Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bob Woodruff.

Last night I watched Bob Woodruff's report on ABC about brain injuries to soldiers in Iraq, and also his own horrific near-death accident there and his rehabilitation. It was such an amazing hour of television. You could actually hear George W's approval ratings take a nose dive as the show went on.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Things to do (before 2008).

I am still sicky... but wanted to post this update. Going back to bed. Goodnight.

You loyal 5of9er readers might remember my list last December of things to do before 2007 came around. Well, most of it fell through. So I have come to realize that accomplishing this list in 18 days was just too much... so I am thinking about keeping the list, readjusting a tad, and setting 2008 as the new goal date.

1. Learn to play the guitar. I did purchase the How-To DVD and Book, and practiced for about three days and then quit - realizing it would take more than 18 days to accomplish this. Learning to play the guitar would still be a good goal... keep my brain active.

2. Come up with a plan to get to Tucson, AZ for the White Sox Spring Training. It's just not going to happen. Mr. Bush hit me and LP with a tax bill... so no trip to the desert. Boo for Bush! Maybe 2008 Spring Training.

3. Get over my fears of flying. I did not do too well on the San Francisco trip, but I am taking a shorter flight to Austin, TX in March... so hopefully that is better. Plus 20/20 had a story last Friday about the fear of flying and how to get over it. Will try.

4. Get rid of the cat pee smell. This goal was accomplished!!! Really. In 2007 there has been no pee smell at work, or in my life at all. Awesome!

5. Find a good hors d'oeuvre to make for Christmas Eve. ...I was stuck (again) with making stuffed mushrooms... photo to show proof. It was complete bullshit. Next year! Next year I refuse to be "Stuff Mushroom Guy."

6. Find Lori Mocha some help, friends, reasons for human interaction, or maybe a book deal for her comics. I'm thinking about bagging this one and instead try to ice skate more. It's good exercise... and what has Lori Mocha done for me lately?

7. Get more sleep. I've been doing great on this... I think I can take this off my list.

8. Be more active. I totally have. I've been going out more... seeing bands, seeing djs, going to new restaurants and bars. And Spring Softball starts soon I'll be active in an outdoors / healthy way too. I don't need this on my list this year.

9. Lose ten pounds. I still need to work on this. It's good to be healthy and not dead.

10. Find out where to get Leberkäse. I am cannot stop thinking about these spam sandwiches at the Christkindlmarket. Need to find a good Germany place in the city that sells these.

11. Try to insert more good albums into my Top 10+10 list. I need really to work on my Top 10 list for 2008 and just keep 2007's list in 2007.

12. Come up with a plan not to get lice from my sister's children. The lice problem is finally gone, and LP and I did not get it... although when we were there in December we did have itchy heads... but it was just in our minds. Funny how that works. So this is off my list as well.

So I accomplished 4 out of 12 - and I have 10 months to complete the rest. I will keep you all posted.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sick.

I'm sick. Sick Sick. I have the Nighttime (and daytime) Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching Stuffy-head, Fever (not sure), So I Can't Rest... because I usually don't take Medicine.

Hopefully I'll write something tomorrow. Going to back to bed...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fred. He's Water?

Fred is surrounding me lately. My softball team this coming Spring has taken the name Got Fred? And now I have discovered there is Fred... the bottled water. What is going on? Why would someone name water after a person's first name... especially Fred. Do you want to drink some Fred?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Two-Bit Manchild (The Windy City)

Today's post is so great... but it's not posted here. I am trying to get readership up on the ever-so-amazing Liar's Club, so I am just posting there today.

So go to the Liar's Club!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dying on the Dance Floor.

Last Friday night I went out with some T1 (more about that in a later post) friends to see Mr. Scruff (Ninja Tune) spin records at SmartBar in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. It was a good time, but I learned many valuable lessons that night about going dancing during the Chicago winters:1. Check your coat right when you get there... the Coat Check does fill up and then you're stuck carrying your coat all night. F bombs that sucks.

2. Do not wear long underwear. OK - so it's negative ten degrees outside and you walked to the club... that is still not a smart decision. There is no real convenient way to take them off so your stuck wearing the extra layer. The club is hotter than hell and dying on the dance floor does happen. We saw some girl drop because of the heat... or the drugs. Not really sure.

3. Don't be the guy who is the first person there. Yep, that was me. I was at the venue upstairs before hand to see an early show... so after I just went down to the SmartBar. I was one of first ten dorks there, but I was the king dork sitting by myself waiting for my crew to get there (they are super cool... so they did not show up until two hours later).

4. Don't geek out with the smartphone. I was killing time hanging out by myself looking at email and websites on my phone and some crazy girl came up to me and slapped my hand & phone and told me "You'll get stuck in there." Whatever.

5. Drink plenty of water... alcohol doesn't really help the heat exhaustion, it just makes you feel funny.

6. Don't stare at the people sucking face. I couldn't help it... it was so gross.

7. And most importantly... take a nap before going out dancing until the early morning hours. Going to a rock show before hand was not the smartest thing to do - I was hot and tired.

But it was still a good time. I dig my T1 friends.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Paczki Day!

It's Paczki Day! Yep... it's that time of the year when we go to our favorite Polish bakery on the West Side of Chicago and pick up way too many paczek for co-workers to celebrate this Paczki Day (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday). Poland celebrates Paczki Day five days before us, which they call "Fat Thursday" - but Americans always have to do things different.

For those of you that do not know what a paczki is, Wikipedia has a pretty good entry on it. Simply, it is a Polish jelly filled doughnut.

Growing up in suburbia Northern California I always knew of this day as something only my family did. We did not know any other Polish people around us, and since we did not have access to a Polish bakery we always went to the corner Winchell's and bought jelly filled doughnuts. That was fine with me, since I was just happy eating junk food before noon. Now living in Chicago I get to be spoiled with amazing Polish bakeries, and have the opportunity to share with my co-workers, and the coffee shop across the street, some of my family's culture.

Happy Paczki Day!

Monday, February 19, 2007

43 Reasons.

I'll give you 43 reasons why I got the shaft today. I am at work when I should be spending the day away from work reflecting on our government's great leader we call the President (of course I mean the great office of the President - not our current Chief). I should be spending today feeling lucky there is a limit of eight years for our leaders. I should be spending the day... doing anything and everything but sitting at my desk working. This is complete b.s.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cannot Hide From It.

I am not a Cubs fan. And yes, I am one of those people who think Wrigley Field is a dump... come on - it is. But I do acknowledge the history of the ballpark and see why people embrace it. Parts of Wrigley remind people of a simpler time (a better time?). The manual score board is one of those pieces of a time long gone, so are the few obstructed views, and of course the ivy covers outfield walls.

Now one of those pieces is gone. The Cubs for the first time have allowed advertising on the gates on the outfield wall. A big boo to the Cubs organization. Some say they need to cover the extra money they are spending on the new players and the new manager they have acquired in the off-season... but they also jacked up the price of game tickets for the same reason (and they sell out most of their games). Plain and simple - I find it sad that they are allowing advertising on the walls at Wrigley Field. It's not about the ad itself, it more about tradition. And tradition is something the Cubs organization and fans spew day in and day out (blah blah blah). But - I am a sucker for tradition, especially when it comes to baseball.

Is there anything safe anymore from getting plastered or tagged with ads?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Life of Eloise.

Since LP and I are not big Valentine's Day people (why do you need one day to show love - shouldn't that be every day?)... instead of writing paragraphs of mush about my lovely LP (which I easily could do), I am writing about my other Valentine... Eloise the cat.

I want to be a cat. Plain and simple. They have have the plush life of rest and relaxation.

Eloise is one of my cats and she has the life. She eats. She sleeps. And when the heater (or in the summer - the a/c) kicks on she lays on her back and lets the vent blow on her as she snores. Yes, my cat snores. Loudly. She is very independent and likes her time alone to think about the world (our house) and what might be beyond its boarders (the outside).

Eloise does not get hung up on life's woes. She does not worry that she is over weight. She laughs at the thought of high cholesterol or high blood pressure. She does not worry that sometimes her ass smells like shit... Ella feels that if she cleans what she can reach that is good enough.


Eloise knows that just by being sweet, she has done a good job of being a house cat. She knows when someone in the house is sad and she will come over and sit on them to make them feel a little better. She knows when someone needs to snuggle. And she knows that by sitting on someone's face in the morning is a very effective way of getting them out of bed to fill the bowls with food and water.

Life is truly good when you are a full figured kitty living in a home. And people who adopt animals that are fully grown are loved even more... because grown animals remember their time in the pound.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Purging.

I am trying to get rid of my CD collection... not all - just half of what I currently have. Although it is fun to see people's reaction when they come to my house and see all of the shelves of CDs and records, I have come to the time when I need to purge some. Well purge a lot. My goal is to get under 2,000 CDs... preferably under 1,500 but I am not sure that will be possible. I like my music. I like that people can look around and find the album they love the most, and probably the one album that makes them sick (for most people they get sick around the Spice Girls for some reason). Since I have come to the point where I am starting to sell CDs to some of the local record stores... I keep reminding myself of why I am doing this (it's sort of a mantra I mmble to myself).

1. 1,500 CDs is more than enough... really. How many people actually have more than 1,000? More than 500?

2. Since I obtained a large percentage of these for free after working in the record industry for so many years, it's not like I am losing money?

3. I have already narrowed my collection down in the past year by more than 2,000... so why stop?

4. I can use the money that I get to pay debt!

5. As the more time goes by I'll be able to get less and less money for CDs.

6. I can always rip some of the albums to MP3s before I sell them just in case I want to listen to it in the future.

7. I'm not selling my vinyl.

So if you live in Chicago... support Reckless Records since they are the ones that are buying most of my CDs. This weekend I'll be taking another couple of bags over there... I just might be getting rid of your favorite, or your least favorite CD.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fast Forward.

I wish I could fast forward time to November 2008. I am already so sick of the presidential election race... and the big vote is not for 21 months. Ug. And the really ugly mudslinging has not even started.

Gee politics... what fun.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Goodbye Anna.

I don't mean to be rude or insensitive... but who didn't see this coming? Anna Nicole Smith's life was a train wreck. It sad when anyone dies, especially when they are young - and 39 is definitely young... but it seemed like she was surrounded by shady people. Goodbye Anna.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Crap Your Pants And Say...

I am not a music critic, and so I don't use 5 of 9er to pretend to be one. But once in a while I like to write about something I've heard that is so good... or not so good. Today is the latter.

The new record by indie rock flavors-of-2006 Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah should be titled "Crap Your Pants And Say Yeah This Record Completely Blows." Really. It's awful. And a big booo to Pitchfork for giving it a good review... if this album was on a major label they would of panned it. This record is almost unlistenable.

I am fan of the first self-released CYHASY album which sold over 100,000 copies (wow!). I fully understand that some people could not get into the singer's voice, but the music was so catchy and just an all around fun listen. It was something that most people felt like they discovered for themselves and not because of an onslaught of advertising.

But... the new album lacks one very important element: Catchy Music. So what is left? A full album of an annoying voice. Terrible. A big boo. Maybe they should of signed to a label and spent more time writing good songs.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Kenny & Me.

This is what I looked like on my walk to work this morning.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Negative Nine Reflections.

The temperature this morning for my walk to work was a bone chilling -9, with an eye icing -30 windchill. Since my iPod does not seem to work below 15 degrees I had 30 minutes to reflect on the disappointing Bears' loss in Super Bowl XLI yesterday. I really only have three things to say about the end result...

1. The Bears had a great season.
2. There is always next year.
3. Spring Training starts in 9 days!!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Go Bears!!!

Let's Go Bears!!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Let's Go Bears!!!

The Chicago Sun-Times had it right this morning with this great photo.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!!

Punxsutawney, It's Cold Outside!

Happy Groundhogs Day All! So Spring is right around the corner... uh, tell that to my frozen toes (and I am wearing double socks today). But I will admit I love Groundhog's Day. It's just a fun tradition in the middle of the winter... and I am a sucker for the very repetitive movie as well.

I wish Al Gore was making a trip to Chicago this weekend... that would be classic. I'd love to see Al trying to stand outside in the -10 degrees with -30 windchill trying to talk about global warming... trying to talk at all. His mouth would start to freeze just like Clark W Griswold's. This is the coldest February in Chicago in 30 years. I hope Punxsutawney Phil is right this year!

* Poor Punxsutawney Phil is only right 38% of the time.
* I do believe there is something strange about the world's climate these days, but I just like to poke fun at Al.