Tuesday, September 30, 2008

you gotta believe

It begins.

The drive to the 2008 World Series.

It's going to happen.


In other news...the reason you have friends that live overseas are threefold:

1. You have a place/sofa/floor to crash on when you visit said foreign land.

2. They know where the good bars and cheap tasty eats can be found (no travel guide required.)

3. Even you can't afford to travel to them, they send you enough stories/photos to keep you highly entertained and/or grossed out.

Our good friend, Seth sends his love from Vietnam. (WARNING...link contains semi-graphic material regarding a traditional feast. )


Monday, September 29, 2008

the "zed" word

File last week under "familial heartburn" (and not the good kind that you get after a huge Sunday meal.)

I have one family member who is currently on "non-speaking" terms with, count them, 2 other family members. And honestly, I'm kind of avoiding conversation with her at the moment as well, although the official axe hasn't dropped...yet.

I count my nuclear family at 5 - it's not like I have 13 siblings or anything, so it's a pretty high percentage of non-communication and a lot of second hand convos relaying info to the non-speaking parties. On top of that, some stuff that happened over 20 years ago was revealed to my brain, which I haven't decided if I want to (or should) peel the scab on, but my mind keeps picking at.

Yesterday, I had a frustrating visit (some of which I take the blame for) with my Pop, to cap off the week.

Basically, my family is giving me a headache.

Add that on top of all the election muck that's starting to rear it's ugly head, I feel quite worn down today. I know that "this too shall pass," but until the storm blows off, it's all just putting me into a bit of a funk.

Cut to my drive in this morning...where I was subjected to the better side of funky. A song that took the prevailing thought out of my head and blasted it out of my factory grade speakers at me.

It was immediately followed (after a bit of dial spinning) with this...

My ever-lovin' optimism started to melt my funk laden heart and I was beginning to see a blue sky through the gray clouds...

And then I saw a billboard and immediately felt a gut punch pull the wind out of my sails.

I don't know why I have such a response to HSM and it's related crass commercialism (hmm...maybe that's it.) As a kid I LOVED movie musicals. Singing In the Rain, Sound of Music, Calamity Jane, Oliver, My Fair Lady, An American In Paris, Brigadoon, Thoroughly Modern Millie (made me want to tap dance in elevators until I turned 12), hell, I even have a soft spot for bits of Xanadu and Annie.

I would think that any type of gateway drug to get the next generation on board with musicals would be a good thing. But when the recent options are the likes of The Spice Girl Movie and the HSM series?

I long for Gene Kelly to come back to life and show them what real talent is.

I would even settle for Zombie Gene Kelly. Even dead, with a limited range of motion, he could still mop the floor with Zac Efron's ass.

Friday, September 26, 2008

load 15 tons

Last year about this time, I applied for another position in my office. I'd have to travel a whole lot more, but on the whole, it would be a large step into something better. Another co-worker (who had done the exact same job in another division of our company) got the job. And at the time, I even said, "Hell. Even I'd hire him. He's got the experience and can jump right in."

I worked with him during the transition and then my boss was all like, "Enough. Go back to your own corner and make yer own widgets!"

For the record, I do not make widgets. I sit on my ass in front of a computer and try to turn a dime into a dollar all day long. I just like the word widget.

Cut to today. Turns out that same co-worker "has left the building." Position is open and I'm wondering if its worth throwing my hat in the ring again. Or if I even want to throw my hat in the ring at all. The budget for that position has been cut dramatically, but I would still have to start traveling again.

The guy who worked under that co-worker should step up and take that job (and then I would be well suited to take the "underling's" job), but Mr. Underling really likes exactly what he does now - and has made it known that he does not seek any additional responsibilities that include budgets and planning.

What's likely to happen is that we won't fill that position for the rest of the year and just split the duties (thereby, possibly saving someone else from the ever-looming axe.) The housing market and related economies are killing business right now. So, I'm near positive that they won't start looking to fill the position for at least a couple months and spread the work inhouse, instead.

I'm unsure of what I should do...should the position open up.
I really could use a nice bump in pay - and a change of responsibilities.
But I'm not sure that "weekly travel" is what I'm looking for right now.

And if I didn't mention it, I'm really gonna miss the co-worker who left. He was a good guy and I really liked working with him. He was one of the very few people at my office who would show his appreciation for the effort one put forth.

I'm hoping he's ending up on his feet and in a better place that this widget factory. (We don't make widgets.)


Like everyone else on planet earth, I've been having a lot of financial stresses of late.

Last night I had a dream where I started freaking out about paying my bills and the mortgage and the fact that my 11 yr old beater of a car could keel over at any minute (all of which normally worry about while awake)…

When I suddenly remembered that, sitting on a table at home, I had 1.2 million dollars in cash.

In this dream, I was out with friends and just sat down all shocked liked, "Oh yeah. Wait. I totally have all of this covered. I have that 1.2 mil at home. Duh!"

And then I woke up.

Ah...my brain on stress. It likes to fuck with me.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I almost forgot to celebrate that my favorite season is finally upon us. Happy first day of Autumn, yo.


I know I should have posted this two days ago...but I had a weekend full of thinking too much, sleeping not at all and a well-timed bout of food poisoning.

The thought that got me through it all?


Congratulations, you 2008 National Central Divison Champs, you!
7 games left of regular season play...and then on to the playoffs!
The 100 years war is far from over...but a significant battle has been won.

Friday, September 19, 2008


It's neck and neck in more than a few states. While I vote and have even sported a bumper sticker or two, I've never donated to a campaign before. This year is different.

If you even have $5 to spare (skip one latte/beer/chai tea this weekend) then can I press you to donate to the Obama campaign TODAY.

And I mean today, Friday, Sept 19th.

Email from David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama for America:

With just 45 days left before the election, your support will affect crucial decisions about infrastructure in key battleground states. Our fight in the battleground states is going to be tougher than a lot of you mayt hink. Take Florida, where George Bush won by just 381,000 votes in 2004. The campaign we're running there is going to cost more than $39 million.

A donation now could have a big impact on voter registration and Get Out The Vote operations -- so please don't wait if you're planning to give.

A previous donor has promised to match every dollar you donate. A matched donation of $5 becomes $10, a donation of $25 becomes $50, and a donationof $50 will become $100.

Show your support before midnight tonight and double your impact: https://donate.barackobama.com/newgoal4a

Can you afford 5 bucks? 10? More?
Take 2 minutes and donate online before midnight to double it.

Who knows...that $10 you throw down might be used in the Michigan voter reg drive I'm volunteering for in two weeks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The List is Life

With the stock market in a current free fall, the daily harangues from my Republican father, Ike's death tolls, McPalin, off duty cops capping their own kids - all buzzing in my cranium, I need to focus on something positive.

Seems like lots of good stuff is actually peeping out at me today. What the hell. I'll give Oprah's methodology a shot and make a list. See if that exercise makes me appreciate the universe 8.5% more than had I not.

In no particular order (with the exception of number 1):

1. #4 - aka the Cubs magic number. Could clinch NL division this week!
2. Rachael Yamagata - This former vocalist for Chicago funk band Bumpus, is dropping her new solo album like it's hot and playing at the Lakeshore Theater on October 1st. Tix are $20. Right now, I'm a maybe for the concert, but a definite for her new album.
3. Dave Lykins - They made him put a label on it...and he named it "Subversive Country." If you like Steve Earle, you'll want to do yourself a favor and pick up Mr. Lykins' new cd, Blurry White Guy. I'm in for two copies, yo!
4. Darwin Award Nominee - SUV BMW, meet Cal-Sag Channel. Cal-Sag, meet BMW.
5. Marriage - I know have friends on every side of this coin, but two people I know who adore each other are getting hitched this weekend, and even though I won't be there to witness it, just thinking about it fills me with a large amount of happy.
6. The Forecast - After driving past the floodplain that is my hood last night, I'm ecstatic that we have dry skies and warm temps for the next week. Let the waters ebb, my brotha.
7. Improv Everywhere - Is bringing it's mp3 experiment to Chicago next month. I'm not sure if I'll have the stamina after that day long voter reg event in Michigan...but I'm putting it on my calendar.
8. Plan! - My three-tiered plan starts on Friday with Fake Lake!
9. Shirt! - I'm currently wearing my new favorite shirt. I call it "Ode to Alan Alda." While it isn't a match, it reminds me in color (blue and white) and tone (kimono style) of something I recall "Hawkeye" wearing a lot. Last weekend, I wore it with my army green khakis -which led to this Alda-related epiphany. I had to stop myself from giggling out loud and pulling people aside to tell them, "If my outfit were a tv show, it would be M*A*S*H."
10. Mad Men - Disk 3 of Season 1 should be in my mailbox when I get home. I can't wait until after the CAPS meeting to dig back into it!

Okay, I'm sure there is more, but my computer is making googley eyes and running super slow...so I'm going to post this before el-crasho-mundo.

This is an older song of Rachael's that I really love.
Click here for Rachael's new video (if you are in a maudlin mood, steer clear. )

Monday, September 15, 2008

HOPE: A Play In Two Acts

Act One: The 'Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally'
This rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots”, and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received many nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

The rally was a huge success and had a bigger turn out that the GOP plotted "Welcome Home" rally for Palin.
GOP/Asshole Talk Show Hosts 0, Mammas for Obama 1.

My mom once dressed up in a gorilla suit and came to my grade school (the other mom's were dressed up as "cute" witches and cats.) So you'll have to excuse my bias to the mom who dressed up as a polar bear. Hells, yeah.

Act Two: The No Hitter

I believe. I believe. I believe that This. Is. The. Year.

dumb luck

After a near record rainfall over the weekend of 8"-10" in Chicago and the surrounding areas, it was almost a flip of the coin on where the flooding would hit next.

Chicago is a city of" neighborhoods." When you live here, and folks ask you where you're from, you give your neighborhood as a point of reference. I live in Wicker Park. I live in Uptown. Well, I live in the hood that got royally swamped this weekend. I live in Albany Park.

Specifically, I live just three blocks south of the Chicago River. This far out from the lake, the river is usually pretty low and looks more like a big creek. Not even big enough to fish in...although, just a few blocks east, it's much wider and deep enough for boating, canoing and fishing. One of the routes I used to walk Olive on included an old wood walking bridge over the river. I guess Mother Nature decided to crank it up - north of the river, the land is a bit lower and they got the brunt of it...while the blocks nearest our building (while wet and swampy) didn't flood.

It's just dumb luck (and a bit of gravity) that, while I was out with some friends watching Pineapple Express (yes...for the 2nd time) on Saturday night, other folks were being evacuated from their homes just blocks away.

Man. I just wanna hug this kid. He's got his shovel and ready to get to some sandbags. I just hope he's had a tetanus shot, walking around in that sewage tainted water.

These folks live about 2 blocks north and a block over from my building.

My first thought when I saw this....(sigh)...."Renters."

Of course, none of this compares to what's going on in Galveston and other parts of Texas. Which makes me look at the picture of that young family again and think maybe they have the right idea after all, "It's all perspective....even when your glass is half empty...at least you have a freaking glass."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

media 0, late night host 1

This gent has been a US citizen for less than 8 months.

He gets it. In this monologue from last Wednesday, he cut through all the blather of the past week and calls bullshit on the media, the campaigns and the apathy of the American public.

Listen, I'm an American. This country is at war. Right now, Americans in foreign lands, wearing the uniform, representing this country are losing their lives. Americans here in this country are losing their homes. We have two patriotic candidates, right? They both love this country. They have different ideas about what do with it. Learn about them. Read about them. Question them. Listen to them. Then on Election Day, excercise your right as an American and listen to yourself.

Why is it that people who have lived here their entire lives can't get the idea through their thick skulls that voting and reading and learning about the candidates should be one of the biggest responsiblities they hold.

1. Voting is your duty.
2. Voting is your sacred right.
3. If you don't vote, you're a moron.

Most states even have early voting so if you can't cram it into your day on Tuesday, November 4th, you have several chances to knock it out early. I "early voted" in the primaries and there was no line and it took all of ten minutes out of my day.

I volunteered to be an election judge this year. We'll see if I make the cut.

Friday, September 12, 2008

weekend plans? check.

Art, Food, Movies, Theater Schtuff and Netflix. Man 'o man, I've got a busy/fun weekend planned. Woot. Now I just need to figure out when I'm going to do my laundry, clean my bathroom and walk the dog.

Tonight, it's Girl Gang Night! Uh. Okay, that just hit me on several levels how funny it is that a bunch of 30/40-something women refer to themselves as "girls." Also, "girl gang" has a connotation that we might tag unsuspecting brick walls and give each other prison tatoos. And then there's the weird alliteration of "girl gang" and "gang bang" (at least in my head.) And now, I've just weirded myself and my friends out to a completely new and awkward level.

Sorry, ladies. Let's not make eye contact and pretend you never read this

Anyway, tonight the ladies are getting together for a night of nosh followed by some "Aht." We're hitting a yummy cuban place that has yet to miss a beat. It's a little off the beaten path, with authentic flavors and easy on the budget. Which is the way I like it.

Saturday morning, I'm hitting the Music Box to catch the matinee of The French Connection. I've never seen it on the big screen, and I'm overdue for some classic Hackman.

I'll be the one in the glasses shouting, "FUCK YEAH."

Saturday evening, I'm catching Pineapple Express (for the second time) with a couple friends who have yet to see it.

I'll be the one in the glasses shouting, "FUCK YEAH."

Sunday, I'm participating in the reading of the first draft of a new play. Being even a small cog in the process of new works is just darn satisfying.

Sunday night, I'll be holed up watching Disk 2 of the first season of Mad Men. I may be late to the game, but I always make it in time for the seventh inning stretch, yo.

Speaking of which....GO CUBS. 88-58. Woof. Admittedly, aside from the last couple of games, they've been playing fairly assy of late, but they are still in First Place. With 16 regular season games left. It makes a girl's head spin.

Hello? October? Keep a light on. We're headed your way, my brotha.

And a shout-out to DV...from whom I stole that sweet Obama pix.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

plan of action

I need a break from the election cycle.

For reals. I keep having the same infuritaing conversation about the most incompetent VP candidate in the history of the universe...and it's making me lose sleep. So, I've created a three-tiered solution to regain my footing in a sane world.

One) I signed up to help with a Voters Registration Drive in Michigan next month.

I have no doubt that Obama will win in Illinois (my home state), so I'm headed to a "battleground" state to help folks get signed up. I've already decided that I'm not a canvasser. My feet are on the blink and my blood pressure can barely take a civil disagreement on Palin. I think I would implode if I tried to convey my feelings and thoughts over and over and over and over and over again to folks who may or may not even be interested in the election process.

Registering folks is a non-partisan act, and one that I think is extremely worthwhile.

And, if, perchance, certain folks get up in my grill about Obama, in this scenario, I can deal with. I'm not there to convince you, just to get you registered. If you're looking for an arguement, just sign your name and get your voters reg card and then keep on walking, Mac.

Every year a little peice of me dies when I hear about the low voter turnout. The turnout this year for Super Tuesday gave me a glimmer of hope that more folks might get the lead out and pull the lever. I honestly think that every person I meet next month, no matter how they intend to vote, will fill me up with a bit of joy knowing that they are actively participating in our democracy.

The Constitution is the construct that makes me proud to be an American. The idea of "one man, one vote" makes me weak at the knees. The fact that only 60% of eligible voters voted in 2004 (the most since Reagan in 1980) and that 40% (usually more) of folks blow off that responsiblity....makes me want to take that 40% out to the woodshed and blow their heads up a la Scanners.

It's a fact that registration drives increase turnout. I'm 100% behind turnout.

Two) See more theater.

I've got a fire in my belly to see theater. Admittedly, I got a bit burned out on for a while. Constantly being broke and holed up like a hermit didn't really help...but I'm excited about a lot of shows I'm reading about, so I've been making plans and buying tickets. Hell, I'll still be broke...more ramen = more shows!

Here's some productions that I'm planning to see:

Fake Lake/The Neo-Futurists - Sept 19th (closing night)
Our Town/ The Hypocrites - Sept 27th
The People's Temple/American Theater Co - TBD...by Sept 28th
The Glass Menagerie/Shattered Globe - Sunday Matinee on Oct 19th.
Kafka on the Shore/Steppenwolf - Before 9/28 (for 2 for 1 tix!)
Ten Cent Night/Chicago Dramatists- TBD Sept/Oct
Patient #1/WNEP - October - multiply times, I suspect!

Fake Lake is set at Lake Powell, man-made reservoir in the middle of the Utah desert. It is performed in a local public (indoor) pool. The creativity and humor of the Neo-F's rarely disappoint, so I'm pretty stoked to see this show.

The Hypocrites version of Our Town is actually the remount from last season. The word of mouth on this show was YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS, IT'S FREAKING AWESOME. I've heard from more than one person that this was the finest production of this play they had seen. And if you're a theater type, who's seen or performed this show multiple times...that's saying something. Our Town is of those plays that in average hands can be the biggest snore ever...but with a strong cast and stellar direction it can be incredibly moving. Woot.

The People's Temple is the story of Jonestown from the perspective of the survivors and family members (based on actual interviews) and was created by the folks who wrote The Laramie Project. 2008 is the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown. I remain fascinated by this story. Also, there's live gospel music. Duuuude. For someone who doesn't believe in Jesus or attend church, I looooooves gospel music. ATC consistantly puts out quality productions, so I'm...crap. Why am I suddenly stuck with puns in my brain. I hate puns. I'm jonesin' to see this one as well. sigh. It's official. I hate my brain. Fie, brain!

My sister is visiting next month and I want to take her to see The Glass Menagerie. Years and years ago, we shared a Tennessee Williams evening of improv, so I think it's fitting to sink our teeth into the real deal. Also, Mr. Dave Dastmalchian is in this show (he played my son in Metaluna) and I'm excited to watch him perform (although, I suspect it'll make me want to curl up in a wheel chair next to him onstage.)

I haven't seen a mainstage Steppenwolf show since The Pillow Man (which a friend offered a freebie tix to) and for some reason, I'm drawn to this show. These tix are half price ($20 ea) until Sept 28th. Anyone want to meet up there?

Ten Cent Night is the latest from local playwright, Marisa Wegrzyn. I keep missing out on Wegrzyn's stuff, but I like the sound of her stories and characters. Also, ya gotta support the local talent, kids! (at least before they shuffle off to NY or start writing for LOST.)

Patient #1 is a rare production in that the script was not WNEP-penned. It's a political satire by Donald Freed*, set in 2009 at an elite psychiatric clinic in Florida, it revolves around a heavily sedated President Bush, after he has left the Oval Office. WNEP produces the US premiere! Uhhh. Yup. Uh...although, it would help if the home team had a web page up on it. Be right back...gotta make a call!

Most of these shows are $25 or less. Although, a couple are $35.
Lots of $20 and under options around town of equally good stuff out there.

Go see and support Off-Loop theater! It does a brain good!

Three) See Burn After Reading.

I rarely see movies on opening weekend. I want everyone to make their box office back and everything, but...I'm a loner, dude. I don't like having a crowd of strangers up in my grill (or sitting ANYwhere next to me while I sit in the dark and watch a flick.)

A couple weekends ago, my friend Rachel and I caught the opening weekend of Pineapple Express. It was fantastic and I laughed my fool ass off. But, it was also crowded and the laughter was so loud (including my own) that I missed a lot of the little throw-away dialogue that is probably the stuff that makes me laugh the hardest.

I'll admit it. I'm not good at sharing. (and) I like to pretend I'm one of those creepy eccentrics that has their own viewing theater at home.

While I'm not going to see BAR this weekend, I will see it very, very soon. This movie has my two favorite words on it in reference to the Coen Bros: "Written By." Sure they can adapt stuff well, but my favorite Coen fare is stuff they self generate. I submit the following to evidence such:

Raising Arizona
O Brother Where Art Thou

The Man Who Wasn't There
Miller's Crossing
Barton Fink
The Big Lebowski
The Hudsucker Proxy
Blood Simple

Man. That is a pedigree with some KICK ASS WRITING.
Wild horses high on E couldn't keep me from this movie.

I'll let you know come November 1st how my three tiered plan worked out.

*according to Wikipedia, Freed had an association with Jonestown and visited there prior to the massacre. Hmmm. That's just weird.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

don't be afraid

One of my friends living in a southern state who was supporting Clinton fervently and who is now supporting Obama just as strongly, sent me (and a bunch of folks) a rallying cry of an email which mentioned his fear that many folks in the red states that surround him (and even in his blue state of MD) won't vote for him because of race.

He's not the only one down south that I've heard this from.

My mom retired to rural Tennessee and within the past decade has become quite the thumper of bibles. In 2000, she voted for Bush. By 2004 she was not only against Bush and the war in Iraq (she felt so lied to by Bush and the whole WOMD bullshit), that she actively joined the Democratic organization in her county and campaigned for Kerry in 2004, and now, has been campaigning for Obama in 2008.

And this is a county where I lost count of how many confederate flags I saw flying in her home town when I visited in Easter last year.

Prior to his winning the nomination, she was only one of two people in her group who were for Obama from the start. Everyone else was rooting for Clinton. Once Obama won the nom, the rest of the group began supporting him begrudgingly...and her fear is that in the privacy of the polling place, they may vote McCain solely based on the fact that they are afraid to vote for a black man. In things she has witnesses, both subtle and overt, she is truly concerned that this is a real issue in her county.

It's a horrible idea, but this is America. And if we ignore the underbelly of racism that still brews, even as an African-American stands as a candidate for presidency...we'd be obtuse and unrealistic.

What we need to do to combat this fear that some folks may have, is to shine the light of truth on the nomination of Sarah Palin and expose and expose and expose how completely irresponsible McCain was to choose Palin. That while she might sound like your really nice neighbor running the bakesale - she is a loyaly oath demanding, book wanna-be banning, earmark junkie of the first degree. She has lied about her position on the Bridge to Nowhere among other issues and her lack of experience and knowledge about anything outside the state line of Alaska is more than foreboding.

And that while McCain may talk the talk of the maverick reformer, he's been in step with Bush for the last eight years. The fight we have is to reveal the truth to voters. That is the fight.

Although, I think I found a group...that if they need a donation, I might be convinced to send one to these gents.

Rock on Rolla, MO Rednecks! You give me hope!

Friday, September 5, 2008


I wasn't ever the musicphile of my group. I've never been one to be the first to find that unknown band that's about to blow up or that rarified dusty that inspired ten other bands to greatness.

[With the exceptions of Fiona Apple, the Mighty Blue Kings and Rodrigo y Gabriela (not new to you, oh so wiser than me reader, but newer to at least a few folks in my circle.) And let me tell you, Fiona's the bittersweet one. I freaking love her music, I truly think she's like a savant with the piano and orchestration, but that girl is fucking batshit crazy. I'll never see her in concert again because I had to restrain myself from walking on stage and slapping the snot out of her. Twice.]

This song has been in and out of my cranium for several weeks. I'm not sure why it's implanted itself, but I suppose that might mean that I like it. I can't decide. It's catchy in it's way. And oddly hopeful while still remaining kinda mournful, so...it's got that going for it.

Mainly, I just think the video is so simple and in a way, elegant, that it makes me cry with glee.
The colors, the lovely little details, that choreography that reminds me of the stuff you did when you were in 7th grade and nobody was watching you act a fool.

If I could get a print of the shot with him sitting in the ice machine (around 1:47 min...or 3:05...or 4:10...I can't pick!) I would plaster it over my bed, so every morning when I woke up, I'd see this fantasic picture and know that the world is a glorious place of contradictions and humor.

Mr. Greg Laswell

And yeah, that's Elijah Wood.

What? Like Frodo can't show up in a video once in a while?

everyone's not-so-secret boyfriend

This is why all the ladies I know draw little hearts on their "i"s whenever they see Jon Stewart.

Why can't the mainstream media outlets show the public how hypocritical and willing to change their tune to suit their agenda these pundits are, in such a CRYSTAL CLEAR MANNER?

Why, Baby Jesus? Why?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I just watched McCain. Yesterday I watched Palin. After 2000 and 2004 it's hard not to get a knot in your stomach concerned that a certain portion of my fellow Americans might buy into this malarky* wholesale.

Watching this made me feel a whole bunch better.

*That's right, Snrub. I've used "malarky" twice in about a week. I shall now put it back in my thesaurus until November.