Archive for September, 2009

I asked for mail…

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


I asked Big A if she knew of any mail I hadn’t read.

In two trips she dumped all of this on me from the last couple of weeks. I didn’t mean periodicals I was behind on! I meant REAL MAIL.

But it made me realize how much stuff I read every week or month.

Trip off…

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Home working around the house all week now. We missed the deadline to put it all together at the last minute. Grrrr…it’s all my fault. I’m a dunce. I just missed the deadline for midnight because I was watching a DVR of House. DOH!

Well, you gotta like frank

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

P’s reaction to the fact I am taking a train home from NYC? “Good, you won’t be in the way while I keep painting.”

What happened to “I’ll miss you?”

Seriously, Mrs. Frank is really plowing through her paint. I needled her a little bit because I thought the painting and shelves and stuff might end up being a New Year’s resolution, but on she goes. And I do get in the way because the two biggest places I work are the last places she really needs to tackle with this part of the job. Then i’ll come in with several late nights of assembly of things. I mean, I hate the brag, but I am a natural stud finder to hang stuff.

Now, my last two things I want to do on the house are the yard/landscaping and painting the exterior. The beauty is that we got enough done this year, and have done enough over the last few years, that I’m not feeling stressed about doing that, either myself or hiring someone.

It’s weird. I have known this house my whole life, but it’s only been since owning it, I learned it. There are things I know about it that are just awesome, and there are things I hate. I mean that in a maintenance way. I actually feel, by the end of this last summer, my sweat equity is earned…both in what we’ve done and had others do over the last eight or nine years.

But, mostly, P just wants me out of the way for one more week.


Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


As always, like clockwork, the fair ends and the next day it’s cold or wet or cold and wet, and summer is officially over. It has never failed in all my years. The beginning of the fair is hot, the end of the fair is not.

I was cold today.

But for those reading that aren’t from around here…this is not overstating it. You can bet that in those three weeks the seasons are going to turn almost to the day. I have bet money on this…I bet a guy once that it would be 15 degrees colder on the Monday after the fair than it was on the last day on Sunday. In the bank bet.

So on we go to fall.

Big A’s Man Cave

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

What does it say when your nine-year-old “homework” space looks like a cross between a man cave, a Disney promotional video, the cubicle in a newsroom, and the new Seahawks jerseys?

I’m told, “Typical.”




Random Art Post

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

I have been very “art fidgity” lately.

What is this? Well, it’s when I get fidgity about art. No, seriously…

I go through these extended periods where I just don’t see in on the canvess. Generally, it’s when my “thinking” brain gets too preoccupied and my “creative” side just kind of gets shoved to the back. But what I have learned over the years is that as problems resolve themselves, I start to see things artistically on a canvess again. Does that explain it? It starts with wanting to write (too much) and then the next thing I know I am gathering up the supplies and working on ideas. The art takes a vacation, and then works itself back into a routine.

I’m on the cusp of that right now. I spent several hours last night playing with colors and just being fidgity to figure out the next series to commit to seriously. Getting my game face back on, so to speak. Playing, but doing it with earnst. Think of it like “Spring Training for the Mind.” It’s like a manic phase where you write and draw and it doesn’t mean anything, but you do a WHOLELOTTAIT. Writing is like the beginning of that for the art push.

I might not be explaining this well, but anyhow…


This is a thing I keep doing in variations. There might be 100 of these things around in different forms over the months. Just ways to look at perspective, colors, balance and action. It’s like tossing pitches in the bullpen.

Then I scan a few of them and use Crayolas and trace paper to play with color — picture a colring book that you never screw up the actual picture. But I don’t color in the lines, I just mess with how color helps (or doesn’t).

But it always reminds how much time is put into this stuff. My big problem is that I don’t take it seriously when it’s done. And that’s the other thing I remind myself as I get wound up for another barrage of stuff…stay focused on it and take the products more seriously when they are done.

The other issue is that sometimes it’s hard to find someone that thinks what you do is interesting. Take “Smoking Santa” (on the left). I have fiddled with that almost a year in various forms, and I still come back to the original image. I wanted the shady, downtrodden crippled Santa on the sidewalk smoking. I have to get use to the fact that, “So what if I am the only one that finds it interesting.” It was a real guy I saw once!


Another perfect example of when I just seem to be missing the mark is all my variations of the universe. I think it’s interesting…even in this semi-draft form. I even did research to get all the planets correct and put things in the design of “space” that are like constellations…you have to look close to see them.


The problem? I haven’t seem to have met the person who is whimsical enough when they see it to look close. They don’t look at the black shapes. That’s one I want to solve.

But just the fact my gears are getting completely back into thinking about this stuff is, well, very good. I’m getting close to letting my “left brain” take a break and start doing some real stuff again. Part of that process is looking at all this “stuff” and thinking about it.

And babbling like an idiot on my blog.

Sevens, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 28th, 2009


I wish I could post video of the surprise in the woman’s voice after the third seven popped up on the balls. She was mildly bemused by it. Then the fourth seven came up and she was rendered almost speechless. I about fell off my chair.

I never watch the lottery in Illinois, I just happened to be working on something and forgot to skip past it because I wasn’t really paying attention.

The amazing thing, it’s not just any number…it’s seven! The only reason I looked up at it, was I heard her let out a whispered, “Wow” when the fourth one came up. I hope somebody from “Lost” was watching — I mean, four times seven is 28…on September 28…I see a plot point…actually, there are people that track this stuff in the Illinois Lottery.

My annual salute to the worst game I ever had the pleasure of seeing in person

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Sept. 14, 1998. White Sox 17 at Detroit 16 (12 innings).

I will bring this game up every year, just to remember how awesomely bad it was. There were 500+ pitches in 12 innings. And notice the initial attendance was less than 11K…by, like the eighth inning there were about 11 of us. Someday there is going to be a hall of fame vote or something about games like this. I have literally been to thousands of baseball games, and this was the most awesomely worst one ever. But I think about it with total fondness every year at this time. Around the last two weeks of Sept, when teams are out of it, and the rookies are playing or pitching, man, it can get ugly really fast. I sat through it to the end, got some balls (not like I was competing with anyone, but I did give them to kids), and just enjoyed one of the last games in the old Tiger’s Stadium. I mean, the weather was nice.

Just because I was there for it and this always amuses me

Friday, September 25th, 2009

It was a goodtime being a college student in Boston during this time period. It was especially fun living at 12 Arlington, which was almost kiddy corner from the “Cheers” bar, that we never went to but got to watch them once a year film all the outside stuff. This is from the 200th episode, which we went to live and then went to the Government Center shindig.

Pepsi through the nose for every guy around my age

Friday, September 25th, 2009

In “The Office” last night, the opening scene was the Steve Carell character asking the gay guy in the office about getting a colonoscopy and what he should expect. He’s a little bit “scared.” He is wondering what he should be expecting in “terms of sensation…emotions.” And is there anything “I can do to make it more pleasureable for me” or the doctor.

“My main concern…should I have a safe word?”

Cut to the opening.

Seriously, one of the funniest lines I’ve heard on the new season of TV this year. Which, by the way, I am having high hopes for presently. Yeah, yeah, we watch too much TV every night and even have one in the kitchen in the morning, but some people have boats and planes and things that they don’t really need. We record an ungodly amount of TV on the various DVRs, and then watch them “at our pleasure” while we skip all the commcericals and boring stuff on something like, say, Jay Leno. I can watch a recorded football game in 1:15 and not miss a single snap. But every returning show seems to be ok, and I am intrigued by a couple of new ones. Let’s just say that I am cautiously optimistic.

“Should I have a safe word?”