Monthly Archives: July 2002

High Speed Net Whew!

I think it is my upbringing to always be suspicious of things that appear too good to be true – or to at least be a little en garde (on guard?) when life seems to work out perfectly for long stretches of time. Such was when I started worrying that this wonderful new apartment I’d just signed the lease for didn’t have access to high speed internet. I hemmed. I hawed. I drove Ron nuts fretting about it. And then today I started calling – I was up at 6 am this morning looking at all the websites of all the local DSL/cable modem carriers and furiously typing in my future address seeing if they could service my building. I am under 7,000 feet from the closest hub so that was a good sign. I called RCN – which I figured was a lost cause since the building was mostly sericed by AT&T Broadband for cable. Damte! But I called Ameritech and set up the phone service change – I’m even gettin’ a new phone number! And then I sweated as the customer service chickee checked for DSL in my building and lo and behold – yes, yes a thousand times yes – I could get high speed net access in my building. Whew! With all of these teleclasses and stuff that I’m building it is absolutely imperative that I have a high speed net connection – especially when I’m webcasting my desktop.

A world outside of my current corporate k-hole became closer to reality today – I went and reserved classroom space at a local community center for my Artists Way workshops – I am going to do two sessions in person and two in teleclass. I start online and in print promotion next week – I hope hope hope people go for it. I can’t wait to resign – somedays I can just taste it – though, I think that maybe I should ask about going part-time or some kind of arrangement like that. Is that a cop-out? I think it really depends on what kinds of benefits I could retain if I went part-time. My income would probably not change.

Got a web design proposal in to a client and I need to call all of my coaching leads – it is funny – I loathe picking up the phone and doing this kind of stuff – but I always try to rememebr how good a forward movement – of any magnitude – feels. Just an inch towards The Prize is a great thing – it builds up inertia.

The Ikea lamp went away today – and two gals came to look at the futon and might be coming back to take it. Trying to get rid of all of the furniture that I can before the big move – and going to be taking a trip to the home-land to throw some boxes of books in mom and dad’s basement. Hopefully Ron will be able to come down and he can meet mom and dad – I think a one-night over visit is a good first step to getting him introduced to the parentals. I think they’ll love him – he’s passed scrutiny with the friends and my sister so I think they’ll like him a lot.

Ron and I got bored end of last week and I started off just trimming his hair with my hair trimmers and then that turned into shaving it all as a 2. And then a 1. Well, today he decided he wanted it shorter so while I made our lunch after working out, he shaved it down to a zero. I think he likes it because he looks sorta ex-military – it does make him look a little edgy. Plus, he’s a got a nice round head with no dents.

Did anyone catch this week’s

Did anyone catch this week’s Crank Yankers? I’ve started watching the show lately after South Park. It’s getting funnier each episode. They have this puppet/character called Spoonie Luv that calls in a Village Voice personals ad. Wish I had the transcript – it was hysterical. He was looking for a lezady that wouldn’t mind gettin’ toe up. ‘Must have back.’ or ‘a bonk-de-bonk butt.’ So funny.

Hell yeah!

From: Andy
To: Karen, Brigitte, Heather
Subject: I got the apartment!

I’m moving to Wellington and Halsted!


Thinkin’ of a Few Taboos

I know it makes me a bad person but I just cringe everytime I hear the Burger King commercial slogan: give in to your grown up tase. Mentally I cap a ‘T!’ on the end of it – it’s taste! not tase dammit!

That I Oughta Kill

Chew on this:

Do you ever see a homeless

Ron mentioned this to me. And I’d have to say
‘no’. And I wonder why – he says that culturally (in very very broad terms)
the cultures of East Asia (see – I took comparitive non-western cultures and know
to say East Asian instead of Asian or Eastern) value any work above doing no
work – that asians will
do anything to have an income because they know that getting any job is the
first step towards getting a better job. Meanwhile, at the bus I hear other
minorities complaining about the immigrants stealing the janitorial jobs and other
blue collar positions in the city. I always feel slightly stifled even thinking about
these things – like just the fact that I’m a middle-class white male that that
automatically discounts any perspective I may have – that I feel guilty for
any perspective I have no matter how informed I think it is or try to be. Further,
and I’m going to go out on long thematic limb here – notice the perspective of
attitudes between the black and native american poor versus the poor of
other cultures – the immigrant cultures. I’m gonna stop now before my sister
kicks my ass with some spot-on social theory. She always sets me straight.

One of our new employees is from Andersen and it was fascinating hearing
of what it was like to work in a company that was imploding. Her biggest point
is that the audit business of Andersen was just one of four lines of business that
Andersen participated in. That a lot of expertise was thrown away and how, for
the most part the problems were localized by regional office. That initially there
was an idea to put together a penalty package for Andersen to pay out to show
deep regret and responsibility – the high road – but of course, self-preservation
kicked in an no one wanted to admit anything – and they all knew that if an
indictment came down that it was all over. And I have to say is
that her can-do attitude is pretty impressive compared to the jaded ‘why-bother’
perspective of Mark and I. She was quizzing us on who to talk to about comments
with the intranet and interface design and content and usability. I told her that
I deeply feel her pain and that I have given up trying to have any sort of effect
on the way the internal websites are designed. We told her the story about the
huge waste of money on a software application that the HR fairies didn’t put
through IT quality assurance before purchasing – and how nothing was done –
no demotions or reprimands. And how dis-heartening it is to know that the
talents of self-preservation for the higher-ups is quite startling. She’s a cool
contact to have though – I’ll probably employ her in helping me polish up my

Got a few coaching and web design leads I’m working right now – it’s pretty
exciting… got one lady that emailed me out of the blue and I don’t know how
she found me. She wants to change her career and wants a coach to help her
through it.

Something that is always lost on me in any transition or endeavor is the idea
of baby steps. That I need to gradually increase magnitude. That it is possible
to develop quickly but baby-steps (as I picture Bill Murray in
What About Bob?
) can be great stepping stones – even if accumulated

Cross your fangers… (yeah, I said fangers): found a great deal
on a great apartment. An unheard of price for a great location. Going to the open
house on Saturday morning and gonna show up early with my check book. Ron
and I walked by and the outside of the building is amazing – right by the gym –
right by the grocery – near enough to my honey-pie – near Buca – near Kinko’s –
near the great used bookstore – the movie theatre… and it’s a one-bedroom.
Heather is worried that if I live in a studio I’ll have get cabin fever in the winter
and re-enact The Shining, albeit in a 10 x 10 foot space.

If you’re wondering what’s up with my entry titles lately – keep wondering…
it’ll make sense eventually.

Did anyone else here Carl Castle kick John Walker Lindh’s lawyer’s ass on
NPR. Oh yeah – Carl’s my wigga!

The often-inflammatory Michael Moore has a theory on why cigarette lighters
were not on the list of outlawed items to be brought aboard an airplane shortly
after 9-11 – even after that one freak tried to set his shoe on fire: the tobacco
industry called in a few favors
. For right now it sounds like a slight stretch,
but we’ll see if his FIA filings actually result in anything.

Anyone else scared shitless about this country? What the hell is going on? Is
there just a huge power-grab every where you look? I’m sure it’s nothing new but
at least it used to be glad-handing and not so frigging obvious…

Thanks Michael for the tips on Bangkok travel – I’ll keep in touch as our travel
date approaches. I do hope we go. The combination of smutty seaminess and
all the temples seems like a great combination.

Dancin’ On Her Face

Last Friday I had run in the morning and made it down to Belmont and then
had to walk back – I’d felt my ankle a little sore by the time I made it to Grace but
when I really stopped to walk a bit I found I couldn’t run anymore. So I walked all
the way home. Being my dad’s son, I didn’t go to the doctor until this afternoon.
The diagnosis is a sprained ankle – though there was no event, or fall or slip while
I was running – I’m thinking it might be from running on the grass – uneven turf –
instead of the paved running path. I had been running on the grass for extra
cushioning but seems the uneven ground took more stress on the ankle than
the grass did in helping my arches. This coupled with the fact that I haven’t
bought new running shoes in nearly a year adds up to a collective, ‘duh’.

The metaphorical implications of my ‘best foot forward’ being painful to walk
are staggering. I’m having to premeditate movement and move slower – and
we know how much I hate moving slow. But I had one of those golden
summer moments – like last year’s 4th of July – where you think to yourself:
‘I’m gonna remember this moment when I’m freezing my nuts off in the cold
this winter.’ I went to Walgreen’s and got my drugs and an ankle brace and
took myself to dinner at Reza’s – waiting for the bus for every leg of the journey.
Sat inside the dark Persian restaurant and had some really good falafil (since
when do I eat falafil?!) and the restaurant was pretty dark and subdued and as
cars went by on Clark their windows reflected golden flashes of summer onto
my eyes. It’s one of those moments where you are just very, very content.
Stopped off at Chicago Filmmakers to see if they rent out their classroom space:
I’m shopping around for my creativity workshops I’ll be leading in a month or so.
Stopped off at the bookstore Women and Children First (not be confused with
the bar Manhole whose slogan is ‘Women and Children Last’). Bought the latest
copy of Adbusters. I also got myself
another CD by DJ Irene – Global House Divas. I’d bought her latest
Phonosynthesis last week and loved the first 15 minutes – though it gets too
house-y after that. So far this new CD doesn’t let up with the pounding tribal
edge. I think I like trance music the less human it is. The more exotic the better.
I can’t stand the screeching diva queen stuff – it’s so boring and ‘faggoty’. <

There’s a waiter at restaurant that Ron and I frequent called Coco – an asian
guy. Ron has real problems with asian guys with long unkempt hair – or guys
that are over-effeminate. Riffing off of Margraret Cho, Ron wants to go up to
Coco and say, ‘You know – I don’t think you should be called Coco. I think you
should be called Fuck-Me-In-The-Ass.’ I picture Ron in a Filipino rage knocking
fragile Coco to the floor, his knees on his chest, armed with electric clippers
shaving Coco’s head screaming ‘Get off the fucking boat! Get off the fucking
boat!’ (A reference to the idea of ‘fresh-off-the-boat’, meaning naive or ‘over-chinky’

Very good week diet-wise – as I’ve said before – the tighter
I focus on my eating habits – it seems the better all of my other organization
efforts go. No wheat for five days now – and I’m trying to eat nearly twice my
body weight in grams of protein. And it’s showing – lifting really heavy weights
seems to be doing the trick for me. Of course, I can’t run for a while now.

Tara writes:

hi, andy!

i don’t know you, and vice-versa, but just wanted to throw some praise your way – i enjoy your weblog. it’s very honest, and it is refreshing. it’s interesting to hear some things that are skeptical of the gay community as a gay person (i’m a lesbian, so of course, i’m right there with you) : per the “universal gear” issue and all that. and, from what i have gathered, we do similar things (comedy in chicago?). maybe i DO know you? best of luck, and i’ll be readin’.

take care,


Thanks chica!

Ron gets in around nine o-clock. I’m going to try and get the dishes done
so I can go down on the bus to see him once he gets home.

I’m thinking of moving into a studio apartment for the coming year in an
effort to downgrade my living expenses in preparation for leaving my job and
quitting my job. I think I can do it if I can find a studio that is large enough –
the idea of having to get rid of tons of crap also is quite attractive. I figure
I need to start practicing living in one room so if I do a little bit each week – I can
get my clutter and life-crap down to a manage-able level. I’ve already gone to
the Container Store (where I must take my mom when they come visit in
August… you see… Diane loves containers. She never met a cardboard
box she didn’t like) and bought three plastic boxes to put all the books in. And
I’m giving a way lots of books besides – except for all of the plays – you just
can’t throw those away.

Kathie – one of my coaching colleagues – was
doing a crazy exercise with a group on prosperity and she had them rip up
a dollar bill. The reaction when she asked them to do it was astounding. People
wouldn’t do it. And it wasn’t the whole destroying federal property thing. It was
the unwillingness to desecrate a symbol. And it’s just a dollar – her clients reacted
veyr strongly against it. But she said the next week the people that had
ripped up a dollar had all of these serendipitous abundance events happen – like
raises and mortgage breaks and clients and opportunities coming out of
nowhere. I was relating this to Brigitte at Leona’s and she challenged me,
‘Well, do it!’ Heh heh… the reaction I had against it was crazy – and the crazy
sense of danger and naughtiness was intoxicating. I found a dollar bill and ripped
it up into little bitty pieces right on the spot, and before I could think about it.
And I come home and in my inbox are three requests for proposals from coaches
and then I get home today and my mailbox has two affiliate sales checks from
the website. This will drive my sister nuts – it makes me nuts too – the idea that
if you just put it out there you’ll get reponse. That if you expect the universe to
support your dream, it will (from Julia Cameron).

The amount of illness at work is crazy. Trudy’s hacking and coughing. Kyra
has been hacking since December. M____ was out sick yesterday. Mark’s
prosthesis is swelling and he can’t walk. Tony’s feet swelled from an allergic
reaction. Then me and my ankle. Our section of the floor is a crazy nexus of
dis-ease. You draw your own conclusions.

The diaspora continues. Brigitte has grad school aspirations for fall 2003
and Brian is moving to Dayton to teach at Sinclair. Jason is moving to L.A. Karen
moved to San Diego. Matt is in Bloomington another year. It’s nuts. I’m here at
least another year.

Ron and I are thinking of going to Bangkok in Janurary – the hotels there
are hideously cheap and he says the shopping is crazy because you’re so
close to the manufacturers. Plus, he can get me a free flight to Tokyo or Hong
Kong and a flight from there to Bangkok shouldn’t be too expensive. Of course,
all I have in my head is ‘One Night in Bangkok’ from Chess.

Like a Stage in Vaudeville

Had a great workout this morning. I always love Mondays because
everything for the week seems so possible. I have been lifting really heavy lately
and focusing on where I grow first, first: shoulders and triceps. Then everything
else. I think the best physical attribute dad gave me was my shoulders. They are
getting bigger too – thicker – meaty, even. And it is very rewarding to see my body
respond to the weight-lifting. And it’s taking really heavy weights to really get
anywhere – I have to do some sets where I can only do one rep. But it’s fun to feel
like a gym rat. Mr. Sartini – my high school football coach – would be so proud of
me. He used to call me ‘Malaguena’ because I played that piece on piano in a music
concert my freshman year – he was a pianist as well. He was nuts too.

Work was uneventful – the temps are great to toss the drudgery work too…
sat in a pretty pointless meeting this morning – Mark and I just sit there and shake
our heads knowing that all the plotting that we are hearing is only going blow up
in the collective face of our department. I got my one year service award – a
Tiffany & Co. ballpoint pen and Krispy Kremes… all I could think in the back of
my head is, ‘well, I can’t quit this week…’