Gators don't sweat.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

TV alert

If you're around tonight, make sure that you check out Trading Spouses on Fox. When Trading Spouses and Wife Swap were originally airing, I was SO into them . I think a lot of the appeal is seeing how many different types of successful (and not so successful) relationships are possible and watching what happens when someone is put into a radically different environment and have to give up a bit of control.

Both of these shows have had some truly enjoyable episodes, but tonight's episode of Trading spouses in the second part of what is probably my favorite of them all. Barbara, the up tight control-freak vegan with the awkward, extremely sheltered home schooled kids and seemingly beat down husband trades places with Diana, a laid back, practical, gator farmer with a sweet but simple husband and a willful, stubborn, and hilarious son, ZeZe.

In the first episode, while dining in some charming Bayou eatery surrounded by turtle soup, crayfish, frog legs, and gumbo, Barbara explains, in a very condescending manner, that she's a vegan. You can't ever tell with these shows if a reaction actually comes from what's being said or is just edited to look that way, but who ever edited this scene did a great job. As she explains she's a vegan, they cut to ZeZe who exclaims how great his oysters are. When she says "So long as we have a choice, we're going to choose compassion over killing, the cut to ZeZe, mouth full, chuckling at her. When she tries to discipline him later, he gives her a halfhearted apology to get her off his back and when she keeps talking he tells her "you're fired".

Tune in tonight to see it all go off the rails. It's on Fox at 7P CDT.

The reason the internet was invented: Cat Pictures.

Stuff on my cat (Via Ultra)

A missed opportunity on so many levels

This morning as I descended down into the Logan Square El Station, I noticed that the platform was a bit more crowded than usual. Bunched up at the bottom of the stairs, was a group of about 40 or fifty people, mostly sporting white T-shirts. As I wandered to my train awaiting spot, I read the back of the shirt something about families losing jobs, but then I read closer. The back of the shirts read, "1000 FAMILIES LOOSING THERE JOBS". I literally did a double take.

Then I remembered that I had left my camera at home! Arrrgh!

I noticed several things in rapid succession. First of all, The front of their shirts read "OPEN THE MEGAMALL" and underneath, in smaller print, "Remember Election Day". Then I realized that at least half of the gathered crowd was Asian, it was certainly an atypical site in mostly Hispanic Logan Square. As the Blue Line will take you right down to City Hall, I figured they were protesting the closing of the Mega Mall.

Anyone that knows me knows that I have much love for the Super Discount Mega Mall. I want to see it open, and I want to be able to buy baseball hats, batteries, shoes, belts, churros, and rims, but couldn't help but wondering if they were doing more harm then good. The Mega Mall was shut down for building code violations. Frankly, that doesn't surprise me all that much, it is after all, about three-five buildings opened up and connected together, and it does appear to be a bit run down.

If you have 1000 families who's jobs hinge on this, wouldn't "there" time be better spent trying to bring the building up to code, than protesting? I mean, bless 'em, cuz their hearts are in the right place, but I hope this doesn't just make things worse...

Needless to say, if you see a one of these shirts in the Thrift store (thriftnlove I'm looking at you), get me a big 'un.

Monday, June 20, 2005

June 24th is the new July 3rd...

From the Tribune:

"Don't get stuck in the traffic mayhem expected to choke the Grant Park and
lakefront areas on Friday, warns veteran broadcast traffic reporter Dan
Fields."The afternoon and evening will feature Cubs vs. Sox at U.S. Cellular
Field, opening day of Taste of Chicago with a concert by LL Cool J at the
Petrillo Music Shell and the first concert at the new facility on Northerly
Island--a double bill featuring the bands Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire,"
Fields told Getting Around in an e-mail, adding that he plans to jump on a train
and head home after work."This year, June 24th is the new July 3rd," he said."
Plus this Friday is also Critical Mass. Seems like a great day for traffic.

On a related note, I was puzzled when I first heard that Lauren Hill had been
scheduled to play at the Taste. She hasn't put out any music in quite a few
years, and the appearances she has made, most recently last
, are most notable for her erratic performances. I saw her at the
Chicago Theatre when she was touring for The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, and
while it was a good show, it was fairly unremarkable (expect for openers
OutKast), but I was looking forward to seeing if we got some freakout action at
the taste.

Last week, it was announced that she would be replaced on the Taste lineup by LL Cool J, I realized that we wouldn't get a freakout, but which would you rather have, possible freakout with lame tunes, or a solid 20 year veteran bringing the hits? I saw LL perform at a B96 Halloween Bash a few years ago. I was really there to see Missy, and *hangs head* Christina Aguilera. The show gave us four songs by each artist and technical difficulties (Christina's track kept skipping), artists hoping to cruise by with bad backing tracks and mediocre dancers (Missy) and the just plain unremarkable ( the girl from Destiny's Child that's not Beyonce or the gospel one), LL stole the show. He came out, ripped off his shirt, and proceeded to unleash two decades worth of hits. He did them ALL. Plus, despite the fact that the qwhole show had taken place in the round, he was the only one to work the audience for all sides, walking across the stage like a panther (with a hat like a shark's fin, natch). If you're going to be downtown on Friday at 5:30 and you don't mind fighting the crowds at the Taste, check it out. After all, LL Cool J is Hard as Hell.

Me? I'll probably be riding my bike.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

8 shopping days until my birthday...

And if you're wondering what to get me, you can't go wrong with a squirrel flask or a musical porch swing. (via Gizmodo)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dead Vegas

Where neon goes to die.

Get it on

Adrants points me to these banner ads apparently for an internet provider in Brazil.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Let's get high

On Wed. The New York Times ran a piece on the High Line, New York's future elevated park located on a former freight railroad right-of-way. Chicago has it's own plans for a similar project on the abandoned Bloomingdale Line which runs east from the Logan Square YMCA through Wicker Park and down the way to Ashland. I've been following the progress of the High Line since I first heard of the Bloomingdale Trail project and watching as it slowly gets permits and works it's way through the system, and it just makes me realize that it's gonna be a long time before I can bike to work on the Bloomingdale trail, which totally sucks, because it would be a better route than any of the streets I currently ride (at least for part of the trip). Until then, I suppose I'll have to settle for these artist's renderings of the High Line and this guy's pictures of the Bloomingdale Trail as it looks today. At least until I get back up there for a hike...

Monday, June 13, 2005

A real American

Hulkamania is running wild!

Those kids and their crazy interfaces....

Data Tiles.

Audio Pad.


Wow-zers! Banana Nutrament has transcribed the lyrics to LCD Soundsystem's Losing my Edge, complete with MP3 downloads. You down with OCD? It's awesome!

edit: Liza points out in the comments that all the MP3s included here are just snippets. Bummer. I downloaded them, but hadn't listened yet. Ah, well.

Keep Rock N Roll "Weird"!!!

Okay, now for the serious shizz. DO YOUR PART! Help get "Weird Al" Yankovic inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!! Of course nothing "Weird Al" related can be simple. There's a map, and certain states are supposed to send letters on certain dates and it's really all too much for me to figure out. But Illinois is set to, I don't know, march on Cleveland or something, on the Sunday. You have been warned.

Some Rah-rah ish

I just read a couple more things I wanted to share here. These can be filed under Business and Rah-rah-rah, Go, Team, Go.

How to Make a Million Dollars is a gussied up Power Point presentation on the best way for you to make a million dollars - by starting your own business. It's an interesting read which suggests many valuable resources. As I was taken in by the piece, I hit the part which advocates throwing out all of the music on you ipod, and loading it up with nothing but books on starting a business. Immersed in the article, I suddenly realized the power of immersion as I watch it happening on some sort of bizarre meta-level. By immersing yourself completely in your desired reality tunnel, it's fairly easy, with practice, to guide your focus and start the energies rolling in the right direction. Immersion isn't a new idea, and it's fairly common sensical, but I hadn't really thought about it in such a way in quite a while. (via Lifehacker)

I also read a couple posts over at Slacker Manager that really hit home with me as well. A post on Micromanagement led to a discussion of the book Fierce Conversations, and Slacker Manager's review of a keynote speech by the author. It's an interesting concept that I can get on board with pretty easily. Our relationships are all conversation based. Relationships happen one conversation at a time. Every conversation we have elevates, deteriorates, or has no effect on our relationships with each other. One of the reasons this hits home for me is because that while I feel I'm blessed to have known some wonderful people in my life, I don't always have the Time or persistence to keep the conversations going.

That's one of the reasons I wanted to put this here shingle up on the interweb. I'm trying to keep the conversation going. Maybe we just stopped talking, or maybe I keep meaning to call, maybe I'm uneasy abaft the way we left it, or maybe your cellphone got stolen or disconnected (Buzz, Holla at a blogga!) but this is for all of us. Let me know what you think. Leave me a comment, or drop me line, and we can build from here. One conversation at a time.

(Told ya we were venturing into Cheerleader-land....)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Mega Mall Shut down!

The Sun-Times is reporting that the Super Discount Mega Mall has been shut down due to building code violations! Apparently there were over 100 violations, and they hadn't been fixed since the previous visit from the city. I don't want to see a propane tank explode and take out the whole dang thing, but here's hoping that the folks at the Mega Mall get their acts together so that they can reopen and we can once again enjoy airbrushing, Churros, Jewelry, and clothing at the flea market that's open every day (except when the city shuts them down.)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

New York, NY it's a helluva town

Stereogum pointed out this list of free shows in NYC this summer. I don't know if I'm going to have any New York readers here aside from my lovely cousin, Elizabeth, but just in case I'm going to post a list of some of my picks I sent her this morning. Anyone want to road trip to NY to see the MC5 and the Sun Ra Arkestra?

I saw the link [above] last night and immediately started drooling. There's so much good stuff happening in your fine city I may have to road trip out to hit at least one ofthese shows...

Some of my picks (followed by my commentary):

Friday, June 17: Will Calhoun presents AZA, featuring Pharaoh Sanders, Graham Haynes, Buster Williams and Orrin Evans with Burnt Sugar and Greg Tate. Central Park Summerstage, 7 p.m. - Pharaoh Sanders was one of John Coltrane's sidemen, also playing (usually Tenor) Sax back in the day, when Trane was signed to Impulse and doing some of the most interesting jazz music out there. Pharoah is a bit older now, and I've seen him do standards as well as some of the more pshycedelic-type jazz he helped bring to the fore in the '60s. Should be great.

Friday, June 24: Soulive and Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Prospect Park Bandshell, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. $3 suggested donation. - Solive is a SF funk outfit. I haven't really heard too much of their stuff, but I know some folks who really dig it. Antibalas on the other hand, rocks my world. They're a big band playing funky afropop that I really think many folks would appreciate. Highly Reccomended.

Friday, July 8: Missy Elliot. Bryant Park, 6-9 a.m. It's Missy. Nuff said.

Thursday, July 14: Ozomatli and Pacha. Prospect Park Bandshell, Park Slope,
Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. $3 suggested donation. - Ozomatli is basically a socially conciouss latin funk/rock group with a DJ and a rapper. I've seen them live afew times, and they're playing the Folk & Roots festival here in ChiIL this summer, and I'm quite looking forward to it. They like to come out into the crowd and jam on their horns for a bit as an encore. Great fun!

Sunday, July 17: Femi Kuti and Brazilian Girls. Central Park Summerstage, 3 p.m.- I've been really into Fela Kuti lately. Fela was a huge name in African Music, he pioneered the "afropop" sound of funky African rhythms merged with american funk and pop. Many of his albums have been re-released in the past few years since his death and are well worth seeking (or soulseeking) out. His son Femi has also been touring with his father's band and keeping the legacy alive. The Brazilian Girls are not Brazilian and only 25%female, but they crank out the chilled out bossa and lounge sounds for hipsters. I dig the album, but Femi is the real draw here. Again, Highly recommended!

Saturday, July 30: MC5, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Suphala and DJ Spooky. Central Park Summerstage, 3 p.m. - This is such a cool bill. This is one of those shows thattempts me to get out there. MC5 is a legendary Detroit (post-? proto-?) Punk band. Sun Ra died a few years back, but he was without a doubt the greatest "Space Jazz" character and band leader ever, and the Arkestra doesn't really play that often anymore. For me this would be the highlight. DJ Spooky's pretty cool as well. This is the big one!

Sunday, August 7: M.I.A. with Diplo and special guests and DJ Rekha. Central Park Summerstage, 3 p.m. - I just saw M.I.A. play Chicago. She's a Sri Lankan rapper (I suppose) with all kinds of great beats. Her album Arular is one of my favorite of the year so far. She's just too cool, and I think she's gonna be huge! I love this woman and this show will probably be quite bananas!

And all that's without mentioning Kanye, Out Hud, Son Volt, Northern State, or Calexico. So much cool free music. I mean, There's aton of stuff in chicago this summer (Lollapalooza, Intonation, Summerdance (starting in just less than two weeks. Yay!), the aforementioned Folk & Roots Festival, and so much more, but I still feel like we're always gonna be the second city.

The future of media

This flash movie is what ultimately made me decide to start a blog. It's an exploration of what the future of our mediasphere might look like. Quite frankly I was impressed by the presentation and a little intimidated by the content. I read newspapers, and I had never before dabbled in RSS feeds, Blogging, or Social Networks like Flickr, Friendster, or MySpace. After I watched EPIC 2014, I really felt like I was gonna have to try a bit harder to stay up on my technology. I started reading my blogs using Bloglines, signed up for a Flickr account (which I haven't really used yet), and started this here blog. Care to join me on the internets?

Can you say "Batshit crazy?"

I love reality TV. I love seeing celebrities at their worst. So, of course, I'm quite looking forward to the new Bobby & Whitney show. These two are even crazier than Anna Nicole and I think there show is going to be hella entertaining. Check out a quick preview here. (via Defamer)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"That's cool. I like Fischerspooner too,"

I really like the new Fischerspooner album, Odyssey. I just keep coming back to it and I'm still digging it muchly. Thighs points me to their video for "Never Win". Lovely. [Win or Real or Quicktime]

Stanley Kubrick's Chicago

Gaper's Block pointed me towards a story from the Trib about a young Stanley Kubrick coming to Chicago to photograph a Kup-penned story for LOOK Magazine. The photos that the Trib posts are pretty cool and while I haven't dug through too many of the images available here, it certainly looks promising.

Hmm. I just look around in the Library of Congress's archive site and I couldn't find any of Stanley's pictures that had been digitized. Let me know if you have better luck.

A quick shout-out!

All of the links that I've posted so far have come direct from Lifehacker. I must admit that I'm quite enamored of this site. In a very short time it's popped to the top of my must-read list and I just wanted to give additional credit where credit is due...

I heart content driven searching

This is too cool. Yahoo Mindset, currently in Beta, in a search engine which allows you to sort your results on a sliding bar scale with research on one end and shopping on the other. As you drag the slider along the bar, you weight the list of results to the side of the bat your closer too. Very fun to play with. (via Lifehacker)

Stop smoking with your cell phone

Not too much to say about this one but, it's an interesting idea. Can text messaging help you quit smoking?

Gleaming the cubicle

I'm a big guy. I don't eat very well, but I'm convinced that with the proper exercise, I should be able to eat whatever I want, in moderation, of course. This year I haven't been riding my bike as much as last, relying instead on the good ole CTA. At work, I sit at a desk and stare at a computer all day. To make matters worse, there's a slight tilt to the floor under my desk, and I find chair rolling me right into my desk. Once I'm wedged in there, I slowly start sliding lower & lower towards the ground. It wouldn't be bad if not for the incline in the floor, really. Plus, all of this craziness, not to mention standing on the CTA, occasionally does a number on my back.

Why do I tell you all of this? Well it looks like someone's created a desk where you can get all your work done on the computer while standing and walking ever so slowly on a treadmill. To me, it sounds ideal. Off the slope, on my feet, and moving, moving. Maybe I need to build one myself. Hmmm.

Disobey & live

I was always a rebellious kid. I always wanted to do all of the things my parents didn't want me to do. To this day I have a knee jerk distaste for anyone who tries to tell me what to do. That's why I enjoyed and want to share this article (via Lifehacker). Apparently, research has shown that thousands of people's lives were saved on 9/11 by ignoring the advice of 911 operators to stay put. It sounds pretty much like common sense to me, but I'm also not really one to panic usually.

OK. Here we go!

I got an e-mail from my buddy pylbug today. He was directing me to his new blog. He had been "sitting on it" for a while, and of course, it just made me think about what a neglectful blogger I've been. Delancey told me that the way to start is just to get going, and I thought that's what I was doing ranting about Nexium, but I didn't keep up the momentum, obviously. We were all talking big about starting blogs and when I made my lone previous post, I figured I'd beat 'em all to the punch, but pylbug threw down the gauntlet. Now? I have a few free hours, so what the hell!

I was out of the city for four days last week/end and I'm just now getting caught up on my blog reading. I didn't really envision myself being one of those linkbloggers that just post links and commentary, but I'm just getting started so you'll have to bear with me while I find my style. Personal journal? Photoblog? Musicblog? Pop culture analysis? Comic book criticism? I'm hoping to get my hands dirty in a bit of each playground, but tonight, the links...