Saturday, February 25, 2006

The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution

Day 8 of sobriety, and it is officially no longer interesting. It blows, truly. The physical part is nice. We aren't a shaking, stinking, shitting drunk. Just a brooding, recovering one. We feel better. We look better, we think, although none of the women at the bars we went to tonight paid us any mind whatsoever. Sitting at the bar drinking Sprites and Ginger Ales, tapping your toes to the DJ, makes you feel like a fucking grade-A chump. People are around you, swirling, having a great time, looking stupid and happy and full of piss and vinegar and taking pictures of their joy and there you sit, full of your dull, silent mourning, boring your roommate to tears. Nothing could be less interesting than you. And now we are home, listening to George Noory talk with some crackpot about objects on the other side of the sun and how the Russians have already conquered Venus and large triangular shaped military cargo craft in the skies over Washington DC filled with whites and greys and the corpses of Walt Disney and Burl Ives. There is a lit cigarette and a glass of Diet 7-Up sitting on the coffee table. Signs of life. We are passing time until we can take the pills to go to sleep.

Your correspondents know it is stupid to go out to bars on a Friday night. Spare us the lecture. Useless temptations abound, true true. Turn on your TV, jack. It's all there. You might as well stare it in the face. We are bound to defeat the alcohol monster in our own way. Tonight we sat and watched the bartender at Club Foot make drink after drink. Everything we have ever loved: vodka and tonic, Maker's neat, Jameson on the rocks, PBR, Jack and Coke, even a martini. We honestly weren't tempted even once. We haven't figured it out yet, how exactly we are going to do this, in the long run. Maybe AA, maybe not. AA kind of freaks us out. We are still not down with giving ourselves to a higher power, no matter how much of the blue book we have read and how much we have prayed and hoped. We think we'll keep going to meetings to hear stories and for the sake of maintenance, but many of the steps seem pointless to us. For instance, we bear no real resentment towards anyone, apart from our own weakness. We feel like we've haven't apologized to everyone we need to, and that lingers in the backs of our minds. Maybe we'll try some James Frey type hardcore shit, maybe not. After all, he did turn out to be a lying douchebag.

Maybe a year or two from now we'll have the strength to be a normal social drinker like so many others, and maybe not. We don't have any goals, honestly, other than one day at a time. We could go into deeper discussions regarding God, our responsibility to ourselves and our friends, etc. but we are going to save our breath for another day. Another day at a time. Until then, you are going to have to read these pathetic ramblings and hope our mood improves and our sense of humor rebounds. Or not. Statcounter numbers are dropping like the President's approval rating. Not that we blame any of you. Anyway, we are going to listen to the new Cat Power now, or maybe Lil' Wayne. We bought some new records to treat ourselves today, even though our bank account is tapped, and we just spent 185 bucks (!!) on meds this afternoon. Hey, we could have bought 750 ML of Gordon's instead.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Factory smog is a sign of progress

Sobriety is INTERESTING. We're going on our 5th day, if you are counting. That is at least a five year record. No shit shinola.

Last night your correspondents went down to the Empty Bottle to scan the set by the Watchers, and all we drank was three v. cold Sprites, on the rocks, with lemon. We didn't get charged for the Sprites, which was nice. We did have to take a few mighty horse-pisses in the middle of the night, however. This could be our new racket, or something. The Sprite Guy. Free drinks, a whole new definition. Rob even told us he could make us virgin Bloody Marys from now on for our Sat./Sun. afternoon constitutionals. And virgin Margaritas! We just like the salt anyway. Now that sounds like a program. Last night was also a test of sorts. Could we go down to our favorite bar, right below our own abode, where there would be plenty of non-sober friends and associated hotties whooping it up (free night!), and abstain totally? We did, and succeeded.

In fact, we didn't even feel the slightest compunction to drink (despite being annoyed to red-level rage by the senseless gyrations of the lead singer of the Watchers), which kind of shocked us. Usually we enter the bar and start pounding shit like Peter North and Jenna Fine. It's just how we do. Or used to.

The OGFP board of directors realizes things have been a little schizo around here the last few weeks. Basically, this is the short long story: we went on an epic bender for a few months (months which capped a few years of very, very hard drinking), we suddenly realized (moment of clarity!) that we needed to be rescued by friends and family (who did an amazing job, to their very great credit) from our lack of control over our excesses; we went through some ugly alcohol withdrawl with the parents back in the burbs (see two posts below), and now we are trying to be sober and start the thug life over in a few different ways. We aren't sure if we can ever be social drinkers again, but right now we are taking one day at a time.

P.S.! P.S! New Baby Tohma pictures courtesy of Josh! Click on the Baby Tohma link to your right!

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?

Hey! Put our last dark post aside. We're really feeling much better, future hopeful, the works. When we get back to town on Monday, watch out. We got 10 hours of "real sleep" last night!?! And we have spent most of the weekend watching LOST and getting totally obsessed. It's all about the numbers! But how? We aren't planning on going to conspiracy websites to check into theories, but if you have any for us, we're all ears.

Why aren't you watching the Daytona 500 right now? Don't you have a soul? You can keep all that Red state/Blue state political "but it's boring" nonsense. They just did the first lap where the announcers shut the fuck up and the big engines rumble around the track tricking up speed. We cranked that shit up on the parents' Nakamichi and are pretty stoked to be watching these big cruisers blast on the concrete gridiron, taking turns in packs of three at 190 MPH. NBC Channel 5, bitch. So big they switched from the Olympics. Bye.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

What made Milwaukee famous has made a loser out of me

We just had a really long rumination accidentally deleted on our parent's computer. It expounded on the way an ice cold Ketel One martini tastes when it hits the back of your throat and you already have an olive in your mouth, the way stringy ropes of blood look in a pool of your tea green vomitus, about how when the real vomiting starts you can physically feel your stomach squeeze itself out like a sponge; three, four, five and then six heaves later all that comes up is a few salmon-y pieces of tissue and what looks like a little pile of very blackened popcorn and tears pour down your nose and drool runs down your chin and a blood vessel inside your right nostril has burst from your efforts, pouring over your lower face and onto your shirt. You napkin it up as best you can and crawl to bed. You still have a few hours to go.

We were going to elaborate on the divine-seeming nursing abilities of household pets (namely Ellie). We were going to tell you about uncontrollable tremors, aural hallucinations, nightmares, the ceaseless anxious frenzy that makes your brain a hot griddle uselessly cooking itself. What real sleep feels like for the first time in, perhaps, three years. We were going to try to relate the utter absurdity of knowing you are going to vomit wihin the next ten minutes, and so attempting to form a strategy as how to best get out of bed and into the most effective position on the floor so that the wracking spasms of effort that shake you and between heaves cause you to literally and verbally beg for the mercy of a God you have never believed in, don't spill out of the small plastic bucket on your Mom's new carpet. About how mortified you are that your mother is on other side of the room, back to you, tears in her own eyes after seeing this for the seventh or eighth time tonight, standing ready to wipe the back of your neck with a cold wash cloth when you are finally done and lying on your side now, watiting for the alloted time you dread, thirty minutes from now, just like she did when you were in the fifth grade. Only now you are 31, and there are no excuses, no flu, no food poisining to fall back on to explain why once again you are Mommy's child. And the next few months, even as you lie here in sweaty doze, half out of conciousness, with a taste like a bag of old pennies at the back of your throat, lie huge and impossible like dark mountains before you.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Things have taken a turn for the delicious. Like you'd baked a cake with frosting and cough drops.

Bookstore crazies. You want to hear all about the medicated safari that is the bookstore at night. And you will. Starting now.

Fozzy Bear comes in several times a week, sometimes during the day even, but usually late at night. He is a genial, jolly man of about 55 or 60. And he is one of the main reasons for the small sign at the front register that says "No Gibberish". It is one of OGFP's main gifts to the lexicon of the bookstore, the "No Gibberish" sign. It has helped many a Myopic warrior fend off the mentally scarred, over-drugged and deeply unsettled deziens of the greater Wicker Park/Bucktown area. This type of (usually quite polite, oddly enough) interaction happens a lot more than you might expect. "You are far more weird than I can handle at this time. This is just my job, pal. I am not a board certified psychologist. If Bob Dylan is trying to kill you by making you pumpkin pies, I think that is his business and yours. Please go upstairs and look at the Gardening section until the psychotropics kick in."

Anyway, we can deal with Fozzy Bear. He is harmless and sweet in a way. He talks absolute nonsense, of course, a litany about the status of bookstore cat Leonard, and how Leonard is constantly following him around is standard patter, but he seems eager to please. But Fozzy Bear stinks up the bookstore something fierce. He smells like 100,000 dog poots happening at once all around you. Which is why Leonard follows him around. It is dizzying, your senses are temporarily robbed from you, and then you realize it is the smell of unwashed body, and probably feces. Light up an incense stick, turn on the ceiling fans, go outside and smoke a cigarette, and pray to the Virgin Mother that he leaves before customers start dropping like flies. Plans have been afoot to ban Fozzy Bear for years, but noone can seem to do it. He's too harmless and pathetic. Getting banned is serious. Unless people are violent or creepy about giving the female staff gifts or following them home (which has happened), we don't generally ban folks. We just kind of let them be. They probably just want to come in, take a shit, and get warm.

Myopic is an interesting place that way. We tolerate and even help 'hood people out of some weird sense of social justice. Founder Mopic Joe Judd has always made sure the place was open late (1AM, except 10 on this officially an advertisement yet?) because, to his mind, lonely people have no place to go and need books. When do they need them most? Late at night. That is the way it is, always has been, no questions asked. Joe's rule.

When we do book buying on the weekends, there is a neighborhood fixture who brings us two bags of books, and we give her 20 bucks. She's a very sweet older lady who stoops over very far. She needs the 20 bucks. She has needed it for years. So the bookstore gives it to her. Every week, no matter what books she brings in, no questions asked. We ask her if she's okay, if she has someplace to stay, and wish we could do something more for her. Charity is funny that way. It is a responsibility, we have found, largely through this job. People deserve their dignity and if you can give them a touch of it, maybe your bike ride home won't be so cold, and you won't need another beer to sleep easier after work. Maybe you have done a small, simple thing because it is what should be done.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

It's your prayer and how, Standing here now you wash over me

You will note that we haven't been updating the blog as much recently. That is because laziness has overtaken us. Laziness! Too much sleeping, too much time with the newspaper, too much time at the video store. We left the house for about 30 minutes in toto today, to refill the prescription for heart medicine, and to stop for dinner at Burger King. Have you had the Cheesy Chicken Sandwich? Holy crapola. The Cheesy Chicken Sandwich should be against the law it is so tasty. Usually we are not into big-upping fast food chains, but there it is.

We might go see Headache City in a minute, if our laziness allows. Shit Sandwich!

Even if we wanted to blog majorly right now, our scribblings would not be as funny as our associates' blogs have been lately. Peep the line-up to the right: Miles, Morgan, Wound Up (aka Mark), Britt, Kari, Hopper. Our friends are bringing mad comedy up in this, and for today, we cannot hope to compete. For instance, Mark's end of the year report literally reduced us to tears earlier. You can't really find that here today, apart from the ? and the Mysterians album in the corner. Ba dum cha. See what we mean? Our funny bone is broken!

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

There’s only room for one and here she comes, here she comes

Photo day! Humboldt Park street art:

It is illegal to take pictures in the bookstore, but we are special:

Due to our new schedule, lots more extra-cirricular late night activity has been happening. Our rocker friends have been freaking this shit for years, avoiding the 9 to 5. We are glad to join them. Noah at the Bottle, racking them up:

Coming soon: more prose.

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