October 18th, 2005

bringin home a baby bumblebee

You know, all in all, not a bad weekend

The obligatory "what I did with my employer-designated free time" post:

First off, it was a long ol' weekend for me, because I took two vacation days I'm not doing anything with to catch up on my writing. So Friday and Monday were largely given over to hunching in front of the computer giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome -- in other words, it was exactly like working, only for less money, and for my own nonsense instead of somebody else's. In addition to (a paltry few) freelance work and a punishing schedule of High Hat edits, I've been wanting to catch up on my own stuff: I did desultory work on my crappy novel, a comic script, some short stories, and a few humor projects. It wasn't nearly enough, and I'm beginning to feel certain that I need to dump a lot of stuff that isn't going anywhere to ensure that the rest of it eventually gets finished, but it's more work than I've gotten done in a while, and that's good.

I picked up season 2 of Arrested Development and watched it while writing about superheroes (and, as an aside, I went to three places looking for this thing, and two were sold out; if everybody wants to own it, how come nobody's actually watching it?); I also watched reruns of 3rd Rock from the Sun (a.k.a. The Show Nobody Likes But Me) while writing about, uh, 3rd Rock from the Sun. So immersed in this o-rama of pointless scribbling was I that I missed out on chances to go watch the White Sox at a bar on the South Side, go watch football at an apartment on the North Side, and go watch stand-up comedy at a restaurant on the West Side. Yes, all around the town, Leonard is prevented from enjoying his wonderful city by his misanthropic shut-in behavior.

But I wasn't shut in the whole time! No sir, I actually left my crib and was sociable not once, but twice! Friday night, I headed over to the north side abode of kp3000 and editrix26 to watch the Sox-Angels game on their giant TV. They were, as always, delightful hosts, and we had lots o' fun talking nerd talk about comic books, watching their dog and cat fight, and admiring the Lite-Brite baseball Stevie made. (She also, by the way, earned my eternal gratitude by hipping me to the fact that the iTunes music store now carries the deranged Porter Wagoner rarity "Rubber Room"!) I was sad to leave so early in the night, as I was having a blast, but I had to, because...


Sunday morning, I went hiking at Starved Rock with my friends Lara and Jeff. It was a jaw-droppingly gorgeous day, sunny and clear with perfect temperatures and the fall colors rocking the funky beat everywhere we looked -- an absolutely ideal day for a hike. Starved Rock itself was actually pretty disappointing; it was jam-packed with people (for some reason, most of them Polish; I've never seen that many Poles outside of the Pulaski Day Parade, and maybe Hala Kahiki on a weekend), but beyond that, the park itself is totally over-controlled. There's only one hiking trail, and I'd say a good 75% of it consists of concrete walkways, wooden decks, stairs, railings, and benches. It's all very convenient and accessible, but not really what I'm looking for in a hike: it's not like I'm Mr. Outdoor Sportsman, but when I go hiking in the woods and canyons, I'd like to be reminded as little as possible of the presence of other people. It's nice to know that the litigation-shy Parks Department has made it easy on everybody, but if I'm going to spend all my time on sidewalks and stairwells, I might as well just go to Woodfield Mall. The most ridiculous thing about it is that you can't actually go on Starved Rock -- well, you can, but you can only climb it using stairs, and it's ringed at the top by a gigantic observation deck; at no point are you ever actually allowed to set foot on the rock itself. Still, I had a great time, and we just couldn't have wished for a better day to be outdoors.

Purchases this weekend include a metric ton of sausage from Bobak's; a couple of gifts for my very good friend never_fear, to whom you should all wish a happy birthday; some ink cartridges for my printer, which hopefully I'll be able to deduct from my taxes this year; and YES DAMN YOU SOME COMIC BOOKS. (The first two Supreme Power trades -- pretty damn good, but with some disturbing trends towards the end; the latest two issues of Powers -- #12 wasn't bad, but the unfunny comedian in #13 may be the reboot equivalent of the monkey-fucking issue of the old series; the first issue of The Bakers -- fun; and the first issue of Infinite Crisis -- huh?)

And with the White Sox going to the World Series (the White Sox are going to the goddamn World Series), I gotta say all in all a pretty fine weekend. There's only one way it could have been better, but I won't go into any details about that since I'm trying to avoid mopiness.
time for a beatin'

Made possible in part by the American Milk Solids Council

The Pierce Foundation is proud to announce the dedication of a new project: The Fists Up For A Better America Initiative. FUABA is a $126 million program, funded by a joint endowment of the Pierce Foundation and the Fewer Assholes Federation of North America, dedicated to addressing social, economic and political issues through the application of closed-fist punches.

It is the sincere belief of the Board of Directors of FUABA that the best time to solve problems is before they start, and the best way to solve problems is by hitting them (with moderate force, repeatedly, or once, very hard). We, the undersigned, pledge to do everything within our mandate to punch, hit, strike, clout, bash, jab and even clobber anyone who might benefit from such a broad-based program of forward-thinking beatings.

Individual and cause-centered programs that fall under the aegis of FUABA include: Protect Our Environment Or I’ll Knock Your Teeth Out (TN); Take Back The Night By Punching A Guy In His Cock (VA), The Get A Load Of This Jerk-Off Scholarship Fund (northern IL); Kidney Punches For Kids (NY, NJ, PA); The I Got Your Profit Margin Right Here Initiative (CA); The Knockin’ Motherfuckers Out For No Reason Urban Achievement Alliance (TX); and The How’s About A Nice Hawaiian/Alaskan Punch Coalition (AK, HI).

If these programs prove successful, we hope to branch out into other areas of violence-oriented social work, including kickings, sack beatings, rock-hurlings, forcible immersions, and the dropping of safes and/or pianos.

We hope you’ll join us in this exciting time.