Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday: Random Thoughts.

I am getting amped about the 12" of snow we are supposed to get in the next 24 hours! Yea for snow! I know many people here bitch and complain about the snow... but I did not grow up here so I am not jaded. Plus I walk to work... so not having to drive in the mess helps me not get so angry with it. Snow angels tonight!

Last night LP and I went and saw Wicked. Fantastic! I enjoyed the first act much more than the second (the songs were better in the first half)... but over all it was a great production. Guffman would of been proud. It was fun just to do something different for a change. During the show I kept thinking to myself that the years I lived in NYC I never went to a Broadway show (because I could not afford it... all my extra money went to records and 32oz's of Miller High Life). I am finally seeing Broadway... not on Broadway.

The scary fact I learned this morning: Walmart sells 40% of all DVDs in America. 40%! Wowzers. So now with the release of "Superman Returns" on DVD Walmart is offering a free download version of the movie if you purchase the DVD through one of their stores. Walmart is setting themselves up to hopefully one day get 40% off all downloaded movies. It just amazes me how many people support Walmart because of the low prices... and then spend all of their extra money there on crap. And yes, "Superman Returns" does fall into the crap category.

I dig the new Hold Steady album... "Boys And Girls In America" (Vagrant) just as much as most of the little indie-rockers and snobby rock critics out there. All of the Hold Steady albums are great rock fun. But not one review I've read will admit that the Hold Steady is just rehashing Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band riffs. Come on. Admit it. I know... Bob Seger is sooooo not cool, hip, and indie-rock - but that Hold Steady record you are blasting sure would flow nicely into "Hollywood Nights" or "Night Moves."

Lastly, I have been enjoying reading more and more blogs lately. There are some great minds (warped & sick too) out there. I am learning that lots of women have "Battery Operated Boyfriends" and like to write about them. Some people way over-share. And some people just need help. All of this blog reading has lead me to not pick up the current book I've been trying to read for the past week.
Tomorrow is December!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Not an occurrence you see every day.

Thanks to the Associated Press for being on top of the important news happening around the world:
MAHOPAC, N.Y. - A man broke into a barn on Thanksgiving morning, spray-painted three pet goats and scattered pages of pornographic magazines on the floor, apparently to harass the property owner, police said Tuesday.
Drew Gagnon, 37, of Mahopac, was arrested the next day and was charged with burglary, criminal trespass and animal cruelty, said Lt. Brian Karst, of the Carmel police force, which covers Mahopac. The man who drove Gagnon to the barn, Douglas Bisio, 34, of Mahopac, was charged with criminal facilitation, police said.

Lori Mocha. Carolyn Says.

I am adding Lori Mocha's blog to my blog list just because her writings make my day so often...

I am also adding Carolyn Says' blog to my blog list... because she's a cat person, and her post about her kitty who died is super sad... sniff sniff.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Joe Pugliese

Last night I had a dream I was back in high school. I honestly do not remember much about the dream, but I do remember all of the people around me where classmates from my grade school years, not high school. My dreams rarely take me back to high school (thankfully)... the only dreams I have about high school seems to be about me forgetting my locker combination, or what class I am supposed to be in for first period.

So this morning I decided to look up my alma mater's website and see what the old Cupertino High School is up to these days. I discovered that one of my classmates from my graduating year made it to the school's Hall of Fame. Joe Pugliese was always on the path to become a photographer... and he accomplished his goals. It was either that, or he was going to go pro with his freestyle bmx. It seems quiet clear that he chose the right path. Joe always had two things: a camera, and a smart-ass remark. His sharp wit keep most people laughing for hours.

I have not seen Joe since my high school days, but it's nice to see someone knew what they wanted so early in life... and achieved it. Way to go Joe!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Beer Finds.

Most know that I like beer... Anchor being the tops in my book. Since moving to Chicago I have discovered that this is the land of Miller Lite, not microbrews (ala Portland, OR). Thankfully I can find Anchor here with relative ease... although finding it on tap is more of a challenge. And there are some pubs that have amazing beers on tap (the Map Room). But the majority of this city is Miller Lite.

So I get excited when I find some of my favorites in stores... or discover something out of the ordinary. This week:

24oz of Red Stripe. They make this in a 24oz! Red Stripe is not the best of the best, and its too sweet for some - but their short stubby bottles are hard to resist. This past weekend I discovered my local corner store now carries 40oz's (there goes the neighborhood)... which includes 24's of Red Stripe. At

Bridgeport IPA at Schnucks in Memphis. Thanksgiving took us to Memphis this year, and LP discovered that one grocery store carried our favorite beer from Portland, OR. We have never seen Bridgeport outside of the Northwest. The only (huge) mistake we made... we only bought a six pack. Crap!

Iron City. I finally found Pittsburgh's best at Binny's in Chicago... but they do not have the iron bottles. That is the best part. So I did not rush to pick it up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Flicks.

This morning on I read an article about their Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies. So before I even started reading a few great movies popped into my head... Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Dutch, Home For The Holidays, Son-In-Law, and of course A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

None of these movies made it into their Top 5. None. Instead they picked movies like
Giant, Alice's Restaurant, and Brokeback Mountain. Brokeback Mountain? I thought Thanksgiving movies were:
1. About Thanksgiving, or centered around the Thanksgiving holiday.
2. A good, lighthearted movie to watch with family and friends after eating way too much.

Brokeback Mountain? Alice's Restaurant? I can kind of understand Giant... since it's a long-ass 1950's western... which means you will be asleep in a few minutes letting all the calories you have just inhaled to race to your ass. Who the hell is going to watch any of MSNBC's Top 5 movies this Thursday?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good movie, Not-so-good purchase.

This weekend I made it to a movie theater. I love movies. And I love the whole experience of going to the theater and sitting in the big chairs and eating lots of crap. But I so rarely do it. This weekend I got myself to the theater to see "Shut Up & Sing" which is a documentary about the Dixie Chicks. Not my first choice, although I did want to see it... but the new 007 shows were sold out, and LP is not sure about "Borat." So Will, LP, and I chose "Shut Up & Sing" which ended up being a fantastic documentary. You do not have to be into the Dixie Chicks to enjoy it, and be amazed how many people are willing to jump on a bandwagon (especially during war time). If you are a flag waiving Bush supporter you might not be a big fan of "Shut Up & Sing," but we all really enjoyed it. The best quote from the movie: "You're a dumbfuck." Biggest surprise: how big Rick Ruben has gotten... he takes up half of his couch.

On to another movie story...
I did something I never do... I bought a DVD for a movie I've never seen. When "American Dreamz" was in the theater I so wanted to see it, but just never got to it - just like lots of other movies. From the reviews, and the cast, I could clearly see this was my type of movie. I always get sucked into American Idol. I tend to like movies with Hugh Grant in them... plus Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, and Willem Dafoe all are a good thing. This was going to be the next "Love Actually" or "Notting Hill." So LP and I gave it a watch last night. It sucked. Well... maybe not sucked, but it was far from good and would not be one I would of ever purchased had I seen it. Bummer. This movie also takes many jabs at President Bush too... but they are slap-sticky, and not really funny. Anyone wan to buy a copy of "American Dreamz?"

Watt & Clarkson.

Thanks to Pitchfork for posting this fantastic photo of Mike Watt and Kelly Clarkson! You can read on Pitchfork all about Mike Watt playing on the new Kelly Clarkson record. Wonder what D. Boon would of said?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

PDX in the Windy City.

Thanks to friends, LP and I got to enjoy a couple of the things we really miss from Portland, OR (yes, there are a couple things we really miss there). Juli brought us two pounds of Stumptown Coffee! And Luke & Marni sent us two bottles of Black Rabbit Red. Super fantastic! Amped and buzzed all at the same time!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Get a life PS3ers.

I went out to lunch today with Jason, and during our trip to Aladdin's we passed a Best Buy. Outside the Best Buy was a line of people (probably 20) all bundled up waiting for the release of PS3 which comes out tomorrow... I think. The best (worst?) part was people had set up tents. There was even a family-size tent that was taking up most of the sidewalk. IT A VIDEO GAME PLAYER PEOPLE. Hello? Do these people have jobs? I mean... they must, since the PS3 cost $400 or something absurd like that, so they have to be getting paid from some place. Wonder where they go to the bathroom?

Side note:
Aladdin's Eatery is not good. It's not bad, but it the corporate version of Mediterranean food. I felt bad for eating there. Sell-out.

A Fred Store.

My brother sent me a photo of the this store in Vieux Montreal with an amazing window display... possibly the best window display ever. I know Marshall Fields (R.I.P.) had some amazing Christmas window displays, and Fifth Ave thinks NYC is the top in windows... but I am pretty sure this one tops them all. Just simply placing the name "Fred" over and over in your window is a sign of true class. It's simple. It's elegant. It's powerful. It's Fred.

I just need to throw in my two cents about this OJ book that is coming out... what a sick F***. Really. Anyone who buys this book should be thrown in jail, or better yet they should be sentenced to work in a battered women shelter for a year. OJ is not good. And I have to say I cannot watch the Naked Gun movies just because he is in them. Drinking a delicious glass of orange juice can be difficult at times too (ok... I am making that last part up). Boo for OJ and his new book.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday: Random Notes.

Some random notes...

1. The first track on the new Lady Sovereign album is the crusher. "9 To 5" is an over the top track that clearly points out the Lady Sovereign is not another M.I.A. - and will not give you a headache from listening to her. I know I'll get slack for that... but all of the M.I.A. tracks sound the same. She needs a better producer.

2. The rebuttal given for a Heineken (beer in green bottle) in Amsterdam is not bad... it might even be a good comeback to the Green Bottle Rule - except, if you are in Amsterdam, why the hell are you drinking Heineken in a bottle? And... Heineken still sucks. It's in a green bottle. And Rolling Rock blows too.

3. I was opposed to the idea of this Beatles remix album that is coming out in a couple weeks... but I am changing my point of view. I have heard some of the LOVE record and must say it's a pretty intriguing listen. From what I've read, the only remixers are George Martin and his son. The only added sounds are sounds recorded by the Beatles. So it is Beatles songs that have been layered with more sounds. But I still think Cirque du Soleil is weak... and a waste of money.

4. Smokin' Woody's on the Northside made me still have hope that there is good BBQ in Chicago. Nice call Jason.

5. And for those of you who have been waiting... I still intend to post pictures from last weekend's trip to Medieval Times. Yes, I did say Medieval Times.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Green Bottle Rules

My friend Brian in San Francisco has a Green Bottle Rule. The rule is simple... all beers that come in a green bottle are not good (taste like poop). I'll have to agree with him.

Friday, November 10, 2006


My friend AJ was telling me last weekend about this person (she works with?) who won the Halloween costume party at her work... and he was dressed up as Aqua/Fish/Sea/Ocean Guy (see photo). From the picture you might not be able to see that there are real fish swimming around in the tank. Yep, it's filled with water and tons of fish are swimming in circles around him. How over the top is that?! Crazy! I guess he went to a few costume contests and won them all (which kind of takes the fun out of the costume) - but no denying that it is unique.

And then after looking at the photo a while I noticed the guy has a Camel-toe... so it makes the costume scary too!

Can You Come Out And Play?

I got an Evite this week from a girl on my summer softball team. It's her birthday, and she is having people get together at Joe's Bar for an night of drinks. It was really nice of her to invite me... although it's not my crowd. Joe's is a little too frat boy for my tastes (I believe they have a mechanical bull)... but to go for a birthday party it might be fun. The thing that is stopping me from attending is the image that was used on the Evite - it was a definite sign that this is not a party for me. As you can see it's a little... slutty. A toon "hottie" with the words "Can You Come Out And Play" is a little trampy for my tastes. It's a little too Brats. And maybe if I were single and 21 I might attend (probably not). So since it's my birthday weekend too, I don't think I want to kick it off with Joe's crap-ass-bull-riding bar. I'll kick it off by going to see some bands at the Beat Kitchen and Subterranean.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yea for Green Card!

Since lately I've been disclosing some rather personal info on this blog... I figured I'd role right along and embarrass myself just a little more. I love the movie Green Card. This 1990 classic (can it be a classic if it's only 16 years old?) starring Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu sets the bar for romantic comedies, and is truly unlike many others. Of course it is not as good as You Got Mail, Must Love Dogs, or Notting Hill (best movie ever)... but Green Card is pretty fantastic. Some may say it has dated poorly, but I would disagree. It seems to be on TV weekly, so I challenge you to sit down a watch it... unless you are terrified you will side with me. Hopefully when Richard gets here we can have a Green Card party and get smashed and watch Green Card!

Other random notes for this Thursday...
  • The new Joanna Newsome album "Ys" sounds like a Bjork version of Peter & the Wolf. That is not necessarily a bad thing... but that statement should get my cool-hip-indie-rock card taken away (which I am surprised did not happen when I announced that Deerhoof is terrible).
  • As get older I keep meeting more and more Scorpios. This is a good thing.
  • Jamiroquai's greatest hits album came out this week and I have yet to pick it up.
  • If you don't vote you should not complain about the government. You did not try to fix it by voting... so stop your bitching.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

No More Free Rides.

Did any not see this coming? I was actually surprised the Britney K-Fed marriage lasted long enough to pop out two kids. Actually I am more surprised the marriage lasted long enough for K-Fed's album to see the light of day. So I guess those millions of dollars he "raps" about will be going away soon...
K-Fed slackin' as usual.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote for Judy.

Today is election day. LP and I did our civic duty by going to the polling station before work this morning. There were so many things to vote for... and as usual I left much of my ballot blank. The two big races are for Illinois Governor and the Cook County Board President. Plus lots of seats in Congress. Then the judges (lots of judges who run against no one) and measures. Now I would never even think about voting to Judy Baar Topinka for Governor, not just because she has bad hair, but for the sole reason that she wants to fund the entire state by building casinos in Chicago. F That! No way. Go to Indiana and dump on them by gambling there.

But this past weekend Judy lost it... or snapped... or just figured she was going to lose... so she spouted off. She told a bunch of reporters that Governor Rob Blagojevich was a loser, and that he should manage the Cubs because they are a bunch of losers too. ACES! Go Judy. That took balls! Being a White Sox fan... any public bashing of the Cubs by politicians is always entertaining. That is just plain good old mud-slinging. No good can come from a statement like that (she probably lost some votes from it in the southern part of the state)... but this campaign has been so ugly, that this statement seemed to sum it up very well.

It was so tempting to vote for Judy since she stood up for her Sox. That statement was classic and stupid all at the same time. But to get my vote it really takes more than being a fan of baseball to run the state. ...And we already have that with Governor Rob (who will will again today). Maybe next time Judy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bad times for Cubs fans.

Yesterday in the Chicago Tribune there was a fantastic letter to the editor from Ben Cleveland in Downers Grove...

"Can there remain any doubt that God continues his Jobian test of Cubs fans? Last year the White Sox win the World Series. This year the Cardinals win the World Serier. Next year locusts."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My pal Jay.

I am a Jamiroquai fan. Just throwing it out there. I've never been that into the disco sound, and I am not a superfan of Stevie Wonder... but Jamiroquai seems to do everything right for my ears and brainwaves. I always felt this was something not to discuss, not make public, but after Jamie Oliver went to Jay Kay's house (The Naked Chef: Rock & Roast - Episode NC1B02) and made dinner (a traditional roast with all the trimmings) for Jamiraquai I have been a proud and public fan. If some one like Jamie Oliver is into Jamiroquai then can it really be a bad thing? Maybe... maybe not... but I have gone with embracing it and letting people know. Since Jamiroquai has been popping up quite often in my shuffle play the past few days, and their greatest hits record comes out next week... I'm writing about it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween After-Thoughts.

I took off early from work yesterday so I could get ready for the beggars that would be coming by during the evening... I had yet to carve the pumpkins. I arrived at my front door by 4:30pm and the neighborhood was full of trick-or-treaters. Between 4:30pm and 5pm about 40 kids came by... and most of my candy went with them. These are some of my thoughts and reflections from another Halloween gone by:

1. A majority of the beggars who came by did it before it was dark. I understand being safe... but what fun is trick-or-treating in the daylight?

2. There were a lot of kids not in costume. Hello? Since it's not for me to judge someone for not being in costume (maybe they could not afford one), I gave them PEZ. Then they get candy... but it's PEZ. So I guess I am sort-of judging them. Guilty!

3. No exciting costumes this year. Lots of cute ones, but nothing over the top exciting. And also I did not notice any one costume that was super popular this year. No over saturation of Batmans, Supermans, or some Disney character.

3. Free cigars are great! This couple who were escorting their daughter (granddaughter) stopped by our stoop. The man was smoking a cigar and offer me one. Hell Yes! Since LP was not home from work I could not pass it up (when the cat is away the mouse will play). Cigars are fantastic, but the price I pay is no smooching for a few days while the stank-ass breath goes away.

4. Tons of kids are going to hate the PEZ we gave them. That's funny!

5. I can carve two pumpkins in less than ten minutes. They are not that well done, but it's still something to brag about.

6. LP and I had our traditional Mexican food for Halloween (Day of the Dead is the next day). This year we went to the neighborhood taqueria (Tony's... yes Tony's) which was OK. We both think Dona Torta is much better (for the Northside).

6. People go out late no matter what day Halloween is on... that's why there were not too many people my age at mass this morning for All Saints Day.