Klout hurt my feelings, for realsies.

Klout is a website I read about in Wired magazine about an hour ago in the bathroom.  The article opened with a story about some poor guy who lost out on a new job despite having 15+ years of experience in the field and all sorts of qualifications due to the fact that his Klout score was a meager 36.

Well, I signed up (check me out!) and my score is 14.  So, I guess I’m fucked if I ever lose my job, but on the bright side my score is slightly higher than my moms.

I can raise my score by getting more twitter followers, liking more stuff on Facebook, or even tracking more music I’m listening to on Last.fm.  Apparently this is the stuff that matters when the economy is down the shitter.

Anyway, on the bright side, the article also mentions that some businesses will offer you free perks if you have a higher score in hopes that you’ll talk about your interactions with them on your internet soapbox so they can garner interest from your adoring public.  Stuff ranging from free samples and coupons up to gift cards and free hotel and flight upgrades.  I guess it’s worth a shot.

Anyways, if you’re reading this and you are my friend/follower, please go ahead and like/mention everything I post so I can get free stuff and feel better about myself.  Thank you.

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Emails from an Asshole

Back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Special thanks to Mr. Royle for directing me to this incredible site – it really brightens my day 🙂

 


In Memoriam

I’ve been wanting to write about my grandmother since the day I heard about her passing over 4th of July weekend.  I held off mostly because I wanted to be able to think about her clearly – recall all the memories from when I was younger and be able to think and write about them without breaking down.  Today I’m writing this 3 days removed from her funeral service, after spending a lot of time revisiting not only my own memories, but those of my entire family as well.

I remember when I was young my grandma used to babysit me after school until my parents came home.  I don’t remember exactly what age I was, just that I was young.  It was back when mom worked full time and dad was still making either meatloaf or pork chops every single Monday for dinner.  I’m hard-pressed to remember many individual happenings, but I remember many recurring events.  Things like building forts out of the couch cushions, watching Dynasty, singing along with Jerry, the Big Giraffe, and of course, David the Gnome on Nickelodeon:

The one thing I remember in particular for some reason was the time my grandma made tomato soup and for some reason put peanut butter inside.  For some reason she thought it wise to advise a little kid ahead of time that she had done something out of the ordinary with lunch, so naturally I protested that it was weird and sounded gross.  I remember it specifically because she didn’t give the standard sort of, “you’ll eat this and like it!” or “it’s this or nothing!” responses you usually hear as a kid when you complain about your food.  She looked at me and she just said, “try it.  If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it.”

She talked to me like I wasn’t a little kid, and that was the first memory I had where somebody didn’t treat me like a kid, though I still very much was.  I tried a few spoonfulls, decided I didn’t like it, and that was it.  I didn’t get in trouble, I didn’t go hungry – I just got spaghetti and we moved on.

—-

Friday afternoon I stood with my family outside the funeral home, preparing to enter and see our grandmother, mother, and wife on display to pay our final respect.  We stood in a circle and held hands and prayed.  As we all stood there together, we were reminded that not a single person in the circle would have been on the planet if it weren’t for her.  It was something we obviously all knew, but something I had never personally really thought about.  It was this huge realization to me at the time – what a huge impact this person had on the world to ultimately be responsible for so many lives.

It brought me comfort to think that, on such a sad day when we mourned her loss, ultimately her memory would be carried on by the ways in which she touched everyone in that circle.  Each one of us full of memories like mine, certainly even more of them, that will always keep her alive in some small way.   Ultimately that’s why I was unable to approach the casket up close.  I had already found the way in which I wanted to remember my grandma – the supportive and loving woman who always wanted me to know how proud she was of me, and who didn’t treat me like a little kid when I didn’t like peanut butter in my soup.

Rest in peace, NMW  @-;—–

 


The old college try, by request.

Shockingly one of my lovely, albeit lobster-looking coworkers mentioned to me Tuesday that I should update my blog. Apparently I’m funny when I’m angry.

I’d considered writing this weekend actually, as a result of the annual Pride Parade that took place 200 feet from my front door on Sunday. I chose not to, though, because I worried people would get the wrong impression and i would inevitably have to explain myself to 75% of my men’s chorus friends from ONU.

See, if I were to write, “fuck you, pride parade, you piece of shit,” everybody would get all up in arms about it. So I guess let me get it out of the way.

Fuck you, pride parade, you piece of shit.

Before anyone on Facebook gets pissed off (see how I’ve convinced myself you’re reading to begin with?), let me clarify. I don’t have a problem with the gay folk and I’m totally down with them doing their thing, getting married, whatever they want as long as it doesn’t involve robbing me at gunpoint.

What I DO have a problem with is legions of people outside my front door banging on kettle drums for hours, screaming like banshees at 3am, and generally giving the police an excuse to tell me the block on which my apartment is located is closed.

This could have been a “send kittens to college” parade and I still would have been irritated.

The previous two years I have lived here, I had the good sense to just stay inside and wait it out. This year I had a guest and was forced to venture out into the wilds, and it was grim. As I said to my friend Sunday, I have the good sense not to pull my shirt up above my gut and write stuff on my pale, hairy belly – dozens of pasty white chicks should really do the same. You can support your gay friends without embarrassing them, I think.

In other news, if you’re reading this and happen to know me in real life and know where I work, there’s a video posted of me today on the company Facebook page talking about my workplace and why I like it there. I haven’t actually seen the final cut of it yet, so I am writing this (wrongfully) assuming that my comments about free beer on Fridays were left intact. I guess we’ll see!

Anyway, there you have it. A hastily thrown together post for no good reason other than to satiate the needs of a friend. I probably won’t even get a thank you :-/


The people on the bus go “Bitch, bitch, bitch”

A train derailed on the brown line just a little ways south of the Belmont train station this morning.  Like 10 minutes before I left for work.

8:45 – I step outside of my building and walk to the corner of Clark and Belmont.  Even from here, I can see a mass of flashing lights at the train station a block and a half away – emergency vehicles arranged on the street underneath and train sitting silently on the overpass.

This presented a unique problem for me, being someone who is heavily dependent upon the Brown and Purple lines to commute to and from work each day.  On days when I am running a little behind, I’ll usually grab a taxi instead as losing 15 bucks generally is preferable to the wagging fingers I might see upon arriving at work late.  Today, however, I was somewhat screwed on both accounts.  Given the mass exodus of Lakeview-ers who were, like me, unable to board the train at Belmont, the corner of my apartment was literally flooded with pedestrians both confused about what was happening and tripping over one another to steal cabs.  It was like Godzilla was attacking our individual city block, threatening to vaporize all the bongs, dildos, and frozen yogurt we hold so dear.

8:50 – “I’ll walk down to Halsted,” I thought, “surely it hasn’t occurred to anyone else to look for a cab one block east of here!”  I thought this, obviously, because I am a self-denying idiot.  Naturally there were a ton of people here as well, so I kept walking.  I became someone (embarassingly) panicked, thinking to myself, “how the fuck am I going to get to work?!”  I figured I could walk down to Lakeshore drive and jump on a bus, but even then I wasn’t exactly sure where I could get off and pick up another bus to take me anywhere near the office.  Why I didn’t stop somewhere for 2 seconds and look up information on my cell phone is beyond me.

8:57 – I happen to spot a stopped bus across the street as I near Broadway, still aimlessly wandering down Belmont.  This was the 156 to Union Station, my unwitting savior.  The bus sign flashed that it was heading to union station “by way of La Salle”.  Hooray!  I work right there almost!  I happily shuffle onto the bus, almost giddy that I noticed it completely on accident.  Not only that, but I’m the first one on.  I get to pick any seat I want!

9:00 – As others join me on the bus, I get up and ask the driver when the bus actually departs.  He responds emphatically that this bus stays put until 9:30.

9:01 – Angry birds.

9:30 – The bus leaves, thank God.

9:32 – The first of many stops on the route downtown.  A woman with a double-wide stroller boards the bus, welcomed by the groans of an old lady seated near the front who has to tuck her feet in slightly to make room for the helpless children who are clearly there to inconvenience her.

9:35 – We continue on our way, the bus fills more and more with each stop.  These happen at what feels like 30-second intervals.  I begin contemplating how screwed I am in terms of what time I’ll finally make it to the office.

9:45 – The lady next to me on the bus gets a phone call from someone.  As you can expect from anyone on a cell phone in public, she talks at full volume.  She describes to the person on the phone that she has been forced to cram onto the bus due to “this stupid train business”.  I can make out the man on the other end saying that he is actually stuck on a train north of the Belmont station and has no idea when it will be able to move.  She responds bitterly, “At least YOU aren’t late for work AND soaking wet!”  The lady with the stroller shoots her a dirty look, as does the guy across from me who looks like Jake “The Snake” Roberts.  She proceeds to drone on and on to this poor chump on the phone for the next 10 minutes about how shitty her day is going to turn out because of this and how it is unacceptable that the trains have to be stopped altogether because one track is derailed.

  1. This poor bastard is literally trapped on a CTA train somewhere on the north side.  He literally has nothing better to do that listen to this woman complain about her less impactful situation.  I wonder if he really is so bored on the train that he would rather listen than hang up.
  2. She doesn’t understand why they have to disable all of the ELECTRIC TRAIN TRACKS in order for workers to help people off the train and get the car back on the right tracks.  Hopefully she has yet to procreate.
9:57 – The lady with the gigantic stroller needs to depart the bus.  Everyone is furious.  Eyes roll, people exclaim “coming off” in the snarkiest tones possible, and a round Mexican lady literally refuses to lift her bag off the floor, prompting the bus driver to yell at her.  The mother herself is clearly embarrassed, alternately thanking and apologizing to everyone continually until she is off the train.  The old lady who originally sneered at her states “thank god” at full volume.
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10:15 – The bus finally reaches La Salle and Adams, which is as close as I am going to get to the office.  It’s actually pretty close, I really lucked out.  As I sidle out of my seat and head to the back door of the bus to wait my turn to exit, I notice the shrew sitting next to me has not moved over.  She rather plopped right back down on the outside seat in hopes that nobody would try to sit next to her.  As I’m finally leaving the bus, it seems she got her wish.  Best I can gather, everyone on the bus collectively decided they didn’t want to make her miserable day any worse.

Bret Easton Ellis Calls Glee a ‘Puddle of HIV,’ Ryan Murphy Freakishly Quiet

Bret Easton Ellis Calls Glee a ‘Puddle of HIV,’ Ryan Murphy Freakishly Quiet – The Superficial – Because You’re Ugly.

Not only is Bret Easton Ellis one of my favorite authors of all-time, but he also has somehow managed to sum up how I feel about Glee but could never really express in words.

Added bonus – scroll through the gallery of the cast within the Superficial’s post and take note of the names they associate with each cast member.  Sometimes hating people can be funny.  Sometimes.


Thunderstorms

It’s odd to me that I find thunderstorms to be so relaxing. I relish evenings where there is a thunderstorm, or even a heavy rain – just laying in the darkness of my bedroom with the window cracked to amplify the sounds.

It’s odd to me because it was during a thunderstorm that one of the most terrifying experiences of my childhood occurred.

I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I remember it was summer. The windows were all wide open, as was my screen door to the roof of the garage, because it was hotter than shit and that was how we barely survived the summer months in our house. I’m talking like praising-Jesus-that-at-least-you-have-box-fan-to-try-and-trick-yourself-into-believing-it’s-cooling-you-off hot.

Anyway, the door was wide open, nothing separating me from the wilds outside the roof of our garage but a thin brown down I had many times broken open because my uncle thought it was funny to lock me out there. Because of this the door both had a ripped screen and was very reliably closed. It was rickety. That’s the word.

Anyway.

The door was open, it was thunder storming, and I was laying in my tiny twin bed minding my own kid business. Suddenly, there’s a really loud crash on the roof.

I’m immediately awake.

I peer out the door, don’t really see anything amiss. Thinking maybe it was just a really close thunderclap, I crawl back into bed and shut my eyes.

Again – crash!

At this point I lose my shit. Being the crybaby kinda kid I was, I started flipping out, woke up my mom, generally just freaking out something was on the roof.

Ultimately my mom discovers that the sound I am hearing is the sound of rocks hitting the roof. It seems a raccoon had climbed to the top of our house and decided he was going to dismantle our chimney so he could crawl inside and do his thing. Apparently he decided the middle of the night during a thunderstorm was the ideal time to do this. Granted several years later we also saw a raccoon fall off the very same roof when we confused him with a flashlight, so they can’t be the brightest of creatures.

Ultimately I can’t remember how it ended that night. I can’t remember if it stopped, if I slept in another room, or what the hell happened. That’s how freaked out I was – completely blocked half of it out, I guess.

Looking back now, that’s still a pretty fucked up situation to accept. How many people on earth can honestly say that scenario has impacted them? Just young Ryan Merholz of Solon, Ohio, who despite the terrifying ordeal still grew up to appreciate and love thunderstorms.

Suck it, raccoon.