Archive for September, 2006

Free Music Now

Television. I’ll take a pass. Long walks. They’re great, but it’s getting a little chilly these days. Free live music. I’m there!

This list from the Chicago Tribune is just a sampling of the weekly free live music that can be had in and around the city. One of my favorites not on the list is the Honky Tonk of Fulton County Line. They play regular free gigs at Smoke Daddy on Fridays, then again at the Pontiac on Sundays (where you can also get in on the free Honky Tonk Bingo).

Does anyone else regularly see live music sets that aren’t listed here?

He likes it, he really likes it

Slate’s Jack Shager sings the praises of Chicago magazine Stop Smiling, crediting the published-5-or-6-times-per-year magazine for making him excited about magazines again: “Stop Smiling is smart. It’s idiosyncratic. It’s a little like Dave Eggers’ old magazine Might in that it’s beautiful to look at, only it’s irony-free. And it brims with the romanticism for magazines that Harold Hayes applied to Esquire, Kurt Andersen and Graydon Carter squeezed into Spy, and Louis Rosetto drenched Wired with.” Stop Smiling calls itself “The magazine for high-minded lowlifes,” and with Kurt Vonnegut on the cover of the current issue (in addition to interviews with Garrison Keillor and Dave Eggers, and an article on the Touch and Go 25th anniversary), they can call themselves whatever they like, as long as they keep coming out with such must-read stuff.

Steamy Hot Tub Sex!

I have been following this very important story out of Lockport since I read about it yesterday and I am happy to report the outcome today: not guilty! The details: A 38 year-old woman and her 22 year-old boy toy were cavorting in her backyard outdoor hot tub, definitely naked and probably having sex! Well, lo and behold, a 14 year-old kid next door (and/or his busybody mother) spotted the happy couple and naturally called police, because that is what busybodies and their curious children do in such a situation. After what must have been an embarrassing courtroom scene for everyone involved (for various reasons) a judge did what rational people do when confronted with such a situation: he found them not guilty, because there was no evidence that the couple thought anyone could see what they were doing. Well, yes, they were in her own backyard, weren’t they? That kid is going to be scarred for life, and not because of what he saw out the window, but from the wedgies he’ll be getting at school for the next year. Ah well, back in the hot tub, everybody!

Iva Toguri, 1916 – 2006

Iva Toguri, one of the so-called “Tokyo Rose” broadcasters during World World II and a Chicago resident since 1956, died at age 90 on Tuesday. An American citizen, Toguri was trapped in Japan as the war began and forced to participate in Japanese propaganda broadcasts. After the war, she was tried and convicted of treason, but was pardoned in the 70s by President Ford.

Chicago Tribune obituary
Chicago Sun-Times obituary
Sun-Times: Quiet life of alleged Tokyo Rose
NY Times obituary
WFMU’s Beware of the Blog obituary

(via BoingBoing)

Earlier Booze Two Days a Year

You are probably well aware that as it stands now Chicagoans must wait until 11 a.m. to purchase liquor on Sundays. Read the Sun-Times article that would change that time to 8 a.m., but only when Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday.

I’d like to take a minute to thank the City Council for thinking about our time constraints around the holidays. That’s very nice of you! Here’s my suggestion. If you are going to take the time to discuss this issue, just make it 8 a.m. every Sunday. We’re busy every weekend, not just on the holidays.

Bacon-wrapped bacon

Wednesday night, for the next couple of weeks, is FashionNight(tm) around our house — the start of the season of ANTM and the end of Project Runway have intersected. And what says Fashion(tm) more than… bacon! We picked up two pounds of bacon on the way home and made bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon-wrapped scallops, bacon-wrapped dates, and just-plain bacon. And salad-in-a-bag and rolls so we didn’t feel like exclusive carnivores.

What the F is up with Monique? I’m embarassed that they put “Chicago, IL” under her name everytime she’s pulling some ridiculous tantrum. And holy McCrackers! No one got eliminated on PR! We were so worried for Michael Knight. Four collections at fashion week. Whee!

After the jump, recipes…

Sun-Times Thing Better Late Than Never

Sun-Times 9/15/06

It’s from a week and a half ago, but it’s too grand to pass up. It sure looks like that probe has caught that marshal, right up the ol’ habeas corpus, if you know what I mean.

(Thanks, Shaun)

No, really, it’s just the actual wind

Today’s Red Eye has an article on “13 local myths and mysteries” and number two on their list is “Why is Chicago called the Windy City?”

There are two possible sources, according to Chicago greeter Jennifer Gordon.

“Some think that during the competition for the 1893 World Fair, which Chicago won, that it came down to Chicago and New York,” Gordon said. A New York editor, tired of hearing Chicago politicians brag, dubbed Chicago a “Windy City,” full of politicians with a lot of hot air.

Another school of thought attributes the slogan to a Cincinnati journalist in the 1860s who tired of Chicagoans bragging about their sports teams, Gordon said.

Another school of thought is that you could do actual research and discover the real answer: that it’s about the actual wind off the lake. For example, the September 11, 1886 (7 years before the World Fair) Chicago Tribune notes, “The name of ‘Windy City,’ which is sometimes used by village papers in New York and Michigan to designate Chicago, is intended as a tribute to the refreshing lake breezes of the great summer resort of the West…”.

Did I have to do some crazy digging to find this out? No, the top two results of a Google search for “chicago windy city” both contain the information. Could the original meaning have been shifted by later newspaper writers? I’ll bet you a dollar it was. But it’s a shame to see the Red Eye continuing to spread inaccurate information.

Where Does Barack Obama Stand on Torture?

In this photo from yesterday’s signing of the “Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006,” (I know, I know- try not to laugh) Obama stands to the right of Bush. Let’s put pressure on him so that in the case of torture, he does not stand at Bush’s side at all.

Good question, and, apparently, one which the folks in his Chicago office were completely unprepared to answer when I called them this morning.

Here’s a rough paraphrase of my conversation:

Me: “As a resident of Illinois, a liberal and a constituent of Senator Obama, I would like to know where he stands on the pending legislation regarding the detention and torture of detainees. What is Senator Obama’s position on this issue?

Obama Staffer: Um….can you hold on for a moment please (inaudible off-phone murmurs).


Obama Staffer: Sir? I can’t give you a statement on that.

You know there’s more…keep reading and TAKE ACTION. Call Senator Obama today. Contact info after the jump.

Butter & Syrup Please

I remember not too long ago when we tried to cram the entire MetroBlogging staff into a VW Bug and failed miserably. Believe me, we know failure. For our next attempt at greatness we would attempt to fit the staff into a small Lincoln Park chocolatier. Success at last! We were now “almost famous”.

It seems the Chefs at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago know a little about failure too. They spent nearly an hour stacking pancakes in an attempt to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Their 16 inch stack was well short of the 27 inch record set in France a few years prior.

Better luck next time. I think y’all have a shot at this, so keep trying. Could there be a more boring record? What would you expect the party to be like after breaking such a record?

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