Archive for December, 2004

Shove off visitors to a helping hand

Echoing Beth’s earlier sentiment, there is just too much to see in Chicago. Especially when it is that wonderful time of year when you have family coming from all over to see you and want to see all there is to see. ALL OF IT. You don’t really have a job, do you?

Thank goodness for the Chicago Greeter Program, a group of do-gooders that will give you a guided tour out of the goodness of their heart. Goodie-gooders. And they know their stuff. This account from a writer at the Washington Post really sells it.

Even if you live here, and have all your life, it might be a good idea to check it out next time you have friends and family come through town. You might learn a thing or two..

Dontcha just love interactive government?

I did type “inter” and not “in,” right? Good.

How this almost got past me I’ll nenver know, but I’m glad I caught it before the December 31 deadline passed. The State of Illinois is searching for both a State Amphibian and a State Reptile and Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn has teamed up with the Chicago Herpetological Society and the Brookfield Zoo to come up with some pretty snazzy candidates. You wanna know the best part? Now they’re letting you have the vote!

(By the way, sicko, herpetology is the branch of zoology that deals with reptiles and amphibians. It’s not that thing that your old roomate gave to his girlfriend, okay?)

So go here to cast your vote for the new State Amphibian and State Reptile.

How exciting!

Merry Christmas

Hello, everyone. I know none of you knows who I am, so a brief introduction: Exchange blogger usually found on the London Metblog here, home, in Chicago for the holidays (like, until tomorrow). I meant to contribute more over this past couple of weeks, but you know how the holidays are: lots of friends, lots of family, lots of shopping, little time for anything else.

Nor have I done anything particularly interesting in Chicago. So dense has been the ‘visiting people’ schedule, the ‘visiting my city’ schedule has taken a definite hit. Although “Showtunes Night” at Sidetrack was interesting, I really would’ve loved to have gotten to Jilly’s, and while The Saloon remains high on my list, it would’ve been nice to have tried something else for a change.

No one ever does all they intend on a holiday. I suppose that always leaves a reason to come back, even if it’s sometimes disappointing.

Looking out of the window right now, though, watching the snow fall on Christmas day…. It really reminds me of how much I love this part of the world, and how I miss it dreadfully when I’m away. Cliche? Probably. Sentimental? Yep. But, whatever. It’s still pretty damn cool.

Happy Holidays, Chicago.

When Blogs Collide

We met our reader! He’s a really cool guy and tells us he checks our site every day. To save time, we all took down his email address and will just send him what we write instead of posting it here. The site will shut down tomorrow.

Just kidding.

For those of you who weren’t at Ten56 last night and just happened across this site by searching for “2 congas,” “Festivus,” or Fuzzy Gerdes (because who doesn’t search for that), here’s the rundown:

Andrew from Gapers' Block
Eric Reuther

Andrew from Gapers’ Block decided to check out the competition. His assessment: we’re not a threat.

Also, I want one of their t-shirts. And Christmas is here. Ahem.

Eric did the same thing I did at the beginning of the night – went up to a group of strangers and asked, “Excuse me, are any of you Metrobloggers?” It’s worth it just to see the confused stares in response.

Lauren Liss

Lauren, our fearless leader, is just plain crazy. Though, as you can obviously see in this picture, she knows how to rock, so everything’s good.

Tankboy was stuck with dj duty and didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone. Shame on everyone else for leaving so early! He also doesn’t like being surprised by close-up flash photography in dark bars. Oh, but look at that face… classic. Really.

Jason also showed up later on, but I must’ve put away my camera. I guess I was too busy stuffing my face with free food and beer to take more pictures; you’d think I could’ve taken one shot of our reader. Of course, we don’t want to scare you away. Or something.

The representation from Gapers’ Block made us a little disappointed Chicagoist didn’t show up. However, it did give us an idea for a massive Chicago Bloggers Meetup in 2005; the wheels are already turning on that one. Think of the possibilities! We could have competitions: “My Blog Can Drink More Than Your Blog!” “Guess the Anonymous Commenter!” We could all bring our laptops and – you know, maybe I shouldn’t be the one to plan it.

Forgot to shop? Craig’s got you covered

It’s too late to order on Amazon. It’s too busy and nauseating to go to the mall. But it’s never too late for craigslist. Some of the precious finds you can swipe up for loved ones on the quick…

Christmas with SAMMY SOSA – not REALLY Sammy Sosa, but a Sammy Sosa Celebriduck. WTF is a celebriduck?

Original Chicago Bozo the Clown 1970’s button pin – “Amazing memories of tv memorability” Total redundancy! and redundant!

2 Congas – because who couldn’t use 2 congas? I know I could use 2 congas.

Castle – Design yourself – i think this selling point sums it up – “this will keep the kids busy” (read: eggnog, here I come).

And you should trust craig, he was named one of Newsweek’s “Who’s Next 2005

I have no personal vested interest in this….

OK, that is a complete and utter lie. But, if you aren’t doing anything tonight, you should head over to The Bottom Lounge at 8 and check out Stella. I’ll be there taking pictures and earning my salary in free beer.

Don’t forget your long undies

If you are planning on driving anywhere this Christmas, it would be in your best interest to get the hell out of Dodge before tomorrow night. Not only is this Christmas Eve predicted to be one of the coldest on record, but snow will likely be coming our way as early as tomorrow night. A white Christmas pretty much rocks all the time, except for when it is so friggin cold that your lungs freeze the second you step outside. Rock.

If you are stuck driving on Christmas Eve or Day, you can stop at the toll road oases and get yourself a free cup of joe. Because that will make up for it.

Improv, and lots of it, for a good cause

It’s happened to all of us: you’re still up at 2:30 am and you think, “if only there was an improv show I could go to right now. And if there was some way that going to that show would help give Christmas presents to needy kids, that’d be perfect.” Well, tonight is the one night of the year that dream can come true. Second City is doing their third annual 24-hour marathon of improv to provide holiday presents for needy children. The show starts at 8:30 pm tonight (December 21, 2004) and runs until 8:30 pm tomorrow night.

A core group of improvisors, including Second City performers Dan Bakkedahl, Joe Canale, Andy Cobb, Shelly Gossman, Pete Grosz, Paul Grondy, TJ Jagodowski, Mick Napier, Pat O

What’s the Plural of Festivus?

Is it Festivi?

In any case, there are plenty of them over the holidaze. I’ll be in the suburbs for a week after Christmas, and my “internet access” will probably be spent ridding my parents’ computer of all the adware/spyware/virii, so I figured I better give you everything for the rest of the year now.

Because rock doesn’t stop for any silly holiday. Even Boxing Day, you Canadians. Yeah you. You know who I’m talking to.

Uh, yeah. Let’s just get to the shows.

  • Dec. 23: The Blue Meanies and New Black @ the Metro. I swear this song was in this top 40 list just last week. (I guess I didn’t vote enough.) Regardless, together with the return of the Blue Meanies (I can’t wait to see what I missed before), this is a show not to miss. You could go see the Blue Meanies the day before at the Double Door, but then you’d miss New Black. Or you could go to both shows; I understand the Tossers are playing Wednesday’s show, too.w/ MU330 & the Methadones. AA, 6:30pm, $15.
  • Dec. 26: The Moses Gun @ Phyllis’ Musical Inn. If the last time was the End of the World, then this night is definitely post apocalyptic. Catch one of their bluesy, jumpy numbers here. I can’t think of a better way to spend Boxing Day after having returned all your gifts for drinking money. 10pm.
  • Dec. 28: The Reptoids @ Silvie’s Lounge. I’ll be stuck in suburbia, but this is the last chance you get to see them until they rock the Elbo Room February 18, so get your butt out there to see a band that’s been getting tons of radio play from several Chicago stations. Their new song, which has been affectionately called “mudbutt” amongst the band, will be played live for the first time. They’re taking suggestions for a proper name… w/ Tall Dark Stranger & Ouija Radio. 21+, 9pm (they’re playing first so get there early). price TBA.
  • Dec. 31: Okay, there are tons of options on this night. I’m giving you two that are in my opinion, the best of them all.
    For those of you in town, there’s 90 Day Men, the Ponys, and Pit Er Pat at the Empty Bottle. You could go tons of other places that night, but you’d be spending a lot more money just to get in the door. Plus, those places don’t give you the Ponys and 90 Day Men! Really, it’s a no-brainer. 21+, 10pm, $20.
    If you’re stuck in the suburbs with me, head on out to the Detholz!, Baby Teeth, and Paulina at the Wheaton Grand. Enjoy three great bands in a historic theater under restoration. Plus, I could be wrong, but I hear the Wheaton Grand serves alcohol now, so you don’t have to have a dry New Years. 8pm, $15 at door, $12.50 in advance.

Also, don’t forget to show up at Ten56 tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to meeting our readers. Until then, don’t hog all the egg nog. I want some too.

1st Annual Metroblogging festivuchristmkwanzanukkah!

Come join all your favorite Chicago Metroblogging contributors as we celebrate the holiday of our choice, or just come for the cheap drinks. We’ll all be meeting up December 21st at ten56 (1056 N. Damen) around 8 and would love to meet some of our readers. Be there or be square.

UPDATE – There will be free PBR. For Reals.

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