Archive for January, 2006

Chefs are all over the Sun-Times’ radar

An article in this weekend’s Sun-Times has an article on women chefs, and includes an interview with my Mr. Man’s co-worker, Joni.

“Sometimes I feel like I work in a body shop. The guys talk about balls and breasts and strippers. I have to filter out what I don’t want to hear,” she said.

I’ve always known he would be in the paper, although not for his potty-mouth. I’m so proud.

On a related note, they also have an article about the flurry of Chicago chefs who will be making an appearance on the excellent and critically-acclaimed* tv show, Iron Chef. Keep an eye out for Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand of Tru and Homaro Cantu of moto.

* By critically-acclaimed, I mean a single critic – being me – who hardly ever misses an episode or marathon

(Your City Name Here)

Maker's Mark Chicago billboard

OK, here’s my rule: if you’re going to try and pretend that your national brand has some special connection to our city, then you have to reference some local landmark or stereotype. Simply putting the name of our city in big letters just makes it obvious that some graphic designer spent a day going “Mark of a great town. Drizzly red ‘wax’ on BOSTON. Mark of a great town. Drizzly red ‘wax’ on MIAMI. Mark of a great town. Drizzly red ‘wax’ on SEATTLE …”

State of the Union Cheat Sheet

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So, I’m heeding tankboy’s advice:
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!

25 things you can expect to hear in tonight’s State Of The Union:
1. Condolences to the King family upon the loss of Coretta Scott King, civil rights activist and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Cue release of small amount of CS gas onstage in order to simulate teary, heartfelt emotion in the President.
2. “Our thoughts are with you” message to the families of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt. Wait, aren’t these guys part of the liberal media? OK, cue the gas anyways.
3. Congratulations to new Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito.
4. Congratulations to his wife, whom the mean Democrats brought to tears. She’s up in the balcony with First Lady Laura Bush and somebody else that we will use as a political prop and then kick to the curb.
5. Congratulations to Hamas on their victory in the democratic Palestinian election. (OK, maybe not).
6. Bush and the Republican party are the only Americans fit to lead America. Bush has a bold agenda of leadership planned for the next few years, although it will feel like longer.
7. 9/11 changed everything.
8. Democrats have a pre-9/11 mindset.
9. 9/11 changed everything.
10. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.
11. We will fight the terrorists there instead of here.
12. 9/11 changed everything.
13. We are winning the war in Iraq, as evidenced by Bin Laden’s and Zawahiri’s recent recordings.
14. Recordings, by the way, which sound an awful lot like “some” Democratic critics.
15. 9/11 changed everything.
16. Only Bush can deal with Iran, because Bush is a leader. Cue saber rattling.
17. Bush must continue his “terrorist surveillance program” (formerly known as the “warrantless wiretapping of innocent American citizens program”) because 9/11 changed everything.
18. Bush breaks the law in the name of national security because he is a leader.
19. Bush to renew pledge to balance the federal budget, despite the fact he was the idiot that wrecked it in the first place.
20. The economy is stronger than ever, although making the tax cuts permanent would really help those down-on-their-luck Republican gazillionaires.
21. The new Medicaid prescription drug program is working perfectly. Ignore the chagrined pleas for help from the elderly.
22. New Orleans will be better than ever.
23. America is stronger than ever.
24. May God continue to bless America.
25. Vote Republican.

“24” Open Thread

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Having vanquished the terrorist threat within the White House, Jack Bauer sets is sights on the diabolical and ubiquitous Chuck Norris.

“24” is awfully close to jumping the shark- you can see the fin just breaking the surface of the water.

The exchange between Cummings and Logan last night, in which Cummings preemptively confesses his involvement in a terrorist plot to detonate nerve gas canisters in Central Asia in order to prove the existence of WMD, was a real eye-roller. Add to that the fact that Logan acquiesced so easily and without hesitation to cooperate with Cummings to cover up the whole episode and one can begin to hear the strains of a familiar two-note bass figure picking up speed and reaching a crescendo.

Sound off- what did you think about last night’s episode?

Kung hei fat choi!

Chinese New Year

A day late, but Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of Dog, or bingxu (the 7th year of a 60-year cycle), or 4703*.

The Chinese calendar is a combination of lunar and solar calendars, with a whole leap-month inserted periodically to keep things in sync (the last one was in 2004 and the next one will be in 2033). So New Year’s Day isn’t on the same day every year — it’s the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. Mark your calendars — next year it’ll be February 18. That also means that those “Chinese zodiac” calendars on your Chinese restaurant placemat aren’t 100% accurate if you have a January or February birthday.

Chinatown had a parade this weekend, but the Hip Sing Association will be having another this Saturday, February 4, at noon on Argyle Street, down Sheridan to Lawrence, and back up Broadway to Argyle.

And speaking of Argyle, Chúc mừng năm mới!

* or 4704. And I can’t figure out why there’s a question.

Shag Rugs and Clean Lines for Everyone!

I just went to Panera on Clybourn today, and parked right in front of a sign letting me know that Chiasso would be opening a store in that same mini-mall. This will be their first retail location (in their hometown – good choice for a flagship), and I can already feel my checking account shrink. First on my list; their botanic throw pillows. Hello, debt by design!

152 Addison

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Get over it, Oprah

Am I the only one sick of hearing how Oprah feels “duped” over the validity of James Frey’s semi-memoir “A Million Little Pieces”? Sure, it’s not all true like he and his publisher both claimed. But man, listening to her lecturing him like a parent lecturing a child makes me want to gag. This isn’t life or death. It isn’t the end of democracy or the fall of civilization as we know it. It’s a book. Get over it.

This American Life is Packing Up and Moving on

I read this a.m. in Gaper’s Block about Ira Glass packing up and taking TAL to New York City. Your thoughts?

Lives in 25 Words or Less: Tales from this Week’s Obits

Made friends through humor: Chicago real estate agent whose last deal came two weeks before his death enjoyed collecting and telling jokes

U. of C. professor was authority on ancient languages: One of the few experts on Elamite noted for knowledge of Babylon

Basketball referee, coach a ‘great mentor’: Mail carrier played for U.S. in 1939 Pan American Games

Lawyer spent 46 years with Chicago Title and Trust

Dedicated teacher was at U. of C. Lab Schools for 34 years: Students say his social studies class made a difference in their lives

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