Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I’ve decided to return to my little corner of the internet and this first entry will not make you laugh (and in that respect will be just like all the others).

I wanted to talk about the reason that I’m not a Catholic. There are many reasons that I could point to, but they all come back to this one thing. The Catholic Church is not a Christian religion. They are mean, they are outdated, and they are ill-informed.

Let’s talk about my faith for a minute. I’ve run the gamut. I’ve been a Catholic. I’ve been an atheist. I’ve been an agnostic (some would argue that I still am). I choose to identify as a non-denominational Christian/Unitarian Universalist. I’ve always liked the U2 community because they don’t claim to be right. People come together from all walks of life to celebrate their diverse faiths together. There’s something really cool about that.

I became an atheist because I thought that people who said “I know there is a God,” were arrogant. It wasn’t until later on in life that I realized that there’s no difference between a Christian saying this and an atheist saying “I know there’s no God.” Just as arrogant. That’s why I like agnosticism because it says “I don’t know”. However, I guess I can’t be agnostic and have faith.

I do believe we come from somewhere. I choose to call it God. But I don’t think it’s any different from Buddha, Jewish god, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or anything that anyone else believes. In my opinion, we’re all going to see the same thing when we arrive in the afterlife and we’re all going to be together.

So that’s my background. Where is this all coming from you ask? This article made me really mad and inspired me to write.


What makes me so mad is the complete lack of scientific thought that goes into this decision. Lets say for the sake of argument this woman was going to die if they didn’t terminate the 11 WEEK PREGNANCY. 11 WEEKS! That kid never would’ve made it without a mother to live in for the next 7 months and would’ve died anyway. So this hospital made a choice, based in science, to save the mother’s life and for that, they lose the ability to hold a mass that probably comforts a great deal of their patients and the ability to have an item (the blessed sacrament) that also provides a great deal of comfort to their patients.

I guess what I’m saying is that this Catholic Church needs to wake up. They need to come into our century and get on board with the rest of the world. Abortion is not murder. It should also not be used as a form of birth control.

It's not great writing to end this rant by saying "It's stupid". But you know what, I'm not a great writer.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I think Kristen and I need to talk.

So there's this article making the rounds of the internet. It comes from the obviously forward thinking website Christwire.org. It's called "Is my Husband GAY?". Below are 15 signs that you're man is gay.

1. Secretive late night use of cellphones and computers

Guys, it's 10:15 right now. Kristen is fast asleep. I'm reading my twitter feed on my phone and I'm using a computer. CHECK!

2. Looks at other men in a flirtatious way

I mean, I'll hug and even kiss some of my dude friends. Let's not check this one off yet though.

3. Feigning attention in church and prayer groups

Who actually pays attention in church? CHECK!

4. Overly fastidious about his appearance and the home

I can't cop to this one. I try to look neat if I'm going out, but all told, I'm a bit of a slob.

5. Gym membership but no interest in sports

I definitely have a gym membership. I enjoy baseball, but not to a fanatical level. Beyond that, I'm not really a sports guy. CHECK!

6. Clothes that are too tight and too “trendy”

I try to keep up with fashion, but tight and trendy are not the obese man's game.

7. Strange sexual demands

No comment. My family reads this.

8. More interested in the men than the women in pornographic films

I don't even know women who are more interested in the dudes. Nope.

9. Travels frequently to big cities or Asia


10. Too many friendly young male friends

Most of my friends are friendly males, and most are under 30. CHECK!

11. Sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends

Are you kidding me?!?! CHECK!

12. Love of pop culture

Have you ever seen me improvise? CHECK!!

13.Extroverted about his bare chest in public

No no no no no no no.

14. Sudden heavy drinking

I'm not sure how to answer this. I don't have more than one drink very often. There are some rare occasions where I tend to go for broke on the booze, when I find myself flush with disposable income and with no obligations for the day after. Does this count? Sure. CHECK!

15. Ladies, have you dated men in the past who turned out to be gay?

I'm Kristen's first boyfriend, so we'll go no on this one.

Final tally: 8-10 depending on your interpretation. I guess I'm gay. Good thing I have those Erasure albums on my iPod.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


What motivates us to better ourselves? For me, it's usually necessity. It was necessary for me to make this budget because my job did not pay me enough. The 10 dollar a day budget has not been difficult. I have had to be creative to make things work on occasion, but it hasn't been too bad.

I don't have to do it anymore. I got a new job on Friday. It's not going to make me rich and it's not even a massive pay increase, but it's a start. It's a step down the right path.

But I think I'm going to try to stick with the budget. It's given me a reason to blog on a regular basis. It makes me write. It makes me think about how little things like coupons relate to my life. So for the time being, I'm going to stick to the budget, with less fear because I have a cushion. By my projections, I might even be able to build my savings back up. It won't be long before the student loans start knocking at my door.

This is for the whole weekend.

Money spent: $0
On?: Nothing
Money left: $49.00

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I like companies that reward loyal companies. I've been playing Foursquare (the social media game) for a while now and I'm sad to see that more business haven't embraced offering a Foursquare incentive.

There's also the punch card. I don't carry many. In fact, I only carry one. It's my Ian's Pizza punch card. Oh you haven't been to Ian's? Well, if you live in Chicago, you have serious mental problems. If you're from out of town, book yourself a flight very soon and order up some Mac and Cheese pizza. If you don't believe in God, you'll see him. If you do, the slice will present you with irrefutable proof that he doesn't exist. It's life changing.

I'm not much of a creature of ritual. Habit yes, but not ritual. The only ritual I really have in life is that I have to have Ian's pizza before performing at iO (which is right down the street). Just like all superstitions, it has no basis in reality. During my 5b shows, I went to Ian's before most shows. There was a show where I wasn't able to go beforehand, and that turned out to be a terrible show. Naturally, rather than blame my performance skills, I cursed the skies that I had skipped my mac and cheese slices. I think I've only skipped once or twice since (both shows proved to be mediocre on my part).

Anyhow, I didn't want to spend the extra money before the show last night (especially because the show was at 10:30 so I had already eaten dinner). But I looked in my wallet and noticed that my most current punch card (my 5th) had ten holes in it. FREE SLICE! THE SHOW WAS SAVED!

Money Spent: $4.21
On: $3.21 (Burger King breakfast cause our milk went bad) $1.00 (chips to go with lunch)
Money left: $49.00

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Clipping coupons with grandma

There's something I don't do very often, which is surprising. That thing is use coupons. I used to sit with my gran while she clipped coupons and put them in a little folder. I'd usually wear my mom's big Grasshopper glasses while I clipped. Even in her later years, she clipped coupons to give to my mom all the time. But I can't recall a time when I've ever used a coupon. I think that's mostly because I buy off brand products, which rarely have a coupon offer.

Yesterday, I had to get some dinner before rehearsal. I was browsing my options online and in between all of the burger joints and mexican places, I spotted a Quizno's. I was perusing their menu and noticed a coupon offer for 2.99 for a small sub, chips, and a drink. How do you pass something like that up?! A secondary lesson was learned as well. A small sub is a perfectly adequate meal. Before, I would eat a large sub, chips, a cookie, and a drink for like $1,000.00. NO MORE!

Money spent: $16.79
ON?: $3.29 (Quizno's) $10 (Rehearsal fees), $3.50 (post-rehearsal beer)
Money left: $53.21

Monday, August 9, 2010

So I came across a blog today with the same focus (living on ten dollars a day in Chicago). This girl's blog is way better than mine (probably because she is taking the challenge to a much higher level and also because I didn't set out to make this the total focus of my blog). Anyhow, I can't wait to read this girls tips and see how I can make them work to my advantage.

Money Spent Sunday+Monday: $0
On? Nothing.
Money left: $70.00

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I missed a couple of days but let's see how I did with the first week. (I think I went a little over). This is the total from last nights evening out on the town

Money spent: 61 dollars
On? Dinner out ($25), Drinks($22), show ($8), and unexpected cab ($6).
Money left: -$19.50

All in all, it's not too too bad. I'll be saving a little bit of money on transit this week because I'm buying Kristen's brothers CTA pass from him for 6 dollars and that gives me an extra 2 days before I have to buy one. So instead of spending 96 dollars on transit, I'm spending $75. So things are ok, just have to reign it in.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kristen's brother has arrived. We didn't do much of anything last night. Ate some turkey burgers and watched The Critic and then Kristen and I retired early to watch tv in our bedroom and give her bro some space to lay down. I was tired from playing racquetball anyway.

We were discussing the overturning of Prop 8 and I've realized some of my legal education is failing me. Answer me this question though, if you can. If this case gets appealed and moves all the way to the SCOTUS, and they make a ruling that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional, does that not then become true for the entire country? Would every state have to allow gays to get a marriage certificate. I'm hoping that is true.

I'm in awe of people who can blog every day. I'm finding it difficult (as you're reading) to have something interesting to say every single day.

Money Spent: $0
On?: Nothing at all.
Money Left: $41.50

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things have been really going OK. I can't say they are great because I'm not at a job where my pay is close to correlated to my contributions to the company (does this job truly exist?). But, I've had some really good times and smiled and laughed a lot.

Tonight I hung out with You People. The rule on our team is that you don't schedule things for Tuesday nights because that's our rehearsal night. Even if rehearsal has to get cancelled for whatever reason, you're supposed to be available and we spend the evening doing something as a team. Sometimes, things come up (understandably) and people have to miss leaving us without enough people to have a rehearsal. Tonight was one of those nights. The folks who were available headed up to Hamburger Mary's and participated in Pub Trivia (one of my favorite pastimes and one I don't indulge in enough). The questions, for the most part, were super easy. So easy in fact that we took first place! It was a great bonding activity and one I hope to repeat soon.

I think this weekend is going to be fun. Kristen's brother arrives tomorrow for a little visit. I've been trying to save up most of my weekly budget to have money to do stuff with them. I know we're going to see a show at Donny's Skybox and having drinks/dinner. I think I'll probably wind up doing nothing the next two days so I have the extra money for that. It's difficult to make those sacrifices, but I keep reminding myself that I want to be able to go home for Christmas and every penny I save keeps me from having to get a retail job to supplement my income.

Money spent: $10
On?: A snack and a PBR at pub trivia.
Money remaining: 41.50

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's hard to decide what to count as something that should come out of the 10 dollars a day. I've decided that when in doubt, it should come out (hey, that rhymes). There's no harm in spending less money and of course, there's always more there if I absolutely need it.

In other news, I talked to my boss today about working more hours and he was more than amenable. Since I started at this job, I've worked 4 days a week, totaling 32 hours. Somehow, adding the 5th day to my schedule, I extending my savings by a great margin. Assuming I stick to this current budget (which is more than likely not going to happen, no one's perfect right?), I'll last until next September. By that time, I better have a new and better paying job or there is going to be problems.

Spent: 18.50
On?: Megabus tickets for the girl's half marathon in Indianapolis and for my visit home at Thanksgiving. That's right, $18.50 total for 2 round trip bus tickets. Megabus maybe be late sometimes and it may not be the most luxurious way to travel, but man, you can't beat those prices.
Money left: $51.50

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A new reason to blog.

I'm trying an experiment to see if I can get by on 10 dollars a day. It's all a part of my plan to stretch my savings while looking for a new job.

It all started last week. The girl was having a flustered day at work and with virtual dollar signs in her eyes (which come under false pretenses, may I add) she IMed me and said "Are you a paralegal yet?" Of course, she was joking, but it was something that really startled me. Things are not going quite as I planned. I haven't graduated yet (I've one class left) and I'm still earning minimum wage. I'm 27 and barely scraping by.

The rules: This ten dollars is only spending money. It does not include any of my fixed expenses (food, rent, gym, netflix, transit passes, etc). Basically I'm just going to take 70 bucks cash out at the beginning of the week and try to make it last. I feel like that shouldn't be too hard. Just a matter of packing a sandwich on nights when I have rehearsal or eating something cheaper than my usual bar burger. I think little sacrifices will make a big difference. We shall see.

I'll be reporting like this.

Money Spent: $0
On?: Nothin' fool.
Money left: $70

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My favorite thing in the world is learning about people's secrets. I've always been a pretty open person in my life, which is not to say I'll share with you the most intimate details of my life unprovoked, but there isn't really a question that I won't answer.

Tonight, I hung out with the 4 members of You People who were available for our normal rehearsal. We went to Guthrie's and played Loaded Questions. Halfway through the game, we decided the questions were boring and safe and just started making up our own. Eventually we just abandoned the game and started taking turns asking questions. It was the best. I hope to do it with the whole team soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

So the Museum of Science and Industry is doing a...I guess you'd call it a promotional event, where someone will spend 30 days basically imprisoned in the Museum and blogging about their experience. As anyone reading this knows, I'm a great blogger, so of course I considered entering. It would be interesting and I would receive 10 grand plus prizes upon completion. In the end though, I know that the time away from Kristen, my friends, the Internet (to an extent), and just my life would probably break me.

What I did come up with is a list of a couple of things I could spend 30 days doing (Morgan Spurlock eat your heart out).

- Eating pizza
- Drinking only milk
- Watching only movies (that means no broadcast tv, no hulu, no TV on DVD, only films)
- Listen to only Blink-182
- Write a handwritten letter to a different person.
- Read a play daily (This one might actually have legs. I could start a new blog called 30 Plays in 30 Days)

Any other suggestions?

Here's the link in case you think you're up for the challenge.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Song of the Week 7/18/10

I suck at blogging. Really bad.

Anyhow, here's the song of the week.

Michael Jackson feat. Paul McCartney- The Girl is Mine

Clearly the bad blood between these too was brewing for a long time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm testing text blogging. Perhaps this will help me blog more, being able to do it from anywhere.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Song of the Week 6/25/10

Nana Grizol- Circles 'Round The Moon

I decided to like some really happy music this week. Nana Grizol is really great summer music in my opinion.

I'm trying to get back to blogging about other things but there's just nothing going on lately.

I'm wondering if I should try subscribing to that age old adage of "Just fuckin' write."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Song of the Week 6/18/10

Jenny Lewis (feat. Elvis Costello)- Carpetbaggers

I've been a fan of Jenny Lewis ever since I was a little kid. Of course at that time I wasn't a fan of her music. I was a fan of the way she outsmarted a bounty hunter trying to bring in Jimmy the Autistic video game prodigy in the Wizard with her cry of "HE TOUCHED MY BREAST!".

Then years later, my brother tells me I need to check out this band, Rilo Kiley. I'm in love. Shortly after I get into Rilo Kiley, they come to town. It's on this day that I meet Jenny in person. She won't take a picture with me because she has to go play and if she takes one with me, she has to take one with everyone. Her consolation was "May I embrace you?", which she said with a sheepish grin. Folks, I was in love and the woman hadn't even taken the stage yet.

So now she's out playing solo shows. Kristen and I go see her at Park West and she's amazing.

I picked this song because I've been having an itch to go play music on stage again. I've been telling Kristen I want her to go to an open mic with me and play this song. We never seem to find time to do it, but this summer, I'm hoping that will change.


Friday, June 11, 2010


So I'm getting back to semi-regular blogging and I figure why not bring back the only feature I ever stuck to. Since it's been so long, I figured we would do something special for my first time back. I present to you....MY TOP 5 WORKOUT SONGS, COMPLETE WITH VIDEOS (when available).

In general, when I'm working out, I try to do something to distract myself from the fact that I'm working out. That's why I like racquetball so much. It's so fun, I don't focus on the exercise. When riding a stationary cycle, I had to think of something to distract myself. I started playing air guitar or air drums, feeling the sweat on my face and imagining myself back on stage and playing with a band. I tone it down when I'm at the gym, but when I'm at home, I often go all out. These songs are perfect air guitar or drum songs and therefore great workout songs.

1. Avenged Sevenfold- The Beast and the Harlot (I don't really like the band, but this song is too catchy and fun to not love in my mind)

2. My Chemical Romance- Dead

3. Megadeath- 99 Ways to Die (again, a band I don't have a particular passion for, but I love this song soooo much and have ever since I heard it on the "Beavis and Butthead Experience" cassette at little Tommy Hammil's house.)

4. The Descendants- 'Merican (this is not their video)

5. Frank Zappa featuring Stevie Ray Vaughn- My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama (again, not the original version, but the best I could find)

I'm hoping to make this video thing part of the weekly song so that you guys can actually hear the song that wins "Song of the week"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'll admit it. I'm a bandwagon fan. I only start paying attention to the Red Wings when they get into the playoffs. I barely watched any of the finals this year. But I did make sure to watch this last game. I like to witness historical moments though. When a team hasn't won a championship in 49 years, it's cool to see them to see them achieve something that amazing. It was a great game too.

I wonder if I'll ever see a Cubs or Tigers World Series win. Hell, it would be cool to see the Cubs get to the World Series.

This will probably be the last time I talk about sports in a long, long time. Stay tuned for posts about magic the gathering, board games, video games, and improv.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday, Kristen and I met Keith at the Lincoln Park Farmers Market. It was my first farmers market in probably about 10 years. It was AWESOME. We bought all kinds of tasty treats and sampled some delicious artisan cheeses. A tip to vendors: the only people I bought stuff from were people who offered samples. How do I know your strawberries are better than that guys if you won't let me try yours?

Afterwards, we went to the Chicago Bagel Authority for a bite and then Kristen and I went to get Patton Oswalt tickets. Score!

People have a lot of different definitions for accomplishment. I can't say that too many of my accomplishments really matter in the grand scheme of life or would be impressive to people who don't know me on a person level. Now you can add another one to the list.

I maxed out my first character on the MMORPG I play, City of Heroes. Uncle Nutzy, welcome to level 50. Now I just have to do the same with Freedom Mercury III, Father Mayhem, and the Fist of Equality and I'll be in good shape.

PS: How many times have I said this, but for real, I'm trying to get back to a daily post.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I almost forgot....

I promised you guys an update on my life. Here's what's going on.

- I came to a standstill on my weight loss for a couple of weeks. I've identified the problem and made some changes to attempt to over come them.

- I'm reading alot. Not as much as I could be, but I'm reading alot. I'm at the top of the hill as far as the Harry Potter series goes. I've got a great deal of books lined up to read when I finish.

- I've been investigating some job prospects for when I'm done with school.

- Speaking of school, I've got one week left in my Environmental Law class and 3 weeks left on my internship.

- Speaking of my internship, I'm working 2 days a week with a small Insurance Defense firm downtown. I really enjoy the work so far. It's very interesting. I think I'm really going to enjoy being a paralegal.

- Things are going swimmingly with You People. Tuesday is one of my favorite days of the week.

- My grandmother is very sick. The docs are taking something of a "wait and see" approach. I think we've all been prepared for the inevitable for some time, but it doesn't make it easier.

I think that wraps it all up.

Oh! If you aren't already, start watching Glee.

I'm considering a second blog focuses specifically on my adventures trying to become a paralegal. We'll see about that though. I don't think I should commit to a second blog until I can update my first one more regularly.

I'm still living.

It's been over a month, I know. I'm still alive. I'm quite busy at this very second, but I intend to drop a post later tonight and catch all 6 of you up on my exploits in April. I also intend to try and get a nightly post going. How hard can it be. Generally, no matter what I'm doing, I spend at least 30 minutes before bed online. Why can't I write something instead of refreshing Facebook over and over.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Lessons I've Recently Learned From Monopoly

- Early in your life, you should buy property.

- If you wind up in jail early in life, pay your bail and get out fast. Later in life, you might as well chill out and try to get out for free.

- Build on your land as soon as you can. You can always fall back on that property later.

- Going into debt early in your life may pay off in the long run, if you make the right investments.

- The rich will always get richer.

- Despite playing the game right, wrong, or however you play, the roll of the dice is always going to be the ultimate factor.

- Finally, you'll always be able to roll doubles 3 times in a row, but never a 4th time once you're in jail.

I suck at this.

Man I was slacking on the posts this week. I set a calendar reminder for myself so that I get a text message every night that says "Have you blogged today?" These last few days I've been so busy that I've looked at that text message and I've basically said "No, no I haven't" and then continued doing whatever I'm doing. I need to into more habits.

I need to set up a workout schedule, because I haven't worked out in like 11 days. I've done some activities that involved alot of walking, but I haven't actually worked out. Now that I should have a "somewhat" normal schedule for at least the next 8 weeks though, I should be able to map out a plan. Rest assured it will get posted here.

I've been missing out on song of the week. Mainly, I haven't been listen to as much music lately. I've been tearing through all the back episodes of Smodcast while I'm at work. There's 114 of them, which last between 55 minutes to 2 hours, so that should give you an idea of what's up with that.

It's my sincere hope that when I return home from my Easter visit to Detroit, I can get back to a semi-normal type of life and make another go at doing a blog every day. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Ask me anything http://formspring.me/jrrtubbs
I just added something fun to the side gadgets area. Check out the formspring widget and ask me some questions! Let's get deep.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Goals Check In Week #11

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- I'm on book number 6, which is another Harry Potter book. I can't believe I'm enjoying them so much. I got real excited about the possibility of visiting Florida sometime in the next year. Yeah, I'm kind of excited about Disney World, but Universal Studios is opening a Harry Potter world, and I think I'm really excited for that too. I hope I get to eat some chocolate frogs.

3. Continue to pay down my debt.

- Credit cards are payed on time again this month. Unfortunately, I can still only pay the minimum balance (I actually usually pay 1 dollar more). I can't wait until I'm making more money and can increase my payments

4. Continue to stick to my budget.

- I've been pretty good about this. I'm still ahead of the game according to my projected budget, but not by as much as I should be.

5. Live more life.

- I went to concerts in 2 days! So great to see 3 of my favorite bands in one weekend. I took Kristen to Flogging Molly. She said she enjoyed the band, but half way through she got a major headache so she didn't have very much fun.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- The talk of engagement is more and more prevalant everyday. I think it's no longer a question of if, but when.

7. Learn a new skill.

- At the Flogging Molly show, I decided I may want to learn the mandolin, banjo, or harmonica. In the research phase.

12. Try some other new food every month (this one is negotiable, new foods aren't super easy to come by on a low income. For example, I've always wanted to try lobster, but it's too expensive to take the chance and I'm never in the position to try someone elses.)

See that! That's Indian Food. Which I've never had before. But it was so god damn delicious. Eat Indian Food!

13. Find a new job.

- I have another internship interview tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

14. Overcome my awkwardness in social situations.

- I've been working on the committee for the Del Awards (an informal little awards ceremony done once a year at iO). It's forced me to interact with people I'm normally very shy around. I'm proud to say I've actually done an ok job with not being weird too.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

They Think Of Everything

Kristen and I had a little anniversary weekend trip to the W Hotel downtown. It was a really nice relaxing weekend. It was also my first time in a hotel that had a minibar. That minibar thought of a way to charge you for anything you could need. Anything.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goals Check In Week #8

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- This was not a good week for weight loss. I didn't track at all this weekend (it was hard to do. Who can say what a key lime creme brulee or a 14 oz prime rib has in it. Plus, the W, in it's price gouging ways, wanted 15 bucks a day for internet access, so I was without a computer).
2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- Finished my first Harry Potter book...and really liked it. I'm reading the play Talk Radio by Eric Bagosian now. It's only 80 pages, so I should be done tomorrow or wednesday. By the middle of this week, I'll be reading another Harry Potter book.
5. Live more life.

- I was overserved for the first time in a long time. I liked getting a little tipsy and I think I may allow myself to do it slightly more often.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- We celebrated our 4 year anniversary this weekend. Kristen got us a room at the W Hotel and in nerdy fashion, we spent most of the weekend up in the room, lounging in a giant bed, and watching Veronica Mars. But, we did go out for a nice dinner at Tavern at the Park, went up to the rooftop bar at the hotel to look at the city, and drank wine in our room. All in all, it was a great weekend.

12. Try some other new food every month

- I tried grilled polenta at our anniversary dinner this weekend. Texturally, I was not a fan, but I could see where it would be good.

13. Find a new job.

- I did not get the internship that I interviewed for, but all is not lost. I know they'll find something for me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Goals Check In Week #8

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- Still trying to get into a regular routine. Kristen, Alicia, and I are all working with a site called myfitnesspal.com which has all the calorie tracking and goal building capabilities of sparkpeople (the site I used to use) with a facebook-esque friend following feature. I think it's been really helpful.

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- I'm on to book 4. I'm not happy to say this, because it means I was wrong, but so far, I'm loving Harry Potter. I think I can attribute this to Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier's Smodcast because they've had 2-3 podcasts specifically about HP that have absolutely slayed me. Reading the books, I can think back and laugh at all their bits.

3. Continue to pay down my debt.

- My credit card company called me the other day to let me know that thanks to Obama's legislation on Credit Cards, I won't be allowed to go over my credit limit. That is, unless I give them my permission to allow that, and then, if I need to go over my limit I can, for a 37 dollar fee. If you ask me, only an idiot would ok that. I'd rather have my card declined if I'm going to go over my limit.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- We've been together 4 years today. Can you believe that?

8. Become a better improviser.

- We had such a great rehearsal last night. I want to see my team grow to have more fun with each other on stage. I know there's a lot I can do to contribute to that goal. In other news, we were nominated for Best New Team at iO. This is nothing super special, but I think it's great, because there's only 10 of us and I think it takes more than our 10 votes to get nominated. So someone outside of our group thinks we belong there.

12. Try some other new food every month

- I'm having Fondue for the first time tonight.

13. Find a new job.

- A few minutes ago I got my student membership to the Illinois Paralegal Association. In one hour, I'll be interviewing for my internship with a local law firm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Goals Check In Week #7

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- I got up to 3 days this week. I've also gotten back down from the weight I fluctuated back and forth on the last couple of weeks.

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- I've moved on to book 3 and am reading it at quite a clip. I promised Kristen I would give the Harry Potter books a shot, so after this book I'm reading now, I'll be reading at least the first two of those books. The things I do for that girl.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- I'm going to read the god damn Harry Potter books. 'Nuff said.

13. Find a new job.

- Still waiting to hear about an internship through school. Also brainstorming some other possible things I could do.

Friday, February 19, 2010

song of the week 2/19/10

“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Elliot Smith

Can you imagine what it’s like to stab yourself in the chest? I hate to go straight there when talking about someone I have just recently identified as a musical genius, but man, what an intense way to kill yourself. You can’t hesitate. You have to come down really hard to pierce the sternum. Not only that, but you have to do it at such an awkward angle, so even more force is needed. There’s something truly symbolic to me about that act. And before you fill my comment box (which never happens), I know it was never officially ruled a suicide, but it hasn’t been ruled out, and in reading the story, murder seems unlikely.

I don’t know how I miss out on things like this, but I missed the bus on Elliot Smith. When he killed himself, I remarked to my friend Frannie that I had never heard his stuff, and she made me a CD. I don’t know if I didn’t listen to it carefully enough, but he just wasn’t on my radar. I hate to think of all the other music I’ve missed out on in my life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Goals Check In Week #6

11. Try a vegetable every month.
12. Try some other new food every month (this one is negotiable, new foods aren't super easy to come by on a low income. For example, I've always wanted to try lobster, but it's too expensive to take the chance and I'm never in the position to try someone elses.)

- Mission accomplished. I made mexican for Kristen and I Saturday night. Kristen made some guacamole. I tried a bite of that. It wasn't horrible. I don't know that I would order it myself, but, I wouldn't mind sharing an order with people at restaurants. So that's avocado and guacamole both tried. Boom!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Song of the Week 2/12/2010

"My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama" by Frank Zappa feat. Stevie Ray Vaughn


So there's no question in my mind that on the short list of great guitar players, Stevie Ray Vaughn is the tops. Despite this being a Zappa song, he's really the star of the song. I don't have a whole lot to say about it apart for the lead guitar work is incredible. I wanted to post an mp3 or something, but this is a live track and I couldn't find it anywhere. I also was not able to upload it myself from my files. Sorry. Unfortunately, the album version of this track doesn't feature SRV, so I can't say it would be as good. But, I really don't know, you'd have to ask Joe Krause.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Goals Check In Week #5

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- I did terribly this week. Hardly worked out and didn't eat very well. But this week is already going ok in that department. Didn't workout today (Monday is an off day due to a night class) but haven't overeaten either. Kristen has suggested smaller, more attainable side goals so that I can have some victories. So side goal one is to be below 360 by the end of February.

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- Still working on book #2. So I'm not doing well with this either. I think I'll read a play after this, since those are usually short, and that way I can get back on track. Cheating? Maybe.

5. Live more life.

- Spent most of the weekend in the house playing my PS3, but Kristen and I did take a nice walk down to the lake to look at the ice.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- Kristen and I had a bit of a fight this weekend, but it was resolved amicably and we spent the rest of the weekend madly in love.

7. Learn a new skill.

- I'm thinking about website design maybe.

8. Become a better improviser.

- I had a pretty good show on Sunday. Not my best, but got some compliments both about the team and my personal performance.

9. Be a better friend.

- I'm having some trouble defining this. I've been burned by some people I thought were better friends in the last few weeks and it's making me have trouble trusting the people I'm trying to build a lasting relationship with. I think most of it is in my head.

10. Learn a new recipe a month.

- Didn't learn one in January, but I'm researching and working on developing my own chili recipe.

11. Try a vegetable every month.

- Nothing in January, but Kristen got some avocados the other day and says I should try guacamole.

12. Try some other new food every month (this one is negotiable, new foods aren't super easy to come by on a low income. For example, I've always wanted to try lobster, but it's too expensive to take the chance and I'm never in the position to try someone elses.)

- Didn't do it in January. I got Chorizo on some nachos at the bar the other night instead of Chicken. This was the first time I've ordered Chorizo on anything. I thought I had had it before and didn't like it, but just this morning I realized I had it confused with Andouille.

13. Find a new job.

- Today was frustrating. Seems like Monday is usually the day when I am most focused on looking for a new job when I get off work. It's not the company's fault, it's just the nature of the job.

15. Participate in the mini sprint Chicago Triathalon in August.

- I'm pretty sure I'm going for my first swim tomorrow. Just have to remember to pack my swimsuit and a towel/flip flops for the gym.

Photo Credit: Lindsay Williams.

Did a show last night with You People. I had a great time as usual. I was suprised to see that we had any audience at all, being Super Bowl Sunday and all, but we had a small, but still excited audience. I got play with one of my favorite older teams (Gold Star) and also one of the newer teams, The Bird and The Bison. Both had great shows. We were pretty good too.

I need to work on getting involved in the all team stuff that occurs in the shows. There's always a game of Freeze or The Dream or both featuring all of the evenings performers and I just can't seem to get out there.

Friday, February 5, 2010

This is probably not the popular stance to take on this little SNAFU, but seriously what's the big deal?

Ok, so if you didn't hear the news, NBC's commissary is featuring a special lunch every Thursday for Black History Month. One of their chefs, who has been on staff for 8 years, put this menu together. This chef also happens to be black. I don't necessarily think that the color of her skin matters as to right or wrong, but for me, it takes a lot of the sting off. It's definitely less racist for a black person to serve a soul food menu for Black History Month than to picture the Executive Board of NBC saying "Oh, so how about for Black History Month we serve the Negros their corn bread and fried chicken?" No, it's just good old fashioned comfort food that has become known as Soul Food.

This lead me to wonder, what if on the 14th of July, NBC had a special Bastille day menu and they served Pate, Eclairs, and Beef Bourguignon with champagne to drink. I don't think people would get all up in arms because IT'S FRENCH CUISINE! It's no more insulting to say that French people enjoy the cuisine of their culture than to say that blacks do. No one is saying that all French people eat is duck liver pate. They are just saying it's a French cuisine. Soul Food is something the black community has made their own and good lord is it delicious. Fried Chicken and Cornbread is the ultimate meal in my opinion.

For real America, you're getting too sensitive.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

There is no more attractive quality to me in a person than sense of humor. Luckily Kristen can make me laugh and it's one of the reasons I love her.

I especially like when she "plays Armada" for me. "Playing Armada" is the term I've given for when she lets her small town upbringing shine through. This would be things like believing that Arby's is a upscale dining experience.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goals Check In Week #4

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- Only worked out two days this week. My birthday weekend was a calorie filled diet destroyer. The scale that I had rigged (rather than buying a new one when the piece broke off) needs to be re-rigged. All of this leads to me not weighing in this morning and not seeing the damage done. To be fair, most of my eating was one giant meal a day and then not eating the rest of the day. Saturday, for example, we ate a gigantic lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, and simply could not eat another thing the whole day.

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- Still working on book #2, so I'm not really on pace.

4. Continue to stick to my budget.

- Spent a lot of money this weekend, but also received a lot of money.

5. Live more life.

- Man oh man, we did a lot of fun stuff this weekend.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- Having fun with Kristen always reminds me just how much I love her. We were very lovey dovey this weekend.

13. Find a new job.

- I have my internship interview on Friday, which I'm hoping will lead to an internship with a firm I like, which could lead to a job offer near the end. Had a bad day at work, which was a motivator to start really looking instead of talking about it.

15. Participate in the mini sprint Chicago Triathalon in August.

- I've done some more research and talked with Kristen about the Triathalon. I'm going to do the mini-sprint for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that, even though it's the easiest one, it will be a challenge, but a challenge I can hit head on. Also, the big one, it's cheaper.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Song of the Week 1/29/10

As a former smoker, current drinker, etc., I'm not exactly the model fan of a straight edge hardcore band. But man, Minor Threat is so good.

Of all the Minor Threat songs I like, I think "Good Guys Don't Wear White" is my favorite. Probably because it's the most poppy of all of their songs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Goals Check In Week #3

1. Lose 70 lbs.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5

- Well I got up to 3 days a week this week again. We're getting closer, but haven't hit that 4 days a week goal. I only lost 1 lb this week, putting me at 7 total lbs. I say only, but I need to remember that any weight loss is a positive.

2. Read 40 books

- I'm in the middle of my second book. It's a very interesting and funny look at Puritan life called "The Wordy Shipmates" by Sarah Vowell.

9. Be a better friend.

- I've got a lot of insecurities. When I am joking around about things with friends, it comes off as passive aggressive. All of these things are becoming a point of worry in my head as far as how I'm percieved by others. I'm going to work on going with the flow and enjoying the time I spend with the people I'm spending time with rather than worrying about the whereabouts of the people I'm not with.

12. Try some other new food every month

- Had a fail on this this week. I had the opportunity to try many different wild game burgers inexpensively this weekend. Kangaroo, Ostrich, Buffalo, and Wild Boar all would have been a great first "new food." But we didn't do it. Next time I go to the Hop Haus, I'll be trying the Kangaroo burger for sure.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I had rehearsal tonight.

As I mentioned yesterday, reaction is an essential component to good improv, especially when performing The Harold. In the Harold, we'll meet some characters in the first beat. For the rest of the show, it is the job of the team to make that character react emotionally. This is done by giving the character what they want, taking it away, etc. In order to do this, the players need to know what's important to the character and what's going to "make their head pop" as Shotts (our coach) likes to say.

I have a lot of trouble with this. I know, both from experience and from witnessing it watching others, that a big reaction to the important things in a scene will elicit laughs. It will give my fellow players something to do with me during the rest of the show. It will make my job as an improvisor easier. Yet I still can't seem to do it. That's not entirely true.

I did a scene tonight where I finally was able to react (with minimal goading from Shotts) emotionally to my scene partner. That's only part of the climb over my "mountain" though. It was still really hard for me. I was very "in my head" which is a term that improvisors use to say that they are thinking too much and not letting the scene go where it wants to. I just have to keep working at it though and one day I'll get there.

We have a show tomorrow. Shotts' always tells us that shows are the time to forget what we've been working on and have fun. But I always want to do good work, so usually I'm just trying to strike a balance between focusing on what I'm working on and just playing with my friends.

Last night we were on the bus when I pointed out to Kristen that the man across the aisle from where we were sitting had a dog with him. She loves dogs. She love dogs so much that when the person sitting across from us (next to the dog guy) got up, she moved away from me, and for the rest of our 10 minute ride, sat, exactly as you see here, and just stared at the dog.

He was pretty cute, I must admit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Of course I'm going to weigh in.

How brilliant is that video? There are other versions of this Hitler thing (the second best one is about Lost. Just go to youtube and search "Hitler" and "LOST". You're welcome), but this one is so good and definitely true.

I'm on Team CoCo. I'm watching him right now. I don't have to say anything more about how stupid NBC is being because it's all been said.

I'm not going to boycott NBC, because 30 Rock and The Office are brilliant and I'm spineless. But, any chance I had of making time for the Tonight Show before bed has gone out the window. Fuck Jay Leno.

Goals Check In Week #2

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- We're now down 6 lbs from my starting weight for 2010. I worked out three days this week. Still not there, but getting closer. I'm considering joining the same gym as Kristen because she thinks it might help me work out more. The problem lies a couple of things. First of all, the Y is right down the street from where my team rehearses. That's pretty much the only night where I HAVE to go to the gym (any other night I could work out at home if I want to). So I think switching to Bally's, I would have some problems making the trek. So that's in the research phase right now.

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- Finished my first book of 2010. Middlesex by Jeffrey Euginides. I highly recommend it. It was great.

4. Continue to stick to my budget.

- Spent way too much money this weekend, I definitely will be overspending this month.

8. Become a better improviser.

- I'm having problems conquering what I've come to call my "Everest". It's emotionally reacting to my scene partner. It's more difficult than it sounds and I'll tell you why. I'm not an outwardly emotional person. I don't think most of us react the way we really want to in life. In improv, one of the goals is to play real. Don't try to be funny, just play heightened versions of yourself. I have to work on the "heightened" part.

9. Be a better friend.

- I went to a show with some Detroit friends last night. I, in a round about way, told them that I understand their busy lives and feel bad for any previous guilt trips I laid on them about us never hanging out. When we can find the time, we'll get together.

10. Learn a new recipe a month.

- I'm going to go through some cookbooks this week and see what I want to try this month.

13. Find a new job.

- I've pretty much settled on only looking for law firm jobs until I'm done with school. I e-mailed the paralegal office about scheduling an interview for an internship with the Dean. Sometimes, I'm told, those internships lead to jobs.

14. Overcome my awkwardness in social situations.

- I went to a party this weekend for my friend Mark's birthday. I talked to a lot of people I didn't know too well. The only downside was, I spent the whole party following one of the three people I actually knew around. So I still had a crutch.

14a. Make a new friend.

- This doesn't count I'm sure, but I'm going to a concert with Mark and this dude named Linus. We did some e-mail bits in planning the concert out, but didn't really know each other. We met at the party. I added him on Facebook. Does that count?

15. Participate in the mini sprint Chicago Triathalon in August.

- I'm in research mode for this. There is a couple of options. I'm leaning towards doing the "super sprint" but it almost sounds too easy. The main reason I'm doing it is because it's the cheapest options. All the other races cost over 100 bucks to enter.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Song of the week (sorry I missed last week)

"Jackie Wilson Said" by Van Morrison

I am astounded every time I see a picture or live performance from Van Morrison. HE'S WHITE! He sings with such soul and just sounds black to me. Kind of the way Green Day always sounded British.

When we were kids, my dad had this mix tape he would always play in the car. It featured a bunch of James Brown, some Cheech and Chong tracks, and then the songs my brother and I chose as our "favorites" when we were probably 6 and 3 respectively.

He chose "Highway Star" by Deep Purple. I chose "Domino" by Van Morrison.

Ever since, I've always been a sucker for songs with a ton of brass in them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Goals Check In

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.

- So I only worked out 2 days this week. It was my first week back, and a busy one at that. Stay tuned for more excuses as the year goes on. But, I did lose 4 lbs this week.

2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.

- I'm probably cheating here too. I'm almost done with my first book, but I started it in the middle of December. Backgammon on my phone and podcasts are my main weakness.

5. Live more life.

- I drank beer from a giant glass boot this weekend.

6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.

- She loved this. I just say "Number 6" to her and she knows what I mean.

8. Become a better improviser.

- Had my first show with my iO team and it was a ton of fun. I don't know that I was technically proficient, but I got a lot of compliments.

13. Find a new job.

- I'm up in the air on this one. I've seen some jobs I might be great for. One of them leaves me in the same 1099 tax situation, but would be double the money I'm making now. The problem is this. I've never worked for a law firm before and would like to do an internship with one before I get out of school. So the question in my head lately has been "Do I only look for law firm work, thus negating the need for an internship, or do I look for anything and worry about getting a paralegal job the next time I find myself in need of work.

14. Overcome my awkwardness in social situations.

- I talked to someone I don't know real, real well, but well enough (my team's coach's girlfriend) for almost three minutes without looking at my cellphone as a defense mechanism. The conversation was still awkward for me.

So there's a little update on the progress I've made toward some of those goals.

Should I make this a weekly thing?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Michigan Visit

I'll miss Detroit. I always do and I always will.

Let there be no confusion, I love my life in Chicago. As I continue to improve myself, my love of that life will continue to grow and blossom.

But Detroit is the home of my family. It's the home of my best friends. And it's a home to my former self.

Ok, enough deepness. Let's get on to the highlights of my visit.

I got to spend alot of time with people who I usually don't see. Usually my trips home are three or four days max. In that time, I have to spend quality time with my family, recharge my batteries, help my folks out around the house, and see all of my friends. Having 11 days at home made it a lot easier to see most of the people I wanted to see. Sure, some people just couldn't make the time, but whatever. One of my goals in self improvement is to be thankful for what I get rather than to bemoan what I didn't get.

The food! Oh the food! I went to El Charo's, I went to Jet's Pizza, I went to Loui's Pizza (which is a new favorite), I went to the local Denny's, I went to Sonic. I even saw my brother tackle a 1/2 pound Coney Dog.

While we're on food, Cakes and I even went to Tony's. Many of you have heard me regale you with tales of the legendary giant portions at Tony's. Well the above photo is the side of bacon that came with my 10 silver dollar pancakes. It weighs in at one pound. No I didn't finish it.

Yes it's nerdy. But I love to play Laser Tag when I'm home. It's something we used to do all the time in High School and College. We're real geeks about it too. Unlike most of the kids (yes, kids) there who are running around playing video games, my crew is over by the map they have on the wall, critique our position in the last game and attempting to develop a better strategy for our next game. That's the reason our team won by 20-30 thousand points each game.

There was also plenty of time to be with family and I even got to see Kristen a few times.

All in all, I consider this a successful visit. Time to start figuring out when my next will be. Perhaps Cakes' b-day, but I can't be sure.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions are stupid.

I'm not doing resolutions this year. Resolutions get broken. This year, I'm setting goals. Goals are something to achieve. The best thing about goals, is that you can fall short of them and it's not always failure. At work, I have a goal to set 4 appointments a month. Is the month a total loss if I only set three? Not at all, that's three opportunities that didn't exist before.

1. Lose 70 lbs. That's less than 2 lbs a week, but more than 1.
1a. Work out a minimum of 4 days a week, but shooting for 5.
2. Read 40 books. That's less than 1 book a week but more than I currently read.
3. Continue to pay down my debt.
4. Continue to stick to my budget.
5. Live more life.
6. Let Kristen know how much I love her everyday.
7. Learn a new skill.
8. Become a better improviser.
9. Be a better friend.
10. Learn a new recipe a month.
11. Try a vegetable every month.
12. Try some other new food every month (this one is negotiable, new foods aren't super easy to come by on a low income. For example, I've always wanted to try lobster, but it's too expensive to take the chance and I'm never in the position to try someone elses.)
13. Find a new job.
14. Overcome my awkwardness in social situations.
14a. Make a new friend.
15. Participate in the mini sprint Chicago Triathalon in August.

I'm hoping these goals can be a focus of this blog for the year. They pretty much make up my entire being, so why shouldn't they be the focus of the blog.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Song of the week (now on Fridays)

So I'm moving song of the week to Fridays. Currently, Friday is my day off, leaving less chance that I'll forget to write one. Is it coincidence that it just happens to be the first day of a new decade. Nope.

So here you go.

The first song of the week of 2010 is "Sleeping Aides and Razorblades" by the Exploding Hearts.

Oh, you've never heard of the Exploding Hearts. Many haven't. These poor kids from Oregon only got to record one album, Guitar Romantic. That album was 60th on Pitchfork's best albums of the decade. It's probably one of my most listened to albums of the last year.

The reason I say "these poor kids" is that while on tour, mere months after the album was released, their tour van flipped over and 3 of the 4 members of the band were killed. My good friend Joey, who gave me this album for my birthday a couple of years ago told me that it's bad luck for touring bands to listen to the Exploding Hearts while on tour.

If you like power pop/punk, listen to this album. If you want a copy, give me a blank cd and I'll make you one. You will love it.