Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gazing in the Hobbit Pool

Listening to: the Stone Roses - Self Titled
Reading: Barrel Fever - David Sedaris

On the advent of Chip calling me an emotional hypochondriac, Heidi saying that I "put it out there", and the fact that I vent on facebook, I think I'm just gonna start blogging again. If I can't talk out my frustrations, maybe I can just write them.

Anyways, I'm having big time problems at work. I feel that I'm intentionally combative, and really have no filter on my mouth anymore. I'm a little worried that I'm subconsciously trying to get in trouble (since I can't quit, I might as intentionally self-destruct), and I don't think that's super healthy. Both of these factors make me feel like my mother, who I always viewed as a problem employee. I dunno, after 12ish years at Not My Hospital, and the fact that I'm burned out, I think entitles me to feeling burned out. Case in point what happened this morning:

Matt: "Hey, I have a critical calcium to report."

Dr. R: "Okay, go ahead, but I'm not caring for this patient."

Matt: "According to the computer you are, so that's why you're getting the call."

Dr. R: "I understand but they're standing orders."

(at this point, it's a clinical problem, because doctors either, a. need to stop ordering timed tests or b. the nurses need to order each test but both are too lazy to fix it)

Dr. R: "You need to call the SICU resident. Just type in the pager S ... I ..."

Matt: "Thanks, I got it. I'm not dumb, doctor."

Dr. R: "That's not what I'm saying, I ..."

Matt: "Forget it. I'll call the nurse. Thanks."

When these things happen, I can't help but think that this is my life. This is what has become of me, taking shit like this, daily, from people who will now start to become younger than me. It's a bitter pill to swallow when your greatest disappointment, in life, is yourself. I don't know how to fix that. I don't know how to get over it. I certainly don't know how to forgive it. Well, on the plus side, I didn't slam the phone down ... I just said "BITCH!", played some Trey Anastasio, and went back to reading my Peter S. Beagle book. The easy answer is to just quit. But then quit and do what? I really feel that I have 0 skills, other than bitterness, cynicism, and being a smart ass. Oh, sure, I can talk up music, books, movies and shit ... but really, where does that lead to?

Well, I've also decided if that I'm going to kvetch, then I'm also going to talk about something positive. Peter S. Beagle is really great ... I dunno how I missed reading him in my youth. It's too bad a lot of his stuff is out of print. I'm also a little bummed that, apparently, the library has lost their ONE copy of Peter David's Howling Mad. Maybe I can get it used on Amazon someday.

We went to team Russian's to celebrate Kimmy's 40th birthday, and to see the baby. That was pretty great, and I had a lot of fun. I was sitting here thinking about it this morning, and Russian really pulled of a Mushmouth Cahan, really planning that shit down to every detail ... in retrospect, I thought it was pretty funny. Good for them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Life Changes

So, life got pretty interesting this weekend.

Starting Thursday, Jonas and I went to go see Scott Pilgrim, which was a good movie and fair representation of all 6 of Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novels, starring the titular Scott Pilgrim. Upon leaving, a frumpy female studio exec came up to us, and asked us what we were doing Friday, and if we'd like to be paid to sit and watching previews.

Matt: "Absolutely, but I can't because I'm going to a rock show."

Jonas: "Uh, I'm a member of SAG."

Exec: "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that. We're just trying to avoid bitter people from the West coast."

for whatever reason, Jonas couldn't go either.

Exec: "Okay, what are you guys doing Saturday? You wanna come to a free show?"

Matt + Jonas: "SURE!"

Exec: "Have you seen these movies? The movie we're screening is going to be a big fall release, and is comparable to these."

On the list was movies like: Inception, the A-Team, Sorcerers Apprentice.

Flash forward to Saturday, that movie? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1. It was good. Sufficiently dark, and very reminiscent of Empire Strikes Back, in overall tone ... that being that the good guys may not get out of this (which of course you know they do, if you read the books ... but you weren't so sure in Empire).

That takes care of Thursday.

Friday, B-rad and I went to the Testament/Megadeth/Slayer show. I can summarize (which I did to Van Vossen) thusly:

I was expecting more out of Testament. The singer tried hard to be cookie monster, and it just got old after a while. I did think, out of all three bands, they had the most elaborate stage set-up, but I think that was primarily because they were filming a DVD.

Megadeth was AWESOME. You can vilify Dave Mustaine as much as you want, but you're retarded if you can't see that that guy can shred. He played Rust in Peace in it's entirety, then came out with this big 12 string axe and chugged through Trust. He followed that up with Symphony of Destruction, Head Crusher, and Peace Sells Who's Buying? At this point, he started talking, claiming that no one probably wanted to hear him talk earlier so he just played ... at which point the crowd cheered. Dave was very thankful to the crowd, a consummate showman, and took his bows. This sealed the deal for me in buying a $35 dollar t-shirt.

Except they were sold out of every size starting at L and up ... because I think the median weight of the metal heads at the show was about 250lbs.

Finally Slayer took the stage ... and this is coming from a Slayer fan ... I don't think I need to see Slayer again. For the following reasons:

1. Kerry King ... I get it. You like to cause controversy, so you lambaste other bands in your scene. You have a lot of tattoos, and are bald.

2. Slayer ... you don't like religion, and sing about hell and shit. Got it.

3. You use a sonic wall of amplification.

4. Your fans pit was good, but still hasn't equalled the undulating mass of humanity that was Hatebreed's that I saw at Krazyfest. Who knows, maybe our Kentucky brethren are just more into moshing.

5. You guys are getting old, but 45-ish minutes? Come on.

6. It was AWESOME to hear Dead Skin Mask though.

This brings us to Saturday, which, as I said, involved Harry Potter ... oh shit, I almost forgot! Warner Bros was totally Nazi about us seeing the movie. We were searched, our phones confiscated, the whole 9 yards. Amber was worried that we were going to get into trouble because we were sneaking food in. I patiently told her that that was the least of their concerns ... as I was getting frustrated with the whole ordeal of getting in, as I told the studio nerd that this better not be some bullshit Nanny MacPhee movie going through all this mess.

Anyways, Saturday also involved roller derby, which I can honestly say ... is pretty boring. It's not so much that it's boring, it's just that I didn't think it was worth the $16 that Amber paid for me to get in (student discount, natch). Not only that, I think it would have been made better if I had some of my alcoholic sports loving friends there (read: Clay or Chip), because I don't think the Church folk are ready for the full on sports fanatical fury that beer can bring on, so, I just had 2 cups, and a bag of hot Cheetohs. Not only that, I think I was spoiled by Whip It, as actual roller derby isn't really like it was in the movie, and is kind of difficult to follow.

Sunday was a D&D campaigning, which I think will now require the unspoken rule that only one bottle of wine may be consumed, not 3 (and after those moving onto wine juice boxes). You don't want to be that roleplayer who has to roll against being drunk checks like our Dungeon Master (Sean).

Matt: "Oh, awesome! Critical hit! Holy shit! I rolled maximum damage ... 36 points with my great axe!"

Sean: "Okay, you esploded the lizard."

Matt: "I whatted the lizard, Sean?"

Sean: "Oh, ha! Exploded!"

He then spilled the open bottle of wine all over the table. Needless to say, out of 6 hours of adventuring, I think only 4 were spent playing.

Monday, I tricked Amber into thinking that I was going to Plainfield to pick up the Predator (which I did, and it looks awesome, thank you), when really I was going to tell families that I was going to ask her to marry me the next day. Barb and Vern were actually surprised that dudes still ask that, and I was like, every guy that I know has.

Tuesday, was then the life changing day, which was pretty much chronicled on FB. Basically, I made it like a scavenger hunt through our condo, in which she had to answer questions about our relationship in order to advance and find the next clue. She only had to answer two penalty questions, which I thought was pretty good. Afterwards, we went to the Greek Islands for octopus and gyros. Top notch.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Take Me to the Club or Deteriorating Bar Scene

Last night, I found myself at River Shannon. Now, River Shannon used to be this awesome hole in the wall place, that no one really went to in Lincoln Park. It was memorable for a couple reasons:

1. Tony Clark and I sat there listening to Chloe Dancer on the jukebox while watching snow fall in early December.

2. Team Everett, ACP and I stumbled in there after Toad the Wet Sprocket only to find out that it was free hot dog night.

3. Two really good friends got to know each other a little better, if you know what I mean ... wokka wokka.

It's also my recollection that the bartenders have always been super cool, but we go there last night only to find that said bar now has:

1. A porch

2. Serves Food

3. Bitchy Bartenders

Obviously, they're trying to market the bar to the Lincoln Park yuppie crowd and ever annoying Drunk Girls! I thought this was pretty lame, considering the bar was fine the way it was. My faith was a little restored, however, when I went to the bathroom and saw a roach (it might have been a beetle, but it was a definite ugly floor crawling black bug). To me, this somewhat still makes it a dive bar and at least a little redeemable, considering the owners are trying really hard to sell out.

Then, just up the street, Stanley's is apparently a Texas Longhorns bar. Jesus. Where the hell did that come from? I wonder if they started serving bloomin' onions ala Lonestar Steakhouse, because that's what Stanley's now reminds me of.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

If My Soul Had a Name, It Would Be Charles Bukowski

As I'm wont to do on my days off, I hit my trifecta of stops on my bike ... Borders, the Libary, and Starbucks (and if it were Wednesday, it would be the quadrangle which would include the Empire, which I went to anyhow). At Borders, I was browsing for Michael Chabon, when I came across Charles Bukowski. I went through the Bukowski phase about 2 years ago, devouring all his novels in about a month. But what I saw at Borders was a whole mess of short stories that I missed. The bum part is that the short stories are infused with his poetry. Now, I have NOTHING against poets, it's just something I really don't understand, no matter how many times I've tried (much like the physical sciences) ... so I'd just opt to read something else. But there's something about him that I just love (which will catalyze me going to buy these books at some point), and it's the same thing that makes me love Tom Waits. There is something to be said about those artists, whether they be writers, musicians, or painters ... that can capture the darkside of humanity, or the underbelly of life. People who had it so bad, that all they really want is a drink ... like straight out of a Nelson Algren story.

Speaking of seedy underbellies ... I couldn't really sleep last night. When this happens, I go straight to the retro movie channel where I see Rocky 2 is on. Perfect. Although not was great as it's predecessor (or successor), it's still a pretty good movie. What a great performance by Burgess Meredith. I had forgotten how motivational his portrayal of Mickey could be. But let's face it ... did the Italian Stallion suffer brain damage (in addition to a bum eye) causing him to marry Adrianne, and have to carry Paulie around like an albatross? Seriously, Talia Shire is like the worst part of those movies. Anyways, where I was going with this ... dark side of humanity? You have to go no further than the Philly sports fans ... specifically those of the Flyers and the Phillies. God, what a bunch of assholes.

What else did I do today?

Not a whole lot. I made Alison come down to the city so we could celebrate her birthday by going to Pequods, the bike store, and finally over to Carrie's to visit her and the baby. Afterwards, my love affair with Dairy Queen continued, as we went to get ice cream.

I took care of some business, which was weird, because I was doing said business care at home while the cleaning lady was earning her keep. I felt pretty Bourgeois, so I hurried up as to get out of her hair, but the only place I really had to go was the downstairs lobby, where I sat and read.

Chipper Jones tore his ACL. That's kind of a bummer, right? Even though HOTlanta are league rivals, I have always liked the Braves, and it's always rough to see good players hurt when their teams are doing good (like Peavy and the White Sox).

Oh, and I saw Chris Carpenter was fined an undisclosed amount for his role in the Red/Cards brawl. He's a doucher. Seriously. One of the most over-rated pitchers in all of MLB.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Is Gonna Get Me An Ungodly Amount of Shit, But Fuck It

I like noir. The irony is that I like noir because I started reading the Dresden Files, which is sci-fi/fantasy. Anyways, I went straight to the innovators of the genre, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Twelve pages into the Maltese Falcon, and here's the big punch in the nuts, Humphrey Bogart is NOT how I picture Sam Spade.

Not only that, you know what?

Casablanca was a dumb movie.

Seriously. A group of us got all psyched to go see this movie in the park a couple years ago, and it was so God awful boring that, looking for things to do, my buddy Tony Clark and I proceeded to get drunk on a $5 magnum bottle of wine.

For the nondrinkers out there, that's about the equivalent of drinking your urine, if it was alcoholic.

(actually, I don't know this, but it sounded funny)

Anyways, Tony Clark and I drank this bottle and, after that was finished, looked for other things to do, at which point, we spotted a dog. That eventually trotted over ...

Matt: "This dog is pretty cool!"

Tony: "Yeah, let's see where it goes."

So, we stopped petting the dog, and waited to see who it went to, in which case, whomever it did must logically be it's owner. Wouldn't you know it? Cute girl, BY HERSELF, watching the movie.

Matt: "This is your chance."

Tony: "What?"

Matt: "Call the dog over, then follow it back. Use it to talk to the girl."

Tony: "You do it."

Matt: "No, you're better looking and Latin ... chicks love that shit."

Needless to say, he wussed out.

Here's looking at you, kid.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For the Benefit of Bobby Coyne

There have been 4 people in about as many weeks that have asked me why I don't write a blog.

The short answer is this: it's a lot of work, especially when you feel the need to come up with shit that entertains people. But, I was sitting there at the blood gas lab today, and got really tired of talking to myself. Because, let's face it, and I'm being completely arrogant here, with the exception of about MAYBE 6 people, no one can entertain me as well as I can entertain myself. Not only that, I legitimately think I make peoples pages better by intentionally derailing them. Seriously, these words have come out of my mouth. In addition, I've contemplated going that douchebag extra mile of "liking" my own updates, just to maximize my obnoxiousness, and cause a stir.

In that instant, I realized I was becoming one of "those guys".

Oh, you know what I'm talking about ... one of those Ian Michael Black dudes that think they're funny, but they're really not. Or, and this is really bad considering I'm a fanboy, one of those Harry Knowles type superdorks that sit on a high throne of condescension, thinking their opinion is the only one that matters. This is one of my great character flaws, that I attribute to just being candid, and outspoken ... but really, I feel, makes me obstinate and difficult to get along with.

Which brings this whole diatribe full circle ... instead of writing all this crap on Facebook, I'll just do it in a blog!


In a nutshell, that was my epiphany for the day.

What else has been going on?

Originally, I was going to start talking about how I'm going to write this anti-ER (you know the TV show that glorifies doctors) book, about what it's really like to work at the crown jewel of Chicago medicine, from a nonclinical perspective ... you know, being part of the system, but not being bogged down with making "life or death" decisions, or actually having to perform "patient" care. But then, I saw that every post leading up to this one talks about my job in some way. Which led me to nip THAT shit right in the bud. Don't want to become a one trick pony, no sir. Don't worry though, I'm writing down all those zany stories of stupidity to write about at a later date.

I've become obsessed with torrents. I didn't even know these fucking things existed (okay, I did, but considered them mythical because my computer wasn't HAL, so they were always just out of my reach), but now that I do, I feel like I can get virtually anything ... like the whole world is in my little hobbit hand.

I'm about to save a lot of money, friends.

Speaking of friends, all mine moved out of the city ... due to sperm infection, higher callings, jobs, what have you. This catalyzed me making new ones and creating new activities for myself to do. Within the past week, I've really upped the ante on finding nerd stuff for myself to do:
1. Started weekly roll playing. This is actually somewhat of a hoot, and as Heidi put it ... it's like your poker game, but nerdier.
2. Restarted the book club. September's book? A Confederacy of Dunces.
3. Men's Group ... that's still a work in progress though.
4. I've started bike riding more ... last night, I went on a ride with Patty, and was attacked by a giant cicada. The best is going to the southshore, because you have these high school/college kids getting baked, and just waiting for the sun to set to finger bang their girlfriends. It's pretty hilarious. Yesterday, we started singing the Southpark fingerbang song.
Anywho, more later ... I'm sure you'll be on the lookout.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Me and My Sedintary Hobbies

First of all, someone is using something banana scented here in the recovery room. The only thing worse smelling, is that agent orange disinfectant shit that they spray all over when they're cleaning. Anyways, bananas are only good two ways:

1. In pie

2. In that cake that Amber makes

any other time, they're fucking gross.

Secondly, we (Amber and I) went out to breakfast with Piper/Patrick, and the Cahans yesterday to Le Peep. It was pretty good, and the Piper/Patrick contingent bought breakfast for us for being ringer dog watchers over labor day weekend. This is what I learned:

1. The phrase "What's up, grown up?" us uttered by Patrick, who is sorta like a California version of Wes Waterston.

2. The fact that Piper was Little Miss Kalamazoo, and has had at least 2 life changes within the past 3 months. Much like my brother Mark, I'm equating her to Margo Tannenbaum, as there always seems something new going on with that girl. Hopefully, Piper doesn't mysteriously lose the end part of her ring finger.

3. Alison gives away designer clothes that she may have never worn. Amber said she was going to give them to Anne ... but what Amber doesn't know, is that I'm going to flip them on eBay, and probably go on a spending spree at Goorin ... as there were 3 pairs of Lucky 7 jeans (this doesn't mean a fucking thing to me), but Piper says are really expensive (as her eyes opened wide when Al disclosed what was in the bag).

Anyways, breakfast was directly responsible for the rest of my day ... as when we got home, Amber took a nap, so I decided to catch up on my reading. Which was:

1. Ignition City 1-4, by Warren Ellis - alright stuff, but nothing that blew my socks off.

2. The Boys 31-34, by Garth Ennis - this was an okay arc, but this series suffers from the fact that nothing really ever goes on. I'm beginning to feel that Garth has really shot his wad is starting to get burned out. I mean, even his Punisher was better than this creator owned work.

3. Herogasm 2-5, by Garth Ennis - more of the same. Lots of words, and shock value ... little else.

4. Agents of Atlas 2-10 - the BEST book, hands down, that Marvel puts out but probably no one reads. I'm beginning to think that there is nothing better than talking apes, or more specifically, talking gorillas ... they really make stories more enjoyable. What really makes this book is the pulp feel that it has.

5. Various Hellboy series, the best of which was 1947 - the best Hellboy stories were the ones from when he was a kid. They're pretty hilarious.