Thursday, March 26, 2009

Does Anybody REALLY Know What Time It Is?

I heard "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" by Chicago on the radio in my bathroom this morning, and I got to thinking, as I too often do about meaningless shit, mostly about rock music, that if I were the other guy in the exchange with the songwriter on the street that day, I would have likely punched him in the bean bag.

Let's pretend I, Gancer, were to have really needed to know the time, and Guy from Rock Band Chicago said those lyrics to me verbatim. Essentially, in the narration, he says that he was walking down the street one day, and a man asked him what time was on his watch . . .

Gancer: Hey, bud. You know what time it is?
Guy from Rock Band Chicago: Does anybody really know what time it is?
Gancer: Uh, well. I suppose you do. I mean, I see your watch and all.
GRBC: Does anybody really care?
Gancer: Well, I certainly do. I have to catch the brown line downtown. So, would you mind terribly just looking down at your wrist for that time?
GRBC: If so, I can't imagine why.
Gancer: Okay, chief. I don't need this existential conversation. What. F'ing. Time. Is. It!
GRBC: We've all got time enough to cry
Gancer: I suddenly have time enough to beat someone, and how fortunate for both of us that you have time enough to cry!

How about you, Seven Readers? Do you ever picture conversations in songs as the most stupid thing you've ever heard? If you get stumped, just default to Piano Man by Billy Joel.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

High and Dry But Not Dry Where You May Think

Yeah, i'm not a loner, i'm not a fool
Don't need a reason, reason to be cool
I got my whiskey, i got my wine
I got my woman, and this time the lights are going out
(saturday night) high
(saturday night) high 'n' dry
(saturday night) i'm high
(saturday night) high 'n' dry

I was singing this song to myself as I drove over to my lady's place; the lyrics based on the items I picked up.

1. Thai food for two.

2. A romantic movie: "An Affair to Remember" starring a very pimp-like Cary Grant and an entirely unbelievable guy who seemed to be fine with his girl holding onto a crush on the aforementioned big pimpin' Mr. Grant. Seriously, he was like, "Okay, babe. Why don't you go for it? He is a looker." Then again, as stupid as it was to think someone would act that way, at least he wasn't a predictable prick like he would have been in today's movies. Consider the evil shoot-people-in-the-butt and lay-cheap-shots-on-you-during-pick-up-football boyfriend in Wedding Crashers. Or, take the take the window-seat-taking and cheat-on-you-lefty-right boyfriend in Wedding Singer. Come to think of it, both those guys were cheaters, and both were in movies with wedding in the title. I like both films, but the point is that today's movies seem to want to hit the audience over the head with who a character should end up with at the end of the thing. I like Danny Aiello's guy in Moonstruck because he's not a bad guy, just a harmless momma's boy and kind of a dork. I guess I'm looking for that kind of realism, but nobody pays me to write bad guy or even neutral boyfriends in movies, nor do they pay me to compare my life to Def Leppard lyrics. You all get that for free.

3. Twizzlers and some shitty cookie dough candy

4. A couple bottles of cheap, instant headache wine I'll never buy again that I got at Aldi. There will be a blog about Aldi very soon.

5. A bottle of Astroglide Lubricant

Now, you're probably thinking that was going to be a romantic evening, an affair to remember if you will, until number five threw a major curve ball into the mix. But, we weren't using the lube for it's namesake - this particular one doubles as a massage oil. We wanted to go with the stuff that warms up to make up for my lack of massage ability, despite being Swedish. Then again, if I got some good music and I'm in love, like I am with her, I'm not all that bad.

And you may be asking the reason I made you read those awful Def Leppard lyrics if you're still reading after all those tangents? I was singing:

"I got my lube. I got my wine. I got my woman . . ."

I ask you, Seven Readers, what else do you need?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You THINK You Pissed Yourself?

I don't know about your town, but the Saturday of St. Patrick's Day weekend is just about the drunkest day of the year in Chicago. Many spend their entire morning and afternoon completely pickling themselves with alcohol, but I spent most of Saturday afternoon lying around doing absolutely nothing with my girlfriend. It was a wonderful, totally mindless afternoon, right down to watching Norbit. Don't judge me.

Anyway, when we finally emerged from her apartment, there was still some daylight left, and it was around 6:00 PM. We saw a guy who looked to be in his mid twenties, disoriented, wearing a predictably green shirt and having way too much trouble walking and texting as he made his way down the middle of the street. Something about this guy being alone, quiet, and it being still light out, made me wonder what was wrong with him without even thinking that it was simply drunkenness. Gancey Girlfriend had no trouble diagnosing him: "That guy is three sheets to the wind,*" she said, as we walked towards my apartment to begin some boozing of our own. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not saying what I often do when I see a guy like that - He's everything I want to be.

That guy was lit up like a Christmas tree, but he wasn't the drunkest guy I saw that weekend. The absolute drunkest was someone I only saw in a picture.

I knew things would be ugly for a friend of mine from said picture when he told me that he was so intent on getting schlitzed that he got a hold of a bag of Dihydrogen Hexachloroiridate, more commonly known as an IV, and a needle to shoot himself up to rehydrate the next day. Things were even uglier than I could have possibly imagined. Today, on the Sunday of St. Patrick's Day weekend, the most hungover day in Chicago, without saying anything else at all to me, he announced, in a gruff, painful sounding voice that he often has after a night with lots of loud mouth soup, talking loud and drawing a crowd, "I pissed myself." He then clarified, "Well, at least I think I did."

That's a strange statement, right? Either you pissed yourself or you didn't. Well, he then explained that he and a friend were looking over the pictures from the night prior over breakfast, when he came across a full body shot of himself, the one he would show me, with a wet spot starting at his crotch and going all the way down his right leg, almost to his ankle. It's possible someone spilled on him, but not likely that it would have that precise of a location and pattern. I'm pretty sure, as is he and anyone in that bar clinging to any of their sobriety, that he, in fact, pissed his pants.

What's most impressive about this is that he also showed me two numbers that he got post peeing his pants. Those gals were either too drunk to notice (good thing), they gave him bogus numbers (probably the case), or they are into guys who piss their pants (not likely but interesting).

I told him that perhaps a guy taking a whiz right then and there could be seen as a form of flattery. Consider him saying:

"I just felt our conversation was so engrossing that I couldn't dream of interrupting such a beautiful exchange with something as mundane as a trip to the bathroom."

Well, Seven Readers, you know there are no limits to the stupidity we can explore on this rag over the last four years, so why don't you tell us an incontinence story?

* I was always curious about this phrase so I looked it up. I found this on, and I'm using it with no permission at all.

"Don't be taken aback to hear that sheets aren't sails, as landlubbers might expect, but ropes (or occasionally, chains). These are fixed to the lower corners of sails, to hold them in place. If three sheets are loose and blowing about in the wind then the sails will flap and the boat will lurch about like a drunken sailor."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Slangin' Latte

I saw an advertisement for free lattes on Mondays at McDonalds, and I thought I'd try one out today. It was real small, stopping made me three minutes late for work, but it was damn good.

I got to thinking that this is not unlike when a drug dealer gives a new customer some free "shit" to get him hooked. Think about it. I'm a caffeine addict - pretty much like a junkie. I'm not going to go to Starbucks to get my "shit" if I can get it just as good and cheaper from Mack (McDonalds), right? When I go to Mack, I'm not going to buy his shwag stuff (regular old coffee); I'm going to want that bomb stuff (muthafuckin' latte) that he gave me last Monday for free. The one I've been telling all my homies (coworkers) about. As my tolerance grows, I may even have to buy a twenty sack (a medium, maybe even a large latte).

Mack's got me by the short and curlies, Seven Readers. Pretty soon the promotion will run its course, and I'll be paying for it, maybe even whoring for it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rockstar Struck

I just interviewed Jason Lytle from the rock band Grandaddy over email, and I was nervous. Again, over email, and I was nervous.

I have always been in awe of rock stars, and even before I knew I liked rock music, I still wanted to know everything about the rock. When I was seven, in my spare time, which was most of my time, I wanted to spend it with G.I. Joe, but an unavoidable seed was planted by guys with guitars, not little plastic guns. I wasn't even sure I liked the Rolling Stones yet, but I intently listened to my dad tell about the time they hired the Hell's Angels biker gang for security and someone got stabbed. Cool! I didn't necessarily know that I wanted MTV or cable (I was the last on my block to get both), but whenever I was at a friend's place, that's all I wanted to watch. I'd watch Sting knock over that tall maze of candles in the "Wrapped Around Your Finger," video and I was transfixed.

In high school and especially college, I started to become a student of rock. Everything I heard about it went into my brain where it would stay forever, pushing out the ever shrinking space for more pertinent information. I studied liner notes to learn every member of Anthrax, just in case it would ever win me any money on a game show. So far it's only made me kick ass at the name game when I'm drinking, but I'm confident knowing the correct spelling of Joey Belladona will pay off some day, some way.

I have little daydreams where I meet rock stars. You would think, since they are fantasies, after all, that in these day dreams I'd end up doing mounds of cocaine, chasing groupies, and running away from the cops with these rockers until dawn. Actually, I just walk up to, let's say Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd, and I say, "Your music has been so very important to me, and I thank you." That's it. Even in my fantasies, I can't allow myself to be anything but humble, brief, polite, and unobtrusive in the presence of my rock heroes.

This is the way I was in my interview with Jason. I was humble and in awe, despite the fact that it was flipping email. I eagerly contacted all my friends with discerning taste in music to let them know that it was going to happen and that I was getting an early leak of the album from his publicist. I was stoked!

I'm not getting paid for any of this, but it's still very exciting for me. In my rock journalist fantasies I typically allow myself to get paid, and usually I have a high rise condominium with a minimalist modern vibe and lots of black leather, but for now I'm happy doing it just for the excitement of the whole thing from my shitty apartment with four too many roommates.