Archive for March, 2008

Hot Chicks at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry

PhotobucketMy first visit to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry was as a fifth grader on class trip from my hometown in Indiana, and I’ve been in love with the place ever since. I recently revisited the museum and, despite the disappointing absence of the Dippin’ Dots kiosk, I had a pretty marvelous afternoon. What’s not to love?

They have the only Nazi U-Boat captured by the United States, the U-505. It’s a mammoth, awe-inspiring piece of metal, and the exhibit surrounding the ship draws you deeper and deeper (literally and figuratively) into the fascinating story of how the nabbing of the U-505 meant turning the tide on Germany’s technological advantages, and ultimately, the war itself. Also, one marvels that men can endure a terrifyingly tiny living space with sweaty unshowered men and the lingering odor of sauerkraut for long periods of time without going bananas on each other. Or should I say bananen?

Then there’s the Henry Crown Space Center, where my companion and I nibbled on the cosmic deliciousness of freeze dried ice cream sandwiches, the favorite of astronauts and cosmonauts alike. (Wait, cosmonauts are still around, right?) And don’t leave the museum without taking your turn on the shuttle simulators that allow you to heroically land a spacecraft with your cool nerves and steady hand, or, like me, make three attempts to grab space cargo with a giant robotic arm and instead push it helplessly tumbling out into space every single time.

And finally, as my photo choice suggests, my favorite exhibit, the Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery, where you can walk through a huge 3-D model of a human genome and peruse other features I sped through to get to the cute part: the tremulously hatching eggs and resultant little yellow fuzzy-butted chicks running around squeeching at each other and napping together in adorable little clusters. But please don’t scoff — there is a lot of hard science behind cute, and I’ll be happy to explain it to you as soon as I finish chapter three of my latest Hello Kitty fanfic.

Photo by Bryan Bowden.

I’m with the DJ

And she’s awesome.

This week is the Winter Music Conference in Miami and all my friends are there warm and happy, while I am here, in the shoe store, cold in Chicago, with a cold…..

I figure if I gotta be here, I might as well promote my friends via blogging. Let’s start with the ladies….. Kate Simko. Kate produces a night at Sonoteque called Wake Up! (She used to do this with Sassmouth, who is sadly moving to London)April’s will be on the 16th and I highly recommend it. Derek Plaslaiko, who is not only a great DJ, but also a super funny and nice guy will be a guest. I will also be there if that is any incentive for you to go……
We also have Sam One or SR-71. Or just Sam which is what I call her. You should check her out, she’s awsome, knows how to jack, and she LOVES the turntables!! It’s pretty fukin awesome.
And last but not least we have G. Her upcoming event, Sprung will be awesome!
Alright I’m getting sleepy seeing as I am SICK. On another note all together, if this weather doesn’t get better, I’m moving to LA. Srsly.

Too right little birdy!

over winter

A display in the window of the store Foursided.

These Boots Are Made For Burning

I was strolling down Clark St this afternoon, and I happened upon a two block stretch between Montrose and Wilson that I have fondly dubbed The Disposable District. I have never in my life seen such a high concentration of crap stores. One establishment after the next proudly displays rhinestone-studded, neon underwear that will surely transform every last item in the wash a pale, blotchy pink before disintegrating in the spin cycle. And I can only hope that the XXXXL airbrushed Tweety Bird sweatshirts disintegrate immediately after purchase, lest someone actually be tempted to wear them.
Shoes built to last for at least a quarter of a mile, pots and pans sets with specially designed fall-off handles, and porous umbrellas perfect for those rainy day strolls when you feel like gettin’ a little drenched–all these and more can be found in The Disposable District, so make haste! Your trash cans can soon be filled with piles of brand new items. Save time, and don’t even bother taking them out of the package. 1) Purchase item(s). 2) Place in trash. 3) Breathe a huge sigh of relief that America’s sacred landfills won’t follow in the doomed footsteps of our fast-fading ice caps. Whew.

If I had more (read: any) money, I’d go to shows…..

But I don’t.

So I can’t.

And my inbox is constantly filling up with news of upcoming shows and gigs, and right now I can barely afford to get on the bus (moving will do that to you)!

So, I figured I’d share some of them. At least somebody will get to go….

Eddie Izzard!! – Eddie is playing the Chicago Theatre  on May 15th – 17th.

Spoon  is coming to the Vic on April 4th

 Rilo Kiley is coming to the Riviera on May 24th

Jim Gaffigan is playing the Genesee Theatre on August 22nd. Yeah, I realize that’s not “technically” in Chicago. And yeah, I realize that one is pretty far out – I got excited!

And last, but not least, THE KIDS IN THE HALL!!!!! This one I may actually try to go to, but I figured it was worth mentioning (again). They’re going to be at the Chicago Theatre on May 29th!!!

There you have it, folks. Five random gigs, plucked from my inbox, just for you. If anyone plans on going to any of these shows and you happen to have an extra ticket, lemme know…

Top Chef Chicago: Bye Bye, Good Riddance. (SPOILERS)

I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Erik leave… Considering Frontera and Topolobampo are two of my favorite restaurants in Chicago and that I love Rick Bayless, Erik’s attitude had me hating him from the top of the show. Good editing, Bravo.

Mexican can’t be fine dining? B.S. Topolobampo is a perfect example of how Mexican can be new, exciting, fine dining, all while retaining a sense of tradition and without pretense. Erik just showed no class and I was glad to see him go.

Besides, if you cook corndogs in your restaurant all the time, then you should have known they wouldn’t have traveled well–loser.

Hip Hop Hooray

Despite the fact that my roommate had rented the entire first season of Tell Me You Love Me and pizza was on the way, I still managed to peel my rear off the couch last Thursday in time to check out an open mic in Humboldt Park. And despite the fact that I have an unhealthy obsession with Tell Me You Love Me (and pizza, if we’re talking openly here), goddamn am I glad I ditched both in favor of catching the brilliant lyrical stylings of Phillip Morris.
Political and complex with a touch of blistering wit thrown in for good measure, Morris’ brand of hip hop will have you bobbin’ your head on the dance floor…and giving some serious thought to the social injustices featured in his rhymes. Don’t miss his upcoming show, April 4 at Betty’s Blue Star Lounge, where he’ll be taking to the stage with cellist and Tomorrow Music Orchestra member, Lilianna Zofia.

Beet It.

I’d heard about cities in Ohio experimenting with beet juice for ice/snow removal on roadways, but I didn’t know that Chicago was doing it, too.

Sounds pretty good to me, although that business about the laser mounted poles does frighten me a bit…


Snowing on the first day of spring.OK, I know that March 20 is just the equinox and even if it’s the “official” first day of spring that the weather isn’t going to get magically warmer on that day. And I know that Chicago often has snow into April (once as late as May 11). But still. C’mon!CC-licensed photo by Chris Foresman/Additive Theory

It’s Time to Laugh Chicago…..

My favorite comedy troop ever, and I do mean EVER is coming to Chicago. Lets all get excited to seeThe Kids in the Hall. They are so funny and cute and I love Bruce!! They are playing at the Chicago Theatre. So you can purchase tickets at their box office or at Ticket Master. And if you have an extra ticket…give me a call……

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