday on the way home I stopped at the big corporate chain video rental store to pick up some movies for the weekend. I wanted to rent some movies for a Halloween get together this weekend. Since I am not a big scary /horror movie fan (I'm a scardy-cat) I planned to get some movies that were not too scary (Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow), or just slasher movies that are more funny than scary (Ronny Yu's Freddy vs. Jason). Everything was rented. Everything, even Hocus Pocus, Casper, and Practical Magic. You name it, it was rented. And since not every Halloween-ish movie is in the horror section (some are in drama, some are in action /adventure) I had to start trying to remember good movies to look for. They were all out... except for these that I rented:

The Lost Boys [This 1987 is a classic! In my book, the best Vampire movie of all time. And as an added bonus it has both Coreys in it.]
Leprechaun [1993's terrible low budget classic that captures Jennifer Aniston's film debut. She must be proud.]
Addams Family Values [Yes, even the original Addams Family movie was rented.]
Jesus Camp [I've been trying to rent this documentary forever but it is always out. I've heard such great things about it. This just might be the scariest out of the bunch.]

Now don't even think about telling me that I would not have these "all rented" problems if I did something like Netflix. As you already know, I watch way too much television. I do not need movies coming in the mail all the time... another reason to sit on my ass. I rarely rent movies, and I like it that way. So what are some of your favorite Halloween movies?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

4 Years.

For all you singles looking for love... there is hope. I found someone that can put up with me - every day! It's been a fantastic four years LP. Hope there are a trillion more. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Poon Is Coming.

I saw this sign today and thought of Cherry Ride... so I figured I'd post it and tell Cherry to get off his lazy ass and post something. Good old Paul Poon. Cherry, if it wasn't for you - none of us who have "Paul Poon" in our vocabulary. It's Poon-Nasty.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Selling Books.

I often sell CDs and DVDs. I have written about my massive purging of thousands of CDs. Even after that I continue to to sell and buy. I usually take a big bag and get around $200 in cash, or more in trade. I tend to buy titles that most little independent stores want to buy back (no Keith Urban in my collection). It's a good deal - better than throwing them away.

I used to sell / buy books in Portland (Powell's) and NYC (the Strand) and always did pretty well. I use to help out some friends of friends in publishing that needed favors and they thanked me by sending me boxes of books. Most of these books I'd never read so I just went and sold them - I always took the trade at bookstores. A bag of books would get me more than $90 in trade which is not bad... used books can be as little as $3-5. Sell some, buy some. The best part is they usually took most, in not all, of what I brought to sell.

Last weekend I went to sell books in Chicago for the first time. I went to the Powell's on the Northside since it is close to my house, and it's Powell's... I love the Powell's in Portland. What I quickly learned is... Powell's in Chicago blows ass. I took two canvas bags full of really hip / cool fiction and cook books and they took maybe six of them and gave me $10. $10! They offered $17 in trade so I had to go with the trade which I spent on some Jane Austen books for LP. The trip was not even worth the gas I used. Grrrrr. Wish I could ship my books to Powell's in Portland and have a friend sell them (I have friends who work there)... but after paying for shipping it is kind of pointless.

I guess I should stop buying and just go get my books and the library. I am thinking about donating the books I do not want to the library... maybe someone there will want them.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I give money to charities. I just do not give it in some big public flashy way. You might say, well what are you doing now - and I will rebut with: you do not know to who (or is it whom?), how much, or how. Also, I need some kind of introductory line for this post so just deal with it. There are two charities that really bug me.

The guy that stands outside the Jewel on Southport (near Addison) and sells copies of Street Wise newspaper. Every major city has one of these homeless newspapers, and I tend to buy one every so often. Portland's was called Street Roots. Have you ever read one? They are pretty awful. Sorry, but they are. I understand they are doing some good (maybe) - but they are a terrible read. The guy that hawks Street Wise copies at Jewel dresses better than me. He has a matching ensemble every day. I'm not talking about a suit, I'm talking Nike Air Force Ones with a matching track suit. He has Jordan's in almost every color. His wardrobe makes me look like the homeless one. So why should I buy from him? I tend to buy a copy every now and then from the guy the the Graceland Post Office that kind of smells homeless. Plus he gives out free pens.

The young kids that always want "five minutes for Greenpeace" only get about a millisecond from me: "No." I can't help but think of the footage from ten years ago of the big tanker that emptied it's sewage on the little Greenpeace boat. Classic move! Sorry Greenpeace, I like the cause just not how you go about it, or the little rich suburban kids that think they are hippies.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Beautiful Day, Crappy Photo.

Today LP, K.i.D. and I went to Lake Michigan to just sit down, gossip, and enjoy the picture perfect day. Too bad my camera phone didn't take such a good photo... but is was a picture perfect day.