as mentioned before on this blog, justin smith is visiting us for an extended period of time (truth be told, he's squatting in our sunroom for the better part of the next two months, but now's not the time). important things to know about justin:
1) he's a mormon-staightedge kid 1a) meaning he has never drank any alcohol before 2) we have a lot cheap, left over alcohol from our party 4 weeks ago that we have not drank because none of us drink hard alcohol 3) justin began this* evening stating "you know, i think i'm going to go out in the desert and get drunk sometime by myself." 4) justin made fun of me earlier this evening, and now i'm getting back at him
okay, so after justin made his desert comment, both mike and i told him that only alcoholics drink by themselves, and if he wanted to drink, he should do it with friends in a safe environment. somehow in justin's mind, this got turned into, "i'm going to do some vodka shots right now." here we go. after two shots of vodka, justin (who as noted earlier in the evening acts like normal people do while drunk when he is sober) sits down to play dr. mario on the nintendo. at this point both mike and i are pretty sure that this little experiment has tired itself out and hope that justin will be asleep soon (because, quite frankly, he's getting a little obnoxious). wrong, justin then proceeds to grab his skateboard and run downstairs and outside where he "skateboards" for no more than 3 minutes before ringing the bell to be let back in the apartment. next, as andy, (who has returned home from work in the midst of all of this) mike and i play more dr. mario, justin takes his third shot of vodka. after some more running around and yelling, andy agrees to take justin to dunkin' donuts (the only eating establishment open in hyde park at this hour) and off they go. look to andy's page for the continuation of this story as he sees fit.
[to be fair to justin, most of the actions that i am attributing to vodka were him just pretending to be more drunk than he was. but it makes for a better story if you forget about that part]
*at this exact point in the blogging, i had to physically wrestle the controls of this keyboard away from justin who was screaming, "NO BLOGGING ABOUT ME."
Monday, April 28, 2003
Posted 4:39:12 PM by Ben
andy and i are driving around the world! i shit you not, according to the discovery channel (and let's face it, is there a more trust worthy news source?) the plans are being made to build a bridge across the bering strait, connecting russia and alaska and opening up the world up to trans-oceanic-ground travel. since lyndon larouche began advocating this idea years ago, andy and i made a solemn pact that if (nay, when) they build this bridge, we're going to drive around the world. come on, what's cooler than driving around the fucking world? last night, mike pointed out that we should drive from "nova scotia to scotia." here is the approximate route:
i have all sorts of great ideas for the trip. we could bring along video cameras and turn the whole thing into a documentary, or maybe we could pick people up along the way in each country, ending in a giant party in scotia (scotland). i can't wait til the land bridge is done and we can re-trace the steps of early man venturing into north america.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Posted 2:53:45 PM by Ben
i fail to understand weather in the midwest. last night i went to the sox/twins game and froze my ass off in the upper deck. today it's 75 degrees and sunny. i guess you have to take the good with the bad.
tomorrow begins the 5th week of school, meaning that i have 6 more weeks til summer break. it's also the time that everyone else is gearing up for finals and it is impossible to focus on anything school related (not that i have been doing that much focusing at any point this quarter). regardless, the end of this year is going to be brutal. point of fact, this afternoon is going to be filled with a little whiffle ball and probably not much else.
i've been having numerous semi-lucid dream latley. last night i was dreaming that i left our apartment and began walking down the street when i realized how damn tired i was. i then turned around and headed home, determined to get back in bed. to make a long story short, i somehow knew that i had to get back into bed, and as soon as i hit my dream bed, i woke up in my real bed. strange.
this morning, andy exhibited more of his relationship savvy. the conversation went something like this:
me: how do you know that she's been with him? andy: come on. if you've ever watched the two of them in class, it's
clear that they've slept together me: oh, okay, i'm glad that you have proof, i thought you were just speculating andy: yeah
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Posted 4:14:18 PM by Ben
so, it's no secret that i don't eat meat. i have been a vegetarian for 4.5, and most times i do agree with PETA, even though they go overboard sometimes. but this is really stupid. they want to change the name of "hamburg" n.y. to "veggieburg." what does a stunt like this do but make the whole organization look like a bunch of fools. no wonder they get laughed at so much.
thus should be the title of my last two days. i'm somehow slipped into the habit of not eating all day and then gorging myself to make up for it. that's healthy, right? yesterday mike, andy and i went to a 24-hour mexican restaurant in logan square. as is customary in chicago, we ordered big ol' burrito’s for very cheap. for some reason, my burrito was a good 25% larger than mike/andy's, but i went to work and enjoyed it thoroughly. that was the only thing i had eaten yesterday. then, this morning/afternoon, andy, evelyn, margaret, aaron and i (a real fucking blogger party, let me tell you) all went to the pancake house for breakfast. at this point i had again not eaten since dinner the night before and so i saw no reason i shouldn't be able to eat a 4 egg mushroom omelet with a side of three pancakes. sitting here at usite now, i think i may fall asleep at the desk. good thing no one here would care.
in other, non-eating related news, the only plans i have for the rest of the weekend are two twins games at comisky. they says it's going to be warm tomorrow (in the 70's). rock.
Friday, April 25, 2003
Posted 2:08:49 AM by Ben
in the interests of adding more action to this page, here are some picture of the "and you will know us by the trail of dead" show at the metro tonight. AYWKUBTTOD put on a decent show, even if the crowd was composed of: 1)numerous 16 year-olds hell bent on moshing 2) frat guys and 3) young balding men who would not stop stoking their (his) bald head right in front of me all night (well, maybe just one of those). as is customary at their shows, AYWKUBTTOD smashed a bunch of their equipment at the end of the show (or at least threw it around the stage) and then walked off. i don't know, rock stars smashing things on stage just doesn't do it for me anymore. i must admit, though, jumping off a sideways bass drum into the crowd was a pretty punk move. the pictures are a little blurry because we were up in the balcony and the place was dark, but whatcha gonna do?
i can't stand when people don't pull over for a fire engine or ambulance speeding down the street. where is it that you are going that is so fucking important that you can't pull over and let a fire engine do its thing? the worst was last week when i saw a guy walk out into the road in front of a ambulance and forced it to slow down. doesn't anyone understand the rules anymore?
is it not hideously annoying when people in class purposefully change the way they speak to impress the teacher? pronouncing the phrase "twenty-twenty" accentuating all the letters, especially the n. fuck you.
on the subject of class, this girl the other day made a comment that almost knocked me out of my chair. she said, "i attended a 'less elite' university for my undergraduate and some people went to public high school." weird weird people at this school.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Posted 12:52:17 AM by Ben
perhaps one of the best away messages i have ever seen, becasue there is no joke involved. this is what he was doing this morning.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Posted 9:47:33 PM by Ben
today is, thanks to wisconsin native gaylord nelson, earthday. i must admit the only thing that i did today in celebration was partake in some free soy ice cream that the environmentalist group on campus was giving out. today is also, tuesday, which means, i work from 8-11, which means:
a) i have helped exactly one person tonight because the lab is dead b) i have done zero homework because i had class today and i have gotten to the point where i can't both go to class AND do homework in the same day. i'm pathetic. c) i finally had a chance to put come pictures of south africa on this page (see below) and i'm now in a profoundly sorrow mood, missing both being in cape town and the people i met there.
Posted 9:01:31 PM by Ben
so, at long last, here are some more pictures from my time in south africa. in response to jeff's complaint about inane weblogs, i agree in part and personally find pictures perhaps the most interesting part of these little narcissistic endeavors that we are undertaking. anyway, here's the goods:
this was the first picture that i took (we'll, lindsay actually took it) of my trip. it is, very simply, me packing for my trip. it took forever to pare down my stuff to the "essentials." still, i took too much shit. the next pic is the view out my window in cape town.
a look inside a old jail in jo'burg where numerous political prisoners were held up until the mid 80's.last is shawn standing near our ill-fated elwierda bus, or as we liked to all is, "El Weirda."
an anti-war rally that i went to in cape town. people all around the world really do hate this stupid war. another view of cape town, this time from half-way up table mountain.
this first pic is as one of the strangest places i visited in south africa, a monument to the africaaner victory over the zulu people at the "battle of blood river." notice the violence glorified in the freieze. it would be analogous to a monument celebrating wounded knee. next is me standing at cape point (i'm such a geography nerd, i couldn't resist).
two more. the first is my favorite picture from south africa and the one that i'm convinced will win the u of c study abroad photo contest. this last is of my entire program. the quality is a little shitty because i had to crop it way in because the guy who took the picture forgot to zoom. it was one of our last nights in cape town. we all went to the beach, watched the sun go down and drank champaign. man, i miss south africa.
Monday, April 21, 2003
Posted 3:35:32 PM by Ben
i almost forgot, but justin milo smith is in town and living at our apartment indefinitely. justin attended school here last year, had a good ol' time (as best as i can tell) and then was completely fucked by the financial aid department to the point where he could not afford to return this year. well, after a 29 hour bus ride from salt lake city, justin is back. i must say it's good to see him, although it was a bit of a surprise to find him sitting on our couch as i stumbled through the door this morning on my way back from florida (at that point i had been traveling for the better part of 9 hours and was needless to say, a little out of it). depending on how his plans take him, justin may be subletting my room in our new apartment when i take off for the twin cities for the summer. we'll see.
Posted 3:02:17 PM by Ben
does anyone know where is should work this summer in the minneapolis/st paul area? i need a job in a bad way.
this thought just tempted me to create a pressing needs list (this is something that mike and andy came up with based on some wacky christian literature that was sent to us that said that all one needs to do is make a needs list, put it in a special envelope, and possibly send some money somewhere and then jesus will answer all your needs. i'm not doing this pamphlet justice, because the way i describe it sounds almost sane, but believe me, it is not). so here are my first attempts at the list. i'll make note when these needs are actualized.
pressing needs 4-21-03:
1. a job for the summer in the twin cities 2. sunshine 3. the ability to focus on things for more than 27 seconds 4. food (we really need to go grocery shopping) 5. the twins to be good again 6. lindsay 7. andy to turn 21 so he'll stop his whining 8. the printers at USITE to actually work correctly (just for one fucking day) 9. a nice afternoon suitable for playing baseball (this differs from #2 because this requires both the weather, the time and many available persons for playing baseball with) 10. peace (whatever that means)
first, let's clear a few things up. yesterday i made the statement to a few people that went something like this: "you know, it's not really that great going to florida. i'm just going to see my family. it's sort of like visiting your uncle in ohio, just farther." wrong. while florida does not have the same allure for me as the thousands of college kids that flock down here every year to get drunk and show their breasts on "girls gone wild videos" it's still very different from the midwest. the weather is warm (it was 38 and raining when i left chicago, 78 when i landed in miami at 8:30pm) and the people all look vaguely tanned (or cuban). anyway, it's good to be out of chicago for a few days, even if south florida is one of the strangest places on earth. every thing is so new here. all the buildings, all the cars, all the roads and city infrastructure. the only thing that is not new here are the people. i'm curious to see south florida in 30 years. are they going to have to tear down everything and build more new stuff? absolutely no history here.
next, i was watching tv tonight and stumbled across a penn and teller special on showtime. "they do magic, this could be good" i thought. wrong again. the whole show was dedicated to penn (or teller, which ever one talks) lambasting the environmentalist movement, talking about how things really aren't that bad and that all the people working to end deforestation and the like are doing more harm than good. listen, we already have most of the planet either actively or passively destroying all things natural, do we really need some damn magician with a long ponytail spreading the dick cheny party line! fuck him. i was so pissed off after watching five minutes of his show that i had to calm down watching college baseball for a few seconds on espn. that was good (very benign, nothing that i cared about at all, just the sound of metal baseball bats) but then "highlights" of the twins game came on and the rest of my evening was ruined. 11-4. come on! letting up 5 home runs is just terrible. I hate the yankees almost as much as I hate…well, you fill in the blank (it’ll be like madlibs). i had to go to bed after that (and of course by go to bed i meant come in here and type things on the internet). now i'm really going to bed.
i'll be sure to say hi to the ocean tomorrow for you.
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Posted 10:55:03 PM by Ben
so, my mom, dad and sister are spending today and tomorrow driving down to florida to visit family. instead of spending two days trapped in the car, i am flying down there tomorrow, spending the weekend, and then flying back monday morning (not that i have to be back for anything since i don't have class on mondays). i'm such a fucking jet setter. thank you priceline.com. so, tomorrow i leave o'hare at 1:30, fly to washington dc, sit there for an hour and then fly down to miami (for all of you geography fan's, yes, it's very much an inefficient route). it's gonna be a long, long day. i'll be back monday morning just in time to make it to work at noon.
going to the cove tonight for the first time. poor poor marty, he's keeping kosher for passover and can't drink beer (grain). luckily, we convinced him that he can still drink potato vodka (no grain).
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Posted 4:17:45 PM by Ben
we really need to go grocery shopping. we are out of bread, out of juice, out of cheese, out of eggs and out of everything else you can think of (except mustard. as lindsay found this weekend, we have 6 - count 'em, 6 - containers of mustard in our fridge. i don't even like mustard. we are also out of milk, except for the milk that expired on march 25th that martin drank the other night and sent his bowels into a night of commotion. the best part was marty didn't even realize what had happened until lindsay put it together (what would we do without you lindsay?). his only comment the next day was, "man, i must be getting sick." come on marty. isn't sort of an axiom of our modern age that you check the date on dairy products before you ingest them for fear that they may be rancid.
here at usite, the turnstile that people normally swipe there cards into is broken forcing me to turn and look at people's id's as they walk through, faking an expression that will make me look like i care (sarah, if you're reading this, ignore that comment).
other highlights of yesterday was when i went to the bank to check balance on my chicago account, you know, just to see how things were going with the account i have not looked at since cape town. $.78. yep, that's not 78 dollars, that's 78 cents. damn damn damn. good thing that i get paid tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Posted 9:13:52 PM by Ben
wow, study abroad hits you in strange ways. it turns out that my friend jeff is going to south africa next year through american university. i went to the website for his program and i am now intensely jealous of him. just looking at those pictures, of people i don't know standing in exactly the same places that i did, makes me feel so nostalgic i can feel it down in my shins. i want to go back so much all of a sudden. i have not felt like this in the month i have been in the us. man oh man.
Posted 8:42:50 PM by Ben
all right andy. this footnoting thing has got to stop. it was funny for a while, but it really has gotten out of hand. if you don't know, andy has stepped up the use of footnotes in his blog to a preposterous level. today, as i read his page, i feel like i'm reading a journal article out of a magazine or a piece of 19th century philosophy. just write what you have to say in one clear, linear pattern. (i'll admit, much of this tirade has been sparked by andy's incessant milwaukee bashing.)
Posted 8:14:28 PM by Ben
as andy said today, "the hyde park blogs are really starting to suck." followed by his comment directly to me, "your page is beginning not to suck. keep it up." thanks andy. but he's correct. in lieu of writing anything substantial, here's a smorgasbord of pictures. a veritable cornucopia of images (alright, it's just a few random pictures taken with my camera).
these first two are from our party last week. the first (left) is lindsay knight. i put this in here mostly to contrast keith (middle) who -as always - is punk as fuck (as rebecca said, keith can't be around a digital camera without striking that pose). the last picture is lindsay out celebrating her 21st birthday with yours truly.
next we have yet another picture of mike and emily engaged in some sort of bread fighting situation. next to that is tim harrington of les savy fav performing last week and the empty bottle. good show.
finally, a picture of aaron that i snapped today for no particular reason and another picture of tim harrington, this time wearing a "ski mask" over his head (and i use that term loosely. it was actually more of a sock that he cut holes in with his knife while wearing). this is all for now.
Monday, April 14, 2003
Posted 10:26:09 AM by Ben
yesterday when lindsay and i were downtown, i received a $50.00 parking ticket for an expired meter (since when do you get tickets on sundays?). anyway, for fun i thought i'd outline my current record of "paying money to the government for stupid things" (i need to work on the name):
*04-13-03: $050.00 - parking at an expired meter
*11-22-02: $050.00 - parking in a "no parking" zone even though i NEVER saw the ticket and the bill arrived 5 months later!
*11-16-02: $189.80 - going 77 in a 55
*08-26-02: $225.00 - underage drinking in a state park
*12-23-01: $153.00 - driving too fast while going to buy a christmas present for my mother
*09-??-00: $025.00 - parking in the wrong direction on the correct side of the street
*08-??-00: $125.00 - "speeding" in lindsay's little red car in a speed trap in central wisconsin
GRAND TOTAL: $817.80
Posted 9:47:23 AM by Ben
thanks to popular demand (you know who you are), i have decided not to dump this web page into the void, but rather to keep it going. the lack of posts this weekend were due to the fact that lindsay came to visit me this weekend and updating this page didn't seem like high on the priority list* - although she did find time to narrate most of our weekend on her page - but now that she is gone i'm back to procrastinating.
i woke up "early" this morning to try and get a move on but it doesn't seem to be happening. damn internet. the plan for the day goes like this:
--waste the rest of the morning around here and maybe get to some reading done (the fact that i only have tuesday/thursday classes and have not done any reading in almost a week is now biting me in the ass. oh well)
--eat lunch, although we have almost no food in the apartment.
--work at USITE from noon-5, which should consist of 12 minutes of actual work, 55 minutes of school work and the rest of the time me trying to get down to business. so it goes.
--"work" at a prospie fair (visiting, "prospective" student) for doc and try to sound like i know what i'm talking about. the whole evening will probably consist of me trying to convince the kids not to come to this school. we'll see what kind of mood i'm in tonight.
--go grocery shopping
--waste the rest of the night and hopefully make it into bed before 2am
*this will be the LAST apologetic comment ever written in relation to the content on this page. from here on out, just assume i recognize the faults.
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Posted 1:19:04 PM by Ben
as i was getting ready to go to work this morning, the phone rings (always an exciting experience) and the woman on the line replies to my polite "hello" with, "um. is this that steak burrito place?"
Posted 11:53:43 AM by Ben
to all in hyde park: WE NEED A NEW APARTMENT. if you or anyone you know lives in a 3-4 bedroom apartment and are going to be vacating at the end of this school year, please e-mail me. andy, mike and i are looking for a new place and figure if anyone is leaving a good place maybe we can take their lease. also, if anyone knows of any good independently run buildings, let us know. we don't want to live in k&g again, but may be forced to. thanks.
Monday, April 07, 2003
Posted 12:39:31 AM by Ben
i must say, my motivation to maintain this page is waning. since the beginning, the primary focus of this page has been to communicate over seas; either with lindsay when she was in spain first semester of with the rest of the world when i was in south africa all winter. now that all the people i care about are in the same general vicinity, it's hard to find a compelling reason to write about the day to day events of my mostly boring (but not necessarily boring) life. we'll see how it goes.
Friday, April 04, 2003
Posted 1:29:41 AM by Ben
so, at long last, my girlfriend - lindsay - has succumbed to the subtle internet pressure and has a blog of her very own. in all fairness (as marty would say) she had a great blog when she was in spain that inspired/motivated me to start this one. huzzah, i say.
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Posted 8:08:51 PM by Ben
well, it's time to begin the weekend. what's that you say? it's only thursday? well, since i am now totally unable concentrate on any one thing for very long, i am only taking classes on tuesday and thursday and have a four day weekend. every weekend. mike and andy warn that this could lead to some serious trouble, ie. sleeping until 2 on fridays and completely wasting the day. i accept that challenge. and if i loose, at least i'll get good and caught up on sleep this quarter. in other news, i now hold in my possession* tickets to both the white sox home opener tomorrow against the tigers and a les savy fav show next week tuesday. the former being my first baseball game of the season and the later being my first concert at the elusive empty bottle now that i am 21.
last night mike, andy, marty and i went to the gym and played basketball for the better part of one and one half hours. i would love to have footage of the ridiculous performance that we put on. andy, who is a good 6 inches taller than any of us couldn't hit a lay up to sav his life and the rest of us...well, i won't even comment on the "defense." still, damn good times. reminded me of being back in 9th grade playing basketball in my friend dan's back yard. in one year i think i broke the clothes line, the garage door window and dan's father's nose. those were the days.
*in this modern, digital world that we live in, possession meaning that somewhere out there in cyberspace my name is on some list that will eventually get me in the door.
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Posted 1:58:56 PM by Ben
i went to africa and have come back completely unable to focus on anything. the harder i try the more distracted i become. things could get ugly this quarter. i have found myself having to get up and go do other tasks in the middle of writing short e-mails to people because i can't sit in one place for too long. trouble. yusra claims she went through a similar thing when she came back from india and it has taken her 11 weeks to finally gain control again. on the plus side, i finally made it to classes today and it looks like everything is going to work out well. i'm working towards the impossible dream: three classes tuesday/thursday, work only during the days monday and wednesday and have Friday thru sunday and every night to do with as i please. here's hoping.