Friday, November 30, 2007


I saw a peregrine falcon in the park across the street from our building. It was off the path I take to reach the bus, was in the grass, eating the remains of a pigeon. It was really cool seeing a wild peregrine so close – I was probably no more than 15 feet away from it. It kind of kept an eye on me, but I didn’t get any closer, and it returned to noshing on the pigeon, stayed there the whole time I waited for my bus. I wish I had my camera with me to snap a shot of it, but I wasn’t planning on running into one of those this morning!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Da Bears.

I'm creeped out by people in masks...

That's Aimee Echo of TheStart singing/warbling.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"You want it when??"

This picture commemorates Mame and me at Bizarroworld, when we were the dynamic duo, dealing with crazies and lazies and everything in between. I love it! She manages her polite professionalism (while probably visualizing something terribly violent), and I have a world-weary word warrior look on my mug.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I ordered bunkbeds for the boys, from Target. Something like $599 for the bunk and the shipping. Choke! And that doesn't count the twin mattress, which I'll still have to get. But it's easier to order the bunks than to go dicking around town for them, and then somehow fitting them into our dinky car.

Still, it should work well with the captain's bed we already have in the boys' room. The bunk is a loft bed, which'll be for B1, with B2 down below on the original bed. Can't wait to finally cashier the crib, which has been B2's bed for the past couple of years. He's big enough to climb out of the crib if he wants to.

Anyway, the boys should love the bunks, once we get'em set up.

The adventures of Domestic Dad continue!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I'm still wrestling with the remnants of a cold that had already tagged the rest of the family. I'm nearly better, it was a mild cold, but an annoying one.

I'm also recovering from a bout of South Park Character Generator addiction -- whew, glad to be over that; for about 48 hours, I was turned everybody I could into South Park characters.

I cranked out over 4,000 words on a story I'm working on; I've been frustrated this summer, working on some long-term, long fiction projects (it feels pretentious to call them books, so I almost always just say "stories" or "long fiction" or that kind of thing -- to me, a book is what you hold in your hand, and a stack of papers isn't a book, really. It needs a spine to be real for me, a "book" is a finished product; until it gets to that point, it's just a draft). Anyway, I've stumbled a bit this summer, humming along on some pieces and then something going wrong with them, or them not quite cohering for me. It's a little frustrating, but it's part of the creative process -- some things work, some things don't. When they don't, and when, after a reasonable interval, I can't make them work, I put them down and work on something else. I can always revisit the failed pieces.

Still, I don't like failing; I play to win, and it bugs me. I was caught in a bit of a funk near the end of the summer, and have gotten my feet under me again, and am working again. That's good, even though I wrestle with whether my ability to write translates into having anything worthwhile to write about. I dunno; I get all tangled up inside -- like I'm always thinking about things and am passionate about a lot of things, snarky about even more, and part of that always percolates into my words, but at the same time, I wonder if there's no real depth to my work, or if I run away from depth.

Like maybe it intimidates me, or that I'm afraid to be vulnerable in that way, to really show what I care about. I mean, there are things that I truly care about, but if I were to explore them fully in fiction, there might be a risk of sentimentality, or hokeyness, or something. I don't think I have a great mind; I'm smart, but I'm not brilliant -- about the only area where I would say I'm brilliant is in my ability to make people laugh. I'm really, really good at that.

But at the same time, it's not something that necessarily translates into fiction, or at least something I personally can translate into fiction. And yet, there is a black humor to a lot of what I do, a gleam in my gimlet eye that gazes at the world -- I can't escape that part of me that laughs at everything. That's the part, the jester, that doesn't take things seriously, and I feel like if I killed the jester, I'd be a pretentious douchebag (DB), like so many of the DBs I work with at Bizarroworld, who take themselves Oh. So. Seriously.

Those DBs bug the hell out of me, and how they network and protect each other. Then again, Spousette says it well when she says that if people's work is any good, it stands on its own, and doesn't require that kind of networking for the work to shine. And yet, it does. Networking matters. Gruh. I don't take myself very seriously, and I wonder if that's what holds me back, or if it's a good thing.

My drugs are wearing off. Sigh.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

'Tis the Season

Ah, yes, baking season. Spice Chick's led off the holiday baking season with her famous garlic shortbread. *CHOKE*

She must've used the same cutting board or else has an old wooden one that's infused with garlic. I was halfway through a piece of that shortbread when the garlic attacked my tastebuds. ACK!

People: don't cross your cutting boards! Use one for savory, one for sweet -- and if you simply refuse to have two boards, at least wash the hell out of it and sniff-test it before throwing some dough on it. Christ!!!

I threw the damned stuff in the trash and filled my mouth with baby carrots to try to exorcise the taste in my mouth.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Replacements

Some great stuff from 1981. They don't make bands this good anymore. Nice to see Bob Stinson alive, too, and at least looking healthy. This is mostly in order, although I got tired of doublechecking the track listing, so...

Takin' a Ride


Somethin' to Du (I love the lead-in imitating Bob Mould's guitar style)

Kids Don't Follow

Customer & Rattlesnake

Goddamn Job & Junior's Got a Gun
"Goddamn Job" is my theme song these days.


I Hate Music & Stuck in the Middle

D.E.A.D. & Shut Up & Raised in the City

Johnny's Gonna Die (A bit out of tune, eh? But that's part of their greatness)

Dope Smokin' Moron


I'm In Trouble

Slow Down

Big Hair

While looking for something else (an example of chick hipster hair), I came across this picture, which reminds me of any number of chicks I went to high school with. Spousette saw my yearbook, and said "So. Much. Big. Hair!"

Too true! That's some serious big hair, there. I love that there's a can of hairspray in the background, although it diminishes some of the impact of it, like makes it obvious that she bigged it up specifically for some retro 80s party, versus it being a normal part of her lifestyle. Still, WHAT HAIR!!


B1 was the toast of the Halloween circuit in our 'hood (and from his school) -- people were blown away by his Hancock Building costume, would compliment him on the street, saying how cool his costume was (and when they saw that I'd added a red LED reflector light behind his head, that was like the cherry on top of the satisfaction sundae -- people kept saying "Look, he's even got a red light on there!!"). They did a Halloween parade at his school, where the costumed kids would go from classroom to classroom, and older kids, upon seeing B1, would say "Hey, that's the kid who was the Hancock Building! He came to my class!" And so on. "Cool costume!" All of that. If only B1 were able to appreciate the school-cred he earned!

One yuppie guy, part of a sidewalk Halloween party whose attendees all applauded upon seeing B1's costume, reached into the candy bin and took out a handful, and said "You win the prize for the best costume I've seen all night!" B1, for his part, took all the praise with a guarded grace, in his way, which cracks me up. The one design flaw of the costume was it made navigating stairs difficult, and so many of those places in our area are walk-ups.

I think probably what blew people away was it was a thoughtful costume that was also handmade -- most kids just did store-bought costumes, versus anything handmade, and certainly nothing as offbeat as being a building, or as carefully thought out.

Halloween's my favorite holiday, by far.

I painted my nails with glow-in-the-dark polish, although you can't really see the glow unless it's pitch black. I wanted to find black polish, but got to the CVS too late to score any. D'oh!

B1 was a little under the weather yesterday and the day before, so we didn't do a marathon trick-or-treating yesterday (against my old-school instincts -- for me, Halloween was a marathon event, where you'd try to score absolutely every bit of candy you could). And, again with the old-school eye I have on Halloween, I noted which streets were more forthcoming than others, and how much competition there was for goodies, etc. You have to get all of that tactical stuff sorted out for future outings.

While we were walking around, I thought about how cool it would be to set up a close-to Halloween Zombie Walk -- like a charity event (like the assorted walks that occur), but one that had people dress up like zombies for it, and how cool that would look. I don't quite know how people set up things like that, but think that would rock, this mass of zombies walking for charity. Hee hee!

In Cincinnati, there's an event called "Run Like Hell" that is a 5K, where people are encouraged to run in costume. I think that's pretty great. We need something like that in Chicago, yes? The Zombie Walk might be just the thing. There is a Trick-or-Treat Trot or something, but I'm talking a fucking Zombie Walk, here.

Anyway, that'll be lurching in my head as I already think on next Halloween.

Music: Ministry, "Every Day Is Halloween"