Archive for November, 2004

A bus driver makes Chicago feel like a small town

In the past, I have not been afraid to criticize the CTA. I

Three Concerts to Start December

I didn’t post anything last week, but that’s okay, because I didn’t go anywhere. I missed a lot of good shows by Arcade Fire, the Moses Gun, the Reptoids, Terminal Bliss, and fellow metroblogger Jason, but I needed a break. I kept falling asleep from all the turkey anyway. Hopefully you caught some of them, and let me know what you thought.

By the way, I want to make special note of the Reptoids. They’ve been played on WXRT, Q101, and now on WLUW. Not bad for a band that started only six months ago. I’m sure I’ll say all this again next week, but check them out at Gunther Murphy’s on the 9th; they’re a good time.

  • Thursday: Tegan & Sara @ the Double Door. I admit it, this concert will be a learning experience for me. w/ Rachael Cantu. 21+, 9pm, $10.
  • Friday: Bang! Bang!, Telenovela, and the Dirty Things @ the Empty Bottle. Just go. All the bands rock. The Empty Bottle rocks. I rock. You rock. This is also a record release show for Telenovela, so that’s an added bonus. 21+, 10pm, $8.
  • Saturday: The Goldstars @ the Hideout. They have go-go dancers. Nuff said. w/ My Record Player. 21+, 9pm. Check here for price.

See you there, and happy holidays!

For serious? No, really. Serious?

Yes, for serious. Minnie Driver will be playing tonight at The Double Door. No, it is not some acting thing. No it is not improv. Singing. She will be singing.

You would think actors would learn that the actor – slash – musician thing is the bad way to go (see here, here, here, etc…) And if I remember correctly, didn’t Ms. Driver play an absolutely horrible cabaret singer in a James Bond movie? And didn’t she sing an ear piercing cover of Stand By Your Man?

So, if you have nothing better to do, venture out and see and “slashie” crash and burn.

It may be a rip-off, but at least it

Every year I have to shell out beaucoup dollars for a new Chicago city sticker

Was I the only one who watched this?


I come from an avid (AVID) family of football fanatics. My father coaches for junior high football even though my little brother is long since in high school and would have had Brianne and I play as young girls was the choice up to him (“Screw ballet, football puts hair on your chest”). I also fractured a rib with my current cold (bronchitis? pneumonia? I don’t really care any more) and couldn’t move off the couch all day Saturday without feeling like I was being repeatedly stabbed in the chest. So I watched the IHSA Football Championships on channel 20. Normally I would have at least changed the channel to the Game Show Network, but my homeskillet Libertyville High School had made it all the way and had a good chance of winning. They lost barely last year in a game that almost gave my dad and brother simultaneous anuerisms.

Luckily, LHS managed to pull it off this year, marking their first state victory ever in the history of time. For those not in the know, there are actually 8 state champions. Schools are divided into divisions depending upon school size. Here are the rest of the results.

1A: Alexis United 21, Stockton 14
2A: Sterling Newman 21, Carthage 7
3A: Driscoll 37, Manlius Bureau Valley 14
4A: Montini 44, Coal City 7
5A: Joliet Catholic 17, Morris 0
6A: Providence 40, Bloomington 0 (this game was rad, Bloomington got SPANKED)
7A: Libertyville 13, Cary-Grove 3
8A: Downers North 33, Maine South 13

A conversation Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr

So the all-star guests continue to come to town courtesy of one of Chicago’s least-known organizations, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

I’m highly irritated that I’ll be out of town this Thursday when this event goes on, so you should go in my place and tell me all about it…

Thursday, December 2, 2004
With Judge Abner Mikva and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

5:30 p.m.

borders without books.

I’ve been wanting to read Wil Wheaton‘s books for some time now and for some odd reason decided yesterday, of all the weekends in the year, was the day to buy them. I won’t name the bookstore I went to, but let’s just say it rhymes with “orders,” as in “order more damn books!”

Now, I could have bought these books online easily. However, their online database told me that the closest store had both books in stock, so how hard is it to just go over there and get them? Right? Then I’d have the books RIGHT THEN. Right?

Except they don’t have one of the books. “Oh, you shouldn’t use the online database. It’s never correct,” the info guy tells me in a scolding tone. Then what the CHRISTMAS BELLS is it there for? What the CHRISTMAS DUCK am I supposed to do with it? If I see a link that says “Check to see if this book is in stock,” I’m damn well going to check to see if the book is in stock!

Well, it’s not a total loss; the other book is in their inventory. Only, when the guy goes to look for it, it’s not on the shelves. Apparently, their in-store database can’t be trusted either. At this point, I’m starting to feel like I’m in that Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch, where John Cleese keeps listing cheeses and Michael Palin cheerily informs him they don’t have it. “It’s not much of a cheese shop, then, is it?” Really, Store-That-Rhymes-With-Orders, learn how to inventory your books better.

So I briefly entertain the idea of calling other stores in the area, but he tells me how long it might be before they even answer their phones. I realize I really don’t want to drive all over Chicago just for a couple of damn books. He asks me what I want to do.

“I don’t know; I think I’ll just give up,” was my answer.

This is the kicker. His reply may have made the trip worthwhile.

He replies, “Oh don’t give up. You’ve come this far. What Would Wil Wheaton Do?”

Um. Guy. They’re just books. I think Wil Wheaton would have realized this and decided he could find them another day. Really, it’s not like I idolize or worship the guy; I was just curious about what he wrote.

WWWWD indeed.

One Week until the “The Great Chicago Fire Sale”

The Dept. of Cultural Affairs is “eBaying” Chicago on December 2-16 in “The Great Chicago Fire Sale.” Money will be used to raise money for arts and cultural programs to raise some of the $3,000,000 that got whacked by budget cuts. Ebay claims it’s to be one of the most extensive auctions of it’s kind.

From the CNN article…

“Many of the items up for auction are specific to Chicago, including a walk-on role at the city’s Goodman Theatre, a chance to turn on the landmark Buckingham Fountain for the season, a behind-the-scenes tour of Lincoln Park Zoo and a decommissioned city parking meter.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, which is sponsoring the auction, has seen its budget from federal, state and city sources decline from $11.8 million in 2002 to a projected $8.8 million next year, said department spokeswoman Anne Dattulo”


I just checked and I see that it’s 32 and (probaby) snowing in Chicago. I’m in Austin for Thanksgiving, where it’s 65 and sunny. Did I have a point? Oh yeah — neener-neener.

There was a thunderstorm last night and my 4-year old niece came running inside, not scared but super-excited. She’s a weather buff and wanted us to turn on the TV so she could watch the storm radar map in the bottom corner of the screen. We were all (well, she was) very disappointed that the main storm missed us by a few miles and that there was very little chance of a tornado.

Wild Chicago


Walking over to Erica’s house this week, I ran into this raccoon in Andersonville. (I mapquested it this week — it’s 1.65 miles from my place to Erica’s. Soon I will have walked 500 miles just to be the man that falls down at her door.) It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen a raccoon in Chicago, but according to the DNR, they are more common in the Chicago area than in any other part of the state. A word to the wise: watch out for Raccoon Roundworm Encephalitis. Oh wait, you have to eat dirt or bark that has raccoon feces on it? Never mind then (unless you eat a lot of dirt or bark).

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