Thursday, January 25, 2007


Tax day has been postponed two days this year and will fall on April 17, 2007. That's two more days to let that stack of tax forms sit on your kitchen table. Two more days to say, "I'll do it tomorrow." Two more days to watch American Idol uninterrupted. Turns out April 15th falls on a Sunday this year, and Monday the 16th is Emancipation Day, an obscure holiday for the folks who live in D.C. - so your taxes aren't officially due until Tuesday the 17th. And that's all you need to know about that.


I love stupid criminal tricks. This surveillance video is a fucking classic. They pieced together video footage from outside and inside surveillance cameras to show you how NOT to rob a liquor store. The star of this short clip is a real winner whose mom should be very proud.

And if you're thinking of knocking over a booze mart, please take notes.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007


I found out something really disturbing a few weeks ago and I don’t know who to talk to about it, so I am just going to share it here. I have lived my entire lifetime unaware that there are people in this world who stand up to wipe their ass. And the people who informed me that this was the way they cleaned their house were equally shocked to discover that there are people in this world who wipe their ass while seated.

I remember it came up in casual conversation among friends during my New Years trip to Austin. I can’t say exactly how we arrived upon the topic of asswiping, but it is really not so uncommon for conversations with me to plunge into the defacatory realm. I guess you could say I like to talk a lot of shit. Shit is something we all know about because we all do it. I personally find the topic a nice icebreaker. It’s like the new weather.

OLD: Did you hear about that storm headed that way?

NEW: I find bananas really clean me out. Have you enjoyed similar success with any other fruits with peels?

But back to the fecal matter at hand. I remember a comment was made, and for clarification I delved a little deeper, at which point it became quite clear that the folks I was speaking with preferred to stand while wiping their ass. The ensuing look of shock on my face gave me away as a sitter. There was suddenly silence. No one knew how to react to this earth-shattering revelation.

It really felt like two worlds had collided – we just stared at one another, awkward and a little afraid, adrenalin pumping…not unlike, I would imagine, the colonists and natives coming face to face for the very first time. Who ARE these people, we thought of each other. So similar to us...and yet so very exotic and strange.

We immediately demanded from one another our rationales for sitting/standing to wipe and were awestruck to realize they were identical! I was told that the only way to really get access is to stand up. And yet, when I stand up, my ass cheeks naturally swing back together like saloon doors – which, frankly, I find dangerous. One moist dingleberry and you’ve got ass pancakes. Not pretty.

I’ve always just reached back from my seated position since my cheeks are already at maximum spread. It just seems it would be a safer, more effective method for asskeeping than standing up and trapping anything that may not have pinched entirely free.

I don’t know – I just don’t see it. And yet I was told by several people (whose hands I will never shake again) that they preferred to stand and wipe. Me? I won't stand for it.


I borrowed a stamp from a coworker today and it dawned on me that I hardly have a need for them anymore. I pay virtually all of my bills online now – at least the ones that aren’t automatically deducted every month. Needing a stamp today made me think back to the stack of bills I used to have sitting on my desk. Paying them all used to be such a hassle. Writing out all those checks, stuffing the envelopes, paying for stamps, and marching down to the mailbox. These days I pay bills in between checking e-mail and checking scores. I click a couple of buttons, type in the amount, and hit send. Done. Bills paid. And since I’ve never been the thoughtful type who sends holiday and birthday cards, my need for stamps has really waned in recent years.

But that didn’t stop me from appreciating the novelty in the link I'm about to share. For a small upcharge you can actually order custom designed stamps with your own personal photos on them! Like, for example, if you’re a sorry ass Packers fan, you might want to turn that popular photo of Rex Grossman getting his ass blasted by a Packers lineman (you know the one I'm talking about) into a postage stamp before mailing out your invites for this year’s Super Bowl party. They’ve even got a library of photos you can go through. Are they real stamps? Please. You did not just ask me that. Of course they are, silly.

If you still use stamps and have a few minutes to upload some pics, this could be big fun. Check it out!


Before he started appearing on those car commercials, this magician was just a street performer. Check out some of his routine here. Damn good stuff.


Do you know what today is? It's blue monday!

It's the day "experts" believe is the gloomiest, most depressing day of the year. And for folks in New Orleans and New England, blue Monday is certainly living down to the hype. Both NFL teams suffered agonizing defeats in yesterday's conference championship playoff round, leaving tens of thousands even more miserable than normal on this dreariest of all days.

Why is Blue Monday considered so blue? A combination of factors contribute: weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year's resolutions, low motivational levels, and the feeling of a need to take action. Yes, we're a bunch of cold, broke quitters with a list full of things to do and no motivation. No wonder we're feeling so blue!

At least those of here in Chicago have da Bears, so for us it feels more like Blue and Orange Monday. If we're not feeling well here it has less to do with the weather and more to do with the amount of celebrating we did last night. OUCH. I noticed that Vegas already has da Bears listed as 7 point underdogs. I like it. Nothing gets us midwestern folks riled up more than lack of respect.

Personally, I don't feel so blue today. Probably because of the massive crap I took this morning. Nothing like a power dump to start the morning off right.


Here’s an interesting theory on why our nation's arch conservatives are so fucked up. The author offers an insightful look into the despair of suburban communities and suggests this feeling of hopelessness is having a profound impact on ideology. I found a surprising amount to agree with in this well-articulated opinion piece.

Here's an excerpt:

"The engine that drives the radical Christian Right in the United States, the most dangerous mass movement in American history, is not religiosity, but despair. It is a movement built on the growing personal and economic despair of tens of millions of Americans, who watched helplessly as their communities were plunged into poverty by the flight of manufacturing jobs, their families and neighborhoods torn apart by neglect and indifference, and who eventually lost hope that America was a place where they had a future.

"This despair crosses economic boundaries, of course, enveloping many in the middle class who live trapped in huge, soulless exurbs where, lacking any form of community rituals or centers, they also feel deeply isolated, vulnerable and lonely."

That's good stuff right there. Soulless exurbs? I'm diggin' the rhetoric big time. There's plenty more where this came from.


I don’t know how it happened but I became important somehow – and it’s really starting to have a negative impact on my ability to be a good time.

When I first got out of college, I scored a full time gig writing for a local ad agency in Champaign, Illinois. It didn’t pay a whole lot, but then I suppose I didn’t really work a whole lot, either. We didn’t have a lot of clients, so I had a LOT of down time. I later came to understand that too much down time = unemployment office. But I was young, naive, and carefree, so I played computer games, e-mailed friends, started a couple of screenplays I wouldn’t finish, and kicked off an internet e-letter called All You Need to Know.

Yes - the very same AYNtK. There was a lot going on inside that I felt I needed to get out. And, surprisingly, people were interested in what I had to say. So I kept writing. In many ways, it was more rewarding to me personally than anything I was doing professionally at the time. Truly a labor or love.

Back then I would spend much of my workweek, every week, researching information about news, events, and little known facts…and then sharing that information with people all over the world – most of whom were strangers I would never know. I made fun of a lot of things, too, most of all myself, because it’s important to have a sense of humor. I definitely had a lot of fun back then, which is more than I can say for my poor liver. But the liver is doing much better today…what’s left of it.

In many ways, those were the days. Rent was cheap. Beer was cheap. My taste in everything was cheap. But even then I knew I had way more potential…and eventually, I was going to have to explore the world outside of that small, Midwestern campustown. Not long after 9/11/01, I moved back to sweet home Chicago, where I was born and raised. I got a job at a suburban marketing firm, nearly doubled my salary, and almost immediately began flushing that extra cash away on expensive rent, expensive beer, and more expensive taste in everything. That’s what city living is all about.

That was also when I discovered that there is a different pace to life in the city. People drive you to work harder and longer hours. Traffic congestion, crime, pollution, and other ills of city living began to sink in and I started wondering what the hell I’d done. I was driving myself crazy at the office, assuming more responsibilities by the day and falling asleep at 8:30 every night. It was brutal. Between the long commute and the even longer work day, I found I little time or energy left for myself at the end of the day. But it was good experience to have, however short-lived, if for no other reason than it showed me what was important to me: living close to work, relatively normal work hours, and ambient, natural light.

A year and a half after signing on in that suburban nightmare, I bailed for a small creative shop in the west loop.

Being the only writer at an agency is a blessing and a curse. There’s some degree of job security in being the only guy in house who can turn a phrase, but there’s also a lot of pressure being the only guy in house who can turn a phrase. I learned that mt previous experience was serving me well, and I was a lot better at doing the things the clients pay money for.

And then I got promoted.

And then I got promoted again.

And then I got promoted again. All in just the last year. I’ve been handed more responsibility than I’ve ever had before…an almost frightening amount, to be honest. But I keep accepting it because I know I can handle it. And because it’s good to feel needed. And because I’m still saddled by a tremendous amount of student loan debt. Unfortunately, the promotions came without the pay increases that might typically be expected. But at least now I have more options than I did a year ago. If they can't line your pockets with gold, you need to find that silver lining.

So here I sit - busier than can be. These days I don’t really have a ton of time to research information about news, events, and little known facts. And I don’t really have time to make fun of a lot of stuff, not even myself. Which sucks because it’s important to have a sense of humor. But it’s also important to feel financially secure, and that’s why I’ve been so out of touch lately. I’ve become important somehow - and it's really having a negative impact on my ability to be a good time.

But I can still feel it inside. There’s a lot left to share. A lot left to talk about. And I WILL get it out eventually...