Archive for December, 2007

Because we all could use some free stand-up comedy…

Many people go to Schubas for the music, and they should. However, I’ve been going to this music hot spot most Sunday evenings not for music, but for stand-up comedy. At 9pm (roughly), comedians Prescott Tolk and James Fritz host Your Sunday Best in the upstairs bar. It starts off with a showcase of some of Chicago’s finest stand-up talent followed by an open mic. Best of all, it’s totally FREE. That’s right you can sit, drink beer, and watch comedians who have appeared or will appear on late night TV. You drink enough beer then you might even sign up and try some of those funny ideas you got ruminating. As a special bonus you might catch myself or fellow metroblogger Dan Telfer making with the ha ha’s. Tell you what I’ll even give you a sample filmed by The Bastion editor Elizabeth McQuern:

In Case You Missed It…

On December 23rd Gerald Richardson crashed his minivan into the WLS-Ch. 7 studios on State Street in the middle of a live news broadcast. In case you missed it, here is anchor Ravi Baichwal’s priceless reaction:

Algren’s Christmas

In the December 4, 1949 Chicago Sunday Tribune, Nelson Algren remembered his childhood Christmases selling the Saturday Evening Blade and swindling customers in a story named Merry Christmas Mr. Mark (collected in The Last Carousel):

Around Christmastime the paper guys had cards printed and sold them to us little paper guys for a nickel apiece. They read something like this:

Christmas comes but once a year
When it comes it brings good cheer
So open your heart without a tear
And remember the newsie standing here.

That got them, every time. Especially if there was a light fall of snow. And the swindle in the card routine was this: After he’d paid for the verse and would be thinking he owned it, you’d have to tell him no, it was your only card, you just wanted him to see the sentiment on it, it had cost you a nickel, so please mister could you have it back?

(via Destinyland via BoingBoing)

On the Lam

Hey wasn’t there just a big theft of toys and donations from a South Side Church? And the thieves haven’t been caught yet?

Odd, then to read about these kids in Lafayette, Indiana getting snagged for the same crime:

Three siblings suspected of stealing gifts from the Community and Family Resource Center will spend their Christmas – and the next few weeks – away from home.

Juvenile court Judge Loretta Rush said that she hopes the 10-year-old boy, 11-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy use that time to reflect on what they did.

and then to read that

The family recently moved to here from the Chicago area.

How recently, eh?

(OK, I don’t really think the two crimes are connected. But for bonus fun check out the “Chicago is the scary devil city that sends us demons like these children” comments on that Indiana story.)

(Thanks, girlinblack)

Alert! Warning! Danger!


So Nobody’s Business has the story today (brought to wider attention by BoingBoing) of a flyer on the City of Chicago’s website urging us all to turn Stasi on each other and report behavior that is… well, that’s either so common as to be useless — “note taking, binocular use, cameras, video, maps” (so all tourists are terrorists?) — or so blindingly obviously bad-guyish that a three-year-old would know it should be reported. Like, say. “Attempts to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, etc.” Yeah, you think that might be cause for concern?

I’m wondering, though, if anyone’s actually seen one of these around town? Or would it have just moldered on the City’s website if the blogs weren’t all pointing and laughing?

And seriously, that flier’s ugly. If we’re going to have government fear-mongering, can’t it at least be well-designed?

P.S. “playing out scenarios”? Thank goodness someone is finally going after those damn LARPers.

(Thanks, Chris)

No Reason Why Not: An Interview with David Blixt

I met David Blixt in the summer of 2004, during rehearsals for Defiant Theatre’s final show, A Clockwork Orange. David provided the fight choreography. I recall his hair hung down to his shoulders in lazy curls, and he wore leather boots that laced most of the way up the calf. He looked as if he’d just come from a Renaissance Fair. During breaks David would crack open a laptop and start typing. I asked him once what he was working on, and he informed me that he was writing a book about the origins of the feud behind Romeo and Juliet. Of course he was, I thought. That’s exactly what a Ren Fair geek would write about.

Cut to last July, when Master of Verona hit the shelves.


So, that 0.93 percent chance? Yeah, not so much anymore. Kyle Orton’s return to the starting line-up was uninspiring, the offensive line just keeps getting older, and the receivers are still dropping too many balls. On the plus side, Nathan Vasher’s return to the defense after two months nursing an injured groin provided a much-needed spark, and Brian Urlacher played like the monster we all know and love. But if you go plus-3 in turnovers and still can’t win the game there is something wrong.

Two meaningless games left. The only thing keeping this season interesting is hoping the New England Patriots make the ’72 Dolphins shut up and sit down, already. Thankfully, Chicago has other sports teams. How are the Bulls doing these days?

Oh. Crap.

I guess I’ll have to wait for the next AFL season to start.

The Bears Have a Chance at the Playoffs!!!!!

That is to say, a 0.93 percent chance &#8212 at least, according to Sports Club Stats, a fascinating website sent to us by an alert reader. Through a dizzying array of algorithms Ken Roberts calculates the probability of your favorite sports team going all the way. Or even how well they might do next week. And by “your favorite sports team,” I mean ANY professional team in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, auto racing &#8212 even the Barclays Premier League, for all you Manchester United fans out there.

I must say, 0.93% sounds entirely accurate. And speaking of the Bears…

CTA Doomsday Sample Platter

Look out, things are getting ugly with the CTA and we’re probably going to hate our Monday commute.

I live 13.5 miles from work, so this should be interesting.

(via Gapers Block)

Most UnBeautiful

Campus Squeeze (who’s that? who cares – it’s a list!) names the Illinois Institute of Technology campus one of the twenty ugliest college campuses in the US. Bryan Bedell at Coudal Partners disagrees. Fight!

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