Air and Water ShOWWWWW! Vol. 3 Invasion By Land

It all happened so quickly. It's hard to remember the details.

Oh cruel fate! Once velocity is finally achieved, a decent pace maintained. Why then, must I so horribly be confronted with gravity and the ground?


Matthew and Charles, finding the weather to be lovely for the first time in weeks through the summer, decide to bike downtown to meet some friends. It's unfortunate that that same Sunday morning, Chicago's Annual Air and Water Show is playing to a packed lakefront. Many people. Difficult going on the bikes. Lots of nuisance. Judgements fly about the nature of our society and using machines of war for entertainment purposes. Guns don't kill people. Wars do!

We reached downtown in surprisingly good time. We had a lovely time with friends. Had a great lunch. La la la.

Once again, I forget that an Air and Water show is going on. How? It was just a couple hours previously that we waded through a water show of people trying to get downtown on our bicycles. All that people talked about at lunch was how they wanted to get down to the lakefront or how they were avoiding it at all costs.

So, when we get back to the lakefront trail for the ride home, you can imagine how surprised I was to find that it was even worse. It was no longer slow going on your bicycle. It was wlking your bicycle. It was so crowded I feel like the cattle must feel in those videos about ranching and slaughtering. Packed together, I know I was adding some tire marks to some achilles tendons. I know I was constantly banging my my shins against the pedals of my bike.

It was ridiculous. Why didn't we take the city streets? Oh right...I'm a moron.

By this point, we're pretty much locked in. The next exit from the lakefront is still a ways away.

The air show is in full swing. Abandoning the idea that little boats zooming back and forth on the horizon will keep everyone's attention, they pushed forward with the idea that loud planes zooming back and forth over our heads would be far more fun.

The jet flies one way.
The jet flies the other way.

Oooooh. It's like hypnosis, with a shiny object passing back and forth in your field of vision. Only it's loud, and you have to crane your neck to track the shiny thingy. As far as I can tell, this is the air show. A jet plane flying back and forth. Big fun.

People always talk up the Blue Angels, like it's the coolest, freshest thing ever. I missed that part of my ride home.

Call me what you will (everyone does), but the only reason I can find interest in an air show is if the jet fighter flying back and forth over our heads starts dropping bombs, or participates in a real dog fight with another American jet. American War Technology Vs. American "Defense" Technology in an air-to-air battle to the death! Cut to commercial.

I do have to plug my cushy ass bike seat for a moment. The people who make HyperPlush bike seats get a big shout-out and kiss. I like to ride, and there's nothing like haveing a big soft wad of foam under my ass to absord the shock of the road for me. I sued to freak out the guys at the camping gear store about how comfy that seat was to ride to work on after a morning of heavy forbidden sex (wink to the censors). Ewwwww. Why did you tell us that?!

Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled trauma...

Finally, the flow of humanity allowed Charles and me to get off the lake front and back to the city surface streets. Blessed be.

At this time, the serenity and love for humantiy I had that morning had managed to run screaming from the thunderous sound of jet airplanes screaming overhead. It was over. I was surly. I was about ready to start running over people, or at least push them into oncoming traffic.

Managing to find open stretches of raod, Charles and I began to peddle torward home. Fairly smooth sailing. We're in the clear. All is wonderful.

Nice weather. Away from the crowds gazing at the pretty shiny objects flashing back and forth in the sky. I'm on my bike. Life is good.

This has been a sign. To make up for the stretch of time where the weather was unbikeable (at least to a wimp like me), the world has given me a stretch of days that are thoroughly meant to be biked through. And I did.

I biked everywhere. I went downtown, came back, stopped off at home, biked to Evanston...it goes on.

And then...after casting the ring back into the fires from whence it came, defeating the enemy, discovering that Darth Vader really is my father, destroying the Death Star, finding the Holy Gail with my dad, and other such trilogy happy endings...

I crashed.

Coming home one evening, I ran into some friends on the street. Not literally. We are still building up to my athletic demise. We stood and chatted for a while. Me, on my way home. Them, on their way home with a box of wine. We won't diverge there.

Goodbyes all the way around, and I hopped back onto my bike to proceed home. I was up on the sidewalk, as the street too narrow and the traffic too harrowing to merge back.

Suddenly, the bike disappears from under me. I go tumbling forward and hit the ground head first, catching the handle bars in my chest. Fortunately, I am a bike geek and was wearing a helmet. Otherwise, I may not be lucid enough to type this fine exposition on the elements and whatnot.

Picking myself up (no sense in drawing any attention to my wipe-out), looking around (in hopes of saving a little bit of face) and gathering my senses, I hear a man laughing. Just up the block, a man is standing outside is "office," shady and at street level, but who am I to judge. He began to tell me how often (especially in the winter) people slip on that metal plate in the streets.

Apparently, although I was still quite dazed and trying to nurse my owwiees on my knees and elbows, I had hit one of those metal plates in the sidewalk that covers electrical wires. He proceeds to babble about wanting to get his grommel kit and etch grooves into it as some sort of public service.

I'm not really paying attention to him, still trying to gather my senses. I proceeded to agree with everything he was sying and started to wlak home.

Only when I got home did I realize that my chest was in excrutiating pain. Well no wonder...the handle bars colliding with my chest had broken a rib!

The end. of the biking season. for now.


Door to Door (on a mission from God, or the collection agency)

You have to admire people who wander door to door doing whatever it is that they do.

It can't be easy. If you're a salesman, going door to door in hopes of making A sale, it must take some determination to keep going. The fact that sales and advertising have so infiltrated everything in our lives, it seems that, despite our evolution into laziness, door-to-door sales must be the next step in this invasiveness.

Advertisements already appear smeared across public transportation, gets thrust into your hand on the sidewalk, pops up on your computer monitor (any second now), and even protects our hands on those cardboard sleeves aroud coffee cups. Why then does it seem to be obsolete for it to ring your doorbell?

I can imagine answering my door, wondering who it can be. The little peephole, which has proven itself to be completely useless, except during paranoid delusions when "they are coming to get me," would not exist in this alternate universe.

If I answer the door, and there is a two to three second pause before the cheery voice says, "How are you doing today, sir? My name is XXXXXXXXX, and I am visiting on behalf of...," I am then confronted with a choice. Do I immediately slam the door shut in hopes that they take the hint and will not come knocking again? OR Do I brace myself for a lengthy spiel (with apology and statement of not wanting to take up TOO much of my time, to which I will undoubtedly reply "No thank you." ? We'll train ourselves to know that if that pause is there, a computer has rang our doorbell and it isn't a friend or relative.

Maybe finer homes will come with a different kind of caller ID. Special doors will let me know who is calling. It will tell me know when the visitor is unknown, and my paranoid friends (hey, like attracts like) will have to enter a code before ringing or knocking to let me know it is them.

Of course, in all of my nostalgia (can I call it that?) for door-to-door salesmen (or women, but in my fantasy...), the only thing I can ever call to mind from Paper Moon is Madeline Kahn saying, "Let Tricksy sit up front with her big ole tits."

Moving along...

It is still good to know that the art is still kept alive by those whose faith sends them out to spread the word. The word is now spreadable, and probably comes in chive and french onion flavourings. Look for Low Fat Word at your local grocery store.

I have the profoundest lack of respect for these people. I really do admire the amount of faith and determination it takes to go about the neighborhoods to be repeatedly rejected. I wonder if the occassional person who does allow them to come in and talk ends up being worth it. How often does one wish that they had just slammed the door?

There are plenty of scary people out there. Like me.

I have always been the one sent to answer the door. Maybe it's because I am more inclined to get up and answer the door (ahhh nostalgia). Perhaps everyone knows that I will do a good job scaring off whoever it might be. Friends of the family always let themsleves in. They're family. Come in!

Only strangers knock...or live here.

My family took great pride in my ability to scare off the missioneers. They take pride in me for other reasons, but this one is relevant here. They are good church-going, faith practicing people. They know their faith and are comfortable with it. They therefore do not need to be told and aren't particularly wild about strangers coming onto our property, rented though it may be. (reminder to me...tell the nice people someday about dad, the .22 and the promiscuous neighborhood dogs someday)

I would always answer the door and have something quick to say:

"You selling God? How much?"
"Jesus doesn't live here anymore!"

I've been known to make eyes at whoever answer the door. Men, women...and of course, children. I would imagine that missioneers must think that bringing an innocent child on these door-to-door treks must make an impression of family, comfort, innocence and love. They have always left our house with a sense of creepiness and dread.

I'd answer the door and raise my eyebrows seductively (try to imagine that, if you will...ask my boyfriend, it's pretty goofy) at whoever was there. There was always the quick motion to draw the present child safely close as they watched my gaze move tenderly down to the minor on our doorstep. Have I scarred lives? Plenty.

My ultimate was undoubtedly the day the Mormons paid us a visit while I was living in Santa Cruz. I was sharing this large house with some girls into organic farming (a stretch in Santa Cruz, but try to suspend your disbelief) for a brief period. The reality is they let me move into one of the vacant bedrooms after my claustrophobia got the better of me living in a tent in the strawberry patch in the back yard. After hearing about the natural cure for yeast infections, I started buying my own cloves of garlic for the traditional Santa Cruz communal stir fry. But i digress...

Our kitchen looked over the drought-resistant garden in the front yard. The "front" door was on the side of the house. We were all standing around the kitchen one afternoon discussing the dangers of commercial cotton used in tampons and the need for the proliferation of organic cotton, when one of my house-mates cuaght a glimpse of white shirts and dark ties out the window.

The girls commenced to panic. What we we to do? Hide! Don't answer the door! Duck!

I stepped in at this point. "No, wait! I have a better idea!"

Shedding every last bit of clothing, with the exception of my baseball hat, I quickly took control of the situation, quieted the girls and went to answer the door. I moved slowly, so as not to give the impression that I was lying in wait.

Unlike telemarketers, there was no three second pause. I had just begun to open the door when one of the boys proceeded to say "Good afternoon, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ and....WHOA!"

Their horrified faces turned to the side. You could see the flash of wide-eyed terror before averting their eyes in modesty. From then on, the two boys only looked to the side, occassionally stealing glances back towards me, hoping that it was a mirage and I really wasn't as naked as the day I was born (save for the backwards baseball cap). No such luck.

"Umm, we seem to...uh...have caught you at a bad time, sir."

"No time like the present. What can I do for you all?" That line, "No time like the present," was to follow me around for the rest of my days in Santa Cruz. Not because I maintained that attitude in my every day life, but purely because of this encounter with the boys from, as my brother calls it, The Church of Jesus Christ and Shutes and Ladders Day Saints.

The lead boy, tried to continue with his mission, probably suppressing the desire to move on to greener preaching pastures: "Well, um, we are from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, and um....well, we were walking through the neighbourhood, and um, you see (still occassionally looking nervously in my direction)...we were looking for some folks who would be interested in sitting down, and, uh, having a discussion about our Lord and Savious Jesus Christ."

I was really quite proud of him for managing to get it all out. He was struggling. It was obvious. I think his partner was paralyzed. He stood so stiffly.

At this point I was faced with a decision. These boys displayed such courage not running away at the site of my not so flattering physique. I'm not horrible, but hardly am I something to open a magazine to the centre-fold in search of. They showed perseverance of faith. I respect that. Should I invite them in, or alleviate their worries and send them along like the other, albeit clothed, heathens they encounter on their missions?

The girls. They were doing a good job of holding in their giggles at the site of my backside in the doorway holding a conversation with two young mormon missioneers. "There's no time like the present." They wouldn't let me live that one down.

I thought it would be fun to have them in for a chat, some tea (herbal...of some sort), maybe some vegan "treats" (read: dog treats sans animal matter) , and a hearty discussion on the nature of salvation. Maybe I could put a pillow on my lap to make them feel more comfortable. I was in a good enough mood to hold back my argumentative side, and I could play gracious mediator with my Jewish and mother-goddess worshipping house-mates. I'd be in peak performance.

Dammit. The girls have clothes on. It wouldn't work. There's no way this could come off if the girls were there fully dressed.

There was only one thing left to do. The nieghbours across the street were evil red-necks who liked to get drunk and work on the Camaro in their driveway at all hours. they were obnoxious Hill folk sho somehow were able to afford living closer to the water than most. There were car parts and trash strewn about their lawn. They made noise and revved their motors. My kind of folk had I been honest with myself and wasn't playing sophisticated Earth-guy in Santa Crud.

"Well," I said. "I think the people who live across the street are into that kind of thing."

They breathed such a sigh of relief. A weight had been lifted from the burden of their faith. They gave a hurried "thank you" and scurried away.

At that moment, gales of laughter broke out from within the house. The girls, finally able to let loose, were rolling on the floor. I closed the door and turned to face them.

"There's no time like the present?" one of them said through tears, handing me my clothes.

I'm probably going to hell.


Air and Water ShOWWWWW! Vol. 2 Invasion By Sea


Flashing montage of spectral voices describing everything that is wrong with an air and water show. Flashy waste of military funds. Mass hypnosis with the machines of war acting like circus animals. Images of me cringing in my apartment everytime a jet screams by. Stereo knobs being turned up. Time lapse clouds and thunder storms. Me giving puppy dog looks out the window at the crappy weather like the boy trapped inside practicing the violin while his peers run wild in the streets.

Shot opens on a sunny day, my friend Charles and I bicycling slowly on the lakefront path.

Charles is new to biking, and I am repressing my usual speed to let him set a comfortable pace for himself. I had never taken the time to enjoy a leisurely ride. I get on my bike and zoom. I'm off. This was pleasant. It was a pretty day. The breeze was mild, the sun was out.

And so were the crowds. By the time we hit the contruction before North Avenue Beach, the memory of the scheduled events came back to me. Families wlking four abreast on the path, dragging coolers. Children erratically cutting in front of our bikes. Other cyclists and joggers miffed at the ruining of their pace.

So we slowed down, and crept through. This was fine. Serenity still in place. Occassionally, we slowed too much to maintain balance. We then set foor to ground and walked our bikes, taking advantage of any opportunity to begin peddling again. If man were meant to walk, God wouldn't have given us bicycles!

As we crawled through the loose masses congregating on North Avenue Beach, the loud speakers were proclaiming some marvel of water skiing occurring off the shore. When I could, I stole glances out to sea (lake?).

I have always wanted to water ski. Never have, and probably never will. Still, this sport fascinates me. I have no idea why. I picture myself hanging on for dear life, somewhere between the vintage sports commercials and a Go-Gos video. Only a lot less pretty.

As I steal glances eastward, simultaneously stopping and starting my bike to avoid crushing small children and scraping the heels of the more procreative members of our society, all I see out in the water is a couple of boats here and there. They are all far enough out to really be matchbox car size.

All you could see were small (perspective) boats zooming this way and that. If this was to be a water show as advertised, there wasn't much show going on. I could barely see anything going on. Silhouetted against the morning sun, the boats were small grey blobs moving about far enough off shore to be completely featureless. If there was a water skiing exhibition going on, the skiers either too far off to be recognizably independent of the boats and the horizon, or they were so bad as to not stay up long enough to exhibit any admirable water skiing prowess.

Tommy Bartlett's this was not. I remember as a kid being mesmerized by the water show at the Wisconsin Dells. The bleacher seats close enough to the shore to see the action. Skiiers flying off ramps and racing around the river on one foot.

Here, on the shores of Lake Michigan...nothing. Just droves of spectators spectating at nothing.

Surprisingly, Charles and I made it downtown in decent time, depsite the slow going. Strange, the day was still quite lovely.

So far...

Air and Water ShOWWWWW! Vol. 1 Invasion By Air

So...a string of events.

A little over a week ago saw the 50th Chicago Air and Water Show, or some other anniversary of long running boredom.

I don't get it! Really! Someone please explain. Please?!

Aside from being a celebration of our outdated military industry used for crowd pleasing spectacle, a la fireworks, it has to be one of the most annoying and boring civic events.

Maybe the worst part of it is that you cannot escape it. Chicago is a large town. It's huge. Still, for three days prior to the "event," the jets were "practicing" their stunts. This pretty much translated into scremaing across the Chicago airspace. You could not excape. I live on the far north side of town, but even inside my apartment, you could hear the jets scraping across the sky, over and over again.

Some things you can choose whether or not you want to go. Every event obviously has some appeal to someone, or it wouldn't be held. However, if you did not want to go to, say, the Taste of Chicago (a large annual feeding frenzy downtown), you can simply not go. It's not like the event also flings polish sausages to farthest reaches of the city. Not interested in attending a Bear's game or a Cub's game? Don't go. Movie is the Park? Stay home.

Air and Water Show? Move.

Even sitting in my apartment, with the windows closed, the TV and the stereo turned up, the SSSKRKRKKRRRRRREEEEUEUUUEUUUUUUWWWW of the jets flying by overpowered all.

So, regardless of my desire not to participate in the spectacle of planes flying around, I am trying out this new plan called "Participating in Life."

Now for some reason, this summer has been exceptionally cool. It's like October in San Francisco. For many, that translates into "lovely." For me, that means, friggin' cold. The whole previous week it had been rainy, overcast adn rarely above 70 degrees.

Since I was too much of a wuss to go out on my bike much, I sat around eating and entertaining fantasies of the air and water show getting rained out. What better way to have an Air and Water Show than with large volumes of water falling from the sky?

Needless to say, the weekend weather was beautiful.

On Sunday, my friend Charles called me up to go on a bike ride to meet up with some folks downtown.

I am constantly amazed at my lack of short term memory. Bike Ride Downtown + Large Groups of People Watching the Air and Water Show = HELL. Either I could not remember that this was going on, the above displayed skills at arithmetic were in remission, or I was in absolute denial that people would want to turn out to watch planes and boats do what they do best.

Charles and I set out on our bikes south along the lakefront trail at 9am.


The Agony of Having Nothing to Say

What can I say? Lots. What will I say? Nothing.

For a head that runs a mile a minute, only stopping for breathe about five minutes any given day (and often not consecutively), I get nowhere.

It seems like great ideas flow in and out of my mind at a mind-boggling pace, and yet none of them stick long enough to even consider putting into effect. It may be just as well. Whenever great ideas have hung out for tea, I invariably end up in some sort of trouble.

Still, it would be nice if my head were less like a transient hotel and more like a ... Super 8?

I need to spend more time writing. If only things could come out of me in such a way as to make sense, even to me. I know that a certain amount of writing takes discipline and practice. Still, some part of me thinks writing is more like child birth. You scream, and bleed and perspire, and then bam, out comes a child. For better or worse, there it is. It isn't a draft. YOu can't erase portions of it. It is there, screaming in your arms, and you have just presented it to the world, covered in blood and ready to take a life of its own. No sending it back to be fine-tuned. No discarding it. No stuffing it back in. Of course, with that attitude, I'd figure I'd be more prolific. Or at least more productive.

Maybe to get more out of me, I should take up jogging. A friend of mine, tired of the length of her pregnancy, took up Thai food and jogging to try and urge the little bundle of joy out of her.

I guess I'm what is called the non-editing type. Funny. Every creative writing course I took, everyone always told me what a great editor I would make. (None of these comments are to reflect on my spelling, grammar or content here, as this stuff is just, you know, stuff) I was never sure whether to take that as an insult. I suppose everyone was quite thankful for insight into their writing (solicited or not...), but what about MY writing? "It's nice." That doesn't tell me anything.


What now?

That is all.


I Wanna Rant and Rave, Too!

I was reading, as I tend to do. Just bopping around to other websites, other blogs, other emails, ad nausea. It was quite lovely. I was reading http://pussyranch.blogspot.com/ and thoroughly enjoyed the rant on reality TV eugenics. It got me thinking about an article in the MediaFile from San Francisco's Media Alliance. In it, the writer broke down news anchors and how they fit their roles. My friend Rebecca has a series of emails she has sent me (maybe soon to be posted, pending permission) titled "Rant #[Fill In The Blank]" that would expound about the many absurdities and inconveniences of her day-to-day life. Other people I know are able to hold vociferous conversations regarding idiocy.

And then there's me.

There are plenty of things that up my dander, irk me, rile my ire, and whatnot. Just writing the paragraph above goaded my guff. My heart is beating slightly more rapdily than it was two minutes ago. And yet, whenever I go into a rant about something, I sound like a pouty five year old pushing angst through tears and last all of two to three minutes. I generally blow my contrary wad too soon. In ranting, I'm a lousy lay.

So now what? Do I try to move slower, building to my point until climaxing in a witty and ironic rebuke of the object of my agression?


Do I take pity on the poor saps who have something to say? Do I thank the stars that I am not obsessed with the things that fuck me up? Feel grateful that I need not pound tables and take up space with my antipathy? Maybe those capable of rants are really insecure, needing to pick apart external things to try and find their place in the universe. Where does that leave me, being so deeply insecure that I want to be like the people so insecure they develop the skill and need to rant?

The only thing I really seem capable of picking apart in an obsessive manner is myself. I'm not particularly good at figuring out my faults and defaults and adjusting, changing or discarding them for the purpose of general self-improvement and mature introspective growth. I just notice the things about ME that annoy ME.

Besides, I never actually seem to get anywhere. The closest to Debate Club I got was timing a match. It was big fun, not being a geek who actually was in Debate Club, mind you, but one who gave up a Saturday morning going to school to TIME Debate Club. How lame? So, when I start to run my mouth, my brain ends up taking many sharp lefts, u-turns and complete tangents, never completing a thought and generally ending up nowhere but exasperated. Without a conclusion, it doesn't seem like much of a point, does it?

There was a time when I thought I would make a hell of a lawyer. I loved to argue. Sure, I lost all the time. Sure, arguing a point was tiresome and draining. Sure, I often was won over to the opposing opinion by the seductive persuasion of the way other people argue a point. Sure, ninety percent of my desire to become a lawyer stemmed from the shock value of telling my parents I wanted to go to Law School.

As it turns out, I had a couple of the skills to make it in law. First, I have a knack for mind breaking tedium. I can fill out forms, wade through bureaucracy, sit on hold, make cold calls, sign people's names, paper clip and file without any thought to boredom or mind-rot. That is, as long as it has nothing to do with me personally. For some reason, if all this involves my life, I turn into a shrivelled, quaking mess. (For more on that, please refer to an, as yet, unwritten rant on Matthew's (Im)Personal Affairs). As long as it is impersonal, and generally for pay or some other form of me-benefitting reimbursement, I do well. Second, to make it in law, you must have an inroad, I've already been to jail!

There. See.

So where does that leave us?


Credit Where Credit Is Due

It would be rude, and selfish, if I took any credit for this website, at least at this point.

Fred, my love/main squeeze/guy/webmaster/teacher/etc. has very patiently walked me through the great big scary world wide web and html. He says he's not very good with languages, but how this guy speaks html is beyond me.

So here's to you, Fred

Love you.

Booberhead Pirate Blogg

Hey weasel-heads!

Just wanted to take a few minutes to overthrow the humans on the website.

Today I woke up (three times already), went to the litterbox, went to the front door, pooped there, had a few gulps of water, and went trolling for treats. After giving dad the leg scratch and the adorable "I need treats" look, followed by that irresistably cute yawn that I do, dad gave me a chicken-snack. They're alright. They're not as good as the vitamin glop, but they sure beat those freaky-ass bacon things. And raisins: What the hell is up with raisins? I look fruit as much as the next guy, but this dried shit will kill you. My sister likes raisins, but she's got issues.

Next, it was time for my daily Winged Migration. Someday I will introduce you to my friend, Duck. He's a gas. Everyday, he needs me to take him on a migration around the domain. Sometimes, he likes to sit in the window, and I need to carry him up onto the couch, up over the lamp, onto the windowsill, and then into his perch on the blinds. Other times, he wants to hide out in the closet or under the credenza.

I love Duck.

Well, I'm bored now.

Vanity, Vanity, All Is Vanity!

So, many people ask a variety of wonderful questions.

"Well, Matthew, what are you going to do with your website?"
"Why do YOU have a website?"
"What kind of website are you going to have?"
ad nausea...

The answers:
I haven't the foggiest (the how or the what)
Because I'm privileged that way, plus I know a great guy who got me online.
Whatever comes to mind, within the limitations of my abilities.

In essence: vanity.

There's no other word to describe why I have this website, or what I am doing with it. I have no business. I offer no service. I'm not really that opinionated, at least in a way that anyone would care to know. When all is said and done, this is merely devoted to the general distribution of information regarding me. Well, only what I want people to know of me.

and speaking of vanity...there is a site devoted to pictures of me! Isn't that great. Not only multiple photos of yours truly, but it's restricted to photos of me at least three whole years younger than I am now. Talk about vanity!

You can visit...ME...or multiple images of ME at www.netjaunt.com/matthew.html

Through the magic of digital images, you will get to see why I am worthy of such vanity. Look at the grooming. Look at the pride and workmanship that went into my daily attire, hair-don't and general appearance. There are those out there who can even attest to a certain vain level of personal hygience not seem since medieval times (and I do mean serfs).

Well, all this vanity is making me hungry. I should go eat something.

Stay tuned...next week...one of the other seven deadlies...maybe greed.


City Nicknames

Once upon a time, I worked for an urban planning firm in San Francisco. While there, working on redevelopmenbt, affordable housing and other industry jargon, I got a crash course in California geography. However, more importantly, I also received an education in the slanderous nicknames often applied to municipalities.

I now live in Chicago. Maybe I'm running in the wrong circles (running in circles being one of my preferred pass-times), but it doesn't seem like people nickname neighborhoods and towns around here.

If anybody has any to suggest (in Illinois, or anywhere else), I would love to try and compile a master list of such things. Please email them to matthew@randamnation.com.

Some of these are pretty lame, but when we are belittling something/someplace else, how often do we (or really I) care about being witty and accurate?

Sacramento - Excremento, Sacramental
Palo Alto - Shallow Alto
Oakland - Smokeland
Berkeley - Berzerkely
Menlo Park - Menless Park
Sunnyvale - Smoggyvale
Petaluma - Pestaluma
Santa Cruz - Santa Crud
Modesto - Mollesto
Hayward - Haywire
Livermore - Littlemore
Colma (City of the Dead) - Coma
Redwood City - Deadwood City
Mendocino - Spendocino
Mill Valley - Spill Valley
Brisbane - Has Been
San Ramone - San Remote
Richmond - Bitchmound
Morgan Hill - Morning Pill
Foster City - Fucker Shitty
Milpitas - Mell's Penis, Deplete Us
Hollywood - Hollyweird
Indio - Windio
Pacific Heights - Specific Whites
Fremont - Speed Haunt

And in Illinois:
Lake Forest - Fake Forest


This is all about Bob, today.

"It's going to be about me, right? I mean, isn't everything?"

That's what Bob said to me as I gushed about my new website. I said sure, placating him.

Once I figure out what i want to do with it, then figure out how to do that with it, and then actually do it with it (which in and of itself sounds...) I can just devote a page or something to bob. He can send his friends a little URL http://randamnation.com/bob.html

It would be so pretty. Not a fan page. Nothing obsessive and creepy. No. Just a little cyber-shrine to selfishness.

Being one to talk, having the rest of the site, and even underlying the not-so-selfish-devoted-to-other-people parts of the site really being all about me. Well...

So how are you?