Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wanna Go Camping?

I was going to do a post about things that I wish I'd accomplished by this point of the summer, but I got hung up on one thing I've yet to take care of this seson; I'm yet to make it out for a camping trip. I love camping, but maybe my idea of camping doesn't jive with yours. Here are some bullet points to illustrate what I like about getting at one with the great outdoors.

- I like to drink loads of bad/old man beer like Old Style or Miller High Life. If there's some pot involved, great, but it's not necessary.

- I like to sit around a fire and bullshit about life, love, the universe, God, baseball, rock music, or whatever else. There's something about a fire in between a small group of people that makes a discussion become suddenly more important and enlightening. That's a fact, and it has been that way for thousands of years; we've just lost sight of that, somehow.*

- If you're a city dweller like me, stars a big selling point to camping, since all of the city's lights drown out the celestial bodies in urban areas. It's especially nice when you have a campsite encircled by trees, perfectly framing the stars.**

- I like zipping myself into a tent for some drunken tent sex, preferably not by myself.

- I like foraging and exploring for random things, be it sticks to throw into the fire, sticks to roast marshmallows, or even just a walking stick. All right, fine, I guess I just dig on sticks.

- I like to cook things in the fire, from hot dogs on sticks, to tin foil packages full of beans, to English muffin pizzas. No grills are allowed when you camp with Gancey, and things eaten without use of the fire are to be used sparingly.

- I like little adventures when I camp, like stealing a farmer's corn, running my car into a ditch, barfing on a fuse box, drinking Pick N' Save vodka during a monsoon, swallowing a bee with my Old Style, and asking someone coming out of a titty bar how to get onto the highway.**

- I like not showering for the duration of the trip. I typically am only gone for a weekend, so it's not too foul, just long enough for my blond hair to get dirty, sticky blond.

- I like peeing out a campfire, but only on rare occasions because it really, really stinks.

So, how does all that sound? Does this sound like your idea of a good camping trip? What did I leave out?


*I don't, however, want to camp with these trendy, computerized lame-o's.

**Bonus points to you if California Stars by Chicago's own Wilco is playing on my blog's music player as you're reading this, since that would be a one in seventy chance.

***All of these things happened to myself and others during my camping trip experiences.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Late December Back in '63 (93)"

I saw The Jersey Boys the other night. For those of you who don't know, it's a musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and it was incredible.

Here's something I didn't know until I saw this thing: "December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)" is about the songwriter getting laid for the first time. I was suddently reminded that the song was our prom theme in high school. Now, getting laid and proms were not "themes" for Dr. Kenneth in high school, but I'm sure it was for some. What I don't get is how the adults approving this, having grown up closer to the time of the song coming out, let this devirginizing* song to get through.

How about you guys? What was the theme to your prom? Did you go? How awesome is that song, with or without the knowledge of its lyrical content? Anyone remember a song associated with their devirginization?**


*Not a word

**Still not a word

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gancey Life Lessons to Make Your Life a Little Gancier

Here's some things I learned over the past couple of weeks:

1. I've been taking pictures of tourists for 9 straight days, and I learned this: Asian Indian men love them some striped shirts. It's really an incredible phenomenon, but I can't believe it took me this long to notice it, given that my workplace is saturated with Asian Indian fellas donning the darned things.

2. I went to a shit-hole karaoke bar the other night, and I learned some things there too.
A) My buddy does a VERY funny version of Strokin' by Clarence Carter.

B) When the staff member manning the karaoke machine is piss drunk, it leads to some karaoke catastrophes.
C) When a guy wants to sing "Africa" by Toto and "Manic Monday" by the Bangles comes on instead (see point B), it is not nice to say, "Sing it anyway, pussy!"*
D) It's always good to have your cell around to take down a memo when something you think is real funny is going down, like a drunken Hispanic guy making an ass of himself. Here's what my phone memo said, and I'll break down what I meant by each thing, since it took me a while to piece together just what in the hell I meant:

"Honey bunny for hard for the money" - This is roughly what he was singing after taking the microphone away from whoever was supposed to be singing "She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer. It was his own little breakdown during an instrumental part, and it kicked ass if you ask me.

"On mic, clear he didn't speak English." - He did have a thick accent, and based on his "honey bunny" line, I really don't think he spoke a lick of English.

"Kak shorts, sneakers, and striped polo." - That is what he was wearing, the shorts were real short, and the socks and sneakers made it look real nerdy.

"Hiked up shorts and did Flashdance." He did jack up his shorts and do the Jennifer Beals/Chris Farley, Maniac run in place.

D) Guys like that are what karaoke is all about. People who sing fairly well and take themselves seriously are actually a bigger embarrassment than the Mexican Michael Sambello.

3) Here's something I learned about women: When you want to say something romantic to your girlfriend, even if the two of you watched Wonderland the night before, don't text her this:
"I love you more than John Holmes loved tooting up countless rails of cocaine and beating a guy to death with a led pipe."

*I yelled it, I didn't even know the guy, and I wasn't even drunk. Not yet, anyway.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I went to the suburbs yesterday to visit my parents because my dad wasn't feeling well. While my mom took him to the doctor, the dog and I jumped in the car and made a Dairy Queen run so they would have a nice treat waiting for them upon their return. It was a very suburban moment but loads of fun, and I remember that Tender by Blur* was providing the perfect accompaniment. While waiting for my blizzards and trying to tune out the obnoxious kids (one was saying the Cubs suck and the other said "so does your mom"), I was thinking about who I might run into. The sad thing is that the only people I'd likely see would be a friend's parents, since most of my friends had long since moved away. As I further waited for my bits of Oreo to properly grind up, it occurred to me that lots of the families had moved away too. I didn't know squat about this town! I'm surprised the DQ was still where I left it.

My dad did bump into one buddy's mom who still lives on the same street - our street. It's weird cause he lived on the same street as me, had the same first name, the same initials, was always tall with blond hair like me, and our poor teachers were always mixing us up. Then, as my dad is talking with his mom, she reveals that his first son has the exact same name as my nephew (which may or may not be Brendan Kenneth), who's middle name is named after me.

Kind of bazaar, but it wasn't that little coincidence that was on my mind that afternoon. I got to thinking about hanging out at his house when we were kids. His mom was a real sweet lady with one of those soft soothing voices, and she used to come into our school to sing folk songs with her guitar. The only song I can remember was "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," because I used to picture some mammoth guy clutching the earth like a Wilson basketball. I know now that the song is likely talking about God having the world at his disposal, but being raised atheist, it didn't occur to me that the song meant anything deeper than some enormous dude spinning the world on his finger like a Globetrotter.

Dad seemed like a great guy when you were a kid. I remember my buddy and I would draw these robots with upside-down triangle bodies**, and dad would eat onions raw like apples and fart. One probably enhanced the other, I suppose. I can even remember two key phrases he'd say when ripping ass:

The Dad: Did you see that lightning?
Son: No, there's no lightning.
Dad: Are you sure, cause I think I hear some thunder (that's when he'd start in with the onion farts)

He'd sing, "Lights out. Uh-huh. Blast, blast, blast**" (And he'd fart on all three blasts. That still impresses me.)

As a kid he seemed like a great guy. He likes farts, and so did I! He was also unreal at Space Invaders on Atari. I always just tried to stay alive, blasting those critters as the crept closer and closer to my canon, as they moved faster and faster, especially those guys a few rows up who did progressively more intense jumping jacks. Friend's Dad would remain calm, handling his business with the aliens, and never missing a chance to blast that mother ship that would float by at the top of the screen, racking up Boo Koo points.

Now I realize that raw onion consumption, flatulence, and alien blasting does not make for a good father. My dad was one of those guys who figured out an unbeatable pattern on Pac-Man, but he still managed to be a great dad. He still is, and he's perhaps an even better grandfather. It turns out this guy's dad drank quite a bit and left the family, probably for another woman. I think he was living in Michigan for a while. I remember my buddy saying he went to visit him, and he nearly killed he and his sister in a car because he was so lit.

I guess my point to this goofy post is that I wish I could see things through a kid's eyes, and just enjoy people without my preconceived judgment, cynicism, and skepticism. It just seems like even the couples who seem happy eventually break up. Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora calling it quits was a crushing blow to my sense of hope.

Okay, Seven Readers, somebody break me of this lack of faith. Tell me about a happy marriage you know of - one that's so happy that just being around them for five minutes is enough to make you sick to your stomach.


*The only thing that makes the song not perfect for that day was that he's singing about the night, but listening to it now, I realize that it's actually the perfect song for this post. Either way, you'll have to pause my music player on the right before playing the videos.

**Where is Mysterygirl when I need someone to draw one of these robots for me?

***The fact that this video says 1990 on it really threw me off, but then I found that it's actually from 1984. Yes, I'm old. Does anyone remember this song? Anyone else fart to it?

****There is no fourth set of asterisks, so don't look for it, especially you, Chud, but I just wanted to take this time to say that I'm going to work on sectioning off all in depth music stuff into the asterisks. That way my posts won't get too music-ish. If people want overly music-ish stuff, then they can read the asterisks part. I'll try, but I know there's no avoiding letting music seep into the meat of my blogs.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Holey Underwear, Batman! OR For Sale: Secondhand Underwear, So-So Condition, Only One Previous Owner

Do you ever get real lazy about doing your laundry and start dipping into the deep, deep reserves of scrub underwear? I'm talking scrubs off the nether regions of the bench that never get any playing time, not unlike mid 1990's Chicago Bull Ed Nealy*, affectionately known as "The Lunch Box." That's right, Ed. I'm likening you to my crappiest of undergarments.

This week I had already used up all the gym shorts I go to for makeshift boxers, and I was down to the . . . final . . . pair. They are a pair of white boxer briefs, bordering on tighty-whities, with so many holes that it looks as if someone dropped an M80 firecracker into them, which I hope never happens to anyone, especially if they are in said undies at the time. There is one especially gaping hole in the undercarriage, allowing my, well, undercarriage, to dip right out of those bad boys. That's right. Zero support, not at all functional, but so very, very lucky. I'd never want to get lucky in them. That's a task for my designer drawers, the Scottie Pippens of the world. Then again, you always get laid when you least suspect it, so odds are I would get some the night I'm wearing my Ed Nealy's.

During an uncomfortable train ride in my holiest of drawers, I was reminded that somewhere along the line I picked up the notion that the holey undies are one's lucky undies. Why? Is it possible that this concept was born out of the Great Depression as a means to make people feel better about not being able to afford proper under garments, kind of like when you tell a bride it's good luck to have rain on your wedding day, just to keep her from having a conniption and punching a maitre d'? Probably not, but when I say "born out of the great depression" I feel like I'm putting my history degree to good use, which helps me sleep at night.

How about you, seven readers? Do you have lucky underwear or underwear of any significance? I guess what I'm saying is, "All right, people I hardly know. Tell me something special about your undies!"


*I couldn't find anything on the internet to verify that he ever had that nick name, but trust me, it was his nick name, at least on my block. I did, however, see that on the night Jordan scored 69 points, he called his mom to tell her that he and Mike combined for 72 points that night (2.7 was his average, so he kind of went off that night. Must have had his lucky undies on). Also, I could only find one picture of him on the web, and it was protected. I'm just trying to give the man his props, compare him to my whitey-tighties, and post it on the web. Where's the harm in that?