Archive for March, 2007

Getting down with the CPL

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

A couple weeks ago, Apryl and I got our Chicago library cards. I know, real exciting, right? I suppose I mention it because it’s one of those little things that make you feel like you are really living here. Of course, we took photos of the event:

We already owe library fines!

Of course, the real big news is that my buddy Trey is back from South Korea. And he and his wife have gotten a place a mere five-minute bus ride away from our apartment. I am looking forward to meeting up with him after a ten year absence!

Summer’s Gone

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Actually, it’s been a few weeks since Summer, our friend from Memphis, came up for a visit. But I just got around to loading some of the photos from her trip, so I thought I would post about it. She arrived on a Saturday morning by train, and we picked her up at the downtown Union Station. It even snowed for her as we left the station and made our way to our apartment and eventually breakfast at one of our favorites spots, Toast. Check out my dish below, the French Toast Orgy.

Unfortunately, Apryl was busy most of Summer’s stay but I had no jobs going on at the time, so Summer and I got to hang out. One day we spent the entire day just walking around downtown Chicago, which gave me an excuse to take some snap shots of the city, including the typical photo under the tracks:

We spent a lot of time at Millennium Park which contains such Chicago landmarks as the Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, and the Jay Pritzker Pavillon. There were even people still ice skating in the park at the time. Check out the photos I grabbed below:

Afterwards, we ventured back through the heart of downtown.

For the rest of the day, I only took photos of our trip through Macy’s, which of course, use to be Marshall Fields.

A very bundled up Summer humors me with a pose in front of the infamous Marshall Field sign.

Summer discovers Franco candy at Macy’s, and…

…makes a purchase. She even bought me rum balls. Yummy!

We made it to several more stores before Apryl finished up at school and was able to meet us downtown for some Giordano’s pizza dinner. And as every reader here knows, Giordano’s stuffed pizza is our favorite!

The next day, we all headed to Chinatown for some lunch. However, after lunch, Apryl got sick so I won’t even bother to post the photo of the restaurant we ate at. Only, I doubt that we will ever be going back.

Apryl and the Nine Dragon Wall.

And here is some odd advertisement at the train stop:

I could just imagine the type of local news attention this would get in Memphis.

The next day we took the long train/bus trek over to The Museum of Science and Industry to check out the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. Since there was no photography allowed inside, I will just give you this photo of Summer and Apryl about to enter (exciting, huh?):

I’m not even going to try to explain this exhibit. If you are unaware of it, please click on the link above and make every attempt to see it before it closes.

Body Worlds 2 (which I kept trying to call Body Works that whole day for some reason) pretty much took up all our time at the Museum. It may be a cliche to say, but you really need a couple of days to see everything here. However, there was this amazing train model that represented downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. But instead of the typical freight trains, these were the L trains and the Metro. The CTA trains even made their stops!

So, there you go. A few photos from Summer’s visit. We also went out to eat in the India district on Devon Street, which was fun, but we were all to cold to do too much sightseeing afterwards. The last night we ate at one of 24 hour Mexician restaurants, and were accused of not paying for a side dish of guacamole dip that we never got. Perhaps, I’m leaving all the best stories out.

As I said, it’s a shame that Apryl was so busy with school that she wasn’t able to spend that much time with her friend. Still, Summer and I had a good time hanging out. She was a very relaxed guest. Hopefully, she will be able to come back when we all have more free time.

Walking Days

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

One of the advantages of doing a lot of walking is that you really get the chance to see your neigborhood. For example, a few weeks ago, I was walking to the bank when I stumbled across this home’s inventive use of a front yard. For going any use of a garden or even a meager lawn, these homeowners decided to install their own miniature golf course, err hole. At this point, I would assume the greatest thrill for these homeowners is how many hole-in-ones they can make in a row, since it must be as easy as geometry to them now. How would you play this one?

Trivia: There is only one Putt Putt in the entire state of Illinois.

Play Ball?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

(1901 American League Champions – Chicago White Sox)

Much to the chagrin of Apryl, I’m going to make an effort to follow baseball this season. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve really taken an interest in America’s favorite pastime (not since Dale Murphy was wearing #3 for the Atlanta Braves). But since we’re living in a city that’s large enough to house two major league teams, I feel I should give it a shot. Sox or Cubs? Well, since Apryl’s school is literally across the street from U.S. Cellular Field, we’ve already claimed the Sox as our home team. It’s just going to be strange getting used to the American League after all those years following the Braves in the National League. I mean, DH? More than that, it’s going to be a challenge to care about a season that stretches 162 games long (a long season is also my main complaint about professional basketball). And of course, there are those games that move at a snail’s pace. Not really making this sound very attractive, huh? Well, to get into the spirit, I have been visiting a fan’s Sox blog. Yesterday, his Zen and the Art of Roster Construction post received 80 comments! So far, the Sox have been playing some rather lousy ball in the Spring Training preseason. I guess we’ll see whether this lackluster effort is indicative of what’s to come during the regular season. Opening Day is April 2.

Monday Night = Free Shows

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Every Monday night, the Empty Bottle has been hosting free shows. This week’s headliner was the Chicago band Headache City. Very fun, poppy rock. Click on their name, which links to their Myspace page, and take a listen to tunes from their self-titled debut. I am still out of the loop on the local scene here. On one hand, it seems that locals must have a hard time competing with all the national acts that come to the city. On the other hand, it would seem that there would be a lot of opportunities for the locals to get some amazing exposure as an opening act. Of course, how many show attendees actually listen to the warm up band? Anyway, while not counting the numerous Chicago bands that are also well-known national acts, Headache City has been my favorite band so far. They even opened up for a Memphis local favorite, Mr. Jack Oblivian. Next week, the oddity known as King Kong (Drag City) makes their way through on free show Mondays at the Bottle.

Tigers Distraction

Monday, March 26th, 2007

What better way to drown one’s sorrows over the Tigers lost on Saturday than with some Chicago deep dish. Apryl and I took our Memphis friends Brooke and Jeff (who were in town looking at law schools) to the downtown location of Lou Malnati’s. Good, good stuff. Although, Apryl still prefers Giordano‚Äôs.

Also, we have had nice weather to help with the disappointing end of the Tigers’ season. In fact, we have had two days straight of records highs of 77 degrees! Now, before all our Memphis friends brag about 90 degree weather, I am quite pleased with our current weather. We have had our windows up all day, and there is a pleasant breeze circulating around the apartment.

Tigers, we love you! Can’t wait to see you in the Final Four next year!

Elite Eight!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Pinch me! I must be dreaming! Did we really just win that game??? Not sure what happened there at the end with the time clock, but what I do know is that we’re in the Elite Eight! I got to catch my breath!

Hey, Matt Sweetney of the Chicago Bulls never doubted it.

We’re Back!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Just thought I would tell everyone that we made it back safe from our Spring Break in Greer’s Ferry (Arkansas) and Memphis. It was great getting to see everyone. Click here for some photos from our trip (more to be added later).

WEVL Spring Benefit Concert- Tonight!

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Friday Nights (with Undead Johnny and Co.)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Last night, The World of Weird Monster Show reran their debut episode, which featured my favorite horror movie of all time, Night of the Living Dead. However, this time around, the film was shown with a running audio commentary (like those found on DVD special features) from some of WOW’s cast (crew). While little was said about the Romero flick, it was an excuse for the creative forces behind the show to talk about the show’s conception as well as the early trials and tribulations of producing a low budget cable access show. At the moment, it’s the most in depth look at WOW. At least until Undead Johnny publishes a “tell all” book. At one point during the commentary, there was a discussion about a show idea where the premise would be a behind the scenes look at WOW. When it was mentioned that one of the reasons that the idea hadn’t been done was because they figured no one would shoot it, Apryl immediately pointed to me. Heck yes, I would shoot this!

The debut episode also set up the show’s main draw – the characters. Unfortunately, the comedic skits were rather hit and miss, especially the opening Undead Johnny interview scene which was way too long (though the ending blood bath was pretty fun). On the other hand, these early attempts at comedy go to show how much WOW has improved with each season.

Apryl never did get why there was a commentary over the entire feature, since there wasn’t really anything being said that pertained to the movie. For me, being someone who has seen Night of the Living Dead a few hundred times, even owning multiple copies (including the early colorized version), I thought of it as another version of the horror classic. And I got to hang out with some of my late night cable access friends. Last night’s show was also an attempt to give the viewers something “new” before starting Season 4, which I believe will be WOW’s best season yet.

They’re not stupid, they’re troopers!
– Dementia’s response to a crack that the viewers were stupid for watching the entire commentary episode.