Matches blog | Chicago Reader

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Voice Like The Last Day of Catholic School

Posted By on 03.04.11 at 07:27 PM

Wow! That guy from that one movie about those garbage men who find a dead body on their route really really came back in a big way. Remember that movie? It was the one guy from that other movie about the Cleveland Indians and it co-starred his brother who was in that movie about machines taking over the world. I think their dad, who was not in this particular piece of cinematic gold, played the president on a television series once and starred in a movie as a U.S. Army Private who was executed. Oh wait! The guy I am talking about was also in that movie! The one about the Private who faces execution, I mean. Looks like I already said he was executed, I really should have prefaced that with a 'spoiler alert!' but hey, you know who I am talking about, right? Anyway, the guy really seems to be enjoying everything right now, totally free from any and all confines, which in his case are the media, drugs, hookers, ex-wives, parties that last for weeks and feature more porn stars than the AVN Awards. Yeah, pretty insane to think that the things people block themselves from to carry on and build a life are the things he used to build and create his life, those things and a slew of pretty awesome films.

So now he has freed himself and has knocked down the foundation of his former life and is building a completely new one around 'winning.' That's more solid than building it around drugs, pay-to-play sex, and 7 gram rocks, though giant stones and concrete are certainly stable building foundation materials. I'm sure he can build a new life, too. It sounds hard but this guy doesn't have human blood, he has tiger blood and he also has extra terrestrial versions of a heart and a brain so he should be all good. I have seen some spaceships on the internet and those aliens can build some pretty impressive stuff. I just hope his work doesn't suffer.

I do have to agree with the guy...

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Island of Misfit Dates

Posted By on 12.20.10 at 03:54 PM

What is the best thing about the holidays? Gifts? Actually, I'm kinda bad at getting people good gifts so it's not gifts. Santa Fetishes? True, one way to make sure the holidays are a lot of fun is to incorporate some white beards, red hats and creativity with a candy cane into holiday doin' it but this kind of thing can really surprise your boyfriend or girlfriend (good way? Bad way?), but undoubtedly makes for a good story later. I enjoy hearing those stories but I still wouldn't mark holiday sex as the best thing about this time of year. Holiday movies? Maybe. Those are pretty good and certainly raise holiday spirits but by mid-Christmas day you have taken all you can so no, not the movies either. The food? The food is good but food is always good. Plus at parties there is a high risk you will be cornered at the snack table by someone who will tell you all about their resolution to lose weight next year. Granted, if that is the person's goal then good for them. On the bad side of things, you now feel obligated to let that person finish the cheese ball which sucks because that was your (I mean my) plan for the evening. The lights? The decorations? So many things to pick. Alright, for the length of this entry's sake I will just go ahead and say that the best thing about the holidays in Chicago is that warmth generated by each and every human in the city makes the subzero temps almost unnoticeable. I'm not talking about the physical heat that you get when you jump a jam packed train at rush hour but the warm feelings people just seem to have every day in December. Everything from the food to the fetishes, from the parties to the hangovers and whatever other seasonal influence makes people smile, this time of year brings a sense of togetherness that you don't really get 11 months out of the year. In other words, the best thing about the holidays would be it's the only time of the year that cliches are acceptable. Of course after the buzz from the eggnog wears off the day after the ball drops on the 31st and with resolutions tossed aside 2 weeks into January, we are right back in the cold wondering when it will get warm again.

My resolution for 2011: to stay warm. Alright, happy holidays and have a great New Year. And, as this story reminded me, remember not to eat yellow snow. I don't care what the older guys at the playground tell you, eating yellow snow will not give you super powers or a beard. Take my word on it....

Obvious Good Decision Making, Doctor, Obviously Good Decisions:

The evening didn't start out great. While I was waiting for my date at Matchbox, one of the two over served others in the bar with me went into the bathroom where he was soon found unconscious. The bartender called 911. So when my date arrived, the bar was obscured by a fire truck on Ogden and an ambulance on Chicago, and the unconscious patron in question was being wheeled out on a stress board. So there we were, feet away from a possible dead body. (Though I stopped by Matchbox the next day to see if that guy was OK, which he was.) My date ordered a Bud Light and tipped the bartender 50 cents. Yet another bad omen.
We had a quick dinner at D'Agostino's after that, where my date told me he'd pick up the check with a dramatic flourish even though the total bill was maybe $13. Then he wanted to go for a walk. So we walked over that Chicago Avenue bridge over I-90 and then back to his car, which was parked in the lot of what is now a small medical center. At that point he announced that he had to go to the bathroom and that he was just going to walk around the corner of the building and go against the wall. This man, by the way, was a 29 year old who had just finished a Ph.D., and not drunk. He went far enough away that I couldn't see or hear him pee, but still...

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Friday, December 3, 2010

If I'd Known What You Were Up To, I Would've Shot You Down

Posted By on 12.03.10 at 04:43 PM

Here is a story that has a some common universals: love and stupidity. We have a girl's heart eclipsing the brain which causes feelings to block the cerebral cortex. Removing the heart so the brain can think clearly is a painful process, common side effects are tears and realizations. It's messy and painful but that's love or at least one way of looking at it. Alright the guy, well, the guy in the story is just stupid, nothing really too ground breaking about a girl dating some jackass and if there was any doubt to that he isn't, he goes ahead and plays the "No, you are!" card. You know that game? It's where you accuse your girlfriend or boyfriend of doing exactly what you are doing to them. You beat them to it so in hopes that they can't bust you out on it. It's a pretty dumb thing to do, really transparent, and all you are setting yourself up for is a Spy Vs. Spy dynamic which is awesome if you are a comic strip but a really bad idea in a relationship.

Alright, I took a philosophy class 8 years ago so here is my theory:

Two constants: Love and Stupid. Love can be simple and is universal, stupid can be simple and is universal. Love can be stupid and stupid can be love and since both are universal, love and stupid can be a lot of things making both constants universally undefinable thus making neither love or stupid dependent on each other on each other for sole or any definition.

I think that theory works. Maybe not. Alright, I am going to go to a keg party in hopes that I run into a student of philosophical logic so I can get this checked out. In the meantime, here is a bad relationship story...

More dating stories posted weekly. Click here to submit yours!

I Know You Are But What Am I

I met him by 79th and State, asking for directions at a gas station. At 30, plump and brown, I was a spinster with a golden heart. I left with an unaccustomed fluttering feeling and no expectation of ever seeing him again. Two weeks later, I was driving in a gray downpour. I turned from Lawrence to Broadway. Serendipitously, he was standing outside Starbucks, steam emanating from a plastic cup in his hand. Conditioned by a lifetime of Bollywood movies, I fall in love instantaneously. We sit by the lake, read the concrete horoscopes in Chinatown, eat tofu barbecue from Soul Vegetarian. Do things lovestruck people in Chicago do. I love him ridiculously, with the naive ardor of first love. After three years, he wants to marry me. I want to marry him, too. But there are logistical issues. Things sort of end, but...

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Simply Pathetic If I Call You Anymore

Posted By on 11.22.10 at 06:30 PM

You know what is just as exciting as watching paint dry? Watching people lose weight. Seriously, it is one of the most boring, most mind numbingly uninteresting things ever but 18.9 million people will tune into watch it. 3-4 million more would rather watch D-List (at best) celebrities learn how to dance which is pretty much the same as watching people who look like your neighbors try and fit into an old pair of jeans. The other weird thing is that people are voted off. The people who are losing weight for health, emotional, or whatever other personal reasons run the risk of being thrown off the show each week. So now we have overweight people stressing about whether or not they will have to go home. I don't know, I was under the impression that when people go to obesity camp they stay there until personal goals are met and the last thing they are allowed to do is go back to the lifestyle, which landed them at camp in the first place. I suppose you can get sucked into watching people shed pounds. You kinda start rooting for a person the same way you root for the paint to dry so you can set up the rest of the room. You start planning where you will put furniture, pictures, hang shelves, speakers, etc. The planning is actually pretty cool and once everything is set, you are happy with the outcome. I guess if you're rooting for a contestant and they get kicked off the show, you are then really mad at someone who already has issues (you dick!) so I take it back, watching paint dry is way better than watching people lose weight. Plus, with the painting, the whole concept and design is up to you and you are not relying on someone else for anything, so it's actually more rewarding, get a sense of accomplishment out of the whole task.

I'm thinking that if you were able to text the person on the other side of the screen or maybe call them before and after each challenge, they would know I support them and I've become somewhat of a coach or fan club member...some team player of sorts. Unfortunately, you can't get a hold of them and let them know that you really hope they pull through and keep at it. Instead you just sit there drinking soda while they are on the other side of the screen chewing gum and talking about how it taste like banana cream pie. There are people on screen losing weight while I am not really doing much to improve my health. I'm gaining calories while they are losing some so I guess it balances. It feels like watching animals or something, like maybe if this was on the Discovery Channel it wouldn't seem so weird. I find yourself staring and scratching my head trying to figure out when something awesome is going happen, like an alligator will come out of nowhere or a hawk with a bear trap for a mouth will fly by and mess stuff up. Anything to spice up the scene that is on the screen; it's just some people sweating and not really doing much. The other thing is it's kind of perverse, just sitting and staring while people starve themselves, they are on a gum diet for crying out loud. I mean it's great people want to be healthier and change themselves, if I were a personal trainer I could see why I would take an interest in watching the process but I am just a guy who is hanging out in my living room flipping through channels, got stuck on one for some reason, and found myself thinking about what color I would paint my living room if I were to actually paint it and wondering how long it would take to dry.

Anyway, you ever get really pointless texts and/ or phone calls?

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Second Rate Imitation, Watered Down Simulation

Posted By on 09.29.10 at 01:31 PM

Did you know they have a park and kiss lot at the airport? Yeah, true story. You can drive to the airport and make out in this designated kissing zone (pretty good date idea. The chick thinks I am taking her to Paris but really I drive all the way out to the airport just to make out. I think it's romantic). I am guessing that there are some time restrictions given that it's main purpose is for dropping off or picking up a significant other but they still allow you to hang out for a moment and bid farewell. I also think there is a second base, or ground ruled double, rule in which there will be no hitting homers in the parking lot; just some good old fashioned making out like teenagers on the last day of summer type fun. They also have those long term parking lots at O'Hare; i.e. the long term relationship. It's commitment, baby! Then there is short term parking which is like a weekend fling or just kind of a right moment/ right time, spur of the moment/ well fuck it anyways and let's do this sort of relationship. It's pretty cool though. All the people coming in and out, going to different destinations or arriving back to the point where they said goodbye some time ago. And coming back seems to be the best part, in travel of course, but no really in relationships.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Now We've Established Something Precious

Posted By on 05.26.10 at 01:57 PM

I have spent the last week or two defining and labeling. It's not something I like to do but it needs to be done so I figured I would mix the task in with my spring cleaning. First and foremost (and there was a lot of debate on this one) this is not a sandwich. In fact, what KFC has done is taken centuries of sandwich evolution, all the years of hard work and perfection, and completely destroyed it. We are now back to eating clumps of meat with our hands. The easiest way to tell that the Double Down is not a sandwich is duh! There is no bread! People did point out that there is breading. True, there is breading but that is not bread. That is like calling Yoo-Hoo chocolate milk. It's chocolate and it is a liquid, no doubt, but it's made with dairy whey, hence making it chocolate drink and not chocolate milk. And secondly, KFC uses the Cluck, a genetically engineered animal which has a hole that you put butter in. True story, I did a lot of research on the subject in college. I even drew a picture of how I think it looks. Basically it's a gray rock that just kind of shakes when it's hungry but over the years I have added more detail to the Cluck making resemble it's not so distant cousin, the rubber chicken. To settle the great sandwich debate, I did propose a death match between Colonial Sanders and the Earl of Sandwich. I'd put money on the Earl if I was you. Now onto people.

I went through my list of acquaintances (long lost friends, exes, old neighbors, etc.) to see which are worth keeping in my phone and which are not because people become worth the time or a waste of time, that's just the way it goes with relationships. I like to keep it pretty cut and dry, no gray area, either good or bad, in or out. The thing is when I come across a name in my contact list I remember exactly how I know the person or how I wound up with their number in the first place. Now I have to define the relationship which can get tricky. Did we date or just hangout? Were we just friends or a little more? But see then I have to think about what actually constitutes a date anyway. A hangout can be a date and a date can be a hangout, or a hangout can be just hanging out. After a couple days of circular logic, applying geometry to relationships (a rectangle is a square but a square is not a rectangle. A square is also a rhombus and by definition is also a triangle given the 90 degree angles. And I may in fact be a square myself for bringing math into this). So, I applied formulas, scratched my head, thought back to instances of hangouts past, thought back to instances of make outs past which led to thoughts of make outs present, which led to me checking the clock to see when the make outs of the future will become the present (as soon as she is done working). Yeah, see, I was kind of getting lost while thinking about this one so I had to call upon some associates to get some clear lines drawn on what is what when it comes defining a hangout and a date.

I present to you my findings:

Associate #1, Female. Location: Bar of Broken Hearts-
Heartbroker: Alright, so then you and the guy were on a date?
Associate #1: Well, I guess. No, we were just hanging out. Like we hung out all weekend.
HB: So then not a date? Boyfriend now or just boy who is a friend?
Assoc. #1: I think so.. I stayed at his place all weekend. I haven't heard from him since Sunday so who knows.
HB: Alright so since you haven't heard from him in like 4 days you are ruling out any kind of boyfriend thing and so then the weekend was just hanging out...
Assoc. #1: Yeah...yeah I think so....maybe. I don't know. I have not been on a date in a long time...can't really remember the last time I was on a date. Maybe I should text him. (begins texting)
HB: Is the jukebox still free? I'm going to play the entire Jawbreaker album
Assoc. #1: That's a really good idea.

Alright so from this conversation I learned that a hangout and date both consist of time spent. I also learned that what happens after the hangout could define it as a date, lack of communication leaves it in the hangout zone and may also leave the other person in the friend zone or some kind of relationship limbo.

Associate #2, Male. Location: My apartment-
Associate #2: ...Yeah so, what is third base again?
Heartbroker: It's the next stop after 2nd base.
Assoc. #2: Yeah, um.... yeah i think i was there. I hit a triple.
HB: Oh yeah? This is the one chick right? The chick you introduced me to like a month or so ago? I didn't know you two were still seeing each other...
Assoc. #2: Yeah, she was kinda busy with stuff and I was kinda busy with stuff but we were talking pretty regularly, texting and what not.
HB: Gotcha. So you two are dating now?
Assoc. #2: Yeah I think so. I mean I like her and we have plans to hangout Sunday.
HB: Alright but check it: is it a hangout or a date? We had such a cool time, sta-a-a-ying up all night... Remember that Riverdales song? Good album.
Assoc. #2: A date.
HB: How do you figure?
Assoc. #2: 3rd base, man. I mean i guess we were just kind of hanging out but I like her, didn't know how she felt but I think the make out and such makes it a date. Makes it official.
HB: Could just be a friends with benefits kind of thing though...
Assoc. #2: No way. Totally not like that.
HB: Yeah those situations never really seem to go anywhere
Assoc. #2: Yeah, can be a total waste of time.
HB: Can be a complete waste, just stagnate and finally something gives, usually not helping anyone out. Alright, so I think you have a girlfriend.
Assoc. #2: Yeah I do! Wanna go shoot pool?
HB: Yeah dude, I am pretty good at geometry.

And eventually I had to go right to the source. Location: Her place-

Me: Is this a date or a hangout?
Her: This is definitely a date.
Me: Deal.

From this I see that getting physical can turn the hangout into a date. It's tricky though as you kind of have to know the motivation behind the act. During the pool game and due to his excitement about her, I take it that they are or seem to be on the same page so spending time and the whole 3rd base thing means that it was a step forward in the direction of dating or a relationship, time will tell. The rest of the conversations on the subject went pretty much the same way. If people were just hanging out, there was some element of confusion due to lack of communication on one part and if they were dating then it was an agreement based on feelings and there was a commitment made to move forward. Much like the Double Down un-sandwich or Yoo-Hoo, hangouts have the elements that present the potential to be a date or something more, however you need a lot more than just breading or milk substitute to make it solid between two people. Maybe I should have gone with the my whole pizza/ relationship metaphor because of this story. Is it lunchtime yet?

More dating stories posted weekly. Click here to submit yours!

He Certainly Weathered the Storm

I walked over to her place in the blizzard around 7:45, planning to order delivery food and just hang out. When I got there she was shoveling her walk, and we walked inside to her place. She had two dogs, one 15 lbs and one about 30 lbs. The big one was excited and jumpy and wouldn't stop getting in my face when I was sitting down; the other one long haired and wet from the snow and wanted to sit on my lap. She spent about 30 minutes doing random stuff in her place like taking out the garbage, arranging things, and other errand/chore type stuff. She didn't talk to me much during this time. She also spent about 10 minutes on the phone with her friend while I was just sitting on the couch. I finally got her to order pizza from the place down the street. I was hungry. Up until this point she has probably looked me in the eye about 20 seconds so far. She also didn't smile or laugh the entire evening. We spent time organizing her notebook folder of take-out menus by category. For some reason she would not throw out duplicate menus. She also mentioned how she...

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Before You Brainwash My Mind

Posted By on 05.06.10 at 02:50 PM

Citizens of Earth! This is an APB! All Points Bulletin! I interrupt your life momentarily to bring you this:

Leech-like creatures from another planet. They exist, though, the hard part is they assume the form of humans thus making it to hard distinguish one of these creatures from a normal person. Nontraditional in form and habit to the annelids and nocturnal neck biters, they are not out for blood. They instead live to suck the life out and waste the time of the individuals who have the displeasure of crossing their path. They attach themselves to a person (a host) and begin a conversion process which happens in 2 stages. Once the stages are complete and all happiness and life is drained from the human host, the non-earthling will keep the body for physical purposes; they only gutted and stripped the human mentally and emotionally (also referred to as the human soul). When a soul is collected, the being will continue to search for more good to destroy in order to fulfill their lust and conquer more as it continues the quest to exist as miserable as possible. Once all smiles are destroyed, the creature will lay dormant for any length of time, usually holed up in a cell that is quite comparable to any number of apartments in Chicago while surviving on delivery food, feed time is generally nocturnal. Noises are often heard from these cells and one can tell the difference between a cell and a normal human domicile as the cell is extremely messy. The creature prefers to shove problems under the rug instead of dealing with reality which makes for quite the mess. At some point it will grow sick of the self-loathing and late night grease and emerge from the cell to consume more of society's normals without warning.


Once in contact with one of these creatures, the person goes through a conversion process that has 2 stages. During the first stage, the once normal and content human is converted into what is commonly known as a downer. Acquaintances and associates of the once happy individual will notice sharp changes in mood and character within seconds, similar to Jakal and Hyde. Those in the real world will also wonder why the downer requires more than the average hours of sleep during daylight hours, and normal citizens will also be subjected to a high amount of poor excuses and lies, commonly known as bullshit, for the downer has a hard time admitting that he or she has been infected by a nonhuman entity and actually fell for the charm of this species. It is easy to be taken over by these creatures as they have immense knowledge of common human thought and desire. The second part of the conversion is what we on Earth hope to prevent. Stage 2 is when the downer has been transformed into the living dead. They are now a victim of love. Physically they are still able to walk the sidewalks, ride the buses and el, rent and buy homes in all neighborhoods, work, and exist amongst those in regular society. Once the person has joined the ranks of the living dead, or collected souls, they spend the rest of their days wearing blank stares, consumed in thought, and riddled with questions regarding why and how they so freely gave their happiness and life away to a creature that was not deserving. At this point in the conversion, infection has reached the brain so the mental capacity that regular people often take for granted is no longer functioning. Meanwhile, the living dead now severely bum out everyone they come in contact with on a daily basis in what scientists think may be an attempt to preform a mass downer, or Stage 1, conversion.

Combat Against the Eternally Discontent:

We believe the eternally discontent come from the planet No Fun. Information on the habits and life of the Fun Sucker (scientific name for the inhabitants of planet No Fun) is vast as America does have the best minds, top researchers, and expert scientists in the field collecting data which they pass along to the general populous. We have also been informed that the creature often associates erections with love. Although a lot is known about the life of the creature, there is little knowledge about what exactly happened or happens on the planet No Fun, but it is apparent that the planet is in fact no fun and those from the planet love to suck. In past battles, humans have been victorious when using wooden stakes, gamma and heat ray guns, proton packs, and preforming exorcisms but remember, this is a nontraditional being and although we do know they thrive on wasting others time and life, we are still not clear on their motivation for doing so. The only weapon that can be used effectively in order to win the battle against these creatures is the human brain. We do see a pattern in the behavior of the being in which the human brain is attacked and reprogrammed first so the only thing a human can do for defense is keep thinking and recognize the species before it strikes. By using the brain, a person can see through the false charm and realize the true motivation of the creature. They can then deny the creature gratification and validation rendering it helpless in it's pursuit of unhappiness. The person can then move on and tell the tale of their encounter with the alien being while commonly referring to it as: douche bag, psycho, creep, asshole, basket case, bed wetter, whack job, and she's like that girl, you know that one...the one from the Lifetime movie.

More dating stories posted weekly. Click here to submit yours!

You Don't Need X-Ray Glasses To See What's Going On Here:

Okay you asked for it. I arrived at the restaurant first and when I see what is obviously him walking towards me, I think, first OMG! and then second, why isn't he married? He was gorgeous. All tall and lanky and Armani suit with a Hermes tie and a 100 watt smile. Utterly adorable. He orders wine and he orders the souffle so it will be ready for dessert and I mean we hit it off mega big time! We become an item, together, the envy of all of my friends. Except for some crazy jealousy on his part: keeping me up all night grilling me about do I still have a single state of mind or not? And how many men have I slept with in my life? And then running out of my brother's roommate from Yale who is in town for a Yale reunion and staying in my guestroom because he mentioned something my man thought was disrespectful...

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Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm Like "Huh" and She's All "Hey"

Posted By on 04.23.10 at 12:32 PM

How many times can she bat those eyes? Really, the answer won't change. Reason being there has been one too many times where the little me has tapped the real me on the shoulder and has said "dude, can we please leave?" Normally I can tell him to just chill out and wait a minute but then he reminds me of all the times he so patiently waited with wide eyes and repeatedly tugged on my ear and stomped on my shoulder while chanting "let's go! let's go! let's go!" Although I know the little me is always correct, I still defy him and stay right there looking at the soon to be ex-girlfriend with an expression comparable to if I just saw a ghost. Weird thing is I usually just remember something that would have helped me out a long time ago like the Pythagorean Theorem must work in any 90 degree triangle and then I just start adding up all the time I have wasted with the girl in front of me. I continue to stare and calculate until she asks what's wrong or if I am alright. Given the the expression on my face and thoughts on a theory that would have really helped me in 10th grade along with my new itemized list of reasons why I should have walked out the door long ago, all I can really say is something along the lines of I'm totally fine. That is right when the little me, the one that usually lays dormant in my head but is now tap dancing on my shoulder, says "alright, good. She thinks everything is alright. Now, text one of your friends and tell them to call you, grab your jacket, and get out of this quick" which is what happens next. If that isn't what happens, the little me jumps back in my head and hits the panic button causing all filtering of internal dialogue to cease. What comes out of my mouth is unedited. The button is hit so there is nothing to do now, we are past the point of no return. My thoughts and pieces of my brain fire out of my mouth and wind up all over her living room. It's messy but it is all out so I can't help but feel relieved. All that is left to do is explain that if I did like her, even as a friend, I would not have had to keep all these thoughts inside. See, it wouldn't work out. Of course then I explain the little me that lives in my head and how I have told him to shut up for far too long even though I knew he was right which causes her to stare at me with that 'I just saw a ghost' look on her face. Next and final step is apologize for dropping my brain all over her living room, assure her that everything will be fine, I hold no hard feelings towards her, and let her know I have no problem assuming all responsibilities for the relationship. I mean, I am going to chalk up the time spent as a waste so the least I can do is agree with her friends the next time I see them and own up to whatever she feels like telling them. By that point I have already moved on as the decision to evacuate was made some time before I came out with all thoughts and real views on all things us. Plus I am never hurt by these break-ups. It just didn't work and there were enough warning signs throughout the relationship to see that but I have a bad habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Most times it works out but every so often it doesn't and that is what leads me to clear my head of any thoughts and all things her. It's way easier to deal with these endings: I feel like a prick for about 10 minutes but then I am feeling fine by the eleventh minute so I shrug, make my way home and listen to Mr. T Experience. By about the 7th song the whole thing is a joke of a story, one I will be telling by week's end to those who ask about whats-her-face and while telling the tale of the last girl, I am reminded again how it wouldn't work out future-wise. I am talking to friends, which equals comfort, so the story goes detail by little detail. No need to leave anything out or edit because these are the people I do have a future with and care about. Something happened along the way with the female lead in the story which caused me to stop and think before saying what I wanted to. I wound up walking on egg shells and eventually not saying a word which caused her to ask what is wrong and then she hears exactly what is wrong: her and all these instances where I am wondering who the hell she is and it hit me that all the instances can be strung together and the end result is a person who I don't like. Then I ask myself what the hell I am doing here? The answer: nothing worth anyone's time so say goodbye to whats-her-face (maybe see if she is down for a high five considering the effort spent on us). Sucks, I know, but I am sure there are a lot of people that would love to solve the mystery of her so I need to leave, let them give it a go, and pursue a girl that is comfortable. And that would be the most important part of any relationship, you are completely and entirely comfortable with the other person. Comfort means the brain can go back to it's normal state. It is almost impossible to exist otherwise.

Examples of internal dialogue. I will be playing the role of What I Said, the little me will be playing My Thought, and the role of the Girl (yeah, they all relate to those chicks now) will be played by a host of ex's, not one specific as none of them have called me back when I offered them the role in this blog entry...

On Love:
Girl: I really really like you
My Thought: You barely barely know me, it's been 3 days
What I Said: Yeah I really really like you too
My Thought: It's been 3 days!

On Pop Culture:
Girl: I love this show!
My Thought: The premise of this show is 5 ex-strippers, an open liquor cabinet, and a guy going through a mid-life crisis...and you love it
What I Said: (blank stare) Is there beer in the fridge?
My Thought: And maybe some whiskey for me. Don't forget about me, I am the one who is working overtime here and something tells me it will not be worth it.
What I Said: Maybe like a shot, too. Beer and a shot. You wanna do a shot?

On Us:
Girl: I can't stop thinking about you.
My Thought: She is on vacation. Is this touching? No, touching would feel good. Instead, I need to think of a polite way to relay the message that she needs a life. Are we thinking about her? Well, guess so but thinking about what is wrong with her as opposed to the usual hold hands and make out thing.
What I Said: Yeah, yeah I think about you too. Sometimes non-stop...
My Thought: Way to go. You might want to add that it's non-stop thinking about what kind of mental condition she has. Suggest professional help but don't be a dick
What I Said: sometimes I have dreams but not like sex just talking to you. So, how are you?
My Thought: You are an idiot. Just shut up
Girl: Aww, that's sweet. I'm goooood
What I said: (blank stare)

On Sex:
Girl: You're sexy.
My Thought: You're drunk.
What I Said: Thank you...yeah, you too. You're sexy.
My Thought: Way to lay it on thick there buddy. You are dumb if you think she bought it. Oh wait, shit she is smiling. Fuck dude, she did! You need to leave this chick tomorrow. This whole thing is starting to make me feel sick and if I'm sick then you're screwed. We work so well together, help me help you.
What I Said: Totally sexy.
My Thought: Totally screwed.

On Spirituality
Girl: I hate my ex. Do you believe in Karma?
My Thought: Fuck! Does she have a Magic 8 Ball? I need to ask it a few things
What I Said: Is that ceramic Buddha from Z Gallery? The one by the television right by your crucifix.
My Thought: She kind has a whole religious round table discussion thing in the way of figurines and such over in that corner. Thoughts on luck maybe? You do have some books on religion and Buddhism so maybe let her borrow those. No don't do that, we need to leave not stay.

On General Well-Being:
Girl: Have you ever wanted to just leave, like just go somewhere else?
My Thought: You mean like me leave your life? Yes. Tell her if she is thinking leaving Chicago that she should do it! Tell her! Tell her!
What I Said: Well you know, winter can be rough so you know, if you are going to...actually it's only like 5-6 weeks of bad weather. Yeah, no I am good here.
My Thought: You could be a lot better here, brother.

On Perception:
Girl: You are really sweet.
My Thought: How about normal. Normal is good and compliments make me feel weird.
What I Said: Thanks. It's my parents fault. You are pretty sweet yourself.
My Thought: She is sweet? Alright, you are in trouble because she is not that sweet. We need to!

On Work:
Girl: I HATE my job. If you could do anything, what would it be?
What I Said: (zoned out) Go to Kuma's and get a burger. I'm pretty hungry and haven't been there in a while.
My Thought: Yeah! Finally you are talking some sense!
Girl: What? No, I mean for a job.
What I Said: Oh, yeah I like my job a lot. I wouldn't change anything, work or outside of work. Yeah, I am pretty alright.
My Thought: There is one thing you could change. Hint: she is sitting right next to you.
What I Said: There is one thing I would like to change...
Girl: What?
What I Said: Huh?
My Thought: Finally! We are back together working on this. I missed you man!
What I Said: (whispering) I missed you too man.
Girl: I would like to be a professional shopper.
What I Said: (very long blank stare) Like a trophy wife? Wait, you get paid to hang out at the Gap? I think I am going to go to Kuma's...

Upon Ending It:
Girl: I hate you and you are a horrible person!
My Thought: Been called so much worse by so much better. Alright, act hurt. You still have a transfer on your card so make this quick, walking to el stop takes way too long from her place and the next bus will be here soon.
Spoken: Yeah, probably. Anyway, I gotta go.

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Black and White and Red (Flags) All Over:

The night began at around 6:30 when normal people eat food for dinner. It turned out my date was trying to put me on a liquid diet, so we just ordered drinks. After a couple drinks, he kept asking what his $20 tab was so i said, "do you want me to get the next round?" and he was all "sure!" (fail). After I would say things about my parents in Tucson, he kept saying things like "oh so you come from money?" I should have said, "Yo! I gotta get home and count my stacks of money!" but instead I relayed my childhood I-don't-come-from-money stories about how my sister and I would sled on a car hood while our dad caulked the hole in my soccer ball. Then he asked..

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Goodbye To My First Kiss

Posted By on 04.16.10 at 11:47 AM

What exactly was I thinking last night? What was she thinking last night? Hmmm. I could wait around or wake her up and get an answer but I think the best thing to do would be grab my shirt and get started on the walk of shame. It's early enough so I will beat the other mistake makers from last night and avoid sidewalk traffic which is good because I feel a lot of head scratching will be taking place on this walk. Alright, grab my shirt (where the hell is it!?) and check to see if she has Pop-Tarts. Why does the girl always has a box or two of Pop-Tarts in her cupboard? Oh wait, there were those instances where I had a Fruit Roll-Up or a granola bar for breakfast, but a reserve box of Pop-Tarts is good form. Pop-Tart in hand and shirt on, I head for the door and stroll to my apartment. It's the same path I have taken a million times to get home but it looks different. It's early, the Night of the Living Dead parade has yet to flood the streets and this blueberry Pop-Tart is really hitting the spot. Last stop is CVS and next stop is the couch. Mindless television, homework, dinner and meet up with friends to share my adventure from the previous night, proceed to kick myself a few times, shake it off, and get on with the night. A new night with the possibility of all kinds of new mistakes, however, I think the next time I wake up with the next Miss What's-Her-Face (I swear I know her from somewhere) will be a long time from now, 'long time' being relative. Maybe I should call that girl from last night tomorrow? Nah.

That was spring of my sophomore year. I remember because the walk through campus that morning was really nice. It was the first warm weekend but the kind warm where you know it's not a fluke. Flowers were blooming, teachers were heading to offices, bums were waking up on benches, a few people jogging. A really nice spring morning. The best thing was the quiet. It was kind of rare considering there were 50,000 undergrads which is why I always liked to avoid the other shame walkers on Saturday mornings. Things could get crowded quickly and worst of all, I would have to hear girls talk on their cell phones explaining how much they regret last night while also hearing guys brag (and most likely fabricate) what they did last night. It's a pretty bad scene. Those nights and mornings always made me feel out of it. Shame mixed with a bit of surprise and a hint of satisfaction. Too much for me to really think over something that will go nowhere so I am left just shrugging and moving on. I did make a point to just stop the random hook-ups my senior year mostly because I had other things to think about and also because I just decided it's not for me. I gave it an honest try and it didn't take. It does work for some people, but I am just not the Larry Dallas type. I have friends who can't wait to tell me about what guy or girl they took home the other night. I will say that girls do have better stories when it comes to this. They really don't hold anything back and stick to the point where as the guys tend to get that James Frey vision where yeah, I am not doubting it happened but I am really doubting that it happened on your fire escape that is right by the police station which is behind your house and two cops were watching you. From a guy that has found himself in some strange situations (she did have lovely bondage equipment) I have to say yeah, I'm sure it happened but come on. Still, they are good stories. I can't say that I haven't had any strange and confusing make out sessions though:

I had been in Chicago maybe a good four months by this point. It was right around Halloween and I was watching the last of the Tigers playoff games with a friend at Sports Corner. The place was pretty crowded because of Halloween and on top of that, it's Wrigleyville on a weekend. My friend was going on about the Tigers as if this is the first I had heard about him and his family being die hard Detroit fans. Anyway, I decided I did not want to hear all the reasons (for the billionth time) about why they love the Tigers so I instead decide to go buy a round from the bar. When I stood and turned this girl who had been dancing with some friends behind our table was coming right at me. I extend my right hand and caught her right hand. Then I did this dance spin (I took three phys. ed dance classes in college. Such a well-rounded education) where our arms go up, she goes under, completes a full spin, and I continue walking in the direction of the bar (no spin needed on my part). Now she is right where I was standing and holding our table with my friend looking at her. They exchange pleasantries while I am en route to the bar. And she is still standing there. Alright, I will buy her a beer. I go back to the table and wind up talking to her for a while. She seems alright, nice enough, good looking. She invites me to a party but I decline the invite and get her number instead. Side note: In 2006 sports news, the Tigers blew it and I had the pleasure of saying 'told you they suck!' for a year.

So that Wednesday I get a call from the girl and we make plans to go out on Saturday. We went to dinner and then wound up at some bar in Wrigleyville because one of her friends was having a party. It was one of those $10 wrist bands all you can drink deals. Well, at the end of the party I find myself doing some serious making out while we wait for a cab. We make it back to her place and I am rounding second base on her couch but I stop: I really need to use her bathroom. It was the 10 bucks all you can drink party and I had really been putting the bathroom on hold on account of the make out. I have never been to her place and the only light on is the lamp in the living room. Her directions to the bathroom were pretty vague; I asked and she pointed. I make my way in the dark and find the bathroom. I remember saying "hurry, hurry, hurry" as this visit was taking a longer than usual. Finally I finish, wash my hands and make my way through the darkness back to the living room but this time the lamp is off. I'm not even sure she's still in the living room so I start looking around but then I notice a silhouette on the couch. She didn't leave. Good thing the shades are up and the street light is on. I sit down and the make out continues. This time I notice her hair feels different and so do her lips. Maybe I was distracted before but I could have sworn her hair didn't feel this thick and her lips moved differently while kissing. I figure I must be really tired and tell her that I should probably head out but of course I'll call this week. She cocked her head a bit which struck me as odd but it's dark so I can't really see any expression. On the train ride home I was looking at my hands and thinking. Straight and thin, right? Curly and thick? Maybe it was straight and thick? It did snow tonight so her hair could react to moisture and get kind of curly, right? I don't know but the whole thing just kept bugging me. The following Tuesday I sent her a text asking if she wanted to hang out but more importantly, so I could get to the bottom of this. A minute later I get a call from her and the conversation went like this:

Heartbroker: "Hey, what's up? How are you?"
Her: "I'm fine."
HB: "That's cool. Hey, do you wanna hang out this weekend?"
Her: "Did you make out with my roommate?"
HB: "Isn't your cousin your roommate?"
Her: "Yes! And you made out with her!"
HB: "I made out with your cousin!? Oh, that totally explains a lot. Seriously, I feel a sense of relief right now."
Her: "What? What does it explain?"
HB: "Oh nothing. I just noticed that your hair got really thick all of a sudden and your lips were kind of different but duh, it was your cousin on the couch when I got out of the bathroom. I thought maybe you do something weird to your hair before bed, or like moisture and the weather..."
Her: "Yeah...I was in bed waiting for you!"
HB: "That was your cousin?"
Her: "I can't believe you did that!"
HB: "Huh? First off it was dark and I have no clue where your bedroom is located and second, I can't believe your cousin just makes out with guys that sit next to her on the couch, no questions asked. You know, stranger in your living room and she just makes out. That's just really...."
Her: "You're an asshole!"
HB: "I'm really sorry but it is kinda funny, you know. I mean it's like, I don't know, pretty funny. Like if we were on Judge Joe Brown explaining this I think..."
Her: "I can't believe you did that!"
HB: "Oh man, that was totally your cousin! Wow! I thought it wasn't you but didn't know for sure. Really, it has been bugging me since I left on Saturday."
Her: "Yeah, well she just told me about it yesterday and you never called me!"
HB: "Well, I mean I have been busy trying to solve this mystery but case closed. Plus I had band practice and was busy with a few things so I figured I would call today. Anyway, you busy tonight?"
Her: "You're an asshole!"
HB: "Oh come on, how was I supposed to know? This weekend maybe... hey, hello? You there...."

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The Past is History and We All Have History:

First off, let me start out by saying this is one of those shameful hookups for which I am totally grossed out about. This happened about four years ago. That was the very last time I did anything like that. I met this guy on Craigslist and had a one night stand...

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts

Posted By on 03.27.10 at 05:47 PM

Drinking to ease nerves on a first date. It's a good idea in theory and yes, if a stiff drink or two will take the edge off and make you less of a spaz then by all means. Just remember you are on a first date and not spring break. As far as boozing and relationships, I generally save my boatless booze cruise until the break-up. Break-ups suck. I don't know how else to really state it. They just plain suck. You were with someone yesterday and now they are gone and all you can do is try to remember how you were before you let the other person effect your life. You will be alright and 30 days from now you may not even remember their name. Of course 3 days from the break-up that person is still hanging around. Everywhere you turn there are constant reminders. In time your home, record collection, clothes, television schedule, and brain will be cleansed and the spirit of the last relationship will have vanished. How to cleanse, though... A long time ago I came up with a 3 point system that seems to work well. It takes 3 nights and when those nights occur are up to the person given time is a big part of the recovery and people move at their own pace with these kinds of things. I like to stretch my 3 nights out over three weeks. Alright, here is my system for exercising the demons of girlfriends past.

Night 1.
This night usually happens on the first Friday after the news has sunken in, all the disbelief is gone and explanations have been given to friends.
Step 1. Make a new playlist containing a lot of songs from the Lookout! Records catalog, years 90-2002. Add in a Muffs album or two, some New Order, a lot of Jawbreaker, some Zombies songs and two Elvis Costello albums.
Step 2. Get a 30 pack of High Life, clear my schedule and sacrifice a Friday night. Also, have a bottle of Jameson around for a pull or two when a song comes on that hits a nerve.
Step 3. Press play and get comfortable on the couch. Turn the tv on and keep it on mute. The nice thing is no matter what season the break-up occurs, there is always a Blackhawks, Cubs, Sox, or Bulls game on so if getting lost in the music takes a few songs, I can keep my mind on the game.
Step 4. Get to work on that 30 pack.
Step 5. This is the last and perhaps most crucial step. So the playlist is about at the end and although I told everyone I was going to drink a 30 pack, really I can only get through maybe 6 or so but in an effort to wake up with a smile on my face, get a slice of pizza and call it a night.

So the first night is basically just drinking and thinking. I do this time warp with music. At the beginning of each song there are thoughts of her but by the end I have pushed her out of the song and reclaimed it for myself. My brain is now chalk full of power chords and lessons learned from the masters of broken hearts. Saturday starts to feel pretty good once again.

Night 2.
This is the following weekend and again, giving up a Friday night and explaining to friends and my roommate that I cannot hang out but assure them in about a week or two I will be right back up to par.
Step 1. Shower and get dressed.
Step 2. Grab the Ashland bus and take a ride to Lakeview.
Step 3. Figure out which of my regular hole in the wall bars is the least crowded. Settle on one and claim a spot at the bar.
Step 4. Bully the jukebox. Load it full of anything and everything. Every album should get at least one song played.
Step 5. The final step. Return to my seat and start setting'em up and knocking'em down. Add some simple chit chat with those around me and the bartender.

This night is like my reintroduction to society. I am hanging out, talking to some people, maybe grabbing some advice from the bartender and if all goes well, make a new friend or two and wind up singing karaoke at Hidden Cove or playing arcade bowling at Carol's until well into Saturday morning.

Night 3.
The last of the boatless booze cruise nights. This night is more about rebirth than anything else. It has been three weeks and it is time to state that I am fine and at the end of the road with my recovery.
Step 1. Stock the bar, stock the fridge, and make a new playlist but this time just make it rock. No songs about how relationships suck and how I wish I could've or maybe I should've. The night for those songs was 2 weeks ago and I am not living in the past although and old stuff I haven't listened to in a while will undoubtedly be on heavy rotation.
Step 2. Grab my phone and call up friends.
Step 3. Tell them to come over and bring friends
Step 4. Hit play the play button and turn the music up.
Step 5. Again, the final step. Open the door, let them in and proceed to party.

Keep in mind this is not a pity party or any kind of victory party. I am now again celebrating my re-introduction to the single world and the mingling and the catching up reminds me that while I was set adrift momentarily by my last girlfriend, I am now back on land and getting ideas on how to move forward on my terms. Now, I am not recommending anyone go on a 3 day bender or drink themselves stupid. Don't use booze as a crutch and trade the person you became dependent on with alcohol because that my friend will get you no where. In the days between the Fridays I find myself working, cleaning, reading, writing, etc. to clear my mind so that by the time the weekend rolls around I am ready to relax and give all aspects of the person and relationship a good think. The key with all of it is find something that works for you like music and High Life seem to work for me. There is one final step: 30 days later take a look back and see the changes. The result is pleasantly surprising and perspective almost becomes intoxicating. I just wish I could have gotten to the guy in this story before his first date and told him to maybe save the passing out in the bathroom until after she breaks your heart...

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I find you intoxicating. Wait, I mean intoxicated

I made the initial contact. Of course he said he was just above six feet tall and worked out 3 or 4 times a week, loved Mexican food and Jazz music, had salt and pepper hair and wanted someone that was real risk taker. I suggested that we meet at a popular Mexican restaurant for a late lunch. I was nervous and excited because he sounded so perfect in the ad and over the phone. Well, this was a real lesson for me.

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