Monday, March 27, 2006

i actually really want the shirt that the cartoon version of me gets to wear.

i just saw a fairly-long jaguar commercial that featured spoon's "i turn my camera on," which is a super hott song. the commerical was all swank and high-luxe and had a hott richie couple being all posey and lifestyle. i love spoon. crass commercialism concerns me. don't know how i feel about this. also, iron & wine's "such great heights" is in a new m&ms commercial. i guess indie is the new money-generating angle. sorta like grunge in the 90s? the experience music project museum in seattle had an excellent (hilarious) display of 90s grunge-as-a-marketing-tool when i was there in 2001 - old kmart circulars with flannels and thermal undershirts for teenagers with cheesy text like "grungetastic!" and cheapass hair pomade that's all "get the grunge look!!!" call me stodgy and old, but i have and will continue to fucking hate having things that i genuinely identify with and appreciate becoming watered down and commercialized and co-opted to sell crap products (or, like a jag, products that i will never be able to afford, and wouldn't buy out of principle if i could).

what's this week? Get My Shit Together Week. it really sort of piggybacks off of Professionalism Week. i am engrossed in writing an operating plan at work (all of the planning of which i threw myself into during Professionalism Week - jk let me know how much he hated Professionalism Week, as i wasn't emailing much), and i am dedicating my free time to basically getting my shit together in general. at lunch i paid bills and budgeted (wait - who AM i?), tonight and yesterday i burned every cd that has been passed on to me in recent months to my laptop (i am so behind in actually enjoying all of the new stuff that i at one time decided that i really wanted, or one of my friends wanted me to hear), and tonight i sort of did my taxes (there's one part i'm not so sure about and need help with - some retirement plan credit deduction or some shit like that. i consider myself a fairly intelligent person and i still totally doubt the validity of my tax forms and how i filled them out. i pity the fool that doesn't speak english so well, or is basically kinda dumb, because all of those terms and rules and instructions are super not-explicit in what the fuck they're talking about). other plans for Getting My Shit Together include making doctors' appointments (i can't keep going to the immediate care center every time i want someone to give me antibiotics, and i am terrified that if i don't go to a dentist soon i'm going to have horrible toof issues that require caps and bridges and root canals and all sorts of other nastiness that i have never had to deal with), deciding what i am indeed going to sell/donate before i move, and just in general do myself a favor and get shit organized. i made chicken salad tonight so i don't have to buy lunch tomorrow. i rifled through a box of papers and threw some unnecessary bullshit away. i also injested a lot of caffeine today, so i kinda feel like i'm hopped up on meth, but i feel like i am making good roadways into finally getting around to taking care of shit that i have let slide for a while.

some links to distract you:

the onion pokes fun at indie rock (sort of, i guess): click here.

morgan spurlock from super size me pisses off a high school - this makes him look like a jackass. note: don't make fun of retards if they're in the audience. only do it when they're not around.

i might not have a cushy job as a washington post blogger, but i can assure you that i do not plagairize (clearly: i don't even think i spelled that right). all of this is, unfortunately, totally me. what i want to know is, why would you rip off someone else's review of final fantasy? it's like the former bush aide who got busted for stealing lamp shades from target and then returning them for cash: if you're going to ruin your credibility and career, aim high.

the wapo (can't. stop. linking. to. them.) does a little review/feature on the new richard ashcroft album. not a rave, which he never gets (the lyrics can be a bit dense), but good enough. i'll be buying his new album, probably more out of habit than anything else. i love richard. "bittersweet symphony" is, hands down, my absolute favorite song in this entire world.
another wapo shout-out: this one's a show review for jenny lewis and the watson twins in virginia. sounds pretty much like the show i saw. i wish rabbit fur coat was longer; i have pretty much tapped myself out on listening to it, which says more about how good it is than anything about me.

jk sent this to me - an online quiz where you decide whether the photo is of a serial killer or a computer programmer. i got 7 out of 10 right, but probably because of living with rb for two years. she's obsessed with serial killers and bill kurtis, and a normal weeknight for us would be to watch a&e specials on stockholm syndrome or cannibals. totally unrelated: i LOVE the muse song "stockholm syndrome." it sounds like jeff buckley fronting bends-era radiohead. also, the bill kurtis cameo on the sopranos sunday night was a nice touch. also, i haven't decided yet if i like big love. it's no six feet under, but then again, nothing is.

hey hey hey: tb sent me this stupid/funny video on gayrobot's myspace page. best use of radiohead as falling-in-love music ever.

kh sent me this link to create my own south park character. i've done this before and i must say that the resemblance is pretty remarkable. i've been using it as a substitute photo of myself for years. speaking of which, they're putting together a new "directory" (face book) at work - i wonder if i can just submit my south park character so i don't have to endure the agony of the suckiness of our upcoming photo day and the inevitably horrible portrait. it's like photo day at school - waiting in line at your designated window of time, the umbrella lights, the unnatural smile you force - but without the free plastic comb.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

so productive at work i've been slacking in keeping up with D-LISTED (god forbid!)

why haven't i been blogging? well, bitches, it's because it's Professionalism Week. i had thought that when i tackled Professionalism Week it would logically coincide with Morning Person Week, which was dumb of me. i can't do two foreign concepts at the same time. i am not a morning person in the least, and while i act professional at work, it would be a stretch to say that i absolutely throw myself into my job and tackle responsibilities while also discovering creative ways to enrich my position. i have been doing this all week - my boss' boss asked me last week to plan and execute two forums where i get random staff members together to discuss new and innovative ways for my department to work with our members, and i have been running around planning these meetings, facilitating them (one wednesday, one tomorrow), learning how to conference in affiliates on the phone, and making plans for the coming months and writing up strategic plans and such. i'm not saying that i'm usually a lazy and slow worker, but having actual projects that need to be done and need to have outcomes has been a breath of fresh air. even if i'm still not getting up at 5:30 to drink tea, do yoga, write my novel, or whatever it is that "morning people" do. that's going to have to be some other week.

i have two songs by eva cassidy - "songbird," which was on the love, actually soundtrack and i think is really pretty, and a cover of "what a wonderful world" that is from an acoustic compilation i bought in ireland this past summer. i was wikipediaing something, which made me click to something else, etc, and i ended up on her page. turns out that she died of melanoma in 1996 at the age of 33. learning things like that is always so startling and sad. so now of course i'm going to have to track down more of her music.

i don't want to make a snide joke (is it still too soon or will it simply never be funny?), but watch this short clip from godspell, filmed on top of one of the world trade center's towers. the terrorists hate our freedom, and they hate our jesus christ super-star musicals.

remember chuck norris facts? some show got him to read some of them on the air. it's strangely touching. and badass, of course. watch here. he's right: the best one really is "When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris."

no one ever really seems all that surprised when former child stars hit rough times, but this one's notable: the little sister from family matters did porn. oh, and dave coulier has his own website - yeah, he bought the domain name

i just ordered these shoes on zappos today, and i must say that i haven't been this excited for a new pair of shoes since my red sauconys arrived a year ago.

i don't understand what this article is, who wrote it, and why there is no information surrounding it, but i love that it just silently sits on the washington post website, simply informing us what the 8 Dos and Don'ts are. i also love that it lists them all twice, in case you need to read them again.

i just love the concept of this: ambien, the sleep aid, has the unusual side effect of sleepwalking to your kitchen and blindly stuffing your face. you have no idea that this happens until you wake up covered in cheeto dust and your oven is still on. i also love that it's taken this long for the side effect to be discussed, because everyone that this keeps happening to has been too embarrassed to say anything about it. they also mention that a possible side effect is driving while you're asleep. um, maybe that one needs to be monitored. "One day," she said, "I got up — my husband describes this in great detail — I got a package of hamburger buns and I just tore it open like a grizzly bear and just stood there and ate the whole package. He said a couple things to me and then he realized I was asleep." She has switched to working days and no longer takes Ambien.

ag and i saw unknown white male tonight. it's a really well-shot documentary (conveniently, the amnesiac is a big fan of filming everything, and one of his friends is a documentary filmmaker) and really does bring up impressive, mind-blowing existential questions about what your memories and experiences lend to your personality, who you are in relation to everyone you know and everything you've done, and what it means to have a completely un-cynical view of the world, empty of preconceptions and stereotypes because everything is original. it also tears you between being engrossed in this man's new, blank life, and absolutely believing that he's not a sociopath liar. this washington post article asks lots of legit questions that the film doesn't answer. it's so hard to know what is real in this. it is, after all, the year of the liar (thanks james frey and jt leroy). doug bruce's story is just so convenient - of course he's gorgeous, and lives on two continents, and so rich that he doesn't have to work. of course his amnesia occurred sometime between him telling a friend that he was going to stay in on that saturday evening and then when he "woke up" on the subway the next day, getting out at coney island and walking into the police station with the admission that he had no idea who or where he was. of course he had a mysterious phone number written on a piece of paper in his backpack but no identification, and, most importantly, of course it's all captured on film. it's all very convenient. i want to believe him . . . but i don't know if i do.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

i want a dog (when i grow up)

js and tb are back from sxsw, which means that I Have A Dog week is over. i'll miss the little guy, but i won't miss waking up early, getting dressed, going down four flights of stairs, walking him, picking up his shit with a plastic bag, convincing him to come back inside, getting ready, and leaving him alone in the apartment while he cries and whines because he hates being left alone for 10 hours. and then getting up at like 7:45 on a sunday morning to walk him . . . yeah. he's super cute, but requires, like, attention and care. god help me if i ever decide to have kids.

i saw dave chappelle's block party sunday (really funny and a great concert movie) but half of the time i was like "god, i hope marley didn't find a random capri sun straw wrapper and is currently choking to death on it."

my fears were not totally irrational - when i got home from work friday i took one look at him and was like "what's all that shit on your face?" he suddenly had a black beard. then i found the remains of the pen. see photos. he's really fucking cute.

Friday, March 17, 2006

lotsa links, plus a preview to the best chicago summer ever

my I Have A Dog Week is in full swing. js's dog is a pekinese/shih tzu mix with white fur that kind of dreads and is curly and nappy (but super soft, like lambchop). hence, his name is marley. i was off when i estimated that he weighs eight pounds - more like 20. i don't know how he can see from behind all of the fur that hangs in his face, and i love his underbite - he looks like the monster that lives under your bed. we watched grizzly man last night and he kept growling at the bears and foxes that were in the movie. he puked on the floor monday night and shit on the dining room rug both yesterday when i was at work and this morning (immediately after taking a dump outside). js and tb told me not to worry about the messes that he will inevitably make - he's in a different apartment with a stranger who leaves him alone for ten hours a day. it is super nice to come home to a little furry monster that is going apeshit because he is SO HAPPY to see you. he likes to cuddle up on the couch and he sleeps with me, and he wakes me up in the morning by licking my face and squeaking. he's super cute. he's like a stuffed animal come alive.

hmmm - what's more annoying: people that only talk about their dogs or people that only talk about OTHER PEOPLE'S dogs?

here are some collected items to make your day just that much more tolerable:

natalie portman is one fierce bitch. watch her rap on snl. yeah, keep that volume low if you're at work. thanks for link, jmk.

in honor of being in puerto rico a mere four days ago (and it feels like it's been weeks already), here is info on the new jlo/marc anthony movie that they're filming. now, i think that jlo is an overexposed mess of a bitch, and her husband is totally unattractive and creepy, but this sounds like an amazing story, and i just hope that they don't fuck it up. info from popbitch:

Salsa's Bad Boy gets revival: Marc Anthony is the new Hector Lavoe

It's been fun ridiculing everything Jennifer Lopez has done for years, but that might have to stop as we hear she's put in a remarkable performance in her new film, El Cantante. J-Lo stars as the wife of Puerto Rican superstar Hector Lavoe, played by real-life husband Marc Anthony.

Lavoe was the first latin music superstar, and known as "Salsa's Bad Boy." His life story makes Motley Crue look like girly swots. Lavoe lost his mother aged four years-old and was disowned by his father for becoming a singer in New York. Lavoe turned to alcohol and drugs, and his career collapsed in the mid-70s thanks to his heroin addiction. In 1987 the Lavoes' house was destroyed by fire, Hector's brother died of an overdose, his mother-in-law was brutally murdered and his 17 year-old son was accidentally shot to death by a friend.

A year later Lavoe jumped off the ninth floor of a hotel to commit suicide. He survived, but died of AIDS five years later.


one of my most favorite things in the world is paint-by-numbers. i've done a few sets in recent years, but i don't ever do them the way that you're supposed to. i really need to go back to the "large cats of the animal world" set i have that i was doing in shades of green and blue (it seriously looks like shit) and figure out a better way to make it rad. this artist's work makes me happy.

the argument: rock is the devil's music, and will lead to sin and probable death. if i am guilty for listening to it, the creators of it are surely punished by god for it. check out this chart of untimely deaths for evil sinning musicians. a lot of these people barely qualify as "rock stars."

click here to watch a live-action reproduction of the simpsons opening credits.

i love found objects. i wished i had my camera with me when i was walking in roscoe village last week because i saw, trapped into a frozen puddle, a small stuffed purple gorilla that was really dirty but also strangely beautiful. on the same street is an imprint of a rat in the sidewalk that js and i always walk past and wonder if it was a practical joke or if a rat really did die in the wet concrete. i'm a huge fan of found magazine (although dirty found can make my skin crawl) and i discovered a found objects livejournal that's pretty great. the best post i've seen thus far is of this craptastic david bowie comic book.

ag and i got totally fucking excited one night when we were flipping channels looking for something worthwhile to watch and hit the big-time: a discovery channel special on children who were raised by wolves. this article is not as totally awesome, but is definitely totally fucked up and cool: a family who have a genetic disorder that thus leads them to walking on all fours.

speaking of genetic disorders, i said the dumbest shit ever last night. it was so dumb i have to report it here. i was talking with someone about marfan's syndrome, which she noted that abraham lincoln had. and then i asked, "is that how lincoln died?" and then i started laughing at how retarded that was.

first of all, this is insanely tacky. that said, it looks all wrong - the hair resembles the bleached-out cornrow braids that axl rose has been wearing (and they hated one another), and i don't recall his physique being anywhere near this healthy-looking, and the shoes are wrong, and the guitar is wrong, and the jeans are way too LBJ (light blue jeans), so i really cannot endorse this product whatsoever. i am curious to know how much they're charging for this piece of crap, however. i'm sure poor suffering cwhoretney gets a cut.

i was just sent this filmstrip (beeep!) that was a great civics lesson (beeep!) and ought to be required viewing for all third-graders (beeep!). turn down your volume at work, although it is all fact.

and, finally, as this post is getting long (maybe more later), morrissey revealed that the smiths will not reunite, not even for the $5 million they were offered. he revealed this at a panel discussion at sxsw. what an amazing week that austin is hosting. i can't wait for lollapalooza 06 - the lineup came out yesterday and it is a kick-ass roster.

here is my holy-shit-i-am-excited-they're-at-lolla-this-year list:
kanye west, the raconteurs, the flaming lips, ween, ryan adams, sleater-kinney, red hot chili peppers, matisyahu, wilco, queens of the stone age, common, the shins, sonic youth, broken social scene, the new pornographers, eels, the dresden dolls, andrew bird, stars, editors, lady sovereign, feist, aqualung, the go team, and of montreal.

there are a few bands that i have absolutely no desire to bother with (am i the only person who thinks that death cab for cutie and iron and wine are total bores?) but i now have a lengthy list - and five months - to catch up on my listening so i know what i'm passing up (or must manage to get to).

chicago's summer is looking fierce, friends - we have the intonation music fest coming up in june (the streets, lady sov, bloc party) and the pitchfork music festival (it's all about spoon for me; the rest are just added bonuses) in july, and then the next weekend is lollapalooza. i am going to be tanned, drunk, at shows and happy, which is just how summer should be.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

i came back from vacation and now i have a dog

my New Music Week has ended and was good. i had lots of time on planes and on the beach to hear all sorts of albums that friends have passed on to me in recent months that i never got around to. my new-themed week actually doesn't start until this evening, when i start looking after an eight-pound doggy with moppy muppety white hair and an underbite. it's I Have A Dog Week. it's really js's dog - she and tb are down in austin for sxsw (luckeeeee!). i wasn't raised with a pet dog; tb got a german shepherd in college and had to give her to our parents, which they were very unhappy with, when he moved to chicago. it took them like three minutes to totally fall in love with palooka, and she still lives with them, old and fat and happy. it will be interesting to see what having a dog is really like, responsibility-wise. palooka is totally brilliant and knows how to open the door to let herself out, and since my parents live in a rural wooded subdivision, walking her doesn't require a leash or dodging traffic, so this will be an experience for me.

i will be staying at tb's until next monday, which is rad, as i am going to be taking his apartment this summer when he moves in with js, and i get to explore my new neighborhood and figure out the particular quirks that all old apartments come with. plus he left me beer and pizza, and he has a kick-ass stereo and a foozeball table, and he allows his friends to draw on the dining room wall with red sharpies, so i'm going to have every 12-year-old boy's dream week.

puerto rico was great. i got to hang out with a lot of great friends, went to the rainforest, ate plantains, sat in the sun (i don't really tan so much as i turn an attractive purple shade), went to the puerto rico vs dominican republic world baseball classic game (ecf knows someone that knows someone, so we were in the fourth row at the second-base line, two rows behing tommy lasorda). and now i am back . . . in chicago . . . where it is cold and gray . . . just like the tears streaming down my purple cheeks . . .

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

jenny lewis and the watson twins, 3/14/06

saw jenny lewis and the watson twins at park west tonight. it was only an hour long. i have been to plenty of shows that i would have gladly left after an hour, if not 20 minutes. this was really great, though, so i was sad that it was so short. when your album is only 38 minutes, though, i guess it's hard to do an hour-and-a-half set. they played the entire album except for the traveling wilburys cover she does with conor oberst and ben gibbard on rabbit fur coat, and then played probably four songs that were new. i would have been perfectly content to hear her bust out some rilo kiley songs, but she is doing this dusty-springfield-baptist-tent-revival-night-club-jesus-unrequited-love-soul-singer thing, and when a girl is out of songs, she's out of songs.

jenny plays guitar and is tiny, in a vintage purple polyester dress, and the watson twins are creepy/beautiful in that way that adult twins are, and wore cheesy/awesome black cocktail dresses and played tamborine, clapped wooden sticks like kindergarteners, and clacked two quarters together (which jenny pointed out - otherwise, i would not have assumed that's what they were playing). the band was four hott indie rock countrified guys in western shirts. we missed the opening band, who is called whispertown 2000. jenny thanked them for playing and mentioned that their original name was vagtown 2000 but changed it, and that made me wish we had shown up on time.

it was a really good show - short, sweet. i have a definite penchant for the tragic ladies of old-school country - loretta, dolly, patsy - and i love 70s soul. if anyone has any recommendations for other bands or singers that i might really dig, let me know. the hour was too short and makes me want to listen to gospel-tinged heartbreak music.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

my office's internet AND phone were both down at work today and i got really close to dying of boredom.

don't feel too bad for me, though, because i'm leaving for puerto rico tomorrow.

come back next week.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

tears. blog won't let me post any photos.

jk asked me if i had decided to give up on my blog. i sure haven't, bitch!

i've been busy but i don't really know what i've been up to. my Everything Kicks Ass week was really good - i did something interesting/fun every day. this is New Music Week. i hoard new albums and downloads the way that old women hoard cats. i collect, i beg, i borrow, i steal, i absolutely *must have* - and then it is mine, and i go hoard more. i'm not retarded-bad about it, like i have indiscriminate taste and collect simply to own, but i am so overwhelmed with a constant stream of new (or new-to-me) music that sometimes i will just bust out something old or i just listen to the same album over and over (hello, spoon's gimme fiction, which i listen to like every morning as i get ready, and have for the past eight months). so i am making a concerted effort to listen to all of these random albums and songs i have recently acquired.

so far this week i have been getting into the national's alligator, art brut, regina spektor's soviet kitsch, the excellent mix cd ag made me for my birthday, the arctic monkeys, and the boy least likely to.

so it's not a difficult week, but i don't like torturing myself consistently.

two online quizzes: one that tests your ability to discern internet hoaxes from factual forwards, and one that measures how successful you would be in extreme survival situations. i learned that i am slightly naive and so, so maimed if i am ever attacked by a dog, my plane crashes into the ocean, or i am stranded in the desert.

the onion av club asks random famous people to report on what the first five songs are that pop up on their ipods when they hit shuffle. hmmm - where have i seen something very similar to that before? i have not reported what my first shuffle song of the day has been lately, so to make up for it, here is the first ten, while i shuffle right now:
1. a simple question - action action
2. let it die - feist
3. hopped up on the q - dane cook
4. john wayne gacy, jr - sufjan stevens
5. rip off the gift - chisel
6. streets of london - sinead o'connor
7. teenager(s) - meat puppets
8. brothers gonna work it out - public enemy
9. suicide blonde - inxs
10. the letter - pj harvey
that's not really all that bad of a mix.

the onion av club also listed five truly useful websites, and gave a shout-out to my new boyfriend, wikipedia.

this made-up tori amos set list made me laugh. i used to LOVE tori. i wasn't one of those sad crying emotionally-fragile girls that would go to her shows wearing homemade fairy wings and cutting myself during the opening band, but i thought that her music was really interesting and lyrically brilliant and i thought that she was really smart . . . and then i turned 22, and sort of lost interest. i still love boys for pele and from the choirgirl hotel, though.

i read about this guy in the new yorker, and i am excited for the documentary. some people think he's totally full of shit. the trailer is really beautiful, actually.

and finally, a washington post reporter asks why people bother blogging. that is a very good question, and one that i am not prepared to answer right now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

sci-fi cuisine

i first read about moto in the new york times and immediately wanted to go. the problem, of course, was convincing anyone to humor me (and shell out some mad money) to go. eb and sf are wonderful friends and i would love them even if they hadn't agreed to go for my birthday (but it doesn't hurt. plus they're my favorite couple - AND they just got engaged on sunday. i am so pleased that my birthday will always be special to them).

did i feel like a loser for taking so many photos? nope. there was only one other dinner party the entire time we were there (7:45-10:20) - except for the group that looked like they were out-of-towner conference attendees, sat down, drank water, looked at the menu, and got the fuck out of there. one of our waiters told us that they mistakenly thought that moto was a rib joint. i cannot imagine a more bizarre assumption, not the least of which would be the chinese character on the door.

first we ordered drinks. eb and i got jolly ranchers, which were martinis that tasted exactly like liquid candy, with pop rocks on the rims. sf ordered the "martini library," which consisted of a glass of ice, swizzle sticks with olives and onions, and four weird-ass eye-droppers filled with different martini shots (one dirty, one mustard, one blue cheese and i don't remember the other one. i might consult eb on my accuracy and later go back and correct. i feel like i am forgetting a lot of small details).

i was going to do the ten-course (smaller portions, i hear, since the five-course we ended up ordering was absolutely enough) but moto wants everyone in the party to have the same "progression" and it was kind enough for eb and sf to come along and end up dropping $115 a person (which was the total after drinks and tax), so i'll just have to wait on that one. i would like to point out that we had like four or five waiters, all nerds in suits that made us feel like we were in the matrix.

the first offering was a bowl of homemade chips and a platter with a puree "dip" that tasted like scallions. laser-printed on top of the dip was the menu and, in the bottom corner, "moto welcomes (my name) - happy birthday!" the puree that had printing on it was a little rubbery - it was like a weird filmy layer that stretched - but the parts around it were good. eb had heard that the menu was edible and was disappointed when the crowd of waiters brought us normal paper sheets when we sat down, but this redeemed them.

so the first course came. it was really pretty, and it was super good. there was a piece of salmon that looked raw but was very strangely cooked. i think i remember the waiter saying it was infused with olive oil - it was very moist (ewww - i hate that word) and firm and was different-tasting from sushi salmon but was definitely not like broiled salmon and the way that it flakes when you cut it. listen to me - like i know anything about what i am talking about. i fully expect to be hired as a food critic for the tribune. my rating's system will be range from "vomitocity" to "fucking awesome."

also on the plate: hearts of palm, shittake mushrooms, mushroom puree, and a ball of bacon and horseradish icecream on a bed of some weird little crunchy grain. yeah, i just said bacon and horseradish icecream. it tastes exactly how it sounds - not sweet, but icecream. and it was fucking awesome. i don't think a bowl of it would be fucking awesome, but the little ball was perfect.

course two: capon with beans. capon, the wine chef (or whoever he was - i'll get to that momentarily) told us, is a eunuch rooster that's depressed. no, really. they castrate a rooster and he's really depressed and lethargic and gets fat, and he ends up being really delicious. the beans were really awesome - very southern ham-hock slow-cooked tasting. i think there was pulled pork under two of the piles. i really couldn't say. it was good. the puree for this plate was sort of buttery bbq sauce tasting - and had a bottle of masterpiece bbq sauce lasered onto it.

before the next course the waiters had us go to the bar to see the wine chef guy. he was using this very sci-fi clear box with all sorts of wires and parts that shot a blue laser beam out onto a weird vanilla stick (it looked like incense) that was held in place by a little metal arm. i did not take a photo of this because it's one thing to take photos at your table and another to go traipsing around like a retard tourist. anyway, the wine chef held wine glasses over the smoking vanilla to infuse the glass, and when they poured the wine in, it picked up the scent. this felt like the most gimmicky part of what could easily have been a very gimmicky-seeming restaurant. regardless, i must now try this at my next dinner party - burning incense with a laser beam to make the two-buck chuck all infused and smoky.

the wine was meant to compliment the third course, which was buffalo, one brussel sprout, and purees of spicy pear and sweet potato pie. the buffalo was really rare and hard to cut with my knife, but was goodgoodgood. i loved the purees. the menu noted that this course was "buffalo with sage" - and the sage was intertwined in the fork and spoon that came inserted into the top of the weirdass metal tray-with-side that the course came on. the waiter told us that most of taste comes from scent, so we were to smell the sage as we ate the buffalo. okay, dude.

then came the reeses pieces course. it was a small square glass bowl with a little spoon, filled with a dusty chalk that you were supposed to have sit on your tongue so that it would sort of melt into a compressed chocolate/peanut butter-type ball. eb and sf didn't like it much. it was okay. it just sort of reminded me of the dust and crumbs at the bottom of a cereal box. i'm sure it was all complex and scientific, but it could have been replaced by something better. like a chunk of freeze-dried icecream that you can get at the museum gift shop.

the last course was a strange spongy tower of cake-like dessert that was filled with chocolate and dates, with dates on the plate in a good sweet puree. best yet was the mushroom-flavored icecream ball on top - you know, to make it a truffle. again, a bowl would not work, but a little ball of mushroom icecream was strangely perfect.

they also brought out a bowl of styrofoam packing material that tasted like buttery caramel. really. i'm sure it's actually like rice-based or something, but i want a box for when i move.

so that was it. pricey, yes. delicious, almost all of it. all i need now is to convince someone to take the next step and do the ten-course with me. or, god willing, the gtm (grand tour moto, which probably takes like five hours to eat). any takers?

yeah, i didn't think so.

i know that this reads like a mcsweeny's list, but i'm not kidding.

a few people at the office share their itunes music libraries over the server, and it is interesting to see who listens to what. of particular note is the guy that works in the mail room. i don't even think i need to describe what he is like as a person. i'm just going to list all of the bands that he has burned to his itunes.

Agent Steel
Aura Noir
Black Witchery
Bull Dozer
Burnt Offering
Cannibal Corpse
Celtic Frost
Corrosion of Conformity
Crumb Suckers
Cryptic Slaughter
Death Row
Iron Angel
MDC (whose album is called “Millions of Dead Cops”)
Napalm Death
Nuclear Death
Poison Idea
Ritual Carnage
Suicidal Tendencies

genres he has them filed under: one Alternative/Punk, two Black/War Metal, most are Metal or Punk, and five are marked as Rock, including Goatlord. i listened to the Goatlord song “Blood Monk” and i would NOT classify that as good ole rock. i was sitting in a very well-lit cubicle at 9:00 am surrounded by lots of happy middle-aged co-workers, and i still got scared.

i posted these websites way back in august, so they deserve another look. click here for the ten most retarded black metal photos of all time, and click here for part two of this highly informative (and hilarious) series.

i cannot decide which name is the worst. goatlord? ludichrist? black witchery? cryptic slaughter? and, btw, wtf is "war metal"?

even if EVERYTHING can't kick ass, i'll ensure that a couple things do at least.

wow, i feel like i have so much to say, but very little time to commit it to paper (cyberweb). so i will try. special shout-out to my brother tb, who is 32 today.

sunday started a new week in my Year of Something Different. since my birthday was sunday and i have lots of cool little random things going on this week, i decided that it is Everything Kicks Ass Week.

my birthday was pretty ass-kicking. i spent saturday amongst chicago friends at a great dive bar where i drank too much, ate tamales, and took advantage of the photo booth with tc and jc. tc took me to an indian brunch buffet sunday afternoon, then we went shopping in wicker park and got coffee and hung out. i was lackadaisical all evening - i talked to a bunch of people on the phone and was more than happy to just sit on my couch and watch flavor of love, but my roommate wanted to have this little quasi-romantic evening like we're dating or some shit. my roommate is a well-meaning person that i have nothing in common with, and has fully convinced me that i need to live alone (so i am moving this spring, which she knows). it started by her asking if i wanted to order sushi, which i did, and when i came back from picking it up, she had lit a bunch of candles, opened a bottle of wine, and set out a little plate of chocolates for me. it was sweet, but, again, we're not in love, so i don't know what that was all about. then she busted out her manicure kit and guilted me into painting my nails (clear - though she recommended pink). it was really weird. nice. but weird.

monday night i saw the yeah yeah yeahs at the logan square auditorium, a small venue with a floor that looks and smells like a high school gym. some guy who also backed the yyys during their set, the skeletor-wearing-a-fro-looking imaad wasif, played acoustic guitar, and then the ponys played. they were fine. all i really noted was the lead singer's highly ironic sweater (kinda cosby sweater, kinda elementary school teacher, knitted dolls with yarn hair attached as pins or some shit like that) and the fact that they finished with five solid minutes of ear-bleeding feedback and noise. as jf said, "sonic youth did that 15 years ago, and they did it better."

the yeah yeah yeahs kicked ass, though. karen o was wearing this sleeveless yellow and orange garbage bag that glowed in the dark, and she had very reflective pieces of gold plastic glued around her eyes, and the fingers of her right hand were painted black. it is easy to dismiss her as an art-school screamer, but she is totally riveting to watch, and she is completely joyful as she jumps around and screeches. (and i say "screeches" in the nicest way possible - she has a unique voice, one that perhaps takes time to grow on you, but it doesn't suck). she smiles a lot, which is funny, because you'd think that she'd be all dark and mysterious and serious. i loved their set - they only played four songs off of their debut ("black tongue," which is my favorite, "maps," which is everyone else's favorite, "man," and "date with the night") and everything else is off of their new album, show your bones, which comes out at the end of march. i'm a'gonna use the reckless records gift certificate that tb gave me for my birthday to snatch that up when it comes out.

i would like to now take the opportunity to proclaim that i am DONE with all-ages general-admission shows.