December 7 - Beach Bitching

Beach's A Bitch
We filmed on the beach this morning.
It was 4º.
I wore my polyurethane tights.
It felt like when I used to bike messenger.
Only I wasn't riding a bike.
In fact, I wasn't moving at all.
I just stood there holding onto a cold C-stand.
And when I messengered, no one had me deliver anything to the lake.
So it was nothing like bike messengering.
It was just 4º on a beach.
That is what it was like.

Bitch's A Beach
The weatherman was a lady.
She stood in the cold like a pro.
Even cracked jokes.
She was Chicago.
She was also single.
Chicago is a lonely hot chick.

And Then You Die
Next stop was the zoo.
This time Jerzy went with the crew while I stayed with the equipment.
I guess I missed a tiger eating raw meat or something.
Oh well.
Sometimes life is a piece of raw meat shat out by a doomed, castrated tiger.

Verdict: Loss

December 6 - Veruca's Salt (Winter Version)

Today began a six day shoot of run 'n gun style promos for a local affiliate.
The themes: Winter Weather and Black History Month
I would be working for Veruca once again.
A temperamental Brit with a sharp sense of humor.
I would also be working with Jerzy again.
A difficult contrary man.

We began the morning with hugs and handshakes.
I drove Veruca and the gang around in the passenger van, listening to them do bits.
As an admitted comedy snob, I usually have little tolerance for amateur bits.
But their bits were pretty decent.
Meanwhile Jerzy got lost with the cargo van.
Poor Jerzy.
This was going to be a long shoot.
Eventually Jerzy arrived at the first location and we shot a weatherman out in the stupid cold.
"I am sh-sh-Chicago."

Vermicious Knids
The second location was an elementary school in the South Loop.
We shot a first grade teacher with her rambunctious students.
The director this time was slow and boring and had little interest for anything it seemed.
His interviews dragged like talc in a sand smoothie.
The kids squirmed and whispered and shuffled and whizzed.
I would have a hard time being 6 around him, too, let alone 35.

After pizza, we interviewed the principal.
She owned the room like Tina Turner.
"I am Chicago!"
While the gaffer was busy setting up lights, Veruca took it upon herself to assemble an ancient rented jib.
It looked like a small, portable Texas oil rigger, and took her a while to put together.
Jerzy maybe could have figured it out quicker, but he had been exiled outside to sit and watch the vehicles.
He did this for four hours.
He was not Chicago.

Slugworthy Hornswogglers
The director's spiritless approach had put us behind schedule.
So we scratched the third location and went straight to Navy Pier.
That's where the ice sculptors lived.
In a ventilation duct inside a fake tree.

Nightfall had started and the pizza had worn off.
Veruca was getting salty.
Navy Pier, which inherently sucks, was awash with Christmas cacophony.
Sleigh bells echoed with reverberated choral dissonance.
It marred the possibility of filming anything coherent.
Besides, the ice sculptors weren't even sculpting ice.
They were sculpting styrofoam.
This was bad for all environments.
Veruca took it out on Chaz, the locations manager.
Chaz absorbed it and shrugged.
We aborted Navy Pier.

Having sacrificed a location and reduced another to solely B-roll, we had officially gotten the shoot off to a wonky start.
Veruca was pissed.
She lashed out at Jerzy when he asked her what he should do with the cargo van.
Jerzy got mad, too, and told me how these New York people and these British people didn't know how to do things.
Then he asked me what he should do with the cargo van.
I told him he should park it in a garage.

It was a long, tiring day.
The first of six.
Stress and tempers were in the forecast.
But somehow I escaped their wrath.

Verdict: Win

December 5 - Nurse Novels "Frozen Muzak" Is Mixed

Today Greg, Tom and I finished mixing The Nurse Novels LP.
It's called Frozen Muzak.
Here's the info:

1. War (Lux)
2. Sea Day (Mendoza)
3. Work Whorse (Lux/Mendoza/Vale)
4. Little Boy (Mendoza)
5. Make Me Cry (Vale)
6. Mirror (Lux)
7. Monsters 'n Moldies (Mendoza)
8. Catalyst (Lux)
9. The Pelts To Prove It (Vale)
10. Shoo Fly (Lux)
11. Inside A Car Wash (Mendoza)
12. NIMBY (Mendoza)

Thea Lux - Guitar, ukulele, vocals
Tony Mendoza - Drums, keyboards, vocals
Tom Vale - Keyboards, guitar, vocals
Nicole Vitale - Bass, vocals

Alan Scalpone - Accordion on "War", trumpet on "Make Me Cry"
Greg Norman - Trombone on "Make Me Cry"
Heinz - Pedal steel on "Sea Day"

Recorded by Greg Norman at SGSII in Chicago, 2010

This LP is not available anywhere!

Verdict: Win

December 4 - Eggs

My old pal Bill read today at The Paper Machete.
I loved his piece.
It was a tribute to a guy who died this week.
A guy he knew from hanging out at a 24 hour diner.
In the wake of pearly tributes to Ron Santo and Leslie Nielsen, Bill's homage to his diner buddy was poignant, rambling, and incredibly funny.
The totebaggers didn't know what to do with it.
It seemed so...unpolished.
I laughed sympathetically and appreciated the man for whom Bill was paying his respects.

I hadn't seen Bill in a long while.
He used to work as an apartment hunter.
Three years ago he showed my girlfriend and I a unit in a complex.
In the elevator he lowered his voice to a secretive level.
"Just you know, there are a lot of saxophonists in this place."
My girlfriend nodded, the gravity of the statement weighing heavily.
I didn't understand why saxophonists were such a nuisance.
Yeah, I guess hearing them practice scales would get annoying after a while.
Especially if they're just going to use them to play David Sanborn smooth jizz.
I asked Bill why saxophonists were such a problem in the building.
He seemed confused.
But then he figured it out.
He didn't say "saxophonists".
He said "sex offenders".
Slight difference there.
Yeah, but..
I wonder how many sexual offenses have been committed to the music of David Sanborn.
I say about 1,300.

After his piece, we caught up a bit.
We decided that being in our mid-30's is funny.
It's better than being in our mid-20's, because things are now worse.
And that is funny.

I said we should hang out at the 24 hour diner sometime.
I meant it.
I looked into a snowglobe of the future and saw Bill and I hovered over our greasy plates like a couple of stationary hobos, still trying to figure it out between drinks.

Sometimes I believe in the romance of Nelson Algren.
But then I see Nighthawks on some dumb wall.
And I wonder if I just like eggs.

Verdict: Win

December 3 - Simpler Times

We did wake up today.
We weren't sure if we would.
This place was pretty remote.
And we weren't alone.

A nice lady greeted us in the lobby of the lodge.
She gave us a tour of reception hall.
It did have a view of the lake.
A few drifter types were fishing on its muddy shore.
We weren't feeling it though.
I think we would have to rent a PA if we wanted music.
And it's far away from everything.
Except nomadic fishermen.
Militia types.

We had to be back in the city by 3pm.
Veruca from NYC wanted me to pick up camera equipment and craft services for next week's shoot.
So we raced down the peninsula, and coastal Wisconsin.
I thought about starting a magazine called Coastal Wisconsin.
It would be a nice way to go bankrupt I felt.

It seemed like Chicago got dark by 3.
We got the camera gear and the craftie junk.
Veruca likes her yogurt-covered pretzels and kettle corn.
I like them, too, as long as she's buying.

I bought a $3 six-pack of Simpler Times beer.
Remember simpler times?
Yeah, man.
When a wedding cost $3!
That's the way it should be.
Simpler times.
Like those guys do it up in remote Wisconsin.
No more cellphones.
No more iPods.
No more Facebook.
No more government space cameras stealing your identity with AIDS and solar powered windmills.
Just me and my horses.
And my outhouse.
And my guns.
And my America.
And my racism.
And my SUV.
And my drive-thru Wendy's.
And my plasma-screen TV.
And my anti-socialist chat room.
Oh hey.
Please "like" my militia on Facebook.
We're called The White Devil Risers.

Verdict: Win

December 2 - Nuptial Fieldwork

Lauren and I drove to Door County today for research purposes.
We scouted three reception halls and a venue.
(For our wedding)

The first reception hall was idyllic.
Luxury lodging.
Lakeside and bayside cabins.
Rooms with retro fixtures.
Wood burning fireplaces.
I fell for the restaurant which overlooked the water.
But they were pricey.
And not the warmest people.
But maybe that was the Scandinavia in them.
We liked the hall and said so on the way to the next one.

The second hall was warmer.
They smiled and wanted to work with us.
However, the room offered no view of the lake.
It seems I was fixated on that view.
And the lodging wasn't as adventurous.
Or expensive.
And again, they weren't as standoff-ish.

Then we checked out another stave church.
Door County has two stave churches(!).
The one where I proposed was on Washington Island.
It is only accessible by ferry.
The logistics of getting a large group of people punctually onto the island seemed nightmarish.
Imagine getting all the way out to northern Wisconsin only to find you've missed the ferry, and therefore the wedding.
Or you arrive on time but the ferry is full.
Or we hire another ferry through the Coast Guard or something and it only costs $30,000.

It's December.
There's snow up here.
The sun had vacated the horizon.
We snaked through the twilit woods.
This place was secluded.
Somewhere in the middle of the darkness was a little black church.
A goofy woman with a cold gave us a tour.
The goofy woman with a cold was warmer than the guy at the first hall.
The church was pretty rad.
For a church.
It had a pump organ.
And a little one person balcony.
Like a minister's sidecar.
We pulled on a rope and it rang a bell.
This place was pretty awesome.
For a church.
We decided that we would do it here.
Get married that is.
Not have sex right there in the church.
We wouldn't want to catch a cold from that goofy woman.

It was dark now.
And cold.
We had one more appointment.
A reception hall on the lake.
It was huge.
And German.
And unheated.
The woman who showed us around seemed distant.
Maybe it was the cold.
Or the German in her.
We followed her breath to all the many rooms.
This place was nutty.
There were large cut outs of drunk cartoon animals in lederhosen cheering us with cartoon beers.
Everything was wicker.
There were pianos in a few of the rooms.
The rooms seemed to be from the 80's.
The general theme was brown.
I liked it.
It could be fun for our October wedding.
Maybe it could contain elements of Oktoberfest.
We're open to things.
But the hall closed on October 1.
And they were rigid about that.
Oh Germany.

Door County gets deserted by December.
The streets are pretty empty.
Only a handful of restaurants are open.
I found it quite relaxing.
We settled on a barbeque spot.
Then it was time to discuss our budget.
It helped unrelax me.
There's no getting around it.
A wedding is going to cost money.
Fucking money, some would say.

Reception hall.
Hors d'oeuvres.
Bar charge.

Liquor, that's an idea.
This beer tastes relaxing.

Dance floor.
Cake fee.

Oh good.
The food's here.
What are these?
Fried corn poofs?
Slightly relaxing.

Thank you notes.
The dress.
The suit.
The rings.

Could I have another beer, please?
Almost relaxing.
What else?

Rehearsal dinner.

So far the grand total is $1.6 million.
I think we're having our honeymoon in Gary, Indiana.

We took our barbeque out in doggy bags.
Tonight we were staying way up in Ellison Bay.
On the edge of nowhere.
It was real black up there.
Like the sky had turned off its TV.
We didn't even know we were twenty yards from water.
I think the moon took the night off.

They left the door open for us.
There was an Omega Man feeling to the lodge.
We felt like the last people on earth.
But somebody had to be running it.
The last couple not alone!

Verdict: Win

December 1 - The Green Tin Ceiling, The Checkered Floor

My notes for today say:

Waste of a day
Dead night at bar

When it's dead at the bar, I read in the dark.
When it's too dark to read, I spend money on the jukebox.
When I run out of dollars, I look around the bar peacefully and purposelessly.

Here are some things I have looked at in the bar when it's dead:

Nude Madonna poster
The El
The Tamale Guy leaving
Giant Bears helmet atop the defunct phone booth
Kim texting
Taxidermied antlered deer
A TV playing B-movies
Framed Happy Jack LP
Ceiling kites
Budweiser blimp
Lingering hipsters playing the same three ELO songs
Errant Connect Four pieces on the floor
Dr. Dude pinball machine
Another TV playing the hockey game
Ceramic pigs overlooking Beach Street
Leroux peppermint schnapps mirror
Sloppy couple public foreplay
Einstein poster
Chrome or Timbuk2 messenger bags
Miniature footballs (Spiderman, Jack Daniels, Navy)
A third TV playing Pee Wee's Playhouse
Peanuts, Cheez-Its and Slim Jims
Drunken off-key, off-lyric shout-alongs
Rotating Radio Shack color sphere (resurrected by Kim)
A dictionary and a thesaurus
Old Style lamp
H.R. Pufnstuf poster
Bears gnomes
A big tooth
The green tin ceiling
The checkered floor
My cellphone

I think I almost made $30.

Verdict: Loss

November 30 - Lauren Wins, Therefore...

Today I biked to Kinko's.
I mean Fedex Office.
I mean who cares.

To file unemployment electronically in Ill-annoy, you need to use a PC.
I own a Mac.
Did I ever tell you I auditioned for those Mac/PC ads years ago?
At the audition, I was supposed to be paired up with my good friend Mick.
But Mick blew it off.
I wish I had blown it off, too.
I could have eaten a sandwich or something.
Instead of riding the fence between nervousness and apathy.

Where was I?
Oh yeah, at Kinko's.
I mean FexEd.
I mean who gives a rat's fax.
Ha ha!
Still got it!

Um, yeah.
I filled out all the unemployment crap on a Windows 97 machine.
It made clicking noises until I think it all went through.
I guess.
I wiped the ribbon ink off my hands and went home.

Lauren's been a busy one this month.
For the second year, she entered NaNoWriMo.
It means National Novel Writing Month.
So Lauren wrote a novel this month.
Pretty impressive.


So normally, this would be a loss for me.
I went to Kinko's.
I mean FedFux Orifice.
(Still got it!)
And I applied for the dole yet again.
On paper, a worthless day.

But you see, I am engaged now.
To a creative, driven, and productive woman.
Now we experience things together as a unit.
Like a sexy Voltron.
Or those evil GI Joe Twins.
Tomax and Xamot.
When she wins, I win.
When I win, she wins.

Today she finished a novel.
And so now I wrote half of it.
I think this is how it works.
Lazy worthlessness finally pays off for ME.

Verdict: Win

November 29 - Carl, You Do An Excellent Job

I wrote a silly song today.
Actually, it's a stupid one.
It's called "Carl, You Do An Excellent Job".
It takes place in an apartment complex.
Carl is the maintenance man.
He leads a simple life.
And he does a good job around the apartment complex.
Some would say an excellent job.

I made a video for it.
For no reason.
It ended up being a tribute to the first Carl I could think of.

Verdict: Win

November 28 - Toled'oh

We bid adieu to Lauren's folks and the great state of Pennsylvania, and greeted eight hours of roadway.
I had scouted a lunch spot in Toledo.
A diner called Schmucker's.
They had a neon sign said "GOOD FOOD".
But when we arrived, the sign wasn't on.
Maybe they were only serving bad food at the time.
We were hungry so that would have been fine.
But alas, Schmucker's was closed.
Next time.

We tried another place.
One of those 50's diners from the 90's.
It had just closed.
It was 3pm.
Toledo is a tough town.

Backtracking toward the highway, we stumbled on a jumbo restaurant.
The Six Pack Bar & Grill.
We walked into the large box.
It was an ugly barnacle of a barn, illuminated by 427 television sets.
All the TV sets were forced to play sports.
They seemed sad.
We sat down next to a couple of dudes watching NFL and waited, eventually flagging down a waitressy looking girl.
She took our drink order.
Three waters.
"Do you have a menu we could look at?" Lauren politely dangled.
The waitressy girl pointed to a wall.
"It's on the wall."
We squinted, struggling to find the wall menu in the dimly lit horse shed.
She must have thought we were complete morons.
Yeah, maybe.
After all, we chose to come here.
"C'mon, I'll show you," she waved.

Once we saw the menus we said understood.
The menu was printed on a giant, saggy vinyl banner in a corner by the restrooms.
The options were limited.
Pre-made apps.
Frozen pizzas.
Burgers from bags.
The way they were positioned on the dying banner, the menu items looked like they were competing against each other.

Cheeseburger vs. Nachos
Hot Dog vs. Cheese Fries
Potato Chips vs. Ding Dongs

We were hungry.
But not 7-11 hungry.
We retreated to our table and sat down.
The waitressy girl came back with our waters and accidentally spilled one of them on my mom.
"Oh no/shit!" they said respectively.
The NFL dudes shot us a look.
We sipped our waters.
Time to go.
We put our coats on.
The NFL dudes seemed offended.
"Are you leaving because she spilled your water?"
No, I said, we thought this was a restaurant.
The kind that has the word "Grill" in its name.
The waitressy girl was nice though, and recommended a spot in a strip mall back by Schmucker's that actually used a grill.
So we went there.
And then we went home.

Thanksgiving weekend had ended.
It was an emotional roller coaster.
But a mild coaster.
Like The Whizzer.

Verdict: Win

November 27 - Family Friend Grabass

Tonight we threw a surprise party for Lauren's mom.
We hid in a steak house filled with balloons.
All her friends were there.
And all her daughters, too.
Including a daughter who flew in from Mississippi.
Even my mom showed up!

We yelled it.
It blew her mind!

Lauren's folks have good friends and family.
They like to get silly and make sloppy, slippy speeches from the heart.
It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman.

The spirit (and spirits) of the evening overtook me.
While hugging a family friend goodbye, I inadvertently squeezed her ass.
Poor Bonnie.
I apologized profusely.
She dismissed me with a hand.
"It was the best part of the night," she said.

Verdict: Win

November 26 - Ducks, Talks, Drinks

Lauren, Lauren's folks, my mom and I went on a duck tour.
Those amphibious WWII-era tanks that have been known to cause casualties.
It was fun.
We quacked along with the best of them.
Surprisingly the citizens of Pittsburgh weren't annoyed.
In fact, they quacked back.
Why not?
The Stillers are having a good season, n'at.

It was brisk out in there.
Especially when we drove onto the river.
Either the Allegheny or the Monongahela.
Or both.
It is a confluence.
It gets slippy.

For lunch we ate at Primanti Bros.
I love Primanti's.
They put coleslaw and fries on the sandwiches.
I forgot what I ate.
Kolbassi, cappicola, knockwurst with egg.
Yinz gotta try it anymore.

Ah, but the fun had to end at some point.
It was time for Lauren's folks, my mom, and Lauren and I to sit at a round table and discuss the wedding.
It didn't go well.
We explained that we are not having a traditional ceremony.
I think this conjured images of blood soaked orgies, homosexual Manson worship, bestiality, consumption of human organs, and guzzling wine made from abortions.
At one point, my mom said "who are you?"
I was reduced to my sixteen-year-old self once again.
We got to the dead end of the discussion in a circuitous manner.

In lieu of peace, I drank.
In lieu of sleep, I harbored anger and resentment about what is scheduled to be the happiest day of my life.

Verdict: Loss

November 25 - Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh


Verdict: Win

November 24 - Chicago To Pittsburgh With The Women In My Life

Lauren, my mom and I drove to Pittsburgh today.
It's about an eight hour drive.
I got crabby.
Why do I get so crabby around my mom?
We do things differently I guess.
She likes to bring lots of pillows and bedding to places that already have pillows and bedding.
And other stuff.
It turns me sour and silent and sixteen.
I have to stop being sixteen at some point.
It's not that bad.
It's not even bad.
She loves me.
And she doesn't want me talking about her on the internet.
So I'll stop.
But I was crabby all day.

We stopped for lunch in Toledo.
Tony Packo's.
It's a Hungarian comfort food spot.
Klinger name-checked it a few times on M*A*S*H.
They have hundreds of autographed hot dog buns framed on the walls.

Jamie Farr
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Barack Obama
James Earl Ray*
Burt Reynolds

* no, not James Earl Jones

Despite displaying a racist murderer on their wall of fame, lunch was yummy.
Hot dogs, chili, paprikas dumplings.
Four more hours to Pittsburgh.

Lauren's folks welcomed us into their warm home with home made lasagna and wine.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
Here we go.

Verdict: Win

November 23 - Brief Nudity! Diane Lane! Brief Nudity! Diane Lane!

Lauren tolerates my celebrity crushes.
I am quite thankful for this.
There are many.

Donatella Arpaia
Maura Tierney
Angela Kinsey
Kim Deal
Rashida Jones
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Randi Oakes

Like most fellas, the list actually never ends.

For tonight's entertainment, Lauren suggested a film starring a long time crush, Diane Lane.
It was called A Little Romance.
It is set in Paris, a romantic town if ever one was forced to be that way.
"Okay," I said, and wondered aloud if it would have any brief nudity.
Lauren made an ostrich face.
Undeterred, I prepared for the possibility of brief nudity.

The lead in A Little Romance is a little girl.
She plays the daughter of an American actress.
They are living in France while her mother films a movie.
The girl seems to be about 9 or 10.
She's precocious and this sort of thing.
A French boy takes a liking to her and begins to court her.
He, too, is about 9 or 10.
Okay, cute, cool.
Where is Diane Lane?
She must be the hot actress mom.
I wonder what kind of actress she was playing.
Maybe a Skinemax actress.
Maybe one of the scenes would take place on the set of her Skinemax movie.
And I would get to see Diane Lane's boobs.
Or her butt.

The movie went on and focused on the little kids and their romance.
No sign of Diane Lane.
"When was this movie made?" I asked.
How old was Diane Lane in...
The 9 year old is Diane Lane?

Lauren has a funny sense of humor sometimes.

Verdict: Win

November 22 - Life And Its Endless Possibilities

Today I wanted to watch Gumby.
I ended up watching Eraserhead instead.
That is all I did.
I don't remember leaving bed.

Verdict: Loss

November 21 - Getting Married Is A Snap

Tonight Lauren and I hosted an engagement party.
The first of many mandatory "LOOK AT US" events held to satisfy the requirements for the ritual of marriage.
This one proved relaxing and fun.
We held it at The Edgewater Lounge.
Nice beers, nice woodsy decor.
Friends from all local walks of our lives celebrated our impending nuptials.
Bitter Tears, Annoyance, Second City, Boom Chicago, NCL, and PAing were all represented.
It was an easy night.
So far getting married is really laid back.
All you do is meet, drink, and receive good cheer.
There's no stress and nothing to get worried about.
I'm looking forward to it staying like this for the remainder of the process.

Verdict: Win

November 20 - Santa's Hell

Today Tom and I recorded a Xmas song for WXRT.
It's called "Santa's Hell".
You can hear it here.
The lyrics:

Santa watches your life
He sees when you've been naughty
Bad kids have a bad life
This year you've been naughty

Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho

You'll work 16 hour days
In a factory without ventilation
Making toys in a blaze
Of tears, blood and dehydration
Your timid organtic (sic) parents can't help you
They took the hybrid car and went on vacation
So grab a mallet
Make the toys
And while you're at it make me a yuletide libation

Cuz you're all in hell, you little geniuses
Santa's Hell
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho

The lyrics were inspired by a moment at the Lincoln Square Costello's on Halloween weekend.
I was exiting and noticed a little boy and his mother entering.
I held the door for them.
The little boy stood in front of the door pouting.
"No! I don't want to!!"
He stomped his feet.
His mother talked to him gently, like she was his lowly assistant.
"But you like hot dogs."
I continued to hold the door for them.
The little boy stomped some more.
I aborted being nice (a verb the mother might have considered), and walked through the eye of the tantrum.
They were oblivious.
They were oblivious to the world.
I looked around Lincoln Square.
The streets were saturated with hundreds more of these people.

In 2010, kids are king.
This song harkens back to a golden age when children were lucky to have survived birth, punished with hard labor, and subsisted on a diet of mush and gruel.

Verdict: Win

November 19 - The Sushi Cunts

I treated Lauren to a belated birthday dinner.
We chose Sushi Mike's, where Mike Sushi makes sushi.
It's a favorite of hers, now meaning ours.

We sat at the bar.
It was Friday and busy.
Mike Sushi seemed preoccupied.
With getting drunk.
At least he was a happy drunk.
That's the kind of drunk you want brandishing knives.
Mike Sushi also seemed preoccupied with the group next to us.
A gaggle of drunk trixies.
The kind that all go out in a uniform of blue jeans and white tees.
White teases.
We endured their grating cacophony of upward inflections.
And waited.

An apologetic looking server opened our bottle of wine.
We sipped on that for a while.
And waited some more.
The sushi trixies gave Sushi Mike another bottle of their beer.
They laughed in flat, ugly cackles and blathered on about screechy nothing.
I felt my teeth grinding.
The apologetic looking server took our order.
We opted for "The Mike Sushi".
That's where you list things you like and don't like.
Then Sushi Mike makes tailored sushi magic!
We were excited that our order was being taken.

While pouring our second glass of wine, we felt the periphery of the sushi trixies staring and laughing at us.
When we met their judgmental stare, they quickly looked away and stifled their giggles.
Lauren was wearing her pilgrim dress.
I was donning my diabolical goatee.
Yes, we looked like Satanists.
But the sushi trixies decided that was "gay".
Their pickled, snake-faced laughter transported us back to high school.
Or even junior high.
It was gross.
So we changed their names to "the sushi cunts".

I stared back at the sushi cunts and held it.
They were gross.
I put on a pair of X-ray glasses and observed them some more.
Their hearts were the size of tiny penises.
And they had fake tits for brains.

Sushi Mike broke the tension by fawning over their malicious flirting.
Remember when a popular girl would make fun of a dork by pretending to think he's cute?
This is what the sushi cunts were doing to Sushi Mike.
Selling him fictitious pussy.
And he was buying.
He fed each of the sushi cunts' mouths with his chopsticks.
"You get the big one!" he funnied to one of them.
They all laughed at the originality of the joke.
Then one of the sushi cunts spoke louder than the other sushi cunts.
Our wine bottle was almost empty and we hadn't eaten a thing.

It had become a horrible birthday dinner.
But we decided to accept it.
So we let horror lead the way.
"Maybe we'll get a story out of it."

Eventually, a dish arrived.
It was good yum yum etc.
But it was the same Mike Sushi original that we had the last time.
So he was phoning it in for us.
While we were re-eating his personalized creation, a woman on her way out shook her head shamefully at Sushi Mike.
Then the table behind us murmured about the lack of service.
We commiserated, though it was hard to hear over all the amateur innuendo from Mike Sushi & The Sushi Cunts.
The apologetic looking server apologized and gave us a free dish of sushi remnants.
"I'm sorry.  He's really drunk tonight."

Finally, the cunts left.
They took their queefy stench with them.
A blue glow pulsed under Sushi Mike's apron.
He staggered around, clumsily cranking out more careless sushi.
He attempted to have a conversation with us, but sentences weren't happening for him.
He knew he had fucked up, but he was too fucked up to amend it.
We nodded and smiled.
He stumbled over to other tables for unexpected visits like Drunkzilla, decimating the art of conversation.

We sighed and put on our coats.
Sushi Mike had become The Wizard of Oz.
Behind his curtain were just a few plates of sushi.
And an endless mirage of carnal hallucinations.

He intercepted us at the door.
"I'm moving.  Got to move," he slurred.
Poor Sushi Mike.

It was a horrible night.
But sometimes horror is fun.

Verdict: Win

November 18 - Happy Birthday, Lauren!

Today was Lauren's birthday.
She is my current fiancé.
How did I celebrate?
I got up bright and early.
And I tip toed out of the house.
I went to work!

Once again, on two hours of sleep, I PA'ed.
It was a Spanish version of the commercial we had shot last month.
I got to stand-in for the female talent.
It looked like this.

Some of the fellas whispered on the radio about how sexy I looked.
They were right, in a GHB kinda way.

The AD asked if I could slate.
I made the word "yes" with my mouth and found myself purposeful for the entirety of the day.
Miraculously, my slating was flawless.

Meanwhile, Lauren was birthdaying all over Chicago.
She got massages and oilses and featherings and all that stuff the gal pals in Sex On The City did.
Then she went out and enjoyed nondescript celebratory activities during the night.
When she got home I was asleep.
If you squinted hard enough, my snoring almost sounded like a garbage disposal singing "Happy Birthday".

So Hrrrkkkkkapprrrrkkkky Brrkkthkkkkrrray, kkkLrrrrnnnnnnkkkkk!

Verdict: Loss

Nurse Novels - Last Show Of This Vintage

The Nurse Novels are playing our last show.
Here is what I told the press, who ignored it.
I'll pass it along to you.

In 2010, Chicago needed one more band.  And The Nurse Novels (former members of Let’s Get Out Of This Terrible Sandwich Shop with Nicole from Unicycle Loves You on bass) rose to the challenge.

But the challenge proved difficult.
Without a flashy, obnoxious name, few took notice of Chicago’s latest band.  The six that did declared it a graduation from the Sandwich Shop.  The Nurse Novels wrote stronger songs, had matured as musicians, and crafted better arrangements, without having to rely on improv bits or sketchy gags.

So now they were just another band.
And they didn’t have the energy to pitch their songs to ad agencies, sift through hourly Reverbnation spam, or figure out what item to sell at the merch table other than their album to get people to buy their album.

Last week, The Nurse Novels saw a classified ad in Illinois Entertainer.  A new reggae band was forming.  They call themselves Peace Spliff.  They sell one-hitters and jam.
So in 2011, The Nurse Novels are dissolving to make room for Chicago’s newest band.

Services for The Nurse Novels will be held Wednesday, March 9 at The Abbey Pub.
There will be no merchandise.

The Nurse Novels
opening for
Tahiti 80 (from France!)
Chateau Marmont (also from France!)
Gemini Club (not from France!!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The Abbey Pub
3420 W Grace, Chicago
$15 (take that, Fugazi!)

We are going out quietly, like how we came in.
Maybe I will see some of you there.
Look for our records to come out at some point.

Verdict: Loss

Ray's Tap Plug

Short notice I know but..
Tonight I'm doing a new original bit for the Ray's Tap Reading Series.
This week's theme:

The Anti-Erotic/Sex-Negative/Anti-Natal Extravaganza

Here is curator Chris Bower's description of the event:

Prepare to be turned off!

“We are only alive because two people did a disgusting thing or a scientist in a lab did a series of disgusting things. “

Who said that?

A reasonable person did.

The Ray’s Tap Reading Series is going to be exploring the stories that come from that very perspective. What we want to do to each other and willingly allow ourselves to do to ourselves, has reached a point where the world should cease to be. We need to first look to Japan and then away from Japan because it is all just too disgusting. And the we look to Germany and we are horrified by what we see there as well. And we are not talking about niche groups, you can find the same thing happening all around the world, even in more wholesome places like the Middle East where there are women that can only orgasm when they think their vagina is in outer-space. And it is. They are right. I am sure Adam and Eve had a passable time, but they only did what they did because they were bored and just got lucky. I am sure Adam had next planned to hit Eve with a tree trunk to see if another head grew out of the one he just knocked off. We got lucky, and not in a good way. It may have felt good for them at the time, but that wasn’t the point. They were just fucking around, sticking things into things and when Adam first orgasmed into Eve, he was waiting for a butterfly who he saw turn into a butterfly turn into something cooler, and when it didn’t happen, he just couldn’t hold on any longer and was ashamed about it and Eve was not happy about it either. He was ashamed because he thought the butterfly would have turned into something really cool if only he waited. She was waiting for the butterfly to turn back into a caterpillar, the only image that could make her orgasm. In the end, they were both disgusted. Whatever felt good was erased by all that didn’t. And we remain that disgusted, today.

Just to let everyone know, the Ray’s Tap Reading Series is not interested in telling you that sex does not feel good. We are just out to tell you that it is disgusting and awful and should never be done because it only causes pain and trouble and large buildings.

Featuring new work by
Matt Test
Dave Snyder
Lindsay Hunter
Tom Vale
Daniel Shapiro
Tim Racine
Mason Johnson
and Tony Mendoza.

posters by Susie Kirkwood

Bar opens at 8. Remember that Ray's is small and smokey so don't come if you can't handle it.

Tonight, Friday March 4 at 9pm
Ray's Tap
3047 N Kimball