Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Moods are for cattle and for loveplay

Bookstore 3rd floor is chock full of chess wizards right now. A little warm weather, and presto! In they come, ordering pizzas from Dominos, arguing Fischer-ian strategy, bombing and strafing the bathroom with hideous regularity, complaining about upstairs smokers or is that smell cat pee I'm allergic to it and how the coffee tastes, weirding out shoppers and chowing on chex mix like they invented the damn stuff. You already know Frank Sinatra and Mr. Macrame AKA Dr. Shift Killer. Chess wizards of note you haven't yet been introduced to:

1) The 12 or 13 year old kid whose Mom waits for him in a parked car up the street, who only stays for a few hours but looks all sulky and depressed and teenager-y when it's time to leave. The Mom never comes in. Reports that this is due to the fact that she is terrified of knowing anything at all about her son's regular Wednesday night social set are uncomfirmed at this time.

2) Shouting Filipino Guy #1. Yes, there were two of them, but one doesn't show up anymore. Hard of hearing, once heard to bark "was that move legal?" at the sulky teenager, often doesn't play a match but sits observing others, nodding sagely or randomly chopping at the air after any move that seems disagreeable to him. Creepy factor: incredibly high. Only one is creepier:

3) The Wizard of Iowa. He always wears a U of Iowa sweatshirt and vaguely looks like Richard Harris with a serious crank habit and strong aversion to bath water. Spends a lot of time in the Sex section, thumbing tomes that make our imaginations shudder. Doesn't say much of anything, except a few weeks ago. Asked us if we had a "research problem" when we were working alone in the basement one night. Utter stupefication and Lovecraft-grade horror on our part. Man, we got out of there fast.

3) Dear John. So named because, according to sources, he has about eight of those letters in his past that he has obsessively lamented about to various co-workers. A fountain of nicotine-fueled board rage (AKA famous for arguing with other players), he spends most of the chess night outside, where he has been banished to smoke by:

4) Softee the Head Chess Wizard. The organizer and keeper of the chess equipment (a new steaming new batch of which arrived via US Mail today, mystifying Myopic associates temporarily), bringer of the chex, bearer of a mighty beard, and ultimate trafficker in the kind of middle-age male post-hippie gentleness and patience seemingly required in heading up a bunch of yoo-hoos who meet once a week to play the world's oldest game (after wang-dang-doodle and Hamlet on the Holodeck, natch) and hold grudges against one another that defy the understanding of mere mortals such as ourselves.

5) That Poor Girl. There's always a different one every Wednesday, innocently going up to the third floor to peruse...forever she will be haunted by the sad, depressing melange of chess weirdness she encounters on the way to the Mythology section. Down the stairs and past us at the store's front counter and out the door she inevitably hurries, never to return.

Here comes another pizza! Just in time...Mr. Macrame just ambled in. Chess night continues....

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You want to blow my book sales in Europe?

Current fantsay league baseball standings: Fourth out of 11, First out of 10, second out of 18. Thome and Konerko have chilled a bit. Brian Hawpe, Austin Kearns (?!) and Moises Alou are hot to trot. As in around the bases. Hittin' lots of 'taters. Nice work Ol' Pee Hands! Keep it up.

White Sox are still atop the AL Central, even though Seattle punked them in the bottom of the 11th inning last night at just about Midnight CST. New winter acquisition Javier Vazquez takes the bump tonight against Joel Pinero. Strategy against the Mighty M's: keep Ichiro off the bases (if you can, by mixing of the best OBP guys in the game the last few years; only Bonds and Big Papi are better, but Ichiro can run like the freaking wind), walk Ibanez if you have to, throw Sexton fastballs up and in, and Beltre couldn't hit the side of a barn if he was swinging a canoe right now, so don't worry about him. Sox always play a awkward, rotten band of baseball on these west coast swings, but maybe we can reverse that a bit in '06. Go hose!

Documentary feast: Daniel Johnston and Charles Bukowski vehicles both in the last few days. Guess you couldn't find two more different chorizos in the meat section, but both flicks had their high points and moments du excellente (is that French?). The Daniel J was a real tear-jerker (and a surprisingly packed house at the Landmark...we thought he was dead and few would care otherwise) and very effectively done across the board, content and style-wise. For years we'd written him off as part and parcel of the whole phenomenon of hipster guilt/stupidy/flaggelation/exploitation of the helpless and "gifted" insane, which we'd participated in just a hair in our own early Chicago days (cough....Wesley Willis), but not the case. At least as far as this film was concerned. Maybe Lee Ranaldo and Thirsty Moore have different ideas, but they have their own discographies to worry about.

Hopper was helping us to congeal a plan to get cheap walkmen somewheres just so we could buy all the homemade Daniel Johnston tapes that you can internet any time you like for just 5 bux apiece, and roll like that for a few months on his deranged Beatle Bob brilliance. But that wouldn't work, 'cause the only things we listen to these days are Chopped and Screwed Houston boom bap sizzurp records (whooooo is Mike Jones?) and Cleveland proto-punk (Mirrors, Rocket From the Tombs...thanks Jonathan). Hopper even stopped by the other night and gave us the new Dem Franchise Boys record. Isn't she a nice one?

The Bukowski was a little more straight and straight-forward, not as well done obviously, but maybe we were more familiar with the topic beforehand and had some tall axes of our own to grind. Like he's the ultimate sexist ass to draw L.A. breath, obviously, but there was more to old Hank than meets the book turns out. Since we hadn't read anything by him in years, and most of his stuff was such mow ahead Autobio blather anyhow that we swerved towards our own self-wound chemical highway when dealing with him, maybe we had just as many misconceptions re: his drunken half-mast tomfoolery as we did about DJ's paranoid delusions and public celebrations thereof. A few things were obvious by the fin; that Charles could really write a poem to shatter your heart (go Google "Bukowski bluebird" and grab a box of tissues quick) and celebs in documentaries are usually real stoopid and take up valuable screen time with self-importance empty as rice cakes.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Mudbloods and murmurs

You know it is summertime when the OGFP editorial board hastily decided during the dinner break tonight to purchase a copy of Dre's "The Chronic" CD/DVD combo and then pump it from the bookstore speakers very loudly while supping on crazy hot noodles and tom kha khai soup from Penny's. People think the Booksto' can't get crunk. WRONG.

We also have a new loading zone parking spot on Milwaukee Ave. which allows for lots of Nietzschean displays of hithertofore unseen bookstore clerk power. So far we've gotten a fire red BMW convertible and a Hummer 2 towed, both on our skinny guy nightshifts. Yuppies, if you roll up on some Tapas and get that cherry ride took, don't look to us with your tear-stained, garlic-shrimp-arrugula-pate smeared faces. No damn mercy in the sizzummer '06!

Being forced to use the computers at the Chicago Public Library Chicago/Western Branch (right next to the new Bacci pizza storefront known for their new truly awful daily slice specials, including the Sunday "ladies day slice" which has chicken and ranch dressing among other ingredients!?) is not really doing the trick as far as keeping this blog properly refreshed. Many days you need a reservation and accompanying two hour wait in order to use one of the broken down computers. Blurg. Since last weekend, when our trusty chrome steed Lincoln got his freaking fork, handlebars and stem swiped in the deep dark of the night, we've been rolling on foot and Chicago is a streeeeeeeeetched out motherfucking city. And we wake up at 1 PM, on average. So chill, 'till the next episode.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Human contact, over my head, Make sense of your opinion

Wilderness last night at the Bottle was one of the best live bands of the century. We would say more, but you missed them, so you lose. We'll have pictures for you eventually.

Best Google searches of the week that led web-surfers to this blog: (which we are not making up)

1) "horse pisses"
2) "cowboy equipment underwear" (from someone in Cheyenne, Wyoming, natch)
3) "open gaping assholes" (why not just go to bro?)
4) "jake booty call game 4 life" (if this is something we can help you out with, please do let us know)

Someone just called the bookstore at 11:17 PM looking for any titles we might have handy on knot-tying. "Anything will do. Just good sturdy knots." Um, okay. Kinky motherfuckers. We know you aren't thinking of sailing a clipper ship on Lake Michigan right now Nathaniel Hornblower, not in this chilly weather.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fast cars, Fine Ass, These Things, Will Pass

Happy Easter, douches!

Two chocolate lamb cakes have been eaten today, courtesy of Alliance Michelle. Now we feel kind of sick and oversugared. She is the other Myopic Michelle that we mentioned before. We have two Michelles; the other is Tuff Michelle who has lots of tats and only works Saturday afternoons and is a real lioness about the cash register and has pants tighter than shellac on 78s and generally is someone you don't want to fuck with. She puts peoples' heads through windows for fun at parties. True story.

Friday night, for the second time in less than a year, we watched The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, a WWE production, this time with some of Miles' out-of-town visitors. It did not get better the second time around. Wrestlers, wrestling, Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan, Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter, etc. are all pretty bogus, esp. when taking themselves seriously. Not that we didn't love it as kids, but. Things change. We still plan on reading the Mankind/Mick Foley book, but that has been pushed back in accordance to the general distaste now felt towards Sports Entertainment. The only People's Champ we are intersted in is Paul Wall. He's no T.I., but we're coming around.

It has now been raining for what seems like forty hours in a row. An ugly, slate grey sideways stream of urine in the chops. Umbrellas snapping and useless, all the cute girlies that were running around in tiny skirts and cute little shoes the last two days making our blood pressure bop around like Whack-A-Mole are hiding away in their lairs.

Fantasy baseball update: 2nd place, 4th place, 8th place.

Real baseball update: Sox won again in rain shortened fashion today, tied for first with the Tigers of Detroit in AL Central Division. Some rough patches but Konerko and Thome are killing it.

On the docket for this week: Pistol Pete Adidas high-tops. A diamond earring. More white pants.

Closing music tonight: Dark Funeral. Bye.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The tiny cuts in your skin They let a little fresh air in

Bookstore associates can deal with what you are buying. Deep into White Power music of the 1980s? 14th Century torture gear? Whatevs, Jack. Some purchase combinations do raise eyebrows, however.

Pale, slightly mushy-looking male, age somewhere in mid-forties. Hair dyed obviously black. "The Magic of Sex", "The Good Vibrations Guide to the G Spot", "101 Nights of Grrreat Romance" and about ten different titles from the R.L. Stine "Goosebumps" series, which mostly serve adolescent reading needs, if you didn't know.

Only historical antecedent: 1992. Working as a bagger at Crystal Lake Jewel/Osco, often the early morning or late night shifts. Elderly people with shopping carts are infinitely hazardous. Anyway, midnight hour approaches register station 3, the cash-only aisle. Handsome man, nicely dressed, can't be a day over 30. Into his plastic bag we place one economy-sized bottle of "personal" lubricant, two white roses, a package of 12 Trojan ribbed propholactics, and a very large frozen Butterball turkey. It is mid-June. Either there is some serious apologizing going on or....well, you know. Not quite the stuffing Aunt Dot was fond of. Especially if you knew Aunt Dot.

Moments ago: Aggresively attired black gentleman with solid black outfit circa Eazy-E 1989, and black face paint applied psuedo-Darkthrone fashion is moonwalking up Milwaukee Ave., ghetto blaster on his shoulder pumping UGK quite loudly. He makes eye contact with no one else on the street. Jon hopes he comes back. We remain indifferent, fearing the genesis of another neighborhood tourism goodwill streetperformance outlet.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Gin my cotton and sell my seed, Gonna give my baby everything she need.

Quick as a bunny updates are the new shining path we walk at OGFP. We promise lots of in-depth meaty stuff when we come back topside. In the meantime, some facts you might be interested in:

1) Little Debbie Fudge Rounds are the shiznit. Oatmeal Cremes are not too bad. We have not had OCs since the many C.L. hours spent at the Meyer home, Nintendo and Lawrence Taylor, etc. The good old days.

2) New Myopic associate Michelle splits her working time at the booksto' and Alliance Bakery. You know what that means? Endless bags of day-olds. The OGFP diet plan is *almost* officially out the window this week due to the Alliance White Sox cookies, muffins, banana bread and other treats filling the fridge.

3) After starting out with a miserable 1-4 record, the White Sox have won two straight behind solid starting pitching and some taters by Crede, Thome and Paulie. The Cubs are ripping it up at 4-1, but who cares? Luckily two of our fantasy teams feature Cubs closer Ryan Dempster as a starter, through weird Yahoo! bylaws, and this is racking us some bonus points.

4) At the Unique Thrift Store way north on Saturday, the one near the DMV, we saw two '70s chick-lit novels that our Moms used to have on the "light reading" shelves at home (the other side of the house from the Ayn Rand/ Mary Renault section. You might be able to glean much about our family psychology from this info-nugget, or not). Oddly, both books featured sex and/or love scenes that we used to scan during the dark epoch before pubescence, on rare occasions when the house was empty and broken phraseology like "areola" and "his need was bursting" were titillating in and of themselves. We didn't buy either book, BTW.

5) Philip Pullman is a genius. More at 11.

6) Seymour Hersh is a genius. More at 11.

7) Please do not have long, labored and apparently brutal relationship-ending conversations in the philosiphy/religion/mythology back room when we want to smoke break back there. PLEASE. Your 21 yr old lives are so vastly unimportant compared to our nicotine intake, and besides, you have years and years of relationship drama to go through. Plenty of chances for ego-crushing and poisonous banter. Just end it quickly, and go eat some Little Debbies. It will all be better soon. You are creeping out the docile yet greasy dude who lives in a box behind the old Hito's and hovers around Women's Studies for hours at a time. Trust us, that is hard to do.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Now these blues, blues ain't nothing, Lord, but a doggone hungry spell.

Blogging at work is dangerous. Especially in these tempestuous times at the bookstore, so we are making this especially brief.

All the computers at Casa Borracho are currently on the fritz, so posts for the next little while might be on the cheap. As in not too doggone often. Internet cafe, neighborhood Chicago Public Library outpost, here we come. Our fantasy league baseball teams are taking this especially hard.

If you have a cheap computer to sell us, or a hard-drive for an early 00's iBook, or a smoke signal kit that we can use to signal the villagers in the next valley, let us know.

Who runs bartertown?

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Entertain by picking brains, Sell my soul by dropping names

For those of you who like reading fleshy and, uh, salty prose of a humorous and Id-rich variety, word is that Hookers On Stilts (AKA our blogging Twin Cities cohort and Attorney, Britt Lindsay Esq.) is back on the menu. Please click on the link to your right where her name appears, and ZAP! Internet magic will take over and entertainments galore will sustain you. We are lazy, lazy bloggers and won't put a link here in this post, but you can read and don't have a sub-standard education, right? We promised we'd help drum up some attention for HOS. Please don't let us down.

So, did you know that in, like, less than 12 hours, OGFP will be setting up camp in the U.S. Cellular Field nosebleed upper deck section and AC/DC will be pumping through the PA and we will be thrusting our arms in the air like an overcaffinated baboon in mating season as our world champion baseball team takes the field? True. There will be pictures, eventually. We're getting to it!

You know what stings? Spending $190 on a single bottle of medication. Adult Attention Defecit Disorder is expensive. This medicine makes us feel queer. And we don't mean in a way that makes us want to get our prostate jingled by quivering man parts. OGFP suffers from loud brain syndrome. Always yammering away in there, the gray inner-skull stuff makes our sleep patterns suffer, creates situations in which we are less than the ideal co-worker, leads us to the sauce, saps the creativity, etc. Our brain is trouble (but not quite troubled).

The costly brown pills do indeed help, but we feel re-wired and odd, and we suppose this is the point, but still. If your brain has been one way since you can ever remember and then things feel radically different, it makes you take pause. But if you can't really put your finger on why things are different, exactly, it vaguely feels kind of creepy. Medicine is fucked up. Weirdest blog post ever!

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Monday, April 03, 2006

A slight amount makes every man his own Napoleon.

10-4, Sox hammer the Tribe on opening night. Thome hits a monster 2-run tater, 431 feet into the the teeth of the rain and the wind to right, continuting his insane spring. Dye goes 3-3, Brandon McCarthy (otherwise known as the 6th starter) goes 3 perfect innings to shut down the Cleveland nine. The game started at 7:05 PM and ended at just after 2 AM, due to rain delays and hail the size of snow peas and all sorts of inclemency. Jon was mopping the basement like a madman, wearing the Judd Waders while we chewed our nails and listened to rain delay theatre (mostly the Headache City CD, so Jon wouldn't have to suffer the inane baseball banter).

The Cubs are playing right now, tied 5-5 in the sixth at the Great American Ballpark, see-sawing back and forth with the Cincinnati Reds. Pres. Bush 43 threw out the first pitch, and of course civil Cincinnatians cheered him. What is wrong with people in this country? Fucking Warren G. Harding out there, and people don't give him the raspberries? Now the Cubs are up 9-5. A few big innings for the north siders and Pat and Ron sound gassed. Opening day!

In a fit of excitement, we just bought one ticket each to the next two Sox home games, Tues. and Wed. Day games, so we don't have to worry about missing work, but we are stoked. Now we can get the replica champion ring and World Series trophy that they're giving away. Geeked!

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Who hated you in high school that wouldn't love you for your liver now?

Old friends in from out of town, a few shows at the Empty Bottle, lots of working at the bookstore, and some general muckity-mucking around. We've been so busy it hurts. And the sleeping in until 1 PM doesn't help. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. Work today was a motherfucker, too. It's spring, and Myopic was packed full of book sellers and rectal smellers from 11 AM on. Egads, the general public is obnoxious, especially on weekends.

That is our poor excuse for being woefully underprepared for book club. As in, we haven't read the book. Hopper, sorry about that. Apologies in advance, etc. We should be reading Master and the Mexican Mixed Drink right now instead of blogging, but the people demand service from OGFP. That and we got this kick ass book, Mao: The Unknown Story (by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday) that has eaten up our reading time. It's really hard to put down. Short story: Mao was an incredibly bad guy, it seems, and not just to those who hated him. Long story: read the thing, because it proves that one guy with insane ambition and unmitigated gall + tons of conniving can dominate the most populous nation on earth and limitlessly bend its national machinery for decades. Fascinating and horrifying and not an allegory to be found.

Tomorrow night at the Cell, a world championship banner is raised above White Sox fans for the first occasion in many, many lifetimes. Opening night vs. the Tribe of Cleveland. We have to work, but for those in attendance, it should be quite a sight. We'll be listening on the radio, of course. Mark Buerhle gets the pill for the Good Guys. Expect more pecking about this over the next few days, and an entire summer of White Sox news, gossip, head scratching, busy-bodying, nervous chattering etc. Just serving you notice that this blog is so named for a reason, and that reason is about to go into ultra high gear. Are we currently still v. pissed off that we couldn't get tickets for Wednesdays game, when the first 20,000 fans get a miniature World Series Champs trophy free of charge? You know the answer.

In other baseball news, it's fantasy baseball league draft week. We had three drafts in about as many days, and now have a splitting headache and some 9 hours of lost time to show for it. We've been doing this for three years now, and we never win any of our leagues because everything that makes us good baseball fans (undying Pale Hose allegiance, hatred of the Yankees and Dodgers and Angels and Mets among other teams, occasional weekday trips to Wrigley for N.L. scouting and Cubbie-related eye-rolling, excitement over rookies and prospects across the bigs) makes us terrible fantasy league players. We stick with old veterans that we adore and the third best White Sox relief pitcher all season even though our teams are hemorraging (sp?) points due to our sense of duty and blind stupidity. This year we sank so low that we drafted Derek Jeter, and not the flashy rookie Washington Nationals outfielder with the obscene spring training OBP. Maybe things will turn out better? We still picked Paul Konerko every time with our #1 pick, natch. Some old habits never die.

If you missed Submarine Races, CoCoComa and Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra last night, it was raging full on. Three items of Merch were bought! That is a true rarity, friends. Our old grizzled heart does not often get so ferociuosly rocked upon in so short a time. Shit Sandwich Records really has their, um, shit together right now. It was so good from the garage that we're flagrantly blowing off Arab Strap pounding down below us, and taking our bleeding ears easy.

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