Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne Needs More Crescendo and Legato

This is probably one of my all-time favorite songs. It brings back a lot of good memories, and that's what we do on New Years, right? (yes Mr. Critic, it does sound very similar to GSYBE!'s song 'Storm' from the first side of Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven)

Cheers and Happy New Years folks,


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Welcome Home...

It didn't take me long to learn that I was back home for the holidays when my lady and I came across this behemoth and elusive horned creature. I was driving along when my Nugget said "Look honey! Over there! We're definitely back in Ohio". These monstrosities are very rare, and native to Ohio, sort of like the buckeye tree. We approached it with caution as we pulled toward it in a Krogers parking lot located just barely outside of Columbus Ohio. The giant seemed to have been sleeping when I shut off the engine of my vehicle, and snapped this photo. Luckily, this was taken with a camera on my cell phone. It was convenient that I happened to have my phone because I fear that if I had taken the shot with a regular camera, the flash would've caused the beast to awaken, and trample the both of us to death for sure. Notice that this creature has already been tagged by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (a daring maneuver on their part as these beasts are not very approachable, perhaps it was sleeping at the tagging as well). This unique experience helped me cap a very pleasing holiday with my friends and family.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Good Heavens, What's This I See?!

As a late entry, I've added another item to my Christmas list. It is the Tony Little bobble head figurine. Tony Little is the man who invented 'the gazelle'. I will not explain the contraption. I feel sorry for anyone who buys an exercise machine from a man with a ponytail. The fact that this bobble head is ridiculous is exactly why I need it. I think that there needs to be someone who judges if a person is notable and credible enough to have the honor of being bobble headed. Where are the proper banquets and induction ceremonies for this? The fact that he is selling a bobble head of himself on his own website must prove what a bad ass he really is. I've decided that I want to start a collection of bobble head figurines that have no reason or place to be bobble headed. Heres the link to this awesome and absurd item.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Walking

Since the snow fell in the middle of last week, I have been sent to the grocery twice. It may seem like this is the beginning of a very shoddy story, but shoddines is what I do. My first trip was the morning after the snow hit, and none of the roads were cleared, and all the sidewalks and trees were still covered as well. The snow was very deep, and would apparently take the road cleaning crews a day to reasonably clear things. I bundled up with my scarf, and peacoat, and headed out into the morning with my new iPod (my x-mas present from my nugget). I looked around, and the sky had all cleared up, and everything was heavily blanketed in white. I saw only two people the entire time, one of which was walking his dog, and the other was struggling to clean their vehicle off. I flipped through my albums until I found Nick Drakes 'Family Tree', and hit play. Something very magical happened as I began walking towards Broadway and Halsted on Grace (or Waveland I forget) to the store. There were no cars out, it was sunny, and everything was beautifully snow covered. I think the stripped down simplicity of Nick's songs really fit the things I was seeing around me. His original finger picking technique, along with his hauntingly soft voice made the bare bones melodies perfect for my walk. There were a couple piano tunes slipped in there that were accompanied by a womans voice that I'm going to assume was Nick's mother, who was also a musician. It was just strange how well the music went with the environment. Everything seemed empty or hollow, and I don't mean that in a 'depressing way', but more like a 'new and unexplored land' kind of way. It was the light with the whiteness of the snow which made a normally bustling Chicago seem tame for a second. My second unique experience happened at night. Not everyone had cleared the sidewalks off yet, but the streets were cleared off. Andrea sent me to the store once again, and just like before, I threw on my coat, and grabbed my iPod and flipped through my albums and selected Andrew Birds 'Weather Systems'. It's the only A. Bird album that I'm not familiar with and felt obligated to give it a listen. Its sound began to meld with the environment just like the Nick Drake album. Only this time, it was a winter night thing. I was particularly drawn to the songs 'I' and 'Action Adventure' because they seemed to inadvertantly capture the aura of the cold and snowy sidewalks of my northside neighborhood. The city lights reflecting off the snow, the lack of people on the street, and the atmospheric and stringy A. Bird songs were the reasons for my vibe during my walk. I can't really explain because I don't have the vocabulary and I don't even know if words can do the vibe justice, but those two albums seem to be perfect soundtracks for winter. It just depends on which time of day you listen to them. Just like most of the music that I listen to, I can hear whichever song, and it takes me to a place in time. I'm sure these two albums will now remind me of walking amongst the brownstones on Chicago's snow covered side streets.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Great Apple vs. PC Debate

This, and all the similar commercials have started causing great debates in our household. A few months ago, prior to Mr. Pessimistics new found knowledge of PCs he was convinced we should switch everything over to Apple. We priced Mac Books for me, IMacs for him, and the Ipod, IPhone and so forth. We were going to take the plunge, rid ourselves of the hard to use PC, and upgrade to the wonderfully easy Apple.

But then, suddenly, Mr. Pessimistic changed his mind, claiming Apple is stupid because Macs and such cannot be upgraded, where as PCs can. There really should be no argument, since honestly, I don't care either way, a computer is a computer. The annoying part, however, is that Mr. Pessimistic gets so upset about these commercials, and then launches into a rant about the superiority of the PC and, well, I cant help but mention the fact that a few months ago this was not the case.


First off, in my defense, let me state that our debates on this matter are in good fun. My beef with Apple is they claim to be something they're not. It's all an advertising thing. The whole problem is the 'Mac vs. PC' idea. It's dumb. The Mac has a central processing unit, I/O devices and utilizes an operating system (it can run Vista even). If I asked you what kind of thing posseses these components, you would say "a computer". My point is that Mac is a PC, so why claim to be something else? If I had an Xbox rigged with a connection, a browser, and a Linux OS, I wouldn't claim that it wasn't a computer. Page 78 of Decembers issue of PCWorld was the theme behind Apples latest commercial. The Apple Macbook Pro came in first place for 17 inch notebooks. I'm going to compare it to a woman winning the mens PGA, and claiming that shes different because shes a woman. She may have different components, but she's still a golfer. So what?

What Apple fails to mention in their commercial is that in the same issue of PCWorld they were called-out for releasing 4GB iPhones for $500 and in less than two months later discontinuing the model, and offering a larger 8GB iPhone for $400. They didn't even offer a reimbursement/rebate, coupon, gift card or anything for those people who basically got ripped off. This is from an article in the Consumer Watch section on page 53. *Same Issue*

I will not dispute that Apple makes awesome graphical user interface peripheral devices, but when it comes to computers... ooops, I'm sorry, a Mac... they are just as normal as all other computers (I mean Mac again) It's all about what you intend to do with your computer (Mac?). If you want to game, use a pc, if you want to edit photos and videos, the Mac dominates. Now when a pc starts to get old, one can upgrade with a new video card, sound card, and boost memory which IS the beauty of standard pc's. Apple seems to make fun of this. They just assume that a Mac owner will what? . . throw out their Mac and buy a new one when it starts to get old? Are we to assume that a Mac made in nineteen ninety-seven is up to par with a pc made for 2008? Hmmm. That doesn't seem to make logical sense to me. I know I couldn't afford to buy a brand new computer every four years. It's much easier and cheaper to upgrade. Now if Apple is claiming that they don't need to be upgraded, they are full of crap. Electronics of all varieties are obsolete a month after they are sold. I don't know if Apple tries to make their customers think that some software updates are going to magically heal their dying and aging hardware devices and components within their pc's (uhmm, Mac?) It doesn't work that way. Things start to go bad within electronics, and Apple isn't using some mysterious unknown electrical components within their products. People who buy pc's have an ability to learn from them. The school I attend is technology based, and I am in a program that deals with electronics and computers. I see many people building computers, but I see none building with Apple components. It's not because they're dumb, it is because they want an interchangle, moldable system. It's like a car enthusiast who works on his own V8 musclecar as opposed to some kid who puts some rims and a spoiler on his parents Honda Civic. Whos the real enthusiast of the two?

Ughhkkk, A., why do you have to do this to me.


See what I mean? Debate. Lengthy ranting. Every time.


Oh god, don't get A. started on Dells tech support. She spent a fair amount of time on the phone with those folks.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Holiday Must-Have #2: Let It Snow

I love snow. I love the way it softly falls to the ground, and creates a bright, white blanket over everything. I love the sight of the city, or the country covered in snow in the background, and large flakes falling in the foreground. I love it. That is, until, someone steps in it, leaving footprints; people drive in it, creating slushy roadways; and it starts to melt, causing it to mix with mud and turn brown. And, not to mention, actually being outside in it. If you know me at all, you know I do not enjoy being cold, and therefore do not enjoy activities which require coldness. I do not like ice skating, hockey, sledding, skiing, etc. I hate snow with a passion, people have a hard time driving ( even though we live in the mid-west, and it's inevitable every year), it becomes nothing but muddy, cold, slush that I have to walk through. I hate it.

However, snow is an integral part of the Holidays. You simply cannot enjoy a "White Christmas" with out it. If it would only snow once I am inside my family's home, on Christmas Eve, accumulate throughout the day of Christmas, then completely melt away to nothing by the time I am ready to leave the following day, it would be perfect. But perfect is not the world we live in.

Even though I hate it, Holiday Must-Have #2 is snow.

So, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Well.. I had better take back those matching snowmobiles I got us then.. Oh well..

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Must-Haves #1: The Rat Pack

Two days after Thanksgiving, I was ready for the onslaught of Holiday cheer. I was ready for the tree, with all the trimmings, the shopping and the lights. I was looking forward to choosing perfect gifts for my friends and family. I couldn't help but anticipate the 25 days of Christmas specials shown on ABC Family. Bring on the White Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Mr. Pessimistic, however, was completely against the tree idea. He didnt even want to put it up this year, as it would take up so much of our precious space. That was, until, I came home one day to find the tree up and the lights applied, with Frank Sinatra swooning, " Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the backgorund.

Apparently, the one true motivator for Holiday Cheer is Christmas with The Rat Pack.

Just listening to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin belt out classic Christmas tunes, like "White Christmas", "Silver Bells", and our personal favorite "Baby It's Cold Outside" will put any scrooge in the spirit, or at least it worked on Mr. Pessimistic. All he had to do was listen to our favorite Christmas CD and he was on board for the tree, the lights and even the shopping.

This CD is the first Holiday Must-Have. The season just can't start until you hear it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things I must do before I die...

*For those who didn't see my lame-o myspace posting*

-In no particular order-

1. Kiss the pitch at Ibrox

2. Rebuild/restore a muscle car (resto-modded 67' Mustang fastback or and Oldsmobile 442 convertible, or maybe a late sixties Camaro coupe with an LS-2 aluminum engine with a manual six speed transmission. *linked is the engine*)

3. Catch a swordfish

4. Go to a Pixies or Superdrag show should they reunite (again)

5. Hike the entire Appalachian trail (doesn't have to be all at once)

6. Invent something beneficial to mankind

7. Go surfing in Hawaii

8. Restore a historic house, or house in a historic neighborhood (Victorian era would be nice)

Good Morning

It's amazing the power a simple act can have. For example, a simple "Good Morning" from a stranger can help transform any morning grouch into a smiling person, full of hope for what the day will bring.

Each morning as I exit the El stop and begin my walk to my office building, I am greeted warmly by an older woman in a wheelchair. She joyously says hello to everyone, and sometimes offers polite comments on outfit choices. She refers to most women as sweetie, and most men as guys. Every morning, I know she will be there to start my day with a bit of hope. "Good Morning, " she says, as I pass, " Hi guys, good morning, " she sings to others, " Have a nice day ladies, " she offers to a group of women, "That's a cute sweater, sweetie, " she comments to the young woman in front of me. Each passer by is blessed with a tiny bit of cheer to start their work day.

I was actually sad she wasn't there one morning, worried something had happened and I would never see her again. Yet, a few days later, and every day since, she has been there, and as cheerful as ever to help brighten my day.

Thank you Wheelchair Lady.

Monday, November 26, 2007

An Enchanted Moment

Last week, I enjoyed an all too brief, but wonderful enchanted moment downtown. I had ventured into the cold to grab lunch and found myself in the middle of a greeting card scene.

As I walked, I noticed that all the trees were decorated with white lights, and each store commanded a spectacular display window full of holiday cheer. As I continued walking, I became aware of one of our many horse and carriages walking along beside me, and in the distance I could make out the faint, yet steadily growing sounds of Christmas Music being performed by a lone sax.

My mood improved as I stood on the sidewalk, taking in the sounds and the atmosphere. I smiled to myself as I realized that this was a perfect moment, and I was aware of being a part of it. These moments are often passed through without a moments hesitation. Last week, I may have been the only one who embraced this moment as a spectacular one, but I will remember it always, among the many memories of my first Holiday Season in the City.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkish Day

This Turkish holiday, I was graced with the presence of three Finkens. They all managed to do the same things at the same time. One could never understand the unique experience of three people who decide to use their cell phones all at the same time on several occasions, but never any other time. You could also never understand the mind of three people who decide to disappear and lay down in the bed at the same time. It was strange for me.. I guess it was like filming cheetahs in the wild. They have an expected nature, yet it can still can baffle and amaze you.
I ate lots of turk', and had a terrible time deciding what to eat for dinner this evening because I have had so much food these past two days. I've narrowed all dinner choices down to about four areas of the earth, and have become bored with them already. If I'm so lucky to make it to eighty years old, I hope food finds a way of changing itself into something I have never tried before. I've become bored of food. When I get hungry, arguement ensues because A. and I can never decide what to eat. If you don't want Chinese, Mexican, Italian (including pizza), or American, like burgers or steak, what is there? Sure, theres Greek and all those other borderline freakish food uhmmm genres? that we could try, but it's essentially just a combination of the previously mentioned food categories. We've tried it all, and there is nothing new, or desirable to eat. I sometimes feel like my cravings for things have died. Ahhh well.. I guess there will always be Cuban sandwiches and 1% milk. It's almost as if I die starving, it will be because food is over-rated and I've tried everything.

Friday, November 16, 2007

O-H.... I-O

I'm not a huge football fan, or even a religious OSU fan, but when it comes to the age old tradition of beating Michigan, I can't help myself. I am from Ohio afterall....GO BUCKS!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Rhinestone Doggie Dude Ranch

Yesterday, I had an extended, lively talk with my mother while we worked out the logistics of "The Thanksgiving Trip" to Chicago. While, mostly we discussed arrival times, how to navigate public transportation, and what to do while I am at work for an entire day, the mentioning of The Dogs was inevitable.

The Dogs may be the most important and influential members of my immediate family, and so, finding a place for them to stay while "The Thanksgiving Trip" takes place, is highly important. Usually, when my mom travels, The Dogs stay with a family member, or a kennel. Typically these kennels consist of halls lined with individual cages, and sometimes a play area where the dogs can run around.

The Dogs have stayed in several of these types of places. That was, until, mom found The Rhinestone Doggie Dude Ranch.

From her description, each dog is allotted their own private suite, which includes: a full size twin bed with linens, a full size chair to lounge on near the window, their own private area to walk outside into, and a television. Also, she mentioned that the entire place is on a closed-circuit system which allows the curators to watch each dog, and give additional support for those having difficulty adjusting. The Dogs will be staying in an adjoining suite, which will allow them to mingle with each other, if they so choose.

During the course of "The Thanksgiving Trip" my mom and sister will be staying in a very nice Hilton in downtown Chicago. ( the entrance to the ball room pictured below)

Though, after hearing the amenities of The Rhinestone Doggie Dude Ranch, I'm starting to wonder who will really be pampered.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Last night I had the pleasure of visiting with one of my old college friends. Jules and I hadn't seen each other for at least three years, and we had a lot of catching up to do. We met over a famous Chicago deep dish, and talked about the past, the present and which life altering ceremonies and additions our adult lives have brought us and those we know. It was such a pleasant evening. An evening in which I discovered that I have blocked out the majority of my college existence. She mentioned our trip to Chicago during our tenure as members of Alpha Sigma Alpha. I remember the trip is being quite pleasant, and falling in love with the city, which is how I have ended up settling here. She remembers those things as well, but also a large amount of drama. I completely blocked this out.

She mentioned my old ( very very crappy) apartment in Kent, Ohio during one of my summer's in Cleveland. I remember that it was the worst place I have ever lived in, and that the hallway scene from The Shining, may have been filmed in the hall outside my door. She remembers swimming in the pool. I blocked that out, in fact it took me a few moments to remember the pool at all.

Apparently, I blocked out quite a bit. Who knows what other factual tidbits and interesting portions of my life I am missing.

I know as you grow older, you only remember certain aspects of your life. I thought, however, that I was remembering much more than I actually am. Perhaps this is why we need to reconnect with our old friends.. so they can fill us in on what we've forgotten about ourselves.

Thank you Jules, I feel refreshed!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I just now received pictures from my long time and good friend Ryan. This is from his wedding this past summer. I was very thrilled with this picture, and felt I'd share it. Here in this shot, I am sharing a laugh with my dashing twin brother John, and his lovely wife, Kelly. To my left (in the photo) is an all too familiar, but wonderfully calming and angelic face, the A., or the gelfling as I like to call her. If one were to look closely, they could see the twisty-tie ring I gave 'the gelfling'. Although it may not be as expensive as the ring my brother gave to Kelly or (on this special occasion) the ring Ryan gave to his newlywed wife, Amanda, I could surmise or deduce, in a flea market, dollar store kind of way, I had the same kind of love behind it when I gave the plastic/bendy-metal blend of a conjured ring to my A. [I love the fact that she held onto, and wore the thing until it broke... that A. is truly a class woman] -D.

I kept that ring for so long because I loved it and how D. gave it to me, in fact I still have it tucked safely away in a jewelry box. I will treasure it always.

Money = Happiness?

Check out this article:

And tell me what you think.

It sure does alleviate life's stresses, therefore leading to happiness. . .
I guess it would've been easier to just say 'yes it does'

The Haunted Bedroom

Each night in their new apartment made the couple more uneasy. From the first night they moved in, they were aware of a strange energy in their bedroom. The first of the weeks passed, and they concluded it was merely their insecurities manifesting themselves in the form of fear, and the anxiety of unfamiliar surroundings.

As the nights passed, each felt more and more uncomfortable, and chose to bring it up in subtle ways, as to not frighten their partner. The girl began having strange nightmares, unlike her usual dreams, and the boy became paranoid and worried. They both watched ghost hunting related television, silently trying to compare their experiences with those on the screen. Finally, both concluded that the strange feeling in their bedroom was due to a high amount of electronics, for they were no longer insecure or unfamiliar with their surroundings.

Months passed, each desperately clinging to the belief/hope that the electrical outlet behind their bed was the culprit. More and more often the girl would be lying in bed alone and feel the presence of someone lying beside her. Her dreams became increasingly frightening, as she dreamt of a shadow hovering above her as she slept, and then awoke to find her cat staring at the corner where the shadow had been, meowing. She dreamt she was hoisted to the ceiling in the bedroom by an unknown force, and awoke to feel as though she had a heavy weight resting on her chest. The boy began to feel as though someone was lying against him or pressing against him, when the girl was not. He began to see shadows or glimpses of things scurrying around the room during the night. Finally, both decided to speak openly about their experiences.

It was concluded that the cat was the cause of much of this trouble. This cat was not like usual cats, in that she often meowed at things that were not there, and often caused a great deal of disturbance throughout the night. She must be the reason for it all.

Days passed, each becoming more and more frightened to be in their bedroom. Weeks passed, and each began to fear what their terrible nightmares would bring. Months passed and each wished for the lease to expire sooner. Neither knew what would come next, what the next night would bring, what horrible nightmares they would endure, they were just trying to hold on until their lease expired and they could find someplace less haunted to live.

Ughkk... I'm telling yah', weird energy in that bedroom, thankfully I have someone to hold onto in there.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Robin Hood on the Streets of Chicago

Everyone has heard the classic fairy tale of Robin Hood, the gentle woodsman with a heart gold who gives to the poor, associates with merry men and is a deadly marksman. As a child, the cartoon version adapted by Disney in 1973 was among my favorite animated stories. As I grew older, I watched several adaptions. ( The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991; Robin Hood: Men in Tights, 1993 are among my favorites) And, so have grown to know the story quite well, as has most of America's population.

When you conjure the picture of the classic Robin of Loxley to mind, you end up with a general outline of a man wearing a smock ( probably green) and tights ( or very tight pants) over which there are a pair of boots to the knees. The colors usually range from green to brown, to perhaps even grey. ( The classic Adventures of Robin Hood star Errol Flynn pictured above)

While I will not dare say that Robin Hood is the most fashionable of all the fairy tale heroes, it is fair to say that he is reasonably dressed for his lifestyle. He needs clothing which allows him to swing from ropes and jump from tree to tree easily, as well as providing his feet with sufficient coverage for the terrain of the forest. His smock, tights and boots provide him with everything he needs.

So tell me, why are all the women wandering Chicago's trendy Magnificent Mile dressed as though they are the long lost members of the merry men? Can I believe that modern day fashion designers have started to rely on classic fairy tales for inspiration?

Bridget Moynahan, Sandra Bullock and The Hills' Heidi Montag were all recently spotted wearing a gray sweater dress. Whether worn with leggings or skinny jeans and boots (bare legged is a bit tougher to pull off), this is a chic look that virtually anyone can wear

Each time I pass She-Robin Hood on the street, I have to resist the urge to ask her to demonstrate her archery skills, or inquire as to the whereabouts of the fun-loving friar, or better yet, direct her to the nearest begging homeless person so that she may give her acquired riches to the poor.

I have been waiting for you to get to these ridiculous Merrymen wannabes.. I almost wished that you would've made mention to the Robinhooders' that have the tassle'yish, testiclesque fur balls dangling on them as well.. I wonder if they really think these boots are cool.. How do these chicks walk around with confidence when everyone has to be laughing at them..
oh, this reminds me, when are the oversized transition tinted seventies glasses going to die? Maybe there will be some heckling of these sad cases as well..

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dynamic & Non Retarded

After my post yesterday I re-read the quote by Chuck Klosterman, and found myself contemplating the words, "dynamic, non retarded Americans". Once upon a time I believed myself to be a member of this category. In fact, I believed it so strongly that it may have been the only thing I truly believed about myself. I was in fact, an interesting, dynamic person with an exceptional character and above average intelligence... I was also 17.

This feeling of being worth talking to, and as though I had something to say that might interest others, and that I was somehow more intelligent that the majority of those around me lasted until around age 24. At this point, I realized I will never again be 17. I will never have my 17 year old body again, I will never believe I am the most interesting person I know, and I will never again feel more intelligent or fun than anyone else. As time has progressed, I have come to realize, now 28, that I am in fact, boring and just like everyone else.

While I still feel like I'm worthy of friendships and somewhat interesting conversations, I have not been told , " Talking to you is like a scene from an independent film" for a long time. Those days of such odd, yet somehow more meaningful compliments have passed. I am old, and I am boring and I have nothing of interest to say.

I have done interesting things, mostly in my youth. I have travelled. I bought new heels in Paris and wore them as I climbed the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. I wandered around Versailles and imagined being Marie Antoinette, going mad and dressing up her sheep. I bought a knife in Toledo and imagined what my life would consist of if I actually lived in Madrid. I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and have fallen asleep on the beach in Ocean City. I like things. I love food, and will try anything once. I enjoy good restaurants and well.. let's face it, if you know me you know I can't live without chili cheese fries. I love reading. I have read all the classics, and enjoyed them. Though my other English studies counterparts will disagree when I explain that I hate the Bronte sisters with a passion. I read interesting literature and even strange dark graphic novels. I dyed my hair with streaks of red. I had a "suicidal" (I need attention) phase when I was 13. ( who didn't) I have partied, drinking insane amounts, until I have passed out and built my tolerance to the superhuman level. I have loved. I have loved and lost and I have loved again. I have seen a ghost, and been in a fight. I have done interesting things. Right?

No longer. Now I am just boring and that's it. What am I supposed to do as an adult? I may have used up all my interesting thoughts while I was sure I would never run out. I wrote a book once. I finished it, then lost it. I wrote brilliant things for my senior thesis. I used to have a million friends, more than my AOL IM would allow, and I knew them all in person. I used to correspond with my favorite artist. ( Local to Cleveland, Derek Hess, the print I want is pictured above) Now, nothing. NOTHING. I work, and talk to Mr. Pessimistic and watch television.

I wish I was young and interesting again.
(reply by Mr. Pessimistic)
You gotta' understand that from seventeen to twenty-two or whatever, twixters assume everyone cares about them, or thinks they're interesting, but in all actuality, no one does. From those ages, most assume that since they're considered an adult, and a young adult, that they've got some insightful thing going on, and that they've got some eventful, and life changing thing inhead of them which older adults have already gone through, but they want to believe that it's going to be different and more special than anyone elses, and that they're some kind of hub for those elders to drop their boring, but flattering advice on.
Then they'll turn twenty-eight and realize that they had higher expectations of what was to come, and have been vacuumed into the mundane and boring existence everyone else is in, only to reflect on what they thought of themselves, and realize that they're just like everyone else.. on the road to some life binding ceremony, and a constant and mounting pile of unpaid bills. What one would think is the awestruck interest in the eyes of someone looking at them when they're twenty-something, is just them thinking to themselves "that reminds me of me at that age" or "I was there once, I could relate to that exactly" but it's not bad, it's just that you will have become what everyone else has become, nothing extravagant, but nothing beyond the realm of comfortable mediocrity.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The John Cusack Effect

I had to bring it up eventually. It's actually surprising that it took this long. A long while ago I read, Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman, and was immediately excited about the very first chapter. At the time, I identified profoundly with the following:

But whenever I meet dynamic, non retarded Americans, I notice that they all seem
to share a single unifying characteristic: the inability to experience the kind
of mind-blowing, transcendent romantic relationship they perceive to be a normal
part of living. And someone needs to take the fall for this. So instead of
blaming no one for this (which is kind of cowardly) or blaming everyone (which
is kind of meaningless), I'm going to blame John Cusack.

Stories like Say Anything are fucking people up. We don't need to worry about people unconsciously "absorbing" archaic secret messages when they're six years old; we need to worry about all the entertaining messages people are consciously
accepting when they're twenty-six. They're the ones that get us, because they're
the ones we try to turn into life. I mean, Christ: I wish I could believe that
bozo in Coldplay when he tells me that stars are yellow. I miss that girl. I
wish I was Lloyd Dobler.

For me the love of Cusack happened much later than the 1989 release of Say Anything in which Cusack plays the infamous Lloyd Dobler, a lovable underachiever who wins the heart of the beautiful girl. While this is obviously the beginning of the Cusack identity we have fallen for, my own personal sickness didn't begin until I was introduced to Rob Gordon.

For years I have suffered from Cusack/Rob Gordon syndrome. In the 2000 release High Fidelity, Cusack portrays yet another underachiever in love with a woman. The film, adapted from the excellent Nick Hornby novel, has become a cult classic, as has Cusack himself. For years, I wandered, looking for my very own version of Rob Gordon. While I cannot go into detail as to what the appeal is, I can say that it has made my romantic life and the romantic lives of several other women in my generation difficult. Luckily, Mr. Pessimistic fits the bill. ( Watch High Fidelity and if you know D. you will see some similarities.. mostly music related) I'm not saying Rob Gordon is perfect, he clearly isn't, but I think that might just add to my love for him.

And, this isn't just me. Another woman, whom I can assume is close to my own age, wrote a blog about loving Cusack, and, if you scroll through the comments, most of them are from women suffering from the same sickness.

What has happened to us? Why has John Cusack become the beacon of hope for our romantic lives? And, more importantly, why are we all so attracted to underachievers, and/or music ( pop culture) elitists?


* please note this is in no way a commentary on my relationship, or Mr. Pessimistic himself, but rather a look into the psyche of women in my generation*

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

And So It Goes... I'm Freezing Already

Having recently moved to "The Real City", a few aspects of life have changed dramatically from what I was used to in Cleveland. For example, I no longer need a car, nor a snow shovel, but I do need a cell phone/blackberry. Apparently, where once I would drive my car into a snow drift, then dig myself out, I will now just call or email someone for help should I be stuck somewhere. Do not get me wrong, I have no complaints about being a person who does things themselves, and having been such a person for all of my life it has been a difficult adjustment to make. However, this easier lifestyle has it's perks. (I can order my grocery's online and they will deliver them. That in itself is enough of a reason to move to "The Real City".)

One thing that has remained a constant, however, is the weather. It is November, and as I have mentioned before, this brings coldness. I have a lovely winter coat that I love, and served me well in Ohio. I never really ventured out in the winter time except to my car, then from the car to the store etc. This coat, is warm enough for that purpose and the occasional trip outside to get the mail. This coat, however, is not warm enough for the 1 mile walk,and the 15 minute El ride, pressed against several other people that I face every morning and evening. Oh, did I mention that this coat is also white? Again, not the best option for my new circumstances.

So, upon learning of this situation with my coat, my wonderful mother offered to purchase me a nice new WARM coat. I was instructed to scour the Internet for my new outer wear. Armed with the knowledge that white is not ideal, and that it will be cold this winter, in addition to the knowledge that I live in "The Real City" and therefore will not be required to shovel snow or be expected to dress as though I live in the tundra, I looked. I found the perfect coat... if I were my mother. I found it and KNEW it was the one she wanted me to have. This was later confirmed when she described the perfect coat for me. I, of course, trying to be fashionable, rejected this idea, and it was decided that I would just have to freeze. Perhaps I was mistaken.

And, nearly 3 days following that conversation, here I am... freezing already.

I guess my easier lifestyle just got a little harder, (well, at least colder).


Friday, November 2, 2007


Have you ever gotten to that point where you need a day off, mostly because you need to sleep in? I hit that point on Wednesday, but of course have had to suffer through until today. Tomorrow, I will have to do work, I will have to run errands, but at least I will get to sleep in. I can't wait.

Of course, I might be extra exhausted this week since it was Halloween and I had to be visually assaulted by women's costumes. On one hand, I understand that Halloween is a time when women can express themselves by wearing outfits they would not normally wear, however, must everything be the "slutty" version? Do we really need the "sexy" little red riding hood, or snow white. It just seems like this is somehow ruining the essence of the character. I'm all for expressing yourself, and I love Halloween, and I even like some of the costumes, but, really, is EVERY woman expressing her hidden "slut" on Halloween, or are there just not many options?

I have decided that this is directly linked to SGB ( Stupid Girl Brain). Let me explain... SGB cannot be helped and while some of us are fully aware of it and the negative effects, we cannot turn it off. SGB is the thing that tells us we must compare ourselves to every woman we see, including super models, even though we know this is ridiculous and cannot in any way help our self esteem. SGB tells us we are fat ALL THE TIME, and tells us that men mean something much deeper than what their words project. So how is this linked to Halloween? Every woman has this need to feel attractive all the time, hence all the comparing and whatnot. Therefore our SGB tells us that we must dress "sexy" and we must adjust our perspective of what is attractive to match what the typical male believes is attractive. Now, not all males believe "sluttiness" is sexy, but not one of you can tell me that you don't enjoy some of those costumes. So, in an effort to feel attractive, women are subjected to the need to wear these for Halloween.

And, honestly, if you can pull it off, and you are of appropriate age, DO IT. It's a great feeling. But please, ladies, let's not let this phenomenon spill over into our daily wardrobe, or for the love of everything holy, the wardrobes of young teenage girls ( Damn... too late.. )

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween Everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007


Where have I been? Busy! I started my new ( awesome) job and have been immersed with the new feelings of being in the city everyday and being around intelligent professional people, and also, let's not forget, learning the ropes at my new place of employment.

I am quite happy to work downtown, to have an office with a nice view of the lake, and it helps that I really enjoy the job. It is all perfect. I have everything I have wanted for a long time. I live in the city of my dreams, I have the professional life I have been searching for and I'm so in love with Mr. Pessimistic. Life couldn't be better... except... it's October.

Which means, November, December,January and February are just around the corner. I hate the winter and I hate snow. But I refuse to give up the Midwest for sunnier places because I feel experiencing all the seasons is important. Is it?

It's getting colder, and I'm turning more and more sad. Snow will be falling soon, and the impending doom of muddy shoes and cold nights is upon us. This is the only explanation I can come up with as to why I have been so down lately, when everything in my life has been so up. I can't wait for Spring, already, and winter hasn't even really started yet.

See you in Spring!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Birthdays and Heartache

Yesterday was probably the best birthday I've had in five years. I heard from everyone I knew. It was great. I got to eat seafood for dinner, and Andrea took me to see the 3D version of 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. It's already one of my favorite movies, but in 3D it's unbelievable.

The Indians ended their post-season to Boston, and I'm kind of depressed. I don't know if I'm supposed to be angry at Cleveland for not showing up, and trying harder, or if I'm pissed at Boston and their lame-o, multi-billion dollar franchise. I stated in a post elsewhere that their fans are souless, fake, and a bunch of posers. They really are no better than Yankees fans. They're just a bunch of bandwagoneers who follow a souless team. Bostons budget could run Iraq for two years. The players are essentially former Indians (Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp) who took the compliments, advice, and instruction of the Cleveland coaches along with the best training in MLB, and made it fatten their egos, and stupid heads. Ughkk, it disgusts me. Boston fans are the worst. At least yankees fans wear their 'entertained-by-the-power-of-money' vibe on their shoulders. Boston though, is just the anti-yankees bandwagon. Boston fans claim this whole Irish heritage thing that makes no sense to me because everybody born east of the Mississippi River from the early eighteen hundreds on is fractionally Irish. Boston fans are about as Irish as George Bush is black. See you next year Boston. Go Tribe, go Cleveland.. but until then, go Rockies!


Saturday, October 20, 2007


Great news, I got an email a little over and hour ago from my professor, and apparently I did well enough on my ECT pre-finals that I don't have to take the final. That takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. I was going to be studying all weekend otherwise. Looks like I can enjoy my birthday weekend stress-free. Cheers to me!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Finals and other newsness'

Finals are this upcoming week. It's going to be a turbo stressful weekend. I had to attend the senior students IEEE project competition where I got to see some interesting stuff. Nothing to original though. I think three seperate groups did something that utilized a sensor to alarm cars when they're getting close to another vehicle. Probably the most boring, expected and obvious project ever. However, a guy who did a project without a group had a joystick connected to a mock UZI on a tripod (turret) which he could aim with the joystick and fire. We were supposed to ask the different projects a series of questions our instructor supplied us with, and consider ideas for our senior projects. I'm open to suggestions for anything. I was kind of thinking I'd make a theremin/ondes martenot, but it may be to time consuming and expensive. Input on possible electro-gadgets would be greatly appreciated. I was very disappointed when I found out one of my ideas had been capitalized on by some other joe looking to cash in on the adult novelty market. ("Goodbye interactive blowup doll with responsive software, you are no longer my possible intellectual property, but instead some schmoes meal ticket for life") What can you do? Ideas folks, gimme' ideas...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Faulty circuits

I'm now into the fourth week of an accelerated eight week semester, and after looking through all the b.s. and fighting a losing battle to my stress levels, its dawned on me that I have learned absolutely NOTHING. My professor assigns an unreasonable amount of work to be finished in an unrealistic amount of time. I can honestly admit to anyone that needs some sort of electronics repaired, look elsewhere. I have learned nothing other than how to turn in an ungodly amount of homework. Seriously, I'm so busy crowding short term memory full of complex equations, formulas, and other abstract nothingness, that I have no time to really take in, and fully understand anything. If tomorrow he asked me a question from something from the first chapter, I wouldn't know it. At any rate, I don't get it, it's all going way to quick, and I'm not sure I'm comprehending anything that is going on anymore.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

After my five year hiatus from school, I returned this last week, and found myself struggling to read the chalk/dry erase board. Soooo today I went to Sears optical to get an eye exam. The thing that blows the air in your eye was a lot less of a bother than being fully able to completely see correctly for a few moments. I don't think A. has ever seen me with glasses. Its gonna' be bitchin' and I can't wait to see again.

Suicide, Skybox, and Sweet & Sour Chicken

So here goes...
I recently read A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. It was good, as is expected of the author who has written two of my other favorites. High Fidelity and About A Boy are also among my favorite films. Kudos to Hornby for providing an alternative outlook on suicidal tendencies, in A Long Way Down, however, I do not recommend this one if you are actually suicidal. Trust me, wait until you are in a more life-loving frame of mind.
Pictured above is the album cover for Skybox. Mr. Pessimistic and I saw them shortly after moving here and have become enamored with their unique sound. I have never been a music elitist or snob, or even have claimed to know all that much about what is "good", however, I know what I like, and I have a knack for figuring out what and who is going to make it big. If you knew me when we all worked at WMCO, I'm sure you remember me choosing songs that caught on, and then forcing you to play them on your shows as much as possible. ( P.S. if you knew me from those days, where are you? you should email me or something... its been a while)Anyway, I digress, Skybox, check them out here: , and while you are already on myspace, find us and leave us some love. We both love the last song on their page, The Lass the Bitch. Actually, it gets stuck in my head, and upon my brief trip to Cali, I was singing it and even my MOM liked this one, so... it HAS to be good, that woman has impeccable taste in music. Coming Soon to Vox Pop, Our Mom's favorites, a tribute compliation list. Look for it soon!
And now, oh my brothers and only friends, I must go, and await my Chinese food. MMMMM.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Hometown pride, family, friends, corn hole and strip malls.

For the Labor Day weekend we decided to make an all encompassing trip to our old stomping grounds. First, we visited my family in Zanesville. My small hometown in South Eastern Ohio is full of strip malls, and plenty of open space to drive around in. I spent the day with my sister and together we re-discovered the "joy" of being in the Colony Square Mall. But it was a good time to spend a day with my little sister.

Afterwards, Dave and I attended a wedding in Hocking Hills, which I have to admit is breathtakingly beautiful. For a girl who loves the city, I was surprised by how relaxing the openness was. However, Dave and I both decided we could never live quite that far out in the middle of nowhere. As it turns out, we both enjoy contact with other people and being able to order takeout. The wedding was beautiful and we all quite enjoyed it. Congrats Amanda and Ryan!

After the wedding, we drove to see Dave's family and had a great weekend full of flea markets, chicken dinners, and corn hole. It was great to see everyone and I know Dave was happy to get the chance to hang out with his family.

But, it's good to be back. Our drive back to Chicago was good, and as soon as we saw that McDonald's at the Sky way Bridge, we knew we were home. And, isn't it always good to be home?!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I know the Hancock Building....

One of downtown's most well known buildings, and also, the root of the ongoing joke/song Dave has been torturing me with since we moved here. The thing is, I actually really enjoy this building. While most people find beauty in landscapes of the wide open country, or mountains and forests, I find the same in skyscrapers.

I'm a small town girl with big dreams and since I can remember the foundations of cities have excited me. I am quite possibly the only child to ever be in awe of multi tier highways. I have always gotten this feeling of extreme happiness upon entering the city. And finally, here we are in my favorite city ( next to Paris, but that is another story entirely).

Few people would argue if you said the Eiffel tower is a work of art, and so, by that same standard, I give you the beautiful, tall, useful ( and tasty ... it houses the Cheesecake Factory) Hancock Building.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Acquiring 'photoshop' has given me plenty of entertainment lately. I made this in about a half hour, using various elements from several different photos.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky

I recently picked up a copy of the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky, at my local Borders on the sale 3 for 2 table. ( incidentally, those are my favorite tables!) I picked this small novel up after having met someone a few months back who recommended it to me.

The story is that of a withdrawn teen undergoing the changes of entering high school,and the confusing quirks of teenage girls. Written in a series of letters to an anonymous friend the story takes shape as you learn the inner workings of a troubled teens past and how it affects his future. Normally I would not recommend a book published by MTV, nor would I typically approve of a story about a teenage boy and his girl troubles. But, as I am always curious about what interests others, if you recommend something to me, I will surely read it, eventually.

The supposedly simple, cliche, and shallow topic of a teenager dealing with high school is offset by the fact that the writing draws you in and makes you feel as though the letters are being written to you. Also, the main character, Charlie, transcends the concept of age, as he is very well versed both in literature and in music. Throughout the story he mentions several classic pieces of literature and even manages to offer critiques that most 20 or 30 somethings could agree with. Some of the novels the character mentions include but are not limited to: The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, On the Road, Naked Lunch, Peter Pan and The Great Gatsby. A great collection of works, no matter your taste or age.

On the topic of music, at one point Charlie collects pieces for a mix tape, and comes up with the following compilation:

Asleep by the Smiths
Vapour Trail by Ride
Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum
Time of No Reply by Nick Drake
Dear Prudence by the Beatles
Gypsy by Suzanne Vega
Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues
Daydream by Smashing Pumpkins
Dusk by Genesis
MLK by U2
Blackbird by the Beatles
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Now, I will admit that this passage of what seems to be a great mix tape, forced me to stop and contemplate the realism of the teenage character. But, decided, much like I mentioned previously, Charlie is capable of transcending age.
Overall, it was a fast, engaging read and I don't want to ruin it for anyone else by telling you any more of the plot. I will recommend this one to anyone! Enjoy!

The apocalypse (sort of)

Thursday, shortly after the girl left for a meeting with her event selling comrades of a now dying corporation, I laid my unmotivated, unemployed head down and took in the eerily fast changing weather from the comfort of our newish white couch. From bright and sunny, to pitch black in about ten minutes, it sounded like one of the commuter trains rerouted itself through our living room. On the highest floor of our building, I ran to the back door and flung the door open to see what kind of things were making all the noises I was hearing. In the alley, metal things from rooftops and tree limbs were spiraling upwards and over other buildings. At first I thought it was some sort of Chicago phenomena I was unfamiliar with. The power then went out, and I new that things were out of the norm. I didn't know what to do, so I came back in and paced around thinking. I went back out onto the back stair case, and the rain was unlike anything I'd have ever seen. It wasn't like normal rain. It wasn't big or anything. I can only relate it to being turbo freezing cold, and misty'ish. It wasn't small mist though, it was bigger. Too weird. Stuff was still flying turbo, mega, bitchin' fast, tornado like. I went back in to panic, contemplate, etc. After nearly pooping my pants, everything died down, and after fifteen minutes of rain, I went outside, and whole trees were blown over, lines were down, cars were smashed. Flash flooding was spilling into our basement. Pieces of housing, vents, chimney covers, and whatever else laid in heaps everywhere. So I called Andrea, knowing that she was probably in the middle of something important. I could tell that she thought that I was exaggerating everything that happened. I sort of have a tendency to do that. No one wants to hear about your boring life if you don't involve an alien, or a ghost, or a homeless orphan who's good with throwing knives, am I right? Anyways, she was in for a treat when she made it home. The news went on to say that the swath of damage was uniform across the whole west through northern areas of Chicago. Which is apparently very strange weather, and unexplainable. I guess hurricane-like more than tornado'ish. I thought it was just our street that was hit with what I thought was a tornado.. not the case.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Artwork II

Lately, I'm having a bit of a guitar shapes phase.


It's really just a hint that she wants me to buy her a little blue guitar. I haven't forgotten that her birthday is later this month. I'm broke, and right now my looks just aren't good enough to go out and score one for her though. This is her third project involving colored acoustic guitars. Hopefully, should she choose to do another one, she could refrain from using our brand new white couch as her easel. I'm convinced that the 'oil' part of oil pastels will not wash out of the covers.


I have been dreaming of these colors lately, and while my counterpart is convinced that I am secretly asking for a blue guitar, that wasn't the whole truth. Yes, I would like a malenky blue guitar, but I wouldn't be able to play it anyway.

I'll try to refrain from the use of the couch, but there just isn't anywhere else to sit! Thanks for mentioning all the negatives of our art inspired week sweetheart! you know I love ya! What is an artist without a critic?



I found this picture in a Saturday evening post, and it reminded me of a few people I knew. Its nothing special.. just pencil and paper.. She came out chubbier than I had expected. I guess I didn't shade it properly, and made her face to round, and mouth to small.. what can yah' do though.. I started it two years ago, then Andrea bought some oil pastels, and while she worked on her peice, I pulled this sketch pad out of the sea chest, and finished it.
What he didn't say: The Deeper part of the Story.
We took a brief trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago, and while generally appalled or annoyed by the "deep" yet meaningless images on display, we must have been somewhat inspired. Afterall, if some girl can spray paint a few words of disgust for the American Public on paper and have it hung up in a real live museum, surely two yokels from Ohio can make something worthwhile.
Once I finally got my pastels, I needed paper and was promised a scrap or two from the sketch pad he had hidden away in the chest. The sketch pad with only the first page drawn on, and even that picture was unfinished.
The first time I saw her, there was a little slip of a cut out magazine inside the pad and a half finished drawing of her. Written on the back of this drawing was some obscure journal entry mentioning a fight with an ex-girl, and a explanation that the picture does not resemble her, but rather some other wandering feminate from MN. Apparently, I shall never know the whole story of this mystery woman whom the love of my life previously pined for, and perhaps still does. This aside, I could tell from the partial drawing that it was sure to be a brilliant work of art, so I convinced him to finish it.
Mr. Pessimistic simply states this work is nothing but pencil and paper, but we both know it's so much more. Great isn't it? I know!


Welcome to our newest creation.
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