Eaglie's Aviary

Friday, May 30, 2008


I totally forgot to give a shout-out to Harvey Korman yesterday on the blog. So here's the shout-out today: REST IN PEACE!

Seriously. All the straightmen and second bananas in the world mourn.

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Off on Another Adventure

For some reason, it's rural Ohio, and it's not to get laid.

What am I doing with my life?


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vote Your Local Hottie into Office!

Obviously I'm not talking about Sen. Hillary Clinton. Yes, she's local to me (she's from a nearby suburb). And she's running for office (you knew that). But the one qualifier she is missing is "hottie." Sen. Obama is more effeminate.

But a different hottie COULD run for office, and Illinois calls her attorney general, Lisa Madigan. Yeah, Lisa. You HELP that old lady. Oooo, keep doing it. And that cop! OH, GOD!

Currently, Illinois is run by a man who proved a single post-it note could run a transportation system better. Now the drums of electoral war sound against this really unpopular weeny of a governor (meet him in person and you'll understand this is all an understatement). Illinoisans want something better. How about a Bettie? Who isn't named Bettie?

This state has sent a few governors to jail in the past 100 years. All white guys. Why not send one to women's prison this time? No, I'm joking: Lisa's not a bad girl. But I bet she could be.

I am drumming up support and encouragement for this fine lady of integrity. She needs it, as we need her running, raising the state back up from all the criminal trials of the government, and uniting the protest vote in the Democratic Party of Illinois...

And, yes, you were waiting for it: I'll unite HER protest vote!

Please, vote Lisa for Governor in 2010.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Smell an Aviary Musical Coming on


I mean, we're all doing them these days, aren't we?

(From rdtj23.)


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something to Feel Good about

You human beings are doomed once these guys begin to work together this well.

(From Cute Overload.)


Grand Theft Hamburger Stand IV

Tried GTA IV, finally. Everyone's been talking nonstop about it, and I figured hype might catch up with me. I am a very impressionable young eaglet, always falling to peer pressure.

What were my impressions of the game? Rockstar Games got grit down, finally. Playing it for four hours, I saw NO bright yellow Beetles to steal. There are few clown cars, and ice cream trucks are dirtier than they usually are. Disregarding this lack of pedophiles, the series has swum further toward realism. I could plow into lightpole after lightpole with my ambulance (I stole that about five minutes into my playtime). Then a tree and an "on" ramp stopped me dead, right through the front windshield.

I horrified my spectators that had never seen a Grand Theft Auto (Andy's mom and dad), realizing I was driving an ambulance and that I was clearly not an EMT. But, I said, you can pretty much be whatever you want to be in this game. This is Liberty City, U.S.A. It's a free country. Yes, taking a page from Scarface and The Godfather Pt. 2, GTA IV is about the downtrodden immigrant, searching for a new life and pummeling the cops in his way beyond dental recognition.

I was certainly gleeful in my sprees, and discovered that stars (the rating for how much a police force wants to run to catch you) are much harder to earn. I pulled together two stars as a personal best before I was arrested, and was subsequently arrested four more times in front of the police station until I learned to hold off on the violence until I've at least turned a corner. The hamburger vendor sure learned a lesson though.

The owner of the system, Andy's sister, chided me and picked up the controller and pulled off four stars without breaking a sweat. I was silenced. So were Andy's parents. Later in multiplayer, I saw the attempt at five stars using grenades and RPGs. Unfortunately, nothing could motivate the cops that much, even high explosives and heavy sniper fire from alleys.

So my final thoughts? Try it. Save up and buy it yourself--that goes double for Andy, who I'm certain won't be getting an Xbox for graduation.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Remember: It's a Star-Studded Nerd Holiday

It's May 25th! Go watch Star Wars: A New Hope right now! Then dream about all the girls you're not fondling!



It would be a smashing sensation!
It was a definite temptation!
But there was a severe lack
In my bank account creation!

My poetic and musical skills are getting better I'd say. It was a possibility, but I didn't try to fit in lines about a "transaction" OR "loving faction."

I have watched bits and pieces of the convention, and this Libertarian Party seems about as disorganized as it comes. Microsoft Office Suite appeared on the C-SPAN screen at one point while they were attempting to show some electoral statistics.

I am enjoying this. And if you are up to the challenge, here's someone who actually cares enough to Liveblog this.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Again, a Long Break Was Needed

It's getting hairy, with all the job-hunting, relationship-ending, and total collapse of the current world order.

God I'm glad I'm not a monogamous species.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Did Gnomes Build It?

Discourse is getting phallic.

(From the Flowers.)


Monday, May 19, 2008

More on Indy Later, but Here's a Start

Checking out some stuff...

Typetypetype... oh, look at this! World Mysteries - Crystal Skulls

So they really didn't just make up that silly name? It's a real world mystery? Wondered where they were going from that whole Grail thing, you know, the one SYNONYMOUS with quests and mysteries in today's society?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cute, Creepy, and Almost Copyright-Infringing

Wall-E is beyond comparison the cutest, creepiest, and most fully-fleshed out copy of R2-D2 and Johnny 5 I've ever seen:

Wall-E Spotted in LA! from Blink on Vimeo.

(From confuzdluckyboy's LJ.)


Friday, May 16, 2008

Cubs Playoff Hunt-Watch Starting Already?

We won't start it 'til it's started, to rip off Rocky. Yet it seems to be an inevitability that the Cubs will compete for the division title and pennant this year, if not the World Series itself. Which scares the Hell out of me.

What will we do if the Cubs win? I don't think anything less than detonating an atomic confetti bomb on Chicago's South Side would do. But besides that, I never thought to think about it until yesterday.

I went to the game on Thursday as the NL Central Division leaders won 4-0 over the ex-Cub Greg Maddux, who said it was his last game at Wrigley, likely ever, in that tone he loves to drone reporters to sleep in--seriously, the man's next business move should be selling lullaby records through Disney.

It stunned me, really. To see the Cubs not blow a lead, and to see my old hero off. It was a sort of changing-of-the-guard, if the fuzz-hatted Tories were given standing ovations (Greg got that). For a moment, I felt bad giving the losing pitcher a standing ovation after a 4-run fifth inning, but it was not meant with any disrespect. Greg was just another piece of the puzzle in the Cubs' drive to finally win.

Not one to believe in Predestination or Providence, except in the case of sports, I just got up and sang Go, Cubs, Go. My life in baseball flashed before my eyes in newsreel fashion, and I got a little teary-eyed. My longtime psychological problems with winning were putting on the high heat, and nostalgia beamed me in the batting helmet. I needed Dr. Phil, just a little, who was singing the 7th-inning stretch.

What else but baseball can make me, the normally girded warrior of wit and irreverence, turn to crying on bended knee? Who else but the Cubs could do this with a record I've never seen this early in the season? I don't know. Really, what will there be when my team wins a World Series after 100 years?

Right. Confetti bomb. South Side. Check.


We Totally Forgot Pentecost!

As penance, Andy and his friend Danny took me to see Prince Caspian. Which was fun. And dark and gritty. And full of Christian allegory and smiling lions.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Guitar Hero Band Revolution, Grand Theft Karoake, and Jukeboxcraft 40K

This looks like it might end in some poked-out eyes and, even more likely, copyright suits.

(From rdtj23.)


Chicago Foie Gras Grabs Another Chance

Speaking of being "Pecked to Death by Ducks" the other day, my hometown of Chicago is doing something rash! Or maybe giving some PETA members rashes.

Chicago was the first city to ban foie gras, a dish of buttery, fattened liver created by overstuffing ducks and geese... and then by removing the organ in a barehanded sacrifice.


Okay, so I'm a little Indiana Jones-addled right now. Yet I think it is appropriately gruesome, and I can't say I support the council's decision to reverse its ban on the delicacy either way.

Look: I like liver. I like duck. I like anything that's "fattened," "buttery," and not government-sanctioned. I also like people not causing horrible pain to animals.

When you know your duck has been Mortal Kombat-ed into a convenient, bite-sized French cuisine, it is tough not to imagine it screaming. Though it might enjoy all the food, as ducks like to eat a lot. So, well, enjoying all the food, then screaming in the morning over gaining the extra pounds. THAT'S torture.

Here's a tip, council: stop telling us what we're eating. Stop talking about it. Legislate, but don't tell us, and keep it all behind closed doors for once. I don't want to know, Freedom of Information Act be damned! Seriously, I'm scared what'll happen when you guys tell me how my other food is made.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Me and Andy, Out in the Real World

You know what's nice about being between graduation and jobs? Lots of time on my hands! I just criedwatched Pride of the Yankees, The Graduate, and Temple of Doom. I exercised! And I just finished Prince Caspian and am starting another four books (one is titled Pecked to Death by Ducks... it seemed cool!). I might be a little too optimistic!

Or maybe I'm just really, really pessimistic about getting a job.

Monday, May 12, 2008

One Long-Ass Weekend

Yes, me and Andy have been partying for days (including Mother's Day, and lemme tell ya, Andy's mom KNOWS how to party... I'm still needing a chiropractor), but we're just about back.

Andy's roommate's dad, the Rev. Shannon Webster gave the graduates a great deal of advice before launching into a few renditions of country, folk, and rock. He recited it from memory.

Here is the advice.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm a Speech-aholic

Here was the speech I gave at my grad convocation! I hope it's readable, and I'm working on getting the video up and running.

An older friend of mine, Dan Mordridge, once told me, “Go ahead, Andy: eat and sleep on your parents’ money right now [in college]. My dad always said, it's the best free country club you'll ever be a part of!”

I took this to heart, and wherever my parents are in the audience—well, can someone check up on my dad?

Charity: there’s a good starting point. We lived on our parents’ charity for these years. And our friends’. And our landlords’—well, maybe not charity from them. And of course our teachers’.

Charity from teachers? That sounds odd, especially since I already went through Jesuit high school. Didn’t I know what was coming? Didn’t I expect the loads of homework? The sleepless nights? The 567th trip to the Bursar’s to straighten tuition out? They should’ve given me one of those notary stamps gold-plated.

We all know why we picked it though: we endured the school for the education. Education is charity, at least in some icy corner of the globe. Tough love, tough charity; the work of the Honors seminar me and a few brave souls took was brutal: the first semester, we read thirteen books, with a fourteenth listed as “recommended,” maybe as a joke.

There was charity from my friends, the other inmates of the Honors program, cloistered into Tweast and Twest of Simpson Hall freshman year. We spent our time doing massive piles of reading, watching TV, hanging out and building forts in our lounge—that was the boys’ side.

Floor breakfasts were the best part. All the sharing, story-telling, the Thanksgiving of it. Understandably, the Simpson Dining workers’ charity was put to the test when we all went at once, rearranging tables and chairs in a cruel game of Tetris.
By junior year, I was out of the dorms and in an apartment over on Wayne. A friend’s dad, Mr. Z, told me that every true upperclassman apartment must have a name, so after a short debate, we christened ours “The Duchy.” Mr. Z’s place was called “El Rancho de Malaria,” though I’m not sure what that means: I tested out of Spanish years ago. I’m sure it’s funny.

Trying our neighbors’ charity, we threw birthday parties, Mardi Gras parties, Passover parties. We have a wall of Polaroids as proof. Somehow, we managed to impress our landlord and stay out of prison. That’s the very definition of charity, so I take back the bad things about landlords I said before.

The charity of the bookstores was apparent at that fine time of year, textbook buybacks. This is when you place bets with friends on exactly how much you’re going to get back. I always stayed conservative, usually around $5 for every 30 I spent originally. This year, I bet I’d get 15 for three books. Went into Beck’s, and when the cash register chimed, it read… 24.50?! I’m rich! Oh wait, I just bet away that extra 9.50.


Here we are at the end of the line. After tomorrow, I am doing what every college student should do: taking a year off. I need second choices behind famous comedian, and so I need to figure out what to do with my life. My few ideas so far are going to southern California or Florida to study writing.
How you holding up, Dad? How’s Mom?

It won’t end tomorrow. Some of us are going on to grad school, and some of us are like me... hoping for the charity of a corporation to hire me. But that’s not the end of everything here. My bookshelves are still full of classics I wouldn’t have had without all those great recommendations. And the friendships continue today as we play basketball together, see each others’ concerts, and wave at each other across Sheridan. Some of us even go back to Simpson Dining once in a while, just to rearrange the tables.

We’ve survived tragedies. We’ve endured comedies. We’ve weathered the storms with the help of everyone around us and managed to reach this point. It was fun, a joy, and it was not just for sadists. So here’s to all of our, your charity. It kept us out of prison. Thank you.

I Graduated

I hate cap-and-gown hair.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


The other icon of currently something-rotten Berwyn, Svengoolie, paid tribute to the Spindle yesterday.

However, some reports are saying that parts or possibly all of the Spindle could be put back together in a slightly different location.

It won't be the same, but seriously? Close enough.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Five Years of Aviariness

Hypothetical situation: so I write this one blog... no, wait, a friend writes this one blog. Well, it's really more like a friend of a friend, and the blog is actually written in a dream.

He started this blog May 5, 2003, five years ago to this day, in his dream to get the attention of a girl. Or, a friend of a girl. Who was really hot. This friend of a girl wrote a blog about her feelings but had this great tone that matched my friend of a friend. And so he REALLY liked her. But she wasn't impressed. Yet he kept writing and writing. And he got much better, wrote about a great deal of interesting topics, and developed schizophrenic tendencies. Now he is here.

For a friend.

Well, that leads into what I have to say today. Besides the drunken revelry and celebrations, I am proposing a new platform for the birthday blog, consisting of six points. I call it the Aviary Six-Point Platform:

One, every year, at this time, I will give a State of the Aviary Address, similar to this one.

Two, there will be a new design, with an easier, more prominent way to tell who's writing each post. New color schemes, a calendar, the whole shebang. It'll be beautiful, attractive, and popular. Get going on that, Andy.

Three, more multimedia posts, including videos, maps, animations, and possibly Eaglie-Andy podcasts. I recently discovered Picasa, a slideshow builder! So picture stories might get an upgrade! But don't worry, regular picture stories will continue.

Four, there will be more posts, of longer and greater caliber. But I say that every year. I always lie.

Five, I will begin advertising, working within the Blogosphere, and bringing in more readers and commentators. I will make sure the comment system doesn't suck by then! Andy, get on that.

Six, my five-year anniversary has been kind of lame so far, mostly due to the sheer number of other projects me and Andy are working on. However, the Aviary apologizes and promises a better ten-year anniversary. And we have also changed the name of this new Aviary's Six-Point Platform to This New Aviary's Six-Point Platform.

Happy Birthday, dream-blog!


Sunday, May 04, 2008

I'll Miss that Grand Ol' Spindle, Too

It's sad, you know? I hadn't gotten to drive by it with "Bohemian Rhapsody" cranked for at LEAST two months.


Spindle Thieves in the Night

They stole it. Cermak Plaza, the city of Berwyn (where was the landmark status?), whoever else involved. They stole it.

Friday night/Saturday morning, they took an item of immense value down, piece by piece, tore it out like my heart, Wayne's World be damned.

My dad once told me that the blue car, the third one from the top, was where our old car went. Never mind that it wasn't the right model: I was four. I STILL don't know cars. I think it was a Dodge.

But this is my touching tribute to the sculpture that defined my neck of the woods. Berwyn, Forest Park, North Riverside... what else DID we have? A panther sighting?

Okay, that was an obscure, ancient reference, even by my standards.

Anyway, I wanted to say goodbye, Spindle. You were the tallest thing for miles. And you will stand taller every time you think of you.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

What This New Blogger Post Tells Me

I don't know about you, but with this feature, it seems to me that I can write to you from the future. Or from the past. Maybe both.