Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Two Fer Tuesday

Okay, I planned on posting about how on Tuesday, I drank a couple of beers and hit The Ho.

How I met Larry and Marilyn (other bartenders) and "high-fived" some guy named Tim about 333 times in two hours. Listened to country music and watched Tim and Marilyn dance (actually twirl around and sway) while Marilyn spent most of the time pulling Tim's hands off her ass. How talk turned to Behind The Green Door, Linda Lovelace, and Deep Throat. Marilyn likes porn. They used to play porn on the TVs at The Ho during the day.

How I then sauntered up to The Lamp Post Tavern and Jim (the bartender served me a Jameson on the Rocks with a Water back without me ordering it. How I stared longingly at a pixie of a cutie girl for a while. Frank told me she was engaged (of course, am I ever attracted to a single woman?). Smoked a lot of cigarettes and listened to some fat blonde complain to Jim and Frank about how some Dennis dude was "creepy" and "played his shitty music about how he hated his dad over and over."

But I am dead tired. And the heat is off in my apartment for the fifth time in 9 days.

So, I am going to chug a couple of beers, watch Dave Letterman and Conen O'Brien, and huddle under a blanket with Lilly.

Tomorrow I work 9-five, thus completing my roughly 49 hour week.

Then hit a couple of parties, drinking myself into (temporary) Oblivion with friends.

Happy New Year!
Drinks at the Bar!
2006: May you get what you want; not what you deserve. Arrrgh. ;-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

December 26th, Santa's had enough!

Ha ha ha.
I am linking here for the picture!!!

And Strange Reaction is a great site for you kids (like me) into the punk music.

Hope you all recovered from The Hellidays, and are gearing up for the New Year (I have two party invites! Unheard of! Unimaginable! Unbelievable! Brilliant!).

Good-night, ya Yobs!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sorry Virginia, Santa's Dead.

The Holidays.
The Hellidays.
Somewhere along the way, I've totally lost the Christmas Spirit.
What does this whole event, spectacle, shopping-spree weirdness mean?
People buying things (and seriously stressing-out about it) for people they don't know or even like. Or buy things just to buy something for people they love, without any thought behind it ("hey, stranger/sales associate, what's a good gift for my mom?") Obligatory gifts because it's the Holidays and they have to give something! Obligatory Gifts piss me off-- wedding gifts for a bride and groom you don't know, teachers' gifts, business gifts, holiday gifts. It rubs me wrong that people feel compelled to buy a gift; I'd hate for someone to give me something under that pretense. I prefer no gifts on Birthdays (just a well-wish does me fine) that had been bought under the Obligatory feel. Buy me something only if you like me and an item completely stuck you between the eyes: "Mac would loooove this!"

Obligated to buy. This doesn't feel right to me; and it hasn't for many years.

I am sure a part of this steady decline Santa's health is in part due to my steady increase in depression over the past 30 years or so. Or maybe it's just a factor of growing older that no one warned me about in my youth. Or the fact the anxiety-depression ridden side of my family has more of an influence on me than I ever realized (we don't exchange gifts anymore on one side of the family). Or maybe it is being witness to the aforementioned way a great majority of people shop through many years of Retail working.

Do people even remember December 25 is Jesus' Birthday?

And I'm not going to go all crack-pot religious freak-out on you. It's just that something seems missing behind all the lights, wrapping paper, and rising credit card bills. Is this time of year really the time of year to get stressed out and rude to other people at a mall (or anywhere for that matter)? Fucking Moronic Mall Zombies: buy, buy, buy!

I'm losing my train of thought here.

Maybe I just think people buy too much shit thoughtlessly, for the wrong reasons. Do you really need different colored rugs, placemats, and entire wardrobe merely because the season's changed? Does Little Skippy really need a $200 coffee maker for his Freshman Year dormroom? Do you really need to throw out a set of perfectly good glasses and buy all new ones because the old ones held five ounces instead of four? You really need to return all those items because "really, who has time to hand-wash? Who doesn't own a dishwasher?!"

I'm shocked America is the leader in waste and pollution.

There's something missing; and, I don't think I'm going to find it this year either.

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivous, etc.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Hellidays

Happy Birthday, Jesus, but Fuck the Holidays.
The meaning of Christmas is lost in the retail world. At least to me. Somewhere along the line, I have lost the Christmas Spirit.

And now I am freaking out as to what to buy momma and poppa for Christmas.
(They are in the process of leaving to Florida for the winter months, so that bought me time for shipping, YAY!)

But, what? Dear God, WHAT?!?!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

An imagined Future viewed in the Present among photos taken in the Past

On Friday, he clocked out and tucked in his shirt, yelling fast "good-byes" to various coworkers as he scurried out the store, heading for the car. He needed to be somewhere in a half an hour, and the drive would be at least that long. And, in addition, parking would be a huge obstacle to overcome once he got there, especially with the slush and snow and all.

In the parking lot, he lit a cigarette while the car warmed up and hoped for the best: light traffic and all green lights. Though not perfect, the drive went fast and smooth, having zig-zagged around Chicago's streets to avoid known clogged areas (Lincoln and the river bridge, for example). He even scored parking right next to the Dunkin Donuts by The Alley. And then his Doc Martens plunged into the snow up to his calf as he fed the meter. Wet!

That morning before work, he had pocketed an unsplit pill of Clonzapem without knowing why at the time, he hadn't needed it for some time now; but, now he knew why. Nervousness and the Blue-haired Demons had started to creep creep creep around the base of his stomach.

He inhaled deeply his last hit of his cigarette, quelling the Screaming Hordes, and exhaled loudly into the Clark Street traffic blowing the Blue-haired Demons into the steamy cold night. He entered The John Galt Gallery.

Bright lights! Warmth! People talking a murmermurmermurmer that hummed in his ears. He walked on shaking legs to the next room, scanning the crowd for people he knew and alighted on Justin and Complex Carrie. He in dark clothes with his cool necklace, and she in a black antique dress like a wide-eyed Flapper. He walked up to them and said hello, and they went through the typical "what time you get here?," "how'd you get here?," and "who else is here/coming?" small talk everyone goes through at first meeting as the snow melting off his shoes made a small muddy puddle on the light wood floor.

"Did you dye the ends of your hair red?" he asked Carrie.
"No, why?"
And when she turned to face him, the color red disappeared from the ends of her black hair. He realized it was an illusion caused by the red and yellow bulb shining in a little black-metal framed lantern held by a skeleton statue in a bride's dress standing behind her/next to him.
They laughed and looked around. His eyes landed on a petite blonde in black slacks and blouse, looking professional and vigilant. She must work here. He followed her around the room with his eyes for a while: very cute. The type of woman that made him very aware of the scuff-marks on his boots, of all the wrinkles in his dark green button-down, and of the frays beginning at the hem of his brown pants.

He had been expecting/hoping tonight would be a scene out of this book/movie, but, alas, it was Chicago and twenty years too late. Instead of Bow Wow Wow or Tones on Tail grinding bumping pulsing through the speakers, he didn't recall hearing anything at all, but the background voice-noise. Though no Annabella Lwins were running around, there were indeed about four Sweet Betties walking around. Strangely, the two artsy Bucktown-types looked very similar to each other: medium length dirty blond hair, thin Euro-All-American-girl faces, big brown eyes, long tan-colored overcoats, and off-centered make-him-melt smiles tinged with an all-knowing smirk. One had a boyfriend, the other a small green Israeli Army purse.

Looking around reminded him of teenage dreams, of the Path he had envisioned himself walking forward on. He had wanted to drink and twirl with girls at The End of The World for four or five years; move into a crude walk-up on the L.E.S.; write for a living at music magazines; gallery and club hop throughout the week; and rub shoulders with artists, rockers, and models slumming it on Wednesdays at dive bars in the rain. But, through a series of choices, mistakes, fate, and fear, he ended up in Chicago. In Retail. And, he supposed, it wasn't all bad.

Ahead of him hung three sci-fi, D&D wet dreams. In another room, he saw a painting he really liked and would have bought, if not for the $875 price tag. On the other wall (also similarly priced) hung a few paintings of cityscapes, or rather, buildings viewed from an alley only in teals and hott pinks named (something like) "This Year's Blight." Even with the warm or flashy colors, the pictures held a mysterious element of danger or sadness or hidden evil. A tiny Asian hipster with a goatee, looking at a painting of a woman's face next to the hospital painting, kept telling his girlfriend, "this one's not bad, not bad..."

He returned to his friends who had been joined by Lauren.

"Where's Scott?" he asked her, mainly to remind himself she was married, to push aside all the naughty thoughts running through his head when she looked at him over her dark-rimmed glasses, or when she put a hand on her hip that jutted out just-so when she took a sip of her wine.

"He works late tonight." She said," Their reisling-styled one is very good, you should try some."

He finished the sweet red wine he had and took her advice and went to the bar for the reisling one. The August Hill Winery had donated bottles to the event and were holding a Wine Tasting this evening.

Conversation among the group swerved and flowed: Rehab, cars, how it's hard to talk about your own paintings, the wine, jobs, condos, and more: "...and then H. left a voicemail to call her back, so I did. She was on mushrooms, and she denied ever calling me. I'm worried about her, she's acting weird: You don't eat mushrooms at midnight when you're looking for a job!"

He briefly thought to ask her if H. could get him four grams of mushrooms, but thought this may not be the best time.

Ron, in Armani (that he pointedly and loudly pointed out), was saying "...I love her photo that has Bjork in the background." Which turned out to be a picture of Bjork in the background, not actually Bjork standing in the background. He told Ron he felt lied to.

And, suddenly, he was meeting a photographer named Candice. The three of them grouped in front of Candice's photo sets. She had long red hair, a black vest over some sort of concert t-shirt, and multiple piercings. She seemed seemed a lot younger than him.

"Which one's your favorite and why?' she asked. He pointed to Innocence and Seduction, but he wanted to switch the titles. All the photos held warm color (yellows, oranges and reds), but they turned out to be black and whites that had been developed with a filter. A woman posed in front of a yellowish garage door in Innocence. She had her hands up in her black hair and stood askew in a tight white Michael Jackson "Beat It" t-shirt, her eyes looking directly into the viewer's with a come hither look. In the darker photo, Seduction, the same model had been shot, a nude, with breasts and face only showing, shadowed. A line ran across her neck.

"Has she been strangled? Is that a rope burn?" He asked, pointing to the line.
"No, it's a collar."
"I want to switch the titles."
"Why?"
The look on her face in this one has more of a seductive woman, one that knows what she wants and gets it, whereas the side view of her look in this one, and maybe her nudity, brings to my mind a sense of purity or newness, more of an innocent quality. Her stance in the first one just screams 'let's get it on.'"

And that led to a brief conversation among him, Candice, Ron and John (Candice's boyfriend) about using or not using titles in art. Should a piece have a title displayed for the viewer? Does the addition of a title help or hinder the viewer's interpretation of the piece?

"I hate it when they use 'Untitled' as a title." Candice said. "That's just lazy." Then Ron started saying something about how in New York the wine is better at these gallery events.

Time to go.

Lauren was going out to a bar with Perry. No invitations, so he offered Justin and Complex Carrie a ride home.

He'd had a peek into a world he'd envisioned as a teen. He poured a double-finger of Rare Breed on the Rocks, sat on the too small couch, and dreamed of where he wanted to go in life.

And pretended he knew how to get there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Post Postponed Post

I'd planned to finish a post about my night out at The John Galt Gallery, but I've just come off a 13 hour shift.

I am beat to all get out.

Tonight is devoted to Jameson and The Reality Radio Show on WLUW (the best Chicago station!). That is what I need now: whiskey and hard-core, pub-rock, classic punk, and trashy rock'n'roll.

And sleep.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Memory attached to a song

This song always reminds me of my First Big College Crush.

Fenzel House, Freshman year, and she lived on my floor. Of course she had a BF. Of course I was too shy to let her know how I felt. Of course she thought I was a funny friend.

Where are you now, M. Amiet?

I remember drinking in my room with A.D. (my roommate), and she burst into the room, screaming, "Mac, it's on, it's on, come quick!" We rushed into the Girl's Mod, cupped beers in hand, breathlessly awaiting the MTV's World Premier Video of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U." The lounge remained silent (amazingly) for the whole video, and I sat on the floor next to M.A. and watched a tear roll down her cheek at the video's end, desperately wanting to hug and kiss her.

It never happened, but the song lives on and remains one of my favorites of all time.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Get me some Culture and Wine


If the weather permits, and the Moronic Mall Zombies don't beat me down, I am planning on attending this Silent (ssshhh!) Art Auction/Wine Tasting (!) Event at the John Galt Gallery on Friday.

3222 N. Clark, Chicago IL 60657
6-9 p.m.

10% of the sales will help The Lakeview Pantry feed the hungry.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Monday, Mac was Ho-ungover

Yes, readers. Most of this past Monday passed me by while curled either in bed or on the too small couch, clutching head in hands and/or groaning for Lilly to "hush now, baby, hush."

Food intake for the day consisted only of Honey Lemon Green Tea, Paxil, Aspirins, water, Vitamins, Aspirin, and eventually a Po' Boy Ghetto Casserole I concocted with random staple items from the far-flung depths of my nearly empty kitchen cupboards (baked beans, shredded cheese, hot sauce, various spices and seasonings, baked in a glass dish at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes; shut up. It wasn't that bad).

What put me in this dire, yet all to familiar state of disrepair? Why did I feel like I sucked on ash and sand and cat hair? Where did Sunday night's booze-up occur?

The Ho.

Yes, friends, after a Vodka and 7-Up (with lemon), I made another trek to The (neighborhood) Ho. Again bored, buzzed, and restless, I succumbed to her cheap siren call.

It's freezing outside, and my Doc Martens slip on patches of ice as I make my way down the street, nodding once to two Mexicans working on a truck engine. I sit down at the bar, am greeted warmly by Linda, and served a $1 (yes, that's one dollar) draft beer. There is only one other guy in the bar (I later learn this is Larry, the other night bartender) sipping a draft and working on paperwork. Looking up at the TV, I see I'm just in-time to witness the beating of my second favorite team 10-34 on ESPN (last week granted me a grimacing trouncing of my first favorite team).

The Ho is where you go to watch dreams die, if you even have any dreams still alive.

Bad luck in a bad luck bar.

Linda's on her cell phone, so I sip my beer and look around the place. Old T-shirts hang above the door, the place used to be called "J.J. Hoburn's" or something. Exposed vent shaft along the ceiling on the outside wall pumps in heat, an American flag waving in the wind. Christmas stockings with names of The Regulars (Sal, Carlos, Terry, Gibble etc.) and Linda's daughters hang along the back of the bar and behind me. The polished wood bar is smooth under my hands, it's grain grinning up at me: "just refinished last month." Sports posters (Cubs and Bears) everywhere. Dark brown metal-tiled ceiling reminds me of Tony's, in a sad way. And a Christmas Tree, brightly lit up, on the table by the ladies' room door.

Linda gets off the phone with Blair, her boyfriend (that cracks me up), and gets me another beer. A younger thin Hispanic guy shows up and walks to the far end of the bar to play some video bar game with Linda, the warped floor raises and lowers my barstool as he passes. After a time and a beer, he and Larry talk about the latest in the bar's Football Pool "never bet against The Bears, I told him again and again, man, never bet against The Bears. He lost a bundle." He leaves.

Linda and I talk, mainly about her kids. They either graduated from or are still at ETHS. She says it ain't the same as when she went. "My baby girl got jumped by some fuckin' gang-bangers last week. Shit, I knew who they were, and I called their momma right up."

I know practically nothing about ETHS, except this guy went there, and that he hated it. Called it a prison. She didn't know him. He's probably much younger than her. "It ain't like when we went there. They got detectives and cops roaming the halls and metal detectors and shit."

She gets me another beer, then Blair calls her again. She stares out the front window past the neon sign at the street, "I love you too, baby."

Larry tells me The Ho's been around since Prohibition, but he's only worked here about three years (ha ha). He used to be in advertising, but now he bartends here. He's got a daughter who's seriously into her studies at Indiana University and a son ("considering criminal law or something") at University of Michigan. He's proud of them, they're good kids. He heads for home.

A couple of beers have past, and I hear Linda tell Blair it's a slow night, and she thinks she may close up at one tonight. I order shot of Jameson and a (final) draft, thinking the night is coming to a close; and, besides, things are starting to swim a little, speed up.

Bits of Ho Knowledge:
The other bartenders steal tips from Linda.
There is a wicked-looking baseball bat behind the bar, and Linda has come close to using it.
No one has been murdered in the bar.
If you are a minority, Linda will give you change (quarters changed into dollars) (like the two black guys that came in at one point), but Larry and the Owner won't.
The Owner and the other bartenders "switch off" the pay phone if minorities try to use it without ordering.
Larry will jack up the prices on newbies and pocket the overage, so check out the price listing behind the bar on yellowed paper to the left of the whiskey shelf.
The jukebox is mainly country music, except for this this Fuck-Yeah! albumI so love.
You can run a monthly tab.



* * *

Then Linda tells me a sad story.
One night this chick comes in alone, sits at the bar, and buys a beer. Soon, Larry is buying her drinks. A Mexican guy comes in and sits with her, buying her drinks. A little bit later, an Indian guy comes in, also starts buying her drinks. As the night progresses, this chick is wasted, making out with the Mexican for a bit, then hits the bathroom, comes back and makes out with the Indian guy. Linda pulls the bat out when the Mexican starts finger-banging her at the bar. "You don't pull that shit in here, get out, get a room." The Mexican guy leaves. The Indian dude and chick make out for a bit, pay the tab and take off. Sometime later (that night, next day, next week?). The Indian dude shows up, "Linda, if anyone asks, I was never here."

The guy lives around the corner. He had "found" the woman in his stairwell at four in the morning naked and bleeding. She "might" have been raped, but he didn't do anything.

"I don't lie for no one like that, mutha fucker." The bat comes out, "If the cops come here, I'm tricking on you fast! Found her? Shit. How'd she get in your building in the first place? Fuck you, get out!"



* * *

The door opens, and a tall, bearded white guy walks in (Steve). He starts talking to Linda immediately about how he messed up the Football Pool. He'd picked 15 for 15, but never had a chance to place his bet. "15 for 15! Oh, man, I messed up this week missing that bet." And his voice is like a balloon. He fills the room with his booming voice, not un-friendly, just loud and constant. Soon, I'm clawing against the edges of the balloon, stuck in my seat.

"I'm working on this statue, this sculpture for this guy, about 19 inches tall, got the shape worked out, but having trouble finishing off the hands, he wants a gun in one hand and the other hand is flipping the bird, gun in this hand, middle finger up in the other, about this tall, it's the main character in that horror movie, gruesome thing, haven't watched it yet, gotta borrow a DVD player to see the thing, really get a better idea about the character, supposed to be a blood-bath...."

Steve makes 12" to 20" sculptures of various things, and he owns 3 of his own electric kilns. Sells at art shows and such.

Somewhere in the night, Steve leaves for a what feels like a nano-second and returns with his brother Terry. I get a free beer and a free shot of Jameson on Linda. I insist she drink one with me, so she cracks a Corona with Lime and salt: Cheers! Steve drops 3 thin photo albums in front of me. They're his portfolios of his work. They were pretty good. I looked at one and exclaimed, "this one is perfect for S.R.!" It was a little Mr. Burns twiddling his fingers, the word "Excellent" carved into the base. S.R. loves The Simpsons. I asked how much for this one, but Steve said it'd already been sold, and seemed to brush off my inquiries as to pricing.

"You smoke, Mac?" Linda asks.
"No."
"You a narc, Mac?" she asks, laughing.
"Yeah, right."

Her and Steve "go for a quick walk" while I attempt small talk with Terry who is very quiet. He stutters, and I am sad to admit I remember nothing of our attempted conversation. I think he's an accountant? Something like that. I look at the photos again.

Linda and Steve return, a blast of cold smell with a trace of weed. She turns on the ceiling fan, and starts to restock the coolers. I ask if she needs help, but no, "it's been a slow night."

Terry orders a beer, and Linda pulls the wrong one, so suddenly I'm drinking a bottled Miller High Life. Linda turns on a small radio mounted behind the bar. Willie Nelson's "You Were Always On My Mind" comes on, and Terry starts singing along; his stutter is gone, and there's a sad, faraway look in his eyes. I sit quietly, affected by this moment. The song ends.

"That was pretty nice, Terry."
"Thank you."

Halfway through the bottle, and we're all saying good-byes and heading out into the night; the bottle in my pocket. The cold slaps us in the faces, so good-byes are brief and exchanged as we walk different directions: Steve and Terry to the south, Linda to the west and me to the east.

I imagine the beer freezing into a yellowish popsicle in my pocket.

It's freezing outside, and my Doc Martens slip on patches of ice as I head down the street, nodding to no one.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

If The Ho won't come to Mac, then Mac goes to The Ho

I had a whole post written in my head about this "adventure," but I allowed a hangover and too much time to pass and lost the momentuem.

Therefore, in a nutshell (with apologies to the ex-pat who wanted to go with me), here it is:

This past Sunday night, after work and a couple of Dirty Martini's with Lilly, I called Complex Carrie to see if they felt like going out for a drink. Due to financial lacking and an acute sense of the "sleepies," they rejected my proposal for intoxicating liquids and Mac-babble.

I and Lilly finished our drinks. I looked at her and she looked at me. And then she walked away to lick herself or something. She also rejected my proposal for heading out into the night. I smoked a cigarette, leaning against the kitchen sink, suffering from a trifecta of Boredom, Restlessness, and Vodka.

The Beast of the City hummed outside my window. I needed to stroke her moonlit black fur.

"Fuck it."

I went to The Ho, that seedy looking bar I've past on the way to The Lamp Post.

Tucked in the middle of no where in north Rogers Park, it sits with a single neon beer sign and a white sign above the door simply stating "The Ho" with a picture of a dog or something. I did a last hit off my Camel Light, flicked it into the alley, took a deeeeep breath and enter the bar.

Dark. Divey. And not bad.

Like I said, too much time has passed to full and properly finish this post. I'll try to post more about the next time (next time?) I hit The Ho.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Do you ever really "give up the ghost"

(Originally written 11/25/05)

I just watched Sex and the City.
The theme centered around giving up "the ghost" of relationships past. Do you ever really let go? When is it time?

I'm thinking of M.R. tonight (12? years). And drinking Jameson (fuck the rocks). And, oddly, feel guilty about not thinking more about C.K. (but, I am... a little). Maybe more so about the feeling one has while in a relationship. You can't describe it, but there is a feeling that takes over you when you're in it. A strangely warm cloud envelopes you and everything around you; even during the rough patches.

Fucking Holidays and surprise visits at work. Sparks emotions you knew were always there, but had hidden deep down below. You can hide the shit, but it is there; always able to surface at a moments notice. Sparks and flames of nostalgia that cannont be quenched/squelched no matter how much amber liquid you douse upon the fire.

Mental napalm that burns everything it touches.

I'm listening to the only mix-tape a lover ever made for me. Someone thought of me enough to sit down and take the time to compile a grouping of music that said something to her to express to me what she felt about me:



  • "I Go Crazy"-- Flesh For Lulu
  • "Foolish Heart"--The Grateful Dead
  • "Is This Love"--
  • "Lovesong"--The Cure
  • "Melt With You"-- Modern English
  • "Now"-- Eddie Brickell and New Bohemians
  • "In Your Eyes"-- Peter Gabriel
  • "Can't Help Falling In Love With You"-- Lick The Tins (God, this version kills me. Every Time.
  • "Say Hello 2 Heaven"-- Temple of the Dog
  • "I Do"-- Eddie Brickell and New Bohemians.

Side two= Peter Gabriel's "Security"

I've decided: you never give up the ghost until you're dead. Sometimes I so wish I could go back in time and mend the wounds, do the right thing. But you can't; the stupid youthful mistake is done.

You can't take the bullet back; once it enters, the damage is forever done and it bleeds forever.

"Et tu Brute?" she said.

The deepest cut.

Friday, December 02, 2005

'Beer goggles' effect explained

Ah-ha, that clears it all up then.
And all these years I just thought I was drunk and horny.

(Found via TMFTML)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm With The Band

Okay.

I'm neither in the band nor with them in a Pamela Des Barres sort of way, but I hang with the Z-boys (and their mates) now and again.

Here's a pic from their last show at The Empty Bottle with __?__ and The Wilderness:



More pictures of them and the party I attended earlier that night will be posted on My Flickr later on. Too sweeepy now :-(

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I am off to C.P. and Sully's for Turkey, Samuel Adam's, and what-not.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bored hands (on deck) do nasty drinks make

So, being even more bored at work than usual the other day, I proprosed the following to a few co-workers:

If we opened a bar, a dirty-themed bar, what would you name some Featured Drinks? Here are the results with credit where credit is due.

Beer:
Blue "Moon Me" Beer-- Voice-over J.

The Bi-drinks:
Vagina and Tonic-- Mac.
Dirty Old Man Martini, garnished with a Prune-- Voice-over J.
Long Schlong Iced Tea-- Mac
Rum and Cock or Roman Cock or (said with a southern accent) A Rammin' Cock-- Voice-over J.
Martini with a Lisp-- Mac.
A Shot with a Bare Back-- Mac.
Harvey Ball Banger-- S.R.
Man-Hatin' on the Rocks-- Mac.
Never Go back Once You've Had Black Russian-- Voice-over J.
Hung Like A Black Russian--S.R.
3 Circumsized Men Shot-- Mac.
Fuzzy Asshole-- Mac.
A Rob-boi--Mac.
Sloe Gin Jizz-- S.R.
Fuck and Grin Gin-- Mac.

Feel free to add more in the comments, or buy us a round.

Lucy in the Skyy (Vodka) with (3) Diamonds

or, um, Olives.

Really, I got nothing beyond that; I just liked the play on words.

Sorry.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Even I have my breaking point

If another self-righteous religious married narrow-minded idiot Fem-bot (Gabby Romanian, this time) accuses me or implies I am gay ("not that there's anything wrong with that") soley because I am:
  • White
  • Thin
  • Over 30 and not married with kid(s)
  • Or any combination of the 3

I may have to punch them square in their over/hasty-generalizing, brain-washed-by-religion, xenophobic right-winged mouth!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

After midnight, we gonna let it all hang out...

Unlike most normal people who go to the nearest Happy Hour after a mind-numbing work day, I have recently gotten into a new and strange habit.

I come home, do the household duties, check email, cruise my regular websites, and pet the cat, etc. But then around Midnight, I get the urge for a drink (like the one I'm sipping now).

Why?

Maybe because the neighborhood is quiet. Maybe because I'm bored. Maybe because my biological/internal clock is goofed-up.

Who knows? At least I never drink alone: I always have Lilly:

Bad Lilly! (B/W)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If it works out...

I'll be here (The Empty Bottle on Saturday):


But, of course, when it rains, it pours.

I may be attending a booze-fest that Complex Carrie and Justin invited me to attend.

Flipping a coin as I type (talented muthafuka, no?). I am hopng to drink at both events, but we shall see (double).

Wish me luck, or buy a round at either events!

NCAA 2004: A look into the sub-conscious?

I just finished season two on NCAA 2005.
The second to last game turned out to be a grueling Rivalry Match: Michigan vs. my The Ohio State University; or, as I like to call them: The Great Red Wall. This win actually satisfies a deep, ingrained part of me. Growing up in Ohio, one is instilled with a healthy hatred for Michigan; and, a couple of my family members are hard-core O.S.U. fans, so this propaganda has flooded my brain since birth. "Goo-goo-ga-ga, Gooo Bucks!"

I won, after a tense and flip-flop type game, 14-10 in the last minute. One more game and it's off to the Bowl Games (currently scheduled for the Sugar Bowl [update, 11/16/05. I won! Grounded Florida like a cigarette under my Doc Martens). And I'm feeling good about the outcome. I rank first in the Big Ten Conference, and am ranked #10 in the NCAA.

Overall, I am ranked either second to last or dead last in Offence, but my Defense is listed #1 in the Big Ten and in the top five NCAA overall. Defensively I am A Great Red Wall.

Does this speak to my real life psyche in some way?

When it comes to Social, Career, and Love Life, I've always ranked low (if not bottomed out) when it comes to Offensive (motivated) Moves. Maybe I am more of a conservative man...nay, a reserved man, I suppose, when it comes to making power plays in most aspects of my life. The type of man to wear a belt as well as suspenders (to use a Robert Benchley quote). My feet knows few leaps or bounds and barely even trudge forward using the tiniest of baby steps.

Rather, in my twisted and skewed thinking and self-reflection, I tend to root in and secure a safety zone. Pile high the emotional and physical(/geographical/structural) sand bags and fight with a reactionary mode from the trenches of my own devising. A good offense is a good defense? Or have I flipped that philosophy? But sand bags leak, and you may know me if you catch a grain or 3.

I need to fling a Hail Mary. At least once before my "season" ends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Mind is like The Bowels

The shit inside needs to come out, once in a while, or you'll die.

Feel free to "pass that" along.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why?


Been thinking of M.R. and E.L. (the painter of this picture) and their shared event.
Not sure why.

Please, God, never let the subject of this work happen again.
To anyone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Like a Lava Lamp

Lava Lamp 10

I am moving slowly.
Moving up and down.
Trapped in some sort of glass of my own devising.

No forward motion.
Bumping into other spheres of influence.
Brief contact.
Friction without Retention.

There is Heat in the Base.
It has no where to go.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Happy Birthday To M.

"Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the Future...' for us all, and M. made it through another year of his life yesterday. Stop over there and wish him a happy in his comments!

Tonight, we celebrate this Rock Star event at Doodlehead's with soul food and cocktails (and dicks and boobs. tee hee).

I gotta go trim my Afro now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

(Another) Overheard on the Sales Floor

Little Kim, "When I go to college, I'm gonna get laid every night!"

Mac, "When you move into the dorm, you give me a call!"

Overheard on the Sales Floor

Floorstocker S. "Remember that time, when you used to hate me?"

Amber Chunky Globes, "No."

Floorstocker S. "Well, I do, and that's all that matters."

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Electric Chair


Electric Chair 2
Originally uploaded by Mac(3).

Purple Haze. Dancing Lights. Silent Air. Dignity in Sadness? Moment Captured. Blue Fog. Twinkle in the Eye. Yesterday makes Today.
Black Night Folds Her Arms Around You.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Switch the (laser) Needle

This is much better for my mood.

Sunday's Juxtaposition

I am bored, restless, and...did I mention bored; therefore, I am chugging Old Style (from a can, yo!) and listening tothis soundtrack. How silly/messed up is that?

The CD came to me in the mail with a bunch of other random/scratched CDs my dad found in the country whilst on a bike ride. Random, no?

So the wind and the smell of autumn calls to mind keggers from the past, and the music is the background of a few nights-gone-dancing that I used to participate in. That's right, I used to dance; but, that characteristic took a slow death around 1993. And no, C.P., I'll not elaborate (ha ha ha).

Nothing to do but head-bob and sip.

Give a call if you're up and up to the babbling that may (or may not) erupt from my mouth.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gunfire in the Jungle

9 shots rang out and echoed among the buildings. Somewhere in "The Jungle.' Probably over by Doodlehead's apartment.

And I don't even care.

I am too involved in the battle in my head. Smoke and amber bullets swirling pinging around the borders of my mind.

Sick of Religion, and the conquests and pain it causes.
Sick of all this talk of marriage, and babies, and love, and girlfriends, and boyfriends, and dating.
Sick of worrying about work, and finding another job.
Sick of The Ghetto Clinic.
Sick of barely making rent.

The Screaming Trees calm me tonight. His whiskey voice echoes my own, "shine your lonely light on me/I'll be there to hold the..."

Last week I went around with a bottle of White Out in the store and touched up the cracks and scratches on the fixtures at work. I think I met the lowest point of my career. I felt like such a tool. What have I become? I'm the fucking Gimp, the Vegetative Shell of a Man who bags your groceries.

The meds make me numb. Better, I suppose, than wanting to finish a bottle in a bloody bath.

I want out. I want in. I don't know what I want. I want to remember "what is the point?"

I nod. I smile. I say "Thank you" and "Please." I make jokes. I flirt with married or women with boyfriends. I change the subject. I am paranoid. I hold so much in contempt. I am disgusted with myself. I want to sleep with her. I want to sleep with no one. I curse my self. I ask you to come inside, and then throw you out. Can you erase someone nicely? I never learned how to live. I write Nothing. I plod along the keyboard, bored with the walk. Ghosts look at me with disappointed eyes.

I dreamed last night the store closed down. Laid-off again. It felt inevitable; meant to be.

Tonight, I nearly went to The Ho alone. Restless, I needed an "experience." The need to drink among the fellow downtrodden; tickle the underbelly and see its reaction. I needed a test for myself. You always wonder how you'd react in certain situations. But I stayed home, and I dreamed with my eyes open, leaning against the sink.

Halfway to Nowhere.

My voicemail is full of messages, but only two are for me. I can't even listen to them tonight.

The Holidays are coming again this year. Sadness and anxiety. I hate receiving and giving. I usually boycott Halloween parties. I loathe dressing up. "You can be someone else for a night." But I don't want to be someone else; yet, I don't want to be Me. What the Hell kind of conundrum is that? People behind masks scare me. I need to see/know to whom I'm talking to.

I need to see your Eyes and Mouth.

And retail just killed Christmas and Marriage for me. It just brings the Evil out in people. Jesus, who? Love, what? Peace, never heard of it.

Fuck it.
Flounder on for another day.

Seize fire for now.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Can you hear the Roar?

The New York Jets are on! The New York Jets are on! The New York Jets are on!

On Monday Night Football. On Network TV. I can actually watch a game. Whooo-haaaa!
This may not strike you filled-to-the-gills-with-money types, but for those of us without cable, this is a big fricking deal. I've had to live through this blog's eyes.

But I'll have to tape it *sigh*, as I am invited to Curious Carrie and Justin's for homemade Indian food.

Don't you dare tell me the score, or I may kill you.

Here are some words to live by

Since I haven't written anything as of late worth the electricity used to run Gonzo II, allow me to point your way to Manhattan Transfer's wise words: 99 Tips For Living.

Here's a few I need to work on or have outright failed following:

  • Avoid staying out past midnight three nights in a row.
  • People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy.
  • When in doubt, always kiss the girl. [I am always in "doubt"]
  • Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them. Ask someone for an introduction. [My death will be caused by shyness]
  • You’ll regret much more the things you didn’t do than the things you did. [Seriously]
  • Avoid the “last” glass of whiskey. You’ve probably had enough. [But it tastes so good at the time]
  • You cannot have a love affair with whiskey because whiskey will never love you back. [Damn Irish blood in my veins!]
  • Never date an ex of your friend. [Sorry, C.C., B.C., J.R.--"Raise your hand if you dated Jenny B." four out of five ha ha ha]

Until later: later.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Getting rich (one cent at a time)

For kicks, I started a Cafepress.com Store.

Design and Sell Merchandise Online for Free

Don't you want to buy my pretty things?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Amber Light In a Dark Place

Robert Smith is screaming at me, for me. The Wailing Guitar is my voice. No one hears me scream because I end in a nervous laugh. Faith and Pornography. Is that really all there is?

I walk through the air and make no breeze. I am Invisible. No one sees me because I don't see Myself. I hide from myself, sickened and black, the wet leftovers of a campfire in the rain. No use for it anymore. Soon to sick into the earth, forgotten.

Cheeks wet with tears that never come. Bloodshot eyes in the morning, I am allergic to the awakened world. Self-exiled, quarantined from others. I cannot connect.

I can't write. I have nothing to say that hasn't been said before. Typing is the sound of a pebble in the middle of an avalanche. I choke on other's dust, and I fall before the rush. Trapped beneath a boulder, I sit until the sun sets. Pinched in a Trap of my own devising, I am bored with it all and suffer until the last blood drop trickles out my veins.

In the hanging garden, I wish to hang. I shiver and shake, and I shudder and blink. My hand covers my twisting mouth. My tongue swells and shrinks, I cannot speak. My fingers bitten to the quick, blood lines my nails. The Path is hidden from my Blind-folded Eyes, and the Blue-haired Demons laugh and dance around my wasted body.

Can you hear them? They gnash their teeth, emitting hyena howls and lick my ears. "Join us, join us; it takes but a moment..." My cries go unanswered. No one sees my pleading eyes. Part of me doesn't care anymore.

I consider.

But am too weak.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Dresden Dolls do Black Sabbath

The Dresden Dolls cover Black Sabbath's War Pigs (Yay!)--> Here.

Cabaret Death Metal? Heavy Lounge? Thrash Piano?

(Thanks to Chicagoist for the link)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

W.V. in D.C.

I need your email address again.

I lost it on the dead computer.

Please email my other email.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My own Rip Van Winkle

So last night didn't go as planned, but maybe for the better.

Homie J.B. didn't call me from The Green Mill's Poetry Slam (Marc Smith "So What?!?") to tell me where to meet up with him and Seatt-L.C. (It ended up they left right after).

I got home from work feeling coughy and draggy, but determined to go out. I had, like a dork, accidently deleted Homie J.B.'s phone number from my Caller ID, so I waited around for him to call; a little of this, checking emails, chasing Lilly around the apartment, watched a little Image Union, and generally fighting the urge to doze off on the too small couch. I finally gave up the wait, went to bed, and ended up sleeping for FOURTEEN HOURS. WTF? I guess this chest cold is still kicking hard.

Tonight the plan is to meet up for Indian food, and drinks afterward.

* * *

News from within The Complex:
About five minutes after I stepped into The Cube after work last night, my door buzzer went off. It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening as visitors are a rare thing. I went to the box thingy: "Hello?" no answer... "Hello???" no answer. And then I realized:

It was coming from inside The Complex!

Thankfully, it turned out not to be a psycho killer, but my neighbor Complex Carrieand she held in her hand, not a butcher's knife, but portion of Raspberry Pound cake her husband baked the other day. The thing weighed a ton, but tasted sugary and fruity. My sweet tooth exploded and asked for more. (thanks, guys)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A word of warning

In the stock room, I overheard The Croatian Gyration Sensation tell Volleyball J.:

"You should be careful with random hook-ups. If you want to get married someday, girls don't like guys with herpes."

Reunited, and it feels so good.

My friends Seatt-L.C. and Homie J.B. are in town for a few days, so postings may be even lighter than ever (as of late).

Forgive me, or buy us a round.

Grease the wheels on their Chariots of Fire

Okay everyone; join me in thinking Thoughts Of Speed for my friends Arsh and Amazing G. They're running the Chicago Marathon (though Amazing G. may not, undecided as of Friday).

So now and again this morning, picture a tall white woman and a shorter brown woman running side by side on the beach with sea gulls floating past them inspirationally. And then a pouty-lipped Brazilian woman in a white thong walks by, turns to you and....

Oops, combined a couple of different thoughts there, sorry.

Good luck to all my friends running wild in the streets of Chicago!

All right, then, I have to go smoke a cigarette and eat some lard or something. All this talk of running exercise has worn me out.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Work gets in the way

If the temperature rose about ten degrees and the sun came out, I'd be in just the right mood for a group of friends and a trip up Bong Hill. For the view (another) (and another), the relaxation, the intoxication, the feeling of freedom, and the sound of breeze through trees and across grass. If it got cold, or we climbed at night, maybe a small campfire in The Caves. Like that one time, drinking Busch Light, staring at the fire, and laughing; when, during a lull in the conversation, we heard off in the distance: "this is the end, my only friend, the end" drifting in the forest night. We followed the voice of Jim, and found a keg party down the lane. Magikal Bong Hill.

After a few hours, when we had to go, a fast slide tumble slip down the Face to end the day. The many times I've done this in the past may have added to the erosion...sorry.

You can't always get what you want,

but (supposedly) you get what you need.
I got a roof over my head. Some food in my belly. Some booze for the soul. Some rags on my back.

But something is missing.
"You just want to have a crush on someone, "M. said a month ago or so, and maybe he's right. Maybe I just want the Rush of a Crush to get me through this long day called life. That giddy feeling that pushes you out of bed, smiling, even on the coldest of mornings.

I mentioned the unmentionable to my Primary S. at The Ghetto Clinic today.

That summer before my senior year. "I hope I didn't mess you up, " she said. And I laughed, "...of course you didn't, don't worry about it."

For years later, I think maybe the situation did. It might have set up a pattern of self-destruction, to always want what I can't have, forbidden to touch. I thought maybe I needed to go back for better closure: to finish this time, would finish it for good.

And then I could move on and start really Living Life.

Primary S. said, maybe you both needed that situation at that time. You said you helped each other get through things going on at that moment, so maybe that was all. That's what you're really looking for now: a Soulmate of sorts, discovered at that moment in your life. You started out as friends and moved on, then moved on. It ran its course.

Maybe that's what you need/want. You want more than sex, you want a True close friend, a confidant, a partner, a Real Soulmate. And it doesn't sound like The Mall is where you're going to find her.

Sometimes it takes a total stranger, outsider, to spin the situation into a healthy memory.

I want to sing Love is All* to my Sister Saviour* "one last late night/ before it's too late."--The Rapture.

*(opens Windows Media Player).

Mac

(mk)
n. Slang
Used as a form of address for a man whose name is unknown.

It's in the dictionary.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sour Grapes

While scouring through the inventories of 3 different stores for cheap dining chairs for this weasely guy, and pointing out something for a newbie associate, the phone rings for me. It's a woman from The Big House in H.R. She's called to inform me that even though "you did nothing wrong" I didn't land the photography department data entry job.

I found myself weirdly unfazed at this information. Later, a coworker said I sounded quite professional and cordial on the phone (while juggling inventory computer and soothing whiny weasel guy). And (pardon me if I sound all New Age-y or Align You Chakras Flaky) that lack of bummed-outness leads me to believe (or pretend to believe) I didn't really want the job. Shitty early hours, no benefits, and double the commute time must not have outweighed the (presumably) better pay.

So Be It!
Wasn't meant to be...
Sour Grapes...

Back to the want ads, intra-office postings, and such.

As I typed this post, I looked up into one of My Cube's corners and saw a little flock of Somethings dancing hopping skipping giving me six to eight fingers in a web. Right above my computer. I quickly covered my monitor of my Gonzo II with a T-shirt (It's all in your mind/ Halloween '91/ Athens Ohio backside: You are what you eat [enter giant mushroom and electric wizard]), and, not having any bug spray, annihilated the little buggers with Lysol.

Now My Cube reeks of Summer Breeze and Death.

I have a fever and sore throat

Why, in the Hell, am I still up?!?

Works going to suck tomorrow...ugh.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Still Life

Tea for One

Last night, a stillness held the air. I felt neither too hot nor too cold, but restless as I smoked cigarettes and drank a cupful after cupful of honey lemon tea. Staring out the kitchen window at the rain washing the street. The neighborhood stood silent; no yelling kids, no basketballs bouncing, no dogs barking, few cars shhhhh-ed by in the street, and the wind barely moved the leaves outside my window. Nothing, save the pellets of water dropping onto the grass.

I considered going out, to find solace in the company of strangers. A smoky room of smoky possibilities, no matter how slim. To sit and sip alone in a room of others drinking to forget or warming up from the cool rain.

But I stayed in, and fought the scratching of something trying to get out of my skin. And stared at the shadows of the leaves moving in the breeze on the sidewalk.

Honey lemon tea.
Vanilla scented wax warming on the lamp.
Lilly sprawled in the living room.
The clink of bone china.
A thump of a Restless Heart.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Note for Future

Must go to Club Foot and Gold Star Bar more often.

That is all.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A change of plans

Doodlehead called me whilst I showered.

He changed his mind, and he changed my mind.

We're off to Club Foot after all.

Last minute Saturday compromise

Screw it.

I'm taking a shower, and then heading to The Lamp Post for a drink.

On one foot, yes; on the other, no

Tonight, M.U. is celebrating her 31st Birthday at Club Foot. Years have passed since I set foot and hoisted beer there. I definitely remember liking this place. Once Mike and I partied there with some chick with a fake name and long black hair from the band Hot Heels (?). Blurry lust tinged with fear as I had just moved to "the big windy city," and everything was tinged with blurry lust and fear. I know the music will rawk--lots of punk, Smiths, industrial, and the like. I know the beer is cheap--holla! And I know there will probably be some Sweet Betties around to eyeball and for which to yearn/burn.

But I am exhausted. My sleep cycle is all out of whack. Nearly each night this past week I'm up until two or 3 in the morning, sleeping through my alarm. I didn't get up until noon today, checked email, read The New Yorker, and promptly fell asleep on the too small couch with Lilly next to me until four. It's now around seven o'clock, and I feel red-eyed and drugged. A Zombie with shaking coffee-filled veins. My back feels bruised on the inside. What the Hell is wrong with me?

Should I stay, or should I go now? This is the thought I clash with (hee hee, get it?). I could stay in and maybe get some frickin' sleep, maybe get to work on time. Or I could just go and see what happens. Worst to worst, I sit alone, drink a couple of cheap beers and be back at home around midnight, right? It has been a while since I've gone out.

Unrelated note: I think I found my neighbor on Friendster today...Hi, Carrie. Funny (to me) as she recently found me here at My Cube (see comment number one).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Happy Birthday To My Cube

Happy Birthday to My Cube

My Cube Has Three Sides made it one whole year! Spank me ;-)

So much and so little has happened since that first post one year ago. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for making this a fun interesting experience experiment. Thanks for the comments and such. Much appreciated.

A toast to you all: To drinks at the bar! May the road rise to meet you, and the wind be always at your back...and all that type of stuff.

Here's to another year of "opening up a vein and splashing the page."

May we never run out of ink.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Blank Space

Freezer-chilled Vodka (with Garlic stuffed olives. 3, natch)
Sex and the City on the TV.
A couple walk by, she's screaming crying "what do you think I lied about? I didn't lie! Fuck you! What're you gonna do? Hit me again? I didn't lie...!"
The wind blows through the trees. The wind cries Mary...Mary set her rings next to candles on the side of the tub. Mary killed herself in the bathtub. Sean never knew Mary loved him. The red water sat still.
A candle burns on the hard drive.
Lilly sits in the kitchen.

A blank space on Blogger staring at me, glaring at me.
There is something I want to say, but it eludes me.

Every time.

Words fail the squirming in my gut. That inherent need to speak. Something unspoken, unsettled, unfound, and unable to find The Path out. Under the ground, into my bare feet, through my body, out my fingertips, and onto the Electric Page. Beads fall.

Where is my Duende?

* * *
1996, on the El. I see a beautiful woman board the car. I comment about her. A.G. asks, "Why do you always go for unattainable women?"

Last week, M. makes a joke to the group, "yeah, Mac likes 'em young."

Go for the exotic, artsy, punk, black-haired women, but date The Girl Next Door.

The longer I'm in Chicago, the further away from the city I work.

My new Primary S. says, "you need to get out more and meet more people; you need people." Friday night, and I'm tired and stay in.

I want two grams of Mushrooms. I need a Vision Quest. I need to break the film clinging around my mind. The Old Wet Wool Grey Blanket wrapped around my brain. I need the walls to breath life into my eyes. I need the neurotransmitters to spark. Wide open, full throttle, break the dam holding back the life water. FURTHER! You're either on The Bus, or you're off The Bus. I need speakers in the trees and fireflies circling the moon.

"Dead at 35."
"You're only a hub for others."
"But they never penetrate the Inner You, just the Outer You."

This is what the mushrooms told you before, but you're older now; maybe things/you have changed with time. Has time eroded you or fed you? Are you More or Less you?

Blank Space.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Two hours at The Big House


(Thanks Beautiful Decay for letting me "borrow" the image)

I just got back from the Corporate offices. I interviewed for the Data Entry/Photography Archivist/ Pillowcase Ironing Engineer position. Whoooosh, I am crashing from the adrenaline rush. Need. Coffee. Now. Husker Duis blasting through the speakers.

My mind felt like the image above, but I think I kept a calm and cool exterior (never let 'em see you sweat). I made them laugh, answered their questions fairly truthfully and complete, and shook hands like a man who has an ounce of confidence. But they didn't take my Resume I worked on until midnight, aaarrgh. One of the people (I met with 3 people, then a fourth joined) even made a joke that I'd soon be forcing them to take it, slipping it under their doors and such.

I met with M.J., A.M., and S. I think Studio Manager, Art Director, and Lead Photographer, respectively in a open glass conference room (right above M.B.'s Cube-icle, I think. Hi!). Pretty laid-back interview with a pretty mellow group. M.J. seemed like a good guy, A.M. seemed really friendly (and cute!), but S. seemed cool, but one of those guys that lays it on the line: if he thinks you're a Screw-up, he'll call you a Screw-up, no hold barred with little diplomacy. For him I hold a little fear. I met the rest of the Photography Department, a quirky, fun looking bunch with a disco ball in the middle of the studio. It appears as though I'll need to build up a tolerance of disco music when I browsed the Mac Jukebox list they had playing. The Virtual Ticket Software I'd use looks like a pain in the ass, but given enough time to learn, shouldn't be an impossible obstacle.

It turns out to be a Seasonal position (no benefits, but no evil Tax Form 1099) for 3 to six months (depending who's talking) for forty hours a week (starts at 8:30 a.m., oooh for the love of God, help), and I'd have to quit my store job as I'd go into Over Time (and that's Banned by The Man). I'm not really cool with the whole Resigning from The Store, but M.C. (HR person) led me to believe that if, after 3 (to six) months this position doesn't jibe with them or me, it shouldn't be problematic to reinsert myself into The Store without losing increases. She winked and said The Company is good at looking after its people (the "good ones"). I like to have a back-up plan at least once in my life.

Okay, must shower off Interview/Coffee Sweat, and get to work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

First step to Paris?

As I read the opening quote, it made sense. This quote from one book at the beginning of another book.

It felt mysterious and confusing, yet it touched something inside me that first time, seventeen years ago. I knew it to be true somehow. And the story blew me away on so many levels. I found myself both drawn to and appalled by the characters and situations that rolled out before my eyes and into my mind. Some of the scenes had played out in my life and other scenes were descriptions of what I wanted to do.

This quote etched itself into my psyche and won't let go. The scenes and characters of my own life, even now, seem tangled and interwoven, but still do not add up to a total sum.

And I think this is what drives me mad. I keep dropping the beads, scattering across the floor.

"The facts even when beaded on a chain, still did not have real order. Events did not flow. The facts were separate and haphazard and random even as they happened, episodic, broken, no smooth transitions, no sense of events unfolding from prior events-" Tim O'Brien, Going After Cacciato


Many years later, I read O'Brien's book. The daydream took me by surprise.

I dream about the Future like Paul Berlin. From the back of the line, trudging along in dirty boots. I dream a life much better than reality. And it always ends by a cold campfire on the side of the river. Could I actually make that walk from Vietnam to Paris?

A bead falls:

You wish a friend a Happy Birthday on Saturday night. The chicken is delicious. Cigarettes in the open night, the moon peeks through the leaves. A paddy wagon drops a man off in the middle of the park, "your home is that way, now walk!" Breeze turns chilly, and you warm yourself by the fire. You tell a friend you love the smell of jeans super-heated by campfires. You think back to camping with B.C. and W.V. You miss the energy and magic of youth, then think, "was that ever true?" You can't get enough to drink, you feel out of place. Something's missing.

A bead drops:

Sunny Sunday afternoon walk with a friend. Indian food. A cigarette. Conversation with strangers, yet you notice you're really quiet. You add little to the voices mumbling incoherently around you, speaking about people you don't know. "you pack these smokes really well, impressive." A sky on the ceiling. Sprinkling laughter. A chance meeting on the street with friends. The sun warms you. You buy some CDs, and see your friends again through the window, they look good together. You wonder how they see you and what they think. You walk. "you're fine with us being Platonic friends, right?" "Sure," you say, but you're not really sure what you mean. The sudden label makes your heart drop momentarily. Something's missing.

A bead rolls:

You've been offered a job at your store by someone that you'd hate working with side by side. It gets denied a couple of days later. You're both disappointed and relieved. And go back to dusting shelves and charming conning comforting customers. You don't know what day it is. Something's missing.

A bead bounces:

The wheelchair lady isn't at the front door today. The afternoon is hot and smells of concrete. You take the stairs to the lobby slowly until you hear the stairwell door open below. Loud voices sends a brief spurt of panic through you and you run the remaining stairs to the third floor and through the grey doors. You meet with your new shrink. She's matronly and thin, and for some reason you feel a little sorry for her. She nods and smiles and says little phrases to push your babble along. You've told this story so many times it comes out in a jumble, barely making sense. You don't even recognize who you're talking about. She compliments you on your attempt to make life better. You prattle on about writing, trying to explain blogging in 30 words or less. You seem to focus on writing, you quote a line Bret Easton Ellis said in an interview you read years ago; something about how reading is necessary for a writer, all types of reading because the bad writing inspires you to do better, and the great writing inspires you to try and achieve. And you suddenly feel like Clay in Less Than Zero and you want a cigarette and sunglasses because you don't want to see the fluorescent lighting and the toupe colored walls and yourself in your own Mind's Eye, but that passes as you realize this insane rant and rave you've just unloaded about writing and women and you don't know why you don't date and you mention the "not living up to your potential" phrase from the last break-up and lack of interest and not connecting and lack of sex and job loss and depression and anxiety and repeat repeat repeat blah blah blah slump has in a strange way put you in a passably good mood. And you go home. Something's missing.

A bead drops:

Your Grandpa S. and Grandma B. keep popping up in your daydreams. And you don't know why. You tell a friend she should go to the hospital to see her grandpa because you're thinking how you didn't and have never forgiven yourself for abandoning such great people on their deathbeds. And you choke back a mental tear and make a joke and regret it immediately. You need to learn to stop avoiding the gravity of situations. But you have enough pain in your own heart. Something's missing.

A bead falls:

You have a job interview at Corporate on Thursday. You don't know how to prepare. Your resume needs updating and rewritten and all your clothes are in a pile on the floor. Your Store Manager corners you in the stockroom. She informs you she got a call from The Big House and raved and raved about you to some manager in the Photography department. She wishes you well and the best. She's pulling for you. You thank her, and say you hope for the best. Such enthusiasm focused toward you and about you makes you nervous and you realize after she walks away you've torn two fingernails off under the basket you held throughout. Something's missing.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Interesting week recap.

Interesting week.

Mike blew into town from Kansas City, MO on his way to Buffalo, Utica, NYC, then....Scotland...forever *sniff sniff* Nooooooooo!!!

He and I met with Cybele at The Gold Star Bar where we found Cybele doing homework (homework?!?!). (I'll try to upload pics up tonight) Amid the smoke, booze, hottie grrrls, and indie boys, she sat clipping pictures of Victorian-era clothes for the Little Women play that hired her as costume designer. We caught up, downed beer, and I gazed yearningly at the dark-haired beauty at the corner of the bar; she became more lovely and enigmatic as the night drew on, yet more unattainable as she leaned into the green hatted hipster who lit her cigarette.

"Who's he looking at?" Cybele leaned across the table and asked Mike.

"The woman who bears a striking resemblance to *******," he answered as I self-consciously shuffled for the bathroom.

"Ooooh..."

Ah, well, all for the better, I suppose.

* * *

On Thursday, amid a hangover, I found out that I'd been voted Associate of the Quarter again. Second time in a row. Unheard of and unallowable under the reign of our last boss, Boss Frantic. This is my third time in three years.

Um, Holla!

Today, on top of the conversation I had on Thursday with that Amy from Corporate about an slim opportunity to get a job at The Big House, our store's Designer (B) mentioned I should think about being her Design Helper (a.k.a Slave, Mule, or Glorified Floorstocker). She didn't know about the possibility of benefits, but it would be Full Time (a.k.a. early fucking hours, but no weekends). I'm thinking without benefits, this would be the ultimate Screwed/Used/and Abused position: lots of heavy grunt work, long-ass hours, but no benefits. I'll wait to hear what her Designer Boss says about the benefits, then think about it.

Tomorrow night after work, I've been invited to two parties. What to do?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mike's in town

Gone drinking with Cybele and him.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What is the jail time for Kidnapping?

So tomorrow my friend Mike is blowing into town for the night.

Then the bastard is up and moving to Scotland.

Unless I keep him drunk and disoriented enough he gets a job, apartment, and great debate team skills to convince some Lass in the Leaf neighborhood to move to Chicago. Unfortunately, I am too broke, and if I weren't so, I'd probably end up giving the poor man alcohol-poisoning.

Damn. Either way he'd be out of Illinois.

He's coming in around 7-ish on Wednesday, so email or give a call if you're up for a bon-voyage night cap!

I guess I'd better do this "Self-Evaluation" for work that's due on the 15th now. Daddy needs a raise!

I can hang with the "art" crowd, no?

Don't Ever Give Up!




That's one of the many bits of advice my Grandpa J.E.S. I need to follow it a bit more often, for things to get better. I think in the back of my head, the love and advice of my Grandparents S. keep me moving ahead, even in the Gravest of Depressive Episodes. I know I never stood on the edge of the Lake and thought about jumping in; but, in the grips of The Blue-haired Demons, when I felt the only alternative was the Final Alternative, something inside kept me around.

Maybe a memory, maybe my own worked up mind tired itself and my body out enough to just go to sleep for 13 hours instead of The Big Sleep. Pills and thrills and daffodils. Maybe a part of me remembered how they used to talk to me, made me feel good about myself and that the world wasn't all evil. They liked me even as I hated me.

I hadn't planned on this post going quite this route, but I'll leave it.

For them.

* * *

Work was work: a bit of a bore. So much so that at one point, I slipped my wallet into my front pocket and claimed to have left it in the car. Just to go outside for five minutes in the sun for a cigarette. I stood in the shade by The Bagel and watched all these people walking around, running, pushing strollers, lugging bags into and out of stores. Isn't there a moment when people start buying two of everything because they've already bought everything? Do they really need to change things for the seasons?
I went back and looked as busy as one can look in a store with nearly no customers until S.R. showed up. Much better. Someone to joke around with and trade sexual innuendos with, to crack up with.
Scheduled until 5:30, I ended up staying a little past 6. Amy from corporate came in to pick up boxes for some web/catalogue photo shoot, and we ended up chatting about her job. It came about that her department hoped to hire a full time associate (if approved by the Higher Mucky-mucks). We chatted for a half an hour as I ignored the floorstocker Paki M.B. looking for a sales associate to help a customer. "Goooo awaaaaaaaay" I silently Jedi Mind-tricked her as Amy and I chatted about what the job entailed. To the other associates, I later found out, it appeared as though I was merely chatting her up (which crossed my mind, I mean was trying to do until and even after she mentioned the husband). I reality I was attempting to "network" my ass off (okay, and chat her up!). I think her and I built a great rapport, and at one point she looked Heavenward and said "I am sooo glad I came in here for boxes." I think a made a good impression and exuded the proper amount of interest/company love/enthusiasm/etc.
We traded information and hopefully will communicate more in the next few days. If the Full Time status isn't approved by the above, she thought they may want to hire out as a freelance gig. No benefits, but if I figured the numbers right, the pay in 5 hours would be the same as a full good day at present position plus a free lunch.
Hopes not up, but fingers crossed. Now where in the fuck did I put my Resume?!?!?!?!?!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dropped connections

Like a bad cell phone.

The clarity fades in and out. Static, self-interference. Mind jumps around the channels, landing momentarily on a voice, then leaps to another. It's one-way. The receiver's bad, the other person can't hear you, and you constantly hear your own voice echoing back--hollow and low. The mumbles of a person afraid to live, afraid to speak their mind: they've been beaten down and sneered at too many times. Over time, the throat constricts and the thoughts remain trapped in the mind.

Randomly, the signal is clear, but only for a moment.

Dialogue. Mind caresses another mind. You speak freely, loud and clear. The conversation flows, wanders all over the mindscape. Imagination fires, and you have visions.

Then the connection drops. Or you realize you might've had the Wrong Number the entire time. Or the phone's been dead, and you wonder how long you've been talking to yourself, convinced someone had been there.

Or you're holding the phone, and neither one of you speaks for a long time. You can hear each other breathing. You don't want to hang up; you like holding the phone, having a connection; but, why do you feel so sad. Was this the Right Number? Should you hang up? Do you want to hang up? Had the lines been crossed at some point? Are they thinking of hanging up? Did you say anything interesting for the last Eternal Minutes? Do you really have anything to add to the Conversation? Anything of real substance, more than meaningless small talk? Do they? you cradle the phone tightly in a sweaty palm.

You end up boring and annoying yourself, staring at the phone in your hand. You touch "hold" and set the handset down for the night. You're not yet ready to hang up completely, but you don't want to hang on just for the sake of hanging on.

You have Nothing to say.

The blue-haired Demons lay in wait

Maybe because I worked eight days in a row recently.
Maybe because it's been muggy.
Maybe because I've been smoking too much.
Maybe because I feel in a slump, stuck in a rut (again, again, again),

But I'm exhausted and overcome by that Old Numb Feeling again. It's not full blown, but creeping on slowly, a little more each day for the past few weeks. Nothing seems really interesting. No Future vision. Thoughts of "wouldn't be easier to not live" trickling into daily My Inner Monologue flow. It's like 2004 all over again, the months leading up to that fateful day of phone calls home and a clinic. Bored and despondent. What's the point of It All?

I just want to sleep.

I got nothing to do
You got nothing to say
Everything is so fucked up
I guess it's natural that way

I got nothing to do
You got nothing to say
Everything is so fucked up
I guess we like it that way
Husker Du--"Everything Falls Apart"

My dreams are full of milk spilling on the floor. That time Freshman year: a dorm fridge full of Old Milwaukee Tall Boys and Andy D. drops a bottle of Southern Comfort and yells "grab a straw! Save the booze!" My Grandparents walking out of the room, disappointed. Crying alone in various places I've seen. Blackness. A girl from New York I met recently, laughing. Walking in a dim movie theater lost, the projector is broken.

Good times, good times.

Off to Monthly(ish) Brunch at M.U./C.U.'s apartment with Arsh and crew. Happy Birthday, C.U.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

See you later, Doctor.


Goodbye

I hope my funeral is celebrated half as well, and my life half as much some day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My Own Private Hell

I created The Moon
(that isn't in the sky)
I made The Sun
(that never shines)
I created the vines
(that wrap around my feet)
I made the putrid smell
(that clogs my nose)
I created the quicksand
(that I'm sinking farther, deeper into)
I made the trees
(whose branches hang low each day)
I created the sky
(that is always cloudy and grey)
I made the mud
(that can't be cleaned from my clothes)
I created the jungle
(that closes in on me each day)
I made the bugs
(that bite my flesh)
I created the brackish water
(that I'm drowning in)
I made the rain
(falling from my eyes)
I created the vultures
(who circle my rotting skin)
I made the stones
(that weigh me down upon my back)
I created the Loneliness
(who is my only companion)
I made The Rope
(that is always just out of my reach)