Friday, September 26, 2008

Rule #1 for Happy Marriages

Avoid exchanges like this:

Monday

Me: "Bye honey! See you when you come back Thursday night!"
Her: "I've got the dishwasher on a 4 hour start delay! See you Thursday, don't forget the cat litter!"

Time passes . . . kitty litter boxes fill

Thursday I arrive home, and failing to monitor the natives, the kitty poop has started a small civilization, fostered an insurrection, and forced out the King Of Poops to live banished on the steps, outside of the womb of the litterbox.
I had no choice but to commit some racial cleansing to eliminate the *ahem* eliminations.
STILL SMELLS HORRIBLY! The lovely wife is SO going to know that I deregulated the kitty litter markets after she left.
What to do, what to do. . . I know! I'll let the cats out! She'll be so concerned they're missing that she won't even mention the awful smell! I should probably open some windows and febreze the place as well.

Mission accomplished!

The smell is gone, and I'm picking up the lovely wife from the train station.
We arrive home.
Her: "Is that the same dishwasher load that I left with?"
Me: (rather than relief that the kitty litter incident appears dodged, concern over the SHEER LAZINESS invoked in 3 days of no dishwashing) "Uh, no, it's a second load. I'll empty it tomorrow morning."

Ok strategically this was unsound for multiple reasons. I don't have to lie about this. I can just say "yeah I didn't eat here, I'll do it tomorrow."
Or if I insist on such craven dishonesty, I should at least empty it as soon as she goes to bed, eliminating the evidence.
Or at the VERY LEAST, I should legitimately do it the next morning, rather than waking up late and hearing her emptying it as I'm applying deodorant.
NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU SWEAT!

The biggest tactical error, however, was failing to empty the bottom kitty litter near the newly installed door.

Never let travelling dignitaries near the killing fields. They'll Start Asking Questions.

No kitties were endangered in the writing of this blogpost. They were hurt LONG BEFORE I put this on paper!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

schtupp me with a crooked broomstick

Google's scary.
See the date in my calendar for tonight's show? I added that from a different calendar that should ultimately be the "master" calendar for the Chicago Stand-Up scene.

2 clicks.
In mah blog.

Hohoho we've got some power here. Wait till the mapping functionality takes off!

Also to clarify last night's post re: Krauts - I meant Krauts were lazier than Mexicans, not narcoleptics are lazier than Krauts.
No reason for poor grammar to make me seem ugly and against narcoleptics.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Here's a good idea

Potentially a bad idea, it depends upon how you feel about:
  1. My writing
  2. The power this next idea will unleash
I'm assuming you're OK with #1. You probably want less bitching about work (I HATES WORK) and more bitching about lady-problems, with more photographs of children and mules.

#2 though - some power shouldn't be in the wrong hands. Some people can't handle it. Old school freight trains had what was called a dead man's switch - basically you have to apply pressure to it the whole time or it will shut off whatever it's attached to. In this example, a locomotive.
You don't want a narcoleptic in charge of the dead man's switch. Your freight will ALWAYS be late because narcoleptics are lazier than Mexicans.
I'm sorry, I meant Krauts.


Here's the idea:
Write ONE blog, publish to multiple places simultaneously.
I might be the last one on this bandwagon. Everyone might already know about this sort of thing.

But I'm going to figure out HOW to do this, and post how.
(ten to one my "How" will be some link to a lifehacker post)

Haven't been writing here lately, I've been working on a wiki. Lots more programming, lots less creativity thrown at other things.
I'll announce it officially here in a few days; most of youse probably already knows about it.

Cool stuff, just around the corner.

Everybody's goin' to the party. . .

. . . have a real good tiiiime . . .

This was what I did this weekend.

Where the fuck were you?
Lamer than me I bet.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

That was easy

Gotta hand it to the big Google, they make doing stuff with their tools pretty damn easy.

The blog's now at blog.goingtharn.com - but www.goingtharn.com gets you there too.
And if you're super-lazy, goingtharn.blogspot.com will still get you there for basically forever. . . until I decide I don't want to host the blog on blogger for some reason.
Probably when I get involved with pornography and piracy.
Maybe both. Pornographic pirates, stealing booty.
But it couldn't be on the goingtharn domain, that makes no sense.
Rabbit pornography, that's what we need here.

Awesome logo idea if I could draw:
Camera shot is behind a slavering wolf, jaws agape and dripping with saliva. He's creeping up on a rabbit that's completely hunched down, eyes wide and doe-like, completely frozen.

That would be freaking AWESOME!

My wife is watching Oprah. They're doing wine tasting.
God help me, I'm actually curious about it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm moving soon

Of course.
As with all things in my illustrious career of writing/blogging, I try and build up an audience and then SPLIT!

For some reason, I decided to buy the domain name www.goingtharn.com because if there's one thing I learned in marketing, it's having a domain name that in no way really identifies YOU to the product is a Great Thing.

Shit, I don't even have any decent jokes about tharn. Or even rabbits, for that matter. I wrote an awesomely great one 3 months ago, but it relies upon the audience knowing what hassenpfeffer is. In my thoroughly unscientific polls, it turned out basically nobody did.
It was on Looney Tunes, for chrissakes.

I'm not sure if the lack of hassenpfeffer knowledge should cause me to lower my opinion about America, but it combined with polls indicating McCain't and Obama are tied are just about pushing me over the edge.

To quote Bill Hicks: "Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever."

Anyway.
www.goingtharn.com is coming soon.
www.johnbarrytech.com is also coming soon, but that's more professional than the bullshit that is here. Naturally there will be many ways to tie the two together, because I like losing job opportunities for my comedy lies.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Going Nuclear

Finally, the wedding's over. Weddings really are like nuclear explosions - lots of research and planning, one giant bash, and then fallout, fallout fallout. It's been an interesting experience. Chances are this is going to be a long-assed blog post about stuff that applies very little to almost nobody. I won't be hurt if you skip it.

Proposing's the easy part

Lesson 1 - proposing was the simple part. Events had outpaced me and I had to do it in a decidedly unromantic way. Jewel parking lot? Check. Ring? No check. Two lovers? Check. So I got 66.6% of it right. But really this all boils down to asking, "will you marry me?" and getting, "of course!" Nothing too special, nothing too hard. If the girl WON'T say yes, then you're in great shape because you never have to learn lesson 2 or beyond.

Weddings are bigger than the couple

Lesson 2 - 95% of the time, the actual wedding couple has very little input into the wedding. We learned very quickly that her mom had been planning Andrea's wedding since she was a little girl. I wouldn't say we were thwarted, per se, but we were certainly railroaded on quite a few things.
Lesson 3 - weddings are fucking expensive. Really fucking expensive. This is twofold - any party for 100+ people is going to be a little pricey, and anybody in the party industry puts on rubber gloves as soon as they hear "wedding" and begin clawing as far up your asshole for cash as they think you're willing to take. Then they claw a little more. Some of the awesome asshole moves we saw: 2 hotels had reserved blocks of rooms for us. They were Very Expensive, partly due to a manufacturing trade show in town beginning the Sunday night after our wedding. We had our doubts, though; the rates were so high they didn't seem realistic, approximately $300 a night. We had friends call in and not tell the hotel they were part of the wedding party, and were quoted rates $100 a night cheaper. Hotels are fucking assholes. They're not the only culprits - the banquet halls we looked at all had exorbitant fees for a variety of things - iPod usage, cake cutting (not using their knives, not using their cake, not using their plates, but it's still a cool hundo to cut the cake even though WE'RE cutting the cake? fuck you too), et cetera. Many of these places also upcharged you if you weren't using their "recommended" provider - different florist than the recommended one? That's an upcharge. Not using Expensive Gasbag Bakery? The cake's an upcharge. Et cetera.
All in all, I'd recommend to anyone planning a wedding to call it a "corporate event" to anyone that you're actually booking, and let them throw a tantrum the day of the ceremony.
(As with all advice in this blog, I didn't try it, I don't know if it would work, and I'm so unprofessional I could spit.)
As an aside - we booked the band Spare Parts. They did NOT upcharge us for a wedding (being cheaper than shitty wedding DJs) and were a totally awesome jazz band. The dancing was very sparse for our reception because they were a jazz band (hard to dance to jazz, who knows the Lindy?!) but the music was a hit and nobody complained.
Lesson 4 - As the groom my main goal was to stay the hell out of the way, but not do so little that I'm accused of not helping. Future grooms, I'd recommend volunteering for website duties, and sign up with Weddings.com to get it pre-made for you with built-in links to the registry and all the checklists associated with wedding planning. This is about the only thing in the world associated with weddings that is actually free. Everyone was very impressed with what we did, even though I had to do basically nothing. Thanks weddings.com! (Hilarious side note - her parents complained about our website domain, x.weddings.com because the plural weddings sounded like we've both been married multiple times. Between that and them telling all of their friends the website was x@weddings.com and to put it in their email browser, I'm surprised anyone found our website at all)

Actually having sex on the wedding night is hard

Way too many people want your time. Way too many people want to buy you drinks. The photographer will never leave you alone. Don't feel bad if you don't have sex that day. We totally did, however, because we're sexy and awesome. Plus I needed to lock that shit down. No anullments for you, woman! It's divorce or staying with me till the bitter end!

Hire a good photographer. They do so much more than take photos, it's amazing

A plug: Ocken Photography - she was my neighbor for a couple years, is a phenomenal photographer, and was a fantastic addition to the wedding. She's at one wedding a week. She knows how it's done, as should any photographer worth their salt. She was a great calming influence on my mother-in-law, and was able to direct the wedding party appropriately and ensure that I didn't see Andrea prior to the ceremony yet still got there in time. She also made sure my brother didn't get shitfaced, oversleep, and miss the ceremony. (and also got photographs of him shitfaced running around outside his house in just his boxers. Which WILL be used as blackmail when he has kids)

Many people will try and fuck up the wedding day

Some people are just sick in the heads. Others just drink too much. Some people have absolutely no filters. Others don't heed the little voices in their head saying, "this is a bad idea." Here's the best part - it's almost impossible to fuck up a wedding. Open bars + music + free dinner = awesome party no matter who says what, shoves what, or craps in what. Let the silly shit that WILL occur just be silly shit.

Accept the fallout

There's always fallout it seems. Either someone makes an awful toast, or some monstrous faux pas occurs that enrages one side of the family, or drunken shenanigans end some other marriage. It's going to happen. We had our share, some of which we're still living. Fortunately, we've got a flood in our basement, cats that are fighting, and the scariest presidential election since 2004 to keep us occupied.
Highlights:
  • My mom thinks the photographs make our family look stupid. That's because our family is stupid, stupid. Can't retouch idiocy!
  • Andrea's friend asked my step-brothers if they were a gay couple
  • Somebody thought they were at a strip club and was shoving dollars into ladies' dresses the entire evening. (He won the Worst Person at the Wedding Award)
  • The condo across from the honeymoon suite was playing porn on a big screen TV all evening. Nothing to do with the wedding, but very amusing to see holes getting crammed from 200 yards. HOW ROMANTIC!
It was an awesome time, and we have about a billion thank-you notes to write. If you weren't invited, I'm sorry. We made tough choices on who to NOT invite, and it boils down to one of three things:
  1. You drink too much
  2. You sweat too much
  3. You have some sort of dirt on us and we couldn't risk your toast
If you WERE invited and didn't make it - too bad suckas. Top shelf booze for free, and you didn't get any.
If you were invited and DID make it - we're eagerly awaiting your apology for attempting to ruin our wedding.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

You WISH I was drunk driving!!

I'm a horrible driver. There's really no two ways to put it - I just don't do it very well. I've had the same car since slightly before I turned 30 and I still don't really know where I am in it.

I use my bumpers like cats use their whiskers, figuring out where I am and whether my head fits through the hole. Ok, that analogy sucked. (but it was better than me bitching about my job so shut up readers)

I've had cars driving by, watching me parallel park, and actually roll down their windows to heckle me. One guy held up traffic, cheering me on (I'd assume ironically) as I shifted from reverse to forward about 45 times. He drove on, cackling. I get out of the car to investigate my handiwork, and my wheels are 3 feet from the curb. I decided I didn't need to be at that engagement party after all, and went home. 

This is why I valet park most of the time. It's also why there might just be a God - the first date I drove Andrea to I had to parallel park, and like a pitcher hitting a home run, I nailed it. I passed it off nonchalantly. "Oh I do this sort of thing all the time, I live in the city!" That lie held up six weeks because I only took her to extremely busy places and pretended the valet was for EXTRA ROMANCE!

About 3 months ago, pulling into my garage for the umpteenth time, I scraped the shit out of the passenger side door on the edge of the garage. It would have been less embarassing to get caught masturbating - there's really no way around the fact that I suck at something I've been doing for 17 years. It's not something you can easily cover up, either; the side of the garage door is bent in ways it wasn't the day prior, and there's brown paint all along the wheel well where the Mitsubishi got intimate with said door.

Naturally, this crappy skill-set causes me to massively overcompensate behind the wheel. I'm hyper-aggressive, drive too fast, and think everyone on the road is Very Bad At Driving. But today, bless his heart, some asshole decided to show me that there ARE people that are worse than me at overcompensating!

It's a rainy day in Chicago. I'm a few minutes late for work. I pull up to the light at Western and Montrose. Western is a pretty standard four lane road, and I'm in the right-most lane. Lo and behold, Brilliant Driver #2 pulls up beside me on my right, in the right-turn lane. BD #2 had a very nice car, and as the cross-light turns yellow, he begins creeping forward to do one of the douchiest moves ever, trying to shoot in front of me, jumping the line. NOT TODAY MOTHER FUCKER!
I shoot forward too. He starts to cut over, I stare him down, pedal to the floor. He glances at the side of my car, and there's this moment of utter clarity where he sees all the damage down the side of my car, and realizes he is Custer to my Little Big Horn.

Because I don't care. . . he hits me and the damage I was too embarassed to report to the insurance company is covered up in wonderful "I'm not at fault" sideswipes.

Thank you, Bad Driver #2, for making Bad Driver #1 a winner this morning.
It almost makes up for the Cubs falling apart slightly ahead of schedule.

Also, this is unrelated, but we've totally got The King in our wedding music.
"I like you, Clarence. Always have. Always will."