Saturday, July 26, 2008

Birthday That

In honor of Dr. Kickass now being in the rock star death age, and for the sake of stealing jokes and getting back on the blog horse, I'll share what I did on each July 25th (or thereabouts).

1981 - Stopped being an only child, moved down a peg in my parents' esteem.

1982 - dreaded the impending move to Lawrence, as I had three girlfriends at the time. Plus, they were like 9 or 10, and I was 4, so I was pretty awesome. Seems I peaked early.

1983 - Went down to the creek with Daniel, had a couple beers, smoked some weed.

1984 - Caught what remains as the only fish I've ever caught in my life.

1985 - Watched my cousin cry because she got 7-Up birthday cake instead of a vastly inferior theoretical pink cake.

1986 - Wore a Royals Championship hat and a Bears championship shirt most every day. My sports teams were bound to remain relevant forever. See 1982.

1987 - Immediately refined and improved my headlock technique, so as to avoid any future golf club related incidents.

1988 - Re-read the Sports Illustrated "Oh, Danny Boy!" issue for the 437th time.

1989 - Bought an 8 bit Nintendo, took it to Michigan, and killed 89% of the vacation indoors playing Ninja Gaiden and Rush N' Attack. And I'd do it again.

1990 - Mowed the lawn. As I did maybe 4 times a week that summer in my glorious quest to save up for a 13 inch Toshiba TV. It seemed I was brilliant at saving money. See 1982.

1991 - Rocked out to Janet Jackson, MC Hammer, and C and C Music Factory. Good times.

1992 - Shortly after leaving Indiana Beach, spent $30 on a ring for some girl. It remains the most money I've ever spent on anybody for any reason.

1993 - Beat my brother at Mortal Kombat in the Indiana Beach Arcade. I was the only one to do so who was not nicknamed "The Legend."

1994 - Created a needlessly complicated plan with my brother to have him play lookout on the driveway in the guise of shooting hoops so that I could sneak a girl into the house.

1995 - Road trip to Chicago, my first big one. Went with Daniel. Kicked off the trip by going down to the creek for a couple beers, and to smoke some weed.

1996 - Also hit on cousin's friend. It didn't work out. The video, by the way, is somewhere in Balto.

1997 - Wasn't in Seattle in July of 97. I don't know who Joe Kickass was hanging out with. I was staying up until 7 a.m. every night playing Chrono Trigger.

1998 - Working at Kwik Shop. For some reason, I was egged.

1999 - On the verge of finishing my Internship at Entertainment Tonight, on the way to a well deserved vacation in Mexico. My ability to open a beer with a lighter would never be the same.

2000 - Called in sick to work in order to perfect a game that required bouncing a ball off of my coffee table and my walls in a certain angle and order.

2001 - Living in Florida and working for the Devil Rays. If this was a good night, Boston or New York were in town, and I made $50 in tips pouring Chardonay for cougars that relentlessly hit on me, then spent every penny of my tips at Ferg’s sports bar. If it was a bad night, then I drank water all day after not working for 8 days and spent the evening listening to Loveline on the radio - whilst drinking more water, my only calories of the day.

2002 - Driving from SF to Hollywood, where I would drink Yeltsin Vodka with my buddy Mike. In the midst of a four-month, 22,000 mile road trip.

2003 - Did a roady with my brother from Emporia to Balto. Spent the night in Kentucky and West Virginia. the first time I’d slept in either state. The hotels in both required my brother and I to provide documentation that we were in fact kin. Rode the Beast at Kings Island, perhaps the best roller coaster ever, and Son of the Beast, perhaps the worst roller coaster ever.

2004 - Shortly before the 25th, was at Indiana Beach with my brother and Njoroge. Saw Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Even when drunk and watching on replay at 3 a.m., it was awesome.

2005 - Went to Joe’s (semi) Kickass party at Holiday. Hard to judge the funness degree as the drunkest person there.

2006 - Upon recently finishing my lucrative position in the retail explosives industry, I embarked on a career in the exciting world of food delivery driving. Also, applied for some job in Korea, though figured fuck, it Japan’s where the real action is.

2007 - Diligently involved in the process of finding a flight for my summer vacation. Ultimately, I buy a ticket to Thailand

2008 - Diligently involved in the process of finding a flight for my summer vacation. Cebu? Manila? China? Vietnam? Cambodia? Taiwan? Hong Kong? You’ll know shortly after I do.

Anyway, happy birthday, Dr. Kickass. Enjoy being old. I could recommend a good brand of canes. You’re only 1 year short from being as old as Stong was when I met him, which makes me roughly 1,000.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Birthday This

I will now try to dive back into my memory and share with you what happened on each year’s July 25th.

1981 – I was born. That was cool.

1982 – I think I said the word “Key.” I was trying to unlock some shit.

1983 – I had to up and move to Kansas from the home I made in Illinois. Lost all my friends. Broke up with my girlfriend. It was rough. I was two.

1984 – Grew my hair out. Hippy.

1985 – Broke my leg.

1986 – I was still Celebrating the Bears Superbowl victory and doing the superbowl shuffle.

1987 – I hit my brother in the shin with a plastic golf club. It was, and still is to this day, the best shot I ever had on him.

1988 – I was in Michigan celebrating the Kansas Basketball Jayhawks victory with cake and ice cream. Thanks Frank. I also grew attached to a mini video golf game that was lying around…

1989 – Birthday Party at Le Mans. Me and Njoroge beat TMNT.

1990 – Another party at Le Mans. This time we beat The Simpsons Arcade Game.

1991 – Birthday party at Alladin’s Castle (formerly Le Mans). This is what I did. I was 10.

1992 – I went tubing on Lake Shafer, and rode everything at Indiana Beach.

1993 – I nearly got arrested for throwing a peanut from the skyride at Disneyworld. I think my picture is still up “behind the fence” where security officer John brought us.

1994 – I got my first zit. Welcome to the teen years.

1995 – Got together with friends from the Varsity South Junior High Basketball team. Go Cougars. There’s a great picture somewhere…remember yearbooks?

1996 – Went to my Aunt’s house in Virginia. Hit on my cousins’ hot friend, who was apparently a model. That didn’t work out. But we did make a kick-ass video. What ever happened to that, by the way?

1997 – I was in Seattle visiting my bro at college. I drank my first beer at 16.

1998 - Hung out with Jason, Kris, and Will. There might have been an egging.

1999 – Partied like I just graduated High School…with beer stolen from parents’ fridges. Cause I’m 18 and I just don’t know what I want.

2000 - Just finished summer theatre in Emporia. First party at the Purple House. Trashcan punch party. Bring a clear liquor or something fruity.

2001 – One night left of summer theatre, we went to Desperados for Karaoke. I shared a birthday with the director. We got loaded. It was a great time. Kristen parked her car at my place (thanks for the ride home) and I told her she could leave it there, blocking the sidewalk. She got a ticket the next morning. I still feel kinda bad about it.

2002 – Twenty First at midnight. Saw Leader of the Pack at ESU Summer Theatre, then had one last illegal beer on our porch at 11 PM. Went to Babes at Midnight, and had 21 shots bought by 21 different people. A great time...till they caught up with me. I remember trying to play pool right before they closed, and not being very good at it. Some pictures to follow, thanks to Tara for bringing a camera. And thanks to Justin for keeping me alive.

2003 – Grew my hair out again. Hippy. On my actual birthday, I went to Town Royal with some friends. It kinda sucked. I turned 22. Not nearly as exciting as the year before.

2004 – Birthday in Baltimore. More drunken pool. Arminious dared me to pee on a tree (at least that’s the way I remember it…it might have been more like, “Hey Armin, do you dare me to pee on this tree? Cause I’ll do it.) I don’t take dare’s lightly on my birthday. Then we hit up the T-Bell. Great time.

2005 – 24. Entering the Mid 20s in Chicago. Played in a Steppenwolf Softball game. Partied at the Holiday Club. Bartender Dave was working, luckily. Craig tried to ride his bike even though he was laying on the ground. Somehow I think I avoided the photo booth…or I lost the pictures. That seems more likely.

2006 – 25 on 25. Bash at Dave and Busters (Le Mans / Alladin’s Castle with a bar). Julia met us there for dinner first. Fun night. Nobody was able to beat me at racing. Somehow Michelle ended up with 100 thousand tickets. They let us stay after they closed to play with the golf simulator. Me, T-Mac and C-Bear.

2007 – Dave and Busters part 2. See a pattern here? The more we change… We closed the place out. Again, they let us stay well after they closed. Me, T-Mac and C-Bear were on hole 12 when they turned the lights off. Couldn’t leave before hitting it in on 18. The guy who worked there ended up watching us and getting into the game. I think I took it down…but my perception might be off.

2008 – The story hasn’t been written yet. But lets assume it will involve drunken pool and video golf.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tour This

I love Chicago in the summer, but man, I hate all the fucking tourists it brings. And, I want to be crystal clear in my definition of tourist here, because I like to travel, I know you like to travel, and this is what separates us from them. You might be a tourist if you have 5 of the 10 following qualities:

1. Tourists wait in line for Garretts popcorn. Long lines. It’s popcorn. One tub costs like 60 bucks. For popcorn.

2. Tourists have 2.3 kids that take up more than one seat on the bus/train, and even though the kids are at least 10 years old they each have a stroller ready, folded up in a seat next to the parents. So, 4.3 people are taking up 8.5 seats. Don’t do that.

3. Tourists ride the bus during rush hour (Can’t they shop any other time of day?) with 6 kids under the age of 5, and give each of the kids 2 dollar bills to stick in the slot so they can pay on their own…because it’s “fun.” I’m usually stuck behind them.

4. Tourists walk 8 people wide, at a slow pace, wearing matching shirts.

5. Tourists carry at least 3 bags per person, so it takes them a good 20 minutes to find their map.

6. Tourists spend 90 percent of their time downtown, (50 of that 90 being at Navy Pier) and the other 10 percent at Wrigley Field or the Zoo. They don’t go to neighborhood because those are scary.

7. Tourists literally run into the closest Walgreens if it’s even slightly drizzling and buy up all the overpriced umbrellas and rain gear. I saw a group freak out last week. My shirt was dry by the end of the block.

8. Tourists wear fanny packs. Some are pretty sneaky, and you might not recognize it at first. They might be wearing it over their shoulder, but if it’s a small bag that looks like it was made to go around the waist, you have a fanny pack.

9. Tourists take the bus one stop. Literally. One. A half block. They try to blend in when they should be looking at their map.

10. Tourists feel really smart when they tell another tourist to get off at Addison for Wrigley Field, since they just looked it up on google maps with their blackberry. Or they are a total fraud and overheard another tourist ask someone else.