Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Broadcast Notes

1. Fans of 94.7 FM, the Zone, were decimated yesterday when their nouveau-metal home morphed into an oldies station _ a change as shocking as the earlier capitulation of Oldies 104 for soulless Jack FM. This now gives Chicagoland listeners TWO oldies outlets, as the new 94.7 joins stalwart AM 1690. After listening to the candied-up FM offering, I advise "real" Oldies fans to stick to the AM band. 1690 is almost entirely pre-Beatles and Stones. A welcome respite.

2. WLUP 97.9 FM has resurrected the classic dancing fat guy TV commercial from its old AM arm's glory days (read Early Jordan Years). If you don't know what this commercial is/was, go back to whatever backwater burgh you came from. Just kidding! I love you people! Tune in next week for more notes.

Guns for Hire

One of pro football's more curious aspects emerged on the heels of this weekend's New York Jets match. After losing their starting quarterback, Chad Pennington, along with his backup, Jay Fiedler, in the same game, the Green Machine found themselves dangerously low on signal callers _ their playoff hopes dissipating like morning mist off the Jersey swamp.

With no other choice, Jets brass started calling every out-of-work quarterback with NFL experience. There is a hidden pool of players currently out of the league that can be hired in such an emergency situation: Tim Couch, Vinny Testeverde, Jeff George, Quincy Carter...

I picture, say, Kordell Stewart working offshore on a clam boat. He's pulling up the nets when the shortwave crackles to life. It's Ravens owner Art Modell. Kyle Boller went down on Sunday. When can you get here? Stewart rends his coveralls revealing a Ravens uniform and full pads. He dons his helmet and dives into the cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay, heading toward Baltimore.

Who doesn't love a rags-to-riches story? One minute you're counting turnips in New Hampshire, the next you're running a bootleg at the Meadowlands.

I know it's a long list, so I expect Herm Edwards won't call till after lunch... ... ... Lemme check my voice mail again...

Monday, September 26, 2005

I Smoldereth Yet

The fire still burns within me...

We went to a Ukrainian church rummage sale this past weekend. I should have my collector's card revoked. After dicking around at the housewares table with the baby monitors, I saw a portly 30-something walk past with a vinyl copy of NEU! 1 _ priced at 1 dollar.

He wore the poker face of the pro record shopper _ tinged mechanically with smugness. Our eyes met. I knew I could grab the NEU! and bolt for the door, past the patriarch's portrait and out onto Rice Street. But then I saw his young son. It would be a bad scene.

So I waited in the alley outside. I never saw him pass, but Erika found me 15 minutes later _ a thin film of sweat covering my face.

"Are you all right?" she asked.
"Oh... just getting some fresh air."

We walked home, and for a few moments more I felt the fire. I don't think it'll ever go out. Not until the last Ukrainian hippie has donated his record collection.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

In the Tragedy Business

I slept nearly 12 hours last night _ the makeup game for my nighttime carousing (see below). Erika gave me a free pass, so I headed for bed around 8:30 p.m. Woke up around 2 a.m. Read a little on the couch, then returned to the chamber for the second act. I only remember one dream _ in which I gave a pep talk to some Chicago Bears.

Ashamedly, I admit I am entranced by CNN's "'Cane Cam" (my term). I look up every few minutes to see if the path of the hammer has swung northward. I don't want anyone else to die or get hurt or go homeless. Yesterday's NYTDiNe section had a sad story on the horrible impact of the last storm on the city's restaurants.

So if we're all against human suffering and economic catastrophe, why is there a little weather map showing the hurricane's path on a constant loop? I think you know the answer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Beer Roulette & Theoretical Parking

Had a wonderful evening witnessing Diamond Nights at the (soon-to-be-good-riddance) Bottom Lounge. They were tops, as usual. Check 'em out if you haven't already.

I started playing "Beer Roulette" _ a game popular with myself, acted out in bars that organize their brew choices along a shelf like a police lineup. The results can be devastating, and though I mostly kept my composure last night, I felt sodden when our party arrived at Estelle's. Hanging desperately to the last rags of my self-control, I did not enter _ choosing instead to look through the window at the throng of dark, moving shapes.

Tim and I had veggie burgers at the underground hot dog stand. It was great to see him. I wish I could live there again, or they could live here, or we could all in live in an amalgam city with the best features of both. Hmmm.... NewChiYorkago. Can you imagine permit parking in the East Village? Alternating, street cleaner parking in Wrigleyville? Yes, it always comes down to parking...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The End of an Era v.3.1

I made a bad choice in this morning's post. See if you can find it...

"... sounds a bit like my younger self. You might remember my younger self. He was last seen at Home of the Hits looking for Mahavishnu Orchestra LPs."

Mahavishnu Orchestra. And it gets less funny the more I look at it. What would've been a better choice? Right now, I'd like to replace it with "Bob Newhart LPs." I think that's in line with my idiom _ the image I've created (or rather, the seven-person content team created).

Is this what they call meta-blogging? Uh-oh. Another buzz expression. They're leaking in all over the place! I think the content team is out looking for... uh... Brecker Brothers LPs __ wait! I've figured it out!

Fusion is no longer funny.

Lend a Hand, Take a Stand

Reading back yesterday's post... I promise you reader, I will not use this space to give myself backhanded compliments and secretly trumpet my own personal wealth. I was not bragging about my TV last night. It's a more of an albatross... or maybe a large egret.

What I mean is... "So, I, like, just bought this Blackburry..." Well, welcome to the adult race. We're happy for you. All those years of punk rock ideals out the window. Congratulations for giving in to the great TechnoSatan. You're a big person now.

A saucy post... sounds a bit like my younger self. You might remember my younger self. He was last seen at Home of the Hits looking for Mahavishnu Orchestra LPs. Come back! We miss you!

Monday, September 19, 2005

SunBox + Sun Times =

More thoughts...

1. We now have a big living room with a big TV. No, it's not my idea of the American dream _ and it's definitely not Erika's. Frankly, I'm embarrased to have this fucking hulk of plastic. But, shit, does football look good on it. I'm watching the early Monday night game _ Giants vs. Saints. I can see the sweat between Eli Manning's eyebrows. I don't think I could handle HD at this proximity. It would kill me.

2. Speaking of technology... many of my friends and associates have these powerful little laptop computers. Wouldn't it be nice if I could sit in my big living room, in front of my big, pagan idol TV and write, say, something light like this? I will deny "blog" is a verb till they send the paddy wagon for me _ and don't think it won't happen.

3. I've been vegetarian since July 1st-ish, and lately I've felt the longing... It happens in short, intense flashes _ for the worst meat possible. The bus stops in front of Burger King. Triple-decker angus beefburger _ known in the medical community as "the college funder." Oh man. The smell of meat met my nostrils last night at the local church fair. I could hear the sizzling juices. My mind raced: Ribs. BBQ sauce. Shrimp cocktail. Spicy cocktail sauce. Fried catfish. Tabasco sauce. NO. NO. I WILL NOT GIVE IN. MEAT IS OBSELETE. Just remember that. Put it on your evolutionary billboard. Meat is obselete.

So... when's dinner?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mehr Ausreden

I don't have anything else to do, and now I'm here. I really don't want to be. If I could just get out of it...


Uta: Es handelt sich hier folglich um mein Verständnis und meine Sicht.

Klaus: Nein.

Uta: Meine Methode ist einfach.

Klaus: Nein.

Uta: Die Annahme eines Ubw mit so weitreichenden Wirkungen versetzt dem Glauben des Rationalismus.

Klaus: Nein.

Uta: Es liegt im Wesen des Ubw, dass es als solches – direkt – nicht beobachtbar ist.

Klaus: Nein.


Klaus: Nein.



Klaus: Nein.

(Uta scheidt aus. Enden.)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Self-Pity, Self-Help, Self-Serve Buffet

Phewff... It's been one of those days. My morning commute _ once like riding on an air conditioned cloud _ has turned into a elbowing match with Chicago's young and ambitious. Funny how an extra .5 miles can alter your reality (and mood) infinitesimally.

And, of course, I forgot my own mother's birthday, so I had to call her from work. She turned 60 yesterday and none of her three sons phoned to wish her well.

I am trying to laugh. If I've learned anything from my years on the couch, it's that I can choose how to react to occurences in my life. So, I choose not to be upset. I choose to comfort those I love, support them and listen to them. I choose to continue my creative work despite self-doubt. And all the rest I blow out my nose.

Later, Erika and I will fight traffic out to Barrington to attend a wedding rehearsal for a couple everyone is predicting will divorce in two years. I hope at least the dinner's good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Crystal Purity

Three points...

1. I'm drinking the first of my six Naleczowianka waters _ a sparkling mineral water from Poland. $5 for the whole pack. It's a peculiar bottle _ 1.5 liters _ and it's narrow in the middle, the plastic pinched to form a handle with tight grooves to facilitate grip. It makes the bottle look like the ship from "2001." There's a more traditional, bottom part on which the label is affixed. The top part, above the grip handle, balloons out and up to the nozzle. This top, bulbous region makes a little lake of bubbly sparkling water with the ridged plastic of the grip area forming a sloping floor like tiny, underwater sand dunes. It reminds of the last sequence of "Heavy Metal," where that woman with the sword is swimming in the underground pool in front of that giant statue. Now I can imagine a little person or maybe a little boat floating in the upper, bulbous part of my Naleczowianka bottle, and that makes it all the more enjoyable to drink.

2. I was thinking about buying the six pack of water all day.

3. I am one of those irritating people who soils my conversation in the real world with content from my blog. Wait... In this case, it's the reverse. In this case, I am one of those irritating people who uses dull material from my own life to populate my blog. One of my friends will read this and think, "Christ. He's still talking about the fucking water." Guilty.

We Love You, Jim O'Donnell

I've intimated in these electronic pages in the past my digust with the work of Sun-Times sports writer Jim O'Donnell. But lately he's grown on me _ purely for his brazen and continuing crimes against writing logic. Witness today's latest and this passage in particular...

"Of equal importance, (Fasano's) presence -- in lockstep with backup tight end John Carlson -- enabled Weis to glide through a concerto of five-receiver sets and double-tight-end formations with all the ease of Jimmy Buffett at Wrigley Field."

How about Daniel Barenboim? Wouldn't that match up with "concerto" better? I know he's trying to be topical with Buffet, but I don't think of Der Parrotfuhrer first when...
A. Discussing football.
B. Discussing an elegant, well-performed piece of music.

Another hallmark of the O'Donnell style is the impenetrable, head-scratching lead...

"If (Fasano) accidentally cut off a car as he blew by on the Garden State Parkway or the Indiana Toll Road, the rear-viewed driver would be wise to glance up and thank Fasano and St. Anthony with the same salute."

What is the cut-off driver glancing up from? His hands? His dashboard? Wouldn't he already be watching Fasano cut him off _ and not have to glance up to thank him? If that is indeed the case, then where are these person's eyes rising to? A St. Anthony medallion hanging on a rear view mirror? If so, in order to thank both St. Anthony AND Fasano, Fasano would have to be behind the driver. Didn't he just cut this imaginary person off? Is he looking up to heaven? Why would he look there to thank Fasano? And why would this person thank Fasano, anyway? Presumably, it's because he's so charming. But if you bring St. Anthony into it _ and say "thank" _ it sounds like Fasano prevented an accident. What if the passenger smiled or blushed, instead?

Regardless, I'm still towing the new party line. Keep up the good work, JOD.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Four day weekend! Yes, I'm coming off a four-day weekend. The new apartment is wonderful, and we christened it with our first guest last night _ who was our first guest at the old 1228 house, if I remember correctly _ a certain J. Stockton. Erika and I ripped open the book boxes and put our favorites in the beautiful glass hutch in the dining room.

Our place is coming together wonderfully. Next steps include getting new furniture and tearing up the carpet. We love the neighborhood, the shops, the proximity, everything. There's an enclosed back porch on which I've constructed a makeshift writing desk of milk crates and a cardboard box. So far it's worked wonders.

A house-warming is in the mix, though I don't have an exact date. Maybe we can get it to coincide with the next Diamond Nights show. I applaud those stolid men of metal who broke free from the prison of hyphenated web addresses. See here. You've probably noticed Woundup has a hyphenated web address. That's because this guy got here first. Hey buddy. UPDATE.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Home, New Questions

I finally feel I have a minute to write. Erika and I did a power move Tuesday night with the help of her family. We couldn't have done it without them.

Now we're in a new house _ with more space than we've ever had before _ much more than our last place. There are closets and hutches and cabinets and store rooms... I am a perfectionist, an organizer and a neatnik, so my mind grinds as we figure out what to put where. I want it to be just right. And it will be just right. So what more can I tell myself? ... ... ... it will be just right... ... ... I want it to be just right... ... ... such is the operation of my mind.

I think I should challenge myself to relax and take things in stride, not only in this situation, but in general. Can a person change his/her behavior? Maybe. I don't know. I can only try myself. It takes effort. It is uncomfortable. Should we fight our natural tendencies. Can a child's mind be molded despite its natural tendencies because it has no knowledge of them? I am no longer a child _ as much as my generation wishes a 29 year old could be a child. I don't know.

And what is an adult? Can there be more than one idea? Are artistic pursuits adult pursuits? Is the dissolution of dreams and the laying aside of ambitions _ aside from those which further the "home" adult? I don't know.

Enough. We need a shower curtain.