Archive for June, 2007

Sold out.

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Hopefully, if you had planned to attend this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, you already bought your tickets because tickets for the event are SOLD OUT.

Check here for the complete schedule.

My sister’s visit.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

A few weeks ago, my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew were able to come up to Chicago for a business/personal vacation (two weeks before moving back to Memphis from St. Louis). My brother-in-law, Chris, was speaking at a conference and was being put up at Hyatt Regency downtown, a few blocks from Michigan Ave. While I had to work earlier in the week, we did get a chance to spend some time with everyone. Check out some of the photos below:

Having some dinner at the outside restaurant in Millennium Park.

Outside of our apartment heading for our public pool.

Clay getting ready to make another dive into the water.

Father and daughter.

Apryl and I entertained the kids at our neighborhood playground while Ash and Chris had a quiet dinner.

Did you really think I wouldn’t steer them towards the Gioradano’s experience?

Yep, they loved it!

Sydney posing in front of the Cloud Gate.

Clay entertains fellow tourists.

Play time in front of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park.

In front of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Lake Michigan.

(Note: The Wrigley Building in the background.)

I realized that it was a rare opportunity to have the entire group there at once. I’m glad we were able to hang out and that everyone seemed to have a good time.

Check out the entire photo set.

Sox vs. Cubs – Crosstown Classic

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Last week, the Crosstown Classic went down at U.S. Cellular Field. And it was ugly – well, for a Sox fan. With the help of superstar Alfonso Soriano (who had a home run in each game of the series, including lead off homers in Game 1 and 2), the Cubs swept the Good Guys. And though it’s humiliating, Sox fans were prepared for the sweep, since we had lost 19 of our last 24 games.

I bought a single ticket for Game 1, which was last Friday at 3pm. Taking public transportation was the way to go, though it still meant having to wait for a train to stop by that wasn’t filled to the brim. When I finally boarded, it was off to the South Side – Sox-35th stop on the red line. While getting off I caught a glimpse of this neutral fellow:

Let me tell you, he was in the minority.

By the time I made it through Will Call and into the stadium, I had missed the first inning, which was fine with me since it meant I was spared Soriano’s home run. Despite the Cubs early runs on the scoreboard, it would be a good day of pitching from Mark Buehrle. The Cubs wouldn’t get another run until the 9th when our horrible bullpen took over the game.

Unfortunately, the Cubs pitcher/hothead Carlos Zambrano also had a heck of a game, only allowing three hits for the Sox. One being a homer from Paul Konerko.

Now, I have attended other rival games in the past, but nothing compared to the Sox vs. Cubs. Despite being in the same city (and different leagues), these fans hated each other. A few sections from me in the upper decks, I saw several fights break out between men as well as women. In all, I probably saw eight people ejected from the stadium. I can tell you first hand that the Crosstown Classic does not bring the city “together”.

Before Friday, I had a bit of indifference feeling towards Cubs fans. However, I can now say that Cubs fans are some of the most obnoxious people I have ever had the displeasure sitting around. I think I’ll keep this blog G-rated, rather than repeat some of the things I heard shouted over and over from the Cubs fans. I will say that two of the Cubs fans that were sitting and screaming next to me (giving no regard to the five year old Sox fan in front of them) were the human equivalent of Beavis and Butthead, chuckling at themselves every time they opened their mouths. Ugh. *

Still, it was nice getting to go to the ballpark and enjoy a good ole Kosher dog:

Sure, it might look disgusting but it was perfectly cooked, charred without being burned. U.S. Cellular Field is known for having some of the best food in the major leagues.

Back to the game, is it curtain calls for the Sox? As much as it hurts to say, probably so. Even my favorite Sox blog, Southside Sox has been abandoned by its author and taken up by one of the blog’s readers. We’re not even at the all star break yet! My only hope for the Sox is that they can get back to playing tough games, and remain above the horrendous Kansas City Royals in the standings. Still, I think I need to lay off posting about all the games (which the Sox finally broke out a 5 game losing streak with a victory over Tampa Bay last night), since it’s too depressing.

As for the Cubs, I’m rooting for the “crosstown” Milwaukee Brewers to keep them far out of the wild card race. Bitter? Yes, I am. I know that my brother-in-law (and Cardinals fan) would be proud.

* Note: Of course, not every Cubs fan reminded me of a drunk, overly privileged frat boy. But those who didn’t were definitely in the minority. Another observation: I was struck by how many interleague couples I saw attending the game. How do these folks get along?

It’s Dad Day!

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

– from a store window on Damen.

Honeyboy Edwards

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Living blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards performing at Blues on the Fox in Aurora, IL.

Sox vs. Astros – TV Game #15

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

You might have noticed that I skipped game #14. Well, not really. Actually, I was too disgusted to take the scoreboard photo and post about it. Being a Sox fan is tough right now. The Sox have lost 11 out of their last 13 games! Yes, you read that correctly. We are now 5 games under .500. And things don’t look to be getting any better. Sure, we have several key players on the DL like Erstad and Crede (my favorite). But, it’s really been our bullpen that has fallen apart. Which makes watching Sox games very frustrating. You watch for nearly three hours as the Sox hold the opposing team to only a few runs. And then when the starter pitcher starts to get tired and is replaced, we get slaughtered in the final innings.

Take a look at the scoreboard photo again. See anything odd about it? Despite being the losing home team, there are fireworks going off in the sky. I suppose the supply must be backing up. Or perhaps, the crew just figured they had no idea when our next home game win would be, so we might as well fire them off for the mere “awe” aspect. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen comments, “Did you stay for the fireworks? I hope they were better than the game.”

Guillen added, “They boo after the game, and they should. I don’t blame people for booing me. They pay to watch a good ballgame and they go back home disappointed. I do, too. White Sox fans are not proud right now to be a White Sox fan. I want them to feel proud and make those fans come to the game happier, regardless of whether we lose or win.”

What are we Cubs fans?

(Actually, fans of the Cubbies finally have something to cheer about. Ever since manager Lou Piniella was suspended for, well, being Piniella, the Cubs have been on a winning streak. Currently, they’re 2nd in the Central National League, five games behind first place Milwaukee Brewers.)

Guillen concluded, “We are not a team just to come here and make the fans be happy about their Mullet [Night] or Dog Day or the fireworks nights. We are a team that is supposed to be in the playoffs. This is a team to compete and it’s just not there.”


For those about to rock…

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I worked on a shoot with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth for Dean Guitars? Well, you can now watch two edited clips from that shoot here. They’re the first two, labeled “Glen Drover Interview” and “Dave Mustaine Interview”. Rock on!

(Also, you can watch clips from a show called Game Head on SpikeTV. Here is a link to the episode “Buck Hunter Creators Play Mechanix” that I worked on. Warning: You might have to update your browser for to load properly.)

Join the club

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Check out the “official blog” for the Chicago Pizza Club.

Where do I sign up?

The day before today…

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

I think we can all get behind a Sox victory over the Yankees. It was still frustrating that three of the Yankees’ runs came in the 9th inning. Oh well, Sox win!

After watching the game, I got on the bus to check out Eliot Lipp who was performing at one of the free Monday night shows at the Empty Bottle. When I told Apryl that it was probably just going to be a guy in front of his laptop, she showed her lack of interest with a fake yawn.

I was a big fan of Lipp’s last album Tacoma Mockingbird, which I often played in the background while I would be working on other things. At the show, the beats were less relaxed than those heard on Mockingbird. Instead, it was more of a DJ set with heavy beats for the kids to dance to. My friend Trey walked over from his new place (which is probably 100 yards from the Bottle) to hang out with me and have a beer. He told me that it was his first “laptop” show, which I’m not sure was a high endorsement. We joked that Lipp’s beats were are all preset, and that he was actually playing computer games and iChattin’ with his DJ partner. Still, I enjoyed myself, especially hearing my favorite “Rap Tight”.

Lymbyc Systm headlined the show. A duo from Arizona, the group creates a lot of sound despite the lack of man power. The songs on their albums remind me of The Album Leaf or Explosions in the Sky though last night’s performance was more on the lines of Tortoise. It was probably the largest crowd of the free Monday shows that I’ve attended. Photos below:

Memphis in May

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Last week, Apryl and I (and Eva, of course) trekked over 500 miles back to Memphis for a little Memorial Day vacation. We enjoyed spending time with our family and friends. We look forward to seeing many of you up here real soon. Below are some photos from our trip (none of which come from the Memphis In May festival):

When in doubt on how to get back home, there’s always a FedEx truck that will show you the way!

We had already planned on trying to make it back to Memphis in time to say “hello” to our WEVL friends during the South Main Trolley Tour, but when I heard about the Memphis Zombie Attack, we knew we would definitely have to wake up early to make it to Memphis in time for the Trolley Tour. The “Attack” consisted of hundreds of men, women, and children made up as zombies, sluggishly walking from Beale St. to the intersection of South Main and G.E. Patterson, attacking folks along the way. That is, folks who wished to become a part of the undead. If you wanted to be attacked, or zombified, you were told to attach duct tape to your shirt. Below is an illustration explaining the rules:

Of course, I had to be zombified!

So I made sure that I left the zombies a clear message to that fact.

Above, I’m getting attacked pretty nicely, with my clothes being torn and fake blood doused on me.

Yep, they got me good. And as you can see, I’m enjoying the madness. (Note: The hole in the jeans was already there.)

Below, are a series of photos of the zombies I took afterwards (before running into Brad and Robyn who themselves were documenting the event).

(Note: Zombie with water bottle.)

(Note: I love the kid’s reaction to easily the most gruesome of the zombies.)

After the Zombie Attack, we ran into many of our friends during the trolley tour. A few photos from the non-zombie part of the evening:

Ansley volunteers at the merchandise table outside of the WEVL radio station.

Apryl runs into her friends Jennifer and Caroline.

Our friends Brandon and Greg rock it out as Jump Back Jake.

We also ran into our friends Judy, Brian, Brad, Robyn, Paul, Summer, David, Gina, and Howell. Afterwards, we had dinner with Brad and Robyn at Hueys. Good night!

After several nights staying with family and meeting up with friends (including dinner with John and Julie), I decided to visit my dad who works in West Point, Mississippi, and stays at the Hotel Chester in Starksville. But before that, I traveled a little farther south to visit my grandmother in Meridian, Mississippi, at her assisted living apartment. I met her for lunch, and then we hung out in her apartment for a few hours. It was great getting to see her and her friends. I don’t get the chance to see her that often, so it was nice spending time with her.

I have always been fascinated with her paintings, which she did at least ten years ago. She had had no formal training when a group of her friends decided that they would start a sort of art club. Without a teacher, the group relied on each other for constructive criticism. My grandmother’s paintings usually dealt with her surroundings living in the Mississippi Delta. Below are some of her work:

(Note: Obviously, the mountains give this one away as one of the few of her paintings not depicting the region.)

After my grandmother’s classes ended, she gave up painting. Though before I left, she mentioned that a canvas and easel were in the closet and perhaps she should start it up again. I hope that she does.

I left my grandmother’s and made it way back up 45 towards Starksville and the Hotel Chester.

Above is the historic Hotel Chester in downtown Starksville.

That night my dad and I had some tasty Mediterranean food at Shaherazad’s. My dad wasn’t too familiar with the cuisine but knew that I enjoyed it and thought it was the perfect time for him to try it out. We ordered two à la carte dishes of baba ganoush, tabboule, hummus, roasted vegetables, spinach pies, and…

… yummy zatter bread!

My dad sitting on a bench full of pillows.

On our last night in Memphis, we had dinner with one of my oldest friends Brian and his wife, Michelle, and his young son, Joe. I’m so glad that we were able to all get together. As well as have some tasty Pete and Sam’s.

It was great getting to see so many friends and family on our trip. I only wish we could have seen everyone!

Goodbye, Memphis!

Note: The White Sox lost every single game while we were away. The first game after we got back home, they beat the Blue Jays 3-0. Hmm.