Archive for October, 2004

Vote! – Where to vote

Don’t know where to go to vote?

In Chicago, Chicago Elections will let you lookup your polling place (yeah, that “66.107.4.19” isn’t very reasuring as to its officalness, but that’s Chicago for you. And it’s annoying that you have to figure out what your street suffix is in their database — evidently I live on “Winthrop Av”, not “Winthrop Ave”).

In Suburban Cook County you can go to the Cook County Clerk’s Office’s VoterInfonet.

Nationally, the DNC will help you find out where to vote. (I tried to be fair and find the same info on the RNC site — but evidently they want you to Register to Vote but don’t care if you actually go and vote.)

Vote! – Judges

In Illinois we get to vote for the election and retention of judges (at the end of a six-year term, judges have to get 60% “yes” votes to stay in office). The front page article in this week’s Reader is about how hard it is for judges to be voted out. Even when bar associations and citizens’ groups agree that a judge is terrible or incompetent, voters, most likely daunted by the list of over 80 judges to be voted on, rarely vote “No” on judges.

Do I need to go on and on about how terrible an incompetent judge is? Judges make decisions that affect individuals and their families enormously. And c’mon you rebel, you — what’s more “sticking it the man” than getting rid of a judge?

So don’t be daunted! Vote for Judges consolidates the judicial evaluations from a variety of Chicago and Illinois Bar Associations and they have a sample ballot (70K PDF).

And let me point out that one judge up for retention was dinged by all nine bar groups — Susan McDunn — largely for her fierce and unrelenting (even after being removed from the cases from the presiding judge of her division) opposition to two no-contest adoptions that happened to be by lesbian couples. “McDunn is done” is your handy mnemonic.

So please download that sample ballot, but then read the evaulations and see if you agree with their reasons. Make your own decisions, you American, you. (And then vote “No” on McDunn. Seriously.)

Less fartsy, more artsy.

More Art this weekend!

caclogo1.gifCHARCOLL Closing Reception OCT 30th: DEATH
Arts District Warehouse, 1826 S. Halsted

Join us this Saturday, OCT 30th, for CHARCOLL’s farewell reception from 6-10pm. Our 11 month engagement in the Arts District Warehouse ends with artist-constructed OFFERINGS FOR THE DEAD, eerie sci-fi dirges played on experimental instruments, music by violinist Jason Loveall, and a Halloween gathering. Post 10pm afterparties to be announced.

CHICAGO ARTISTS

Theater with a side of nepotism

As Tom has been doing for music, I will attempt to do for theater this weekend. Note that these are not my recommendations of the best theater in the city this weekend, just what I plan on seeing. Will you notice that every show I’m attending includes one of my friends or myself as a performer? Hopefully that common thread will sneak under your radar.

Tonight (Friday, 10/29) I’m off to see Dan in Shades of Red: Four Tales of Horror and Intrigue at 8 pm. It’s four spooooky one-act plays presented by the Box Theatre Group at Frankie J’s Methadome Theatre (4437 N Broadway). Will I have time for ribs at Frankie J’s before the show? I hope so. Yummy. Anyway, it’s the last night for Shades of Red. So… Boo!

Then from Boo! to Ha! and from last to first, it’s the opening night of Don’t Spit the Water, a crazy new live game show presented by Steev at The Playground (3209 N Halsted) at 10:30 pm. Erica is Cutie Bumblesnatch in the show, so I have to go. But you will want to! The show runs Fridays until November 17.

Saturday (10/30) I’m performing with Chicago Comedy Company at The Playground (still 3209 N Halsted) at 8 pm. I’ve been performing with this group for a relatively short time, but I really feel like I’m in a good groove with the group and that we’re having a lot of fun on stage. Three other groups – Miss Hawaiian Tropic, Orange Whip, and Atticus Finch – will perform also.

And then it’s Halloween-Party-Hopping-Time until I collapse on the couch Sunday afternoon to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with some friends. Hmmm… I’m bloated with candy and hung-over already, just thinking about it.

Who Are the Detholz!?

I know, I didn’t post any concerts this week. There was a Terminal Bliss show Tuesday, but I didn’t go. I’m going to see And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead at the Metro tonight, mostly because local band Sybris is opening for them. (No, it’s not the hotel, it’s a band!) I’m not sure if it’s sold out, but you can always check online.

I couldn’t let this weekend pass without mentioning the awesome show that will be at the Empty Bottle this Saturday. Bobby Conn, the Detholz!, and Baby Teeth will be playing some killer sets. My particular favorite, the Detholz!, will be performing their 5th Annual “Jukebox of the Dead.” They’re not usually a cover band, but once a year near All Hallow’s Eve, they dust off the cheesiest of the 80s and give them their own special flavor. Without giving too much away, think of Madonna as sung by John Wayne Gacy or Dire Straits done by Vincent Price. The song is never recognizable until you hear the lyrics; the audience’s reaction is always fun.

Baby Teeth is also guaranteed dancing fun. I’m looking forward to discovering Bobby Conn, about whom I’ve heard good things.

Who are the Detholz!? You’ll just have to show up and find out, Saturday night at the Empty Bottle, around, say, 10pm, for twelve bucks. There are still tickets available. Yeah, I’m buying everything online in advance now. I’ve been burned way too many times recently.

Frustration and Compromise, Here I Come!

My brother is in town until next Tuesday to attend a medical convention. He used to live here when he had a fellowship in U of C’s oncology department and had an apartment in the Lincoln Park/DePaul area. While living there, he developed a great love for John Barleycorn and tries to make a pilgrimage there every time he visits.

You might wonder, why do I hate John Barleycorn so much? Well, first let me disclose that I am rabidly allergic to khaki. Really, if I’m exposed to it for a long time I will break out in hives and if my skin comes into contact with it, I will growl and foam at the mouth. Since John Barleycorn seems to be ground zero for khaki, every time I enter the establishment, I am endangering not only myself, but those around me. Even those sad souls wearing the khaki.

So, if I lose the battle and the party ends up at Barleycorn, I’ll probably end up waiting for them at Cleo’s , where my favorite waitress, Julie, speaks Polish and English, as well as a couple other languages, and hipster folk share the bar with Polacks (my people!) of all ages from the neighborhood. They make a mean martini and there’s rarely any khaki to be found.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’ll probably end up going where everyone else wants to go, in an effort to make everybody happy, then I’ll bitch about it incessantly later. Ain’t family great?

Edens, you are a fickle bitch.

Dear Edens,
I want you to know you have sucker punched me for the last time. I find our love/hate relationship to be toxic with it’s deceitful mind games.

This morning you let me in. It was wonderful. I was late and frantic and you seemed so forgiving with your free-flowing acceptance of my speed as if to say, “It’s OK that you’re late. Here. Let me make things a little easier on you. Let me help you catch up.”

Then SMACK. You had me on my hands and knees, crawling along, controlling my every move for the last mile of my commute. What would have taken me 30 minutes turned into an hour just because you’re up to your usual hormonal control tactics. I can’t live like this anymore. I never know what to expect. You have some serious mood disorders, Edens.

You know, really. How dare you. I have things to do and places to be. I can’t bend to your every whim. Some days you’re fun, light and playful. Other days you’re just downright stubborn and mean. Then there are days like today where you seem like you’re trying to help, like you’re genuinely trying to make my life a little smoother. But what seems loving and kind on the surface is really just sadistic and evil once you pull the layers back. There is no way for me to predict where things will go with us, Edens. I’m sick of being ready to go and having to wait around for an hour for you to get your shit together. If I go to the trouble to show up on time, the least you can do is be ready as well. It’s just rude. We’re always on your schedule. I find you selfish and inconsiderate. Oh sure, I can get to where I need to go with you on time, if YOU feel like it.

I have needs Edens, and you’re not meeting them.

I think we need some time apart. From now on, I’ll be spending more time with Lincoln. Don’t call. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to see you again.

TV doesn’t lie

Some of you may know that I am something of a psychotic Law & Order fan. And I was pleased as punch when Chicago’s very own Dennis Farina took over to fill the very large shoes of Jerry Orbach. But I’ve also been noticing that the writers in Law & Order are turning his character into a conglomeration of Chicago stereotypes (fine Italian clothing, fancy car, a fat roll that no cop would have from their normal income – mob connections, anyone?)

So when I was watching the show last night, and one of the characters was also from Chicago, they made what I thought at the time to be an enormous error. Farina asks the girl “Cubs or Sox” and she laughs. They talk further and find out she is from “Patch” and Farina is from “Little Sicily”. I was immediately livid, wondering why the writers would chose to make up imaginary neighborhoods in a city with 50,000,000,000 neighborhoods to choose from. Hello, fact-check?

Of course, I search this morning and find out that, in some minor cases, “Little Italy” is also known as “Little Sicily”. Also, Bridgeport was also formerly called “Cabbage Patch” and then shortened to “Patch” (I am assuming they changed the name to sever all connection to the embarrassing dance of the same name?). but that doesn’t mean I am letting the writers off scot-free. The “Patch” born character told Farina that she was a Cubs fan, “of course!”

Oh yeah, duh! I suppose if you grew up in the neighborhood that houses Comiskey, you would be a Cubs fan. Stupid.

On that note, has anyone heard of either of these neighborhoods referred to as these “slang” names?

Love a Laverda? Ga Ga over Guzzi? Dante’s is your place.

bsa_tail.jpg Dust ’em off if you got ’em. Liberate your dad’s old Honda CB350, wipe off those leathers, don your finest Snell-approved helmet and head over to Dante’s tonight for “Pistons and Pasta”.

The event, sponsored by ChiVinMoto (Chicago Vintage Motorcyclists) features free food, lots of buzz and plenty of antics put on by some of the coolest cyclists in the region.

You don’t have to ride or even own a motorcycle, just have a love and appreciation for these old buckets of rust we tool around on. The bike watching will be bitchin’, the company even better, and there won’t be a hog or chopper in sight.

What: Halloween party with free buffet and costume contest!!

Where : Dante’s at Racine and Hubbard

The Modernist gets shut down!

Well, temporarily at least. Not for content issues, but for massive traffic overwhelming the server and causing “too much disk spin” or some such bullshit. You see, on Sunday night we posted a new Furniture and Naked People set by South African photographer Henrik Purienne. Fleshbot was nice enough to write it up and BOOM, server-melting traffic.

What’s the point? The real point of this long story is that on Thursday night, the 28th, we launch the new, improved Modernist Society @ Darkroom and I encourage you to attend. I will play records and accidentally stop them in mid-play. It will be awesome.

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