Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tearing Down The Gancer's Wall, Brick By Brick

I've been blown away by how open I've been with the new Special Lady Friend. Granted, I still won't let her read the blog, which is causing some tension, but we have a very open dialog, which I'm not used to. When it comes to expressing our feelings, I come from a family of bottlers, with the exception of my sister, who, with her outbursts and outpouring of emotions, would be more appropriately likened to a fishnet. Because of my upbringing, and unwillingness to change in relationships, when something pisses me off, I just talk about it with my friends, you people, my butcher, or anyone who isn't the girl. Then I just let it fester until I up and leave one day. This SLF doesn't let me do that, and, thus far, I don't resent her for helping me to change for the better.

So, the other day she relays to me that during some downtime at work she was telling her coworkers that she can't find anything wrong with me*, except that I sing in the morning when she's either still sleeping or awake but crabby. This led one of her cohorts, a bright one in my estimation, to say, "Well, doesn't that mean that he's more than likely happy waking up with you?" Good point, sir. I told her I'd work on it, which I will, but it will be tough, in the shower especially. I have a song on my head at all times, sometimes just one lyric or phrase.**

She then asked if there's anything she does that bothers me. This was a great opportunity to bring up something that had been bothering the shit out of me for the last two months. I said, "SLF, you use the world obsess too much. You can't possibly be obsessed with 14 things in a given week, or you'd drive yourself mad. Perhaps it's too strong of a word for all of these circumstances?" To this she just smiled and said she too would work on it. I thought she'd be super pissed or at the very least a little hurt, but perhaps she's not as harsh a critic of herself as I, especially when it comes to vocabulary and word usage.

Are there other things that bother me, sure, but they're minor. However, they'd be major if I weren't diggin' so much. For example, we're sitting in my kitchen one day, and she's looking at my Pink Floyd Back Catalog poster***, and the following conversation transpired:

SLF: Why do you have those naked ladies in your kitchen?
Gancer: Well, don't you recognize any of the pictures on their backs?
SLF: No, should I?
Gancer: (Flabbergasted, but restrained) Well, how about the one with the triangle?
SLF: Nope.
Gancer (In his head thinking, "Holy hell!, but instead, he says) Well, that would be an album by a British, psychedelic group, and it stayed on the USA, Billboard Top 200 for 741 weeks, which comes out to roughly 14 years . . .
SLF: Yeah, no idea.

And you know, it really didn't bother me that much. Then the other day I'm telling her how there's a pretty good possibility a website will be paying me to drive out to Lafayette, Indiana to interview Izzy Stradlin, the underrated, down-to-earth guitar player and songwriter of the seminal rock group Guns N' Roses. She said how happy she was for me, because she knew how big a band they were, despite the fact that SHE DIDN'T KNOW ANY OF THEIR SONGS. Excuse me? I named a couple, and turns out she did, but wow. Again, doesn't bother me. All I ask is that she humor me when I throw out a quick rock anecdote, and I do try to make them quick. She does this.

Things are going well. She's got this smile too, and it seems to me that it reminds of childhood memories where everything was as fresh as bright, blue sky . . .

Now, I wouldn't be mad at her for not knowing that lyric, but I would be mad at you, reader, cause you're not sleeping with me. Now it's time to share: Have you ever had an exchange like this, where you calmly tell each other what quirk or habit bothers the shit out of one another? How did it go?

*I, of course, don't believe this minor infraction to be the only thing that bothers her.
**For a few days it was the first verse of Across the Sea by Weezer. I love songwriters who write very odd vocal melodies, and I think it's cute how he uses broken English to sing the praises of his biggest fan in Japan.
***Don't think I'm oblivious to the fact that I'm far too old to have a 'Floyd poster in my kitchen.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Farewell To Perhaps the Finest Grenade Jumper of Our Time

Last night I hadn't planned on going out, because I had to work early the next day (Saturday), but I couldn't say no to the crew that was assembled. It didn't used to be a big deal to get everyone together, it was all too easy and a dangerous pattern, but lately everyone has girlfriends, things going on, or in Grenade Jumper's case, a wedding to plan. He is the main reason I went out against my better judgment, because I so rarely get to see him these days.

I've known Grenade Jumper since I was in the first grade, he's one of my closest friends, and one of the funniest human beings I've ever known. All my closest friends are funnier than shit, and if they wrote their own blogs, this guy especially, you'd forget all about me. By the end of next month he'll be married, and it won't be long after that when he'll make his inevitable descent into the suburbs; They're already looking at houses. Yes I'm happy for him, but I'm going to miss the big fella (his shoulders are literally the size of bowling balls. I'm not kidding).

Here are some of my favorite things about him:

1. I go to lots of Chicago Cubs games with him, and every single game, and I do mean every single one, he bellows, "Get off your knees ump, you're blowing the game." Hearing one person say the same joke every game I see with him, season after season, would not work for most people. With him I'm practically rolling in the aisles each and every time I hear him launch into it, especially when there are kids around.

2. He can trace the lineage of the World Wrestling Federation belt from when Hulk Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik* to the modern era. Sometimes I think he's making up bits and pieces, he'd almost have to be, but he really sells it and never misses a beat, which is all the more impressive.

3. He and I have this thing together where we do third base coach signals to one another across the bar, putting fingers across our arms, tilting our brims to either side, whether we have hats on or not, clapping our hands, emphatically shaking off each other's signs, and lots of people think a serious "discussion" is going down. The signals mean nothing.

4. He's, as his name in this post and the title would indicate, and you may want to stop reading if you're one of my easily offended female readers, the finest grenade jumper I've ever known. By this I mean that he would run interference on a girl that would make a lesser man queasy at just the sight of her. There have been numerous times where he has jumped belly first onto a grenade, opening up doors for his fellow horseman**, doors that would have been impenetrable without his heroics. Sometimes he'd even go home with one of these well-fed, Midwestern ladies. There was one legendary morning where he rifled through a gal's mail, desperately trying to remember her name, and that's a morning that would be brought up to everyone's amusement countless times. Truth be told, I don't think he minded bigger girls all that much, and he may have had a bit of proclivity towards them. I'm laughing just thinking about this: There were nights where he'd be on a mission before we'd go out, and he'd say: "I wouldn't want to be a jack and coke or a fat girl right now, because . . ." You get the idea.

Being a groomsman for him next month will be an honor, and it will be one of those weddings where all my cynicism about marriage, couples, whatever, will not have a leg to stand on. My happiness for he and his bride-to-be will be unbridled, so to speak. I may even send him a squeeze bunt signal from across the reception hall. He'll no doubt think it's one of our usual, nonsensical communications, but this time it will mean something, to me. It will mean that it's the end of an era for our group of friends, but he's a guy I'll always care about and stay in touch with, even if he moves to the most remote suburb fathomable, and I'd do anything for him, any time he needs it. That's the road that a quality Grenade Jumper paves for himself.

*This was a bad guy wrestler in the 1980's who played into the U.S.A.'s hatred for Iran at the time, since we were supposed to be anti-Iran, while we funded Iraq to fight them, only later to attack Iraq. Twice. Anyway, The Sheik, even had an inappropriately dubbed finishing move, of which Mr. Hogan was the first to escape from, The Camel Clutch.

**Four of us used to call ourselves The Four Horsemen. It was really just an epic sounding, glorified, Biblical, downright juvenile name for four idiots getting drunk and trying to meet girls.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Knuckles and Thoughts Equally Out of Whack

When I played basketball in high school, I was lazy as hell, but I had a really consistant jump shot. These days, I've lost the shot, so I've overcompensated by making sure that I'm always the most aggressive guy on the court.* The other night I was playing in a men's league, and although this has been my worst season in a long time, this night I was playing like a beast man. Despite the fact that I gave up some pounds and inches to the other team's big men, I owned the boards, dominated the paint, and all in all played a half of basketball that will assure me a slot among some of the finest wreck league players in Chicago's fine, long-standing, round-ball history.**

Then, only moments into the second half, I ran my finger into some dude's back, and it contorted into a funny position. I had to leave the game. Now, most people, given my situation, would have a train of thought like this:

"Shit, I have no insurance. What am I going to do?"

But, my thinking was more like this:

"Shit, I'm the only tall guy we have tonight. We're going to get killed underneath."

I tried in vain to do a Mel Gibson from Lethel Weapon 2, on a smaller, less dramatic scale, and pop it back into place, but it was not to be. We did get killed underneath, we went on to lose the game, but I learned a few things:

1. Don't ever bitch about your pinky hurting. The very word sounds pussy. Waiting way too long to have a dislocated pinky reset, and the reset itself, was one of the most painful things I've ever dealt with, but trust me, if you ever have your daintiest of digits injured, just suffer in silence.

2. For a while there I thought my left pinky would never be able to bend, which is funny, because when I do toasts or shots, I always go "pinky up," and insist that everyone else does the same. Now I would have no choice in the matter . . .

3. Vicodin is the shit! I made the "mistake" of taking my happy pills before bedtime, and wow! I was drifting in and out of consciousness, and in one dream I was in The Eagles. I don't remember playing any music, but Glenn Frey and I were getting all messed up on various substances and gallivanting around with all the groupies and floozies we could get our ax-wielding mitts upon.***

3. With all the writing I have been doing, I was worried about how this would effect my typing.**** As it turns out, my ring finger has really been a team player, instictually absorbing all of his fallen compadre's duties, while still fulfilling all of his own obligations. I started thinking, I really took my full typing capacity for granted, which in turn got me thinking: Do we not overuse the phrase "take for granted?" I mean, should I really have been thinking at some point, "Man, I'm so glad I have a fully operational pinky to hit these q's, a's, and z's!" Seriously, everyone who miraculously comes away from some kind of near death experience always says that they are no longer going to take life for granted, but yes they are. If you're sitting around being thankful for what you have, then you're not living your life, right? Also, if that person were to steer every conversation to what a great gift life is and how precious it is, then all his/her friends would start to hate his/her guts, wish he/she had died, and rightfully so.

*I really want to don a headband, so everyone knows who the overly aggressive guy is.
**There are no such annuls, and I may have slightly exaggerated the glory of my performance.
***I finally have a rock star dream and I'm in The Eagles, of all bands? Well, as nerdy as their music could be, at times, I'm sure they had as much fun as just about any other band in the 1970's.
***Email me if you're interested in checking out stuff I've been writing for online publications.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Calcutta Love

In my longest relationship, about 5 years, there were numerous problems, for which we were equally to blame, and one of them was a decline in the quality and quantity of sex. There were nights (any hope for daytime sex was long gone by this point) where I'd be begging and pleading for action. It was at this time that I'd start bartering. Let me take you back to a horny Gancer in the bedroom of that high rise, South Loop apartment, over looking the Sears Tower, only a few years ago:

Gancer: You're filling out that wife beat quite nicely tonight, doll face. How's about you and I doin' what lovers do?
Ex: So not in the mood.
Gancer: Alright, a BJ then?
Ex: Yeah, right.
Gancer: Okay, it was worth a shot. Let's say we go with a handy? You know, a root pull?
Ex: No, Gancer! Come on, I told you about the day I've had. All I want to do is-
Gancer: (Cutting her off. Wasn't listening very intently when she spoke of her day) I would settle for a TF. A quick TF, and I'll be all good. Right as rain. I'll just squirt some lotion on the old fun bags, run my thing in between those bad boys right quick, and I'll even towel you off when we're done. What do you say?
Ex: Come on, Gancer! I told you that today was-
Gancer: (Cutting her off, once again) Fine then. What would you say to a Titty Whack Off Deal (This is when I would fondle her and jerk myself off.)?
Ex: (taking off the filled out wife beat) Fine. Done.
Gancer: Woo hoo!

Is that some of the worst bartering you ever saw? You just know there's a shrewd veteran of the Calcutta market place reading this thinking, "Man, I can't believe he settled for the Titty Whack Off Deal."

I guarantee that if I brought up the Titty Whack Off Deal to The Ex she'd laugh her ass off, and just hearing her laugh, I'd smile. Sadly, that conversation more than likely won't take place, because talking to her is too hard, but I'm glad I can share the bartering story with my blog buddies, who I'm quite pleased to say, can also make me smile.

Wow. That was a corny finish to what was supposed to be one of my funny, perverted posts. Then I go and blow it by writing a Doogie Howser, M.D. send-off. Jeez!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Double Stream

Women, did you or did you not know this fact: Sometimes when men pee, usually after sex, his stream of urine splits into two streams.

Don't ask me how it came up, but some friends and I were talking about this phenomenon the other night. During that conversation, and in my limited research afterwards, what I've found is that women typically aren't privy to this little bit of penis knowledge. It's a lot like the Shrinkage episode of Seinfeld, where George and Jerry ask Elaine if she knew that penises (or is it peni?) shrink up after being in cold water, so that they could gauge whether Jerry's girlfriend would think George was simply cold or hung like a seven-year-old.

The only time I've seen the Double Stream addressed in pop culture, my only source of information, let's face it, was in Me Myself and Irene when Jim Carey's character wakes up, takes a pee, and it sprays exaggeratedly sideways. Although it's not a double stream specifically, he says something to the effect of, "Why am I peeing like I've been having sex all night," because the character had a split personality and he didn't remember his actions while his alter ego was in control of his body. So, this scene does let women in on the fact that there is a correlation between too many, if there is such a thing, rounds of sex and its effect upon the male's stream of urine.

However, I think this isn't enough to get this sort of valuable information out to the masses, and here at the Gancer, the same site that gave you insightful information on the vart (queef), I'd like to ask my readers if they think it is a worthwhile endeavor to get the definition onto Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, or both, and what should the name of the condition be called, since Double Stream is a little obvious and blah? Your thoughts?