Monday, January 29, 2007

Events Unnerve Me***

My sister received XM radio for her car as a Christmas gift. I drive her car to and from work everyday, and on Friday I was having a great time in horrible traffic, listening to XMU, the college/indie rock station. Then it all came to a grinding halt.

A song begins, and I think, “hey, I kind of recognize this…” I look down at the radio and realize it is “Ceremony,” as performed by a band called Xiu Xiu. If you are a huge Xiu Xiu fan, I apologize for the following, but I have never heard of them and will thus assume that no one else has, either (particularly none of our 5 fine readers – readership has increased!).

Immediately, I was reminded of what I think of as the Rules of Covers. They are simple, and there are only two. The first is that the cover differ somewhat significantly from the original. Not so much as to be unrecognizable, but professional musicians should not be releasing karaoke-d versions of one another’s songs.

The second rule is simple; do not completely destroy the charm of the original. Don’t change a wonderful little ditty to a crapfest, just because you can. (
Here is one that, miraculously, fails on both counts).

Xiu Xiu totally took me up on the first rule. And utterly shat upon the second. The general idea I got from this song is that a bunch of slackers visited Chuck E. Cheese, and while playing arcade games created for five-year-olds, the most astute of the bunch noticed that one of the games featured a recurring audio that somewhat resembles the New Order song “Ceremony.”

They isolated the game’s audio (possibly they have a friend who works at Chuck E. Cheese and lets them in after hours), which unfortunately sounds like broken bagpipes. They played terrible industrial-type music over it. And I am referring to the noises the
Sunset Island book series led me to believe constitute industrial music via the fictional band “Lord Whitehead and the Zit People” – namely, the beating of laundry room and kitchen appliances. Nothing so melodic as Nine Inch Nails.

After they settled upon this hodgepodge of garbage music, they hired a well-hung bull to violently rape the dude in the ass while he sings.

I did, however, enjoy my little fantasy that the dj at Fred (the new wave/alternative 80s station) might just give the dj at XMU a beating over this atrocity.

Update: Okay, so
you can find it here. I just listened to it and the song is not as bad as I remember. I think I was a little off on the whole washer and dryer thing, but I have such fond memories of Lord Whitehead, I’m keeping it.

With this said, there is clearly no reason why this ever had to be done. Plus I think my description of they vocals was a bit too nice. Overall, my only kind thoughts were, “the drummer can keep a beat” and “hey, xylophones.” For anyone wondering: neither a respectable drummer nor the availability of xylophones constitutes a valid reason to destroy a good song. And, um, let’s mention the profile picture. The pervy dork at the local Holiday Inn is ready for the pool, guys.

I guess they're honest, though -- under "sounds like," they have listed only "Shit."

**** Totally gay to steal a borderline pretentious-sounding line from the song for the title, but I could not think of a stupid title. Sorry to be lame.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

This Must Be Posted

Our friend Lisa originally sent this to us when she was looking for a wedding gift for her husband. I have been able to find it twice since, but this always takes a good half hour of googling and searching my email.

Today, we were exchanging fun wedding links (Alice will be married in July!), when I remembered this.

First, a link to the suggested gift. It should be noted that I am a woman, but if a man ever bought me a crappy watercolor for any occasion, much less our wedding, I would shoot him in the face. And if I told my story and brought the painting to the court room, I am certain I would be vindicated (provided the jury was composed of peers with good taste).

Here is the best part, the page on which it is suggested that one might buy this for her groom. The responses to this are hilarious. Unfortunately, over a year ago this page started getting spammed regularly so it might take a minute to load.

Just thought I would share, but mostly I just wanted to create a permanent link for purely selfish reasons.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There's no Ass in Glasbrenner... or Boulos!

Hello all!

I know that I have been quite negliegent in my posting, however I am here now, and I have a story that I haven't even yet shared with the wife, so that you could all be amused together... so here goes.

As some of you know, Vince was visiting from Reno recently, and had arranged a get together for some of us on the east side. Despite the chilly weather, I was lucky enough to get a cab immediately following my arrival into the city from good ole' dirrrty Jerz. I hop in, kind of flustered, and immediately start digging in my purse, completely oblivious to my immediate surroundings to try and find my cell to alert V that I might be a bit late. Half way through the ride across town, when I get more settled, I look up, and what name do I see staring at me but "BOULAS"!!!!!!! WHAT?? I want to scream and laugh, however as expected, the cabbie is in deep conversation with someone on his phone, and far be it for me to interrupt him. When he asks for a confirmation of my destination, I grab my chance...

Me: "Is your last name Boulas????"
Understandably suspicious cabbie...: "Yes..."
Me: "OMG! My last name is BOULOS, with an "O"!!!!!!!"
Cabbie: "REALLY???"
Me: "YES! Are you Egyptian???"
Cabbie: "Yes... blah blah blah, do you know where the name originates?"
Me: "My Dad used to tell me it was a derivative of Paul, and that it's Koptic."
Cabbie: "No, it actually comes from... (at this point the man suddenly forgets how to annunciate or traffic was loud, but I have no idea what the f he said).

We then proceed to talk about Egypt, and I tell him I've never been, etc. I was so blown away by this man's name, I could not even deal with it. I don't even know what his first name is, b/c his last one distracted me so! Upon arrival at the bar, my Teammate ventured a guess...Kallie. hahaha, my alter ego is a male cabbie. Um, it wasn't that, for sure. Holy shite though for the rest of the evening, everything bad was referred to as Boul-ASS, and we decided it was a good insult.

Please await pics from the wife's NYC baby vomit invasion, and me and Andy's Chicago escapade to be posted sometime in the next year.

Lates! ~Boulos

Monday, January 22, 2007

Family History

So the Bears are going to the Super Bowl. This is a very big deal in Chicago, since their last trip was 21 years ago – Boulos and I agree that this makes us feel old, since we remember it very clearly.

My father was there to see them win, in New Orleans. It sounds like quite the time. 13 men in all drove from Chicago to New Orleans in some kind of Winnebago-type vehicle. These included my father’s two uncles and his then-stepfather. My dad was 27 and probably one of the youngest guys on the trip; he and most of these men were big drinkers. That last sentence is actually a huge understatement.

His aunt sent them off with a big batch of chili. Thirteen men, a Winnebago and a bunch of chili sounds like a fun time, huh? According to my father, the men had an agreement that whoever was driving at any given time would not drink. And this was breached about fifteen or twenty minutes into the trip, when his stepfather began drinking a large amount of whiskey at the wheel.

Someone knew a guy who lived in New Orleans, and they parked the trailer thingy at his place, using his electricity. Some of them stayed in the guy’s house and I’m guessing they all used his bathroom. According to my grandma, she “does not know how his wife dealt with this,” but the woman was reportedly “a nurse who smoked pot every night,” which might explain her general coolness and permissibility.

My father told us that he and his uncle ended up at a strip club alone one night, and they met a guy who took them to a party at a trailer park. Everyone else at this party (including their new friend) was black, and my dad and his uncle were convinced they were going to be mugged. But they just ended up partying until dawn, when the man kindly returned them home. Of course, this is the story my dad shared. You have to wonder about the other stuff they did.

Over the years, I have seen several pictures of the guys with their bad-eighties hair and glassy, drunken stares and smiles. There is one of my uncle mooning the camera – I just found out last night that Jim McMahon had mooned the press and this picture is an homage. Which is classier than a random picture of ass, you know.

Family history is important, and so very fun. Hearing this story last night made me feel very straight-laced and rather ineffective in my attempts at drunken adventures. I am only 26, though, so I guess I have another year to plan something to rival this. Maybe when Boulos, my sister and I visit Nashville in April….

By the way, my aforementioned great-uncle, Tommy, passed away rather suddenly last week. He was a really great guy and probably took good care of my father in situations like this. He took care of everyone, in fact. Um, this story really didn’t capture him. I doubt he frequented strip clubs, but they were in New Orleans – I’d be in strip clubs in that situation (not performing, though, you dirty birds).

So, yeah. This is as close to a football-themed post as you’ll get from me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Continue To Do Reprehensible Things

Oh, I was supposed to share this story a long time ago and never quite got around to it. It is called:

“How I desecrate family values,” or “Babies? VOMIT!” or “Hi, my name is Amanda, and I’m….”

This occurred when I was visiting Miss Boulos in New Jersey. In an attempt to recapture our more recent youth, we went to Winnie’s and sang karaoke on Saturday night. We drank Hawaiian punch, as we usually do. For anyone unfamiliar with Hawaiian punch, it is basically a mixture of every liquor in the bar, grenadine, lime juice and pineapple juice. A tropical Long Island iced tea, if you will.

We drank something like 9 pitchers of it (there were other people there, but we later decided that the two of us alone consumed at least 4 or 5 pitchers ourselves). We sang many, many songs, including our Ticket to Greatness, of course. We took a livery cab back to Jersey, I passed out on the sofabed fully clothed. Boulos woke me briefly so that I could eat the Texas toast she’d so lovingly prepared. What a good wife. I passed the fuck out again and did not wake until it was nearly time to catch a train so that we could spend the afternoon with our friend Lisa, her husband, and her one-year-old baby, Ava.

While Boulos encouraged me to get the fuck out of bed, I mulled over the previous night. “Hey, it’s really a shame we never sang Love Shack.”

Boulos looked at me with incredulity. “We sang Love Shack.”

“What about Spice Up Your Life?”

“We sang that.”

“I Wanna Know What Love Is?”


So, apparently I had blacked out. Keep this in mind. I almost never black out, in spite of my near-constant consumption of copious amounts of alcohol.

We ate cereal, I opted not to shower or even wash my face, but rather “touch up” my make up (yes, this is kind of appalling. I had not seen Lisa in about a year). We got on the train. We talked about food, a lot.

Lisa picked us up with el babo in the backseat. She was adorable! Seriously, the very picture of innocence and beauty. My uterus fluttered, and the baby was very polite when I sat next to her. She didn’t even hiss or spit, which would have been totally understandable.

On the ride to Lisa’s apartment, I started to feel a little carsick. We got there, had a cigarette (outside – we try not to give babies lung cancer), and I asked for a glass of water. After sitting in their living room for maybe half an hour, I just had to say it: “Guys, I think I need to throw up.”

This is possibly the best thing ever said to me: “Oh sure, just do it in Ava’s bathroom, right there.”

So about two seconds later, I kneel in an adorable bathroom full of little duckies – duckie towels, duckie shower curtain, it was so cute -- and heave my guts up. Everyone in the living room, by the way, can hear every disgusting moment of the surprisingly long and drawn-out vomitfest. And, wonderfully, my immediate thought post-barf was:

“Yum, tastes like Texas toast!”

I am totally disgusting, I know.

If anyone else has a nice story about giving the big Fuck You to decency, now is the time to share.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Psychic Trouble

I clearly have issues.

This all began maybe 5 or 6 years ago, the first time I visited a psychic. Rachel, Emily and I were walking back from Magnolia Bakery when we passed a somewhat bare psychic storefront (someone PLEASE tell me how this weird psychic lady could afford that space in the west village). I think only Emily and I got our palms read, and I remember thinking this lady was right on through Emily’s reading, and then through mine… and then she told me that I needed my chakras cleansed.

I have dirty chakras! Haha, it was a funny joke. But I was a little bit worried.

Then, this weekend, I was coming home at 5 am with Meghan and our cab driver offered to read our palms. This seemed like an awesome idea, so we went for it. But during my reading, the guy could NOT stop repeating, “oh, you are very confused. You are troubled.” Every time he began to tell me something else, he’d interrupt himself with, “No, but you are very confused.”

At the time, feeling a bit emo in my drunken state, I thought to myself, “Hey, I am very confused and troubled. This dude is right on; way to go psychic cabbie!” So I kept nodding along, hoping he would find the cure to my confusion in some other line. Which, of course, did not happen. He basically gave me a warning: YOU ARE TROUBLED.

Now I’m thinking, what the fuck? Do I have some bad psychic energy? What is going on here? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????????????

But the good news is, I just studied my palms – on one hand, a bunch of the lines don’t meet, which was his clue that I am utterly and irrevocably fucked up. However, on my left hand, all the lines meet quite neatly. So, my left side is A-Okay!

p.s. Sorry for the massive holiday break; I am lazy.