Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How can you add more white trash to your truck?

Q: Would you like to proclaim to the world the worst part of your body to all?
A: Maybe if you also own a truck.

Allow me to list the multiple levels that I am offended at the existence of "truck balls," which I saw again this afternoon on the truck stopped ahead of me at the stoplight:

As a car owner-
I was raised by a man who did not believe in car accessorizing. It probably stemmed from his years driving a company car from DuPont across the vast nothingness of Minnesota and North Dakota selling paint. For example, you will never see a political bumper sticker on his car (half because he doesn't believe in that / half because his wife would storm out to remove it herself).

There are four small pieces I've added to my car: A Marquette Alumni license plate holder, the "MU" sports logo, an "Abide" Lebowski sticker, and a World Poker Tour air freshener. All are relatively small and tastefully adorned.

Hanging a pair of testicles, that are neither small or tasteful, does not allign with my rules of car customization. I don't care which model you choose (i.e. Steel, Brass, Titanium, Blue, Flesh-colored, Hairy or right-leaning). I'm not the police of car care, but I'd really like to know the motive behind this purchase... Is it just a simple low brow joke?

As a human living in society-
"Hey Mommy, what's that?"
"Oh Jocelyn, those are an anatomical representation of a human scrotum, jokingly hung from a trailer hitch... Nothing to worry about dear, go back to reading Dora the Explorer"

Well Jocelyn should be worried. She just uncovered a mystery that Dora was going to spare her from for quite a number of years.

As a male-
Does making something male make it better? Of course not. It's that chauvinist sentiment prevalent in the world today that makes that girl (who I shouldn't be buying a drink for anyways, but that's another story) think my gesture is not so much one of a gentleman but one of a Imperialistic Sonnafabitch.

Should I be the first to the market on this product idea:
Giant, magnetic, fallopian tubes with ovaries that span the entire front bumper of a car.

People place decals of the Confederate Flag to show support for "the south" (to use the least offensive choice of words possible) - what does this sack represent? "I support sperm producing anatomy?"

As a available single guy who's looking-
Can we not advertise the existence of balls? Without a doubt, "balls" are the most unattractive element to the sense of vision on the human body. No wonder their first action is to descend from the body - trying to leave the body. I don't think I've ever heard a woman (or a gay man for that matter) make a comment about balls in a positive light. You'll get comments about a cute ass, and you might even get a horny drunk sorority girl-type mention someone's "dick, rod... or johnson" (Lebowski quote) in a disgustingly lusty desire - but you won't hear any of the following comments:

"Oh, I bet Mr. Lipton there's got a nice tea bag offering."
"Stacy, I love that this hot weather brings out the short-shorts - especially in a place with these high bar stools that really give us a great sight - can't wait to take that trip to testicle town."

Please accept my apologies if my language is vulgar or my hypothetical woman dialogue is offensively off base.

You don't see a some girly coupe car with a tramp stamp, do you? Actually, those probably do exist... But there are many people who support trampstampery. I don't think anybody is for a more Public Displays of Balls.


Write to your Congressperson, or very least - corrupt Governor - asking that if they make laws to make Motorcycle riders cover their heads, that truck drivers need to hitch up their shorts. Cars are for highways, not low balls.

(If you saw one of these in a mall parking lot, how could you not kick these? I'm sure it'll hurt but it's gotta be a gratifying feeling.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do you believe in the healing power of Jesus Beards?

Q: What is the most memorable non-musical moment at a concert you've had this year?
A: The My Morning Jacket lap dance.
Ryan and I stood up throughout the entire My Morning Jacket two and a half hour set last Sunday at the Chicago Theatre. So did the guy to my right, who flew in from North Carolina (and might I add is one of the better air guitarists working the scene today). If anybody had an excuse to take a breather - it was me (due to the staminia reducing coughing fits afflicting me for the previous 48 hours). My Morning Jacket is just not the kind of band you can take sitting down. They are capable of dropping into an extended jam at nearly any point in any song. Why would you want to be seated during that?

Probably if your girlfriend wants to perform a lap dance.

Now I've seen gratituous displays of public affection at concerts before... It's as common as being offered illlegal substances and as fun as the Officer Friendly pre-show pat-down. The last concert Ryan and I attended (Radiohead in Indy), a couple were streched out on the lawn in front of us trying to find a paranoid android in each others' pants during the Grizzly Bear opening act.

During the song "I Will Sing You Songs" (Off MMJ's "It Still Moves" album) nearly everybody in the five rows ahead of Ryan and I sat down. It's one of their slower grooves. One concert goer that didn't sit was the tramped-stamped mamma who provided me with one of my most vivid non-music related concert memories... She was not an amatuer (or at the very least must be a proud owner and disciple of the Carmen Electra Stripperobic DVD series):
-locking her wrists together at the top of her head pose
-over the shoulder pouting with the arched back pose
-mime quality imaginary pole with which to slide down

This wasn't anything significantly spectacular. But the volume got turned way up when she reached back to grab the chair arms and conmenced Champaigne Room intensity grinding. She could have at least rode that pony to the beat of the song, but she needed to gallop instead of trot.

Unsurprizingly, diffrent motives appearant to all, they left shortly after the exhibition - with more than an hour left in the show.

I'm done confronting others at concerts. I'm finally understanding people pay their ticket and want to control their own experience. A sad lesson learned after an awkward moment at last March's Feist show. You can also take a step back if you think I'm jealous (or at least, a half step back).

Music, more than ever, is becoming a personal experience. NPR's All Songs Considered year end wrap-up made a remarkable comment about the end of the Boombox Era. More music is listened to on earphones then ever before. Music for the Masses is taking a step back in favor of more personal introspective fare.

Bon Iver, not Bon Jovi.

One day movie theatres may have to install personal headphones due to cell phone and movie talker ettiquite. Will concert halls have personal headphones availible if the artists prefer to recreate the iPod experience? Does that really sound unrealisitc? I don't think that's what anybody wants.

Lost in this tale is my cough, which thankfully was as intracned with Jim James as I was - allowing me to go the entire set without having to excuse myself to hack or regain my breath.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Would you like a copy of my Best of 2008 Mixtape?

Query: What did I do tonight when I couldn't sleep?
Answer: Compiled a quick "Best of 2008" playlist.

Earlier tonight (well, technically it was yesterday) I saw My Morning Jacket perform the song of the year for 2008: Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 2.

Truth be told, when I heard this song debuted at SXSW (thanks to NPR's podcast) I instantly awarded it the title. Even though that was back in March or April, no song to make waves past my ear drums was able to top it. The album was released in June and it hasn't left my car's CD changer since:

Fast forwarding to this morning at 2:30 am - when I did a quick scroll though my "purchased" list on my iTunes and came up with a quick Best of 2008 list. Please note that this list is what I currently think - and is subject to change. Thankfully I received a nice amount of iTunes money, which I plan to spend after I'm done researching the various year ending lists. So before you start calling the indie police - you should know that I haven't yet bought The Fleet Foxes yet... From what I've been reading, they probably would have been on this list if I had jumped on the bandwagon earlier.

Please let me know if you'd like a copy of this mixtape:

1. "We Walk" (Live version) by The Ting Tings
2. "Still Here" by Girl Talk
3. "Tesseliate" by Toyko Police Club
4. "Out There On the Ice" by Cut Copy
5. "Touch Too Much" by Hot Chip
6. "Yuppy Flu" by Land of Talk
7. "Churches Under the Stairs" by Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning
8. "Geraldine" by Glasvegas
9. "Cemeteries of London" by Coldplay
10. "Sit and Wonder" by The Verve
11. "Worrisome Heart" by Melody Gardot
12. "Flume" by Bon Iver
13. "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt. 2" by My Morning Jacket

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Can anybody be decadent in this economy?

Query: Can anybody enjoy Las Vegas in this economy?
Answer: Yes, if you fit the critria.

The biggest event of my annual Las Vegas Trip occurred at 8 pm local time on Monday December 22.

It was not my play in the 7 pm poker tournament at The Wynn. (certainly not when you figure I finished 5th out of 20: two spots AWAY from the money). Nor was it the action on the Monday Night Football game between the Bears and the Packers. (I told anybody I liked that there was no way the Bears would win by more than four points, but also admitting that I refused to bet against them and will not lay any action on the contest)

The event that grabbed the headlines on the following morning's paper was the Grand Opening of Steve Wynn's newest Casino Resort. Aptly named "Encore," the new building mirrors its predecessor. The Wynn and Encore are connected to each other on the ground floor. It only takes a couple steps on the plush red carpet to get from one to the other.

Playing in that aforementioned poker tournament gave me a great view of the incoming throng of visitors (since the exit to the Self Park is down the hall from the Poker Room). And it was funny to see just as many of them walk back to their cars less than an hour later. Personally, I think it was just an excuse for people to see others and be seen.

Being about 50 degrees that night, I'll allow the locals to complain about it being cold. You were in your right to wear a jacket outside. But what happens is that when the temperature dips that low, it gives everybody the excuse to bust out the expensive furs. I never saw more beautiful people so happy to be cold.

By the time I busted out of that tournament, to some guy who proclaimed to have been a pro ("They call me Sammy the Clown on TV - i'm serious.") I went to walk over to the Encore, but the line was about 200 people deep. After a nice 6 hour detour that took me to the new Palazzo, Venitian and Mirage - I found myself back at the Encore without having to wait in a line.

And I decided that there are only 3 and a half types of people who can really enjoy Las Vegas.

1. People who love to gamble (of which I fall into)
2. People who love the "party life" as Jay-Z would say (i.e. Nightclubbing or pool bathing)
3. People who have loads upon loads of money
3b. People who are significantly attached to loads and loads of money

I'll note here that many people enjoy Vegas for "the shows," or golf. I'll also note that I believe to see the best shows, or play the best courses, you must fall into category 3 of being filthy rich.

Looking around the Encore, even at 4 am, brought this to the forefront of my mind. I saw people placing $1,000 minimum bets at a blackjack table out in the open (not in a closed off High Limit Lounge) and saw Craps tables too rich to even advertise the limits. (all I needed to see was "reserved" to know enough). And then there were the half clothed plastic Barbies with boobs over their drinks and asses into their sponsors just a dice throw away at the bar. I was unable to see what the clientele at the super expensive restaurants were like... One of them is called "Sinatra" in which Frank's Oscar and Emmy are on display. Supposedly Steve Wynn's family is tight with the Sinatra family - and this is the first restaurant to ever have the Sinatra name bestowed. One of the dealers told me that the Sinatra restaurant is the "cheaper" of the Encore restaurants. Supposedly there is one that features a crystal sculpture nearly 80 feet in diameter.

Although Encore makes me like the Wynn less, due to it's gaudy red chandeliers, I still like what the Wynn offers. I was able to find a $15 blackjack table and a $10 Craps game at Wynn. People can also play penny slots at that place! Most importantly, my fear of the smallest poker game being $2-$5 was unrealized. I was able to buy in modestly at the $1-$3 game. A game that would've been highly profitable for me if my set of Aces didn't get flushed out long after all our money was in the pot... But that's another sad story for another sadder time.

My flight home was delayed two hours trying to get out of Las Vegas, then an extra 90 minutes at O'Hare trying to find a gate after we landed. United has offered me $100 for my troubles. Money I will use for my next trip to Las Vegas.

Tentative Dates Monday November 23 - Wednesday November 25

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Have you ever selfishly infected others?

Query: When have you been too sick to go to an event for which you had tickets for?
Answer: Last January, for the MU vs. ND basketball game - hopefully NOT this Sunday.I came down with a bad (redundancy alert) case of Bronchitis last January. It prevented me from going to the Marquette versus Notre Dame basketball game for which I had tickets and planned to take my Dad.

Currently, I'm coughing up a storm. The illness first presented itself last Friday night, got progressively worse during my vacation in Las Vegas, and hit it's (hopefully) peak in the last 24 hours - nearly ruining my family's trip to visit a set of relatives in the process.

But I have tickets to see My Morning Jacket perform at the Chicago Theatre this Sunday. I am working with the best private label cold medicines available to me (for free) to get me in shape for this much anticipated event.

2008 has easily been my "year of ticketed events" and I can't think of a better way to close it out with this group. Yes, I have been VERY late to their bandwagon, but everyone who is already on this wagon has said that their live show is amazing. A good friend is driving down from nearly an hour north of here to go to the show with me.

A show, mind you, that was postponed for nearly two months after it's lead singer servery hurt himself performing in Iowa City less than one week before our originally scheduled show.

So now I'm on the mend. Spent all day today in bed, drinking fluids, what have you, getting ready for this show.

Do yourself a favor, go to YouTube or whatever insta-music device your prefer and type in "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Part 2"
In my estimation, that is the song of the year for 2008.
Any best songs list that doesn't include that is a bogus list.
Create your mixtapes accordingly.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Can you digitally delete a person from your memory?

Query: How tough is it to delete an unfavorable memory?
Answer: Harder than you think.

I have suffered some collateral damage in this technological move away from MySpace. Mainly, the dredging up of past "acquaintances" that I had previously believed would never make their way into my mind again.

It reminds me of when I got my newer cell phone, and while waiting in the customer service coral or Abt Electronics, thought it would be best to "purge" some of the contacts stored into my phone over the previous years. It's very easy to delete a phone number. It's usually a great "goodbye for good" gesture - especially when you realize the phone was inputted into that device for romantic reasons. They've even made cell phone commercials about the empowerment of answering "yes" to "Are you sure you want to delete..." question.

But when I recently joined Facebook, and allowed them to pillage my Hotmail contacts searching for "Friends" already on Facebook - I was met with too many ghosts of dates gone wrong. It's one thing to delete a phone number from the parking lot of a brew pub, having just invested $50 in a date that went nowhere - it's another thing entirely to go home and delete all the digital footprints these people created on your hard drive.

My emotions ran the spectum as I had to answer if any of these women from my past are "Friends." Of course, some are still friends. Most famously, my first date of my life was engaged last weekend. Sure, the date was the Disney movie Bambi, and we were accompanied by her Mom (and that the date was somewhere in the time frame of 1986). But nonetheless we are still friends.

However, then there were the girls who I would have liked to never have been reminded ever again...

For example, that girl who I bought flowers for last Valentine's Day or the girl who I stupidly bought a NASCAR themed teddy bear. (As I write this I still realize how easily I spend money on girls - however it is getting better. I spent exactly $3 on the last gift for a girl on a date: temporary tattoos that were probably more successful as the flowers and bear combined, however... well, that's another story)

Memories of how stupid I could act under these contexts. All in time for one of the worst twenty minute stretches of the year (11:45 pm 12/31 to 12:05 am 1/1).

But then there were images of girls who had clearly found love after meeting me (for their last names where now happily affixed with new monikers). And the girls who I honestly don't remember dating at all. These left me with pangs of melancholy.

The moral of this story is to remember how much technical discipline is needed to get someone out of your life in the 21st century. Delete them from your cell phone, remove them a friend on MySpace/Facebook, DOUBLE-Delete her e-mails (oh yeah, you know you'll be scrounging in that deleted items bin sooner than later), make sure your iPod doesn't have a hidden playlist - maybe a mixtape you made featuring stupid songs from romantic comedies that were viewed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What makes you upset about MySpace?

Query: Why am I now blogging here?
Answer: I am unable to ignore the flaws of MySpace.

A few months ago a close friend (who has an opinion I greatly respect) noted that MySpace looked like a porn site. I didn't understand what he meant. He was referring to the companies that choose to advertise on MySpace.

This is an example of the MySpace "home" screen. It sounds unbelievable now, but I never really noticed this negative characteristic of this site until this friend clued me into it. Now that my selective blindness has ended, it's unavoidable.

And here are more examples of how their advertising was making "View de TQ" look to others!

It's one thing to have MySpace know that I have identified myself as being a male, heterosexual, and single - and for them to advertise to me based on those traits.

However, when other people are going to my blog, I don't want them to see all these horrible "lonely men" advertisements. I don't think anybody reading my blog thought that I was intentionally choosing these banners, but I really don't want that to be the first thing someone notices when they want to read what I'm writing. Especially when I was writing about a bad first date - the whole story gets painted in a connotation out of my control.

There are more reasons why I'm leaving MySpace. I will get to those in due time, but I have a lot of heavy lifting in this move...

Please stay tuned - I hope you come back to read more.

Friday, December 12, 2008

January 24, 2009 (30 years later)

All right sports fans.
There it is:
The official birthday party invitation.

If you're reading this, feel free to partake in the celebration.
I'm not exaggerating here, I've not been big on birthday parties.
The last one was a bowling themed deal back in the 5th grade.
(yes, that means I did not make a big deal of my 21st mainly because almost everyone I knew was still 20, and most of those didn't drink at the time)

My 30th birthday isn't the only milestone I want to mention now.
Although, the other mentions aren't as significant:

This was my 300th blog post at 'View de TQ.'
It also marked the 3 year anniversary from when I started emptying my mind into this media/format/time waster.

It will also be known as it's final post.

I thank everybody for reading.
See you Saturday, January 24
(feel free to contact me if you want more info/specifics about the event)

The night has all the potential of being a 'Worlds Collide' situation... worthy of a George Costanza tirade.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Mind is a Bully (disconnected thoughts in an early December)

Greetings from the aftermath of winter anarchy

Every year, on the morning following the first significant snow fall of the season, people get to work late because everyone reteaches themselves how to winter drive simultaneously.

For me, the tardiness is more a function of the below:

I was woken up this morning to the sound of frenetic windshield ice scraping.
The man was on a mission, quite a remarkable effort.
Watching it through my window, I was impressed.
Which was the wrong response - it should've made me hurry my ass into the shower and try to shave some time off my routine that I needed to de-ice Chick Magnet 2.0

By the way, I should have allowed the initial name given by my friend for my newer car: "pony"
(Being short-sighted, I didn't want it linked to a poorly written short story from our Northwestern writing class)

I haven't worn my winter jacket this season yet.
If it dips below 30 tomorrow, I think I'll finally cave.
It's not because I have an undue amount of self-gratification derived from my tolerance to cold weather.

I just know it will get colder, very much so.
Logic is probably being taken to illogical levels here, but follow me:
You first put on a jacket when it gets - what - below 50?
So if you upgrade to your winter jacket at below 30 - what do you do when it gets to single digits?
Makes me feel like I've painted myself into an outerwear corner.
So I've been wearing my "fall" jacket with ample scarf and under layering.


I think I bowled a new personal best last Friday

Still debating between buying a couch or buying "the HD lifestyle"

'Tis the season for free couches - actually... They're readily availability, easily acquirable, yet it's usually a plan painfully executed.

My two week hiatus has officially ended.
Here's the girl I'm now spending money on:

My dad had a great line this weekend, "I don't trust a skinny chef."

I'll give any show on FX a fighting chance:

I'd really like to see them take a crack at that 90210 genre.
They should base a show on that Amish tradition of letting the kids run-a-mok.
I'd watch that, wouldn't you?

On the drive home, I had a disturbing thought.
An extended metaphor - but of very poor quality.
It was was the personification of my mind, specifically my inner monologue, as a bully.
But not the classical bully (for example, the one from A Christmas Story)

More like a low level - high school burnout bully.
The kind that just below the mean in overall popularity.
One that can't pick on the lower strata (the chosen prey for the larger predators).
Picking on just one level down on the caste system.
That's how I think of my mind at times.
I picture it licking it's finger and holding it it a hair's length from my face.
Annoying me.
Baiting me.
Forcing me to pay attention to fruitless topics.
For example: the idea of me eloping with a stranger in Las Vegas in three weeks.

Yeah, I'll admit that I've spent at least one full hour contemplating this.
What if I get married in three weeks?
Seriously, could it be that bad?
Your reading this from someone who has:
-gone to speed dating
-dated strangers (and strange women)
-sold out my soul for a laugh
-dated in the confines of the politic
-dated trying to be more than honest

I've said it before, and it won't be the last time I say it - it's exhausting.

Why not skip about 12 to 15 steps and elope.
I find someone in Vegas, we hit it off, we've got something in common
hitch it up
Get into the quagmire together - let's work it out.

Of course these are mainly fantasies that involve some celebrity.
For example: Erika Christensen

Could I have enough small town charm to get someone into a bad decision?
I'd be lying if I said I've never done it in my disastrous past (never on that large of a scale admittedly)

It's not a coincidence that these thoughts are running concurrently with release of the new Britney Spears album. We all know I'm a fan of her's.

Not so much musically (although I'll defend her song "Toxic" and and to a lesser extend "Stronger" vehemently)

That kid named Jason Alexander married her in Las Vegas.
That kid signed the annulment.
That kid is nowhere to be found today.
That kid, I have to think, knew what he gave up.

How much would Erika Christensen's PR team pay me to dissolve our marriage?
Could they even produce a sum large enough?

But it doesn't need to be a Hollywood D-lister.
Normal people could benefit.
Just in time for the DVD release:

"Okay, I'll be the tall dopey guy - you've got blonde hair - where's the chapel"
"We've got less than one month before the Inauguration - there's a gap in the news cycle - we'll be in the clear before you know it"

So my heart tries to fight back this bully mindwave.
I won't be clubbing at Pure.
I'll have to find my future ex-wife at the In-N-Out.
That ultra sexy poker playing female
That one that also flew out by herself
That one that's single (not rebounded)
That one that only exists in the figment of my imagination.
(The dream involves knowingly lay down threes full to her quad deuces)

I do have two plane rides ahead of me.
I once picked up a girl on the way to Reno.
Sounds like a Johnny Cash lyric, but it's the truth.
Going out to a family wedding in Lake Tahoe, our Aunt picked the same flight out.
I volunteered to switch seats - so she could talk to her brother (my father) on the way.
That's when I met that girl who made me set up an account on Friendster.
We traded e-mails over the course of a year or two.
Saw her again when she interviewed for an internship at a Midwestern University.
It was rather romantic... Meeting on a plane and all...
The mind bully will attempt to use that as precedent.
It's most successful attempt at coaxing me into thinking I'm romantic beyond logic.

What if my mind could devote this energy to solving the national economic crisis instead of my personal dating "slowdown." I think I'd sleep easier - It would certainly benefit you more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How I Won my Summer Trophy

A few months ago I posted this picture with the promise that I'd tell the backing story once I received the other pictures:

Well, thanks to my friend - I have the rest of the pictures, and can now tell you how I earned the above majestic piece of hardware.

Early in the week of this story's occurrence, a big mass e-mail was sent out informing us of a couple festivals happening in this upcoming weekend. One of them was Guinness Oyster Fest. Not being a fan of that beer from Ireland (and a lesser fan of oysters) I had not planned on joining these friends.

Then, on the day these pictures were taken, my friend calls me to see if I'm going to the Fest. I told him no. He then told me that one of the events was a trivia contest for a favorite show of ours: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. He holds up the phone to allow me to hear the show's theme song being pumped over the speaker system. Lastly, he informs me that the top prize is a golden dumpster baby trophy.

(Fast forward about five or so hours. I've arrived at the block party, and have taken my place on the stage)

Fans of the show will recognize how this stage is a very close replica to the show. Specifically, the interior of "Paddy's Pub" where the majority of the show's scenes are set.

We receive a few instructions from the host of the game show:

Here I would like to note why I'm wearing sunglasses in all these pictures:

There was a video screen used to show clips, and present the multiple choice options for the questions that needed them. My sunglasses are prescription, and I needed to make sure I could see everything clearly.

Against what popular opinion may say, they were not for stealing glances at the show's host:

I got off to a quick lead, buzzing in quickly:

I was feeling very confident in my knowledge in the show.

There were penalties for incorrect answers, so I decided to take my foot off the gas a little.

The competition inched closer, and I started to wonder if I was going to lose it.

But thankfully, I prevailed. In the below picture I celebrated by dancing "the elbow dance" made famous in the show's season 3 "Dance Off" finale:

I don't remember any of the specific questions anymore, but I doubt anybody reading this would want to hear those anyways if I did remember. The main thing is that I won this trophy. I bought the sucker home, where it still is today.

Displayed in a highly visible location in my condo.
However, it gains more creepy looks than respect.
But it makes me happy.
And getting the above pictures made my day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Father is "pissed off: (his words!)

Last night, Wednesday, I called home.
Their phone rang just before 8 pm.
Of course, after my Dad answered, I asked if I should apologize for waking him up.
He's known to go to bed very early.

He was wide awake.
He also said, "I'm pisssed."
To know my Father is to know he does not use profanity.
I've only heard the "F WORD" out of his mouth once (quoting someone else).

"Pissed" isn't necessarily bleepable,
Nonetheless, it is very strong language for my Father.
I told him I'd be on my way over – be there in less than a half hour.
Less than 30 minutes later, I'm there.

Here I should note that I was going to be in the neighborhood playing basketball at 9.
That I had planned to drop off some free samples from work I know he'd like.
Maraschino cherries, for use in his Brandy Manhattans, to be exact.
--Just called to see if they were awake

I walk into my parents home to see my Mom where I expect her.
Parked in front of MSNBC, successfully replacing her election thirst with the Auto-bailout
My Mom does not like the Detroit auto-execs.
She kept repeating "They just don't get it, they just don't get it"

My Father, however, was sitting by himself in the seldom used living room.
The kind of room only used when relatives visit.
Just him, reading a book.
He is not an avid reader.

He likes to check out books from the library.
Often they are returned unread.
But he had received a book earlier today
And he was burning through it in unprecedented speed.

The book is the first novel written by his brother.
He's published a few titles, in an area I'd name "non-mainstream religion"
This man, my Uncle, is a former Jesuit.
His wife, my Aunt, a former nun.

But this isn't about the Uncle and Aunt of different last names
(that last name, is an entirely different story)
This is about the novel my Dad was now reading.
Novel, by the way, as in a work of fiction.

The book, in the forward, goes out of its way to declare its fictitiousness.
Yet my Dad has told me specific names and places in this book that he knows exists.
For example, vivid details of a basement church in the Midwest.
Also, the fact that the cover picture is of my Uncle when he was still "in the cloth."

The major arc of the plot involves a man leaving the priesthood.
Including the falling in love with a woman from the religious life.
What pissed my Dad off, causing him to write a "?" near a specific paragraph.
Is when the main character's family structure was detailed.

The main character's father was an Irish Immigrant, marrying a converted Protestant.
Brother to four siblings: Two brothers, two sisters, one of each married or a priest/nun.
This perfectly explains my Father's actual family structure, with one exception.
There is no third, baby, brother… My Father's place in the family…

My Father was "pissed" that his brother left his fictional counterpart on the editor's table.
I pleaded with him that he shouldn't get upset.
The work is fiction.
And, to use his logic, the married brother could very well be him – not his late brother John.

I might have calmed him down a little, but he still has more calming to go.
"It's more symmetrical for the main character to have four siblings, not five." I theorized.
This somewhat humored my Mom – breaking briefly from her MSNBC mindset to weigh in.
"It's fiction dear." Is all that she said. It was all that needed to be said.

My Father is going to finish this book.
Then my Mother, the stalwart reader of the family, will pick it up.
I have asked to be next, and I will try to convince my sister to read it too.
Hopefully we'll have the first ever family book club between the four of us.

It will be a therapeutic exercise.
Make us all feel very enlightened.
A mature family acting like adults.
I can't wait, it's going to be an instant family memory classic.

(The official site of William Cleary: Someone who I am proud to be called his nephew)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Five to Be

Here are a few places, in no particular order or priority, that I wish to be before I die:

*The Shipyards in Bangor, Ireland (east of Belfast, where my Grandfather worked in and fled from)

*Sixth Street in Austin, Texas (specifically for the SXSW festival)

*Palos Verdes, California (somewhere along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, location shot from The Big Lebowski)

*Rio Hotel & Suites Casino (as a player in the WSOP Main Event)

*The Olympics (don't care when or where - but I think my best chance may be close)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Volleyball Ranting Backlash (a teammate's response)

For the first time in "View de TQ" history, a posting motivated another to blog a retort. I could not be more pleased. Here is the response, in it's unedited entirety. Also, for the record, I don't disagree with anything he said:

Response to a Certain Blogger!

This is to answer to a certain person's blog about Co Rec. Volleyball!

Here are all of the points that I must contest....

1- She was not just yelling at him, She was yelling at everyone.
2- He is not one of the better servers for this reason- you are only good in rec league if you get your serves over. He doesn't
3- His serve is not a topspin serve because by his definition it should drop sharply over the net, which i have NEVER seen happen on his serve. Call it what you want, its crap.
4- No natural talent
5- He got cut b/c he su cks
6- He didn't appreciate being yelled at, then he should make so many DUMB, careless, lazy mistakes. I don't appreciate missed serves.
7- The man showing up to a softball game under the influence of alcohol???? (WTF), I take great offense to that because he paints it like"this man" is the only one that does that when in fact at least 1/2 the team does that...isn't that the point????
8- He's not trying to land a spot on the London 2012 team, well thats obvious. Neither am I but I come to VB to play not to try out serves that I can't execute
9- He plays the sport for fun....PULEEEZE, lets face it, "sports fans" losing is not fun.
10- She was not attacking anyone, and definately not venomously. She was stating a fact. We gave the other team 10 free points on missed serves. Missed serves lose games. Are these not facts?
11- Lack of concentration caused his missed "serve" (Singular?? What about the other 5?)
12- Yelling out of frustration, doesn't necessasarily coincide with "aggressiveness." she was sitting on the bleachers trying to catch her breath, don't see how that could be interpretted as aggressive.
13- Serious about the league? I thought he was playing b/c it was fun....hmmmm
14- 12 year old jump serve probably isn't any worse than the lazy claimed "top spin serve" Maybe it would have landed inbounds....
15- There is one thing I can agree on....His attempt at a comeback definatley did not make me feel bad. Not one bit, and still doesn't....

Just a side note. I was yelled at for showing up at the game drunk (for the first time......ok maybe twice). Although Coed sports are for fun it is still very competitive, Mr. Blogger needs to put his purse down and grow some thicker skin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Cutthroat Nature of Co-Ed Volleyball

I got yelled at Monday night.
A former coworker is who yelled at me.
Shortly after we lost our co-ed volleyball game.

She, the yeller, was upset at me missing a serve.
I had missed a serve.
Normally, I have one of the better serves on the team.
(Seriously, I'm not pumping my ego here)

The only problem is: my serve is high risk / high reward.
It's an overhand topspin serve.
Cuts right over the net and dips down sharply.
Toss it up too low, it's in the net (hit it too high it screams too far out of bounds)

I used to have quite a healthy amount of natural talent on the volleyball court.
The only high school sport I can lay credit to is volleyball.
Until I got cut because there were three setters better than me and I wasn't tall enough.
(For those that didn't know me when I was a minor, I wasn't always 6'3")

But I'm veering away from my focus here...
I didn't appreciate being yelled at Monday night.
Volleyball is still fun to me.
Any effort to attempt to impede on that emotion is not welcome.

There are two people specifically on my "work teams" (softball & volleyball) that are at that "yelling competitive" level. The other yeller usually reserves his outbursts to the softball diamond.
This coming from a man that once showed up to pitch a game under the influence of alcohol.
During these softball tantrums, I keep silent.
They aren't normally pointed at me, but that's slightly odd because I'm significantly worse at softball.
Flat out said: I'm not good at softball... Easily the worst "guy" of the co-ed squad.

That could be why I'm yelled at during volleyball - the yellers expect more out of me.
But I'm not there to win a spot on the 2012 London Squad.
I'm there to have fun, playing a sport that's always been that way to me.
I'm staying at work up to 90 minutes later to go to the game direct from work.

I said something back to her Monday night.
As much as I hate to admit it, I pulled it from an interaction in fifth grade.

I said, "Well, you played perfectly."
In the spring of 1990 I teased Jeff Bott on how he was playing "Wall Ball."
Jeff Bott sullenly said something to the effect that I had to be perfect to make such a criticism.
I remember it making me feel awful.
That effect didn't translate to 2008's Skokie Park District Co-Ed Rec League Volleyball.
I walked away from her venomous comeback, quickly regretting the line I drew in the sand.

What did we learn sports fans?
Never underestimate the importance of mental toughness in your life - at all times.
Truth be told, my lack of concentration caused my missed serve.
My lack of mental toughness allowed my former coworker's aggression to act in a way I wish I didn't... (no matter how justified)

She's lucky I want to be serious in the league.
I was about to dust off the 12 year old jump serve.
Something that doesn't get better with age - it would've been an awful sight for our team.

Monday, November 10, 2008

One Smear Campaign Ends, the Other Endures

Mac vs. PC.
This has gotten nasty.
For those that don't know, I made the Apple switch over two years ago.
As a part of my emancipation, I welcomed my iMac into my world of independence.

But I think Apple has dug themselves too deep with making fun of "I'm a PC."
I guess they refused to be content with their niche cool-kid status.

As much as I prefer my Mac, I must admit that Windows has the superior ad campaign.
Sticking that "Yeah, I'm a PC - and proud of it" right back at'em.
By far there are more "PCs" than "Macs" and Windows is making a smart move playing to the fact that more people would rather be in the majority than hip.

However, the latest Windows ad, is the best proof yet that you can be both:

The Unabridged, sad, tale of my misadventure into Speed Dating.

..A couple minutes shy of 2 am, I am unable to sleep.
Now is just as good of a time to relay to you the ordeal of this past Wednesday.

My anninimity already gone, I will attempt to keep it for all others involved.
(All names have been changed)

Buster and Keaton are both single like me.
Amongst our normal "guy" talk consisting of the current fantasy sport issue or recent NetFlix title viewed - we've shared our various reports from the war of single life of the modern era.

Online winking there, blind craisglist dating there, coworker allegiance misinterpretations of the past and neighbor interactions of the future...

When Buster brought up the idea of attending a Speed Dating event it was mainly presented as:
"When we've been trying all these other methods, how can we not give this a shot?"
I was on board as long as Buster and Keaton would be in - I thought (at least) I'd be writing to inform others of an entertaining story.
Keaton, I sensed, was not fully on board.
After a year of joking and batting around the idea, we all committed.

Registration was to open at 8 pm, with the event starting at 8:30.
Buster arrived at my curb at about 7:50.
Keaton was already in the car.
Buster flipped on the dome light in his car, to make sure I wasn't wearing the same shirt.
We weren't... But in all respects - we were.

The striped shirt has become a massive cliche in the single guy wardrobe.
A slow plague of striped shirt dominance has appeared in my closet.
If you were to catch me stepping out to work, you have an over 80% chance of seeing me wearing a striped shirt.
It has become the new prison uniform.

We arrive at the location: a hotel in Rosemont (another suburb known for their... well, hotels to be honest with you).
Specifically the hotel bar, where we register.
Keaton first, followed by me, and finally by Buster.
Keaton has been assigned number 35, me 36, and Buster 37.
We were all handed sticker "name tags" with just these two digits markered onto them.

Now just killing time before the "first date" we attempt to scan the crowd for a sneak preview of our future.
I see no women with nametags.
I barely see any women at all.
There's the cocktail waitress, and a young woman playing at the pool table located just beyond the limits of the bar's seating area.

This bar is classically lit - for a bar....
Which means, dimly lit.
The music playing makes me feel like I'm at a junior high dance party.
The air is cold, thanks to a propped-open (for reasons unknown ) door.

A bit of future foreshadowing:
The most attractive girl I saw was our cocktail server.
The second most attractive girl I saw was the pool player, who quickly left the area before the monstrosity began.
The most interesting person I met was one of the other MALE speed daters.

Keaton was to begin at table 7.
I was slotted for table 6.
Buster got pegged for table 5.

Although I'm loosely using the term "table" here. The respective areas were more like lounge/booth setups than chairs with a table.

Carol is an assistant buyer for a large retail apparel chain.
She quickly announces her single motherdom.
She is an attractive woman, and has positive qualities.
The six minutes we spent was unspectacular.
I mentioned liked going to the city for concerts.
She recommended a pizza place nearby one of the venues owned by her friends.
After the debriefing with my two friends, it's learned that she has two children, aged 3 and 5.
Also learned is her age - six years older than I - and that she supposedly made out very well in a recent divorce.
Ladies and Gentleman, if you were a cougar hunter - I think Carol might have been your pick.
Truthfully, not for me.

I'm in the lucky position of being between Buster and Keaton. I don't need to wander around looking for numbers - just follow Keaton. Also, I don't have to worry about the next guy blowing up my spot because I'm confident that Buster won't be interrupting me looking to get a head start.

Here's how ROUND 2 began, word-for-word:
TQ: Hi, my name is Tom
Eleanor: Hi, I'm El- Tom [MY ACTUAL LAST NAME!]?
TQ: (instantly looking to my name tag, confused it just has "36" and not my name) yeah.
Eleanor: I went to Grammar School with you.
TQ: Eleanor Roosevelt?
Elanor: (nods head approvingly)
TQ: Oh, hey.

So let me fully illustrate how insulting me forgetting Eleanor Roosevelt is.
I went to a small Catholic Grammar School.
(By the way, let the record show I graduated first in my class)
Also, I went to this school from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade with Eleanor.
But she didn't look insulted in the least, for she used to have a crush on me.
I know this because I was invited to her 15th birthday party.
I have yet to find anybody else who was invited to that party in 1994.
It's safe to say, I went the last 15 years without thinking of Eleanor Roosevelt.
And now, I had to do nothing but think of her for the next six minutes.

Eleanor: I was just thinking of you, when I was walking my dog past your parents' house-
TQ: (interrupting) My parents don't live there anymore.
Eleanor: Oh, where?
TQ: Arlington Heights.
Eleanor: Oh, where in?
TQ: Lake Arlington
Eleanor: Oh, in one of the town homes?

Buster tells me, one of the first things Eleanor said to him during ROUND 3 is that she went to Grammar School with me.
Buster informed Eleanor that he was my friend, and wanted to know what I was like back in the day...
Buster told me she said, "He was wonderful."
He also told me that Eleanor said, "You know, I'm afraid you may stalk me - because your friend knows where I live."

So after I left the dark alley falsely disguised as memory lane with Eleanor, I looked to find Keaton - in order to find to whatever girl he just "dated."
But instead I saw Keaton sitting in the corner of the bar alone - not moving.
"Welcome to the bullpen" he says to me as I walk over.

Turns out that "Girl 7" is the end of the line, and because there are 11 guys at the event, you have to wait until the bottleneck clears up before you can talk to "Girl 1"
Keaton had just spent, in his terms "the longest six minutes of my life here with my tail between my legs." He was one fourth of his way into the bullpen experience.

Again, my position proved to be my advantage. I was able to spend this time - not alone - but talking and joking with Keaton... Six minutes later Buster would join us in the bullpen. And it was in this time period that the cocktail server came by to ask us if we wanted another drink. A cruel irony to have that attractive women talk to us at that point in the evening.

Keaton finally broke out of the bullpen to go back into the fray, and Buster and I talked with another guy newly arrived to the bullpen...
This was the most interesting person I met.
He was tall, like Barrack Obama.
He was slender, like Barrack Obama
He had a slightly darker skin tone, had short hair with a hairline like... you guessed it.
This guy, if he wanted to, could make a career as an impersonator of the man who was elected the night before to be our 44th President.
The story he told, of how he was able to get a blind date to the Grant Park Rally because he looked like Obama, was the best story of the night.

The first question that Debra asked me was, "How old are you?"
I didn't think this was appropriate to ask, I certainly didn't ask her in return.
TQ: 29, will be 30 in January.
Debra: Oh, when in January?
TQ: The 24th.
Debra: Oooooh, you're an Aquarian - that's gooood.

Later I found out that Debra grew up on the East Coast - went to a school I seemingly knew more about that her, and works for a major Airline. Also, I found out that Debra did not pay for this event....

Oh yeah, I had to pay $35 to attend such a circus.

...Debra was brought in by the event's organizers because too many men had signed up. She was brought in to even out the numbers. This was a clear example of having the "B-Team" brought in to the game during a blowout.

Gweneth is here with friends. She's happy to hear I'm here with friends too. She wants to know who my friends are - but I politely don't tell her.
She, in not a polite of fashion, wants me to guess who she's here with.
Because I later find out that she is an Air Traffic Controller, I don't have a hard time guessing.
Also, I should point out, that I'm noticing the intoxicating levels of alcohol being ingested by these women.
Gweneth has a difficult time connecting her lips to her wine glass on first attempt.
The only thing notable about Gweneth is her accent, she was born in England.
It's the only thing I found interesting about her... Something that was not of her control (like her drinking).

I'm not going to change this girl's name, because I think it's fake.
"Dream" is the name she told me.
I bet she wanted me to say, "what was that again?" but I heard it.
I bet she also wanted me to compliment on that name's beauty or originality, but I wasn't.
Midway through our six minute semi-interview for her courtship the beautiful cocktail server interrupted us to refill her triangular shaped liquor fueling system. She (the server) was doing a lot of this - which Keaton told me later he didn't appreciate.
Personally, I could have used more of it.
I was already beginning to mentally check out of this affair. Growing more upset at the level of drunkenness at the other end of the conversation.

Petria asked me 3 times in six minutes what I did for a living.
I answered truthfully everytime, but using different word choices.
My idea was to avoid the same words sparking a "oh, I already asked that" in her mind.
A potentiallly embarrassing situation.
But I think I overestimated Petria, it probably just confused her more.
This girl's best story was told to Buster one round (and another drink) after me.
I really wish I would've heard first hand how she reacted on the morning of September 11, 2001. Especially how the role of moving around her with her ex-boyfriend was involved. Supposedly, it involved someone dropping to their knees.

And then we came to the end.
Sharon, I thought, was the drunkest.
Turns out, she was the dumbest.
After this event, when Keaton went to the Mens Bathroom - he saw Sharon walking in when he was walking out.
Sharon is taking courses at a local community college to be a web designer.
Sharon does not know how to work an iPod.
Sharon, when asked by me what she does for fun, said, "I have a cat.... and I walk my two dogs."
I mentioned that I like to go to concerts - asked her the last show she saw was.
Sharon said, "I saw Carrie Underwood in Peoria, do you know what Peoria is?"
I told her the next show I had tickets for was My Morning Jacket.
"What's My Morning Jacket?"

Meanwhile the organizer comes by to tell us that he's not going to blow the whistle, because this was the last round.
Yeah, if I forgot to mention it before, the organizer had a gym-class-issued whistle he's blowing every "six" minutes. (Reports vary on just how accurate his timing method was)
I was nearly visibly angry at this lack of whistle blowing. I wanted to grab it from him and blow the holy hell out of it myself.

Next to me, I see Keaton walking away from Carol, girl six, who I started my night with and now Keaton was ending. Keaton was walking away, but Carol was now ordering another drink. I was thankful I got to talk to Carol before the liquid got to her.

Finally, when the organizer asked for my "card" it was my excuse to bail on Sharon.
This card was where you wrote down who you had interest in.
The girls supposedly do the same.
Buster wrote "no" for all seven women.
Although Keaton and I were not as decisive in our summary of the night - we all hope to never see any of these characters again.

Was it worth it?
Honestly, I don't know.
Yes, I got a story out of it (which was my only goal).
People who I told this story to last week laughed (which made me smile).
But I feel awful for having gone through it.

Monastic life looks better and better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Notes from an Electing night of Television

I took Wednesday November 5 off work for two main reasons.
One of which I plan to write about later, but the other reason was due to the Presidential Election.
I didn't go to any parties, bars, rallies or "The Rally" last night. On purpose, I was by myself, with total control of the remote. I wanted to watch the gamut of the coverage, both last night and this morning. Also, if i had been at work today it would not have been a productive day. I would no doubt talk to other political conscious coworkers and "stealing time" by reading various accounts on the Internet.

I took notes throughout this process:

Yes, that's me - still in my pajamas shortly before noon.
Yes, those pajamas are in the design of the glorious flag of these United States of America.
They fit.

7 pm: Finally settle into my couch after day that began shortly after 6 am voting.
Which included a half hour wait in line (not bad)
Still got to work before 8.
Also booked quickly from my home to the barber shop.
The barber shop was needed due to the non-mentioned other reason for my day off.
My barber and I wondered how exit polls could be accurate with so much early voting nationwide.
More importantly, I got to see my parents around 6:30.
My mother was embedded into her MSNBC coverage.
She was planning on sleeping on the couch, to spare my father (not a fan of MSNBC) a night without the bedroom TV on all night.

I decide to pick up a deep dish Lou Malnatti's pizza up on my way home.
A very large step away from my 11 week long current diet, but I felt like celebrating.

Ok, now to the real notes (all times Central):
7:15 | MSNBC | Chris Matthews: "Liddy Dole may be the first to ever lose a Senate race by not talking enough."
7:29 | MTV | (some unknown kid to me with a foreign/english? accent) boasts MTV's "best coverage" before throwing it to an episode of The Hills.
7:43 | Univision | Best election night graphics in my opinion. Simple, clear, not bogged down at all.
7:45 | ESPN | Flipping on my way to another news channel when I catch Ron Artest (of my fantasy basketball team) steal a pass, yes!
7:48 | CNBC | They've got their screen split six-ways, with six nobodys in diffrent sets yelling all their opinions at once
7:50 | Fox News | Election night graphics looks like a Downtown Las Vegas Slot Machine
7:55 | NBC | Both the highest and lowest tech graphics of the night. They lock Ann Curry in a green room and superimpose video game quality graphics all round her. I'm sad they stopped just before making her "float" over the nation. Over at the ice rink in front of 30 rock they have the electoral map painted, filling in red and blue when projected. They proudly show pictures of production assistants gingerly walking over the ice trying to paint Wisconsin blue. Also, on the actual facade of 30 rock, are two window cleaning boxes - one red one blue - climbing to the top... Each dragging a red or blue banner, creating the largest bar graph of Electoral Votes projected.

Also, Chuck Todd looked awkward on NBC. This may be partly to blame on my LDTV, but his "interactive map" looked very far away, and he clearly is vastly under-experienced at working that map. CNN plays it like a classical instrument.

(I made a decision to avoid CNN this night. I get hypnotized by that map play. Zoom in, zoom out, county alpha compared with region beta, flip to the 2000 map, scroll to the 2004 map... someone prep the defibrillator paddles.)

8:10 | B.E.T. | The find of the night, in my opinion. Their election special "Be Heard" prompted me to text my friend about it's entertaining and informative quality. Yes, they had 21 year old panel member wearing an Obama / Biden t-shirt - but I welcomed that opinion. They had a token conservative on there too, along with a race-undefined woman that seemed straight out of the mental hospital. I didn't right down who the host was, I was too busy trying to avoid his constant name dropping from his days in Atlanta working for the N.A.A.C.P. This may not sound like a program endorsement, but it was unfiltered coverage. They didn't care that a vocal studio audience was showing it's bias.

It was tough to click away from this channel. In fact, I was watching B.E.T. when Ohio was called blue. And it was interpreted, correctly, as a "game over." Some on the panel recognized it was an election night faux pas to make such declarations when polling places were still open in the western states... But their manners could not stop their enthuasism.

(At this time I also received the first text message from a texter understanding the significance and finality of Ohio)

8:55 | MSNBC | I only catch the tail end of Luke Russert at a live remote from the campus of Indiana University. I wish I could've caught this, I don't know what he said. It makes me miss his Father. His white board would've had PA and OH on the left side by now, awaiting to write FL and IN to one side or the other.

(oh, i need to make sure I tape the fourth the last episode of The Shield, yet another regime that is limping to its end.)

9-9:30 | Comedy Central | Clearly these boys are better when they write and prepare - Improv is not their strength. Disappointed, I keep flipping.

9:45 | NBC | Brian Williams has a reoccurring "Brokaw Country" comedy bit going here. I heard it slightly mentioned earlier, and didn't think it was notable, but now it is. Whenever they talk about a state that Brokaw either has or had owned real estate (i.e. Montana, Nebraska) Williams uses it as a segue to get Brokaw's opinion. My biggest laugh of the night occurs later on this network:
Chuck Todd references Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" books when declaring Obama the first post-boomer president slightly then says, "But Tom doesn't want a book plug-" and Brokaw quickly says, "Oh no, go ahead" and the whole NBC crew unsuccessfully hides their laughter. Brian Williams then, before asking Brokaw's opinion casually mentions that his book is available in paperback. Later, Ann Curry (possibly upset she's been banished to a green dungeon) thanks, "our best selling author" before guiding us through more glitzy exit polls.

10 pm | ALL NETWORKS | Obama projected the 44th President of the United States

I'm amazed by how closely this resembles sports coverage. Specifically at the conclusion of a Super Bowl / NCAA Championship / World Series.
Nobody speaks.
Only crowd reaction.
Cheers and hugs.
Panning shots of the masses.
Zooming closeups of collapsed supporters.

10:10 | B.E.T. | I think these shots of Jesse Jackson are the most awkward of the night. I first saw him on B.E.T. a few minutes before his tears were visible. It was odd to see him not being paid any attention to at all. He wasn't even in the front row of the frame. It was odd for me to see him portrayed that way, but I think he was okay with it. Maybe that's what made me feel awkward. I was expecting him to try to get some spotlight for himself. Shame on me for having this bad opinion and assumption of him. The Jesse Jackson I was watching on television at this moment was not a former Presidential candidate or a famously historic activist. Maybe he was just an American. However, I know he is also the father of a U.S. Congressman - wouldn't he want to be with his son watching his results?

10:15 | Fox News | I'm not sure why I ended up here. Maybe I felt like rubbing it in a little watching this network now. Maybe I thought they wouldn't even declare Obama the winner? But their slot machine of a graphics scheme had hit the jackpot for Barrack. They bring up Karl Rove and I have to admit I liked what I heard.
Now I was told earlier that Rove predicted a landslide Obama victory. I dismissed this as a self-serving opinion. Both because he'd look stupid if he kept up the false facade of the McCain camp and because he wants to point out how a campaign that didn't involve him easily lost.
I didn't write anything down what Rove said, and this morning I'm a little bit upset at myself. All I wrote was "very refreshing in defeat."

McCain concession speech
During his speech I can't stop the thought of, "What if he was able to get his dream 8 years ago? What if he had Obama's money to contend with the W. Bush warchest of 2000?" Couldn't somebody have prepped the crowd to not "boo" Obama's name? It makes you look like jerks, makes your network of supporters look like a giant bag of douche. Seriously, are they completely without class? McCain says, "good will and honest effort to come together" in his speech. We all know that fell on deaf ears, sadly.
-Hey, Palin is there!
Just a quick widening of the frame, and she's on stage too - totally didn't see that.
Todd Palin looks like he's going to run back to Alaska and re-up his efforts on Alaska Independence.

If that's Romney standing next to McCain - McCain is thanking his supporters for their help... in victory.

Final Note: Tavis Smiley on both MSNBC and NBC
I don't really like Smiley's PBS show, but maybe I need to give it another shot now.
He had the best comment/theory of the night - speaking of the "dividend" that Obama has now. A surplus of support so to speak.

How will Obama take advantage of this surplus in America?

The last time we had such a surplus, it was in the aftermath of September 11.
A surplus many think was wasted.

What will he ask us to do?
Will anyone try to stop him? Could anyone?
Possibly the only person to stop him could be himself?
His own worst enemy if the office changes him to an extent we can not foresee?

But I don't think that's likely.
This president has something reminding him of future consequences that hasn't been in the White House for some time:
Two young daughters.
Hopefully these young daughters will be a constant reminder of what this nation needs to do for a better future.
I emphasized "young" because I realize W. Bush had daughters - but they were older (or at least drinking like they were).

I guess we'll all have to stay tuned.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ben Folds Five - "Army" from MySpace Front To Back (TQ’s plea)

One of the first bands I saw live, and thus fell in love with, is Ben Folds Five.
They've since broken up.
Ben Folds has gone on to a somewhat successful solo career.
Friends have asked why it's not the same for me.
I don't know why...
They've said, "Isn't it just like how "Sting" by himself is the same as "The Police?"
They have a point.
But I can't agree with that.
There was something there, that is no more.
Three men together creating a sound-
-an atmosphere.

And recently MySpace got them back together for a "one time" performance.
To play their last album "front to back."
It's now online for all to watch.

Here's one song, their single from that album...
Man, why can't that start a reunion tour?

Check out this video: Ben Folds Five - "Army" from MySpace Front To Back

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TQ’s guide to "Mountie Rock"

So you want to get into Canadian Independent Rock Music?
A genre I lovingly call "Mountie Rock."
Allow me to make a few suggestions.
Follow the musical path I am about to lay out, if you so choose.

If you are a man, I suggest you start listening to this album first:
"You Forgot It In People" by Broken Social Scene"

If you are a lady, I suggest you start here instead:
"The Reminder" by Feist

After sampling these, ask yourself if you like the faster paced beats-
-or the slower paced grooves.

If you're a dude, and want to move stop here next:
"Folkloric Feel" by Apostle of Hustle

If you've got matching pairs of X chromosomes, and you don't stop 'til you get enough:
"Some Are Lakes" by Land of Talk

Now on the flip side, if you're a fella' and want to lay back with the brim o'your cap over your eyes:
"Population" by The Most Serene Republic

Similarly, if you are the fairer sex looking for introspection in music:
"In Our Bedroom After The War" by Stars

At this time let me disclose that I enjoy all above mentioned music.
By some accounts, there may not be much of a difference in the above voyages.
And, I surely did not come to all these acts in such a logical manner.
I may be depriving you of the fun of traversing the Northern Ally's landscape looking for cool note imports.

If you're still with me, and have enticed your Canadian appetite (not talking about venison here), it's time to take a seriously close look at Broken Social Scene.

Listen to the self-titled 2005 album by Broken Social Scene:

Feel free to play this performance in the background when I give a brief history of Broken Social Scene:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

LoT+ BSS = Wow

I spent more than a half hour attempting to find an appropriate video to describe the Broken Social Scene concert I attended last Thursday.

Thanks to the blog "Pop Tarts Suck Toasted", I think I found it.

That's where I found the below clip from just over a month ago. It shows Broken Social Scene performing "Shoreline" (which is, if you subscribe to the "YouTube as your popularity indicator" theory, would be their number one song). Key to this video taken at a NYU concert is that it features Elizabeth Powell.

This is "Lizzy" Powell, the front person and main creative force behind Land of Talk:

Land of Talk was the opening act for Broken Social Scene. And in the true collaborate effort that BSS is, Lizzy stepped in happily for any song needing a female vocal. This, if you don't know, was the path first blazed in BSS folklore by Leslie Feist (You've probably heard of her).

Land of Talk, although they didn't play the song I heard on NPR's All Songs Considered, had a powerful set... considering...

Considering that whoever was in charge of the sound quality the night of Thursday October 9 at the Vic Theatre in Chicago was incompetent. Honestly, I've never heard such a mismangled sound at a professional concert. Maybe I should give those boys some slack, because mixing an 8-11 member band must present unique challenges.

Back to Land of Talk:
Lizzie was hot.
She was powerful.
I just bought her debut album off iTunes.
Add another name to my growing list of "Mountie Rock" acts I'm following.

But LoT wasn't alone on using the BSS bandwagon to gain the attention of yours truly.
I've heard a few songs before from Apostle of Hustle, which I liked.
Julian Brown, of AoH, was performing with BSS last Thursday.
Just one more example of the interconnected harmony of the Canadian Independent Rock Scene... Here's a picture of Mr. Brown:

I haven't bought any AoH music yet, but I'm sure I won't be able to make that statement much longer.

As for the actual main event: the set by Broken Social Scene...
In any other year that didn't include a free ticket to Radiohead, that concert would have been the musical highlight of the year - and in the running for moment of the decade.
They played the songs I wanted to hear, but I got to experience the joy of BSS. To see 8 to 11 Canadians playing multiple instruments and truly conveying at atmosphere of fun playing.

There was also a sentiment expressed by Kevin Drew (one of the two "founding" members of BSS) that was echoed two weeks earlier from fellow Mountie Rockers Stars. Drew mentioned that he understood that economic times are rough, and that he appreciates everybody spending their money to see them live (and to fund his life, to be lived the way he wants to live it).

The show ended at 10:30 pm, per the neighborhood's noise ordinance mandates. They didn't waste any time, cramming as much music as they could muster. In a move I've never seen before, but dreamed of seeing, a band played their "last" song - then continued right into their "encore." This band doesn't want to pull the charade of ending a set and walking off the stage, in a gratuitous ploy for more applause. They just kept on playing. Because that's what we all wanted, and I get the sense that's what they wanted too...

It's safe to say that I will be purchasing two tickets the day the next BSS show goes on sale - then spending whatever time window I have leading up to the concert to convince someone else that it's worth the voyage. (Special shout out to Jeff, who was the unsuspecting party that I dragged to this show - but I think he appreciated it almost as much as I... Even if my dance grooves were probably embarrassing)

And now, for your viewing pleasure - Here's Broken Social Scene featuring Lizzy Powell performing "Shoreline"

Friday, October 3, 2008

How I got Stood Up by 20 girls in one night

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
The motto I try to live by is, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's if there's a story to tell."

With that in mind, I agreed to attend an event by an organization called "Date and Dash."

It was a Speed Dating event.
I signed up for a Speed Dating event.
Yes, an event in which you theoretically have over 20 first dates.
Each lasting 5 minutes.
You know, just enough time to get a great superficial opinion on a person.
Maybe that's too harsh.
Supposedly, it's just long enough to discover a first-impression spark.
But all that doesn't matter right now.
These people, from their site, don't matter right now:

Last night, Wednesday October 1, was the date my friends and I selected.
Selected after batting around this idea for close to ten months.
We finally did it, got all our ducks in a row, agreed on a date, and paid $35 each.

Coincidentally, October 1 was also the first day of the Major League Baseball playoffs.
Specifically, the first game of the Chicago Cubs post season.

I assume that Date and Dash selected a Wednesday Night in October thinking it would be a low key environment. Yes, it was in a bar - but who goes to bars in the middle of the week? Or, more importantly, what large group of people would cram into a Chicago Suburban Bar to the extent to overtake the entire venue?

The answer are these people:

So last night I rushed home from work.
Got into the shower.
Remarkably shaved without causing excessive facial bleeding (a rarity on nights when I try to make good first impressions to the opposite sex)
Spritzed on some cologne.
Put on my nice jeans, freshly polished black leather shoes and a button down that I know looks good because it was a bought as a gift from MySister...

All for naught.

For some fifteen minutes before my friend was about to drive up to my curb my phone rang.
I listened to the news that the crowd at the bar that came to watch the Cubs game was so large that there would be no space for the speed dating event.
The event was cancelled.

And I hung up the phone.
Officially all dressed up and no where to go.
This is what it must feel like to get stood up to the power of twenty.
It didn't feel good.
For months, the nervous energy had been pent up.
I was finally ready mentally, although maybe not emotionally, for what I expected to be an exhausting event with potentially large ramifications.

Everyone who I told before October 1 of this plan had to be let down as well.
People came up to me today, with small specs of hope in their eyes.
Many of these, had lost hope from watching the before mentioned baseball team get blown out.
Hoping to hear a comedic story from yours truly.
The next chapter in the Romantic Tragedy that is my life.
These friends of mine are the unknown solider casualties of this lost battle.
But they may not have died in vain.
Their hopes may be resurrected.
For I did pay my $35.
Money that will be credited towards another event on Date and Dash's schedule.

Stay tuned sports fans, stay tuned.