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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last Thursday I woke up in the middle of the night with this searing pain in my chest. I was struggling to breathe as I stumbled my way into the bathroom. The pain was so severe and my breath so labored that for a few moments I wondered if I might be having a heart attack.

Curled up along the bathroom floor, I was trying to guess if this was going to be my Heath Ledger moment. Couldn't be, he took a lot more meds than I do. Could this be from all the partying I did in college? Maybe, but I haven't done any binge-drinking in like four, FIVE days maybe.

After a few minutes of dry-heaving I took some pepto bismol and Pepcid AC and eventually found my way back to bed, where my wife comforted me to sleep.

As I laid there contemplating the fragility of life, I thought about one of my best friends and former bandmates, Eddie. We played together in a rock band throughout high school and after college, friends and brothers for more than a decade. We shared a lot of time making music together, him on drums and me on guitar. We used to spend hours at a time talking about our secrets and dreams.

I thought about him because he passed away earlier this year as a result of his long struggle with addiction.

I wondered if I would've seen him again if I died just then. Is there a drumset where he is? Is there a guitar and a microphone? Are we sinners allowed to make music after we die? If so, can we just keep playing and playing until we're good enough?

Until we can make it big, man. Until we grow wings and start floating. We're going to make it all the way, man. We're going to be so big. We'll make it to heaven. You'll see, man. I'll be there soon and then we can start jamming, Eddie. We will play the greatest songs and everyone will love us and remember us. Someday we will make it big. We will pay for all of our lies and sins and selfishness with glorious, soulful, beautiful music-making. Redemption. Salvation. We'll keep practicing and playing until we're good enough. I'll be there soon, man, and we can start jamming again, just like old times. We'll play until we make it all the way to heaven.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Recap

Friday night went out with the guys. The wifey and her female cohort watching the special edition DVD release of Sex and the City. I tried to make it through that movie once before and passed out somewhere in the middle. Last remember something about a male unit.

Lots of drinky drinky in the hood. Cherishing time left there because we will soon be moving into another, less socioeconomically advantaged one by the New Year. Plenty of holiday cheers and beers with friends. Collapsed into bed with the wife at the end of the night.

Choosing wedding photos the next morning. OMG; there were literally thousands to pick from. definitely not my favorite part of the whole experience. but afterwards the wifey bought me an awesome early bday and xmas gift! lots of sleep after our excursion; maybe 14-15 hours altogether throughout the day and into Sunday.

Sunday! I took our plus-size puggle to the dog park for some much needed aerobic activity. We both had a great time, as I got to use my new gift on her. Two birds, one canon rebel xsi dslr.

Later a thanksgiving get-together for friends. Lots of fun and food and rock band 2 going on.

Long, fun weekend.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is not another Great Depression

Article from on how our current economic woes don't compare to the Great Depression.

Instead of workers with 5 o'clock shadows asking, "Brother, can you spare a dime?" we have clean-shaven financial-services executives asking congressmen if they can spare $100 billion.... The world of 1929-33 was one that lacked shock absorbers such as Social Security and deposit insurance to insulate people from economic disaster.... A final difference: After the 1929 crash, the nation had to wait more than three years for a president who simply wasn't up to the job to leave the scene. This time, we've got to wait only two more months.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NYT shows some Chicago love

Article from the New York Times on the effect Obama has had on Chicago, and on the city's continuing rise.

The wake of Mr. Obama’s victory offers a window into the two-fold psyche of the city: It is a big enough metropolis not to be easily fazed by events, though the fabric of the community is stitched just tight enough to burst in a rare moment of giddiness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bring Holly back to The Office!

Article on how great Holly was for this season's NBC show, The Office. I think that she and Michael Scott made a great couple, and the season would've been deprived of something special if it wasn't for her appearance. Hopefully she comes back in some sort of plot twist. In the meanwhile, "Let's Get Ethical, Ethical":

Monday, November 17, 2008's Top 10 Amazing Animal Videos

The Top 10 Amazing Animal Videos, from

Michelle vs. Sarah

Sarah Palin has a nice pair of legs.

But Michelle Obama got back. From

Barack's better half not only has stature but is statuesque. She has corruscating intelligence, beauty, style and -- drumroll, please -- a butt. (Yes, you read that right: I'm going to talk about the first lady's butt.)

And later:
... Will the black aesthetic take over the White House, as many whites openly fear? As that Republican sexpot might say, you betcha.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two birds, one phone call

I'm notorious for being very difficult when it comes to maintaining a constant line of communication with my mom. She leaves like four or five texts and voicemails before I finally make the time to call her back. I figure I'm married, I live in my own apartment, and I subscribe to the Playboy en Espanol channel, why should I have to check in with my mom every week ... or month?

With the holidays coming up, though, I felt that now would be a good time to reach out again, especially because I wasn't looking forward to the "Why haven't you called me in a month?" guilt-trip in front of the rest of my extended family.

Our phone conversation, as I reluctantly anticipated, got off to a rocky start, with her offering me some unsolicited life advice within the first five minutes. I held my breath and struggled to bite my tongue in response, leaving empty silences in response to her suggestions on how to take care of my own business.

Eventually our conversation turned to 18th century Irish satire. She's working on her Bachelor's in Nursing and one of her gen eds is a literature class which moves through all the dusty chestnuts like Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal."

If, unlike most, you actually paid attention during your literature class, you'll remember that a Modest Proposal is a satirical essay suggesting that the poor people of 18th century Ireland should eat their babies. This would solve the dual problems of starvation and over-population. Two birds, one baby.

As an assignment for her class, my mom had to write an essay in a similar vein to "A Modest Proposal," but adapted for modern times.

So we started brainstorming over the phone. I suggested something along the lines of having all of the most violent murderers in the world be forced to fight our wars for us, thereby eliminating the problem of the huge tax burden caused by overcrowded prisons and an outstretched military organization.

"Yeah," my mom said, "And then we can put the murderers on an island and then they could eat each other."

I paused for a moment to reflect on the absurdity of this. Every now and then she'll either say something so totally wacky and unexpected that I'll have to repeat it to myself in order to grasp comedic brilliance behind her words.

We can put the murderers on an island and then they could eat each other

Other times she completely reworks the fundamentals of English sentence structure and correct word choice to utter something so very baffling, yet so very her own. And it's always so hilarious because she's never trying to be funny when she says it.

She's priceless, really.

After we hung up I was really glad that I called her. I should probably do it more often.

2 minute Scarface

A two minute version of "Scarface" featuring only the word "fuck":