Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favorite Albums of 2008.

Year 2008 is almost finished (a few hours left)... 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 New Order and Robyn Hitchcock reissues. Again, like 2007, 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.

This past year I started spending time with many records that I listened to ten years ago (my twenties)... like Velocity Girl, Eggs, Superchunck, Fastbacks, Lois, Further, The Singles Soundtrack, Henry's Dress, Love Battery - you know, 90's indie rock. I had forgotten about so many amazing records that use to be the center of my life. Sure some had poorly dated, but even those were enjoyable to listen to and remember my life without the stress of the daily grind. But we cannot live in the past... so here is hoping 2009 bring some off the top music to our ears!

My Favorite Albums of 2008...
1. Primal Scream "Beautiful Future" (b-unique)
2. Frightened Rabbit "Midnight Organ Fight" (fat cat)
3. Parts And Labor "Receivers" (jagjaguwar)
4. Jamie Lidell "Jim" (warp)
5. Lindstrom "Where You Go I Go" (smalltown)
6. GZA/Genius "Pro-Tools" (babygrande)
7. Mates of State "Re-Arrange Us" (basuk)
8. The Dodos "Visiter" (frenchkiss)
9. No Age "Nouns" (sub pop)
10. Hercules and Love Affair "Hercules and Love Affair" (dfa/mute)

and the +10:
Black Mountain "In The Future" (jagjaguwar)
Cool Kids "The Bake Sale" (chocolate industries)
Dutchess & The Duke "She's The Dutches, He's The Duke" (hardly art)
Gutter Twins "Saturnalia" (sup pop)
Harvey Milk "Life... The Best Game In Town" (hydra head)
James "Hey Ma" (mercury)
Lodger "Life Is Sweet" (slumberland)
Q-Tip "The Renaissance" (motown/universal)
Royal We "The Royal We" (domino)
Stereolab "Chemical Chords" (4ad)

....yes, I still loved Q-Tip, Kanye West, Anthony Hamilton, Jazzanova, She & Him, School of Seven Bells, Spiritualized, Mudhoney, The Roots, Neil Halstead, Blitzen Trapper, Crystal Stilts, The Duke Spirit, and tons and tons of others - but they all just cannot fit.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flying Solo (Update).

We made it! We both survived. And I am very proud of myself. No, Miles did not sleep the entire time. I am ready to be Mr. Mom... I think.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Flying Solo.

So today will mark my first time of flying solo... meaning it's just me and Miles in the house. LP is going to her work's Christmas lunch, so she'll be gone for three hours. Now I've gone solo for an hour or so a couple time - but never for three hours. Hopefully we survive!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A New Blog?

I've been toying with the idea of starting a new blog. I don't intend to ever stop this one, even though lately I've been too busy to post. I am trying to decide if it is the right thing to start a blog just for my unemployment time. A daily entry to note what I need to do, or what I accomplished, or something significant about being unemployed that day. It might not be the best reading, but it might be a good healthy was to express myself during a trying time. I'll have plenty of other things to write about on this site... I'll be an unemployed-going-broke-stay-a-home-dad... that has to make for some good posts.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Missing The Office.

The end of this year makrs the end of my job. There is so much to write about that, but not now. I go through so many feelings about being let go after nine years. I guess it would be easier to be fired because I did something wrong, but being laid off because I cost the company too much money (since I bring in the most) does not sit well with me. And no... I do not make a lot to start with. Maybe I am just frustrated since I cannot find a new job.

Today my post is about missing the office. This last month of employment for me is being spent at home since the lease to my office space in Chicago was up at the end of November. The company I shared space moved out too so there was no way to stay just one more month. I am not the kind of person who works well at home... I am too distracted, but I am trying the best I can for this month.

Every time I sit down at my desk at home I am reminded of what a great office I belonged to in Chicago. I did not work for the company I shared space with, but they treated me like one of the gang each and every day. We goofed on each other quite often, and simultaneously everyone seemed to get their work done. I came in early and they worked late. It just seemed to work well. On days with extra time I would perfect my David Lee Roth kicks in front of them. That seemed to be a hit. I played my music a tad bit too loud. I constantly complained on how messy they were, and how they always stunk up the bathroom. Now I almost miss those stinky days... almost. They were a good group of people who I miss seeing each week day.

We all move on, but I will still be friends with them. I guess I was just hoping when I left that work place I would be moving on to something new and better... not unemployment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TV.

I know I have not posted in a long long time, but having a new born at home seems to keep my free time to a minimum. I do keep thinking of things to write about, just never seem to get to the computer to type away. Not even sure how long this will be.

This post is about a television. LP & I have an eight year old 20" tube television that has seen better days. The biggest issue is in the winter when it's cold outside it starts to lose the picture. Now I am not Mr. I-Have-To-Have-The-Biggest-TV-Mounted-On-My-Wall, but I would love to have something that will show the picture all winter long. So we've been saving our pennies to buy some kind of 26" LCD, something cheap - but an improvement. It's been hard to think about spending money on a television when in twenty days I will be unemployed, but it is something we do use and we would not be putting this on a credit card.

Well to my surprise yesterday the UPS man dropped off a new television. I was shocked. I was speechless. I asked LP how much she spent, in which she smiled and said "Nothing." She informed me that my family all chipped in and bought us a new TV... something my brother put together for us. See our family does not really exchange Christmas gifts - in fact this year we are making things for each other and keeping it under $20. So this was truly a shock to me. I still cannot seem to believe it. They thought so much of us to buy a television for our house. They bought us a TV! A TV!

So after putting it together LP and I watched the original Star Wars because we thought it would be cool on a big television, and it was. Then I stayed up most of the rest of the night watching my favorite chick flicks in true 9er fashion.

I might not have a new job yet, but I am reminded that I have a truly wonderful family. Sure I knew this before the TV arrived, but now I cannot ever forget it - there is a reminder that takes up a large chunk of our front room.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three weeks.

Today mark three weeks since Miles was born. I have never felt comfortable with babies, so there was lot to learn to get my confidence up. Sure LP and I took classes before Miles popped out, but it is so much different when you have a crying baby in your arms.

Today I am sharing a list of things I have learned in the past three weeks:

1. Changing diapers is not so bad, actually I've gotten pretty good at it.
2. Sleep... I think I remember what sleep was. I know LP does not remember what sleep was.
3. Having a baby means you run lots of errands. Lots of errands. Thankfully gas prices have gone down.
4. Most people we see in public make some kind of comment like "Oh, how cute" when they see Miles... so I assume they must do this for all babies. It gives you a good feeling as a parent.
5. Miles gets the hiccups quite often.
6. Our cats like Miles, until this morning when Miles accidentally hit Georgia in the face.
7. It still has not hit me that I'm a dad... not sure if I am supposed to magically feel some difference.
8. The worst feeling I think I have ever experienced is when Miles is crying nonstop and I cannot seem to make him happy.
9. Riding in the car calms baby down. Even better, put on some Ghostface Killah or GZA and he'll be sleeping in minutes.
10. It's all totally worth it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Miles.

Today at 5pm my son Miles was born. I'm officially a dad, and LP now can see the baby sheep that has been in her tummy for all that time.  I cannot even begin to explain how I feel... but it is best feeling I have ever felt.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Catching Up. Tank Girl.

It seems like I am playing catch up on all the pop culture movies I have missed in the past twenty years. Last night's flick was 1995's big screen gem "Tank Girl." Two words: AW FUL. I know... that's one word, but the movie was so bad I really need to make the point and break it into two.  Why was this movie popular?  Was 1995 that bad that we thought this was good?  Or was 1995 so exciting that no one went to the movies?  I just do not understand the popularity of this movie.

Yes... I have seen"Howard the Duck" so that will not be written about.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend At Bernie's.

I have a confession.  I have never seen the movie "Weekend At Bernies" - until this weekend.  Yep.  I knew all about the movie, but just never sat down and watched it.  So Sunday afternoon (after the Bear's game) I plopped in from of the TV and watched it.  It's not so good.  But it reminds me so much of 1989 (the fashion... or lack of it).

I see there is a sequel.  Hmmmm....

Friday, October 17, 2008

iwrestledabearonce.

Thanks to my pal Jason and iwrestledabearonce for my favorite new t-shirt! ...And the show at the Beat Kitchen was an over the top great time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Beginning and The End.

Since LP has been pregnant I have had so many thoughts about life. More so how life ends. Sure, I went through my goth phase in the 80's listening only to The Cure, Diamanda Galas, Sisters of Mercy, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, and Bauhaus... and wearing lots of black and knowing that no one really understood the inner me. But now in my thirties I have found myself really thinking about what a moving part of life that birth is, and also death. Both parts happen to all of us.

We all have our own thoughts, beliefs, faiths about the end. But put that all aside and really think about it. If you spend way too much time trying to grab hold of the idea that life is really short, even if you live to 100, you will see that a good chunk of us do nothing with our lives. Nothing. We grow up. We get a job. And then we work, go home, eat, sleep, see a movie, etc. We don't push ourselves. Or we push ourselves so much we forget to enjoy what we are doing.

LP's grandfather passed away this morning and it sparked more of this thinking about how life is really short and how we should all get more out of it. How much time we waste that we could be spending to become better people... we could help those who are in need. LP's grandfather was a great man. He was a soldier in WWII. He was a die hard St Louis Cardinals fan. He loved his family, and could tell a great story. He was completely welcoming of me and treated me as family from day one.

Sure, I'm just rambling - but these are things we can all think about. Life is short. It really is.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Otis.

My brother's kitty Otis died yesterday. It was not expected... and the little furball left us way too early. It's a complete bummer.

When animals in our lives pass on it shocks most of us how much it effects us. They are the constants in our lives, but sometimes we can forget about what kind of bond there is with our pets. Life just does not seem the same when they leave us.

The world is a lot less fluffy without Otis in it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Waiting.

Lately I seem to be surrounded by waiting. Waiting for baby to arrive. Waiting to hear from companies I've applied for jobs with. Waiting for the final day of my job to come, or a miracle to happen so I will not get laid off. Waiting for my Mac to get fixed. Waiting for LP's grandpa to get better. Waiting for the leaves to turn. Just lots of waiting.

I guess I need to look at what I am doing with my time when waiting. Am I sitting around wasting time and not being productive? Could I be getting more done? Am I using my time well? Am I using my time?

Guess we'll wait and see.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obituaries. Pinot.

I have always read the daily newspaper. Where ever I lived. I picked it up from my father starting with the comics at an early age, and sealed it by my time as a paperboy. There is something about starting my day by flipping through the paper. In this day of immediate breaking news on the television and online I turn to the paper for other stories, or more in-depth looks at stories. And starting a few years ago I tended to read the obituaries first.

I am not a morbid person, but I often find the most fascinating stories about people in the obituary section. Most of the people I've never heard of, and some I just knew the name. For example, this morning one of the obituaries was on David Lett. I knew his legacy, I knew his winery, but I honestly did not know the name behind it. After living in Portland and being exposed to so many bottles of amazing pinots LP and I learned much about what we loved about pinots, but I never recall hearing the story of David Lett.

A couple weeks ago the Chicago Tribune change the look of the paper, a complete overhaul. The paper now looks more like the USA Today. Sad. The one change they did make that I like is the obituaries are also called Legacies. This seems to be such a nice fit since these stories have so much life to them.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn.

Last Monday around 10:45am the offical start of Autumn arrived. My favorite three months of the year.  On chilly morning bike rides I always see people in shorts still gripping on to summer, and then those bundled up in so many layers getting ready to fight off winter.  Halloween.  Thanksgiving.  The World Series.  My birthday.  There just seems to be a calm in the air that beds under the excitement of the Fall.  Even when the economy is falling apart...  Even when my job is coming to an end... There is this calm that seems so comforting.  Time to pull out the hoodies and long sleeved shirts.  Time to make sure the umbrellas work.  Time to start thinking about those year end Top Ten lists.

This Autumn will be like none other.  This October will like none other.  Baby is on his way.  We are at the any day point... although the due date is not for another ten days.  I'm ready for a life change.  I am ready for a new challenge.  I am ready to make lots of sacrifices.  I know I might have to get another job to make ends meet... and I might have to get two jobs when I get laid off at the end of the year.  It's alright.

I've spent so much of my life doing what I want.  I worked to get what I needed, or at least thought I needed.  Sure, being married changed that way of thinking - but I am ready to give more.  I understand it will be like nothing I have ever faced... and even though we do not have family anywhere near us, LP and I have some of the best friends in Chicago that have become our family.  We are not alone.  We are far better off than so many people.

Here's to the end of a perfect Summer... and here's to the Autumn to come.  Here's to shedding some of the selfishness.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Water.

Yesterday when I got home the water to our house was off.  The city has been doing construction on our street for a few weeks now replacing some huge pipe that runs the length of the block (now that's technical talk).  There has been a couple afternoons the water has been shut off, but they usually give us a day's notice.

I went to the front door to check for a notice on our front door, but there was not one.  When I looked outside I saw no workers.  Hmmm... this was not good.  The workers usually turn the water back on before they go home.  I called the city's 311 and the Department of Water got back to me in an hour or so.  The response was something like this, "Well someone must of screwed up.  Just hang in there and we'll get your water back on by 3pm tomorrow."  Tomorrow?

No water?  No flushing the toilet?  No brushing the teeth?  No shower?  No doing laundry, which I was really hoping to do?  No letting the cat drink from the the bathroom faucet? Let me tell you... you don't miss it until it's gone.  

I am a little ripe this morning.  A worker knocked on the door around 7am and said our water should be working, so they are going to have to to dig up the street again.  I am planning on washing my face and brushing my teeth at work so I don't look like complete hell.  Hope the water in on when I get home tonight.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rain.

I went to the top of the Sears Tower yesterday afternoon. It rained.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Update.

Since the baby is only weeks away I am preparing all of my readers for fatherhood... meaning I will not be posting every day.  So now that you are use to me not posting every day (not even every week), here is what I've been up to.

1. Baby classes.
Lots and lots of baby classes.  Classes about labor, c-sections, diapers, breast feeding, finding a pediatrician, infant CPR, and a tour of the hospital.  I must admit they've been extremely fascinating.  I've learned a lot, and only been grossed out a couple times.  The breast feeding class had lots of video clips of boobs, but not the arousing kind of boobs.  Oh well.  It amazed me how many men act like the "typical male."  Half of the men did not show to the breast feeding class.  Sure we cannot give milk, but we can support our partners.  One guy read the newspaper through a class.  One guy slept through parts of the main birthing class.  One guy studied his flash cards in one class.  And one guy gave CPR to his doll like he did not give a shit if it lived or died.

2. Ignoring emails.
Not all emails, but Barack Obama sends me way too many emails.  I'm sorry Barack, you got my vote - now just settle down a bit.  I still think Hillary's fans are going to ruin the election just like the Nader supporters did a few years back.  At least I did not give him my texting info.

3. Olympics.
I watched approximately ten minutes total in the past two weeks.  It was exciting.

4. Cherry Wine.
Cherry Ride is back in town and he brought us back some great Northwest wine.  Yum!  Now I just need to let him know we cannot afford to pay him for all of it (just kidding Cherry).

5. Crappy bars.
The Gancer took the Liars out for a night of crappy bars.  The Gancer's post on Rose's Pub was awesome.  The bar... blows.  It smelled like old people.  The reason: it was full of old people.

6. Jobs.
Still looking for a new one.  Getting the run around is the worst, but I am not giving up. The last interview that told me they offered it to someone else (I posted about it) actually posted the job again on Craigslist the following week. WTF?

7. Nursery.
And back to the baby... we finally finished the nursery.  It looks fantastic!  And this also means our guest bedroom is now gone.  We need a bigger place already.

Now I just need to catch up on your blogs...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bummer of a weekend.

As you know (because if you don't, maybe you should be keeping up with current events a little better), this past weekend the world lost two great entertainers.  Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac both passed away way too early.  So I thought today I would share with you my amazing stories about meeting both of these great men.

Isaac Hayes:
It was in the late 1990's (maybe 1999) that I boarded a plane from NYC to Memphis when passing through the first class cabin I spotted Isaac Hayes sitting in one of the seats.  I looked him right in the eye and blurted out, "Black Moses!"  He just smiled at me and replied in his deep soulful voice, "Alright."  I was a little worried the plane would crash since there was someone famous on it, but it didn't.

Bernie Mac:
Okay, I never met the man.  But there was one episode of the Bernie Mac Show where his nephew Jordon tries to get involved with a sport and picks ribbon twirling in gymnastics.  It was an extremely funny episode.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Economy, The Blogging, The Olympics.

It's funny how since the economy has started to tank... more and more bloggers have been posting less and letting readers know they are too busy to write.  So when the economy is going strong are people really not working and blogging instead?  Or is my theory true that most people blog for a year or less and then it just fizzle out? 

Hey today is 08/08/08.  So the Olympics are now underway.  Two words about the Olympics from the Niner:  Don't care.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Interview Frustration.

I went to an interview two weeks ago at a small agency and it went really well. Really well. I was told that I would fit the position and they loved all of the samples of projects I have worked on. When leaving I was also told that they would set up a time for me to come back and meet the owner. Wow, awesome! They told me right there I made it to round two. Usually I have to wait a day or two for that.

I walked out the door and on my way to the El I called LP and told her I would be so bummed not to get the job. This place seemed like a perfect fit for me. I actually could see myself going to work there every morning. And I made it to round two - they told me so. It's not a lock for the job, but it made me feel great.

I never got a call or email to come back. I had to email the contact at the agency to find out where I stood. And we all know if you wait more than a week, the reality of the job being out of reach is pretty high.

I did not get the job. I did not get to round two. I did get a "I’ll definitely keep your resume on file" which means absolutely nothing since this place has one person in this role and will not be hiring again any time soon. They are a very small agency.

Tip for interviewers out there: Don't say things you do not mean... even if you want me to feel good. It sucks.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

10 Untrue Things About Niner.

1. I have one leg.
2. I would rather take an elevator than an escalator.
3. I'm Cherry Ride.
4. There is You Tube footage of me doing a six foot bong rip while jumping out of an airplane.
5. I'm pulling for the Cubs.
6. I love Bright Eyes so much that when I listen to their music I cry. Very emo.
7. I was so into being a Boy Scout I made Eagle.
8. I've never quit anything (see #7).
9. I am so anxious and excited to attend my 20th high school reunion.
10. I'd pick Superman over Batman any day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

10 More Things You Might Not Know About Niner.

1. I've always wanted to live in a lighthouse. How awesome would that be!? You go to a party and drop "Yeah, I live in a lighthouse." That's as cool as putting out oil fires [Taxi reference] for a living.
2. I was so excited to move away from home, but often like the idea of moving back. Although Chicago is nearly perfect.
3. Painting rooms is one of the most frustrating things for me.
4. I have a potty mouth, especially lately (often when painting rooms).
5. I have never been a fan of the movie Scarface. Does this mean I'm not a dude?
6. Last night was the first time in my life that I heard tornado sirens go off during a monstrous thunderstorm.  I have come to the conclusion that I am not a fan of hanging out in the basement with no electricity waiting for a storm to pass.
7. I sometimes get freaked about about dying.
8. I once had surgery for compartment syndrome and when my legs hurt worry it might come back.
9. I like to listening to jazz, but prefer listening to jazz on vinyl records since I'm a snob.
10. I hope I can be half the dad my father is/was to me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

10 Things You Might Not Know About Niner.

1. I am not good at swallowing pills of any size.
2. I saw Mama Mia! (the movie) this weekend and loved it.
3. I still have not seen the Dark Night.
4. I actually said on Sunday morning, "I can't wait for Gossip Girl to start. I miss it."
5. I've been going to the gym. Really.
6. I've been on three interviews in the past two weeks, plus a couple phone interviews. Not sure where this will lead, but at least I am getting interviews.
7. Seeing LP's tummy getting bigger and bigger makes me laugh (in a good way).
8. Work has been so busy that it is eating way into my blogging time (which you may have noticed).
9. I missed both playoff games for our softball team.
10. I really think this Liar's Club thing is a cult... they tell me I'm not allowed to leave.

Note: I'll find time to catch up on your blogs... really I will.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pitchfork: Signs I Might Be Getting Old.

Sebadoh performing Bubble And Scrape.

This past weekend in Chicago was the Pitchfork Music Festival. Three days of mostly indie rock for the great price of $65 (unlike Lollapalooza which is $215 for 3 days). It was a good time for most, but I did realize I might be getting old. Here is some proof:

1. Did not stay to the end of of the show Friday night. Friday night was just three bands (Mission of Burma, Sebadoh, Public Enemy) and ended at 10pm. I was kind of tired. And LP's feet were swelling up.
2. Since it rained all Friday night and Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon I decided that I would just skip all of day number two. I did not want to deal with mud and humidity.
3. On Sunday I made it through five songs of Apples in Stereo (who were fantastic) before I needed to get out of the sun and find some water.
4. I was sweating so much I looked like an old man.
5. When seeing person after person in New Wave fashion I kept saying "I lived through that once already."
6. I left early on Sunday too missing the three headliners.
7. I think I was most excited about getting a couple $5 off coupons for Whole Foods.

Highlights:  Mission of Burma, Apples in Stereo, King Kahn, Les Savy Fav, The Dodos.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Have You Seen The Niner?

I am alive.  Those White Castles did not kill me, but I did eat 15 of them.  I could of sworn it was a contest (why else buy the W.C.) and when lunch was finished I found out the person in second place only ate ten.

I have not been in a funk, that is not the reason I have been not posting.  My brain has just been so occupied.  I have realized that people get tired of the same old story... and most of my story of late has been the job hunt.  I signed up for LinkedIn to see who knows who in the business world.  Funny how there are people in my life that can't think of anyone who might be able  to help me, but then have fifty people in their network that work for companies I've been looking at.  And I have started looking at jobs in San Francisco - which would be great to move home, but LP and I love Chicago and would rather stay here.

I have just over five months of my job left... so it is more important to spend time finding a new job rather than blogging.  But I am not giving up the posting, just don't think I died if I go a week or so without a post.  This blog does not pay the bills.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Business Lunch.

Mmmmm... nothing like an office lunch on a Friday.  A 30 pack White Castle "Crave Case" will not only kill a small animal... it will give me gas for at least 12 hours.  No, I did not eat all 30.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogger Dream.

Last night I had my first blogger dream.  Yep, my little head spent part of the night dreaming about meeting up with all of these bloggers I "know" at (get ready for it) a (ready?) Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.  It gets better (how could it get worse?).  It was in my high school gymnasium and there was only about 100 people there.  It was fun to meet all of you... thanks for stopping by.

Maybe this is a sign I don't get out enough.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sore.

I love living in the city. In NYC I got to walk by the Flat Iron building almost every day. In Chicago during the summer I get to play softball right by Buckingham Fountain which is tops. Really... how great is it to be at the plate and look up and see Buckingham Fountain to the right, the Sears Tower to the left, and Lake Michigan is one block behind me. Love it.

I usually take the El to the games, but since I've been riding my bike more than usual this summer I thought I would ride the ten miles to the game. By the time I got there I was a little tired since I went fast to be sure I was not late (was was more than an hour early). The game was one of the best my team ever played... so yes, we won. Then being worn out from the game it dawned on me I had to bike home. I tried putting on the new handlebars light I just bought for my bike and I could not get it to work. Grrrrr.  So I just turned on the red back lights and headed off down the bike path by the lake.

Bad idea not to have a front light on the Lake Michigan bike path when it's dark outside. Since I could see very little on parts of the path (especially north of North Ave) my brain thought it was a good idea to ride faster (get home faster since it's only getting dark by the minute). I am sure I was talking to myself because my mouth was open enough that I ate a few hundred bugs (mmmm... dinner).  All went well.  No accidents.  No flats.  Then came Belmont Ave where my legs started cramping.  No fun.  For some reason I could peddle just fine, but whenever I had to stop at a light and take a leg off my peddle it would cramp and I could barely get it back on.  I am sure I was a sight to see.  A sweaty mess yelling at my legs, and to top it off... my jeans ripped in the butt.  Now I knew there was a small hole, but in the process of riding home I my jeans were slowly turning into hot pants.  Hot pants on the Niner... not so hot.

I made it home.  Ate the most random dinner ever.  I saved the environment so much yesterday that I thought I'd save myself by driving my SUV to work today.  Yep, I'm am one sore mess.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

6 Questions.

Today's post is on the ever so awesome [Cherry] Ride. Cherry is starting a new six questions segment, and I was victim number one. I was honored... and then over thought about how to answer the questions. I wanted to be funny and not be lame or douche-y. Hopefully there are few haters out there when it comes to the comments.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bummer.

What a bummer way to start the week...

1. George Carlin dies.
2. The Cubs swept the White Sox this weekend.
3. I did not go to the Taste of Randolph... because I was a cranky bitch. So I missed the Drive-By Truckers and Bobby Bare Jr.
4. I did not go for a bike ride, see good music, or go to the zoo.
5. I forgot my lunch.
6. George Michael keeps popping up on my iTunes player.

But...

1. I did hang out with the Cherry & LP and see Get Smart which was fun. Really. It was.
2. The punker show on Friday ended up being a hoot of a time with some friends.
3. Went for a long walk, not bike ride, with K.i.D. which was good times all around... and we signed up the K.i.D. for the YMCA - so maybe, just maybe I'll finally get off my ass and go.
4. Woke up the morning and received an email notification that my tickets for this Friday's Sox vs Cubs game sold for way too much money! Yea! Going to buy a car seat!

So it was not all bad.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weekend.

Warning: Today's post is boring.  It really goes no where.  It's not funny.  Half way into writing it I almost hit delete.  So if you don't want to read it... don't.  Fun times will be back next week.

This weekend has so much going on in Chicago that it would be sad if on Monday morning I woke up and realized I did nothing... which might just happen since I feel like I've had a lack of good sleep.  Some of the activities I want to partake in:

1. Sox vs Cubs Series.  Since it's on the Northside this weekend I will not be attending.  Next weekend are the Southside games which LP and I will go to.  Both of Chicago's baseball teams are currently in first place so it's going to make for six exciting games over the next week.  The players just see them as any other game, but the fans get so fired up... probably too fired up.  Cubs' fans take it so personally that their team has not won a championship in 100 years... and White Sox fans like to rub it in.  My highlight for this weekend is I get to wear my "Cubs Blow" jersey.  And since my office is five blocks away from Wrigley Field I wore it to work today.  While getting coffee this morning this fortysomething dude game me an evil look.  Love it!

2. Taste of Randolph.  The Liars were planning to meet up at the yearly Randolph Street shin-dig and drink beer, eat funky food on a stick, and see good music (Drive-By Truckers are on Saturday night).  But no - one Liar thinks it would be more fun to go jet ski, and another Liar thinks it would be more fun to hang out with other (non-cyber) friends.  Okay, they both have good points, especially the jet ski.  The best part of the Taste of Randolph is the people watching.  If I go I will bring the camera.

3. Good music.  There are some great shows this weekend (Willie Nelson, Black Angels, Warlocks, Dilated Peoples, Sadies, Meatmen), but I'll end up missing all of that and going to a terrible punk show that I need to attend for my work.  Ug.  At least I can drag some friends with me.

4. Bike Ride. I was hoping LP and I could take a bike ride along the lake this weekend... but with her tummy getting so big it's hard for her to ride a bike.  

5. Brookfield Zoo.  This is one of the few things LP and I have yet to do in the city.  We have gone to the Lincoln Park Zoo many times, but never the Brookfield.  It's one of those places you know will always be there so we can go any time.  And my guess is we will probably be going there a lot more in the upcoming years with the new little bundle of boy.

6. Sleep.  Yep, I want a nap.  Maybe even two.  It's something I always feel guilty about doing, but when you don't take a weekend nap and then wake up on Monday morning you think to yourself... I should of taken a nap.

Enjoy your weekends.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Presents.

Last night at the White Sox game we got baby presents from two ladies that have become part our summer family.  They bought us a little White Sox tee shirt and some White Sox booties.  Too great!  Our baby-to-be is set for the world with White Sox gear and some Giants gear my brother and sister-in-law bought us.

Having partial season tickets has been a blast these past few years.  It has given us the opportunity to meet some good new people (although none have led me to a new job).  From April through September we have this summer family of people we see only at games.  We all share the love of the game of baseball and just being outside.  On days the Sox are winning we pick apart what they could be doing better, and on days they are getting shelled we talk about other things (politics, food, family, names of towns).

Not sure if we'll be able to afford tickets next year... depends on what a new job for me pays - but I highly recommend season tickets (does not have to be the entire season) for anyone who has ever thought about it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Random Cute Kitty Photo Day.

Miss Eloise checking to see if the mail is here.

Instead of writing about my depressing job search or the feelings about becoming a parent in a few months... I am sharing with you all a cute kitty photo.  Why?  Well, I have not posted a new photo of either furry in a while - and instead of typing away I am going to try and play catch up on the many blogs I have not had time to read in the past week.

Note 1: My jeans are rolled down today.
Note 2: Tabby, I cannot access you blog... sadcakes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Huck Finn.

This photo makes my feet look huge.

It's summer time in Chicago... not technically, but it's been warming up so many residents of this fine city have been sporting their shorts and flip flops.  And I have too.  But on the days where shorts are a no-go I often will go with the jeans rolled up.  LP calls it my Huck Finn look which she adds other comments that are in line with: you look like a dork.

This all started when I started riding my bike a lot and rolling up my pants so the chain did not eat them up (it has happened to me a few times).  When I get off my bike I am too lazy to roll them down since I'll just have to roll them back up at some point.  That lead to me just liking my pants rolled up.  Maybe I'm just preparing for a flood, or maybe I just really want to be a dork - but I dig them this way.

Wasn't Huck Finn cool?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On Repeat.

Yesterday when I got home I had plenty to do... so instead of opening a beer and sitting on the couch with the cats to zone out on the television news I got right to work (of course after feeding the meowers). My big task was to disassemble our huge CD shelf and downsize it since we now own less than 1,500 CDs.

Before getting started I loaded the CD player with some music (I knew I'd be too busy to flip records every few minutes) and hit play. The first album was Colin Meloy's new live album which I've found a huge fondness for... a huge surprise since I am so tired of the Decemberists. The CD player got the seventh song (maybe it's the sixth, or eighth) called "Wonder" which a favorite of mine. I know the song is all about having a baby, but yesterday I listened to it in such a new way. The song completely grabbed me. I hit the back button when it was over and listened again. And then again. And then again. And then finally just put the song on repeat and finished the shelves (which look pretty good).

On a day when I found out the my job is gone at the end of the year (possibly sooner) since they are closing my office... and on a day when I did not receive any calls for interviews... and on a day when I am not sure how I can right the situation... and on a day when you put all of this together you would just want to give up and cry - well I got lost in one song by Colin Meloy. I put all of these huge issues aside and just thought about what an amazing happening is going on in LP. How us two are creating a new person. A new person that is going to change both of our lives forever.  And most importantly how I am so lucky to have LP in my life to go through this journey with.

When LP got home I was on the phone talking to my mom and she asked if I was okay since I apparently looked sad. I guess I should have been - but I was not. Not even for a second. I guess I was in wonder. I guess I put the good in front of the bad. Some might say I was not being realistic, or that I was day dreaming or avoiding what needs to be done. That's fine, they can say that. I was proud of myself for taking some time for me to reflect on what is going on in my life, and LP's life. I was in wonder. 

"My darling, what wonder have we wrought here? It’s weird and it’s wonderful dear. An ankle, an earlobe, an elbow bone. It’s weird how it wonderful grows. And it was only me and you that made this three come out of two."
- Colin Meloy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Road Trip: The Highlights.

Here are some highlights from our road trip to Memphis this past weekend.  Since I am still exhausted from the trip I am not posting any pictures so just imagine them in your special little heads.

1. We passed a Cooter twice, and also came very close to meeting a Cleetus.
2. Bought the new Weezer CD and learned only one line of the first song which I sang over and over and over.  LP was ready to shoot me.  It's a really good line.
3. Swimming pools are awesome, especially when it's 98 degrees outside.
4. We spent more than twice as much on gas as we did the first time we made this drive... which was in June 2004.  Remember the good old days?
5. We listened to some amazingly awful political talk radio in Southern Illinois... followed by Rush Limbaugh which was funny (sad) for about five minutes and then we had to turn the station.
6. Very little Peter Cetera on the FM and AM dials this trip.
7. I spent the last two hours of the trip looking out for tornadoes... which never came.  But we did drive by the destruction left from a tornado that hit Monee, IL on Saturday.  That was the closest I have ever been to a tornado (yes, just seeing the wreckage it left).
8. Favorite Quote #1: We are were at a birthday party for LP's grandpa which was held at the hall of a very very conservative church.  One of LP's Great Uncles came over to me and said... "Just remember the bible says that the sinners of the world will be sent of wicked ruler.  And that ruler is George Bush."  I laughed so hard.  Found out he was a die hard democrat.  Classic.
9. Favorite Quote #2:  Heard on the radio... "Even if the Eagles did a reunion show in my backyard I would not attend."  So true.
10. Last night back at home I tried to finish watching the movie Dune (1984) which I have never seen.  I did not make it through half.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Frustration.

With the likelihood of me losing my job becoming more real day by day I am truly at a loss on how to find a new job. I have tried many different angles, but always end up not getting anywhere. Headhunters don't work for me since I want to change industries (because there is no music industry in Chicago). Just applying does not work since I have applied for an average of 3o jobs for the past ten months and not gotten anywhere.

No one wants to think outside the box (even though so many of these companies preach that daily) and take a chance on someone who is a fantastic project manager and would improve any company, firm, or agency. No one wants to even call me up and ask me some questions on the phone. A few have let me know that my background and resume are fantastic... but I have no experience in their industry so they did not need my services. And everyone I know does not have any connections for me landing a new job. None.

I have applied for jobs at ad agencies, pr firms, marketing agencies (all in account services), design firms, non-profits, museums, colleges and universities, beverage companies, and random office manager jobs and assistant jobs.

With no job on the horizon, and baby on the way... I just do not know what to do.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Road Trip.

We are off on another road trip... and should be few hours into by the time this goes live. Off to Memphis for a long weekend to attend our first baby shower.  No matter how many times we do this nine hour drive it never seems to go any faster.  Well, it should be a lot of fun, and also very exhausting.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Politics.

What I heard from the three speeches given last night from the final three candidates.
John McCain:  Uh... I'm change.  And look at my green background!
Hillary Clinton:  Me Me Me. (I'm a sore loser).
Barack Obama:  We are all Americans first and foremost.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hot Dog!!!

We found out this morning we are having a... BOY! A hot dog, not a bun. We would be happy with a boy or a girl, but it's fun to know and share with people. So now you all know. Enjoy!

In case you wanted to see more than a photo of a hot dog.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Boy or Girl?

Tomorrow morning we should find out if there is a boy or girl in LP's tummy.  That is if little Niner or little LP will open their legs.  It's been on my mind all weekend... just getting antsy to know what we are having.  

When it comes down to it, I am happy with either. Really. I don't have this deep desire for one or the other.  A few people have told me that they thought I would want a boy since I am so into baseball - but I'd be happy if my kids are baseball fans, that would be great - but there is no expectation  or hope or dream for them to be a MLB player.  It's been entertaining how many people give us their opinions on what they think the baby will be... and why.  Most people say "it's just a feeling" but some can "tell" based on tons of "theories." It is only a 50/50 guess, so everyone has the same chances of being right.  It is very sweet, and LP has been such a champ... not sure I could deal with that many people touching my belly.

So if we find out tomorrow I'll let you all know... then you can help out with names.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Half Way There.

1. A vacation to the Bahamas! LP and I need to get away.
2. Bay Area! We are moving from the Windy City.
3. A new job for the Niner!
4. Born Again! Because being born once is never enough.
5. Yuma, Arizona will finally get to meet the Niner... because we are going there for a wedding over Labor Day Weekend.

Today marks the half way point... week number 20. Yep, LP is going to have a little Niner or little LP. Next week we'll find out (hopefully, if someone opens their little legs) if it's a little Niner or a little LP. One physician the LP knows asked if we knew yet if we were having a hot dog or a bun. Classic.

So life is going to change... in a major way. We are doing everything we can to prepare for it all with lots of reading, and soon some classes to teach us the 101 of being a parent. Simultaneously we are overjoyed and freaked out. With no family anywhere near us we are going to do this by ourselves. That in itself is going to be a challenge but my parents did it with no family near by. And hopefully by the time he or she pops out I'll have a new job... because it's looking like I won't have my job due to some downsizing (people are downloading, not buying CDs).

So how will we do it? Day by day. One thing at a time. Lots of sacrifice. This is going to be the best change in my life... and I cannot wait. I'll be a Dad.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Big Announcement?

Since my brain is empty when it comes to things to write about today... I will just let you know that tomorrow's entry has a big surprise in it. What could it be?

1. A vacation to the Bahamas! LP and I need to get away.
2. Bay Area! We are moving from the Windy City.
3. A new job for the Niner!
4. Born Again! Because being born once is never enough.
5. Yuma, Arizona will finally get to meet the Niner... because we are going there for a wedding over Labor Day Weekend.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SP20.

Some time this year... not sure the actual date, but some time this year Sub Pop is turning 20 years old. They are throwing a huge party in the Northwest with tons of current bands playing, and some old favorites getting back together to perform for the celebration.

Sup Pop was the label I was most obsessed with during my college years in the mid 90's. The bands they were putting out just never seemed to disappoint me. Many of these records I still own by bands like Seaweed, Codeine, Mudhoney, Eric's Trip, Pond, Hazel, Love Battery, and Velocity Girl. Oh those were the days. I spent more time listening to those tunes over and over, and trying to find all of the 7"s, than I did on my studies. It was what got me excited.

Sub Pop went through a few years in the late 90's and early 2000's which they were putting out lots of releases I could not give a hoot about. It looked like the good days were just about done for the label and then it all started to turn around. In the past couple of years they have been releasing great records once again. In the past few months they have released great albums by the Gutter Twins, Band of Horses, Kelley Stoltz, No Age, Fleet Foxes, Foals, and Helio Sequence.

Maybe I should of studied a little (or a lot) more in college. And maybe I should not of dumped all of my money into 7"s that were $3-$4 each that I listened to a few times and then filed away. But when I look back at my early twentysomething years I know that a big part of that great soundtrack came from Sub Pop.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

File Under: Things I Just Don't Understand.

NASA has been in the news the past couple of days with the touch down of their Phoenix Mars Lander on (where else?) Mars.  NASA has dumped millions of dollars into this amazing high tech space craft which seems to do everything but make Eggs Florentine... and it sends back to Earth a bunch of black & white photos.  Really?  All that money does not guarantee all color images?  Because there is nothing like seeing pictures of the "Red Planet" in black & white.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why Men Are Nasty.

At Tuesday's White Sox game I went into the bathroom to tinkle and the guy standing at the urinal next to me was multitasking:

1. Peeing.
2. Talking on his cell phone (he had one of those Star Trek-y ear set things).
3. Chugging a beer.

Yes, all at the same time. To make it complete... he did not wash his hands. Nasty.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SF: The Overview.

My photo of the sky in California.

I was so needing a break from the daily grind of life... and my trip to San Francisco was the perfect medication. When going to see family there never seems to be a dull moment, and usually I come back to Chicago completely worn out. But it's family, and it's good times. The warm weather did me and LP a whole lot of good. So here is the overview of the trip.

Movies Watched on Flights:
27 Dresses: Not bad. I would like to watch the uncut version some time (you know chick flicks are my favorite).
The Bucket List: Not good. It's nice to watch a movie on a plane where both leads die. Ooops... spoiler alert a little late.

San Francisco Events Attended:
3 Giants' games.

San Francisco Events Not Attended:
Bay to Breakers
Gay Marriage Rallies in the Castro

Favorite Quotes:
"I'll bury you." Said by some 'rioded douche on Crissy Field that could not control his dog... which almost peed on my nephew. My brother told him to get control of his dog. Douche replied that he should cool it and it was just a dog. My brother told him again to get a hold of his dog unless he wanted his dog peed on by my nephew. Then douche let my brother know that he could bury him. What an idiot. Later another dog came by and took a dump on our sandcastle. [Lesson: If you need help being buried, go to Crissy Field.]

"If you're gay and don't do nothin' - then you're a waste-a-gay." Said by some really high dude on the bus ride from ORD to home. He went on to explain that his gay brother lived in San Francisco and at least he did stuff like go on trips to Italy and Spain. So he was doing stuff, so he was not a waste-a-gay. I asked if he would go on the trips with his brother and the response was, "Wut man, are you crazy? I'm not gay!" And then he told one of his buddies on the bus that I (yes, me) was totally gangsta because I went to SF to see the White Sox lose (which they actually won all three games). [Lesson: Gay people need to travel to Italy and Spain or they are not gay. I guess that is their Mecca?]

"Oregon Sucks! That's where the short bus is from." Said by some drunk Giants fan when he found out the White Sox fan he was heckling (very poorly I must add) was not from Chicago, but from Oregon. [Lesson: Who knows.]

Slides I went down:
1. The top slide at AT&T Park.

Slides I missed:
Too many to count.

Highlight:
Biking to the games with my brother through the neighborhoods.

Lowlight:
Having to bike home after the game... uphill.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

SF: The Photos.

Since I am playing catch up today from being out of the house and out of the office... I am just posting some photos from the trip. Tomorrow hopefully will be my post about my trip to SF... it was perfect.
It was straight up hot for the first couple of days on the trip to the Bay Area... but it felt great. Chicago has been stuck in the 60's lately, so the sun and warmth did the body good.

There were no clouds in the sky... just a perfect blue that made the photos turn out great. I used to climb this tree when I was a kid.

We found time to go to Crissy Field and sit in the sand for a couple hours. Some of the dog owners there are kind of lame... and one was a complete tool.

There are five slides in the outfield at AT&T Park... I had to go down one of them. My friend LJ and I were the only people in line without kids. It was a blast.

LP & I in the sun... I always have a double chin in photos. Not sure how to get rid of them. It bothers me.

If you ever wanted to know what the back of Niner's ear looks like... well wonder no more.

My pal LJ came down from PDX to hang out and see three days of baseball with me and my brother.

There is this shop in the Castro called Hot Cookie. We had a fun time making fun of it, until we walked passed it to realize it actually sold cookies. Mmmmm... cookies.

This is my four year old nephew's blanket... or what's left of it. It's straight up nasty.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Good & The Bad, Volume 23.

Last night was game one of a new softball season. The rains that were forcasted held off until the final out (which was called off early because of darkness) and we won. We not FredSox this year... the new team name is Monkey Knife Fight. Why? I could not tell you. I just wear the uniform and play. The team has a few new members and at the end of the game I found out one of them works for an ad agency. Not sure about all of the details... but in the next few weeks I'll make sure to. Maybe this is my break to finding a new job? And then, maybe not. You never know. It's something that gives me hope. I need hope these days.

I also need a vacation... so LP and I are on a plane today to San Francisco. It's a trip to see the family. And as an added bonus, the White Sox are playing the Giants so three more baseball games for me! It feels like forever since I've been to SF so I am really looking forward to it.

All of this is so awesome... that something had to spoil it. Right? When I was walking up the stairs of the L station last night I pulled my back. Not sure how exactly, but I can tell you it sucks. I seem to do this at the beginning of each softball season, but this one is the worst. And joy, I get to sit for more than four hours on a plane today.

Friday, May 09, 2008

MIT RIP Sniff Sniff.

Once again I am doomed and disappointed. Add one more show to the long long list of shows I got into at the beginning that did not make it to season three. ABC pulled the plug on one of my current favorite television shows... Men In Trees. Damn you ABC! You have this absolutely fantastic little show that is near perfect in character development and a perfect blend of comedy and drama (dramadie) and you go a give it that axe. And yet you have the time and money to bring back a new season of The Bachelorette?

The Chicago Tribune writer Maureen Ryan hit it right on the nose in her column: "Good ensemble dramadies are not easily created, and 'Men In Trees' has more heart and earnest insight than most."

As Queen Recken would say... Sadcakes. And sadcakes indeed since there are only three episodes left.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Almost Celebrity Sighting.

I really do not have time to write today... so this will be short.  This morning on my walk to work I saw Rachael Ray walk out of the Southport Grocery (it's a place to eat).  Since I have not had a celebrity sighting in a while I was excited.  She was walking down the street with some lady and I was right behind them.  I got my camera phone all ready and when we got to the corner I snap the photo when she turned around.

1. The photo did not come out it was so blurry it could be anyone (no, it's not the one above).
2. It was not Rachael Ray... it was just some lady who thought I was a creep taking her photo.

Oh joy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mandals & Jorts.

It's that time of the year... the weather has been warming up so out come the skirts, shorts, flipflops, grills, and good times.  And sadly also comes the not so good... bee stings, sun burns, mandals, and jorts.  

Why oh why do jorts (jean shorts - especially with pleats) and mandals (man sandals - especially with socks) exist?  We are talking about men's fashion here since women have good choices of sandals (hopefully without socks) and cutoff jean shorts can sometimes look good.  It is too often in the summertime I see a man in pleated jorts and mandals with socks.  Who is looking after this poor guy?  Doesn't he have anyone in his life to let him know he is killing people with his lack of fashion?

This summer's goal: take pictures of men in mandals & jorts and post photos.  Then study them all and come up with a good Halloween costume.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Rubber Band Ball.

On my desk at work I have a rubber band ball. It's about the size of a softball. It was given to me by a former co-worker in the Portland office. I did watch her start it... so I know it's all rubber bands (not a baseball covered in a few layers of rubber bands). And no, it's not all colorful like the one that is pictured above.

I have not added much to it in the past four years, but lately I've it's been on my mind. I have for some reason been thinking that I need to add to this ball. Why? No clue, just seems like something that needs to be done. I refuse to buy rubber bands... I just wait for them to arrive to add on. The only good source of rubber bands for me is the US mail since our mail is often bundled. This is all good and fine... but I've found myself in the past week picking up a few random rubber bands off the ground on my walk to work.

What am I thinking? When did I become a scrounge?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Politics.

Last night when I was driving to pick up LP from class I was stopped at a red light on Ashland and found the scene quite amusing, or maybe sad. The car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read "No Blood for Oil." The corner we were stopped at had a gas station where the price of gas was $4.05 per gallon (for regular gas, not mid-grade or high-grade).

Now I'm not one to wear my politics on my sleeve, or on the bumper of my car... but I could not help but laugh. President Bush just might go down as the worst President of all time. Sure our Congress right now has the worst approval rating of our time, but that war for oil worked out really well didn't it?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mohawks.

When did mohawks become socially acceptable?  I know the fux-hawks thing have been in with the douche bag (frat boy) crowd for the past year or so, but I have noticed lots of real hawks (shaved on the sides) lately on all types of guys.  From tweeners to twentysomethings, dudes are sporting mohawks along with their popped collars and plaid shorts.

What is going on?  What are the punkers supposed to do?

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Bummer of a Ballgame.

A couple weeks ago one of my clients in NYC bought me tickets to Sunday's White Sox game... just for being great at my job. It was a great surprise to get the tickets and what even meant more was that my client actually listens to me... knows that I am a Sox fan (not Cubs), and I have weekday season tickets - so a Sunday game would be perfect.

Sunday's game was anything but perfect. I could not find anyone to go with me since most of my friends were out of town or busy that day and LP had to study. I did find one person to go with... and he flaked. I thought of calling Classy, but it was Sunday morning and very last minute so I decided to go myself instead of being denied again. And then a these series of events happened:

1. The Belmont bus never came so I walked the 1.5 miles to the Red Line. Waited forever for the L so I was late to the game.
2. When I finally got into the stadium I got to my section and just as I was about to walk down to the seat the White Sox hit a home run right where my seat was. Crap!
3. I walked down and saw that it was really packed in the section so I opted to sit in a less crowded section... I did not want it to be too obvious I was by myself.
4. I waited and waited for a hot dog vendor and none ever came. Crap!
5. I then decided after a while to get up and go get a hot dog and beer. I got back and sat down and then they announced that my section and row (where I was supposed to be sitting) won free ice cream. They had already handed them out before the announcement so was S.O.L. Crap!
6. It was the bottom of the 6th inning and I was needing to tinkle so I walked to the restroom and when going back to my seat another home run was hit to the section where I was supposed to be. Grrrrrr.


What a bummer. And at this point I was grumpy and just wanted to go home. So I did. I never leave games early, but at the same time I have never been one to do things on my own. The past few years I have learned to test the waters on being a loner (shows, movies, baseball games). It was all going fine until yesterday's game... and the White Sox won. I think I am officially done being a loner.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Someone Is Going to Kill My Boss (not me).

Hello all. Work has been so busy, and the job search has been so dead that when I get home at night I have little energy to look at the computer (blogging, facebooking, emailing)... so that is why I've been M.I.A. this week. Work being busy is a good thing because that means I'll keep my job for a little longer. The job search going nowhere has finally made me sad. I don't let things get to me, but LP has noticed all week. I feel a little defeated and a little lost. All you readers give me great inspiration, and that really helps - but when it comes down to it, it's almost been a year that I've been really applying to myself to find a new job in a new industry.

I don't want to go on and on about job crap... so I will show you this. My boss got the creepiest spam of all time. I never open my spam so maybe I got it too, but we'll never know. I just wish creepy spammers would spell check.


-----Original Message-----
From: UNKNOW [
mailto:bulletin@??????????.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 8:55 PM
Subject: Matter Of Urgent
Hello
Is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soonasyoudon'tcomply. As you can see there is no need of introducing myself to youbecause I don't have any business with you, my duty a Iam mailing younow is just to KILL you and I have to do it as Ihave already beenpaid for that.
Someone you call a friend wants you Dead by all means, andthepersonhavespent a lot of money on this, the person also came tousand tol me thathe wanted you dead and he provided us with your name,pictureand other necessary information's we needed about you. So I sent my boysto track you down and they have carried out the necessaryinvestigationneeded for the operation on you, and they have done that but I toldthem not to kill you that I will like to contact you andsee if your lif is Important to you or not since their findings shows that you are innocent.
I called my client back and ask him of your email address which Ididn't tell him what I wanted to do with it and he gave it to me andIamusing it to contact you now. As I am writing to you now my menaremonitoring you and they are telling me everything about you.
Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? As someone has paid us to killyou.Getback to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to spar your life,$5,000 is all you need to spend You will first of all pay $2,000 then I will send a tape to you which i recorded everydiscusion ihade with the person who wanted you dead and as soon asyou get thetape, you willpay the remaining $3,000. If you are notready for my help, then I will carry on with my job traight-up.
WARNING: DO NOT THINK OF CONTACTING THE POLICE OR EVENTELLINGANYONEBECAUSE I WILL KNOW.REMEMBER, SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU VERY WELL WANT YOUDEAD! I WILL EXTEND IT TO YOUR FAMILY, INCASE INOTICESOMETHING FUNNY. DO NOT COME OUT ONCE IT IS 7:PM UNTIL I MAKE OUT TIME TO SEE YOUANGIVE YOU THE TAPE OF MY DISCUSSION WITH THE PERSON WHO WANT YOUDEAD THENYOU CAN USE IT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION. GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOURREPLY

Monday, April 21, 2008

Need A Wingman.

Sunday evening LP and I had one of our good good (yes, two goods) friends over for dinner. We were checking in with her love life (because that what marrieds do to singles) and how her online dating is going. She filled us in that it was a little rough mainly because her description of herself on paper did not do her justice. She is a total catch if you met her out and about with a group of friends... but that does not come across in a written description. What she might need is someone to introduce her to some great guys.

A light went on in my head (ding!). That is my problem with applying for jobs. I am totally awesome and kick ass at my job and might be the best project manager in the world... and I am super fun to work with. That does NOT come across in my cover letter and resume. If people would call my references they would be sold, but that is not done until the end of the hiring process. What I need is someone on the inside to know me and my awesomeness and get me in the door.

We both need a Wingman... Wingwoman... Wingsomething. Or we both need to be better writers (which I think we both do a good job of). How can we go to the next level without showing off our personalities? Maybe we should go out together and I'll find her dudes to date and she'll find me dudes or ladies to work for/with.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Week(end).

Since I have no brilliant ideas to post about... and cannot leave my loyal readers to spend the weekend waiting for Monday's post, I decided to give you a recap of my exciting week.

The Good:
1. It was sunny and warm this week. Chicago saw temperatures in the 70's for the first time since last October. No shorts yet, but no winter coat! [Starting off by talking about the weather - am I getting old?]
2. I skipped worked Tuesday to go to a White Sox game with my T1 friend SV. Sox won! We saw a great fight in the bleachers.
3. I skateboarded to work three times this week.
4. A client of mine in NYC sent me a thank you email to me this morning telling me what a great part of their business I am. They also sent me two tickets to a White Sox game next weekend! How awesome is that!
5. I started playing on-line Scrabble on Facebook with K.i.D.

The Bad:
1. I spilled something on my clothes every day of this week.
2. I got a sunburn on one side of my face at the Sox game.
3. I slammed hard on my board in front of group of Cubs fans.
4. Applied to a slew of new jobs... and heard nothing. How can I be so awesome at my job... and no one else will give me the time of day.
5. I suck at Scrabble... on-line or on a board.

The Weekend:
1. I hope to go see that Sarah Marshall movie... it looks like a Niner type of movie.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hive Five.

Did you know today is National High Five Day? Well that is what I read in the paper this morning, so it must be true. High fives to all of you... unless you are lame, then no high five just an evil stare. [Think about a real awful evil stare]

My high five story (since we all have a few high five stories in our arsenal) took places many many moons ago when little Niner was a Senior in High School. Pimply faced Niner went to the Senior Prom with his best girlfriend (not smoochy girl friend, just a friend, really). We went and had a hoot of a time. I did some awesome Kid 'n' Play dance moves... and what made them awesome was that I was both Kid AND Play. The next morning a walked into the kitchen and my mother started asking a million questions about the night. My brother was there too, but I don't remember why since he was not living at home during that time (he is older than me). My mother then asked if I kissed my date goodnight, and I replied that I gave her the high five.

WHAMO!

The look on my mother's face was priceless. It was complete shock and horror. See she thought "high five" was code for something dirty. Like "hey babe wanna get the high five on (think dirty things)." So my brother and I had to quickly demonstrate what a high five was. She was relieved.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fakebook (not the Yo La Tengo album).

This weekend I became lame.  And for those of you who feel I was already there... well, I became lame-r.  I joined Facebook.  I can't stand MySpace and Facebook.  I deleted my MySpace page months ago.  I even wrote a post about completely stupid it all is, and yet I joined.

Why?

I have read in a few articles about job searching that being visible is very important, and having a MySpace and/or Facebook page will help.  Not sure if I believe that, but at least people will see that I am not creepy looking.  I hope I'm not creepy looking.  That would suck.  (Which one is Niner?  Over there - the creepy one.)  At the same time I am not looking forward to people posting on my page that they are giving me hugs and fuzzy crap like that.  How can I stop the fuzzy stuff?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Work.

I have been slacking on posting this week because work has been super busy... which is always a good thing (yes President Bush, the economy is tanking).  With work being busy that means no time for posting and when I get home the last thing I want to do it turn on the computer and type away.  Sorry, I just don't.  Mornings are best for me.

Also with work being busy it has given me little time to apply for new jobs.  That situation just never seems to get any better.  I have applied for 65 jobs since January 1st, plus a few letters to companies.  This has landed me two interviews, and one was a super long shot with a huge corporate company that I knew I would not get, but it's always good to meet new people... you never know where it will lead.  I was told I came in second at the other interview which was with this design firm, and they would keep me in mind the next few months since they might be adding another project manager.  Promising, but not sitting around waiting for it.

I have given up applying to any college or university in Chicago because my background never matches what they are looking for.  Ever.  I received an email from one university after applying for a communications position that read something like this...

Thank you for applying for Communications blah blah blah, requisition 078579.
We have been fortunate to receive resumes from many interested applicants for this opening and have decided to pursue an applicant at this time whose education and background would be a better fit for the position.  As someone who has applied for University of blah blah Communication positions, you may know of a colleague who may be interested, in one or more of the current open positions:

078517 Asst. Dir. of Communications (Alumni/Development)
078870 Editor, Capital Ideas
078923 Marketing Editor/Writer
* 078579 Communications blah blah blah *
078956 Manuscript Editor I-Science Group
078680 Senior Director, Alumni Education & Communication
077831 Technical Writer

Have a great week!


Really?  They told me I was not picked, and then asked if I knew someone who would fit one of these jobs... one of them being the job I just did not get picked for.  WTF?  Have a great week my ass.

My current gripe (besides that email I just posted) about applying for jobs lately has been with ad, marketing, and design firms: they believe / preach in this "think outside the box" idea - but they will not look outside of their own box to interview someone from a different background... like the music industry is such a stretch.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Red Line L.

Yesterday when LP and I were riding the Red Line home from the White Sox home opener (Go Sox!) it was right around rush hour.  On the packed train walked in this extremely smooth talking guy in a suit... his lines were so free flowing I was completely absorbed.  He started out talking to these two twenty-something girls by excusing himself for having his butt shoved in their faces (they were sitting, he was standing, it was crowded).  The line got the ball rolling, and the conversation flowed.  He talked about how he designs hats, and pointed to another guy on the train wearing one of his hats.  Supposedly this other guy was a hat model.  Not sure if I bought that one.  A stop before smooth guy got off the train he started talking about what he was doing that night and invited the ladies to go with him and his buddies.  The train got to the stop, the guy asked if they wanted to go out for a night of fun... and the girls did not go.  

I was so sold on this guys lines I was ready to leave with him.  It's these scenes I am so thankful I am not single... I have no game at all.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Basically.

I am basically sick and tired of people using the word basically. It basically serves little or no purpose in a sentence when most people basically use it. Basically (as LP pointed out) it has replaced the word like in our conversations. It is a filler word that is so over used... and once you start paying attention to how much it is over used you will probably hate me. It is super annoying.

For example: "I basically ran over the dog last night." Do you really need to use the word basically there? No. Own up to what you did. You ran over the dog. Plain and simple. "I basically think this relationship is not working." Basically... really? Wouldn't it be more basic to say that your relationship is not working instead of adding the word basically as sort of an opt-out to your true feelings.

So I am going to try my hardest from this point on to basically drop the word basically from my daily conversations. And you should too. All the cool kids will not be saying it... basically.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lost.

Since I do a lot of walking in Chicago I notice many of the new lost animal signs that are posted. Lost animals signs are really sad. Even depressing. The worse the sign the sadder it is. Really. Some people have placed color photos on their fliers plus they list a very detailed description including the location the animal was last seen - And they canvas the neighborhoods posting notices everywhere. And then some just write some words down on a sheet of paper and post a couple copies on the block they live. With all of the postings for missing animals it makes me wonder how many are ever found. Hopefully most, but I have no idea since there are never any updates. People feel free to post what is missing, but they never share with everyone the good news of an animal being found.

When houses are sold they slap a big SOLD sign across the For Sale sign. When criminals are on the run and finally caught the listings at the Post Office say "Caught" or "Obtained" or maybe even "Shot Dead" (OK, maybe not that). People makes posts of babies being born, and most people have a listing somewhere when they die. I could go on and on... but I am sure you don't have all day. So why cannot people show me (oh yeah, and others) a little respect and give us some good news once in awhile. I would even be up for making and supplying FOUND stickers to be placed over fliers.

Losing a furry friend is the worst feeling... so don't people want to share some good news when their furry buddy comes home?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Why Be Social... You're Not Listening to Me.

I love technology. I would own every new gadget if I could afford it. But at some point these gadgets are making people social retards... even me. Yes, me. I have a smartphone so I can check email and the www - BUT I do not have my work email set up on it. It's not my work's property so why should I be checking my work email 24-7? I am guilty of checking sports scores when I should be listening or adding to the conversation, but I am not the stereotypical person addicted to their crackberry.

It is flat out rude to go out with someone, or some people, and every few minutes they need to check their email on their phones. Why did they go out in the first place? Is their work email more important than spending a few quality minutes, or hours, with good friends? It makes me ill. Now certain places may be a little more acceptable - like a bar with tons of people gathering. But at a dinner table... no way.

I recently read an article about a company in California that now bans notebooks /laptops and smartphones in meetings. This company discovered that no one was paying attention to anyone else during meetings since everyone is off in la la land emailing and texting away.

We have become absorbed with our jobs to the point we have made it a priority over a nice meal with friends. Sadly, even a meal with friends you see once in a blue moon. And if you are not checking work email, and just emailing friends.... then that is even more pathetic. Our attention spans have gone away. We are addicted to the media and the email.

How about this... If it's super important, and you need to attend to an email or call - excuse yourself from the table and take care of the issue. Then come back to the table and put your crutch away.

I'll get better about checking my baseball scores less... I promise.