Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Damn World Leaders, Get Off My Lawn

In case you are reading this and you are not from Chicago, this past weekend was the NATO summit and it was held right here in the second city for some reason (despite the fact that the G8 summit was like THE DAY BEFORE and half the people attending were already at Camp David for that and why couldn't you just have it there you dicks?). If you ARE from Chicago you are certain to already know this because OH MY FUCK what a shit farming nightmare.

There are two elements to hosting a NATO summit: visiting dignitaries and visiting protesters. The dignitaries fuck up traffic because god forbid they use the same roads as the lowly vassals who live here, so all the roads anywhere near where they currently are or might be going in the future are closed to the unwashed public. The protesters fuck up traffic by standing in the middle of the fucking street as close as they can get to where ever the dignitaries currently are or might be going in the future, or that they aren't going to at all but there was a rumor started that they might, or near any building that houses any company large enough that you've heard of them, or anywhere else they might suspect of quartering The Man.

Let me just stop for a second and remind everyone that I have no real political leanings whatsoever and whether you think NATO is good or bad does not interest me - I just wanted them to go somewhere fucking else. Similarly, I have no problem in principle with protesting about anything a group of people believes to be unjust - you are just in my fucking way. (Although when asked by a WGN reporter on the street what message they wanted to send to NATO, a disturbingly large proportion of them said that America doesn't spend enough money on education, which is true but leads me to believe they don't really understand what NATO does.)

Anyway, back to my entirely apolitical rant: NATO and angry college students fucked up my entire weekend. On Saturday I stayed in, being unwilling to deal with the mania any more than I had to, but even this couldn't be done undisturbed because every helicopter in Illinois was hovering over the city making it completely impossible to sleep or watch television. It was also the day I found out that Sunday was going to be completely ruined. There was SUPPOSED to be a nipple tassel making and twirling workshop at Studio L'Amour that I had been looking forward to for weeks. Alas, NATO struck again and I got an e-mail from Michelle herself that the workshop was cancelled because you couldn't get anywhere near the studio because the roads all around it were closed. Worse than that, it's been rescheduled for June 23, which means I can't go to it at all now because I'll be in Indianapolis that weekend for the 5K. I took my frustrations to Facebook, as one does, and wrote the following status: "And now NATO has fucked up my nipple tassel making class tomorrow and it's been rescheduled for the day I'll be getting chased by zombies. This weekend keeps getting worse!" Now, because I am me instead of someone with a life that remotely resembles some standard of normal, that first sentence seemed to me like a regular "People are fucking up my shit" rant. It wasn't until people started leaving comments that it dawned on me that making nipple tassels and running zombie races are not run of the mill every day things for most people, or that to have them ruined by NATO was at all unusual. Once I realized that, I was sorry that I didn't add "At least I don't have to leave trapeze class early now" because, you see, trapeze class slightly overlapped my nipple tassel class, a problem we've all run into at some point I'm sure.

It was rumored late in the previous week that the Occupy movement might try to shut down Boeing because they do evil things when they aren't busy making planes or something. Because our offices are in close proximity to Boeing, and also because Metra had restricted anyone from bring anything besides basically the clothes they were wearing (and even then you shouldn't be wearing too much clothes) on any trains, it was decided that we would close the office for the day and work from home. At that point, thinking I was smart, I decided that I was going to make a doctor's appointment for Monday afternoon and that way not have to schedule time off for it. One problem: my doctor is in a town that is 45 minutes to an hour away at the best of times. I decided to give that commute an hour and a half just in case. I got in my car and started driving sitting in traffic. It took me 45 minutes to go a distance that generally takes 10 at rush hour. Approaching the entrance to the highway I discovered why: the Kennedy was closed because OH MY GOD IMPORTANT PEOPLE ARE HEADED FOR THE AIRPORT AT VARIOUS TIMES FOR THE NEXT SIX HOURS. It wasn't hard to figure out that since it took me 45 minutes to travel 2 miles, it was unlikely I'd have time to cover the other 30 miles in time for my appointment, so I called (a terrifying experience all by itself!) to reschedule for a time when I AM supposed to be in the office, and then sat in traffic for ANOTHER 45 minutes to get back to where I started.

I cannot be happier right now that we lost our Olympic bid, or that the G8 moved to Camp David (it was originally supposed to be here too), and if we never host anything here ever again I will not be sad about it at all.

If we DO, well, I just fucking won't be here that weekend because FUCK. THAT.

For Some Reason He Still Lives With Me

We had a whole mess of strawberries. Which is delicious but makes me more annoying than usual.

The bartender: What should we have for dinner?

Me: We could have some strawberry shortcake.

The bartender: Strawberry shortcake isn't dinner.

Me: ....Are you sure?*


The bartender: You know what? You could put some strawberries and whip cream on your pancakes.

Me: WHAT? No, I will put maple syrup and butter on them AS GOD INTENDED.

The bartender: You don't believe in that.

Me: The god of pancakes. HIS NAME IS FLAPJACK.

*Follow up: I told this story to StereoNinja and got this e-mail in reply:

I checked on Google and I am afraid [the bartender] is right - Strawberry shortcake is NOT dinner.
Other things that are NOT dinner include:
1. Candy
2. Cookies
3. Doritos
4. Bowl of dicks

The both a yous can go snack on a bowl of dicks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

An Entire Day Of Nerdery

Today I am recovering from both advanced burlesque class yesterday (when Michelle said the warm ups were "a little different" from beginner class apparently what she meant was "will kill you") and the preceding 24 hours of excessive geekery for which I actually want to shove myself in a locker.

It all started with a random thought that I should google "sexy geek clothes" because of some vague idea I'd had while falling asleep of stripping dressed as a TARDIS and ending up in pasties shaped like bow ties because bow ties are cool. I did, and eventually the rabbit hole of clicking on things led me to this which I immediately tweeted to Mrs. Sizemore and then bought for myself because I read comic books now. This happened on Tuesday afternoon at work, which is I'm sure when you buy all of your nerdtastic garter belts so shut up (BrownsFan, please forget that you read this sentence. Thanks). After that I went home and watched a show I had DVRed called "The Science of Sexual Attraction" while I waited for the hockey to start, the theme of the day apparently being "I AM GOING TO CRAM SEX INTO ALL MY NERD SHIT UNTIL IT FITS WHICH KIND OF ALSO REMINDS ME OF SEX".

The next thing I knew I woke up and it was Wednesday. Last weekish, Mrs. Sizemore had tricked me into buying comic books, which I read, and then realized that if I don't buy the rest of them I will not find out how the story ends which is not ok. So naturally I asked her if I could tag along on her weekly trip to the comic book store and pick up the next three issues. It was the opening she seemed to have been waiting for, because on the train ride over she launched into a list of other comics I should be reading and why, which translated in my head as "words words words. Words. Words words Batman words words."

At the comic book store we found all the Avengers vs. X-Men issues I needed and I asked Mrs. Sizemore what other ONE book I should pick up and start reading. "Ok, well when you were reading AvX, were you thinking there needed to be more fight scenes?"

"I was thinking about which cosplay character I wanted to be," I answered her which is a) true and b) probably the nerdiest thing I've ever said. We ended up not getting me any other books because she thinks I should wait for the trades to come out (which is when they take all the comics from a series and put them all together in one book and I knew what she was talking about because I know this lingo now and who am I?). Then she went to the counter to get her pulls for the week (which is when the comic book store takes all the different books you buy every week and sets them aside for you because they know you are coming). In case you weren't already sure that she is insane, this is roughly about 30 comic books that she buys every week.

Pulls acquired, we decided to browse the toy section to see if there was anything there we "needed". She bought a mini bat signal for her desk, whilst my eyes fell on a toy that so defies logic I absolutely HAD to own it. It's a toy Dalek from Dr. Who. A plushie toy Dalek. For those of you who are not Whovians (most of you?), the Daleks are a race of basically robots of hate. The hatey robots roll around trying to kill everything that isn't a Dalek (except for when the new Daleks decided to kill the old Daleks because they were obsolete but that's not really my point) and yelling "EXTERMINATE!" in hatey robot voices. So a plushie version of this is probably the most ridiculous and incongruous toy ever manufactured. Or as Mrs. Sizemore succinctly put it "'Cuddly as a Dalek' is not an expression". There's now a squishy Dalek sitting on my desk that I periodically pick up and hug and it yells "EXTERMINATE!" at me and I am in love.

All this comic book and Dr. Who tomfoolery made our little nerd brains tired, so we and the two other ladies we were with went across the street for some lunch. As well rounded nerds we are all reading and/or watching Game of Thrones because of course we are, and at some point this turned into a lively debate about whether or not Mrs. Sizemore is a Lannister since she plots things a lot. We decided neither after I made her tell the story about extorting money out of her siblings when she was a child by forcing them to pay her a toll every time they went in the hallway, whereupon Sarah rightly declared that she is obviously a Frey and we should probably all start calling her Walder.

The conversation was hilarious and I was starting to think about how I would blog it and the rest of the afternoon, when I realized that doing so would probably mean me having to explain Dr. Who and Daleks and comic book culture terminology and cosplay and the major houses from Game of Thrones and it was then that I discovered that my nerd credentials were far more outstanding than I had realized.

Achievement unlocked.

Monday, May 07, 2012

A Weekend With Mrs. Sizemore

A couple of things about Mrs. Sizemore:
1. She is awesome.
2. She is exhausting.

Both of these things tend to come into play when you spend a weekend with her.

A couple of months back, Mrs. Sizemore, who is a massive comic book fan (and I don't mean "for a girl"; I mean she has a giant box bigger than she is in her apartment filled with other boxes that when unfolded will hold several thousand comic books) and who has been reading ENTIRELY TOO MUCH NIGHTWING recently, up and decided that she wanted to learn trapeze. Which, when she said this I was immediately all OH EM GEE ME TOO and so currently we are both taking trapeze lessons at a place called the Aloft Loft where, in addition to teaching budding superheroes and/or strippers how to hang upside down from things, they also put on a regular show called El Circo Cheapo.

El Circo Cheapo is exactly what it sounds like - a show with very cheap tickets (even cheaper if you don't spring for a fancy thing known as a "chair" and agree to sit on the floor) that features various circus/aerial acts hanging from things and generally being way more amazing than I will ever be. So on Saturday night, Mrs. Sizemore and I went to that. It was absolutely incredible, from the double trapeze act staring our teacher Sarah, to the unbelievably graceful and romantic German wheel duet, to the hilarious audience volunteer that some Canadian dude stood on top of while juggling machetes.

The problem with El Circo Cheapo is that it is in a cab dead zone and ends after the Damen bus stops running, so after the show we spent a good deal of time walking up Damen until we found a really ambitious cab driver (when Mrs. Sizemore asked "Can you take us to Irving Park?" he replied "I can take you anywhere in the world!" which I'm pretty sure is not true because, you know, oceans and whatnot). Mrs. Sizemore had it in her head that the perfect wrap up to watching upside down people was eating greasy diner food at nearly 1 in the morning, so we headed to a diner on Irving Park Road that oddly enough is named "The Diner". I should point out here that it being Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, I had used it as an excuse to drink pretty much all day long, which is the only explanation I can offer for sending an email to StereoNinja in the middle of the night which pretty much just read "Chocolate milkshake, bitches!" Meanwhile, Mrs. Sizemore was attracting a great deal of attention to herself by ordering the most excruciatingly specific meal ever ordered at 1 a.m. by someone who was not completely stoned. It was while we were enjoying our food at The Diner that Mrs. Sizemore asked what I was doing the next day.

"Nothing," I replied.

"Good. Do you want to go see Avengers again tomorrow?"

The important thing to realize here is that I hadn't actually seen Avengers yet, given that it had only been released the day before and also I suck at going to the movies. But by this point, Mrs. Sizemore had already seen it twice. I agreed to go, but admitted I was skeptical of whether or not I would like it because I have a huge thing for Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo is no Edward Norton, but she assured me that while that was true, he totally IS Bruce Banner and I should just go with it.

We met up the next day to head over to the matinee at the Davis Theater which we chose to walk to since it had mostly stopped raining. This gave her plenty of time to explain to me the various versions and back stories of every character, how they were the same or different from the comic book versions and why Thor is amazeballs. "Because he has a hammer?" I guessed.

"He has TWO hammers and they are called his biceps," she answered.

I am not about to ruin The Avengers for you by telling you all about it, but I will tell you that 1. Ok, FINE, Mark Ruffalo is an awesome Bruce Banner and 2. stop reading this right now and go see it, because it is for reals the best superhero movie to date (which of course it was going to be because, hi, Joss Whedon).

The one spoiler I will give you is that near the end of the movie, Tony Stark decides that they should go out for shawarma later even though he doesn't know what it is. Neither did I until I googled it, but that didn't stop Mrs. Sizemore from insisting that we ALSO go eat some of the same after the movie because when she picks a theme for the day, she REALLY picks a theme for the day. For some reason I agreed to this even though I know I like neither kebabs nor falafal which didn't bode well for the shawarma. I also allowed her to talk me into walking there because "It's a couple blocks from the theater".

It isn't.

What IS a couple blocks from the theater is a comic book store, specifically, a comic book store that Mrs. Sizemore had not been to the day before on Free Comic Book Day and that she was hoping would have some of the books she hadn't been able to find the day before (which they did). She used my Avengers euphoria against me to get me inside the store. She then used the hilariously stereotypical comic book store guy to help talk me into trying out this whole "reading comic books" thing, and before I knew it, I had a bag with issues 0 and 1 of Avengers vs. X-Men and had dashed off another incredulous email to StereoNinja: "I'm in a comic book store. Buying comic books. WTF is happening to me?" While I was doing that, Mrs. Sizemore was accidentally seducing comic book guy by knowing absolutely everything about every comic book ever written in history and not shutting up. In the midst of this she also bought several back issues she was missing, Thor's hammer, some little action figures, and a book called Darth Vader and Son that I had been coveting but didn't buy because we'd been there an hour already and I was starving. She also talked comic book guy into giving her a poster right off the wall and started shilling Nightwing to the store's lone other customer ("It's not shilling if it's actually good," she insisted). Throughout this, I kept pointing out to her that the one thing they didn't sell in the comic book store was FOOD and eventually I managed to drag her out of there.

We continued walking to the shawarma place, which was always "a couple blocks away" no matter how many blocks we'd already walked. We walked past a goose that was hanging out in the road by himself as if he were trying to hail a cab. "Look, a goose!" Mrs. Sizemore was excited, apparently because she doesn't know anything about geese.

"Do not go over to the goose," I warned her.

"Why?" she asked, ignoring me and walking toward the goose.

"Geese are mean. I'm serious, cut that out. They attack people."

Evidently she didn't believe me. "Hey goose!" she said walking up to it.


"Oh my god, it hissed at me!"

"They do that. I told you so. You're lucky it didn't attack you."

Finally, some two miles from where we'd started, we found the shawarma place, where I informed her in no uncertain terms that we were NOT walking all the way back because it was far, and it was dark, and we didn't know the neighborhood, and there was an angry goose running around. We argued about the relative hotness of Thor vs Hawkeye while she simultaneously gloated on Twitter about getting me to buy comic books.

It was after 9 at this point, and I was exhausted. Mrs. Sizemore is evidently NEVER exhausted, because her suggestion was that after we ate, we should get a cab to her house, walk her dog, go buy a bottle of wine, go to her friend's place where she is supposed to be feeding the cat, feed said cat and then sit there and drink the bottle of wine while we watched Captain America. I said that suggestion sounded good, but not quite as good as mine which was that after we ate, I should go the fuck home and go to bed. I am much older than she is, what do you want from me? We decided to compromise and are now set to watch Captain America on Tuesday instead.

Please Make It Stop

Me: I have been transported to 1993 and it was worse than I remembered

H-Town: how did that work?

Me: I have Informer stuck in my head and it is AWFUL

H-Town: oh god


H-Town: dammit, now it's in my head

Me: i have a sudden urge to go put on a flannel shirt that is four sizes too big. PLEASE SEND HELP

H-Town: Here, this will make everything better.


H-Town: hahahahahahahaha

I Hope Nerdery Doesn't Get Me Kicked Off The List

Me: in other news i am not a terrorist
i have a sticker in my passport that says so

H-Town: oh, you got approved for the fast track thingee?

Me:yeah, yesterday

H-Town:congrats on not being full of terror
well, on airplanes anyway

i'm now allowed back into my own country without anyone being all EXPLAIN YOURSELF

H-Town: Time to smuggle!

Me: I'm really good at smuggling tons of cookies
well sort of, i tend to eat a lot of them on the plane actually

H-Town: You're like the most non-threatening smuggler ever

Me: totally
greedo would have shot first