Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cubs clinch division!

Today is all about celebrating this: Cubs going to the playoffs!

It didn't look too promising earlier this year, but it's happened and the Cubs are just three series away from winning it all, thereby breaking the 100-year curse.

On a personal note, you know you’re dating a cool gal when she not only understands you’re a Cubs fan and is cool with the fact that you hate yourself enough to have made this lifelong, lifestyle choice (even though your father and grandfather are passionate White Sox fans), but she can grasp the turmoil that entails as the season winds down and they’re barely leading their division. So, she actually volunteers to pick up dinner so you don’t have to miss a pitch of the game.

Then, while at work, she sends you an e-card with the Wrigley Field marquee (the sign out front, not to be confused with pitcher Jason Marquis) reading "Cubs Win!" Take notes, ladies. Quality stuff here.

The playoffs start next week and I'm all kinds of focused. The momentum is in their favor and the pitching staff looks ready. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Masters of the Universe

I was finally able to watch the season finale of “The Pick Up Artist” on VH1 Wednesday. This show may be just about the best thing I’ve ever seen.

The finale featured a face-off between the final two contestants, Brady - an attractive yet previously unconfident gentleman, and Kosmo - a Latino version of Brady. I’ve never seen so much crying on a reality TV show. Every time somebody got voted off, all the guys were sobbing their eyes out. It was like they were a brotherhood of socially awkward gentlemen – kind of like when I went to the Libertarian National Convention back in 2002. This was basically a Trekkie convention, just substituting the Vulcan “live long and prosper” signal with the peace sign.

Anyway, the best episode of “The Pick Up Artist” was last week, when Brady hooked up with a stripper. That was seriously the entire goal of the mission – to land an exotic dancer. That he did. He now has oral herpes, but the mission was, in fact, accomplished.

This week, during the finale the two combatants were judged on their abilities to teach another awkward gentleman how to be a pick up artist in just 7 hours. The hilarity was uncontained, although one guy did get a “number close,” and was told, “if you don’t call me and I see you again, I’m gonna be so mad.” That, my friends, is a definite I.O.I. (indicator of interest). The terms alone I’ve gleaned from the show are just magical.

Kosmo eventually won the contest and celebrated by, well, more crying. He now has $50,000 in prize money and will travel the world with his teacher, Mystery, and Mystery’s minions J-Dog and Matador – more than likely all birthnames, I think – picking up women of all nationalities. More power to them; I just hope they remember VD is universal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wild nights

Good lord, my TV is awesome. Just awesome. Sometimes I kiss it during football games.

Pretty tame week for me here in Indy. Last weekend, I took my lady to English Ivy’s. Definition of class: Taking your girl to a gay bar. But seriously, they have a really delicious restaurant inside and I’d recommend it. I had the chicken fingers and exceptionally wild rice, and she dined on a portabella mushroom sandwich (aka “fungi sammich ‘n tater salad”).

We’re both “Friends” fans so we played a DVD trivia game, Friends Scene-It. The game was a little bit of a letdown, since sometimes the DVD clue had nothing to do with the actual question. It would be something like a scene with Ross and Rachel kissing when they found out they’re having a baby, and then the question would be like, “How many nipples does Chandler have?” So yeah, that was somewhat disappointing. Also disappointing: I’m straight and rather competitive at “Friends” trivia.

Looking forward to “The Office” opener this Thursday. In the meantime, check this out from my favorite character on the show: Creed’s blog

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The sweetest things

The movers brought my new TV this morning. I had to meet them in Brownsburg at 8 a.m. to get into my friend's ex-house, but the deed is done. It was all pretty painless.

One of the guys hinted that he wanted a beer after moving it, so I supplied him with what I have in my fridge - Miller High Life Light in a can. Apparently 8:30 a.m. is what those in the moving biz refer to as "beer thirty." Good to know since they're usually driving enormous trucks around town on the morning rush hour.

The great thing about having a 47-inch TV in a fairly small apartment is that you're totally engulfed in whatever you're watching. Retina-melting power notwithstanding, this is all pretty exciting. For instance, while viewing "Man vs. Wild" on Discovery, you really feel like it's you paralyzing a fish while biting it in the back as its guts come out of its eyes. Glorious.

Today I'm seeing my new belle for a movie. More info on this relationship as it progresses, but she reads this so I probably won't get too detailed. We've been seeing each other for a bit and I've yet to ruin it, so that's always a plus. My friends are kind of mad at her because I haven't been bitter lately, which I guess was a great source of comedy for them. Lovely sentiment.

Have a great weekend, all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

More moving. Neat.

I just bought a TV from a friend of mine who's moving to Chicago. The timing was magical considering mine has a huge scratch on the screen from when it fell over during my move back from Wyoming. This is a 47-inch monster and I only spent $350 for it, so I'm quite pumped.

Only problem is, Mitch and I tried to move it and it's so huge, it wouldn't fit in his dad's construction van. Even worse, it weighs a metric ton, and I don't need to further injure my ailing back. You know I had to quit yoga because it was hurting my back? Now I have to watch those ladies doing it in front of a waterfall in Belgium on Fit TV, drinking on my couch and yelling at the screen: "Lucky, you don't know how good you have it! In your tight pants, doing your glorious half dog poses!"

So I hired this cat who has his own moving company in Indy to move the TV for $150. Not bad, except the dude is cajun, I think, and I had a heck of a time understanding him on the phone. We had an entire conversation and from what I gathered, we're either moving the TV Saturday at 8 a.m. or I've agreed to ride some sort of snake through a field of chocolate hammers. I guess only time will tell.

In nothing related to anything, Tim and I were laughing about this for quite a while the other day: Family Guy

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Silent treatment. Please?

The thing about living in a city is that people tend to be very social. And by that I mean, it seems everyone has something they want to ask you if you’re walking on the street. Last weekend I was walking to the liquor store and a gentleman pulled up beside me and inquired, “Hey man, you know where I could find a barber? You know, for a guy like me?" (He was an African-American, so naturally I seemed like the right person to ask regarding hair care.)

Then I was out with a nice young lady Saturday – that’s right – and a guy asks us, “Hey, how do I get to Martin Luther King, Jr. street?” I considered acting like Michael from “The Office” and reciting a Chris Rock bit, although mine would be the one about MLK streets throughout the country. I refrained, however. The gal I was with is sweet and knows I have some sort of directional vertigo, so she politely told him. He then let us know he just moved “up here from Minnesota.” Yeah, “up” to Indianapolis from Minnesota. I think I see where the confusion lies.

I then wondered aloud, “Do I have a sign on my chest that says, ‘Hey, ask me something?’” It just gets frustrating when you can’t walk down the street in peace. I’m all about helping people, but on my own time. I like to get lost in thought while walking downtown and think about my day, life, or maybe what Coach Lubbock and the cast of "Just the Ten of Us" are up to these days. I love you Indy, but let’s maintain a silent admiration for each other. What do you say?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

On the level

Friday was quite an eventful day at work. My name was drawn out of a bowl to win $50 cash. That means my name has been drawn out of every bowl I've dropped it in during the last two months, totalling four delicious prizes of some sort. It's actually a mathematical phenomenon; I'm not quite sure if it's something I'm doing or if fate just owes me for being a lifelong Cubs fan.

After work we visited the Hyatt's new bar, Level One. It's quite fancy for a hotel bar, but the ambience is quite appealing. Might be a smidge expensive for a Friday Happy Hour - you know this is the case when somebody orders pizza and it comes out on one of those fancy rectangular plates like you see in reality cooking shows. However, it's just not the same when you can't hear people screaming things like "wanker" and "button it!" in the kitchen. If the souz chef's self-esteem wasn't trampled whilst making my food, I'm just not interested.

Tonight I'm heading to Oranje and I've been warned by my friend of a "sensory overload" of lights, art and music. I'm not sure if I'll have a seizure or just a migraine by the end of the night, but you can bet I'm looking forward to it.

In totally unrelated news, look out for these cats. I've been saying it for 10 years, but they're definitely up to something.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Celebrate Laughter, Part II: Mitch Hedberg

In the second installment of our monthly Celebrate Laughter segment, we honor the late Mitch Hedberg. Before he passed away in 2005 at the age of 37, Hedberg perfected the one liner and parlayed an abundance of nervous energy (and some drug use) into one great set after another. View these clips and see how this Minnesota native left his mark on the world of comedy during his abbreviated time on earth. (Warning: Some R-rated language.)

Mitch I

Mitch II

Mitch III

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Property Destruction & Flapjacks: Is this heaven?

This weekend was quite a thrill ride. On Friday night I ended up at Art vs. Art in Fountain Square. This was a delightful event where beatniks judge pieces of art in tournament format, showing their support for each piece by screaming. A decibel meter is used to calculate the winners and the losing art is destroyed on the spot, with a spun wheel determining how it shall pass. Very beautifully bohemian.

We then ended up at a diner, which I remarked was very American – especially since the sign promoted their delicious “hamburgs.” I don’t know why, but I really dig diners. Anyway, at one point I noted that “you won’t find diners in communist Russia.” First of all, Russia is no longer communist (just latently corrupt), and I really have no proof of what sorts of eating establishments they actually have.

Anyway, then I'm pretty sure I asked our waiter if I could have my eggs cooked “medium well” and then inquired as to whether or not I could get sausage for a dollar. The menu clearly indicated it cost $3.15, but I was under the impression that was negotiable for some reason. I ended up eating some outstanding flapjacks and an egg, which was served over-easy in what was clearly an effort to spite me. They were right to do it, however.

I stayed in Saturday and did laundry at Mitch’s while watching “Flight of the Conchords.” Pretty quirky show, but definitely worth the time. Sunday, of course, was dedicated to the NFL, which - after a few brews - I noted to a friend was “my only one true love.” It’s all about perspective, and it’s all about the joys of being in Indy this September. God bless us, every one.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bank on it

I think my bank teller was hitting on me the other day. She was pretty cute, but naturally I ruined any opportunity by coming off as a curmudgeon.

Teller: Oh, you’re from Wyoming? I know someone from there.
Me: Actually I’m from… wait… really?
Teller: Yeah, I don’t remember what town she’s from though.
Me: Interesting.
Teller: So what are you doing for the concert and big [Colts] game on Thursday?
Me: I’m getting out of downtown as quickly as possible.
Teller: Oh.

Yeah, it’s called momentum, Casanova. Strong work. But look, I love the Colts and I love football. I even love Kelly Clarkson. But I need to be around thousands of drunken Hoosiers at a free concert about as much as I need to be around... well... thousands of sober Hoosiers at a free concert. And that ain’t much. If I hear the phrase “Woooooooo Hooooooo!” one more time, I might actually assault someone. Also, there's only so much feathered hair and acid washed jean shorts a guy can see before he just gets sad inside.

And as far as the bank, the other teller next to this one was pretty cute too and has been kind of flirty with me before. In my head, they had a big fight over me after I left involving mud and pillows and someone had to be fired. Sorry ladies, I can't turn it on and off, you know.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Lord of the rings

The Colts kick off the season tonight against the Saints and the town is abuzz. I don’t want to say it’s a special day, but Kelly Clarkson is here, people.

So, I was sitting at my desk at work Wednesday morning and wondered what it would be like to have my ears pierced. By the end of my lunch hour, I’d found out. For me, this was quite a step forward, I believe. All my life, I’ve been a chronic overthinker and overanalyze every aspect of life’s minutia to the point where nothing has any meaning or – more importantly – any fun (like I'm doing right now). For example, if I find a gal I like, here’s how it usually goes in my head: “Yeah, I like her. But what if we break up and I’m hurt? What if I break up with her and hurt her? What if it actually works out and we get married? She’ll probably die in a fiery car accident and I’ll be worse off than I was before. It’s pretty much a certainty that one of us will die before the other, which will cause some kind of trauma to the other person. Is it really worth it? What’s the point?” (This, folks, is why people go to therapy.)

It’s also impossible to live in the moment when you’re constantly thinking five steps ahead. There is such a thing as being too prepared, especially when you’re not really prepared at all because most things are out of your control anyhow. (I’m so pensive today.) Anyway, because of this, I’m encouraged I was able to do something so impetuously. I thought about it briefly, decided I wanted to do it, and did it. There’s no telling where this can lead, really.

All told, the best part of all this is that I’m that much closer to looking like George Michael – which I think is really the endgame here. In fact, with Halloween coming up, I’m considering growing out my facial stubble, buying a Miami Vice jacket, grabbing a buddy and going as Wham! Or maybe I’ll just go as Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID). Either way, I guess I’ll need to bring a bathroom stall if I’m going to meet anybody.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor pains

Hope everyone’s Labor Day weekend was delightful. Mine was kicked off by a festive work picnic on a lake Friday afternoon. There was boating, fishing, volleyball, basketball and delicious catered meats. Only problem is that I got such a bad sunburn, my face is now peeling and I officially look like a freak. “What? What are you staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a freak before?” I’m planning to scream that at random people while out on my lunch hour today – even people who aren’t looking at me, just to see what they do. Now I know how “The Fly” felt. I think being “The Fly” would be about the worst thing ever - having your bodyparts peel off and get all slimy. However, being Jeff Goldblum would rule. That guy owns. I’ll call that a push.

Yeah, being fair-skinned is not cool. Call it the German-Irish curse. Well, on second thought, I guess the German-Irish curse would be if I uncontrollably drank too much, started fights, ran out of potatoes and frantically waived my hand while screaming about insolence and world domination. And that's just not me - I have plenty of potatoes.

The great contradiction of Labor Day is that you feel like you should be doing something, but then, you feel you owe to those who lobbied for this holiday not to. You know? It’s like, I want to volunteer at the local recycling facility, but I feel compelled to watch a “Queer Eye” marathon on Bravo. That reminds me, I don’t have nearly enough gold trim or sweater vests in my wardrobe. (Yeah, I think this is what the union bosses had in mind.)

In unrelated news, I just won 10 tickets to the Comedy Sportz show for the second time in two months, just by dropping my business card into a bowl. Wow, the Baby Jesus must really love me.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

On the real

Suggestion: Block off one full Saturday to do nothing other than watch reality television. I recently put down the book I was reading on the Russian revolution to do this and I can see how this mindless drivel can be addicting. I swear, nothing will make you feel better/worse about your life than reality television. Better because you're likely not one of these people, and worse because you've spent a whole day watching reality television on a beautiful summer day - this is likely why people around the world hate us and they're right to do it.

Here's a summary of what I've learned:

* The Hogan family has problems, but they're a cohesive unit and ultimately embody what it truly means to be a family. I think this is what social conservatives now say about "The Simpsons" since it's been on for nearly two decades, even though when it first came on all you read about was how Homer and Bart were terrible role models, and "eat my shorts" was the '90s equivalent of "I [bleeped] your mother." Goes to show what popularity can do to dictate public perception.

* Spencer is a jerk. He's totally going to break Heidi's heart.

* Bret Michaels has a show dedicated to helping him find a soulmate (aka "personal stripper for life"). Honestly, I think VH1 just recruited these women at a NASCAR race in Bristol, turned a fire hose on them and brought them into a studio. Also of note: Lacey is apparently not well liked by the other girls.

* A man named Mystery hosts a show about becoming a pick-up artist. Mystery has a system that apparently sells well. Not bad for a guy who wears eyeliner and huge, fuzzy tophats. He even has keen little abbreviations for things - that's what makes it a "system" and not just some drunk dude trying to get some (e.g. IOI = indicator of interest, opening a set = starting a conversation with a woman, kiss close = what you can do after three IOIs, etc.)

* Corey Haim and Corey Feldman now live together. Feldman plays the role of big brother while Haim plays the role of recovering addict/invalid shut-in. I think a little part of me died while watching this display.

* Scott Baio is 45... and single. I know this because that's the title of the show. I like when they just lay it right out there for you in the title so you don't have to delve much further. You can really do that about any potential reality exposee. "Bea Arthur is aging... and masculine"; "Republican Senators love the Bible... and bathroom stalls"; "Randy Jackson pathetically still says 'da bomb'... and calls people 'dogs'"; "Kittens & Sunshine creator Matt is dead... on the inside."

That's enough of this post. I need to get back to my book... wait, I think this callgirl might just be Bret's type after all. I need to see this. I guess Lenin will have to wait yet another day.