I told my father I didn't need an air conditioner.
I'm awake at 3:20 AM for heat related reasons.
I've been known to be wrong.
So the horrors of Darknight tech week are at last behind me. The show has opened and opened well It's fun and everyone should come, Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 3 at 1044 W. Harrison through the end of August (and everyone should come even more to the me written play in the Keyhole play festival, Saturday August 5 at 7:30, 9 and 10:30 at 1500 N. Bell)
After attending the opening night reception last night, I foolishly ventured to another one of those parties in Oak bloody Park (not that it wasn't a smashing time, Ms. Schoob) and as a direct consequence found myself sleeping until two in the afternoon today. Oy...
But now I'm actually alone? In my apartment? Doing nothing? And I get to do nothing for like, a whole nother hour? Sweet! What the hell am I doing on the Internet?
The Chicago City Council recently passed their Big Box wage increase law, targeted mostly at Walmart (the city limits presence of which progressive Chicagoans fought tooth and nail against in the first place)
The "Chicago business community" is of course, predicting the imminent collapse of western civilization due to this unconscionable government intervention in private business affairs. "Thousands of jobs are going to be lost!" goes the hand wringing.
Bravo, City Council, this will almost certainly be overturned by the time it gets to our fabulous new Supreme Court, but good on you.
A lot of black leaders (though certainly not all, many other black leaders are responsible for this law in the first place) are venting their anger at us smug white liberals who are secure in our privileged lifestyles trying to deprive their communities of desperately needed "development". You know what? Do what you like. Just don't expect any sympathy from me the next time you whine about the legacy of slavery 'cause ya'll are doing this to yourselves.
It's my willingness to post sentences like the above on the Internet that pretty much guarantee I will never hold public office myself.
Maybe you think I should mind my own smug white liberal business, but guess what? It affects me, pal.
Walmart is a disease, a sickness. It will kill us all if we let it.
Oh, but Walmart and their ilk are shedding tears about all the poor souls they won't get to employ.
You honestly think Walmart gives a fuck about whether or not you have a job?
Actually, they'd probably rather you didn't. They view labor costs as an unpleasant, necessary evil, one they try as hard as possible to purge. Their workers are little more than cattle to them. The reason this attitude affects me is that it affects all of us. The big people are never going to give the little people their rights and dignity on their own. We have to fight for them.
The forerunners of the people who say that a living wage in big box stores will spell the doom of American business said the same thing, among other things, about the idea of protecting workers from mortal dangers on the job, letting them retire at a certain age, and letting them have Saturdays off. And guess what? We still have to fight for those things too. We have to fight for the idea that human labor is a valuable commodity, not something as plentiful and disposable as dirt.
Once upon a time called the mid-twentieth century (which may go down in history as a brief interval between Dark Ages) in a faraway land called the United States of America, work was a contract between the employer and the employed, not some benevolent act of charity bestowed upon the rest of us by the rich and the powerful and be grateful for what you have, you little maggots...
But poverty is a powerful motivator isn't it? People will do anything for a full stomach and a roof over their heads. "Any job is better than no job." I hear.
Really? *Any* job? Even one where your employers regard you as the scum of the earth and treat you accordingly?
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet?...Forbid it, Almighty God!"
So for two weeks I've had a new job. It's a busy job, and an important one, and mostly I like it. But in the midst of a long and fairly unpleasant tech week for my play, I think there should be an understanding that I'm not going to be working much for the next few days. I'm more going to be sitting here in that beautiful state between sleep and wake They're reasonable people here, I think they will understand.
I sacrificed watching the Colbert Report last night so I could sleep a bit. That's when you know things are desperate.
I thought my last entry was pretty good. Where are the comments? It mentioned monkeys. I bet Heiden would have gotten ten million people declaring him a genius because he mentioned monkeys.
So I've been the Office Services Clerk at my new temp job for about a week. You know how there's one guy in every office who knows where everthing is, how to fix everything etc.?
I'm not that guy. Not remotely. But somehow, through some comical series of largely unknown events, I've got that guy's job. The guy I'm replacing has been training me. He is funny, charming and competent. I'm gonna see how far I get on "funny and charming".
Whatever, I am ronin. I have no master. I'm a pure, cold blooded mercenary. As Malcolm Reynolds once said "I do the job. And then I get paid."
The other thing that makes me feel like a mercenary is that my roommate, by her own admission foolishly, bought a whole bunch of fruit recently, that she can't finish because she's getting her wisdom teeth out this weekend. So I get to eat all of the fruit. Come to think of it I'm not sure if that makes me feel more like a mercenary or a pet monkey.
Either way is good.
I must admit to a sad scarcity of flowing words 'round these parts right now, between my new job, the play I'm in and an unusual number of social engagements (even though no one actually likes me) I'm getting precious little time to relax and even less time to write things. Someday pills will be available that will drastically reduce one's need to sleep. On that day, I will become a purse snatching junkie.
Dear Jews and Muslims of the Middle East,
You're both pretty. Knock it off.
Rather than bang him on the door
Once again, this site obviously does not have an editor. It's past my bedtime.
Longtime readers may recall the bitter conflict I once has with the Adversary. The Adversary was a scary old man who lived beneath me that used to bang on the door to my apartment late at night (anytime between 9pm and 6am) because of the "noise" my roommate and I used to make. By which he meant us talking to each other, watching the Daily Show or walking around. He would piously inform us that it was "time for sleeping". Our generally worthless landlords told us that he had been in the building seventeen years and they weren't going to do anything about it. He would bang on the door like the Gestapo, threaten me when he saw me outside the building, and we're fairly sure he slashed my roommate's bike tires some time ago.
A few months ago, he and his evil crone wife moved away/and or were recalled to Hell, where they are currently being tortured by demons as punishment for their failure to rattle us much.
Obviously they didn't fit in with the changing demographics of Lincoln Square i.e. younger than eight hundred.
Anyway, my new downstairs neighbor is delightful. Delightful because he plays very pretty music. Rather than bang him on the door, I will silently thank him.
Oh, I've finally eaten at Portillo's and found it good. Let there be light.
One of my friend/fellow bloggers has put me at the top of her list of links, "in order of updating frequency". I'm now under a lot of pressure to maintain that level of prolificacyitude.
That's right, Death Train, I'm calling you out.
The stunt you pulled on the Blue Line this afternoon got lots of people hurt, not to mention making me really late for a play rehearsal.
It's time we settled this once and for all you big metal bastard.
Today is the last day of my summer vacation. I've been out of work over a week, which is pretty hellish on my bank account but the liberty has been good. I got to write a lot, visited my beloved Evanston a lot, finally started reading Uncle Neil's latest book Anansi Boys after ten months of owning it. Also started rehearsals on the full production of the Vial with the renowned Darknight Theatre Company. Also working on a Top Secret Project that's much less exciting as it sounds but I thought I'd imply that I have intriguing secrets.
Tomorrow I return to my former employer (and biggest temp agency client) the American Medical Association, in a completely different job. I'm going to be working in the mailroom, which is always referenced as the first step in the rise to becoming a self made CEO. I think I'm a bit old to be the proverbial kid starting out in the mailroom, but I suppose it's better late than never and all that.
I put another post up on the ad blog, which I'd been neglecting, hopefully another next week.
I hear a lot of people blathering about the World Cup these days. I'm mostly annoyed by this, Jesus, aren't Americans supposed to hate soccer? Too many globe trotting cosmopolitans in my circle of acquaintance I guess. As an American, I have no interest in soccer. Or baseball or football or basketball. The only sport I care about is the sport of kings: hot dog eating contests. Kobayashi is undefeated! I don't follow it as closely as my friend Eamon though, who is a pretty fantastic food related athlete himself.
Another thing I find perplexing, excitement over the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, which people seem to be slobbering over. This movie has become my enemy since it's going to derail Superman Returns at the box office, and while I have mixed feelings about SR, I want the movie to be successful, so that the ever present smirks on the faces of X Men and Batman fans will narrow a bit...but that won't ever happen. It's not Superman's fault that Jon Peters spent ten years and forty million dollars insisting that Superman fight polar bears and that Lex Luthor should be a CIA agent.
Anyway, I thought the first 30, maybe 45 minutes of the first Pirates movie was terrific, a witty, whimsical, slightly spooky swashbuckler on the order of the Princess Bride, but the second half completely degenerated into one long, extremely boring action sequence that is exactly why people aren't supposed to like Jerry Bruckheimer.
Still, it's a brilliant cast so hopefully it will wind up being more like the first half of the original than the second, but I'll more likely see SR again instead of that this weekend.
Obviously, I wrote a sad post last night, here's a relatively happy one. My longtime colleague Marc Heiden sent me the link to a preview for the wonderful Tina Fey's new sitcom, 30 Rock. 30 Rock stars not only Tina Fey and her Second City castmate Rachel Dratch but also their 1990's castmate Scott Adsit, whom I have accepted into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior. As this, the 230th 4th of July since 1776 ends, I reflect that Scott Adsit's bright smile and beautiful, nearly bald head have more meaning for me than the flag of any nation.
The show looks so good, I only wish it weren't in a state of competition with the similarly themed Aaron Sorkin Show "Studio 60" and Jesus what's with the similar titles? Are you each trying to only run 6 episodes?
I hope people watch both shows and keep them both on the air for a while. That would be good.
In not entirely related news, I just read that latter day comic goddess Maribeth Monroe is apparently still performing on the Second City Mainstage. She's a woman to watch, I am to be trusted on these matters.
Have you ever felt like maybe you weren't as good a person as you thought you were?
I've been feeling that a lot lately. Sometimes I'm disturbingly absolutist in the way I look at the world and at morality. My rational mind is more like "shades of grey" but my gut is way more judgemental. "Right and wrong!" says the gut, "Sin and hellfire!"
Should I get any credit for applying that to myself at least as much as I do to other people? Probably not.
But I feel sympathy for the Devil on occasion. When I think about all the famous bad guys, like Hitler and Charles Manson and the aforementioned David Spade I sometimes think about how they were all babies once. I tend to think that tabula rasa they were all okay, as babies generally tend to be okay. Then life happens and well, sometimes you get Hitler, most babies are a lot better than that but hey, doesn't change the fact that he was a baby and he didn't mean any harm.
What was my point? I don't know, it was probably that babies generally, are okay.
What I'm not sure. I'm unemployed for a week now, my temp agency tells me they'll get me something for the rest of July and I believe them because they're good souls. I guess that means I should write something here but catching up with the old fiction writing is taking priority over the blogging at the moment.
Remember a play I wrote is being performed on Saturday, August 5, and a play I'm acting in is July 28-August 27. Those events should be slightly less important to you than your birth. See, I'm generous.
Oh, Emperor's New Groove is a funny movie. Easily the best and perhaps only reason for David Spade to exist.