A Chicagoan’s Bostonian Tick – Thursday July 31

117610830_84b5c99564I am not from Massachusetts.  I went to college there, but I didn’t grow up there.


Sometimes I use the word “wicked” as in: wicked cool, wicked fat, wicked mean, wicked wicked (if I’m talking about Dick Cheney for instance) and this habit can confuse people.  Some demand to know if I am from Boston or if I’m imitating Boston people and if not what is the explanation for me using wicked?  People get pretty confrontational about this word, which apparently is so identified with Boston that a non-Bostonian better have a good explanation for daring to use it.


So I have decide to explain why I slip a wicked in here are there.  It’s a two part explanation, and I hope it dispels any notions of poseur-ness or douchey-ness on my part.


1. My best friend is from Massachusetts, was born in Massachusetts, and is apologetically full of Mass pride.  The BF, like me, is an avid reader and wordsmith.  Although the BF puts me to shame with one of the juiciest, most powerful brains I’ve ever had the privilege to see in action.  So when I’m really missing the BF, I like to use “wicked” as an homage. I usually use it at least once a day.


2. People keep telling me I use the word F*CK too much, especially as an adjective, verb, adverb, and filler (instead of “um” or “er).  Wicked is a satisfactory substitute.


So there you have it.  It’s nothing to be alarmed about or feel threatened by.  It’s not like I’m saying “lift” for “elevator” or “loo” for “pooper”.

Waxing Philosophical – Wednesday July 29

Dear Poor Lucky Me,
I just read a story about the head of a national sorority that is being thrown out because she was wasting funds including but not limited to; commissioning a $900,000 wax statue of herself, a 46” TV and a gym membership.


What is this lady thinking? Why do wax statues cost so much? I remember buying sets of wax candy lips at 12 for a dozen!


With Affection,


Dear Intrigued,


All I know is if a wax figure of yourself is the best idea you’ve got for spending 900k of misappropriated funds, you should probably be locked up for the rest of your life for the good of society.


I would at least make myself look really fit and sexy if I was going to have a statue made of myself.  Upon close inspection, the wax figure looks fatter than the real life lady!  Maybe she should have used that gym equipment for a few months before commissioning the statue.


And wax?  At least have that thing made of marble for god’s sake.  It’s an outrage.  I have to assume this woman is extremely mentally ill.  You can buy a Bentley for less that $900,000.


If you are going to be a sleazy criminal, you should at least buy stuff that doesn’t make people mock you when you get caught.  Remember when the story broke that Ken Lay had purchased a $15,000 umbrella stand?  Actually I’ve got to say that a 15k umbrella stand looks like a home for orphans compared to a wax fat lady figurine.


Maybe these are things that people buy when they’ve run out of things that they really want, but still want a thrill from spending dirty money.  I guess I would buy a nacho machine and an ice cream cake machine.  I would also buy several horses of normal, pony, and miniature size.  The miniature ones wear little sneakers and can come into your house.  All combined that list has to be less than a wax statue.


I think the statue costs so much because only a mentally deficient person would buy it, so the artist knows it’s cool to jack up the price.



Poor Lucky Me

What’s Next – Tuesday July 28

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I don’t get what I’m supposed to do anymore.  Are we all supposed to plod along- work, eat, get drunk, sleep, work, eat, get drunk, sleep until we retire?  Is retirement the goal or am I missing something?


I guess I feel like I’m seriously not getting the point of having an average life.  I don’t mean average in a bad way, just you know- normal.


Maybe I’m Just Depressed


Dear Maybe,


The problem is that most people think they are supposed to be insanely happy all the time.  They look at their friends and co-workers and think that they are gloriously happy, they read about celebrities and heiresses and think that they are mad with joy.  But that’s just not the case.


I’m pretty sure that a general feeling of dissatisfaction or angst is part of our evolutionary advantage.  My dog seems ridiculously happy all the time, but when was the last time you heard about a dog exploring space or toying with the theory of relativity?  I can’t even get my dog to follow a recipe and cook me dinner for god’s sake.


Without the very normal human feeling that you are missing out on something, you wouldn’t be driven to try new things.


Sometimes I feel like there is hole in me.  I think it’s in my stomach, behind my gut.  Sometimes it feels so big I think I can hear a breeze blowing through it.


I used to try and fill it up with cigarettes and booze and tacos and Red Bull.  Then later I tried exercise, reading, writing, more tacos, soy milk, and Butterfingers.  Nothing worked.  I ended up fat and sleepless but with a lot of muscles from working out.  Then yesterday I decided to think of the hole like an engine.  Right now it’s like the engine in a hand held fan.  It’s going to push me off the couch and around my apartment until I am inspired to start something.  Maybe eventually the motor will get bigger and it will propel me to finish things.


In the meantime, I’m just going to be grateful for the small happinesses in my life.  And try to teach my dog to at least use the remote control so she can watch what she wants on TV without bothering me every two minutes to change the channel.  She has no attention span.


Poor Lucky Me

Dear Readers,

How long do you listen to people talk about horoscopes, religion, numerology, etc before you stop them and tell them you think it’s b.s?


Poor Lucky Me

I’ll Show You What’s New – Monday July 27

2948062648_79be272433 My idea is for everyone to stop saying “What’s new”.  This is to include clever variations like “How’s your summer going” “How are things” and “How’s it hanging”.


There are several problems with this line of opening dialog. First of all, it’s a very confrontational way of socializing. The other person is forced to come up with something clever to say and carry the conversation that you insisted on starting in the first place. Maybe if you had just said hello, you and the other person could have just stood quietly, sipping your drinks and enjoying each others quiet company. Instead, you tackled their knees and stuffed the conversational ball in their mouth.


Second of all, if you are the kind of person who uses the “What’s new” opener you are probably also the kind of person who doesn’t a) really listen to the answer and b) doens’t have anything to say when you get asked the same question. The person will answer with a three minute story about their father getting cancer or their kid winning a science fair, then ask you what’s new and you’ll reply “Oh nothing really”.  You probably resent the person’s good news and feel burdened if they tell you bad news.  That’s assuming you listened past the first three words.


Sometimes when people ask me “What’s new?” I reply “Oh thank god you asked.  I woke up about a month ago with a swollen glad in my groin.  I didn’t think anything of it until about 10 days later, when a huge boil popped up on the back of my leg.  Have you ever seen a really huge boil? No? Well I can assure you it’s not pretty.  (Ugh thanks again for asking I really needed to get this off my chest.)  So, the boil.  I go to the doctor and get into this big confrontation with the receptionist because I don’t want to give my social security number out just so I can get a boil lanced for crap’s sake.  So I’m there yelling at the receptionist, she’s make thinly veiled threats that she’s going to have me thrown out and finally the doctor comes out saying “What the hell is going on here?” so I have to act like it was all a big joke in the first place because I’ve got to get this boil lanced and I don’t want to him to think that it’d be dangerous to have me near a scalpel…” Then I look at the person who by now will either have glazed over eyes or a look of horror on their face.  I’ll say “But I don’t mean to go on and on.  What’s new with you?”


From now on, consider starting conversations like this: “Hey there, nice to see you!”  Then just wait a few moments.  If the other person is struggling to make conversation, have a few topics ready (see: At A Loss For Words).  Then you you can freely criticize people who haven’t gotten the memo.

You Break It You Buy It- Friday July 24

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


Some friends of mine have a beautiful three week old baby boy.  I purchased a small baby gift and card, then sent them an email to inquire about a convenient time to drop off the gift.  I did not want to show up unannounced nor make them feel obligated to entertain me, hence “drop off the gift.”


A few days later, my friends called and invited me over to see the baby and have a glass of wine.  The baby is beautiful.  The parents were beaming and the wine was delicious.  We had snacks, toured the nursery, and pet their dog. Everything was great.


After a half hour or so I hinted that I should be leaving.  The father then asked me “Would you like to hold the baby?” to which I politely declined.  My thinking was that I probably shouldn’t be holding a newborn after a few glasses of wine and because my hands had been petting their dog.


Was I being rude? Should I have said yes, washed my hands and held the child? Am I over thinking the entire episode?


Dual Income No Kids


Dear D.I.N.K.,


Let me assure you that you did the right thing.  You should not hold anything if you don’t feel 100% confident about not dropping it. Would you hold a wedding cake under the same circumstances?  Probably not.  And I would imagine that people would be even more mad if you dropped their baby.


I’ve been known to drop stuff when I’m dead sober and just standing somewhere, doing nothing.  I don’t need the excuse of a few glasses of wine and some stimulating conversation to just drop stuff.  Sometimes you have to make the right decision, even if it seems out of sync with social niceties.  In the end, you’re the one who’s going to feel embarrassed if you drop the wedding cake/baby.


Also you probably have over thought this, but I understand that too.  It sucks to feel like you’ve offended people or like they don’t understand that you were trying to be polite.  Why don’t you write them a short note: “Looking forward to holding your beautiful baby when I’m sober!”  That should do the trick.


Poor Lucky Me

But Butt Buttt – Thursday July 23

2574285916_93fff1e4acI would like to take this opportunity to make an important announcement:


I will no longer politely look away when I see an exposed butt crack.  In fact, I am going to tap people on the should and say with a friendly smile “excuse me but I can see your butt crack”.  I know that the offenders can feel the sunshine and breeze brush past their coin slot and must thus conclude that they are forcing me to look.  I don’t want to look.  Unless it’s the butt crack of a famous person.  Then I want to look and take a picture and consider selling it to the National Enquirer.


Also of note: more and more people seem to have an extra long butt crack.  Assuming it starts at the usual place, it runs all the way up their bottem, bursts out of the back of their jeans and reaches almost to the small of their back.  What is the cause of this?  Can I still be offended or is this a dire medical condition.  I guess I have no choice: I’ll have to ask the next owner of a gigantic butt crack that I see.


At A Loss For Words – Wednesday July 22

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


Can you suggest some interesting topics to discuss at cocktail parties? I’m rather shy and often myself standing around with nothing to say. Inevitably I get stuck in some awful conversation about people’s children because I don’t have any material to change the subject.


A few bullet points would really come in handy.


With Great Affection,



Dear Speechless,


As a semi-professional party goer, I can advise you on conversation techniques and topics with authority.  The trick is to find things that you can bring up and give other guests an opportunity to take the topic and run with it. 


You can interject with a few witticisms, but the pressure is off to stand around telling jokes all night.  Here’s are some subjects that I’ve had a lot of success with lately:


-Oprah sucks


-Pornography is so much more violent than it used to be.


-Recycling is just a scam perpetrated by the waste corporations to get free materials to make more garbage, and everyone knows it.


-Why do we enthusiastically eat pigs and cows but not dogs?  If you could teach a cow or a pig a few tricks would you still think they were delicious?


-Reality TV is really good for society, and is a useful way to discover talented people.  Like Spencer Pratt.


-Bernie Madoff is probably a really nice guy and is just misunderstood.


If you can use these topics and come up with a few of your own, you’ll never be bored at a party again.  You may not get invited back to people’s homes if you say Oprah sucks, but can’t your social life be a bit of a burden anyway?



Poor Lucky Me

Poor Lucky Me The Movie- Tuesday July 21

mv5bmtg4ndq1mzkzn15bml5banbnxkftztywmtkwotu3_v1_cr1080433433_ss80_I’m pretty sure some one will soon be approaching me to make a movie version of my life, and I want to be prepared.  I don’t want to lose creative control so I thought I’d get some things down on paper now.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:


Director: Wes Anderson


Playing the Part of Poor Lucky Me: Enzo- the dog from Frasier.  I think he’s got the right amount of intellectualism, playfulness, and sensitivity to carry the main role.  I’ve heard he has great handwriting too.


The Roommate
: Bobcat Goldthwait.  He co-starred in Hot to Trot so we know he’s great alongside animal actors.  I also really respect the Police Academy work he did.


My Dad: Judge Joe Brown.  The Judge is unapologetic, energetic, and delightfully urban.  I assume he’s a great actor.


My Mom: Abigail Beslin.  She’s such a powerful actor.  I also like how versatile her look is- did you know that she wore a fat suit in Little Miss Sunshine?


My Oldest Brother: John C Reilley.  He’s sensitive and sweet, and is still somehow the best F-word dropper in Hollywood as far as I’m concerned.


My Middle Brother: Paul Ruebens.  I respect that he sees pornos in the theater- I think that says a lot about a person.


That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far.  Suggestions are welcomed.

The Diversity of Douche Bags – Monday July 20

Dear Poor Lucky Me


I just saw a Gillette ad in a magazine that shows Tiger Woods balancing a Gillette razor on his finger.


Is it racist to think Tiger Woods is a douche bag?




Dear Unsure,


I commend your sensitivity and desire to explore your reactions to different images in the media. You may rest easy knowing that douche-baggery spans all races and religions.


I don’t exactly know what Tiger Wood’s problem is- I would think that dominating the entire sport of golf would provide him with plenty of self-esteem, money, and attention. Apparently, the glory is not enough to keep him from being a spokesperson for tons of stupid crap.


I can’t relate since every time I manage to put a stamp on an envelope and mail it I go out for a celebratory dinner. One time I found a clean pair of jeans in my drawer and took the day off from work as a reward. If I won any kind of accolades in any sport I would probably immediately retire and eat and drink until I qualified for bariatric living products. I certainly wouldn’t spend my free time hawking watches and minivans.


I have a weird feeling that Tiger Woods isn’t a real person. Sometimes he looks like a robot or a computer generated composite of what a wholesome athlete/celebrity should look like. How DOES he balance that razor on his finger? I’ve only seen magicians pull stuff like that off. Maybe he’s not a douche bag at all, maybe he’s wizard.


Poor Lucky Me

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