Saturday, April 29, 2006

"My Life, My Love, and My Lady Is the Sea"

Some of you may know that I work on the weekends as a photographer at Navy Pier, a famous tourist attraction in Chicago. It’s not like it’s a fun little hobby, more accurately, it’s an 18-hour-long, straight up, weekend killa’. I really wish I could have my weekends to relax, but my disgustingly high car payment and my Gigantor student loans have joined forces in a successful attempt to leave me with zero free time, hence the dismal effort at blog updating (sorry seven readers).

I used to take pictures at the Ferris Wheel. I’m the guy that says, “How are you today? Before we get on board, why don’t you step right behind this sign, show some love, and give Christy a big, Ferris Wheel smile,” or something to that effect. Then when they get off the wheel, one of us shows them their picture on the monitor and tries to sell it to them. I’ve been doing this for over a year now, and I’m damn good at it. Here are some bullet points I could put on a resume:

1. I’m willing to flirt with old ladies from St. Louis if it means selling a photo or two.

2. I can maintain order on a busy ramp, with people growing increasingly frustrated, and STILL get them to stop for a photo opportunity on a consistent basis. The college kids that I work with, yes, I know it’s pathetic that I’m 29 and I work with these youngsters, don’t have the gift of gab that I have. You just can’t coach it I’ve found.

3. I can vary my little pitch and tailor-make it to the people on the ramp so that I don’t bore them, my coworkers, or myself.

While I’ve proven to be an effective Ferris Wheel photographer, the last few weekends they have stationed me at the Sea Dog ™. This is your basic speedboat ride and architecture tour. Today I learned that on a cold, rainy, Chicago afternoon, don’t NOBODY want to go on a boat. So, we spent the day playing photographers VS tour guides in a game of two-on-two football. Of course, we’d stop and ask people if they wanted to ride in between plays, and sometimes getting behind the center and saying, “2:15 architecture tour on two, best 75 minutes of your life on 3!” I also watched the two tour guides do an improvisational bit about two ninjas who are mortal enemies, want nothing more than to kill one another, but keep crossing paths without their swords. They are theatre dorks, but perfect for the job, since they have to talk all day and think quickly on their feet.

The sad part is the powers that be noticed that they didn’t need 3 people to take photos of NOBODY, so they sent us all home. This has given me time to finally update my blog. Tonight I will be partying at my apartment during our going away extravaganza for one of my roommates. Tomorrow I will be a hung over, but still very effective photographer or wide receiver, depending on the weather.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Suburbs Will Suck Your Soul

I hate losing contact with my friends from the suburbs. It's not that I like them any less than my city dwelling friends, it just happens. It reaches a point where it's a standoff: They hate coming out here and I hate going out there. It's like, I have this terrific city all around me, and they have . . . Naperville. Sure the suburbs can be fun, if by fun you mean going to the same two bars every weekend to watch the cool kids from high school become bigger and bigger losers over the years, and then hop in your car, only to be followed by a DUI-ticket-writing-hungry, suburban cop who has no real crimes to fight. I came up with percentages for the reasons I think the suburban friends have for not coming out, and my good friend Roxana helped me with a pie chart. Thanks, Roxy. However, I can't figure out how to get the pie chart on my blog, so you'll just have to form a little pie chart in your head, which is a pretty fun way to pass the time. Enjoy.

70%: There is nowhere to park in that fucking city. Why don't they have any God damned parking lots? After driving around looking for an hour, I just want to go home, drink a sixer, and go to sleep.

20%: $6.50 for one Heineken? I can get a twelve pack of Busch light for that in the burbs.

7% $5 cover charge? That's bullshit. I've been to Joanie's Dry Dock dozens of time, and not ONCE has Joanie asked me for a cover charge.

2% I'd like to come out to Chicago, but I have to get a fresh start on my lawn early tomorrow morning, or the neighbors will start talking about me.

1% Just come out by me! Hootie and the Blowfish are playing Ribfest in Naperville!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Go Cubs Go!

Baseball season is, yet again, upon us, and this no doubt means another disappointing year for the Chicago Cubs. I’m tired of them fucking sucking. I don’t think people get how serious I am about Cub baseball. Let me give you some of the alarming signs that I am a die-hard Cub fan.

1. When someone insulted the post-stroke Harry Caray, I honestly think I could have killed a few of these jerks. This man’s voice was around my house so much growing up that he might as well have been my grandfather. Hell, he was my grandfather, so don’t make fun of my fucking grandpa! Will Farrell, I’ll let you slide, since your impression is God damned funny.

2. I’m not sure if there is a God or not, but I AM sure that if I leave a game early, I can drastically affect the outcome of a game.
I can also alter the results of a game by turning the radio or television off for a brief while. Believe it or not, my bleacher bum friends and I can turn the tides of a game simply by switching our seats. I don’t believe in a higher power, but I swear by this bullshit? There’s something wrong with that rationale.

3. Wrigley Field is not just a ballpark to me. It is my favorite place in the world. I love all the sights, sounds, and especially the smells – beer, hotdogs, ice cream . . .
I don’t like the smell of cigars, but I love to smell it at Wrigley. I have even grown to love the smell of hot urine in the men’s room. It is one of the only parks in the country that still has the trough-style urinals. They maximize available pissing spots by cutting out the spaces in between urinals. Efficient? Yes. Smelly? Definitely. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4. Speaking of urinals, and why not speak of urinals, I love getting off that self/team deprecating one liner that makes the whole men’s room erupt in laughter, and not your usual laughter, but the bazaar looking laughter of men looking straight ahead, so as not to be accused of looking at a penis.

5. I will drink a piss-warm Old Style beer out of a paper cup and ask for seconds, and thirds, and tenths, and stack my dead soldiers up to show my drinking prowess. I dreamed of being the guy with the seeminlgy endless, stacked up cups when I was a young man, and look at me now America! My first frothy brew at the Friendly Confines will be for you, my 9 readers.