Monday, July 31, 2006

Now Selling Ad Space

My, look at those archives pile up. Seems like we started this thing just yesterday. Monday in Chicago and it's approaching the hottest part of the day. Erika _ if you're reading this, you can come down to the office and hang out with me. The heat has pushed our two little window units to the limit. One more day, so they say, and we'll find some relief.

Monday morning is the longest yard for me. Now... peace _ or the work version of it. I just realized I've run out of things to say. Let's leave it here and pick up soon, okay? You can read this copy of American Heritage magazine in the meantime.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Time to Wield the Blade

I hate it when the legal department gets hold of this thing. They're required to post once a month. Sorry, folks, it's the law.

August is almost here and that means fantasy football. And that means I will make my annual trip to the ground floor commissary to buy a fantasy football guide. They run $7-8 a copy and are generally useless by the second week of August, save the long list of player names. They publish these things in April, months before players get traded or break their legs in the preseason.

So, why do I get one every year? Promise. The promise of a new season. The promise of humiliating my friends, albeit electronically. And when I throw it away in early September, I think, "What a waste of money. But, I'll see you again next year, old friend." Ante up! I'm buying at 5 p.m. sharp, baby!

Good News Friday

The long-standing feud between this site and Prisonbed.Blogspot.Com has found its way to an amicable end. Don't bother searching for Prisonbed. It isn't there _ a casualty of a 13-month debacle that featured not one, but two civil suits (Henderson v. Krapstan, et al and TrypeCor v. Sweetwater Printing Co.). Prisonbed will soon be back on blogspot, albeit with a different, undetermined name _ as per order of the 7th District Court of Appeals.

Prisonbed creator J.J. Freedkind has extended the hand of friendship to Woundup Corp. and its team of writers, its executives and its board of trustees. Freedkind, who once called, "the Blogosphere's first-year creative writing student drunk on Seagram's Silver Ice" and "a name-dropping back-porch ass-grabber with an unread copy of 'No Exit' prominently sticking out of its breast pocket" has searched his heart for forgiveness and extended its flower to us.

Woundup Corp. admits its own guilt, too, having called "the crypto-hedonist warblings of a lower-level MFA program dropout" and "the prime signifier of Gen Y literature's anal stage claptrap."

We here at Woundup accept your apology, Mr. Freedkind. It was only a coincidence that the one-room Bucktown apartment that doubled as the Prisonbed office burned down on Feb. 15, 2006 (recently proven in court). We look forward to your next batch of literary offerings, whatever they may be.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Forgot My Mantra

The Cubs just lost in extra innings. I've already said it to Erika, but I've been wary to post it here... until now (naturally). I believe the Cubs will have a winning record in the second half of the season... even if it means one game over the second-half .500 mark. There.

With the thought of playoffs extinguished, I can concentrate fully, objectively, even compassionately on the team's day-to-day efforts _ root where I must root and shrug where I must shrug. It's strictly support for a well-played-game and nothing else.

The Chicago cognoscenti in the black hats must be clawing their skin off. But I've accepted the great neutral hum of Cubs '06. No Choke, No Heartburn. Or... How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 3-Run Bomb Given Up By Glendon Rusch.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Morning Meeting

I've been... here all night. Sitting on the floor, my back against the metal desk. They can't... how's that for... description. They can't see me here, but they... have already gone home and come back. They were here till... uh... 11 o'clock or so. They did get the sushi... like I said. And I drank the six pack... yes... uh... I'm still drunk. I drank it at... 5 a.m. It was still dark outside.

WHY ARE YOU... they can't hear me. Wait. CAN YOU HEAR ME? ... no answer. WHY ARE YOU TORTURING ME? I'm the... I'M THE FICTIONAL CONSTRUCTION. ... ... I MAKE THE MONEY AROUND HERE. Ha... he looked. The one with the glass _ they all have glasses _ but that one... he turned around. Hope you... HOPE YOU LIKE YOUR BREAKFAST. They got... rose-water pancakes. HOPE YOU LIKE YOUR BREAKFAST.

I need to sober up... despite... I should... I should get... drunker. That's what they deserve. I'M NOT SOBERING UP. They... didn't look that time. They're ignoring me. I WANT SOME BREAKFAST. The fictional... THE FICTIONAL CONSTRUCT... CONSTRUCTION IS HUNGRY NOW. Jesus I'm hungry. They're not looking... I'm drunk... I don't feel good...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Turmoil Sells (Inner)

I'm in the low-lying trough of the day now, and I... know I should've gone to the gym yesterday. Instead, I got sucked into a PC ROM version of "Final Fantasy 1" for NES. Acronyms.

Someone throw me something... a bone. Make me feel better. It's a big desert I'm walking thru sometimes. The desert could be called "life" but it's the experience of a single person. Or, in this case, the Composite Character Created (CCC) by a bright young team of 25-35'rs at Woundup Corp. If they are so fucking bright, why can't they make the composite character a little happier?

"Well, we're looking for a more rounded character, and that... of course, includes the pains of living."

Fucking MFA grads. This isn't supposed to be naturalism. Write something pleasant.

"I have no problems with naturalism. I think we take a more tempered realism, not necessarily with the social conscience..."


"That's not going to win us any awards now, is it?"


"I'm not going to fight with you here. We can talk about this later."

This is what I'm up against. They're probably having a... yes, they just went in the meeting room and... they've closed the door. Fine. That's the content team. Looks like it's sushi again and "Gilmore Girls" _ we're pulling a late one on deadline, folks. Don't worry about me, tho. I've got a six pack in the bottom drawer of my desk.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sweet Baby Stanislaus

Creaking and squeaking thru This Friday. Last night... "Creaking and Squeaking" is my version of "Kicking and Sticking." And if you don't know what that last one is... "Creaking and Squeaking" _ the softer side of "Kicking and Sticking." Someone must start the "Kicking and Sticking" WeBLoG. Will it be you? I really do write faster (not necessarily better) in this "Slouched S" position. And if you don't know what that last one is...

I was a little drunk last night. I don't often get drunk like that. I like a little beer or wine here and there, get a little buzzed. It's a slippery slope. SLIPPERY SLOPE. That's the cliche warning signal. If you had been in the office you would've heard the overhead siren _ the klaxon. I toyed with. TOYED WITH. Ah, I can't use that one either, apparently. I thought about... ... I thought about BLoGGiNG while... drunk. Who hasn't done that before? But I hadn't been that drunk in a little while, especially on a Thursday night. All that writing kept me off the streets for so long. So I went on a little bender. Now the cops will be collecting me outside the St. Pietrus Ukrainian Catholic Church of Endless Oppression. Trying to "turn off the bells."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Subconscious Working on Better Title

Someone, in high school, told me the brain has 5 or 6 different channels of thought that run simultaneously _ some in the conscious front of the mind and some subconsciously. I may have the numbers wrong, but it's safe to assume there's more than one track of thinking. If you've ever had two songs in your head at the same time you've seen this in action. You can flip between them, like those pre-set punch buttons on old car radios. Right now I have "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" going, but I can switch to a piece of awful classical music from a movie we saw the other night.

I also experience this when I wake up at night, and my mind's still in the middle of a complicated train of thought _ grinding along like that nighttime rail line on the coast of Lake Erie. Always running...

Right now, I'm slouching down in my seat, failing to put my lower back against the provided rest. Yet... this isn't so bad, or maybe it's different than what I might write if I... yes, if I sit up straight and... keep my feet on the ground. That's not only good posture, but, according to a book I read once, stimulates your inner energy and is better for the creative process. Some famous writers wrote standing up at a lectern. Is that better still?

What I'm trying to say... is that those other tracks of thought need to start making me money. And... do I have to pay Bob Seger a royalty every time his song plays in my head?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Anticipatory Energy - Two Types

Let them sayeth, "He hath earned himself a break. Yea, he will rest following, tonight, the head adjuster."

Watch a baseball game. Starts at 6. You might know which one I'm talking about. Consult my scarf during the winter. My Chicago Cubs scarf. I keep it in my closet and look at it, and I think, "Soon enough." But that will be for the wintertime.

"He hath earned himself a break..."
Lunch soon.
"Yea, he will rest..."
In the microwave.
"Following, tonight..."
I am hungry.
I cannot wait.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How Do I Feel About Posting Today. I Feel Good About Posting Today

Wound-up Pet Peeve #1: People who repeat what you've just said as part of their answer to what you've just said...

Mark: Is there going to be a veal sausage festival in October?
Peev: Yes, there is going to be a veal sausage festival in October.

Even worse...

Mark: Where is the parking garage?
Peev: Where is the parking garage _ The parking garage is two blocks that way.

Possibly the worst...

Mark: Do you think it'll rain tomorrow?
Peev: Do I think it'll rain tomorrow. (sigh) Yes, I do think it'll rain tomorrow.

I don't get royalties for writing your dialogue. Maybe I should start charging.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Plans I Make. Make Plans.

I think there really are Myspace consultants _ a room filled with 20-somethings, smoking, drinking take-out coffees, surfing the web... I was hit with five different friend requests in the last hour. You can pay these people and... they will boost your numbers. All those guys playing Quake back in 1996 in group homes at 4 a.m. ... here they are.

Three-day weeks have spoiled me. Now it's The Long March. If you see Erika today, please compliment her on her dress. She bought it for a dollar, and it is wonderful.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Just Wanna Be the Captain of the Lighthouse Ship

Finally... the incredibly influential DOORS II. The Detroit movie that is the reason you're listening to Kenny Loggins at the moment and pretending to like it. You'll have to ask the creators about this connection, but enjoy the Belle Isle psych-out in the meantime (thanks to Trevor B)...

Doors II part one

Doors II part deux

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

RIP Syd Barrett

Sorry to hear about this. Gotta pull out "Piper" for the All-Star Game tonight. Strangely, I had one of the songs in my head on the way to work. Very, very sad passing...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Dog Years

Perhaps... this space... could be used for a "Goodbye to 20's" celebration. That's something my therapist might suggest, so I'm going to beat him to it. "Beating therapists to it since 2003." That's our new motto.

"Goodbye to 20's" _ the age. Yes, Woundup will turn 30 in August... not Wound up the WeBLoG, but its parent company: WoundUp Corp. 30 years of high productivity and "Beating therapists to it..." For example...

Mark: Gee whiz, doc, my dog just died...
Doc: I'm sorry to hear that. How do you feel?
Mark: I'm sad. He was a good animal. He never asked much of me... a little food, some affection... and he was loyal. That's how I'll remember him most. Laying at my feet by the fire (sniff)...
Doc: It sounds like you've been really affected by this. Why don't--
Mark: Why don't I, after an acceptable period of grief, buy a book about dogs and do some research _ that seems to fit my mindset. Do some research, then... go look for a new dog.
Doc: Well... you beat me to it.
Mark: There's only one problem, doc.
Doc: Another problem? Maybe I can help you with that.
Mark: I don't wanna buy a purebred dog... because they have a lot of genetic problems, and I don't wanna make some poor animal suffer for my own fancy.
Doc: Okay... well, why don't...
Mark: Why don't I, after an acceptable period of grief, take a trip to the local dog pound and look at some dogs.
Doc: Yes...
Mark: Thanks, doc.
Doc: You're welcome.

Friday, July 07, 2006

3 Grafs Closer

Erika made a wonderful meal for J.R. and me last night. The leftovers will find their way into the office microwave in 1.5 hours. Following dinner, PBS reminded us of its easy pleasures. PBS does not ask anything of you. It only wants you to listen. Isn't that what we all want?

Friday night approaches. You know what that means... a little Jim Rome, a little TSN Radio. Maybe you're due a missive on my sports radio listening habits. That'll fill some space. Need to get clearance first. I'll call my representative and get back to you.

To wit, taking the paper to das Krapper. That's modernism, folks: Writing about the bathroom. So, post-modernism is... writing about the hand-drying machine? Oui, oui! Tres post-moderne!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My Old Diamond Days

Today, while driving me to work, Erika asked if I would ever like to be a little league coach. My knowledge of The Game, she said, would make me an ideal candidate. I was touched, truly. I didn't know she trusted me so. It also made me think of our next life together, as parents.

But, as I tried to explain, I don't really know how to play baseball. I never played little league. I never played tee ball, even. I played on the sandlot and in gym class... and not very well. Sure, I've read about the hit-and-run, suicide squeeze and double steal, but I've never executed any of them in real life.

Erika thought I might do well as a motivator, or as an assistant to the head coach. Well... I could keep a tome of inspirational verse at hand in trying times.

Timmy: Coach, we're down 21-4. What are we gonna do?
Mark: Well, in times like these, I think of Tennyson. What did he say? Yes, "My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure."
(long pause)
Mark: The Pizza Hut has a grabber machine.
Timmy: Do you have any quarters?
Mark: Get up there and bat, kid.

Site Feeding

I don't know what the hell a site feed is, but it's available to the right in the links list. My seasonal accountant says I can write it off as a "medical expense." Fine with me.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Million Dollar Dream Rehearsals

Rattus! My "beautiful" picture of the World's Largest Paperweight ("Cloudgate" sculpture) is NON-ACCESSIBLE on this computer. Thus, I cannot post it. I finally went to Taste of Chicago _ Erika and I with friends Marie and Jason. We had a fine time. A little wine. Robinson's Ribs no. 9. No, it was no. 1, but that's what we called "sacrificing the truth for the good of the blog" at the Kranley School of the WeBLoG. I was one of 15 people trained... I'm not going to get into it. You shouldn't even know that much _ what I've already said. What you should know... "Robinson's Ribs no. 1. Come back home to meat." I came back home yesterday. Boneless. But... I went back to school today. Vegetable burritos. THE KRANLEY SCHOOL OF THE WEBLOG DOES NOT ENDORSE LIFESTYLE CHOICES OF ANY SORT, INCLUDING DIET. That's what they told me my first day of school.

I'm getting a little sick of this writing style. Aren't you? It's called, "Save it for your play, Rembrandt." I think I need to relax. Breathe. Sunday Times. Tea. Breathe again. And the old Wound Up will be back. He will be back.