Too Much Is Just Enough

Tonight I made too much popcorn. Well, I made more than what I usually make. What I usually make is one bag of microwave popcorn, which is as exact and consistent an amount as a maker of popcorn could ever expect. But a month or two ago, Heather bought a bag of popcorn. Not microwave popcorn, a bag of popcorn kernels. The kind you can pop in an air popper or, in our case on the stove. Old school. With old school inconsistencies.

So tonight I made too much. But after eating too much, I realized I was plenty happy to have eaten the amount that I did. The ridiculous amount that I ate, yes. It was just fine.

And that got me to thinking: what are the foods that I just can’t get enough of. It’s not everything I find appetizing. Pizza? Deep dish pizza? You’ve gotta put the brakes on after two pizzas, four at the max. Otherwise you’re looking at an unforgiving blockage, either arterial or intestinal. Too many Sweet Tarts will brand a canker sore into your tongue. But these foods? I eat them until they run out.

Salty. Tasty. Perfectly contoured to the shape of the tongue. I honestly have no idea why the canisters come with a resealable plastic lid because there’s no reason to stop eating them.

Ice cream
There’s just never enough ice cream. The only reason to put down the spoon is for rationing purposes. Running out of ice cream is like running out of oxygen. You just don’t let that happen.

It’s the perfect fruit. None of the acidity to turn your mouth into a  burn victim. Subtle, satisfying taste. Easy on the teeth, loaded with nutrients. Only problem is that it doesn’t last forever.

Coca-Cola Classic is corrosive. It is sugary. It is as close to instant fat as you can find. But it’s so delicious. It burns in all the right ways. I could drink it all day. I would die pretty quick, but I could do it.

Everyone who ever said, “I ate too many brownies,” was lying. Just stop.

Chocolate chip. Snickerdoodle. Girl Scout. Why on earth do any of these ever go uneaten?

The problem with pie is that there’s never enough. You’re lucky if you can ever find two slices you don’t have to share. Pie-eating contests are the obvious exception, but I’ve never been so excepted.

Any Breakfast Food
Within reason, here. Not corn-beefed hash or beef-chip gravy or Eggs Benedict. I don’t want any of that stuff for breakfast. Cinnamon rolls, pancakes, French toast, omelets, bacon. That stuff. Breakfast served all day? Yeah. I could deal with that.

I could go on. That’s kind of the point. But I should probably stop. If I left out anything, please let me know. I’ve got a lot of eating to do.

Happy. Tuesday.

I’ve said it before. I hate Tuesdays. Tuesdays are the worst day of the week. If the days of the week were made into a movie, here’s who would play them.

Bill Murray is: Monday
Bill Murray, like Monday, is dry. Kind of ridiculous. So irritable it's funny.
Russell Crowe is Wednesday
Serious. Versatile. Rogue. Wednesday means business at work, but, as a commemoration of halfway doneness, it's still wild at heart. Wednesday is Russell Crowe.
Sarah Jessica Parker is Thursday
Thursday is fun but productive. There's something special about it you can't quite put your finger on. Thursday rarely disappoints. It's not outrageously awesome. It's not perfect. But you can't help loving it. It's Sarah Jessica Parker.

Pauly Shore is Friday
Friday is a no-brainer. Just like Pauly Shore.
Matthew McConaughey is Saturday
Saturday could be hard working, it's probably laid back anyway. It might go out for cocktails, it might just hang out, and the shirt is probably not staying on for long. Saturday is so Matthew McConaughey it's not even funny.
Ellen DeGeneres is Sunday
Sunday is thoughtful and fun. It's picnics and spontaneous dancing. It can't show up without us religious folks saying something about it. It's hanging out with friends yet for some reason insisting on wearing a suit. Sunday is Ellen DeGeneres.
Martin Short is Tuesday.
Tuesday is loud, irrepressible, obnoxious, and it thinks it's so funny. Every now and then it is, but mostly you just wish it would go away. Sorry, Martin Short. It's nothing personal. But you're perfect for this role.

Oh, and I’m still waiting for an answer to last Friday’s question.

Random Thoughts: UPDATED (again)

Not everything worth saying belongs in a paragraph.

Cold, rainy days in June are less crappy than they seem.

When someone asks you what you want on your pizza, the only wrong answer is, “Whatever.”

The only thing anyone named Newt should be president of is Chess Club.

Grown Paul Reubens dressed up as Pee-Wee Herman: funny. Kinda old Paul Reubens dressed up as Pee-Wee Herman: creepy-sad.

The Star Wars prequels happened. Deal with it.

Junk mail is so much nicer than spam.

How much does a gorilla have to weigh before it becomes a topic no one in the room wants to discuss?

Someone invented knock-knock jokes and most likely died by bludgeoning.

I’ll probably add more later, but I’m typing this all on an iPod, which is getting old (the process . . . and the iPod).

See? I told you I’d add more later (now is later, by the way).

The soundtrack to Michael is still a great listen and ridiculously overlooked and underrated.

The Spin Doctors, not so much.

If you were to tug on Superman’s cape, he’d probably give you an autograph or something; I don’t get that axiom.

The law of averages states that the Cubs will probably win again this year (but probably not today).

I love a good dangling participle.

I’ll probably add more later. But I need more coffee more than I need random thoughts.

I decided not to add any more.

I can be pretty indecisive.

The most oft-ignored instructions in all the world: “Fold this flap in first,” on the ice cream carton.

After listening to Prince’s thoughts on the matter hundreds of times, I’m still no closer to knowing what it sounds like when doves cry.

I’m tired.

Listen to Your Mother

I was in a show. It was produced, directed, emceed, and performed in by my friend Steph. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve talked about this show, but I was honored, thrilled, overjoyed, humbled, proud, and delighted to be a part of it. The videos from the show are online now. So I figured I’d post mine here but also link to the rest of them collectively and individually. And I wanted to say a little bit about everyone in the show, because everyone in the show was pretty awesome.

June Saavedra
June was the first performance of the night and also the first of any of us to read when we first got together as a group, and about two seconds in I thought “Oh, crap, I can’t follow this!” June has this statuesque grace about her that would be completely intimidating if she wasn’t so down-to-earth, funny, and thoroughly nice. Also: jingle farts.

Heather Novak
Upon our first meeting, I found everything about Heather to be fun and hilarious and carefree and endearing and edgy. Then her piece took these unexpected twists through sweet then heart-piercing territories. She made me cry and laugh every time she read.

Meagan Francis
Meagan is about 57 kinds of smart and cute. Whenever I would tell people what LTYM was all about, I’d start with her piece about yoga with babies. She just has this look about her as if she’s letting you in on life’s big joke and can’t wait to deliver the punchline. Her wit, though, radiates so much heart in every word. Continue reading “Listen to Your Mother”

Chesterton: My Kind of Town

The other day I discussed one of my favorite things about working in Chicago: walking. When I’m in the city (and when I say in the city, I always mean Chicago; it always makes me chuckle when people ask me to specify what city—it’s always Chicago) I don’t need a car. I don’t even really need a train, bus, or trolley. Lazy as I’m inclined to be, I enjoy walking anywhere I care to go.

So today I thought I’d put my town of residence to the walking test. Now, I used to live just a few blocks from Broadway in Chesterton. It’s not that much like Broadway in New York. It’s more like Main Street . . . everywhere. There are some shops, cafes, banks, a gazebo, and a train track that runs right along it, leaving maybe 25 yards between the road and the tracks for Chesterton’s attempts at culture to try and squeeze in. It’s quaint. I dig it. You can, in theory, just walk around the place and get everything most a lot of what you might need. Continue reading “Chesterton: My Kind of Town”


Here’s what I like about working in Chicago: the walking. I like that if I need to go to the bank, I walk to the bank. If I want Starbucks, I walk to Starbucks. If I get hungry for deep dish, I don’t have to get in the car. I walk and exercise and breathe and enjoy every step on the way to stuffing my fat face full of pizza.

I also love that there’s pizza. And Portillo’s. And Big & Little’s. And I’ve never even been to Big & Little’s, but I hear it’s delicious. And Carson’s. And Tempo. And Chipotle. And Kiki’s Bistro. And Yolk. And Ben & Jerry’s. And Giordano’s. And Edwardo’s. And Uno. And Due. And Lou Malnati’s. And Gino’s East. And McDonald’s. And Go Roma. And Ann Sather. And other places.

And I don’t care if I’m saving the environment or working off calories or supporting local businesses. I just like the fact that I have a reason to walk. I like standing up and going and becoming a part of the city streets and using my legs for something other than preventing me from tumbling forward out of chairs. I like walks, especially walks that yield results. When those results are Chicago cuisine, I’m a happy fellow. And an ever so slightly less plump one.

Thank You

I just want to say a quick thank you to all the people who have congratulated me on the new job and the wonderful friends who have welcomed me back to the place I had been for 10 years. I don’t know if people are just being nice, but a lot of people seem genuinely excited to see me back. If they’re being sincere, it means a lot. And it still means a lot even if they’re just trying to make me feel better. How sweet of them, you know? Total win/win there.

All kidding aside, people have said some incredibly nice things. I won’t repeat them, because they were in all likelihood patently false. But they were still super nice.

I kind of can’t believe how much I missed the place. I don’t think I really appreciated how much I laughed at work, on the way to work, and really all day long. Not every second of every day or anything, but I do laugh with relative regularity throughout the course of most days.

If you haven’t tried that in awhile, I highly recommend it. It’s not really that hard. You don’t have to be funny to laugh. All you have to do is commit to tolerating the moment.

Okay. I’m so tired I could die. Maybe I just did. Or maybe now. Now? No. Oh, crap. Nope. False alarm.

Top Ten Things I’ll Have To Do Now That I Have a Job

I start a new job tomorrow. This will force me to do certain things I may or may not have previously done for the past three years. Crap.*

10. Shower almost every day.

9. Dust off all my business casual clothes.**

8. Buy gasoline.

7. Talk to people. Out loud. In person.

6. Set the #*#&$*$ #@)((E**$ alarm clock every @(#*@#$*$(#Q(() @&#^#&@@ day.

5. Stop breaking out into song at the top of my lungs at random intervals.

4. Pack a lunch. Probably the same thing. Every day. Forever.

3. Learn people’s names without using the twitter autocomplete feature.

2. Remember that in person people can actually see my eye rolls and hear when I mumble profanities under my breath.

1. Work and stuff.

*That’s not on the list, it’s just an interjection. I actually do that multiple times a day. Sometimes thrice before breakfast.

**I don’t mean that as an idiom. I will literally have to remove the dust that has accumulated on my clothes. Not kidding.


Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer got a job? (If you don’t remember, I put a link there so you can watch it, wait a minute, and then remember back to what you just watched. I’m a facilitator. I facilitate.)

Yeah, so . . . that’s me right now. I got a job. I start Tuesday. I’ll be working at Moody Publishers. Back in the city. Back in the carpool. Back in the proverbial saddle. Again.

No more will my commute consist of nothing more than a trip down the stairs. No longer will showing up to work in my pajamas be borderline acceptable. Gone are the days of eating breakfast and lunch with my family, every day. But you know what? I got to enjoy that for three years. I will miss it.

But I won’t miss working essentially on my own every day. I am glad to be back working with a team. And while I’ve never been in love with the commute to Chicago, I am in love with Chicago itself.

So here I go. Back to a real job. And while you might think that means less time with my family, nothing could be further from the truth. The time I spent working from home, near Heather, Addison, and Colin every single day, is time I’ll never lose. Yes, technically I will not be spending as much time at home with them as I used to, but the time I had with them I will carry in my heart always. It is a deposit into an account from which I’ll never have to withdraw. Less time? No way. Those moments will never diminish. The memories will never dwindle. And I will never feel sorry for having hoarded them greedily.

So, if you’re wondering if I’m disappointed, the answer is Hell no. I’m excited. I’m thankful. I’m ready. And I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again.