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I stole this from Dooce, but thought it was a perfect book for children of all ages. 

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Published in: on 31 March 2006 at 5*39 pm  Leave a Comment  

What IS the deal with The Dan Ryan?

If you don't have to deal with the Dan Ryan, then bless you.  You are a damn lucky fool.  Now, I will just say that I only have to traverse this unfortunate road every once in a while.  But it's horrible.  So here's the question, if the traffic on the road is HORRIBLE, what should the state do to fix it??  I know!  Let's start a project that will sideline THE ENTIRE SOUTH SIDE OF THE CITY AND SUBURBS WITH THE IDEA THAT SOME DAY IN THE FUTURE THAT IT MIGHT NOT SUCK AS DAMN HARD! 

Tonite begins the awful disaster.  But as I was careening down this ill-fated thoroughfare, I noticed a sign off to the side.  It said two things; 1)Please visit "avoidtheryan.com".  That's right my friends.  Typing in avoidtheryan.com will send you to the OFFICIAL I-DOT website.  The official one.  It's gonna be that bad.  B)Cars use Ashland or Stony [Island].  Are you shitting me?  That's the best option?   No damn wonder the road's always so effing busy.  Anyway, if you go here, you can see the press release that IDOT has sent to the world on suggestions for surviving these next billion years of construction.  Here are some of the juicy bits:

“Drivers of passenger vehicles should avoid the Dan Ryan entirely,” said IDOT Secretary Tim Martin. While many motorists will use public transportation or IDOT-designated alternate routes, truckers will be urged to stay on the expressway because their vehicles are too heavy for local streets. “Our message is ‘Cars Off, Trucks On,” said Martin. —-Thus confirming to all of us that the highways were never for us to begin with.  It's all shipping propoganda.  You don't need roads.  That's why all you yuppies are buying SUV's anyway, right? 

"IDOT has spent the past two years preparing the Dan Ryan corridor for the 2006 and 2007 mainline reconstruction work."  That was 'preparing'????  Seriously? 

"IDOT also improved the frontage roads adjacent to the expressway…"    No, you didn't.  You did not.  They're still gross.

"The official alternate routes are Ashland Avenue on the west for outbound passenger cars and the combination of Stony Island Avenue/South Lake Shore Drive on the east for inbound traffic. Motorists should consider using Metra, CTA or Pace."  Mmm-hmmmm.  I re-iterate, no one takes the Dan Ryan unless they HAVE to because it ALREADY SUCKS!  How on earth will this work?  I forgot that we made Stony Island an 8 lane road that can handle all this B.S. 

"By September 15, 2006, IDOT expects to open one express lane, bringing the total number of open lanes to four in each direction." Wow!  Santa's coming early!  4 lanes where there once were 7.  Yes!  Sweet Freedom!

"The Dan Ryan project has been recognized as the one of the largest green construction projects in the nation. Under the IDOT’s Clean Air Construction Initiative, heavy construction equipment on the Dan Ryan project has been retrofitted with devices designed to reduce harmful emissions or use ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) which is significantly cleaner than regular diesel fuel. IDOT also instituted idling limits and dust controls in order to reduce construction-related air emissions." As Stephanie Tanner would say, "Pin a rose on your nose!"  At least you can be proud of that I-DON'T! (see what I did there, is turned it into a funny little glib joke.  Get it?  All with just one letter.  [pat on the back])

At least we can all have solace that the Stevenson's still traffic-less and perfect. 

Published in: on 31 March 2006 at 4*28 pm  Comments (2)  

Music & Me, the past week…

Obviously, being a music teacher, I really enjoy music.  And yeah, I do like classical music.  A lot.  Opera, the romantic stuff, baroque stuff,  Wagner, Debussy, even a little Rautavaara here and there.  It's all great.  Seriously.  But, we all have our weaknesses.

Weekly, I am tortured by a strong need.  The need to watch American Idol.  I know it's gross.  I know it's not helping out my "mature classical music liker" character, but it has to happen.  Wouldn't you agree?  It's a weakness.  Like watching the crashes at Nascar; you don't want to see it or know what happens, but you just can't stop it.  You have to know what that damned Simon Cowell thinks of some wannabe singer.  I'm just guessing, but odds are she's 'pitchy.'  I don't know how many of you went to college for music, but no one ever uses the word pitchy.  That doesn't mean anything.  Nothing.  Saying, "That was really pitchy here and there" translated to what it really means would be "You sang a lot of notes!"  No shit!  But because they make a gross face, when everything goes wrong, by default everything's just 'pitchy'.  Yuck.  (sidebar, I have used this phrase once or twice, so yes, I'm a whore)

Please tell me you do the same?  You have to have weaknesses of the flesh for American Idol, or at least something, right?  You know it's bad, but you have to watch?  Please validate me! 

Ace Young Sucks.  He Sucks.  The whole country has stopped realizing that the brother CAN'T SING.  That's what the show is, and he can't cut the mustard.  Not even the malt vinegar.  (mmmmmmm)  I like Mandisa.  (as if you gave a shit.)  OH and Paula Abdul just signed on for three more seasons, for those of you who look forward to see just how far down the spiral she has fallen each week.  That's some good viewing right there alone.  Hey, Bat-Shit Crazy Whitney Houston, can you hear me?  Paula Abdul is on her way!  [Kiss my ass!]

CONTRARILY, (is that a word?) you may recall a mention to a Queen concert that my wife and my in-laws were to attend last Thursday evening.  Well, knowing that Freddie Mercury was obviously not going to be there was tough.  I didn't know who Paul Rodgers or Bad Company even were until I recognized one of their songs.  But I knew that seeing Brian May (arguably the GREATEST guitarist of ALL TIME) would be enough to get me there.  So we went.

Dammit.  It was frieking amazing.  Complete with some of the old favourites (I'm In Love With My Car, Under Pressure), they did some Bad Company songs (Bad Company), and even a new song(?) or two.  The best though were two things they did in reemberance of Freddie.  Brian did a (mostly) acoustic version of Love of My Life which is a real Freddie classic.  It was almost as honestly touching as when they opened Bohemian Rhapsody with a clip of Freddie singing the beginning (and ending) live at a previous concert (obviously).  Everyone in there was pretty weepy.  It was great.  If Queen+Paul Rodgers is coming ANYWHERE near you, you have to go.  It's awesome.  Please go.  Awesome. 

Published in: on 31 March 2006 at 3*51 pm  Comments (2)  

Episode 4- “March 28th, 2006; The Day I Gave Birth”

Tuesday–a day which I usually have Church practice was upon me.  However, my now nearly 30-week pregnant wife and I had to begin a new month-long, once-a-week ritual.  Baby Class.

Now, I had just thought this was normal, but for some reason when I mentioned this to people, everyone's question rang out in unison, "They still do that??"  So for those of you with the same question, yes.  Yes, they do still do that.  Only these days it comes with a nifty power-point presentation as well as an option for free hot-cocoa.  (Do it yourself, style, hey…it's not the Ritz…)

Our group is small.  It is my wife and I (who naturally, I consider to be typical.  Right?  At least when it comes to what to expect at a baby class…) and 3 other couples.  One couple that seems to be foreign, and based on my Polski knowledge from teaching where I teach, I'd guess Polish.  Another couple (I'm going counter-clockwise if you're drawing a picture of the event, as if I'm going to ask you a 'logic question' about this, LSAT style…) is beside them, and they are not married to each other, while the husband of the mother is not there.  A fill-in.  No big deal.  At least now.  Stay tuned.  Lastly, there are 2 women.  Naturally, I think lesbians, my wife thinks sisters.  We'll keep you posted on the news here too.

Our teacher is great.  She knows how to keep us interested and explain everything real carefully.  It's nice.  We get to half-time and it is time for a break.  Wifey and I hit up the soda machine (accidentally, I was just trying to make change since the snack machine wouldn't take dollars….bastard…) and then returned to the room.  Apparently, now it was time for the breathing practice.  So we sat on the floor and began to do our exercises.  Now, this is kind of awkward, but everyone's doing it so it's no big deal.  Now, we're (the coaches) supposed to be massaging the breathers so that they are super-comfortable.  I'm not judging here, but let me just say that to me, this is where we become sure that they are just sisters.  The non-married couple however (I repeat, the mother is married to a husband who is absent) is getting more and more handsy.  Oh well, not my problem.  Look at us, though, we're model students!  We're baby all-stars!  We can breathe with the best of them.  Wait a minute, the teacher's looking right at me….what's going on, here?  Is everything okay?  You're going to "use" me for something?  All right, bring it on!

The teacher then ambles over to our little baby corner and tells Kristin to get up.  She apparently never does this exercise with an actual pregnant lady.  I'm getting a bit more nervous about this at this point.  Please tell me that what I think is not really about to….ope….yes it is.  "You (me) will be the mother, lie on your back here and your wife and I will hold your feet."  Now I know what stirrups are, though I've never seen anyone in them.  Suddenly though, I knew what that was like.  So here I am in a dark room with relaxing music with 6 bizarre strangers and I am on my back, legs akimbo flailing around like a crazed hampster.  She's telling me to push or something….the details are all quite shaky at this point.  Yes, I played along, and I was an excellent baby-bringer-outer.  I even made a pained look on my face to show my agony.  It was a little miracle.  Now I understand.

As an aside, I'd also like to thank whichever lucky stars guided me to wearing the 1 pair of jeans that do not have some sort of hole in the crotch to class that night.  Good call. 

P.S.  On a completely unrelated note, if you are like some random person who came to this site to see Nelly's opinion on homelessness, I'm guessing he's against it.  Just trying to please everyone who stumbled upon me!  (watch it…..not what I meant you pervs…..yes, I could've just erased it though……who's really at fault here?……I blame Ohio.)

Published in: on 30 March 2006 at 4*07 pm  Comments (1)  

#’s 224-214

It's been a while my friends, but it is that time again.  Time to continue listing off the world's blunders.  See The Prologue for more information about today's installment.  Thank you one and all.  (go visit Jim's site; it's funny.)  Without any further ado…….

#224- NKOTB

Jim says, "Like New Edition, only white.  Really, really white."

Ahh, NKOTB.  This makes me think of two things.  1, how our friend Nursten still has the oversize "I heart Donnie" (or joey, I can't recall) with a giant X through it, showing apparently either distress after the group's break-up, or a societal pressure urging her to move on.  Either way, it's funny because it's still there. 

2ndly, my friend Joaquin's mom one day let his sister G paint the unfinished walls of their basement with whatever paraphernalia she desired.  Unfortunately for us, it was all about her love for the NKOTB and we were forever banished to a nintendo chamber with New Kids graffiti-something we were obviously too cool for. 

#223- Paul Shaffer

Jim says, "You wish you were Kevin Eubanks."

Personally, my problems stem from my jealousy.  He obviously knows what he is doing to some extent because all he does is flail around like a drunken fish.  Somehow, however, the band is always good.  Bastard. 

#222- Elijah Woods and Macaulay Culkin

Jim says, "Once indistinguishable, how'd you like to be Macaulay now?  Elijah made billions on the stupid 'Rings' movies and the best actor in the Culkin family is clearly his brother."

Dude, you're so right, Kieran Culkin rules.  Okay not necessarily rules, but doesn't suck so bad.  Okay, well kind of.  Anyway, I just saw Macaulay on some morning show or something promoting his new book, and he was super creepy!  He's so old and gross and molesterey…(aside–'molesterey' sounds like a name that Handbag would certainly enjoy…nice and yuppy….just spell it like 'Mo'lystyreeee'.  Ahh, whimsy…) And I personally hate "Lord of the Rings", so Elijah Woods is therefore a waste to me as well!  Take 'em all out!  Sayonara, suckers….

#221- Howard Stern

Jim says, "You are a stain on humanity.  Free speech shouldn't apply to assholes of this magnitude."

Zing!  Yeah, some things are just too much.  I think if anything the "Anal Ring Toss" pushed things over the edge.  Then again, maybe we all need just a bit more "Anal Ring Toss" in our lives.  Something to think about…..

#220- Jerry Krause

Jim says, "Five?  Five?!?  This man single-handedly dismantled the greatest basketball team of all time! F that.  Jerry Krause, you are a 10!"

Let me clarify, when we ranked these F-ers, it was with a number system.  Our friend Jim was a little TOO against Jerry Krause with caused some people to retaliate and undercut Jimmie's most hated sports GM type person.  Personally, I didn't even know who Jerry Krause was until Jim informed me.  For my $.50, no one in basketball is worse than Chris "Time-Out" Webber.  Asshole.

#219- Mary Carillo

Jim says, "I don't know who decided some washed-up tennis player was qualified to cover every sporting event NBC broadcasts, but there as big an F as she is."

OOOOOH, this one was all me.  Mary Carillo is my Jerry Krause.  She is revolting!  If you don't know who she is, watch tennis some time on TV…you hear that man commentator?  That's her.  She is annoying and mean and weird and ugly and cold.  OOOOH…..I'm shaking.  Yuck.  I hate her more than ketchup, which anyone who knows me will tell you that that's huge.  Or as the Trump would say, "Yuge."  Yuck.  Oh yeah, Mary Carillo sucks.

#218- Patrick Roy

Jim says, "French-Candian F"

Indeed.  I know and hope sincerely that my Sister-in-Law; will weigh in on this one.  He royally sucks, and she will point that out to you quite carefully.  I just think that his insisting to be pronounced "Pat-REEK ruh-WAH" is ludicrous and I have an effing French minor. 

#217- RuPaul

Jim says, "I get it, you're a dude.  Now go away, you ugly F."

When did we get to a place where just being weird was enough to make you famous?  And I'm not knocking on the transgendered's, yo.  This dude's just downright weird!  I don't know where else to go with this…I'm pretty spent.  Although, speaking of baby names, I'm sure it's not long until the RuPaul's of the world dethrone the McKenzie's and the Madison's (as if any of them spell their names those ways anymore….).  I live for that day. 

#216- Aaron Neville

Jim says, "Never have I wished more that someone were not from
New Orleans.  Then maybe I wouldn't have to see/hear his freak ass E-e-e-e-e-e-v-v-v-v-e-e-e-r-r-r-r-y-y-y-w-w-w-w-w-h-h-h-h-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-r-r-r-r-r-e-e-e-e!"

Aaron Neville blows.  Who honestly sings like that? "Si-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-li-hi-hi-hi-nt  Nigh-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hight…"  And dude better lay off the cocoa butter, he's gonna end up like a Raisinette in the sweaty hand of a fat construction worker-greasy and no good.  Go to the link at his name up there too, it's pretty funny. 

#215- Bill Keane(Family Circus)

Jim says, "The worst comic strip this side of 'Cathy'."

Did anyone ever stop and realize that the Family Circus is downright not funny?  No, no they didn't.  Or else, it wouldn't still be in the damn papers.  Come on people. Seriously?  You can't bring it any stronger?  Damn it, I need funny!  You're funny like Carrot Top, and that's no funny I need.

#214- Candice Miller

Jim says, "Really, anyone from Michigan, but she'll do."

Ouch, Jimby.  That hurts.  We all say "Yes!" to Michigan, dammit.  But for those of you not in the know, Candice Miller was the bitch Secretary of State for Michigan, who ruined a lot of things.  She wasn't solely responsible for the new 'graduated driver's licensing' program (which I was the first group to go through…like hell……), but her face is on the wall at the damn SOS's office, and that's enough reason to curse anyone.  Except for Terri Land.  She rules, because my dad knows her.  Love you, Terri!

BTW, Michigan fans, if you haven't realized, Candice Miller is now a representative for the state.  Choke that down with some pasties.  (not what you think, unless you're from MI, then yes, what you think…)

Published in: on 29 March 2006 at 5*39 pm  Comments (3)