Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I had a dream the other night, I know, another dream, set in the used CD shop in which I worked during college and the ever-productive, ensuing years of 'finding myself.' You know how you always find yourself dreaming with certain locations as a setting, because you can picture them exactly down to the last tile, vent, etc? That's how this was, but it was really amazing because it was years ago that I worked there. In this dream, I could have accurately conjured up any one of the usual cast of characters that would come into the shop in my day, not limited to, but including: DJ Chaos, Beatles Mark, Ultimate Warrior Jacket Guy, and Shy Poke. I could write a decent blog about any one of those goof balls, but the guy in this dream was funny in his own right, and he could have very well been a regular, had he existed outside the relm of my unconscious.

He was a chubby, Mexican-American, middle-aged man who was standing at the counter, to the left of the cash register, calling up a series of women on his bulky cell phone, and leaving on their voice mails a monotone delivery of an atrocious love poem, which he read from a hand-written, crinkled-up, piece of notebook paper. After the third time he launched into it I had to run into the back room before he could catch me laughing, and that's something I would really do when I worked there. God, I fucking miss that job.

Yes, maybe it was the freedom of not worrying about what profession it is I should have been doing, and the fact that it was really flipping easy, but quite honestly, I loved being a used CD jockey, and I was damn good at it.

I loved coming in the morning, flipping on the lights, coffee machine, etc, and doing all the things that gave me the sense of accomplishment of having opened up the shop for the day.

I loved, on some days, having no coworkers.

I loved, on some days, having no, or little to no, customers.

I loved being able to tell people who sang what and on what album. I think some people are annoyed by those kind of questions, but I lived for them, and I still do.

I loved my boss. I liked the guy so much that I wanted to do the best I could for him. Even though he was 40-something when I was 20-something, he was as much a friend as he was a boss. Hell, he went to my wedding. Sure my marriage crashed and burned after 8 months, but that had nothing to do with him. The guy even got me a doob once when I really needed one, and that's something I certainly don't get from my current boss.

I actually loved putting out CD's into the racks. I know a lot about rock music, but for every band I know a lot about, there another twelve that I know only by the stacks of names that I came across when I put discs away. To this day, when I can't think of a band's name, I can think of where they were at The Shop and narrow it down, like from P to Z for instance.

I loved that job, and it's a sad realization when a dream reminds me that the best job I ever had, and may ever have, only paid 9 bucks an hour, and that in all likelihood CD shops will be a thing of the past before long. Well, at least the chubby Don Juan cell phone-mack daddy gave me a good chuckle. I was really laughing when I got up, and then my laugh settled into a grin thinking about the days and nights I spent buying and selling shitty discs like Four Non Blondes and Candlebox.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fish Behavior and Couple's Showers

My roommate and I were watching a show about deep sea fish on the Discovery Channel, because we can't find the damn remote, and I was shocked to learn about the mating patterns of one particular fish. Apparently, the female is like five times the size of the male, and the male literally attaches himself to her for life, pumping her full of fish sperm, and tagging along for the ride until the day he dies.

Later on that day I was talking to a female friend of mine who has to go to a couple's shower. Those are great, right? Because every guy wants to go watch a woman open a bunch of stupid gifts, as if he gives a shit what kind of hand-mixer she gets.

Guys being dragged off to one of those things just made me think of that male fish, pumping his wife full of fish sperm, and tagging along with her to all kinds of God-awful events, until the day he dies . . .

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who in the Hell Wants to Read Another Weekend Wrap-Up?

The 80's-themed, birthday party was a huge success. I never got around to asking the hot neighbor girls, see a couple of posts ago, to come to the party, partly because I spent all day cleaning and partly because I'm a big, sissy boy.

My Greatest American Hero costume, complete with official t-shirt and homemade cape, was badass! Something about wearing a cape made me dart out of the room each time I had to go somewhere, just to make the cape flutter in the breeze.

When I picked up my pre-party slice of pizza I asked Oscar, our local pizza guy, to come by when he got off work, and he did! The five tenants of our apartment all go in there a couple times a week, and there were a bunch of former tenants that went ape shit when they saw him, and he remembered what many of them used to order. Oscar had a ball. I really wanted the pizza guy to get laid, but even more I wanted the pizza guy to bring pizza, and neither one of those things happened. However, he did light up when I stopped in today, he thanked me for the invite, and most importantly, he shaved the change off of my meatball sub.

Hungover as I was, and as frigid as the Chicago morning was, I was not going to pass on a free ticket to Soldier Field for the NFC Championship game. Well, I know it was only a game, and some of you may not understand, but it was one of the most thrilling, heartwarming events of my life. This city loves its Bears, and they're only really good every 20 years or so, which makes for a lot of fans showing love for their team and their fellow fans.

For hours after the game every car that was driving by was honking their horns and hollering their Bears' praises out their windows. My buddy saw an old guy shoveling his driveway and said to him, "How are you doing this evening?" to which he replied, quite simply, "Bears."

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Gull-Darn Zombies Are Back!

I recently did a post in which I complained about people who talk about dreams they've had, and then, of course, proceeded to tell my readers about a dream. Now I'm going to tell you about, yet another, dream. Boy, it's like saying I hate when people whistle, and then whistling the theme from the Andy Griffith Show, loudly, right into your ear, from one inch away.

The other night I had one of those really long dreams, that's really a series of dreams with one common theme, this one being zombies. Those lovable, rotting, undead fellas are always popping up in my dreams, and I must admit, I have had a long, love affair with them ,and even did a post about it. I wonder what the zombies in my dreams signify? I'll have to ask one the next time I dream about one, just before he bites my neck and slurps up my entrails like fettuccine. I spent a good while running away from zombies in this particular dream, and clobbering the heads of others with various blunt objects. During zombie-free period I was stopping off at my girlfriend's house, which is when I knew I was dreaming, since I don't have one, but before I could get into her suburban (which is another sign it was a dream) house I was stopped by a girl I used to sort of date. She was sexy as hell when I knew her, but she seemed to go in and out of liking me, which of course made her really appealing. I know, I'm screwed up, but that's for another blog.

So, in the dream she was visiting her boyfriend, and we got talking about how neither of us were too into our respective partners. She said to me, "So, you're taking out some lucky, young lady," to which I responded, very suave-like I might add, "I hope I'm looking at the lucky, young lady I'm taking out this evening." What a pimp-daddy, right? We made plans to meet up later, and I remember thinking about whether I should take her out for dinner or just a drink, and which fine, Chicago establishment should I take her to? Next I remember thinking, "Shit, would if the zombies are out tonight! The gull-darn zombies are back!"

A possible interpretation for this dream:
I'm never able to commit to a relationship, and even when I'm ready to, external factors, like zombies, always get in the way.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Microwave Based Diets and the Quest for the Perfect Outgoing Message

One of my roommates took off for Las Vegas for whatever the porno awards are called. He's never been to the awards show or the city, and knowing his personality and indulgences, it could make him overload and tweak out like the robot on Lost in Space.

One of two things is eminent:
1. He will spend all his money on bad, bad things and be short on rent when he gets back.
2. He will disappear without a trace, or disappear only to pop up months later as the world's most successful pornographer.

He just started Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating, which in case you never heard of it, is a diet whereby you pick up weekly loads of 3 daily, healthy meals. Since he can't eat them in Vegas, and they will go bad by the time he comes back, he has given another roommate and myself permission to consume all of them at our own pace. They're not great, but they're free meals, so we're going ALL the way off on those bad boys.

In a completely unrelated matter, I started a new volleyball league with a team I've assembled with two roomies, one good friend, his girlfriend, two of her friends, and a friend of the other roomy. It's 8 people in all, and I had never met 3 of the girls. The team played well, and drank well, which is typically more important. However, my optimism for a fun season came to a screeching halt when the topic of the outgoing message on my phone came up. My roomy said that it sounds like I'm saying his name, like I'm talking directly to him for some reason. One of the new girls listened to the message and determined that I was actually saying, "uh." Then she starts going OFF about how she hates when guys leave her a message and say "uh," and how she would never call a guy back when they do that. Mind you, she's MAD. I tried to keep it light, so I was like, "Well, it's endearing and cute when Woody Allen and Hugh Grant stutter and stammer." To this she CONTINUES to go off about how stupid I sounded, like she's trying to antagonize me. You just met me, you nut!! I'm thinking, but not saying, of course, 'so have you ever won any awards for your outgoing message? Did Ed McMahon come to your house with an over-sized, novelty check and present you with an Outgoing Messagey Award.' Boy, The Messagies wouldn't be quite as fun or get as much press coverage as The Emmies . . .

I was mad as hell, so I got drunk and ate the shit out of a couple Seattle Sutton Dinners. Does she honestly think I give a shit what my outgoing message sounds like? As if I'm really going to change it because a bimbo hairdresser thinks I sound too indecisive.

So, I'm changing my outgoing message on my phone, and I noticed that I didn't say "uh" at all. It was, in fact, a "hi" that sounded like an "uh." "Uh's" and "hi's" aside, it was a damn, shitty, out-going message. I sound hung over and underwhelmed, and I don't think I would have recorded the thing at a bar, but I'll be damned if it doesn't sound like there are bar noises in the background. When I rerecorded the thing it took me like 20 takes, and I'm still not even close to being happy with it.

What about you, seven readers? Do you hate the sound of your own voice and rerecord your outgoing message a mess of times before settling on one? Hey, if you want to talk about stuff like Bush sending more ground troops to Iraq go elsewhere, because The Gancer deals exclusively with crappola topics like this.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bookmark This Sumbitch

The first post of the group blog project The Liar's Club is live!

Myself and three of the other (self-proclaimed) finest bloggers in Chicago got together over cocktails, and we came up with some great ideas, so keep your eyes peeled for enlightening posts that may or may not have to do with Chicago. This first one is an introduction of sorts. Check it out!

here's the link. so click it now, mo-fo. you heard me. move your dirty mouse across the shiny celine dion mouse pad you got in vegas and click it!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Jennifer and Maryanne, You Have Been Cordially Invite To Attend . . .

In a few weeks, my roomies and I are having a big party here at the apartment. The occasion is a good friend of mine and myself both turn 30 this month, and we're having the party on the day of another close friend's birthday. With three birthday boys inviting friends, plus the other 4 roommates inviting people, and people's friends are inviting friends, we are expecting a big turn-out.

That being said, we really are open to inviting just about anyone at this point, since we're facing the fact that there will be over 100 people up in here. This led us to the conclusion that we need to take a crack at inviting the rarely spotted, but known to be pretty girls who live two buildings down. We're running out of time, and I wanted to get some input from my blog buddies, especially the female ones, on how to invite these gals without looking MAD creepy. Remember, none of us have ever spoken to any of them. Do I . . .

A) Knock on the door and cordially invite them?
B) Wait until the day before and say, "We're having a big party, and it may go late and get loud. If possible, could you just come by and tell us to shut up rather than call the cops." Then, of course, invite them, while looking like the invite was secondary to the warning.
C) Just hope I bump into them, and if I don't, just chalk it up as a loss.
D) Slide a flyer under the door as if I invited the whole block, which won't be the case, but I would design the flyer to look that way.
E) Go over there the night of the party when I'm blind drunk and DEMAND they come over for a drink.

* I always pondered, and I must admit I was a little jealous, about how Larry and Balki got together with two blond bombshell neighbors like Jennifer and Maryanne. You now see the reason for the goofy picture, since their success is fueling the fire of my mission . . .

* Wasn't Family Matters a spin-off of Perfect Strangers? I do believe the Black gal pictured was the sassy elevator operator who we later learned had the misfortune of living next-door to Steven Urkel.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"There's a Bathroom on the Right"

You know all of those misunderstood song lyrics like:

"There's a BATHROOM ON THE RIGHT" instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise"
(Bad Moon, Creedance Clearwater Revival)


"Excuse me while I kiss THIS GUY" instead of "Excuse me while I kiss the sky."
(Purple Haze, Jimmy Hendrix)


"I'm SHAVING OFF MY MUFF for you" instead of "I'm saving all my love for you"
(Saving All My Love for You, Whitney Houston)

Okay, nobody thinks they heard that last one wrong, but that's damn funny.

So, today while driving down Broadway Avenue in Chicago I heard Ironic by Alannis Morisette , and I remembered THE stupidest misunderstood lyric that your's truly concocted. I honestly, and you're not going to believe this, thought that instead of "a death row PARDON a minute too late," I thought she said "hard-on." I remember thinking, what does she mean by that? Maybe some poor sap is on death row and he's got a conjugal visit going, and he can't get any led in his pencil. Then the MINUTE his lady friend leaves he gets the stiffy of a LIFE TIME. I actually thought up that whole STUPID ASS scenario, rather than just think what else she could have said when, of course, pardon made perfect sense.

I'm sorry to say that my little death row scenario does not come any closer to the actual definition of irony than Alanis did in any of her versus or the chorus of the song Ironic, but I will say that it's a far more interesting tale, "don't you think. Oh yeah, I really do think . . ."

Okay, seven readers, tell me the dumbest thing you sang along to a song thinking it was right as rain.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I had REALLY low expectations for New Year's Eve last night. My group of friends couldn't agree on what to do, most settled for events all across the city, which left me and HLP (Heterosexual Life Partner) stuck going to a house party in which the guest list consisted of couple 1, couple 2, and me and HLP, essentially making us the third couple, which I'd say seals our HLP status. When we told everyone about the party we were going to, everyone was like, 'why in the hell are you going to that?' - to which we had no legitimate response.

We didn't get any more excited about this event when we learned that we also had to buy all the booze for the party, and after our purchase we found it impossible to find a cab. Just when we were considering waiting for a bus, a guy driving a limousine across the street asked if we wanted a ride. Fuck yeah we want an unexpected ride in a limo on New Year's Eve! Sure, it smelled of body odor, but it was a limousine nonetheless. The guy scared us a little when he was talking about how drinking and driving has been a bad combination for him in the past, since it has led to numerous incidents of hitting parked cars, which in turn led to his insurance company deeming him "uninsureable." Did I mention he sounded drunk as he was telling us this? When we told him where we going that evening, even the drunken limo guy we had never met before, but were falling in love with a little bit, said "Why would a couple of red blooded studs like yourselves go to that?"

Well, it's true that we wanted to at least put ourselves in a position to meet some available women desperately scanning the room at 11:50 for a guy to swap spit with, but I am very glad we went to a nice, intimate gathering with good friends. We had a great meal, we had some great conversation, followed by some REALLY drunken conversation, which was in turn followed by even drunker sing-alongs of Air Supply's Even the Nights Are Better, Wham's Careless Whisper, which I remember singing with the host the previous time I was at his abode, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and a dance off to Bell Biv Devoe's Poison. As midnight approached we all decided we should be in a public place when 2007 became the new thing to write on checks.

We all stumbled into the bar, and I noticed that my HLP had paired off with someone, leaving me the lone guy with no girl on his arm with midnight lurking right around the corner. What I DID have was a lengthy dialoge with a couple of loquacious, middle-aged queens. They gave me a chocolate bar, which I put in the back pocket of my jeans, which I slept in, and it splattered all over the inside of the pocket. I'd make a joke now about packing fudge, but that would just be insensitive.

Well, it really wasn't all that bad not having anyone to kiss at midnight. On the whole, I'd say Valentines day and Christmas, mostly Christmas, are more depressing holidays, since, for me, New Year's Eve is only depressing for about a half hour. I have my 30th birthday ready to rear its ugly head in less than a week, and I think that's going to be the real pisser, but one helluva party.

Happy New Year's, seven readers! Here's hoping you too spent your evening having a great time with great friends.