Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time Off

I'm headed to San Francisco for 5 days to meet my lady's parents, go to a wedding, go to Sonoma to drink wine, and see Alcatraz so Vicky (Phil Hartman) can show me around.

I'm taking some time off from the blog for a while. Be good, everyone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gnomes and Legos

At last, here is the story about the wedding I went to a couple of weeks ago.

At our table were:
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: Yours Truly
Law School Dropout (LSD): Dr. K's main squeeze
Gung Ho: Friend of Dr. K.
Gelfling: Gung Ho's ladyfriend
Monique: Another friend of Dr. K.

The wedding went fine, but it was the events afterwards where things got nutty. We went back to Gung Ho's hotel room and stumbled right into a Lego convention. There were rooms upon rooms of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars battle scenes with literally hundreds of soldiers on each side. There was even a life sized Harry Potter, as pictured below along with The Good Doctor. I thought he'd be taller in person - maybe with his witch hat, or whatever.

I got one of the best calls of my life when Gung Ho rang me to tell me that he found a whole room full of Star Wars stuff. At the time, LSD and I were getting a private tour by a nice hunchbacked fellow. I made sure he knew his stuff by asking him the name of Boba Fett's ship, and he responded by saying that it was, of course, Slave One, but he also knew the class and distributor, something he would have had to have read in super-nerdy books. His credentials checked out. When telling us about things in the industry, I learned that guys who make their own big Lego projects call themselves "builders," which sounds way better than grown men who play with Legos.

The night only got weirder when a nice guy working for the hotel shuttled us to a dive bar down the street. As you can see in the pictures, the place looked like the basement in "That 70's Show," there was that picture of a naked woman, and there was a big gnome that we had a little too much fun playing with. The pic above is my favorite because Gelfling is acting loving towards him, but Gung Ho is giving him a stern talking-to. Differing gnome parenting styles perhaps . . .

I got another wedding coming up this weekend in Cali with LSD, as well as checking out San Francisco for the first time, and going to Sonoma to sip wine. Anyone else been to a good wedding lately or have gnome or Lego stories?

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I Learned Today About Dolphins

1. They run in groups with other dolphins, like dolphin gangs, getting in rumbles with other groups.

2. As you probably have heard, they are the only other species that have sex for pleasure. They showed a couple doing it while they swam, kind of like road head.

3. They appear to also be the only other species that has best buddies. Males often have an alliance with another male who they hang out with exclusively for up to 12 years.

4. They engage in complex dating games with a deep network of communication in an attempt to cock block one another.

5. They can pull some real dick moves like bumping a dolphin calf down over-and-over so he can't get air. They do this to make the female DTF (Down To F) again. That's "cold blooooooooded!" If I'm that female, I'm not getting it on with the dudes who killed my kid, but who am I too judge 'dem dolphin bitches . . .

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Gancey Updates

1. I'm on summer vacation once again, starting today. I spent the whole day at the doctor, but the good news is that it looks like I won't have to bow out of the marathon if I stick to my rehabilitation.

2. Sorry about the huge gap between updates, but I promise to be better about writing now that the summer is here.

3. Have you ever noticed that in the soul classic, "Baby Come Back" by Player, he says "you can blame it all on me?" It seems to me that if he really did believe it was his fault, he would simply say that it was his fault. To say that she could blame it on him, sounds as if he's just allowing her to believe such a thing, but he doesn't believe it to be true. No? Also, I thought these fellas were Black.

4. My buddy's mom is doing better, at home now, but it's still not looking good. Then my other good buddy's mom died out of nowhere.

5. I'm going on a booze cruise this weekend with my four roommates, one of which has a boat. What better way to spend the first weekend of summer vacation, right?

6. Things are still going great with Law School Dropout, but yes, she's going far, far away in the fall for graduate school. : (

7. Did I provide a link yet for the Truckfighters article/interview that I did? Either way, here it is. You need to go see these guys live because they rock the asshole from here to Oslo.

8. I'm reading a tremendous book called "A Visit From the Goon Squad" that my mom sent to me in the mail just because she thought I'd like it - and I do. This lady is suddenly my favorite female author of all time. Thanks, mom!

9. I have a lot of funny stories to tell about the wedding I went to last weekend and there are gnomes and Leggos involved, so stay tuned for that.

10. Another good recommendation for you is the last record/vinyl I bought: Son Seals "Live and Burning." He's a Chicago blues guy who plays and sings just about as well as anyone.

That's all I got for now, Seven Readers. What's new with you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back on the Rickshaw Again

I'm riding the rickshaw once again this summer around Wrigley Field and other Chicago locations as my summer job. Some of you may recall that last summer I had some interesting stories (see Tales from the Rickshaw posts).

Let's see what happened today . . .

1. A guy showed me his ID, and his name was actually Rick Shaw.

2. I learned three things that I need to buy tomorrow: another bike lock, an allen wrench set, and a hand pump.

3. The damn firehouse guys are stingy with turning the water on, so I was wicked dehydrated out there. Luckily a friend who lives in the area stopped watching the "Bachelorette" long enough to throw me down a Power Aid.

4. One of my closest friends' mom has really bad cancer and might not have much time left. I feel like an ass because he's been going through it for a while and hasn't told anyone, and here I am jabbering on about useless crap like I do on this blog - and worse. That has nothing to do with rickshawing, but it's been on my mind a lot lately. What can I do for him, Seven Readers?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Fat Boys

We were drinking tonight at a Meat on a Stick Party out in the suburbs, and I can't tell you why, but we were wondering how many of The Fat Boys are dead. Turns out, The Human Beatbox is dead, but the other two are still alive and kicking and gearing up for another tour.

What's weird is that when Heteroxexual Life Partner was looking it up on his phone, the first thing that came up on the search was something about how many of the Fat Boys are dead, and this means that there were a group of idiots looking up the same stupid, worthless bit of information in recent history.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I Hate Small Talk. So, I Do This Sort of Thing

(Dr. Ken bumps into an old "friend" at the bar)

Other Guy: Dr. Ken! It's been a while! What have you been up to?

Dr. Ken: You know. S.O.S. You?

OG: (Talks for way too long about himself. And then . . .) Are you still writing?

DK: Not really. Kabuki Theater has been my new passion, and that takes up the majority of my time, to be honest.

OG: That's so awesome! Wait, what is that again?

DK: Oh, well, you know, a group of us guys paint ourselves white and perform. All the women parts too, which is usually what I get stuck with, being the new guy and all. Okay, I had better get back to my friends, but great seeing you.

OG: Hold on just a minute. When is the next performance?

DK: Oh, we're sort of in between theaters right now so it's a little up in the air, but we're fixin' to keep the Kabuki going. Kabuki or die is what we say in the industry. We're down for life. I mean, it is quite a commitment, especially since the traditional white paint we use doesn't wear off until the middle of the next week of our day jobs, so we kind of look like splotchy albinos until at least Wednesday. But, we suffer for our art. For our Kabuki.

OG: Wow! You've always been . . . different. You got a Facebook or a Myspace for your theater group?

DK: No way, man. Kabuki has always been sort of underground, and that's the way we like it. We don't tell a soul until 20 minutes before the show, at which time we run out onto the streets in full makeup and swords and round up folks, usually tourists. Scared ones. It's more organic that way.

OG: Yeah. I think I read about that in The Reader.

DK: I wouldn't doubt it. The Kabuki scene is getting a lot of press, which to me is no good. But, so be it. If it gets too commercial, we just take it deeper into the underground. Maybe cut off each others fingers to show we're true artists.

OG: That is keeping it real.

DK: No. That's keeping it Kabuki. You be good, man.

(Dr. Ken merges into the crowd, disappearing, leaving Other Guy to his phone, frantically trying in vain to look up information on the Chicago Kabuki Theater scene. Must be too underground to find . . .)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Stoner Steve Brownie Story

I know this guy Stoner Steve, and I rarely see him because he's a friend of a friend and he lives on the south side. He is a UPS delivery guy who loves the mommies on his route, he's the type of guy who brings his own beer cozy to the bar, and he's usually drunk and stoned when I see him, which isn't surprising being that his name is Stoner Steve.

Almost every time I see him, I make him tell The Brownie Story, but for some reason this time I did not. Maybe it's because I was too busy laughing at him being awesome, like when he bought a case of beer, lifted it over his head, and dropped it so that when we pulled up in the cab, we saw him on all fours gathering up fallen beers (only breaking one! But we had to tap them all like crazy). He's a happy drunk, never an angry or irritable one, and I like those types.

The Brownie Story goes about like this:

Back when Stoner Steve was in high school, he had some friends over when his mom was out of town, and they made some pot brownies. When they were on the back porch waiting for them to cool, his mom's boyfriend came over, saw there were brownies and ate a shit load of them. Nice guy, right? What's funny is that Stoner Steve said there's no way they would taste good because there were stems and seeds everywhere. Nonetheless, the mom's boyfriend had no idea he had eaten pot brownies, and he thought he was having a heart attack. The doctors told him that he had marijuana in his system, and I imagine Stoner Steve was in some big trouble.

I think when I ask him to tell that story, he says that the boyfriend was a bit of an asshole, or maybe he was just nice but stupid. Either way, terrific story . . .

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Curb in the Sky

This is a story by James Thurber published in The New Yorker in 1931. It's about a pain-in-the-ass lady who finishes people's sentences and corrects people's stories. This is very funny and good writing, people. Thurber was way ahead of his time in terms of writing humorous stories so long ago that still make you laugh out loud. Hope you enjoy:

The Curb in the Sky

When Charlie Deshler announced that he was going to marry Dorothy, someone said he would lose his mind posthaste. “No,” said a wit who knew them both, “post hoc.” Dorothy had begun, when quite young, to finish sentences for people. Sometimes she finished them wrongly, which annoyed the person who was speaking, and sometimes she finished them correctly, which annoyed the speaker even more.

“When William Howard Taft was--” some guest in Dorothy’s family home would begin. “President!” Dorothy would pipe up. The speaker may have meant to say “President” or he might have meant to say “Young” or “Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.” In any case, he would shortly put on his hat and go home. Like most parents, Dorothy’s parents did not seem to be conscious that her mannerism was a nuisance. Very likely they thought that it was cute, or even bright. It is even probable that when Dorothy’s mother first said, “Come, Dorothy, eat your –“ and Dorothy said, “Spinach, dear,” the former telephones Dorothy’s father at the office and told him about it, and he told everybody he met that day about it – and the next day and the day after.

When Dorothy grew up she became quite pretty and so even more of a menace. Gentlemen became attracted to her and then attached to her. Emotionally she stirred them, but mentally she soon began to wear them down. Even in her late teens she began correcting their English. “Not ‘was’ Arthur,” she would say, “’were.’ ‘Were prepared.’ See?” Most of her admirers tolerated this habit because of their interest in her lovely person, but as time went on and her interest in them remained more instructive than sentimental, they slowly drifted away to less captious, if dumber, girls.

Charlie Deshler, however, was an impetuous man, of the sweep-them-off-their-feet persuasion, and he became engaged to Dorothy so quickly and married her in so short a time that, being deaf to the warnings of his friends, whose concern he regarded as mere jealously, he really didn’t know anything about Dorothy except that she was pretty and bright-eyed and (to him) desirable.

Dorothy as a wife came, of course, into her great flowering: she took to correcting Charlie’s stories. He had traveled widely and experienced greatly and was a truly excellent raconteur. Dorothy was, during their courtship, genuinely interested in him and his stories, and since she had never shared any of the adventures he told about, she could not know when he made mistakes in time or in place or in identities. Beyond suggesting a change here and there in the number of a verb, she more or less let him alone. Charlie spoke rather good English, anyway – he knew when to say “were” and when to say “was” after “if” – and this was another reason he didn’t find Dorothy out.

I didn’t call on them for quite a while after they were married, because I liked Charlie and I knew I would feel low if I saw him coming out of the anesthetic of her charms and beginning to feel the first pains of reality. When I did finally call, conditions were, of course, all that I had feared. Charlie began to tell, at dinner, about a motor trip the two had made to this town and that – I never found out for sure what towns, because Dorothy denied almost everything Charlie said. “The next day,” he would say, “we got an early start and drove two hundred miles to Fairview – “ “Well, “ Dorothy would say, “I wouldn’t call it early. It wasn’t as early as the first day we set out, when we got up at about seven. And we drove a hundred and eighty miles because I remember looking at that mileage thing when we started.”

“Anyway, when we got to Fairview –“ Charlie would go on. But Dorothy would stop him. “Was it Fairview that day, darling?” she would ask. Dorothy often interrupted Charlie by asking him if he were right, instead of telling him that he was wrong, but it amounted to the same thing, for he would reply, “Yes, I’m sure it was Fairview,” she would say: “But it wasn’t, darling,” and then go on with the story herself. (She called everybody that she differed from darling.)

Once or twice, when I called on them or they called on me, Dorothy would let Charlie get almost to the climax of some interesting account of a happening and then, like a tackler from behind, just throw him as he was about to cross the goal line. There is nothing in life more shocking to the nerves and to the mind than this. Some husbands will sit back amiably – almost as it seems, proudly – when their wives interrupt, and let them go on with the story, but these are beaten husbands. Charlie did not become beaten. At the end of the second year of their marriage, when you visited the Deshlers, Charlie would begin some outlandish story about a dream he had had, knowing that Dorothy could not correct him on his own dreams. They became the only life that he had that was his own.

“I thought I was running an airplane,” he would say, “made out of telephone wires and pieces of old leather. I was trying to make it fly to the moon, taking off from my bedroom. About halfway up to the moon, however, a man who looked like Santa Claus, only he was dressed in the uniform of a customs officer, waved at me to stop – he was in a plan made of telephone wires too. So I pulled over to a cloud. “’Here,’ he said to me, ‘you can’t go to the moon, if you are the man who invented these wedding cookies.’ Then he showed me a cookie in the shape of a man and woman being married, made of dough and fastened firmly to a round, crisp cookie base.” So he would go on.

Any psychiatrist will tell you that at the end of the way Charlie was going lies madness in the form of monomania. You can’t live in a fantastic dream world, night in and night out and then day in and day out, and remain sane. The substance began to die slowly out of Charlie’s life, and he began to live entirely in shadow. And since monomania of this sort is likely to lead in the end to the reiteration of one particular story, Charlie’s invention began to grow thin and he eventually took to telling, over and over again, the first dream he had ever described – the story of his curious flight toward the moon in an airplane made of telephone wires. It was extremely painful. It saddened us all.

After a month or two, Charlie finally had to be sent to an asylum. I went out of town when they took him away, but Joe Fultz, who went with him, wrote me about it. “He seemed to like it up here right away,” Joe wrote. “He’s calmer and his eyes look better/” (Charlie had developed a wild, hunted look). "Of course," concluded Joe, “he’s finally got away from that woman."

It was a couple of weeks later that I drove up to the asylum to see Charlie. He was lying on a cot on a big screened in porch, looking wan and thin. Dorothy was sitting on a chair beside his bed, bright-eyed and eager. I was somehow surprised to see her there, having figured that Charlie had, at least, won sanctuary from his wife. He looked quite mad. He began at once to tell me the story of his trip to the moon. He got to the part where the man who looked like Santa Clause waved at him to stop. “He was in a plane made of telephone wires too,” said Charlie. “So I pulled over to the curb – “

“No. You pulled over to a cloud,” said Dorothy. “There aren’t any curbs in the sky. There couldn’t be. You pulled over to a cloud.”

Charlie sighed and turned slightly in his bed and looked at me. Dorothy looked to me too with her pretty smile.

“He always gets that story wrong,” she said.