27 December 2008

Separated at Birth?

Nick Eck

Fr. Frank Phillips

24 December 2008

National Hook-Up Day

According to Manhunt, a social networking website that facilitates same-sex casual sex, New Year's Day is the busiest day for red-hot, soul destroying, man-on-man, anonymous, steamy, impersonal, oral and anal sodomy with strangers. In fact, it has now been declared "National Hook-Up Day!"

Makes sense if you think about it. I mean, everybody is off work and no body has any plans. After a nice party the night before, all the boys are primed for more sizzling action the next day.

As for me, I'm afraid I'll have to miss out on all the torrid, slippery fun, as I will be hearing the Mass of the Circumcision of the Lord at Saint John Cantius parish.

Don't you just hate it when you have two fun things to do on the same day and can only choose one?

15 December 2008

Way Cool Water Tower!

Bean-Girl and I were taking the train out to Naperville to hear Stacy Tappan sing, when we passed through Riverside and saw this amazing water tower:

It's sad to think that no city council since the 1920's would authorized a delightfully eccentric public expenditure.

10 December 2008

Prowling the Night City ...

... leathern clad, jump boots for speed, gray flag flying defiantly on the left. I shall not hold the beast of prey to be "evil" merely for utilizing his own strength — unless, of course, he comes home after curfew!

25 November 2008

What a Shocking Bad Hat!

"What a shocking bad hat!" was the phrase that was next in vogue. No sooner had it become universal, than thousands of idle but sharp eyes were on the watch for the passenger whose hat shewed any signs, however slight, of ancicnt service. Immediately the cry arose, and, like the war whoop of the Indians, was repeated by a hundred discordant throats. He was a wise man who, finding himself under these circumstances "the observed of all observers," bore his honours meekly. He who shewed symptoms of ill feeling at the imputations cast upon his hat, only brought upon himself redoubled notice. The mob soon perceive whether a man is irritable, and, if of their own class, they love to make sport of him. When such a man, and with such a hat, passed in those days through a crowded neighbourhood, he might think himself fortunate if his annoyances were confined to the shouts and cries of the populace. The obnoxious hat was often snatched from his head and thrown into the gutter by some practical joker, and then raised, covered with mud, upon the end of a stick, for the admiration of the spectators, who held their sides with laughter, and exclaimed in the pauses of their mirth, "Oh, what a shocking bad hat!" "What a shocking bad hat!" Many a nervous poor man, whose purse could but ill spare the outlay, doubtless purchased a new hat before the time, in order to avoid exposure in this manner.

— Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds By Charles Mackay

15 November 2008

Young Black Man in a Burgundy Windbreaker

I was leaving the building where I work the day after the election in 2006 at about 6PM and I could see a black guy waiting at the door. You know how it is — guy standing there with his hand on the door, like he’s expecting to be buzzed in at any moment, but really he’s just waiting for someone to exit so that he can sneak in. This guy was tall, and skinny, in a burgundy red windbreaker and jeans, but it was dark out and I couldn’t see much more. So, I’m coming up from the basement, I can see him right from the bottom of the stairs, and, if he had any business in the building, by the time I got to the top he should have been buzzed in. Now I figure I’m going to have to be an ass-hole, not let him in, and insist that he try the intercom again. Things like this can get ugly, because the first thing a guy like that will say is: “You’d let me in if I was white!” There’s no answer for that. It’s half true, but you’d also let him in if he were dressed nicer, or if he were a woman, or if he had gray hair — you know, it’s a judgment call and you base it on the fact that most 20-something black guys probably don’t belong in your building ...

So, I figure I’ll go up and open the door real slow and careful and ask who he’s there to see, and if he can answer, then I might just let him by. But when I push the door just a bit, this guy pulls it wide and tries to slip by me real quick. I was about to object, when I notice he has really big ears, and I say “I think I recognize you!”

“I guess you do!” Caught dead-to-rights trying to sneak past me, Barack Obama stops, turns around and shakes my hand.

“You had a good night last night, didn’t you?”

“I guess, but let’s see what we can do with it.” Then he got in the elevator and headed up to the offices of political consultant David Axelrod.

08 November 2008

Stinky Goat

Almost thirty years ago, in 1978, I was at the Billy Goat Bar and Grill (made famous by SNL a few years later) with my girlfriend when who should show up, but Dick the Bruiser and wrasling promoter Bob Luce with a camera crew. It seems they were going to film a promo for their upcoming card at the Coliseum where Dick was going to fight that rascal, Nick Botwinkle! For good luck, the Bruiser was going to kiss Sam Sianis’ goat! So the cameras started rolling. To the left was the Bruiser, to the right was Sam holding the stinky goat, and in the middle was Bob Luce waxing hysterical about the upcoming grudge matches at the coliseum. Not only was Billy Robinson dying to get back at Mad Dog Vachon (who had bit him last time out), but the Bruiser finally had a chance to pay back that dastardly Nick Botwinkle after he had been knocked out by Beautiful Buddy Wolf with a folding chair during their last match. So, without further a due, the Bruiser will now kiss the goat ... BUT WAIT! The door burst open and in rushed Nick Botwinkle! He wasn’t going to let the Bruiser kiss the goat. So there they were, struggling, the Bruiser trying to kiss the goat while Nick Botwinkle tried to keep them separate, Bob Luce’s voice hitting the very peak level of hysteria possible before cardiac arrest became inevitable, and poor Sam Sianis trying to keep the goat from being hurt. CUT! The cameras stopped rolling, the blood enemies stopped dead in their tracks, everybody had a beer, and then they decided to try it again. Hey lined up the Bruiser, Luce, and the goat, Botwinkle went back out to the alley.

Just then my girlfriend insisted that we go before they started in again because “I can’t stand the smell!”

“Of the Goat?”

“No — of the Bruiser!”

08 October 2008

The Connoisseur

Back in January of 2003, when Pod-man was about nine, we were both supernumeraries in the Lyric production of Un ballo in Maschera with Wayne Tigges and Christopher Dickerson who were in comprimario roles. At the time Tigges and Dickerson were both in the Lyric's apprenticeship program, the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists; they have since gone on to impressive careers.

Right then we were waiting for act one to start. Pod-man was watching from the wings, as he didn't appear in act one, while Tigges and Dickerson entered after the curtain went up. So they talked:

Pod-man: I like it when Maestro Elder conducts; I think he really feels the music.

Tigges: Oh, you do?

Dickerson: Who else do you like?

Pod-man: I like Maestro Bartoletti because he's master of the Italian repertory, Andrew Davis is too nonchalant about conducting, I really like Eschenbach, he so sensitive. My dad likes Furtwängler in recorded music, but I think Bruno Walter gets a bigger sound out of the orchestra.

Tigges: (Looks uneasily at Dickerson) That's about what I'd pick.

Dickerson: (Nods in agreement) Yeah.

Now, this whole time, Pod-man has been twisting the sole of his shoe against the floor.

Dickerson: What are you doing with your foot?

Pod-man: When I move my foot like this — it makes a farting sound!

22 September 2008

Snappy Answer

So, I'm at work where I came up with a pretty clover solution to a problem. And this customer saw me do it, and he was impressed with my ingenuity, and he says, "Gee — you really know how to problem solve!"

"That's because I never backwards talk."

10 September 2008

Another of my Dad's jokes

My father was out in Los Angeles filming a commercial for Listerine when he was invited to an Hollywood party. Lulu showed up at the party and my father said, "What a stroke of luck! Maybe she'll sing a medley of her greatest hit."

One of my Dad's jokes

Probably in 1965 we were watching TV when Lee Phillip came on. Laconically, Dad said "You know I heard that Lee Phillip fell down the other day — broke her hair."

New Favorite Song

17 July 2008

I am just like Hello Kitty!

I never put much faith in astrology until I found out that Hello Kitty and me share she same birthday. This instant I found that out it struck me: I am just like Hello Kitty!!!!!!

I even look like Hello Kitty!


Hello Kitty:

03 June 2008

Pic of the Dutchman

Art students were taking pictures of guys at I.M.L,. This is their pic of me.

20 May 2008

Altered Street Sign

Oak Street, behind the Newberry Library.

Are they handicapped because they've been drinking?

07 April 2008

Bad To The Bone?

So, Pod-Man and I were sitting in front of the chess pavilion by the lake at North Avenue, watching people go by, when this couple came by dressed like out-law bikers. They wore black leather jackets, hers with long fringes, bandannas over their heads, blue-jeans, and boots. Only, they obviously weren't bikers: she was walking a little white yorkie while, despite his salt-and-pepper goatee, the fellow looked like a fairly prosperous bourgeois type. A they passed, we could see that the fellow's jacket had black-on-black embroidery reading: "Bad To The Bone"

So Pod-Man asked: "Bad to the bone?"

"Yeah," I answered, "No matter how you cook it!"

02 April 2008

A Few Practical Rules We Have Around Our House

Rule of Three: No one is allowed to say the same thing more than three times in one day.

Elbow Rule: All cups, glasses, mugs, beer bottles, etc. must be further from the edge of the table than your elbow can reach.

Laser Rule: When Dad and Wife-Mate are talking to each other, there is an imaginary laser beam that burns anyone coming between them.

Shoulder Pay-Back: If one person hurts another (steps on their toes, hits them, spills soup on them, etc.), even by accident, the offended party gets to punch the transgressor as hard as they possibly can on the left shoulder. This may not be fair, but it avoids a lot of arguing and the victim feels a lot better. This also has the effect of reducing the number of “accidents.”

Pew Rule: When sitting together for a long time (e.g. at Mass, at the movies, at a lecture), Daddy sits between the two smallest children, girls on one side, boys on the other.

Curbside Rule: When walking down the street, Daddy walks on the curbside. This has nothing to do with safety, it’s just to prevent the kinderen from talking to you from both sides about two unrelated matters simultaneously.

Fruit First Rule: You can’t have dessert unless you eat a piece of fruit first. By “piece” we mean the equivalent of an apple (half-an-apple for pre-schoolers); a single grape doesn’t count.

“Fair Warning”: Anyone who is going to tie-up the bathroom for more than ten minutes must yell out “Fair Warning!”

“Collection Time”: This is announced about ten minutes before diner is ready. At this time the kids are responsible for making sure 1] all dirty laundry is in the hamper 2] all towels are hung properly 3] all beds are made and 4] all dirty dishes are in the dishwasher or sink. At this point Dad makes sure the trash situation is under control (all full bags are out of the house and no trash can is too full) and that the table is cleared for dinner. Sure, these things should be done on an “as needed” basis, but they’re usually not, so having a daily Collection Time keeps things from getting out of hand.

Never Get In The Way Of The Working Man: Never, ever obstruct anyone who is working! My kids grew up around my print shop and they quickly learned that this rule is stringently, even violently, enforced. Wife-mate enforces this rule in the kitchen with a wooden spoon.