Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Feelies Are Coming To Chicago!!!

Holy crap. The Feelies are coming! The Feelies are coming!

And, apparently they are playing a 14 hour show!

June 29 The Feelies and Icy Demons Time 7:30pm - 9:30am
Don’t miss New Jersey’s legendary and influential rock/punk band The Feelies first Chicago reunion show. Formed in the seventies, the band released four albums of shimmering soundscapes with multiple guitar layers. This highly anticipated reunion brings The Feelies’ distinctive sound back to live performance for long-time fans and a generation of fans who have only savored their long out-of-print records and CDs.


What Can I Doodle For Ya?

First commenter with a doodle idea gets that idea doodled.


For Some Guy: "Captain Kangaroo and Cap'n Crunch having a sword-fight."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kiddieland Is Closing

This summer will be the last season of the Kiddieland amusement park.

Kiddieland closing after 80 years

Family feud closing kids amusement park

Kiddieland, Chicago area's oldest amusement park, to close

Here's a post of mine describing my first visit to Kiddieland.

To The Surprise Of No One

"To the surprise of no one..." -- I like this phrase a lot.

You think you will learn of someone being surprised, only to have the phrase at the end do a little twist, indicating that no one was in fact surprised.

So the phrase that tells you no one is surprised itself has a mildly surprising finish.

Yes, this is what it's like inside my brain.

My Suggestion For A New Crayon Color


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Story Virus v4

For those visiting this blog for a while, you may have noticed a story virus popping up every six months or so. Well, it's been six months since v3, so that means this must be v4.

For those unfamiliar, here's a recap:

Here's what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it's okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that's five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours.

There always has to be a start of a story, so here it is.


The ground crunched beneath my feet. Besides my noisy footsteps, I heard only the sound of the gentle crackling fire behind me. Its faint orange light lazily revealed my immediate surroundings. Beyond the glow, there was total blackness. I whistled. I took the small rock I had been carrying and whipped it away from me, expecting a thud, crack or plop -- but a soft yelp of a cry answered.


Please continue this story virus.

I tag:

Randal G
Freida Bee
Some Guy
Chef Cthulhu
Flannery Alden

Unconnected Tuesdays



Monday, May 18, 2009


I Cannot Pan Adventureland, or Who Watches The Watchmen For Twenty Minutes?

So, it's been a crazy amount of time since I have been back to the LaGrange. Between my schedule and the theatre's schedule, it just hasn't worked out until now. The LaGrange is currently undergoing some major remodeling, which has resulted in it being closed for days at a time. Theatre 1 is currently torn up, and the lobby is unrecognizable.

La Grange Theatre renovations in the home stretch

Agh! According to the article, after all the remodeling is done they will bump up their prices from $3.50 to $5.00! It's following the path of the Davis Theater! Oh, mercy!

Alright, anyways, what the hell were my options?

Taken - Seen it!
Watchmen - Seen it!
Adventureland - Okay!

So, Adventureland it was -- a movie following a guy out of college who is forced by circumstances to work the summer at an amusement park in Pittsburgh. I had the same problem with this movie that I had with Juno. Too much fucking music that I liked being plugged into every stray silent moment. I felt like I didn't have the opportunity to interpret moments myself, I had to have the Velvet Underground tell me what to feel.

I know how powerful music can be when accompanied with a giant moving image, and know the allure it must have to a lot of filmmakers. But still, I don't know, it can be awful if it's overused.

Adventureland wasn't a great movie, but I feel like I can't really be snarky or snide to it. It wasn't awful, certainly. This is one of those really personal coming-of-age films. I felt like there were strong emotions and experiences behind this story, but they didn't resonate in the movie for me (maybe they did to other viewers).

I never felt more than when I was young, when everything seemed to hit me so hard, and my emotions were bigger than anything else. I had one of my most "human being moments" as a lowly worker retrieving shopping carts from a supermarket parking lot during sunset. I want to like movies that deal with that time of life, when you're just this raw nerve experiencing the world for the first time.

It's one of the reasons I like Almost Famous so much. It's not made by Cameron Crowe the-guy-who-directed-Jerry-Maguire, it's by Cameron Crowe the-kid-who-was-painfully-awkward-and-alive.

So, I wanted to experience Adventureland like I was that young man in the amusement park, but I just couldn't get to that space. I don't know if it was the distraction of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as his bosses, the overuse of music, or what. It just didn't feel real to me. I am sorry to the filmmaker for not feeling it -- I wanted to.

So the movie lets out and I slip into Theatre 4 for some of the Watchmen. As I sit down Malin Ackerman gives a brutal bonesnap to a dude in an alley. Stinky. I saw this movie halfheartedly in a first-run theater a while back, and the twenty minutes I watched didn't really change my opinion of it. I was annoyed by Dr. Manhattan's muppet-on-lithium manner of speaking, I was annoyed by every little facet of the guy playing Ozymandias, and well, I still liked Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach.

Ah, you don't need to hear my opinion about the damned movie. Here's what you need to know -- some pieces of work are such sublime examples of their medium that it really is quite silly to adapt them to another medium. The Watchmen is one of those pieces of work. The Watchmen movie doesn't offend me, enrage me, whatever. But I don't need it. You don't need it, either. Read the comic.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Ballad of Ankh and Smokem

It's been a while since I told you of my brother exploits in the World of Warcraft. Has he stopped playing? No, hell no! Read on for his exploits, straight from his fingers to your brain!

What a difference a year makes! I searched for "warcraft" on your site and discovered the last update on Blaniage was entered on April 18, 2008. Where did the year go? Why am I squinting, why is my butt asleep, and why does my back hurt?

Blaniage was only level 43 then. He's level 80 now, the maximum level achievable. Last year at this time the maximum was 70, but a new expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King (or "WotLK" for those too busy playing to type), increased the ceiling by 10 levels. In addition to Blaniage leveling to 80, Pantespani the Blood Elf Priest is now level 61, and Gastrin the Blood Elf Paladin is level 40. The other desserts are between levels 24 and 31. If memory serves, the first incarnation of Baklava (a Night Elf Druid) only made it to level 27 before I killed him off. Baklava the Undead Mage is level 24.

In order to describe the highlights of the past year I need to describe a little bit about a playing World of Warcraft ("WoW"). A style of game play that many people enjoy is "raiding." Raiding is basically grouping together with 9 or more players to explore an "instance" (game-speak for an in-game dungeon). Instances are populated by elites, which are monsters on steroids, almost impossible to kill single-handed. Killing them is desirable because elite creatures drop the best items, many of which are ~only~ available by killing instance elites. Because it is advantageous to be comfortable with your fellow raiders' playing style, and because communication is vital during a raid, many people form more permanent groups called guilds. Because I am mostly interested in questing, I wasn't really all that into finding a guild. They struck me as a WoW fraternity, and I wasn't into those either. However, I met a really nice guy in-game named Smokem, and he was in a friendly, "casual" guild called Ankh. He invited me to join, and I did.

I say that Ankh was "casual" because it was a group of more mature players, less obsessive about conquering every level 70 instance (this was before WotLK). But, if you want to see instance content, you have to have at least 10 players who log on regularly, so, you end up recruiting. And when you recruit, you open up the ranks to players that are less casual. Believe me, there are players that take WoW ~very~ seriously. Questions like, "who gets an elite item should it drop?" mean a great deal to some players. Guilds have to have rules, and some people are always unhappy about how the rules affect them. Ankh grew and grew, and eventually became a victim of its own success. A large group of players within the guild disliked the guild master's (GM) approach to the distribution of instance loot, left the guild, and formed a new guild which promptly started bad-mouthing Ankh on any available public forum. Ankh was reduced to a few players, and the GM was burnt out. He stopped playing, and Smokem and I went on to a different guild. However, I left all of my lower-level characters (9 in all) in Ankh. I guess I felt a little sentimental. I had dabbled a little in raiding with Ankh, and I was still proud to wear the Ankh tabard (a piece of clothing displaying the guild crest).

One nice thing about a guild is that they frequently have a guild bank. A bank is a large repository for all of the crap that a player accumulates over time playing the game. You have your own personal bank too, but a guild bank is much bigger and allows for players to share items that they find that might be of use to guild-mates of a different class or level. Ankh had a guild bank, and all of my toons in the guild were permitted to withdraw a single item per day. Well, the GM had quit playing, in fact I was about the only person in Ankh that ever played, so I began to feel a little entitled to the guild bank. I'm not proud of this. Anyway, one withdrawal per day for nine toons adds up, and after a few months the guild bank was looking a little thin. Meanwhile, the new guild which Smokem and I had joined was not feeling like a great fit for me. They were a very nice group of people, but their interests were almost purely running level 80 raids (now we are post-WotLK). I tried running a few, but I just wasn't into it in the new group. As I mentioned, I am primarily interested in questing, so when I logged on, I had little to say to others and they to me. All of the conversations were about last night's or tomorrow's raids, and I felt on the outside. In my opinion, being in a group but feeling like an outsider is far worse than not being in a group at all.

One day not long ago, much to my chagrin, the Ankh GM (remember him?), suddenly logged back into the game. He had purchased WotLK, was rested from his breather, and decided to give WoW another chance. Holy. Crap. Well, he wasn't angry at me, which was a surprise, but my days of having a guild bank at my sole disposal were over. Additionally, I had all but stopped playing Blaniage, preferring instead to level my priest. So, I was again a toon without a guild (or so it felt), but I had had a taste of having a guild bank. So, about a month ago, I formed "Just Desserts," a guild with only 10 members, all of them mine. We're not recruiting. Just Desserts sucks as a raiding guild, but you should see the guild bank.

Blaniage, Level 80

Pantespani, Level 55 Shadow Priest

Svinghi, Death Knight (and proof that I have toons that are not Blood Elves)

The first of four bank tabs of the "Just Desserts" guild. Lots of valuable rocks!


Leave your questions in the comments.

How do I get rid of that unclean feeling?

Shower, Soap and Sesame Street.

Da ya think I'm sexy?

Beckeye, you're an essay in glamour, please pardon the grammar, but you're every schoolboy's dream.

Where in the hell did I put my Marvin the Martian pen?

It fell on the floor. Look for it in that pile of stuff next to the door. It's laying on top of the mint condition T206 Honus Wagner baseball card and the Inverted Jenny stamp, behind three unpeeled Butcher cover Yesterday and Today albums, in front of Action Comics #1. Please be careful not to get ink on the Declaration of Independence -- the pen is uncapped.

Why is memorial day considered the first day of summer when it really is in june?

Because who wants to do their remembering in the Spring?

The Imaginary Reviewer:
Is wind power really the future?

Future of electricity: no.
Future of non-stop hilarity: yes.

Flannery Alden
Can I buy a complete chess set at a pawn shop?

No, you should make your own chess set out of soap and shoe polish, the way any self-respecting chessmaster would.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Viggo Mortensen - Shag

Good Going, Gary!

I got home verrrry late last night from the Cubs game. The game ended early due to some torrential downpours in the eighth inning. After several beers and a tequila shot at a neighborhood drinking establishment, I took two train rides and a long walk back home.

After I finally arrived, I peeked out the window and saw standing water right next to our back door. I turned on the basement light at the top of the stairs to see if I could see any water trickling about, and happily didn't notice any. I wasn't about to go down there and start dealing with any seepage in my tired, drunken state.

The next day I am happy to report none of the water that was pooled outside made it onto our basement floor.

Good going, Gary!

Love Love Love La-La Love La-La Love Makes The World Go Round

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Yeah, our sump looks like a cheerful-yet-ineffectual robot. I think I'll call him Gary.

Unconnected Tuesdays



Friday, May 8, 2009

Workout Secret Revealed!

The secret revealed: Stare at your arm until it becomes disproportionately larger than the rest of your body.

Here's A Fucking Rainbow For You

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Proper Capitalization Of Street Fighting Man Lyrics

EVER-y-WHERE i HEAR the SOUND of MARching, CHARging FEET, boy
'cause SUMmer's HERE and the TIME is RIGHT for FIGHting IN the STREET, boy


HEY! think the TIME is RIGHT for a PALace REVoLUtion
But WHERE i LIVE the GAME to PLAY is COMproMISE soLUtion


HEY! said my NAME is CALLED disTURbance
i'll SHOUT and SCREAM, i'll KILL the KING, i'll RAIL at ALL his SERvants

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Good Thing About Obsessing Over The Weather Is That You Get Exposed To All Kinds Of Meteorologists


Hey, they changed the goddamn weather video on me. I like the British lady in the video embedded right now (as of 05/07 morning). I'll see if I can find the previous dickhead weatherman.

Hmm, can't find the old video. It makes sense to me now, that each weather forecast video doesn't have its own video link, and that they probably just replace the forecasts each day. If they archived all the weather forecast videos, that would be a crazy amount of storage space they would need. Plus, who wants to see an old weather forecast (besides me, who wanted to show you a shining example of a dickhead weatherman).

So, once again, my apologies to the British woman meterologist and future meterologists that appear in the embedded video in this post. Except for you, dickhead weatherman. I presume you know who you are.

#1 - The Dickhead

Faux Schneider Is Coming!

You have been warned.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009


Terror Train

Willem Dafoe - Terror Train

My Suggestion For A New Crayon Color


Thanks For The Rhyming

I'm back!

First commenter with a doodle idea gets that idea doodled.


For Bubs: "A wild night in Springfield, IL"

Eye Meme


Yet more eyes this morning, so I thought I'd bump this post to the top.

Hi, a meme for you.


1. Post a picture of your eyes.
2. Tag a few people.

I tag:

Randal Graves
Coaster Punchman
Gifted Typist

(and anyone who wants to play along)




Randal Graves


Freida Bee

Dr. Zaius



Dean Wormer

SamuraiFrog (a twofer!)


Tommy Salami


Strawberry Girl