Friday, October 28, 2005

Swoosh. Clang. Swoosh. Clang.

Read about it. I'm happy he got booed. Of course, I'm also one of those people who thinks this asshole should be banned for life.

Duck. I just threw in my two cents.


I'm not a big fan of 'em. I just don't care.

In about 10 minutes, the White Sox parade will pass right in front of my building here at work.

Just got back- we went to the patio our building has on the 13th floor and watch them go by- sure, we weren't down there with everybody else, but it was still cool.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sometimes you feel like a meme.

I did this one a while back- the suffle meme. Open your media player, select all music, hit random. Report your first 10 songs, regardless of embarassment.

1) Chowder Town by Walt Mink
2) Rebel Rebel by Seu Jorge
3) Where Have You Gone by Mike Doughty
4) Captain Wedderburn by Great Big Sea
5) Cosmik Debris by Frank Zappa
6) Rope on Fire by Morphine
7) Dirty Life and Times by Warren Zevon
8) Breaking Bread by Johnny Cash
9) Hollywood Freaks by Beck
10) Mr. Grieves by the Pixies

So, what's in your media player? C'mon. Don't be shy.

So it was a late night.

I went over to my friend A's house yesterday to watch the big game, and was the only person there who had a working knowledge of baseball. Honestly, the fact that A's cat will compulsively lick his chest when you scratch his back was more entertaining to them. Good friends, though, and we did a fair amount of drinking up to and through the end of the game. A broke out his hooka, and some fine apple tobacco was smoked.

Good times.

So, this morning I am craving some kind of fried potato product. I would love me some potato pancakes or something. Just enough grease to kill off my post-boozin' hunger. Oatmeal is not doing the trick. This is what I get for staying up til all hours and watching baseball and root-root-rooting for one of my home teams and partying too hearty.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What was I thinking?

I guess I was trying to depress myself. Something like that.

I'm not sure.

What did I do?

I decided to figure out how many days were left before I turned 40.

Take a guess. Go ahead.

Nope. 2900 days, as of today. 2900.

It might be time to start working on some of those life goals, no?

The greatest photoshop contest on ever.

Is here. Photoshopped song lyrics. I now wish, more than ever, that I had any photoshop skills at all. Thanks to everyone who has entered.

It reminds me of a contest that Jen and I entered, which was run by a couple of our friends. It was a Power Point Film Festival- and it was hella fun. The theme, as I recall, was to interpret a children's story. Jen and I did A Boy Named Sue by Shel Silverstein, and it was classic. I wonder if I still have that somewhere. I sure hope so, as that was a blast. I think we should revive that film festival, see what we can get done. After all, it was so fun the first time, why not go it again? I just don't want to run it. Not enough time in my days, anyways.

This weekend, I'm helping my friend A move back home to just outside Detroit. I get the fun of driving a truck for 6 hours coupled with a night out on the town with a great friend and drinking buddy! Whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Oh Captain My Captain

As I reported back in this post about the hockey game this weekend, I felt the absence of one Steve Maltais from the Wolves roster. After doing some research, I finally came across something I didn't want to read, over on the Wolves message board:
PEORIA - RIVER READINGS: The St. Louis Blues sent five players to the Rivermen after a preseason game Saturday night at Kansas City, Mo. They are left wing Peter Sejna, center Trent Whitfield, right wing Mike Glumac and defensemen Brendan Buckley and Doug Lynch. ... Rivermen coach Steve Pleau said defenseman Trevor Byrne had an excellent game. Pleau called Byrne the best player on the ice, for either team. ... Longtime Chicago winger Steve Maltais is not returning for a 17th season; he has decided to retire. The Wolves are amid a makeover, with 17 players from their 2004-05 AHL roster gone. ... Former Rivermen right wing Jason Notermann was in Chicago's lineup. ... Rivermen defenseman Aaron MacKenzie was wearing the captain's "C" for Peoria. ... St. Louis director of pro scouting and Peoria general manager of hockey operations Kevin McDonald was in attendance, as was ECHL Alaska coach Davis Payne

I'm a little pissed. This man helped our team win 3 championships, and wore the Captain's C for longer than any other player in team history- hell, he's basically worn it the entire time there's been a team! No fanfare. No Steve Maltais day. No retired jersey. What gives?

Scenes from a car.

I swear. A lot. I know. If I ever had a swear jar, I'd be out of cash very, very quickly, save for my swear jar.

So, as we're driving to the game on Saturday, I put together quite a string of profane remarks towards another driver.

"Wow, Dave," said my mother, "driving brings out the best in you."

I replied, "that's nothing. You should see me at work."

And to futher promote some levity, how about a quick list of the songs CC Deville is going to rewrite during his jail sentence:

Look What the Guard Dragged In
Talk Plea-Bargain to Me
Nothin' But Some Yard Time
Love on the Cots
Every Con Plugged My Butt
Tearin' Down the Walls

To name a few.


I have no respect for bigots.

That's not a secret, either.

When I was a kid, I had the pleasure and priveledge to grow up in married student housing for more than one major university. I grew up with neighbors from all over the globe, and I think that helped me to be more open-minded towards people. I think of this as an asset to my personality, and no, I won't worry about breaking my arm trying to pat myself on the back. I'm proud of this.

So, it is with great respect that I bid farewell to Rosa Parks, one of my personal heroes.

Rest in peace.

Monday, October 24, 2005

If you clean it, they will come.

I spent the weekend hosting my mother and stepfather, which means I got to do some moderately touristy things in my own sweet home, Chicago.

It was a good weekend, too. Friday we went for pizza (salad for me, though) and watched a movie. Saturday we woke up, and I took them on a nice tour of the city, via the el. We went downtown, bummed around the Bean and the Art Institute, where I took their picture by the famous lions which are currently wearing White Sox hats. We headed back home to watch a movie (again) and went to dinner at the Globe. I introduced M to my mom and stepdad, as well as some of the bartenders and one of the owners.

Saturday night we headed out to the Wolves game, my first of the year. It was a good game, but a frustrating loss in overtime is never any fun. If you happened to be watching the game, you also got to see a shot of yours truly flashing metal during the second period, buring off just a little more of my 15 minutes. There were a lot of penalties. More than I could count, honestly, and the flavor of the week was interference. I know they're calling the game a lot closer nowadays, but this was a little too much.

There was also something missing. More accurately, there were two things missing: Steve Maltais and Kari Lehtonen. I can't find anything on Maltais, and I'm a little worried. Did he retire and I missed it? Lehtonen, on the other hand, I knew was destined for greatness, and is doing some work for the Thrashers right now. Good for him, honestly. He's gonna be one hell of a goalie.

Anyways. After they left I went out to watch some football, then stayed up way too late watching the baseball game. This is going to be a very interesting week.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

Preparations for my mother's visit this weekend progressed nicely yesterday, and I decided to go out and celebrate it by blowing off the rest of the work I had to do last night and partying with my friends and the new found apple of my eye. Eventually, it involved staying for karaoke, because, well, I'm a big fat idiot sometimes and I do whatever the pretty girls tell me to do. I have a sickness like that.

The true happiness of everything came from my alarm clock this morning. A happy-go-Dave song was playing, so I listened to it, then turned off my alarm. And went. Back. To. Sleep.


Between last night's unexpected festivities and not thinking clearly when the alarm went off, needless to say, I was a little late to work this morning. Fortune did not favor the foolish.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Pun intended, folks. Pun intended.

Ceerock, one the rockinest girls I have had the pleasure to know, posted a link to the Netflix History Analyzer, as well as her results.

I'm not sure I like mine. Back in the good old days working at Tower, it was almost every shift that I was renting a movie or two. Why? Because it was free. Plus, I had a whole lot less going on in my life at the time, and spending evenings in with my sweetie was awesome. Those, as they say, were the days. Post-Tower, I didn't rent nearly as often, mostly because I hated the idea of paying to rent movies again. It truly is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I finally caved on the Netflix issue, because I got a free trial and quoted Risky Business.

I have to admit that I like Netflix- it is rather convenient for me, when I have a free night, instead of wasting time at the video store to say to myself "well, you've got x, y, and z from Netflix- open a bottle of wine and hit the couch!" The thing I don't like is that I frequently get in a mood for a certain type of film, add 6 or 7 to my queue, and when they arrive, I wonder just what the hell I was thinking.

My 411:
You've rented 113 DVDs over 12 months from October 04, 2004 to October 12, 2005.
Your plan costs $17.99/month so you've paid $215.88 total.
Your average price per rental was approximately $1.91 each.
Average rental costs elsewhere are $4.50 each (not including late fees).
You've saved approximately $292.62 over your membership lifetime or $24.39 per month.
You kept each rental for around 8 days on average.
The longest you kept a single DVD was 37 days: Sid & Nancy (1986).
You rented about 9 DVDs each month.
You're not taking full advantage of your current plan. You could be renting 19 DVDs each month.

My numbers aren't nearly as impressive as Ceerock's.

How could I be renting 19 DVDs a month? I figure that to be approximately 38 hours of viewing time. I'm very happy that Netflix thinks I can devote an entire workweek to watching DVDs, but that's just not the case, folks. I'm too damn busy to watch movies 5 days a week, otherwise, believe, me, I would. TV just doesn't do it for me anymore.

I didn't realize I had Sid & Nancy for 37 days. Wow. I was supposed to watch that with a friend, but we never had the time to get together. Finally, I just plopped myself on the couch and watched it. I'm pretty sure that's skewing my average rental time, too.

Just cool to know, I guess. Follow the instructions on the Netflix History Analyzer and you can check your Netflix "efficiency."


I had 61 people at the good ol' pub quiz last night. 61. That's a record, breaking the previous one- on my birthday, just 2 weeks ago, we had 60. I'm almost afraid, to tell the truth- what happens if after the World Series, these people show up consistently? I don't know how I'll handle that kind of crowd on a weekly basis. It can get a little tiring.

Of course, I know I shouldn't bitch. I was there during the lean times, when I would show up and run a quiz for 3 or 4 teams and think I was lucky that I had those 15 people who showed up. I also raised a shitload of money for MS last night, so I know I'm doing something right.

It almost makes up for staying at the bar until 12:30 on a school night. I can't help myself. As I've stated before, and I'm not afraid to state again, I do whatever pretty girls tell me to do, especially when I have a rather conspicuous crush on them.

Crazy days, my friends. Crazy days.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Help a brother out.

Sorry for breaking my promise of a substantial post yesterday. I'll get to one, after I finish writing pub quiz. 2 1/2 rounds to go, and I'm falling behind.


My younger brother is competeing in an "Average Joe" contest for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. You'll probably need a free login to vote (sorry), but try using this link first.

With a name like B.S. Ahrens, you know he's got the goods. Vote early, and vote often! That's the Chicago way!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Substance later. Meme now.

Your #1 Match: ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

Your #2 Match: ENTP

The Visionary

You are charming, outgoing, friendly. You make a good first impression.
You possess good negotiating skills and can convince anyone of anything.
Happy to be the center of attention, you love to tell stories and show off.
You're very clever, but not disciplined enough to do well in structured environments.

You would make a great entrpreneur, marketing executive, or actor.

Your #3 Match: ESFP

The Performer

You are a natural performer and happiest when you're entertaining others.
A great friend, you are generous, fun-loving and optimistic.
You love to laugh - and you like almost all people equally.
You accept life as it is, and you do your best to make each day fantastic.

You would make a good actor, designer, or counselor.

Your #4 Match: ESTP

The Doer

You are adventurous and risk taking. You act first, think second.
You love being the center of attention. Chances are you were the class clown.
Competitive, charming, and charasmatic - you have your own code of honor.
You live a flexible life, bouncing between a series of activies that interest you.

You would make a great salesperson, marketing director, or entrepreneur.

Your #5 Match: INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Proof that I have gotten down.

One of the few surviving picutres of yours truly in his barong and yarmulke, at least, one of the few surviving ones that I actually like, is displayed. I am, at the time, believe it or not, dancing. Joey is playing the accordion. Festivities were happening all around, and I have been known to cut a rug from time to time. Of course, I am a much more accomplished traditional dancer. I can polka with the best of 'em, honestly. Waltz, hell yeah. Two-step is probably my favorite, though. I'm kinda old-fashioned, sometimes.

Just a blurb and a picture from the wedding of the century before I head out for the weekend.

Romancing the phone

I am so madly in love with my new cell phone. The display works. It has one of those little windows on the flippy part. It has the ultra-cool "call any other Cingular Wireless customer for free" plan. It has a Time Zone map, just in case I ever need to know what time it is in Botswana, I can sure as shit look it up on my phone. It can record audio, too, but I haven't figured out how to use those sounds as my ringtone (the Polkaholics playing the White Sox Polka would have been stellar).

That's the feature I really, really love. I can download ringtones. I liked my old phone's ring, because it was a horse neighing- a sound that's pretty easy to distinguish, even in a crowded bar, a hockey game, or when you're sleeping. Its just not something you hear everyday, so you notice it. My new phone has the wonderful ability to download ringtones. Ah. Sauce for the goose, as it were.

I spent quite some time thinking of a song that I would like to have as a ring, something that's my style, and something that I'd want to hear every time my phone rang. It took a while, and I was limited by what was available, but I settled on Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, on of my all-time favorites, as well as one of the songs I do moderately well when karaoking. I would have preferred Ring of Fire or Man In Black, but we play with the cards we're dealt, right?

Last week I was walking to the laundromat, carrying my hamper et al, and I passed a dance studio, and suddenly heard a deep voice say "I'm stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps draggin' on..." and wondered what dance class would be listening to Johnny Cash. Turns out, I was listening to my friend calling me to coordinate birthday plans. I guess I'm just a little too dependent on my old horse ringer, or I'm still training myself to pick up when Johnny calls.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Feelin' Groovy

For a myriad of reasons, but first, a minor rant.

My CTA train stop nearest work, Quincy is now sporting ads on, of all places, the turnsile arms (or whatever they're called). They are ads for Geico, a car insurance provider. Hm. Somehow, I don't think those of us using the CTA to get to work are necessarily your demographic, but I could be wrong. I am not a marketing expert, but I find the ads gaudy and out-of-place, especially in a station that is as historic as that one.

Anyways, I stayed late after quiz last night, waiting for friends of friends who are moving to Chicago, and wound up playing darts and being a general idiot about my lack of sleep. I was, however rewarded by a warm, well-timed, gentle kiss which made my night. Am I expecting romance to follow this kiss? Perhaps. I'm not closed to the opportunity, certainly, but I am a touch more cautious than I was, say, in April. Remember, back when the phrase "damn the torpedoes" and "why not her" came very commonplace in my vocabulary.

By a touch, of course, I mean a shitload more cautious. And, I'm trying to keep my options open right now. Sounds slutty, doesn't it?

Oh well.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I am un chien Andalusia

Friends, family, acquaintences, and even my pub quizzers are painfully aware of a fact about me. I am a nerd. I know it, they know it, some of us are even content with that fact.

My friend D is one of those people. He's a good man. We have many shared interests, from hockey to cycling to music. We've been friends for, hm. 5 years? Possibly longer. I should look into that. He was asking me about the questions from last week's birthday edition pub quiz, one of which was what is 32 in binary? It is, of course 100000. He tried to trip me up by firing another question at me: "what is it in hexidecimal?"

Little did he know that I, as a 7th grader, was first formally introduced to the mathematical subject of bases, and that I was more than capable of quickly shifting gears between bases. I am also a notorious wise-ass, which is why he asked the question in the first place.

"Two-zero," I said, "just like 20." The car fell silent for a minute, while everyone did a little math in their heads. "Hexidecimal is base 16, 32 is 2 times 16, ergo 20." Relief passed through the car, as no more math was required. I felt my geekdom hanging out there in the breeze, so I started a chant: N-H-L, N-H-L, N-H-L, N-H-L, so I didn't have to feel like a nerd for long.

Friday, October 07, 2005

i am 100000 years old/happy blogacatmas

Believe it or not, I am 100000 years old. That's 32 in binary, as my father pointed out to me on my birthday. I honestly didn't think of it, either, until he told me. Which means that next year I'm thinking of a Rolling Rock themed party.... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Latrobey.

Anyways, that's really all I have. It is a cold, wet day in Chicago, and I'm fully planning on staying in and watching movies tonight, unless, of course, a certain someone is surprising me by appearing at my front door.

More on that later.

And without further ado, happy blogacatmas:

This is, of course, my lovely cat Mia.

Again (for fun):

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Adventures in customer service.

I got my second ever cell phone back in the crazy days of 1999. It was a cheap phone, on the "Pay as you go" service provided by AT & T. My previous cell phone company was expensive and constricting, so I was very, very anti-contact. I have since replaced that first phone twice, moving up in plan convenience and I was a happy cell phone user. AT & T was eventually purchased by Cingular, but it didn't really effect me.

Fast forward to yesterday. After whatever happened to my already ailing cell phone, the speaker no longer worked, so I planned to take my birthday payola and get a new cell phone. I mistakenly assumed that I would be able to keep the phone number that I had been using for the last 6 years.

I was wrong.

My beef isn't with Cingular, though. I want to make that perfectly clear. Their representative was more than helpful, and even called and bitched out AT & T, because they wouldn't allow my number migration, on my behalf. At the end of it all, when the dust finally settled, he apologetically told me it wasn't possible.

I smiled. "T," I said, "I respect the work you did for me today. I watched you fight the hard fight for me, and I appreciate everything you did for me. I think that their reluctance to migrate my phone number is complete bullshit, and I know that you agree." T smiled a rather coy smile at me. "I walked in here, money in hand, needing a new cell phone, and they have failed me. That is why you're going to get my money. Let's get me into a cell phone as quickly as possible, as I'm going to a hockey game tonight, and I'm in a bit of a hurry."

It took about 15 minutes after that, and I was out the door, happy yet still very angry that I had to give up my beloved long-time phone number.

Who made who?

On Saturday, my good friend O'Boomhauer (I gave him that nickname because he has such a thick Irish accent most folks can't understand him at all) showed up to party with me. He doesn't turn down a chance for a pint with a friend. He was kind enough to give me a gift certificate to Blockbuster. I don't usually shop there, but he knows of my fondness for DVDs, and of my penchant for bad Sci-Fi movies.

So, Sunday afternoon, I took a stroll around my neighborhood, stopping by my local Chinese restraunt to satisfy a craving for vegetarian egg rolls, and popped into my local Blockbuster for some well-earned browsing. Their selection is rather poor, but I knew that I could find something in there- and find I did.

My first selection was Jacob's Ladder, a strange movie that I hadn't seen in ages, but loved all the same. Second? Maximum Overdrive, the Stephen King directorial debut that can only be loved for kitsch. Both movies are big hits in my book, though.

I'm just so happy! What a birthday!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Save it for the morning after

Yesterday was a great birthday. Thanks to all who wrote, called, e-mailed, e-carded, et al. My friends, almost every day, truly make my life worth living, and I thank you all.

It was fairly exhausting, however, to run pub quiz last night. Jen and I hosted 60 people. 60. The room was packed to the rafters, literally. But it was fun, people enjoyed themselves. I decided to revive an old grade school tradition, and I brought candy in for my quizzers, and they sang happy birthday to me, which was nice. Afterwards, there were drinks to be had. All told, I think I did four Irish car bombs before stumbling home to pass out. And the passing out was wonderful. I woke up this morning with no hangover whatsoever. Fortune favors the foolish.

Next up on my agenda, I'm heading home for lunch, then some bumming around the apartment (read: cleaning), then I'm off to the Blackhawks game. Yes, dear reader, after all my bitching about the NHL, I'm going back. I am a hockey junkie, and I need my fix.

More tomorrow, when I go back to work.