Monday, March 30, 2009

Bloc Party

Concerts are typically the perfect example of humans being nothing more than herd animals.  Went to the Bloc Party concert on Saturday and it was no exception.  Upon entering Aragon Ballroom, Graham and I were dismayed to see a 50 person line for alcohol wristbands.  Fortunately, we did not join this line but rather made our way to the restrooms where low and behold, there was a second wristband line with zero people.  So, we gladly avoided a 15-20 minute delay by not waiting with the other sheep.  Then, when we walk in the main hall, we could barely see the stage because people appear to be lined up all the way to the back.  However, my vast concert experience told me to go around the side and take a side stage position.  Then, we decided to improve even more by going up the balcony.  This was the result:

And this...

Plus we were right by the bar and an old organ that we weren't allowed to touch, so we had that going for us too, which was nice.  As for the concert itself, Bloc Party surprised me in a good way.  They came out on fire, ripping through songs with lots of energy.  The lead singer was very funny and very British with his commentary between songs.  They played all the hits.  My only complaint is that I was hoping for a cool cover song but didn't get one.  Overall, a great show though, which was followed by a great time at Seth's house.  Long night.  

Everybody get ready for the 80's party to end all 80's parties this Friday.  Three words - Ronnie.  James.  Dio.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My New Motto

My life has been reduced to this.  Really.  This unemployment thing really drags a guy down after a while.  I like Hadley's style though.  Keepin it simple, keepin it real.  Speaking of "play," this week I beat Gears of War 2 on Xbox 360.  Pretty depressing game.  However, after countless instances of me risking my virtual life to chainsaw enemies in the face, you can all take comfort knowing that you are safe from locust, tickers, wretches, brumaks, reavers, boomers, berserkers, bloodmounts, grinders, maulers, kantus, seeders, and most of all corpsers.  I've decided in the course of playing this game that I like using chainsaw as a verb.  I also realized that this game is not appropriate for children under the age of 150.  Mommy, I had a nightmare....

Days Unemployed: 73

Monday, March 23, 2009

Madness!!!!!! Part 2

Well, the weekend is officially over.  In a rare year where my final four remains intact after the first two rounds, I'm sitting in a tie for second place in one pool.  I have high hopes.  Me and the guys spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon trying to remove the casper-white coloration from our faces as we watched the games at a local watering hole.  I believe the technical term for this is "bronzing."  For some reason though, Seth and Mike decided to break off from the group to have a date of their own.  The technical term for this is "bro-mance."  

Friday, March 20, 2009

MADNESS!!!!!! Part 1

Well, it's finally here.  MARCH MADNESS!!!  Day 1 yesterday was very similar to Christmas for me.  For the first time ever, I watched every single game on Thursday and loathed CBS's usual inability to turn away from blowout games to good games.  I love/hate my life.  Since I don't have an office pool of my own, I joined the office pools of two people who have jobs.  I came out of yesterday with a stellar 14 out of 16.  I had VCU, who almost pulled it out at the end.  Oh, and I also picked my bracket before I knew Obama was doing one, which is now all over the place.  I'm pissed.  He picked the same final four as me AND picked VCU AND Syracuse to beat Oklahoma.  I thought about making last minute changes but then I said to myself, "Why should I change?  He's the one who sucks."  Just kidding.  I'm ok with Obama.  I don't think he sucks yet.  I just wanted to take a good opportunity to use an Office Space quote there.  

The main story line from yesterday's games was the horrible "gimme that fillet o' fish" commercial from McDonald's (may God strike them down) and the guy on Binghamton who looks kind of like John Bechdol.  This prompted lots of late night text messages flying around.  For those who used to work with me at LIM, I thought he looked like ET even more than John Bechdol.  I could only find a picture of Jaan Montgomery from Binghamton though.  

Rutgers' Mike Coburn (31) reaches for a loose ball against Binghamton' Jaan Montgomery during the first half of an NCAA college men's basketball game Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, in Piscataway, N.J.  

Days Unemployed: 65

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Weather has been phenomenal lately.  On Sunday, a bunch of us took the dogs to the park for play time.  Oh, and afterwards, we ended the two day saga by getting Lizzie's wallet back, (briefly mentioned in the last post as "wallet") which enabled her to fly home to L.A.  

Human-Dog teamwork.  Leonard thanks KC for finishing what he started.   

St. Patrick's Day Weekend

I'm going to type out my Saturday in very short form.  In typical St. Patty's Day weekend fashion, there is no way to explain some of the weird crap that happened that day so I won't even try.  

Dog run, bike, green beer, flip cup, bike, car bombs, bike (starting to become a bad idea), friends lost jackets, wallet, phone, camera, buzz kill, $5 cover for delivery of message to friends, 43 phone calls to druggies who took jackets, meet druggies who took jackets, jackets + stuff returned, confusion, awkwardness, still no wallet, regroup, pizza capri, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, home.    Some images from the day:

The Basketball Deity

Wow, long delay between posts again but I don't feel like it was.  I guess that's what happens when you have friends visiting and Thursday - Sunday mysteriously disappears (in a good way).  In other news, the Sears Tower was recently renamed the Willis Tower, which is a terrible name.  On Friday we went to the United Center, which United pays $1.8 million a year to name through 2014.  However, they recently indicated that they wouldn't renew.  This leaves the door open to completely new names.  We really aren't that far away from the arena names in BASEketball (Preparation H Arena, Maxi Tampon Stadium, etc.) coming to fruition.  So on Friday, we went to the future Viva Viagra Arena to watch my Blue Jackets play the Blackhawks.  In a resounding victory for the playoff bound Blue Jackets, there were 8 total goals and a legit fight.  All in all a good night.  

In seeing the Michael Jordan statue in person for the first time, I wanted to find out who was the inspiration for the amorphous blob of opponents beneath him.  No luck finding a specific person on google but I say it's pretty much anyone in this video, the most notable example without a doubt being Kelly Tripucka (pronounced tri-puke-uh).  That name just screams whipping boy for life.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Paparazzi Audition

As a continuance of my Thursday evening, I went to Underground with my girlfriend Carrie and her co-workers.  On our way out, someone else was on his way in.  I can't say I recognized him by sight but I took a picture anyways because everyone else was.  I think I have a career as a paparazzi!  Later, we learned that it was Nick Cannon.  To a lot of men, this probably means absolutely nothing but I know who Nick Cannon is.  How, do you ask?  Well...I first heard of him in college when I learned that "Nick Cannon is hilarious."  I heard his name again recently when he married my childhood sweetheart, Mariah Carey.  This is pretty much what I do now - hanging at posh clubs with celebrities.  That and crashing girl's birthday parties who I don't know in order to score a free well drink.  

Days Unemployed:  54

Beer Bodega

Delayed post on this one.  Last Thursday, I went to the Beer Bodega beer tasting at Cafe Babareeba.  They gave us a notebook so I decided to take notes and put forth what I believe to be a rather weak attempt at snobbery.  However, it should be noted that I did call a correct flavor from the brewery's description at least four times.  Here are the word for word notes with occasional parentheses for clarification.   

1.  Great Lakes Elliot Ness - Cleveland, OH
Great malt.  Notes of Lake Erie sludge...not really.  Very solid.  

2.  Belfast Bay McGovern's Oatmeal Stout - Belfast Bay, MA
Adequate.  Not big enough.  Reasonable taste but not as powerful and full as an oatmeal stout should be.  

3.  Southern Tier Unearthly IPA - Lakewood, NY
Weak IPA.  Not nearly enough hop, way too much fruit.  Unbalanced.  

4.  Pyramid Apricot Weizen - Seattle, WA
Surprisingly good (compared to my expectation, which involved vomitting).  Would be decent in summer.  Definitely lots of apricot but apricot is a subtle enough fruit for it to be worth drinking one (but not more).

5.  Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale - Aspen, CO
Okay for a standard golden ale but a little heavy for this type.  Balance is off though.  Should be smoother if calling it golden ale.  

6.  Alhambra Negra Ale - Granada, Spain
Boring, surprisingly dull flavor given the dark color.  My palette is also dying a slow painful death.  (this was the second to last beer we tried)

7.  Two Brothers Ebel's Weiss - Warrenville, IL
Like the Sophie (see below) slightly better.  Vanilla + banana flavors.  I am now certain I don't like "Weiss's."  

8.  Two Brothers Domaine Dupage French Country Ale
Good earthy flavor.  Well rounded.  Homey feeling.  Tastes like toast (I nailed that one!).   

9.  Two Brothers Cane and Ebel Red Rye Ale
Scent of oak from the beginning.  Fruity (mango according to Seth, I agreed) but lots of hops balance it out wonderfully.  

10.  Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale - Citrus flavor with nuttiness.  One of the best Belgians of the night.  

11-12.  N/A.  You suck Windy City Distributors.  The event was reservations only.  Plan better so you don't run out with an hour remaining in the tasting.  

13.  Goose Island Matilda - Chicago, IL
Abbey Ale, banana flavor/aroma, very traditional for the style.  Not my fav though.  

14.  Goose Island Pere Jacques
Excellent!  Distinct roasted malt, chocolatey and a little rich but not too heavy -> Surprising given that color isn't dark.  

15.  Goose Island Sophie
Belgian again, citrusy in a bad way, somewhat off-putting.  

16.  Goose Island Juliet
Very fruity, sour.  Gross.  Gag.

17.  Half Acre Lager

18.  Half Acre Over Ale
Floral, spring taste.  Good hops but not too much.  Well-balanced.  

Exchanges of the night:

Me: It's kind of floral.
Seth: Floral?  Are you kidding me?

Seth: It's like a beer smoothie!
Me: I'll be sure to write 'better than it sounds' after that in the tasting notes.

Seth: Definitely citrusy.
Me: I'm getting a lot of nuttiness too.  
Seth: Yeah, slight nut.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Thank You Note

Dear Brooke,

First of all, I just wanted to say happy birthday!  You're the best babe!  I actually have no idea who you are but I was at your birthday party last night.   Basically, my friend Kevin Dahm has a friend named Kevin Down....I know, isn't that crazy???!!!!!  Anyways, Kevin Down has a friend whose name I didn't catch that knows through a friend that you were having a party.  I think Kevin Down's friend met you once but I'm not sure.  So you see, I'm friends with Dahm (1), who's friends with Down (2), who's friends with some guy (3) who's friends with another guy (4) who's friends with you (5).  That's five degrees of separation.  I may as well be Kevin Bacon.   Brooke, now that you're in all likelihood somewhere between the ages of 21-32,  how do you think life will be different for you now?
Back to the original point of my letter.  I wanted to thank you for helping me achieve the pinnacle of unemployed going out.  I attended a very expensive (but still kind of lame) club like Le Passage and drank for free.  That's right, two hours of open bar in honor of your special day.  I know, we were surprised too, but so were people who know me when they found out I was going to Le Passage.  Did you know that the first ten people drank for free instead of paying $15?  Yeah, I know, what a deal!  Dahm and I were two of those ten.  Unfortunately, I'm guessing that meant that eight people who were actually your friends had to pay $15.  I'm sorry about that, but I do appreciate your thoughtful consideration of Kevin's and my plight.  I'm sure you knew that we would be among the very first people to enter the club so you wanted to repay us for helping you celebrate such a special day.  I thought for sure the night would become like a bad episode of "My Super Sweet Sixteen" but it wasn't, and we have you to thank for that Brooke.  Your inability to notice that we were there wearing your wristband and capitalizing on your drink special really meant a lot given the current state of our wallets.  On behalf of my friend Kevin (Dahm not Down), we are grateful for your ignorance.   

Your Complete Stranger, 


P.S.  That was really neat when the dancing girls brought you guys bottles of Grey Goose while waving sparklers around.   

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"If you like it then you better...."

More friends getting married!  This time it's our friends Brian Wannop and Alli Bates, who got engaged Saturday night.  Carrie and I met up with them on the happy night in Chicago.  This also happened to be Alli's birthday.  Well done.  Congrats guys!  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"One Hour (or Three) I'll Never Get Back"

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened.  I, John Doe, attended a taping of the Jerry Springer show.  There's really no explanation for this other than it wasn't my idea and it sounded like a funny thing to do in concept.  I would have written about this yesterday but I really needed a day to digest what had just happened to me.  While I'm still not quite sure of the answer of what, in fact, has happened to me, I figured the best thing to do was to give a running diary, Bill Simmons-style so here goes....

12:00 pm - arrive at Billy Goat Tavern.  Devour one double "cheeezboorrrrger" with "cheeeps, no fries!" and two beers, "dark."  

12:45 pm - enter the NBC building and wait in line for entry to the studio.

1:03 pm - I set off the metal detector like every person before me had due to the presence of a belt.  

1:04 pm - Approximately 1 minute and 10 seconds into a very uncomfortable silence, the lady at the metal detector is still hanging onto my belongings and looking off into the distance as everyone stands and waits in confusion.  Finally, one of her colleagues, who appeared to have a brain, asked what was going on.  She finally says that I set off the metal detector.  He comes over and waves the wand and I'm cleared.  I snatch my belongings out of the lady's hand and proceed to the elevator as she continues to look off into the distance.  

1:47 pm - Now upstairs, we wait in line again to enter the studio.  Tension is building.  Whispers abound.  The show starts at 2!  What if we don't get in????!!!!!!!   AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  

1:58 pm - We enter a studio mostly full with people who were let in before us.  A production assistant begins to seat people in specific seats, one group at a time.  I don't like where this is going.....

2:00 pm - We are next to be seated.  We have turned a corner and can see the entire studio.  The front row is conspicuously vacant.  The production assistant approaches and says.........

"We have perfect seats for you guys."  


2:07 pm - After five minutes of conversing about all of the ways this experience might ruin any chance I had for getting a job and will without a doubt cause us to see things that can't be unseen, we are now mentally prepared for the show.  

2:13 pm - The producer comes out and gives some instructions and tells a few lame gross-out jokes.  

2:16 pm - Jerry's not ready yet.  

2:21 pm - Jerry's not ready yet (are you allowed to be a prima donna as the host of a show like this?)

2:23 pm - Jerry comes out and gives some instructions and tells a few lamer gross-out jokes in stand-up comedian style.  Don't quit your day job Jerry. 

2:29 pm - JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!

2:31 pm - Guest 1 (a female) comes out and takes her shoes off.  She's ready.  

2:37 pm - Guest 2 (another female) comes out.  Fight!   JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!

2:38 pm - Fight!  JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!

2:43 pm - Guest 3 (a third female) comes out.  Fight!  Again!  Oh man!  Guest 1 really hates Guest 2 and Guest 3.   JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!

2:44 pm - JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!

You get the idea.  The cheating dude comes out, more finger pointing and fighting, more JERRYJERRYJERRY, some fat booty shaking, and segment 1 is done.  There are clumps of hair all over the floor from the fights.  This one was convincingly real.  

3:01 pm - Segment 2 begins with a dude from West Virginia and his cousin/fiancee.  'Nuff said. 

3:07 pm - A tranny prostitute shows up and asks West Virginia guy for his/her $50.  The plot thickens.....

3:11 pm - Segment 2 ends.  Our group of four universally agrees that segment 1 was way better.  However, I realize that once you've stooped this low, there is no "better."  It's kind of like a black hole - once you're in, it's all a universal blob of nothingness.  It's all the same.  So, I guess what I'm saying is, we reached the singularity of awfulness.  

3:16 pm - Segment 3.  Two girls fighting.  Good punching.  Dude comes out.  Looks familiar.  Wait, looks familiar?????  I'm looking into this one but I am really hoping it was a coincidence and that guy isn't who I thought he was, mostly because that would then imply that I know someone who was a guest on Springer.  The day I've taken to reflect has allowed me to convince myself that they just look similar.  

3:27 pm - All the zoo animals/contestants come back out.  People throw insults at them and receive some in return.  The End.  

The Last Word:

I was in an inexplicably terrible mood after this show yesterday.  It's hard to go to something like that and not come out feeling like your life has hit a new low or that whatever innocence you still had was shattered.  Fortunately, since yesterday, I've remembered that I shouldn't take myself so seriously.  I don't live in West Virginia or have any gender confusion issues so I've got that going for me, which is nice.   JERRY!  JERRY!  JERRY!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Faces of Unemployment

Well, it's Sunday and I'm about to begin another week of unemployment.  I just lost my camera too and I am depressed/angry because I lose everything and I don't know how to stop.  In the spirit of my current state of destitution, here's a short list of things to do while unemployed:

1) Stop shaving.  Note my despondent expression for emphasis:

2) Plow through chocolate chip cookies like manna from heaven

3) Write pointless blogs

4) Watch and/or go to daytime talk shows.  More on this tomorrow.  

5)  Do something entrepreneurial

6) Watch your masculinity slowly erode as you bake with aprons and cuddle with dogs.
7) Shopping cart surfing at the grocery store.

8) Pretend like you have reached a certain degree of enlightenment as a result of your job loss and talk down to your friends who were unlucky enough to have kept their jobs.  

Days unemployed: 46.  F*&#.