Saturday, December 29, 2007

just in time for the end of the year

George W. Bush covers R.E.M.'s It's The End of the World As We Know It in an excellent ADD music video mash-up. Somebody stick this puppy in the '07 time capsule.


And a mellow-personal take on the end of the world from Skeeter Davis:


Followed by an irreverent, hi-larious end of the world.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I know what you're thinking

I can read your mind. Quid pro quo, mon ami: You get to read my thoughts on this blog, I get to read your thoughts. I ain't givin' free pony rides.

Pick a card, any card.


Choose one, quickly or slowly.

Think about it or don't.

Please forgive the glare. The one on the cards, not the one I'm giving you.

Go. Pick. Do it.

Got your card?

Keep thinking about it. I'll get back to it. Promise.

I don't have much by way of end-of-year wrap up. I didn't see enough in 2007 to pick the "Best Of" anything. It's all subjective and I'm sure I totally agree with your "Best Of 2007" list anyway. I don't have New Year's resolutions. I'm not going to diet or drink less. I was going to start smoking, but Illinois caught up to everybody else and the state-wide smoking ban starts January 1. I snoozed and losed on that one. I bet some people have opinions on how I could improve in '08, like I could "probably be nicer", but those people can shove it.

No pat resolutions for the new year. I've been working on my focus the past couple months that'll just have to stretch into 2008. It's not that I don't have time when I say "I don't have time" to do the things I need to do. Well -- no -- sometimes I mean that. But more often, it's a matter of focus in the hours I do have. That, and I need to learn how to write on the train. And while walking. And in the shower.

2007 was a good, awkward, mediocre, exciting, heartbreaking, fun, bizarre year. A year of highs, lows, and outright face-flops. Maybe I learned a couple things that I'm going to keep to myself. I can only speculate that 2008 will be filled with awesome and horrible stuff, but that's a fair prediction for any year.

Some of you found my blog this year. Thanks for reading and hanging out and not being too disappointed if I'm not talking about theatre which is, like, not very much. Again, apologies for those who found me Google-searching for pictures of "chainsaw accidents." I still haven't posted any of those pictures. The internet failed you as it fails so many.

Remember your card? I removed it from the group.

Jigga-what!?

It's not that I knew which card you picked. It's that I knew which card to take away.

The moral of this card trick is: card tricks are annoying. The other moral is: focus, focus, focus on all the cards, even the ones not picked, 'cause some sneaky bastard might just take them all away and then be vague about what just happened.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

oh, the Humana-ty!

I'm probably the last person to post the line-up for the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Get a face-full here: http://www.actorstheatre.org/humana.htm

I mentioned before that I'm contributing to the acting apprentice show Game On which runs 4 performances during the two professionals weekends of the Festival (March 21, 23, 28, and 30). I wrote a couple short pieces -- one about baseball, one about horse-racing -- that'll be stitched together with pieces by the other writers. My little plays are blog-sized, but the small print of my contract says I'll be fitted with cement boots and lodged at the bottom of the Ohio River if I post them in advance.

I haven't yet read/heard the other pieces. I head back to Loo-vull at the end of January for the first day(s) of rehearsal with the other writers and acting company.

Friday, December 21, 2007

not-so-atomic bomberman

Around 3pm on Wednesday, the fire alarm strobe went off in my office building -- no auditory alert, just something to get me to pull my earphones out of my head. It was followed by a public address announcement to stay away from the windows on the west side of the building. I sit right next to a west-side window on the 23rd floor. They did not explain why we should stay away from the windows so, of course, everybody goes to the West side windows to look outside because it is probably really awesome. Freak storm? Tornado? A face full of shattered glass? Am I going to die at my temp job? How lame.

One of my co-workers speculated it could be a jumper and we shouldn't look out the west side to see A) a plummeting body, or B) a splatted body at the business end of a plummet. So everybody goes to the windows to look again. There were cop cars and firetrucks outside the building.

The non-chalant P.A.man made another announcement that we were to stay on our floors and not come down to the lobby. Still no explanation and there wasn't any breaking news on the internet or TV.

Gossip trickled in. Something about a bomb. More theories. The only thing that made sense was the Brazilian consulate a few floors down was getting a bomb threat.

I realized I had no idea where the stairs were. That might be a good thing to find out.

Then the P.A. man gave an all-clear and it was back to work. There was a bomb threat in our building and you can read about it here in the Chicago Tribune, and this is the best part: check out the mug shot of the guy they arrested.

OMG hi i'm gonna woo the ladies with my mullet and blowds up ur buildinz with mah grin!!!

This guy must have escaped from a Jerry Springer Show taping. Anarchy in Chicago has never looked so trailer trash.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

screenplays

Juno is indeed good and funny.

I wondered if I could find the screenplay somewhere online and, indeed, I did: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/awards/scripts/juno.pdf

Screenplay junkies can find recent Fox Searchlight movies (The Darjeeling Limited, The Namesake, Once, The Savages, Waitress) here: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/awards/

Somebody please break my radio so I stop listening to the 24/7 Xmas tunes on The Lite 93.9.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

movies, life, etc

I've been impatient with the last couple of movies I've Netflixed.

I turned off Bull Durham because life is too short to watch Kevin Costner act.

I quit on Superbad about an hour in because I get bored with the Seth Rogen school of humor.

I'm impatient knowing Disc 2 of Friday Night Lights (tv series) is on the way and Scott saying I can borrow his copy of The Wire: Season 4 when he finishes the bonus features.

Planning to see Juno this weekend, looking forward to Sweeney Todd and No Country for Old Men, eventually. I'm super-looking-forward-to Martin McDonagh's feature debut In Bruges and OH BOY here's a link to the trailer.

These weeks, the usual grind, life settling like Tetris blocks almost making a full row to disappear, but still stacking with a slight gap-tooth with hope for the next level.

I accidentally started doing Suduko again. Goddammit. I'm no Sudoku Ninja, but that doesn't stop me from trying the daily RedEye puzzle on the train home. No shame in giving up on a crap number puzzle.

Monday, December 10, 2007

why I don't text

My phone chirped with a Text Message on Saturday morning. I hoped it was Charlie letting me know that I had left my hat and mittens in his refrigerator, but no, this message was from a number unrecognized and unnamed on my phone.

Police are on their way to BITCH's apt. I can call back in an hour.
Did I do something on Friday that would have involved the police?

Why are random text messages from people I don't know so much more exciting than my real life?

There's a story there. No, I'm not going to write a play about it. You write a play about it.

lost: hat & mittens

Have you seen them? I may have left them at Buffalo Wild Wings in Skokie on Friday night, but I doubt that because always always ALWAYS wear my hat and mittens when it's below, like, 70 degrees.

Possibility #2: hat & mittens lost somewhere in Scott and Charlie's apartment, the place where we went to watch Disc 1 of The Wire: Season 4.

Possibility #3: somewhere in my car. It was late and dark and I haven't gone back to look for them. But I swear they aren't there.

I miss them. Come home now! Please. I'm unsettled.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

winter wonderland

Our Winter Wonderland has fallen into dirty slush despair with slim chance of weekend renewal. Here's my new favorite rendition of Winter Wonderland styled by Jason Mraz.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

snow day

A gray, flurry day. Note to self: wait until el train passes overhead before walking under the tracks so as not to get chunks of ice falling on my head.

It's shocking the number of people who wear inappropriate footwear for a snowy walk to work. Did they not look outside before getting dressed? Durrr?

Looking north on Michigan Ave from the bridge.

The Wrigley Building on the left, the Tribune Tower on the right. I'm just as confused as you are by the lack of traffic in this photo.

When it snows, things get covered in snow. Statues get covered in snow.

George Washington and his un-famous friends pose for Wilco's next album cover. Covered in snow.

Jack Brickhouse, tragically frozen in carbonite during his final broadcast. Now displayed in Pioneer Plaza. Covered in snow.


This liquid metal robot moose was sent from the future to kill John Connor. The moose failed and is now displayed in Pioneer Plaza as a warning to other time-traveling robots. Covered in snow.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

snow & scooters (but not riding scooters through snow)

It's snowing. Weather-folk get all Chicken Little on these snow forecasts, but it is snowing a nice little snow right now. I got home tonight, stomped the snow off my shoes in the stairwell, smelling whatever delicious-smelling dinner one of my neighbors was cooking. What was that? Why don't they invite me over for dinner?

Thank you for responding to the first ever Chainsaw Calligraphy poll. The subject was scooters and the people who love them and/or ride them. Results were pretty much what I expected. An avalanche of dorky with a flurry of hostility from Paul and Ryan in the comments. Geez louise, fellas, did a Scooter dishonor your family?

Thing is, I'm thinking of getting a scooter to expedite the long-ass walk from the train to work. The sidewalk along the river side of Wacker is wide and smooth and not too too busy. I really don't know if you can get a ticket for riding a foldable push-scooter on a sidewalk. People do it. But people also run red lights without getting caught so what do "people" know. Does anybody know?

Here's what's driving me insane: I ride the Metra, which is actually on a schedule as opposed to the CTA which is on a schedule of "Fuck you, we get there when we get there. Have a nice (dooms)Day!" No matter how fast I walk, I can't catch the 5:21pm train home. At my fastest speed-walk I miss it by, like, two minutes. Then I'm stuck with the 5:35 train. Now 14 minutes doesn't seem like a long wait, but after the 9 to 5 coma, those 14 minutes are the longest 14 minutes of my life.

If I had wheels, man, I'd make that 5:21 and I don't care how much of a dork I'd look like doing it. But I don't care how much of a dork I look like most days, especially winter, when I'm rocking the two-scarf, hat-with-earflaps look. It's warm. I don't care, don't'chia know?

My Mom sent me the link to this: http://pandora.com. It's the best internet radio for the lot of you chained to your work computers during the day.

I'm also making my way through a bunch of celebrity/writer/actor/politician interviews in the Charlie Rose archives at http://www.charlierose.com

I still do write plays, by the way. Doesn't always seem like it.

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The liquor store on my corner on a December evening in Chicago. The loiterers loiter, the snow falls