Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Which Aaron Discover's He's "PG," Rather than "R," As He'd Thought...

(...although I suppose I should make that "PG-13," shouldn't I? But I still bridle at that "age requirement" thing.)

I found this dandy little Cuss-O-Meter over at Stephen Rader's blog. They can do everything on the Internet now! You can Super Poke people (which wasn't what I thought it was when I first saw the term--imagine my disappointment), you can find out which Sondheim musical you are (it wouldn't work for me, but I know flat out I'm "Company"--drunk, off-key and destined to be alone? Yep, that's me), and apparently you can find out who among your high school classmates has a crush on you (and THAT I would not care to find out. No siree).

But I took the Cuss-O-Meter and found out that I haven't been quite as graphic as I'd thought:

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

(And isn't it heartwarming to know that after they rate your language, they're ready to fix you up with an online date? Do they put potty-mouths together with other potty-mouths? Actually, a cusser and screamer might be fun in bed...)

Stephen got a little over 35%, over 250% higher than other blogs. HOW they do their math is beyond me, but since math was never my strong point, I'll stay out of that briar patch. I'll just take a moment to address Stephen and say:

Neener, neener, NEEner!
I'm cleaner, cleaner CLEAner!

And nobody is more surprised than I am. I thought my language would make Richard Pryor blush. Which is no mean feat.

I'll have to work on that.


In other news, last night I got to attend the TimeLine Theatre Company's benefit "Step Into Time," a themed evening with actors dressed as various historical characters. One of my bosses is on the board of TimeLine, and thanks to him, I've discovered some of the finest presentation of classical plays I've ever seen. Also thanks to him, our organization purchased a table at the event! And since he was the event chair, our table was front and center.

The event was a tribute to Sheldon Harnick, the Broadway legend who wrote "Fiddler On the Roof," and "Fiorello!" which TimeLine is remounting in a few weeks. My friend Michael was in the first run and he's also doing the remount. He was also at the event, in costume as Louis Sullivan (and let me repeat once again, Michael, the bowler is VERY fetching). I'm quite looking forward to seeing "Fiorello!" again. In fact the whole of late April/early May will be a great time for small theatre in Chicago--Hell in A Handbag Productions (my company) is also doing "Die! Mommie! Die" beginning April 17, and I'm house managing most Thursday nights. So, between that, "Fiorello!" and "Aladdin" (which I plan on catching at some point this time, because I WANT to see Stephen with a blue face), I'll be enjoying myself thoroughly.

The event last night was really nice--great food, great booze and fun folks! It was held at the Chicago Cultural Center, which is a beautiful building, especially the Preston Bradley Center where the event was held. Besides my boss, I had two other co-workers there (there were supposed to be more, but a few of them bailed out. *cough* Chickenshits *cough*).

And at the end of the night, I got to shake Sheldon Harnick's hand (he has quite a grip--atta boy!) and tell him how much I love all his work. It always makes me feel good to do that--not that my seal of approval is worth anything (I only got a 25% cuss rating here, guys!), but I just like knowing that I got a chance to let someone know what they or their work means to me. Three years ago, that meant grabbing Marianne Faithfull's hand at the end of her Park West concert and yelling over the din of the audience "I LOVE YOU" into her face. Although, actually, due to the stage height, I ended up yelling it into the shelf of her bosom. But I got to kiss her hand three times. I firmly believe that you should tell people how much you appreciate them--always. Who knows--maybe it's just what they need to hear at that moment. Who cares if you're not famous too?

Although if I work my way up to, say, a 40% cuss rating, I could be famous.

Hmmm...I think I have a new goal.

Let me correct that--a new FUCKING goal.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Good Advice Is Almost Certain To Be Ignored...So I'm Not Giving Any

I'm feeling more pithy (yeth, I have a lithp) and less amusing this week than usual. Take this with a spoonful of sugar (or morphine--whatever you've got) and glean from it what you may...


DEAR AMY: Often, when the topic of eating out arises, my wife makes the comment that we should try new places. She has a digestive disorder that requires her to eat gluten-free foods. My wife knows what she can eat but often wants me to choose a restaurant.

The other day I was out of town. I called my wife and mentioned we could go out to eat when I get back. I asked her to suggest a place or two. I got an e-mail from her containing a "laundry list" of main courses she would like to see on a menu.

She wants me to decide where we can go, but the restaurant must have items on her "list" to choose from.

Here's a lady who bemoans that we should try different eateries, yet she won't help with suggestions and doesn't like mine.

When I told her how I felt, she called me a "smart#$%&." I tried to explain my point of view, which is, if I'm spending $75 to $100 on dinner, I want be certain we go somewhere she likes.

How do I steer out of this tailspin?



Boy, after reading this, I’ve got a digestive disorder, too. And it has nothing to do with gluten. But I have to say, in the hierarchy of social annoyances, picky eaters and those with “allergies” are right near the top. Not if they take responsibility for their own diets, mind you, but when they expect the Big Strong Man to do it for them so they can be show dogs, they're a special kind of burden.

You’ve got more patience than I do, that’s for damned sure. I think you should take her on a little “snipe hunt.” Know what that is? Let’s just say it involves a car ride with two passengers setting out and only one returning. Let her find her own goddamn way home, and maybe she can find a gluten-free restaurant while she’s hitchhiking.

Seriously, she sounds like a game-playing, high-maintenance pain in the ass who likes to have you make the suggestions just so she can shoot them down and demoralize you. Is her mother like this, too? I’ll bet she is—she must have learned this behavior somewhere. Tell wifey to go stay with her for a week and maybe they’ll kill each other. Then you can eat anywhere you want in peace—and you won’t have to share! Ta-dah! Hey, everybody wins.

And really: “smart-ass?” There’s no reason to resort to name-calling in a healthy marriage, and I hope you told the bitch so.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I have been divorced for 10 years. I have family members who seem to enjoy telling me how much they disliked her.

My former spouse and I are not friends, but we were married a long time, and at one point we did love/like each other very much. I consider my family's put-downs as a personal attack on me. What can I finally say to stop this rudeness once and for all?



Try “There’s a big spider on your back.” That usually shuts people up for at least a few seconds while they run around like idiots slapping themselves.

Seriously, maybe some people feel that they’re being supportive when they mention their dislike of your ex-spouse, because they figure since you're divorced, you must not like 'em either. They forget about the years you DID spend liking them. Or maybe it has to do with a lack of tact, because most people don’t learn that anymore—their parents were too busy sitting on the toilet, chuckling at the joke book that hangs on the hook next to the commode, to teach them the finer subtleties of human interaction.

But to be charitable, let’s assume the former reason. In any event, don’t introduce your next wife to your family—that should solve the problem in the future.

DEAR MARGO: I have a 26-year-old sister who was halfway through medical school before she decided to drop out and have two children. Initially, my family was shocked and angry, as she did not reveal her pregnancy until her first baby was born -- but like most families, we've come to respect and support her decision. I, however, am still puzzled over why she did such an unimaginable thing. My sister graduated at the top of her class from a top-tier college and aspired to be a neurosurgeon. We occasionally talk about her decision to drop out, and my sister's response is always, "I'm happier being a mom. I did what made me happy." She says she feels more successful being a stay-at-home mom and raising two kids, but I think a successful person is someone who's able to balance their professional career and personal life. Am I right?



Dear String Bean String Pianist Whatever the Hell Your Name Is,

You “occasionally” talk about her decision? Is that “occasionally,” as in, “I bring it up every time I open my fucking mouth?” Is that how you “respect and support her decision?” Seriously, what the hell does it have to do with you? Are you the dean of the school, or her guidance counselor or something? Shut up.

I can understand your being upset over her not telling you she was pregnant until the first baby was born, but it was probably because she feared you would be as judgmental as you-say-you’re-not-being-now-but-kinda-are. Let it go.

And who cares what your definition of “successful” is? Are Merriam and Webster frantically calling you in to help meet the deadline for their next edition? Well, here’s another one for the book: she’s a grown woman and she did what made her happy, and now YOU can do the same.

In fact, if you want to go that extra mile, you can do something that will make us ALL happy – go soak your head in the toilet.

DEAR ELLIE: My mother-in-law is an overbearing control freak; she tried telling us who should be in our wedding party and how we should do things. When I disagreed with her, she called me selfish and unappreciative and told the whole family, so they think the same of my family and I.

My husband thinks I'm overreacting; he gets defensive whenever I mention his mother or family. He won't speak up to his mother unless she really crosses the line.

I'm afraid he'll not take my side even though he says he always will. I am afraid this'll divide us and he'll choose his mother, whom I dislike more every day.

I've tried speaking to her but she thinks she does nothing wrong and that I'm being ridiculous. She won't listen to me and doesn't get it.



While it’s never a good idea to goad your husband on the subject of his family (honey-chile, if you keep at it, you’ll FORCE him to choose), I agree that your MIL is a “what” with a cup of tea. Excuse me, she called you “selfish” because you disagreed with her re: the wedding party? Um, doesn’t the bride’s family pay for the fucking thing? She should be grateful she got to sit in the church. If it were my wedding, she’d have her big ass parked in the car with the windows rolled up.

But that’s beside the point, which is this: didn’t you ever MEET this woman before you agreed to marry her son? If so, you had to know what a bee-yotch she was—behavior like this doesn’t spring up overnight. If you chose to marry her son anyway, you’ve sorta gotta suck it up now and learn to ignore her. Conversely, when your first child is born, you could try doing what Baby Doc Duvalier’s wife did with her mynah bird: teach it swear words then send it to the MIL’s house for frequent visits.

And I wouldn’t worry about his family—if they’re stupid enough to believe everything she says, the law of natural selection will take care of their lineage very shortly. At least he married out of it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Get Out Your Umbrellas...It's Gonna Rain McCain

Courtesy of Johnny at A Hole In The Head, here's a little video cooked up by the McCain stalkers supporters as an answer to that Obama video a few months back:

My favorite lyrics: "God bless John McCain / he's a Vietnam veteran too"

(Because we ALL know how well John Kerry played that card last time, don't we...?)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Today's Candid Celebrity Photos...

Gwen Constipate
In this AP Photo by Mark J. Terrill, singer Gwen Stefani regrets the corn dog she ate only 20 minutes earlier while watching a tennis match.

Trapped On a Plane? No Fresh Water for You!

I thought this was an amusing little tidbit from today's news. The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned a New York law that would have forced airlines to provide food, toilet facilities, fresh air and water to passengers who are trapped in delayed planes.

Having been trapped on a delayed plane for several hours (and I'm sure I'm one of the lucky ones), this doesn't bother me at all--next time, I'll make a point of pissing on the floor and coughing all over the pilot. Bet they change their minds right quick!

The article doesn't state any specific length of time after which the requirement would kick in (i.e., how long would the delay have to be before the airline has to provide these staples?), but I would assume that after several hours, you're gonna have some cranky, smelly passengers--ideal conditions for taking off, wouldn't you say?

The appeals court called the law "laudable" (consolation prize talk for all rejected laws), but said that only the federal government, not state government, has the power to enact such laws.

And as we all know, they're too busy trampling our First Amendment rights they're too busy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

In Lieu of a Ham, Please Accept This Post...

I hope everyone's enjoying their holiday today. I was worried about the weather Friday, since it snowed heavily throughout the day, but it had stopped by Saturday morning, leaving only the mess in its wake:

Pratt Ave Snow Trees

After I spent about 10 minutes cleaning the car off, I hit the road. I left a little later this time, which was helpful, as I'd been out Friday night acting less than my age (which could be any number these days), and was slightly the worse for wear. But I made it down to Chillicothe at about 1:00, stopped in at the Kroger to see Aunt Fay, who works there, and then headed over to the home. Mom was up and in pretty good spirits. Her mind's muddled--she's once again referring to her mother in the present tense (she died in 1977) and when we (for some reason) were talking about Debbie Harry, Mom said, "Yeah, I liked her--she was always nice to me." I thought that was just TOO adorable.

I did stay overnight this time, booking the very last available room at the Super 8 in town--a double, non-smoking (grrrr!), so I was well-rested this morning. Especially since I hit the snooze button for an entire hour.

I took her an Easter basket today full of miniature pastel-wrapped Hershey bars and Andes mints, which I'd bought Friday. When I got there yesterday, she had a bunch of those miniature Hersheys in a plastic container (Double shit. Double-PLUS shit.) and said she didn't want anymore candy. When I brought the basket in this morning wearing my Easter Bunny ears, though, she was ecstatic, especially over the Andes mints (we used to have boxes of them in the fridge when I was a kid).

I also brought the bunny ears I'd found at the CVS in Chicago (the very last pair). She was suitably pleased with them:

Mom Ears

So we had a nice visit. I hit the road today about 1:30 and got home just after 4:00. I'm very tired now, and am going to watch my AbFab DVDs from Netflix and sleep...

Here's a few siwwy wabbits who send their holiday greetings:

Aaron Mom Easter 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

You Just Can't Keep Hogs Away From The Trough Advice Columns

Yep, I'm once again giving out unwanted and unrequested (from me, anyway) advice. It's my small contribution to the world since I refuse to give up meat or plant a tree...



DEAR ELLIE: I'm on the brink of separation from my beloved wife of 35 years. I run a small business and was always home by 9 p.m. Yet my wife accused me or suspected me of being with almost every woman I came across. Partly, it was caused by my mother-in-law, who was hitting on me and creating drama by telling my wife she suspected me with different women.

Things got worse after my wife stopped working four years ago. We fought often regarding her suspicions. She'd then give me the silent treatment for days or even months. It led to my betraying her five times.

My biggest mistake was confessing about those one-night stands; the worst involving a lady employee of mine. I let her go soon after. That was 18 months ago, and my wife's still angry.

After two months of her silence, I moved out to cool things down. Recently she ran into me with a lady I've been seeing since I left home; she's filed for divorce.
I still love her and want to be back together. What should I do? Family therapy hasn't helped. I'm trying to be more romantic toward my wife.



Wow, your wife sure has a lot to answer for! Look at her, all driving you to prove her right and shit! Do you think she’s a psychic?? Would she pick some lottery numbers for me??

Seriously, you have got to be fucking kidding—you were pushed into betraying her? Bullshit. You just betrayed her, period. And the mother-in-law who had the hots for you? Double bullshit—she probably read your number from three miles off and warned your wife about it, so you spitefully decided to make her look bad by saying she was the aggressor—I’m surprised you could even keep a straight face.

I particularly love that you finally moved out to “cool things down,” yet, while you were cooling your jets (and still married, let’s not forget), you started seeing yet another little enchilada. Quite the penile juggler, aren’t you? What exactly were you trying to “cool down?” Not yourself, obviously. And you claim to still be in love with your wife? Un-fucking-believable.

Frankly, if I were your wife, I’d divorce you too…I can’t believe it took her so long. I hope she cleans your clock, mister.

Oh, and the female employee you bonged, then dumped and fired when she became inconvenient? I hope she sues the pants off you.

(Although it doesn’t seem a lawsuit would be necessary—you seem only too eager to shed them.)

DEAR ABBY: I recently turned 40, and because I don't get along with my husband "Ted's" family, I chose to celebrate out of town with my parents and siblings. At the end of my five-day trip, Ted picked me up at the airport and barely greeted me. He waited three days to give me my birthday gift.

When he finally handed me the box, Ted didn't even wait for me to open it. He went off to take a shower. I waited for him to finish, then opened the gift in front of him. Inside was a pair of diamond earrings.

I have never wanted diamond earrings, and I have told him so many times. I had asked Ted for cash so I could buy a new sewing machine. Why diamond earrings?
That night we had a major quarrel, and now I'll never be able to enjoy them. What do I do with them now?



Send them to me. In fact, send the husband to me, too—he deserves someone who appreciates him.

What gives, Queenie? You don’t like your husband’s family (shall we assume the feeling’s mutual?) so you leave him at home for five fucking days and fly out of town, back to Mama’s teat? What message does that send to him about your relationship, when you think it’s OK to ditch him for an entire week? Then make him pick you up at the airport??

You’ve got chutzpah, girlfriend. You’re lucky you got diamonds—I would’ve given you horse turds. If you DO buy that sewing machine, use it on your lips. Or anywhere else appropriate.

DEAR MARGO: I have a very dear friend who's been my roommate for years. She has a good heart and a lot going for her, but when it comes to men and love, she is blind, which may be an understatement.

Recently her boyfriend of six months was arrested for prostitution (that is, patronizing one), and without a blink, she insisted the police had framed him because he would never do anything like that. Even after two officers told us what happened and what was said between the boyfriend and the "working girl," she still refuses to believe it. I tried to point out that this could explain why he never had any money and why he always came here and immediately showered. I am concerned about her health and her way of thinking.

Should I continue to try to steer her away from her "John" or just let everything come to light in its own time? Is there any way I can help her to see the light?



Please tell me you didn’t use the soap after this guy was done with it. If I were you, I’d make sure I kept mine separate. From the roommate, too. “Stupid” may not be catching, but scabies are. And God knows what else this Roadhouse Romeo has picked up from his filles de joie. As far as making your roommate see the light, forget about it—I’d say she needs a brick to fall on her head, but it already has, figuratively speaking, and she still refuses to accept the truth. Some people get what they deserve. Or think they deserve. You do the math. The bottom line is, buy Lysol. Lots of it.

And scrub till your elbows ache.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Odds and Sods

Well, this morning was off to SUCH a glorious start. I actually got down to the bus stop at Farwell and Sheridan a little early and was waiting for the bus, which I just glimpsed making its way towards us a few blocks away, when:

Pratt Fire

A fire apparently broke out in a building across the street. Believe me, this picture doesn't even begin to do justice to the firepower that was called out for this one. Within 10 seconds, five fire trucks, three police cars and two ambulances appeared on the scene. Another 10 seconds saw at least three more fire trucks and two more ambulances. And the police cars began parking across the intersections.


The intersections through which traffic, including my bus, were to travel. Of course, the police don't feel the need to explain what's going on--they apparently think their uniform and their swagger are sufficient. But sadly, that didn't get my bus there any faster, and in fact, it detoured down a side street before it even got to us, so I and the rest of my groggy, grumpy, disoriented fellow commuters stumped off to the nearest L station (Loyola) three blocks away. I got on my cell immediately and called the office and left a message (nobody was there yet), just so they knew what was going on (because who knows how long the train was going to take at this rate?).

And all this over a freaking kitchen fire. A person was injured, so it's good that there was a rescue team there, but I couldn't help thinking: what happens if there's a BIG-ASS fire somewhere else and they're all putting out a bacon grease fire over the 7-11?

(I just ooze compassion--isn't it charming?)

I ended up getting to work exactly on time, but I'm usually at least 15 minutes early, and the lack of "padding time" has left me nice and grumpy.



I just got my certificate of title in the mail this week for my car. The car is currently in storage down in my hometown. It looks nothing like the one pictured here (at least, not anymore), but it did once, except it was blue.

Anyway, it dawned on me the other day that I didn't have the keys to it on my keyring anymore since I've been driving the Momibu. And I don't know where they are.


Fortunately, I do have a spare set, but there's a problem: the door key is not mine. A few years ago when I got my oil changed at the Firestone on Clark and Peterson, they somehow put the wrong key on my ring. I went in to the office and explained that it wasn't my key, but they stubbornly swore that it was the same key that was on the ring when I brought the car in. Even my demonstrating to them that it didn't fit the lock wasn't enough to convince the probably-undocumented workers that it was the wrong one. Fortunately, the door was unlocked, and since the ignition key was at least mine, I finally got tired of arguing, started the car and peeled out in a cloud of gravel and disgust. That set HAD been my main set--since I had another, it then became the spare set (for obvious reasons).

So you see my problem now--I no longer have an original key to fit my door--or my trunk. This will be a problem when I go to open the door next time I want to start it, not to mention sell it. I called the Chevy dealer in Chillicothe and explained my problem and they said that there is a man who fits keys, but he won't be in this Saturday (when I'm down there). He usually is, though, so I said I'd call again in a few weeks when I'm coming down (which will be April 12, I guess). I'll also have to bring some bolt-cutters to get into the storage unit, because I can't remember the combination to my lock.

Things are just going swimmingly here. Oh well--it gives me lots of extra time to look for the original keys...I feel sure that they're around my apartment somewhere.


Steve Dahl

The Tribune reports that radio host Steve Dahl has almost 2 million air miles from flying so much. There's a link posted on a sidebar that asks us to vote on whether he's "addicted to travel" (because it's not official until John Q. Blowhard votes).

Who gives a shit? Wherever he flies off to, he'll still look like Madalyn O'Hair...


I need more coffee. NOW.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When a 20 On the Nightstand Just Isn't Enough...

Warning: You all (all three of you!) might think I'm a meanie-weenie-from-Cabrini after you read this, but I thought it was more creative than "I told you so," which was my goal. So here goes...

Heather Mills wanted $250 million from Paul McCartney. But listen to what the man said: judge Hugh Bennett told her that’s "exorbitant" (his wording) and is giving her under $50 million instead, including $15 million of Heather’s own assets.

That poor, poor WILL she survive?? It must be a huge blow to her, especially since she only married him for the money, anyway. And $48.6 million doesn’t go as far as it used to--especially when the Taxman comes!

(OK, OK I’ll stop now...)

She also dumped a glass of water over McCartney’s lawyer’s head, saying she’d been "baptized in court." Maybe I’m amazed...that she wasn’t held in contempt! (All right, NOW I’ll stop.)

The judge ruled that McCartney has to pay $70,000 per year for the couple’s daughter, Beatrice. Plus all her school and nanny fees. That sounds pretty generous to me--how much money does a 4-year-old need?! My parents made do with a fraction of that when I was that age. Combined. And they both worked.

But the barnacles who cling to the rich and famous clearly have a larger budget in mind than we mere plebians could possibly understand, and Armani strollers aren’t cheap. So Heather’s pissed at the $70K ruling. "Obviously, his daughter is meant to travel B-class while her father travels A-class," she snorted.

Shut up, bitch. Go buy a nice house in the country and get lost in it. And how about a nice, long hike up some hills while you’re at it?

There. NOW you can call me a meanie-weenie...

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Was So Upset... read this.

I always knew who Brunkert was because I always read the liner notes of all my albums growing up, and because I was a drummer myself and paid close attention to his technique on all of ABBA's hits.


Weekend Update (This One NOT Featuring Tina Fey)

(I still want to write "Jane Curtin" instead of "Tina Fey"--that's how old I am!)

Friday night, I went to see "Dolly West's Kitchen" at TimeLine Theatre with a colleague from work, his wife and a few of their friends. If you live in Chicago and haven't seen this play yet, please try--it runs for one more weekend before it closes. Like everything TimeLine does, this is extraordinary. It's set in County Donegal, Ireland, during World War II (probably 1944-ish). Ireland was neutral during the war, but gave a lot of support to the Allies. Dolly West lives in County Donegal with her mother Rima, her brother Justin, her sister Esther, and Esther's husband Ned. Justin is fiercely loyal to Ireland and protective of Ireland's neutrality in the war. So he's not terribly pleased when an old family friend and British soldier, Alec, comes to visit and brings two American soldiers from Brooklyn, NY--cousins Marco and Jamie--who are stationed in Derry.

Marco is a flamboyant (and, it must be said, very crude) homosexual, which of course, was COMMONPLACE during the 1940s. That was the only part of the play that made me say "WTF?" I can understand that he was brutalized by his family as a child and now that he's in the Army, he's in "fighter mode" and not afraid to be himself, but his portrayal made him seem more like a seasoned hustler than a young soldier newly at war. His character tones down a bit throughout the play, but not by much. He immediately attaches himself to Justin, who, it seems, has a secret...

Rima, the matriarch, is a bawdy, down-to-earth 60-something who loves to tell dirty jokes and drink whiskey, and understands Justin better than he probably realizes. She's not at all offended by Marco, and indeed, almost pushes him and Justin together.

Esther is trapped in a passionless marriage with Ned, whom she doesn't love. Both she and Dolly are past the bloom of youth (their mid-to-late 30s, probably, 10 years older than Justin), but that doesn't stop Jamie from lusting after Esther. Esther doesn't exactly discourage him--she's gratified by the attention and the realization that men still find her attractive, since her husband pays little attention to her.

Dolly herself once studied art in Italy and returned to Ireland a few years earlier where she's remained ever since, carrying a torch for Alec, but is too proud to tell him.

The play unfolds through a series of revelations, betrayals and tragedy, but ultimately leaves us feeling a sense of hope that despite these things, we're strong enough to keep going.

After the play, I was beat, so I cabbed it home and crashed, and hit the road to Peoria the next morning around 8:30. My cousin Tonya and aunt Mary came up to visit also. Mom was doing a bit better--hospice had come around late last week and gotten her a new air bed and wheelchair, so she was up again. She still wouldn't eat anything, although when I saw her lunch I couldn't really blame her--it looked putrid. But I offered to bring her something back and she said no. Her head was bothering her, and by the time Tonya and Mary left, she was sitting with her head hung down from the ache, so I alerted the nurses and they gave her her pills and a new pain patch.

Mom claims that the patch makes her nauseous and that's why she doesn't feel like eating. Her memory is getting screwy again, too--she has a poinsettia in her window that she says aunt Teri (her sister) brought (I know she hadn't). Mom said Teri came down from Chicago to see her (Teri lives in Louisiana).

She then asked where Mary was. "She's sitting right here," I replied.

"No, the other Mary," Mom said. "The one who was having trouble upstairs with the laundry machine."

There is no upstairs at the nursing home--it's a one-level facility that's spread out in two wings. And there's no Mary working in the laundry center. See, this is Mom's little game: she'll get confused and when you try to figure out what she's saying or ask questions to guide her back onto the topic, she'll attempt to lie her way out of it just enough to save face. And she's adamant about her lie, too! She will not back down once she's committed. It's both adorable and maddening. I know what she's up to, because I pulled the same shit when I was a teenager. I didn't fool her then, and she doesn't fool me now...

It's funny how life comes full circle, isn't it?

I was going to stay overnight, but in my haste to get on the road that morning, I had only given Pisspot Sophie enough food and water for one day. I wasn't worried that she'd starve, but I know only too well that if the sun comes up and her bowl is empty and I'm not there to fill it, she WILL go and retaliate somewhere.

So I had to hit the road again at around 8:00 Saturday to head home to Chicago. But I'm going down again next weekend to visit for Easter and take her an Easter basket. I'll see if I can get her to wear the extra bunny ears!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Keeping the Bottle Empty

Last night, The Joans participated in a benefit for the Actor Slash Model Film Collective at The Empty Bottle, and we had a terrific time. We played a shorter set than usual (about 22 minutes), but I was still sweating like a butcher by the time it was over (somehow, the experience is always so intense). The crowd was very enthusiastic and the bands were all terrific. I was especially blown away by Condenada, a very heavy all-female punk-thrash band with a dynamic lead singer and a rapid-fire drummer who graciously allowed all the bands to use her kit.

Other participating bands included The Pussy Pirates, Brother Truck, Justin Petertil, Plaid on Plaid, and of course, Actor Slash Model, the hosting duet, which performs a quirky, endearing brand of folk/bluegrass. The emcee for the evening was Jessica Halem, a hilarious comic and all-around terrific lady, who really kept the crowd pumped up and excited between bands.

I had to leave before the final band played (as I had to be up at 7:00 this morning), but I did get a chance to catch the clip of the film that Actor Slash Model produced, and it was a really cool interview with two members of a MTF transgender band, interspersed with performance footage, and the editing was really cool. I hope to see this get fleshed out more, because it's such a great topic.

I left at around 11:45, and I think I was the last Joan standing, as the others had left a while before. I felt good (if tired) at the end of the night. It was the first time we'd played live in a few months and I thought the energy was good, although the band had some "tightness" issues at the very beginning (in particular, I have problems working the kick drum pedal on the faster songs sometimes, which leads me to do funky shit tempo-wise). We soon got our mojo warmed up, however, and by the time we finished "Mad At The Dirt," the crowd demanded an encore, which we gladly provided ("The Boys and the Booze").

Today, I'm just catching up on some work and afterwards, a group of us are heading to TimeLine to see one of the last few performances of "Dolly West's Kitchen." Then, I'll probably head to Andersonville to say happy birthday to fellow Handbagger Brigitte.

Tomorrow morning, I'm off to Peoria to spend the day visiting Mom and I'll probably stay over night. The nurse said yesterday that she still won't get out of bed, so I think we're starting to see a definite downturn. It's hard to say exactly how things will go, however, so we just play one day at a time...

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend! I'll be back Monday...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Worst Songs Ever? Move Over Kids...I Have a Few More!

A bunch of blowhards on have decided (via ill-informed committee) which songs are the 50 worst in history.

I agree with some of them ("My Heart Will Go On" is at the TOP of my list, although it was at the bottom of theirs), but I think they should have spent more time critiquing the musical merits of the songs than pissing and moaning about which ones were most politically incorrect.

But then again, this is the generation for that. Once we had the New Seekers--now we have the New Whiners.

Perhaps if The Committee had been ambitious enough, they could have made their way on to some REALLY egregious songs, like "Run Joey Run" (remember that one? I do!) and "Kung Fu Fighting" (I notice no mention was made of the political incorrectness of a Jamaican singing a song about "funky Chinamen in funky Chinatown" and even adding kung fu yells to punctuate the rhythm--classy stuff).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And None Too Soon...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cheeseburger in Amsterdam

A few of us (thanks to Johnny C.!) have seen Moshe and Joost, a couple from the Netherlands, on YouTube lip-synching to fabulous songs from Lost Horizon and Sweeney Todd in their own unique, fun videos. But did you know that they were chefs, too?

Here, Moshe shows us how to make the perfect hamburger. (Hey, he chops his onions the same way I do!)


UPDATE: I listened to the music in the background more closely, and realized that the song is "Living Together, Growing Together," which is also from the Lost Horizon soundtrack, although this particular version is by the Fifth Dimension.

Those boys LOVE their Bacharach! And for that, I love them!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cherish Every Day, or Some Shit Like That...

Last week, we had a bit of a scare with aunt said that she wasn't getting out of bed and was refusing to eat. She gave mom the cell phone while she was visiting Friday morning and let me talk to her. Her speech was really slurred and she sounded really out of it. Knowing her condition, I didn't know if she'd ever get up, so I made plans to go down Tuesday/Wednesday of this week and see her for a few days, come back for our Joans gig and to finish up some work on Thursday, then go back on Saturday. I called a few times on Friday and the bitchy nurse said she was refusing to get up (she made it sound like mom was staging a sit-in or something). I fought the urge to tell her to go work at Taco Bell if her job was such a pain, and just asked her to tell Mom I loved her and would call again tomorrow.

I talked to Mom on Saturday and she sounded better--no slurred speech and she was up and going to the dining room. Since then, my aunt says she's been in her room and won't get out or go eat, but I've decided to just go down Saturday as originally planned...I have a feeling that this will be happening in waves from here on, and while they'll be more frequent, there's no way I can predict what's going to happen and no point in driving myself crazy over it (I'm already halfway there).

In other news, this morning we found out that one of our co-workers had a massive heart attack over the weekend. He's in Loyola Hospital now, so we're just waiting to hear how things go and sending good thoughts, since that's all we can really do.

He's in his mid-50s, but has always been a really healthy eater. That doesn't guarantee anything, but it does make one wonder...apparently, the doctors have cleaned his arteries, so that's a good thing anyway...

I feel guilty because he's "chattier" than I am, and he always makes conversation whenever he sees me, and I just sort of respond. albeit pleasantly, but not really actively, if you know what I mean (to be honest, there are some days I just want to get through it and then disappear). Maybe this will inspire me to be more proactive about conversing and interacting, the way I used to.

I'll try to take whatever lesson I can from the meantime, my thoughts are with him and his family.

Friday, March 07, 2008

More Advice From the Loveless...

This week, I'm back to give advice to other columnists' mail, shoving my two cents in where it doesn't belong (like the coin-operated washers at the laundromat, which only accept quarters). Enjoy!


DEAR ELLIE: I'm a beautiful, single thirtysomething with a promising career, but unhappy; my evil older cousin, a wealthy entrepreneur, stole and married the handsome Prince Charming, my ex-boyfriend. I've been trying to avoid them for 10 years, but we live just blocks from each other.

Her husband irritates me at family functions with long stares, and saying how beautiful I am in front of everyone. He corners me and tries to hit on me. People say he married her for a comfortable life. How do I deal with it and move forward?

Signed, So Sad

Ellie is always busy asking other people to answer her letters…so Aaron will:

To "deal with it," try "dealing" him a nice, hard knee to the groin. As far as "moving forward," that'll be a lot easier once he collapses in a heap on the floor. And wouldn't it be a shame if you accidentally stepped on his face as you made your way over him? I'm just sayin'. When he stops gasping in pain, you can remind him that he made his bed and now shares it with Cousin Cruella. He'll just have to deal with her toenails gouging him every night. Tough shit.

DEAR AMY: I'm responding to "Mother of the Groom," who couldn't bear the thought of an alcohol-free wedding reception.

My granddaughter got married a few years ago. She and her new husband met in a program for troubled teens, and they got their lives together. Many guests were also graduates of the program.

There was no alcohol served at their reception. I can't tell you how impressed I was by this group and the way they were managing their lives. All are still doing very well.

Signed, Proud Grandma

Amy's busy ironing one of her many gingham pinafores…allow Aaron:

You're so right—no alcohol is necessary for the reception.

Tell 'em to save it for the marriage. They're gonna need it.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently went on vacation. He invited his sister to go with us. Every night at dinner, they would reminisce about their childhood -- people they knew and things they did.

I am not from the same hometown as they are. I told my husband it was rude for the two of them to have done that. He feels we have enough "together time" and he did nothing wrong. Abby, what are your thoughts? -- OUTSIDER IN GREENVILLE, S.C.

Abby is busy cutting and frosting her hair again. Aaron says:

Have you seen the film "The House of Yes?" If not, rent it. Watch it. And learn from it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Up-All-Night Challenge

I’m writing this story as a promise I made to a friend of mine when we were reminiscing about our childhood fascination with staying up late. You’ll either be very silent and enthralled, or bored to tears and fall asleep. Either way, I win, because I live to bring tranquility to the world. So here goes…


I always loved the nighttime, even as a child and long before the bar scene—it was a mystery in some way. And like all kids, I was enthralled with anything unknown (as an adult, I just appreciate the low light that hides the circles under my eyes). My mother always told me that I wouldn’t see anything at night that I wouldn’t see during the day. Since I’ve moved to Chicago, I’ve discovered that no longer holds, but in Chillicothe, IL in the late 1970s, mom was probably right, although there WAS a neighbor across the street who used to come outside and piss in his driveway occasionally when he thought nobody could see—and until the summer of my Up-All-Night Challenge, he was probably right, but that’s neither here nor there.

It all happened in the summer of 1977 when I turned nine. The year was in some ways really terrible (the sudden death of my grandmother and the Son of Sam killings) and in some ways really crucial, as a lot of my erotic feelings began to awaken (I didn’t recognize that at the time, although dungeon scenes in medieval-themed movies aroused me for some strange reason), and “Batman” reruns came to syndication on our local channel, which meant Burt Ward every day—need I say more?? And let’s not forget ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” which reached its peak of popularity early that year.

Bad times, good times…

I was a restless kid… I always thought there was something magical just beyond the line of trees that marked the back of our yard. I always wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been before: I’d ride my bicycle to the railroad yard next to my uncle’s store because I’d never seen what was beyond the tracks (not a lot, I found out); I rode to the school playground on the opposite end of town, because I wanted to try out their swingset (but I ended up finding vomit and a retainer in the copse of pine trees nearby, decided the place was yucky and vowed to stick to my own playground). To a little kid, who obviously had no car, in a town of 6,000 folks, these were big journeys! I could have been more adventurous and hopped one of those trains to see where it went, but I was terrified of punishment. (And believe me, I’d still be grounded to this day if I’d tried.)

So I decided to do the next best thing and stay up all night. Why not? Why should the adults have all the fun, I reasoned? Never mind that even most of them were in bed by this time (having to work in the morning)—staying up late was a “grown-up” thing to do, and I wanted to do it all the way! And I could, too, since it was summer and I didn’t have to go to school the next day—my parents didn’t really mind as long as I wasn’t hurting anyone. My goal was to stay up until 5:00 in the morning, when my mom was just getting up (she was always up before Dad—he was a heavy sleeper back then, just like I used to be).

It wasn't easy to occupy myself all night. I couldn’t play outside. Grown-up books were kind of boring (like mom’s bodice-rippers) or else too difficult for me to understand in those days, and I’d already read all of mine. I was an only child, so there were no brothers or sisters to aggravate. I had to be quiet so as not to wake up my parents, so that meant no listening to the stereo (we didn’t have headphones yet), and the TV had to be turned down so it wasn’t too loud. But TV meant the sound of human voices, which to me was the same as having someone there—once those voices ended, I was essentially alone and too restless to sleep. And that terrified me. Even one hour of silence was unthinkable to me in those days. Church was torture—especially the hypocrisy of not being able to speak, but having to listen to our dimwitted, bucktoothed priest gas on and on about the same shit every week…

And there were no all-night channels back then, either. This was 1977, and we didn't have cable in Chillicothe (it wasn't available there until 1980, just as we were moving to another town--fate's cruel little joke, right after my new eyeglass prescription). So I had to try to exist on whatever late-night TV offered, which meant the 10:00 news, then reruns of “The Honeymooners” (which began my life-long love of Audrey Meadows), and finally the late show on Channel 19, our local ABC affiliate. They used to have theme weeks, like "Comedy Week," “Western Week,” etc. I remember seeing some adult-themed comedies that are still some of my favorites, although I couldn’t understand why I loved them so at the time: “Divorce American Style,” “Cold Turkey,” “What’s Up Doc?” and “The Wrong Box” stand out in particular.

The comedies were fine—it was the scary movies I should have avoided. This should have been obvious after that spring’s viewing of “Jaws,” which was still playing in our town theater (called, appropriately, the Town Theater), and which I’d begged my mother to take me to see until she’d given in one Friday night in March, only to storm out, grim-faced, an hour and a half later, herding a white-faced, trembling pansy to the car: “I told you it would upset you, but would you listen to me??” We drove home in silence (well, as silent as a 1975 Honda Civic could allow), only to arrive home as Gordon Lightfoot sang about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on the “The Midnight Special,” complete with slides of the actual boat superimposed on the screen. Turns out the Edmund Fitzgerald looked an awful lot like the Orca, the fishing boat Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider used in “Jaws,” and that set me off again—I became a whimpering, blubbering idiot. My disgusted mother finally went to bed, no doubt cursing the day she quit taking the pill.

And did I learn from this? Hell no! I was determined to stay up and watch grown-up movies until the sun came up at least one night that summer. This was no mean feat, as even the latest of late movies ended at around 1:30 in the morning. But every night, I tried anew.

My plan came back to bite me in the ass later that summer during the Channel 19 late show’s "World of the Macabre Week" when they showed "The Masque of the Red Death" with Vincent Price. It scared the living shit right outta me—not as bad as “Jaws,” but pretty damned close. I could have coped with that if, the next night, I hadn’t seen Alice Cooper do his guillotine trick on "The Midnight Special.” It was a little too realistic for me, and between that, “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “Bonnie and Clyde,” which had shown the week before, it finally built up into a teeming mass of mental imagery that assaulted my senses until I could take no more. I finally retired, half-insane, to my bedroom, leaving the light on all night. At least I felt safe there!

Until I saw that big-ass spider on the wall…

Eventually, however, I made my goal. In August of that year, just before school started, I managed to stay up until 5:00 AM. It was curiously anti-climatic, like Christmas: all that waiting, all that preparation, and once it was over, it was over. In a cruel twist of fate, it was a Friday night, which meant I was too tired to watch Saturday morning cartoons the next day.

But the crossing of any great frontier requires great sacrifice…

**TOMORROW: Aaron satisfies Dirk's curiosity (within reason).**

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is It Possible? Could I Get My Wish...?

An article this morning on Hillary's wins in Texas and Ohio hints that, should she get the nomination, she may consider having Obama as her running mate.

Yes! THAT'S more like it! Now, there's a helluva good chance that she won't get the nomination, but if Obama showed the same good sense should HE get the nomination, I think we'd have the best Democratic ticket in 12 years...

A few things concern me about Hillary: I don't like the Clinton record on all issues (Defense of Marriage Act, anyone? Don't Ask, Don't Tell?), which I know she had a large hand in (in fact, I really think she had her hand up Bill's ass and worked his mouth most of the time). I was also reminded of my skittishness over socialized medicine this past Friday at my local watering hole when another patron (who can always be counted upon to voice his opinion), derided the societies who preen themselves and crow over their nationalized health care. "You know what they have? Shit! The quality of care in those countries is piss-poor." Which makes a little sense...straitened resources are always spread too thin to provide superior quality. But even if that were true, sub-standard is still better than 1/3 of the U.S. currently has, which is NADA. Zip. Zilch.

And I also remembered that this patron is, in fact, a doctor, so of COURSE he doesn't like socialized medicine, although he points out, correctly, that the way to bring healthcare costs under control is to rein in the insurance companies. (It's just too bad there's no way to do it, since the insurance lobby is so rich they shit gold turds.)

National Health will certainly make an eventual difference in the job market: if employers aren't forced to carry health insurance anymore, some places are going to have a hell of a hard time recruiting employees--some companies are so shitty that the only draw they had was their benefits package, a large part of which was, of course, health insurance. If that were no longer the case, what would they bargain with? Chair massages?

In the end, however, one of these two candidates has to end up on the top of the ticket. Hillary's sending signals that if it's her, she'd like Obama as her Veep, which means she's shrewd enough to realize just how powerful they'd be together.

I just hope Obama can see it the same way if he clinches it...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Because It IS Turning, After All--But We Don't Expect It to WHIRL!

I just read this article today about an unusual sort of protest over gay characters kissing in the daytime soap opera "As The World Turns."

And the protest is all about the fact that they haven't kissed--at least in several months.

The organizers of the protest say that Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer haven't kissed on-screen since September, and they're anxious to see those lips lock! There was the insinuation of a kiss in December, with the camera panning upwards to some mistletoe when the two were clearly ready to suck face, but protesters say that's not really enough.

Jeannie Tharrington, the Proctor & Gamble spokesperson interviewed for the article, says that the camerawork was a "creative decision" and that there's no squeamishness over this storyline.

Well, call me crazy, but I kind of believe her. I mean, if they were squeamish, would they even be showing this storyline at all? But they are showing it, so they clearly understand that society is beginning to recognize these relationships as legitimate, and that it exists in all spheres of society. And I mean ALL spheres: we're not just talking about the janitor's son and the butcher's boy here--Luke Snyder is the son of Lily Walsh Snyder, one of the town's leading citizens, and the grandson of corporate dragon Lucinda Walsh, THE town matriarch (since Nancy Hughes don't get around much no more). The fact that the storyline involves such high-profile characters testifies to the fact that it is an important priority for the show. When the storyline first began developing, there were several discussions between Luke and his adoptive father Holden (who is HIMSELF a walking wet dream), in which Holden was very uncomfortable with it at first, but gradually began to come around to accepting it. From what I saw of it, it was a very sensitively-developed theme.

In an unrelated twist, CBS announced this week that Martha Byrne, the actress who's played Luke's mom Lily off and on since 1985, has decided to leave the show. The show is expected to recast the role, and I don't think the gay-Luke storyline figures into her decision. The fact is, Byrne is nearly 40 and has been playing the role since she was 16. The role has defined her--she's played little else aside from a teenage shoplifter in "Kate and Allie" back in the 80s. So she probably figured it's time to amscray, and I can't blame her. Everything runs its course eventually, except for Susan Lucci.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, which is the two teenage queens! Right. So anyway, no, I don't think CBS is skittish over the gay characters, although when asked about backstage debate over the storyline, Tharrington laughingly says that "you wouldn't believe." (No further details offered on that.) I don't know if that debate involves the actors playing Luke and Noah, or if both of them are gay, although I know that Van Hansis, who plays Luke, is, and has appeared off-Broadway as gay son Lance in Charles Busch's "Die Mommie Die," so that tells me that he's also comfortable playing gay characters.

Also, we have to remember that these characters are teenagers (which is surprising, given that Luke was 8 years old in 2001--according to the SORAS* calendar, he should be pushing 30 by now), and the show shouldn't be expected to show heavy sex between them. It did show Lily and Holden literally lying in the hay when they were teenagers, but no boobage or assage was flashed--I think it's OK to be demure with sex when characters are young. We know they're going to do it--we don't need to see it all the time.

And that brings me to a final point which might be subconsciously driving this debate: the pressure to affirm these sorts of relationships in the media might somehow be leading to an almost prurient desire to see lots of sloppy kissing and poking where it wouldn't be expected between a boy and a girl. But I think to expect more sexual activity between these two characters because they ARE gay would be a double standard that implies that gay men are somehow more promiscuous than their heterosexual counterparts.

I can't speak for anyone else, but that sure isn't the case with me!**

*SORAS: Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. Nearly always affects children from infancy through early adolescence.

** And not for lack of trying, either!

Monday, March 03, 2008

In Today's Issue of "No Shit, Sherlock" Magazine...

Did we really need an eccentric old billionaire to tell us this?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Because My Life is Boring, You Shall Suffer Too...

I was all set to go to the gym and then head to Target this afternoon to pick up a few things I need around the house.

So I was really disappointed when I got in my/mom's Malibu, which is currently parked on Glenwood next to my building (I practically had to fuck the devil to get that spot last Sunday), and couldn't get out of my parking space. It seems that during the week, what had been an innocuous mud puddle along the curb had refrozen, effectively trapping my right front tire in a neat sleeve of ice. That's what I get for cavorting with The Evil One (and that was just my alderman). Turning the wheel and trying to rock the car back and forth did absolutely nothing, except perhaps polish the ice and wear the tires (I started to smell rubber after a few minutes, so I gave up).

Since I wasn't going to be driving my car anytime soon, and the CTA itinerary to the gym and Target would have been like planning a pilgrimage to Tibet, I decided to stick to my immediate nabe and walk up Clark Street to the newly-remodeled Dominick's near Howard Street for the grocery items, then mosey over to the Marshall's in the same shopping center for the other stuff.

The entire journey took a little longer than I'd anticipated, because I decided, since I was walking past it, to stop in at my local branch of the Chicago Public Library and get a few mysteries, since I hadn't checked them out in a while.

This put me, as it always does, at the tender mercies of the librarian that I've come to refer to lovingly as Frog Lips. Frog Lips embodies every complaint that a person has ever leveled against a city employee: she's slow, kinda cranky and clearly doesn't give a shit about your time. You could be waiting for life-saving medicine instead of waiting to check out a book, and I think Frog Lips would watch you die just to see your corpse slowly turn green. And she'd take her time watching that, too.

Today wasn't really an exception. After I'd found the two books that I wanted, I made my way, not without trepidation, to the checkout desk. Yep, FL was waiting on a lady in line before me, but it was that lady who was doing most of the waiting. You see, it seems as though she'd put a book on hold about a month previously and was stopping in to see if they had it. Poor bitch--I could have told her it wouldn't be that simple. FL was checking the computer in the way that she always does (as if it's the first time she's ever laid eyes on the goshdarned, newfangled contraption), then called several different branches to see if they had it (well, I can UNDERSTAND that part--she does have to check around), then went back to the goshdarned computer.

During this time, three children left the library, graduated high school and college, got married, had children, got divorced, and are currently consulting a cosmetic surgeon for hairplugs.

Eventually, however, FL finished waiting on the poor woman (who had since begun menopause and was fanning herself furiously) and checked my two books out. She asked if I'd like to receive e-mail updates, but I had aged so much that I'd become hard of hearing, so she had to repeat herself. Which made her even more cheerful. But, to her credit, she was fairly polite during our transaction, and I got my two books and got the hell out of there. Fast.

Next it was on to Dominick's. Boy, was I glad I went! They had asparagus on sale for $1.00 a pound!! I grabbed me two pounds, and got coffee, shaving cream and a bottle of inexpensive (OK, cheap) merlot.

Flush with my shopping success, I headed over to Marshall's to get some new pillows (I have company coming soon, and perhaps it's OK for me to lay my head on lumpy old foam pillows from Ikea that are 3 years old, but I won't have a guest doing it--especially if I want him to check in again sometime)...

In some ways, it was my lucky day--the Lord taketh away car functionality and library swiftness, but he really laid on the bargain-hunting luck today. Just look at the two feather pillows I picked up for $15.00 (that's for the pair):

blanket pillows 001

Ain't they beauts? And my luck didn't end there--I also found a really soft queen-sized blanket on sale, in a color I didn't already have:

blanket pillows 002

Feeling oh-so-pleased with myself, I made my purchases and decided to take the L home. They've opened the atrium building that goes down to the ground level of the CTA station, so I no longer have to walk down that hill to Howard Street, then all the way over. I didn't even mind the CTA employee throwing his haughty fish-eye over all the customers as if to say "Hey, look at me. I work here. I get to control how fast this train goes." Or the fact that we sat at Howard Street station for what seemed like a half hour, making it seem more like an airliner waiting for takeoff clearance than a mundane city transit train which makes the same route every 15 minutes (or is supposed to, anyway).

And now I'm home, where I can enjoy my mysteries, cheap wine and a nice soak in the tub...perhaps I'll venture out later, smelling all sweet and shit. Sometimes it's good to be me.

(But I still wouldn't recommend it.)