Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's hot here.

That means a few things are true:
  • Motorcycles just blasted past my building, because there's a nice traffic light-free stretch in front of it, and it's nice and quiet and it's nighttime.
  • My little air conditioner's doing a yeoman's work these days. I gave it the night off because it's actually, somehow, in the 20s outside.
  • It's nice up north, though. Spent the weekend at my buddy Bob Sacamano's family's cottage up near North Bay. The Sacamanos' cottage is on a great little lake, and the sun sets opposite their dock real picturesque-like, and there's a beer store in town, which means I think you have a good idea what I drank all weekend.
  • It's baseball season, and the Tigers are in the thick of the AL Central race. They lost tonight, and the Cleveland Racist Nicknames won, which means the Tigers' lead is one measly game. S'alright, though. The sky isn't falling.
  • ...yet.
  • The All Pale Countries Tour 2011 commences one week from today. This year's lineup includes Iceland (again), Denmark and the Czech Republic; yes, I know Czechs are technically Slavic in origin and not Nordic, but they're still pretty pale. And their beer is excellent.
Fitz and the Tantrums are from now, but sound like they're from then. They gave away their debut EP a couple of years ago, which was a genius move: it got the word (and their music) out to a whole lot of people. Have a listen to their big huge hit single, if you haven't already:


Friday, July 15, 2011

Some observations about Indiana.

I spent the day today somewhat leisurely making my way across Indiana, going from Chicago to Fort Wayne, where I'm staying at this somewhat kooky B&B downtown. Here's what struck me about the state:
  • There are a lot of churches here. A LOT of them.
  • A lot of those are really, really big.
  • Did you know that a shit-ton of Indiana's licence plates have a big ol' "In God We Trust" on them? It's true.
  • Valparaiso University is pretty small, for an American school that I've heard of. (I think they're decent at basketball.)
  • Whoa, they have less than 3000 undergraduates!
  • Downtown Fort Wayne is pretty, but the suburbs are... well, unimpressive to say the least. This is a trait shared by a lot of smaller US cities. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it.
  • The local baseball team here plays in a fantastic stadium, Parkview Field. They have a great selection of beers and the prices are decent, but just like every other place I've ordered chicken fingers in the US, they've never heard of serving them with plum sauce. Can you believe that?!
Four days, four US states, four baseball games: Illinois (Cubs last night), Indiana (Fort Wayne tonight), Michigan (Detroit tomorrow afternoon) and Ohio (Toledo on Sunday night). That's a lot of ballpark beer, but I think I'm up for it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A blast from the past.

It's summertime, which means one thing: RE-RUNS.

I'm kidding. (Sort-of.)

I was thumbing through some settings and such on this here site — something I get my team of interns, which I've light-heartedly nicknamed "JTL's Slave Army," to do for me — and I came across the gem reproduced below which I wrote in mid-December of 2006 but never posted. So I guess it's less of a "re-run" and more of an "unreleased classic from the vault." (Yeah, we'll go with that.)

The reason I post this is because a little earlier today, despite my vow of not chasing skirts this summer... well, DB was right, I lasted about two weeks. But, in my defence, the opportunity to strike up a lovely conversation really fell out of nowhere, so I figured I owed it to myself to give it the ol' college try. Moral of the story: NEVER TRY.

Enjoy the vitriol. (I honestly can't remember the incident below that prompted such an angry response. I think it might have been at a staff Christmas party, but I'm not sure where that could've been.)

* * * * * * *

Okay. This is what you don't do:

Strike up a great three-hour conversation with a guy. Share anecdotes about your family back and forth; talk about the teaching profession and your role in it; your disdain for most music these days, loud-ass Richmond Street clubs and "reality television." Move closer to him to suggest some sort of interest in him (because you know he's fucking interested in you: if any guy is talking to any girl, and he's single and straight, NEWSFLASH, IDIOT, HE IS TRYING TO PICK YOU UP, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE HOT). Share an easygoing, witty rapport that you've developed over the past few weeks. Have this conversation alone at a table with a guy while the rest of the guy's co-workers hit the dance floor and have a couple of them (middle-aged women, no less) make gestures to him suggesting, "Dude, awesome! She's totally digging you!" as the pair of you sit on the sidelines.

And then, THREE GOD DAMN HOURS into the conversation, casually drop this into the conversation:

"...blah blah, so yeah, my sister's boyfriend and mine are really good friends, blah blah..."

Do this.

Even if you can.

And you will.

(Because you did.)

* * * * * * *

Actually... now that I think about it, I remember that it was a staff Christmas thing at a local banquet hall, being DJ'd by a former co-worker. I don't remember who the girl was, but I have a suspicion she was a teacher who was at our school for a one-semester thing, filling in for someone. Can't remember who, though. Maybe it's for the best.