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)!