Archive for February, 2008

WEVL Spring Concert – Saturday Night

Friday, February 29th, 2008

WEVL Spring Concert Poster

WEVL’s Spring Concert featuring Mouserocket, The Third Man, Jeffrey and the Pacemakers, and The Warble is going on this Saturday night at the Young Ave. Deli. Since we won’t be able to make it why don’t you go in our place?

Support!

Where do the Cubs play?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Wrigley Field

There have been lots of talk around here on sports radio and local news about the possibility of selling the naming rights for Wrigley Field. Yes, I found it very hard to believe at first, too. But, it’s hardly an issue of “what if” much longer. The Chicago Cubs along with Wrigley Field are owned by the Chicago Tribune. And Sam Zell, chief executive owner of the Tribune Co., is ready sell the ballpark’s name to any corporation that can put up the money, and end the days of free advertising for the chewing gum company.

I’ve heard of suggestions that whoever purchases the naming rights should at least include Wrigley Field in the title, for example “Best Buy presents Wrigley Field”. Of course, what company is willing to share the name with another, even if it is an American icon. On sports radio, I’ve heard a number of Cubs fans that don’t care what the stadium is called as long as it brings more money to the ball team and gets them to the World Series. Still, I wonder what would be the consequences to Chicago tourism be since the park has got to be one of the top summer travel spots in city. Also, I wonder how much the renaming of Wrigley Field angers those outside of Chicago? Any thoughts?

More about this story can be read from the following articles in the Tribune, “Selling Wrigley Field naming rights OK with Sam Zell”, and the Sun-Times, “Cubdom must rally against The Evil Zell”.

– And speaking of Wrigley Field, the ball park is #30 of Stuff White People Like. Hilarious!

Sox vs. Rockies – ST Game #1

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Well, since I’m a man of my word, I’m here to give you a recap of the Sox’s first spring training game against last year’s National League champions, Colorado Rockies. Now, while today’s game wasn’t televised (though it was available on MLB.tv, for a fee), it was broadcast on 670 The Score. So, here we go:

1. The game was played at the Electric Park in Tucson, AZ under weather conditions that were 50 degrees warmer than they were in Chicago. And, I’m pretty sure that they don’t have snow expected on Thursday night.
2. Today’s starting lineup was without Joe Crede (my fav) or Sox newcomer, slugger Nick Swisher.
3. Crede vs. Fields. Youngster Josh Fields got the starter over Joe Crede at third base. This was hardly a shocker since Crede is more than likely going to be traded before the start of the season. I really hate to see Crede leave but many Sox fans see Fields as the future of the team. While Fields might not be as good of a defensive player as Crede (in fact, Fields made an error during the first inning), Fields commands more power at the plate. While Crede was injured during much of the `07 season, Fields came up from the minors to hit 23 home runs in only 100 games. Since the Sox can’t afford both players, it’s ultimately going to be up to manager Ozzie Guillen to decide who’s going to be sporting a Sox uniform at the start of season. Most Sox fans believe Ozzie has already made up his mind to trade Crede while Crede is now healthy and has some value. Got to love the business side of America’s past time.
4. John Danks was the Sox’s starting pitcher. While he struck out the first batter, he gave up a home run to the very next batter Troy Tulowitzki followed by a walk to University of Tennessee alumni, Todd Helton. Which was then followed by an error from Fields that allowed Helton to score another run. Still, the Sox press seemed to be happy with Danks performance, striking out three batters in the two innings he pitched. During the third and fourth inning, Danks joined radio announcers Ed Farmer and Chris Singleton (both former South Siders) in the booth for an interview. You won’t get that during the regular season.
5. Poor BA. Brian Anderson that is. For some reason, Ozzie doesn’t seem to like the kid, and he’s seen as a bit of a disappointment for the Sox organization. After starting out with the team last year, he was sent down mid season to the minors in Charlotte. Sox fans seem to be split on whether to like Anderson or not. Frankly, I think he has to put with way more crap than he deserves. I see Anderson as an unappreciated player who’s just waiting for the chance to become a hero. Well, he had a good start today with a double, a walk, and a RBI. And he made a nice catch out there in right field. Though, I’m sure what everyone will remember with his performance today is that when the Sox had the chance to take the lead with bases loaded, Anderson struck out. Oh well. One more thing about Anderson. On the Sox message boards, everyone refers to him as BA. I thought it was a lazy, short cut around his name. However, when Danks was in the radio booth during the third inning, he also referred to Anderson as simply, BA.
6. For whatever reason, MLB.com stopped refreshing its online Game Day coverage during the 5th inning. So, it was bit tougher to keep up with all the substitutions. Non-roster invitees that got to play today include Mike Rouse, Brad Eldred, Miguel Negron, and Royce Huffman. I’ve never heard of them either.
7. During the game, radio announcers Farmer and Singleton spent some time talking with the baseball coach from Northern Illinois University. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of the shooting tragedy that occurred on their campus a few weeks ago. Paying their respects, the Sox all wore NIU baseball caps.
8. The Sox’s 7 – 3 loss was the 11th straight loss to the Rockies. Ouch!
9. While we loss (even a ST loss is a bummer), it was still exciting to hear Sox baseball on the radio. I can’t hardly wait for the regular season to start up. In order to get really in the mood, I picked up a hot dog (extra char) at Hot Dougs. Ah, hot dogs and baseball. Is there anything more perfect?

– Tomorrow, the Sox get another chance for a win against the Rockies. However, I don’t believe the game is going to be broadcast on radio or television. Bummer.

Today on Oprah, Me!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Did anyone catch Oprah the other day when she interviewed Valerie Bertinelli? Apryl and I saw it the other night (Oprah is replayed here at 11pm). I was curious to see it because I worked on a segment for it. The shoot was with a group of women who call themselves Vals’ Pals. Inspired by Valerie’s weight loss, the women support each other through their own weight loss goals. The women are from all over but they were brought to Chicago for an upcoming show for Oprah. They weren’t told, though, that it had anything to do with Valerie. While the women were eating at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Oprah show had it arranged for Valerie to come out and surprise the women. Well, towards the end of the interview on the program the other day, Oprah discusses with Valerie about her weight gain as well as her becoming a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig. They then cut to the footage of Valerie surprising Vals’ Pals. There were two video crews covering the event so at one point you can clearly see me in the background holding the boom. So, I can now say, “I’ve been on Oprah.”

– Another thing about the Oprah shoot. While we were at the Ritz, the cameraman and I shared an elevator ride with actor John Leguizamo and his daughter. Nice guy.

Viva Los White Sox De Chicago!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Sure, there may be fresh snow on the ground here, but 1,800 miles away the Chicago White Sox are gearing up to play ball in Tucson, AZ. Believe it or not, the first spring training game of the season for the Sox starts tomorrow at 2:00pm. While I should be able to check out the game on the radio (not working tomorrow), I won’t get the chance to see a televised spring training game until March 15 when WGN broadcasts the Sox/Cubs game. Ugh. Even when I followed baseball as a kid, I have never been this excited for the start of the season. So, expect some type of wrap up post after tomorrow’s game. I warned you.

Until then, enjoy the Chicago White Sox official website in Espanol.

Winners and Losers…

Monday, February 25th, 2008

On Saturday night, Apryl and I, along with our friends Brooke and Jeff, joined the University of Memphis Alumni Chicago Group to watch the Tigers/Vols game at Junior’s Sports Lounge. Of course, the less said about this disappointing night the better. However, I’ve got to mention that while the Tigers lost, I won! Below, check out the U of M blanket I won in the raffle:

Hayden and U of M blanket

For the Oscars, Apryl and I threw a theme party with our friends Trey, Rachel, Alison, Michael, and Colleen. We had stove top popcorn, movie candy, nachos, homemade pizza, and hot dog desserts (ala Marge Simpson’s creation).

And, of course, we all competed with our official Oscars ballots. In second place, Trey won with 11 correct picks, which earned him a Gift Subscription for 1 movie at a time for a month from Netflix. The first place winner was Alison with 13 correct picks, which got her the Gift Subscription for 2 movies at a time for a month from Netflix. I had an embarrassing night with only 6 correct categories. (It should be noted that Apryl tied with Trey but took herself out of the running.)

Photos below from the evening:

Popcorn and Candy

Eva on the Red Carpet

Oscar Watch Party

Eva makes Dessert Dogs

Dessert Dogs

Eva’s Condition: The Results

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Well, the news is what we expected. The lump removed was indeed vaccine-associated sarcoma. So now we’re left with having to decide our next plan of attack. Our wonderful veterinarian Rachel has been doing a lot of work contacting various oncologists in the region. Instead of waiting to see if another lump appears, many of the doctors’ recommendations are for a series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments as well as an amputation of the leg. Rachel has also given us the number of another doctor here in the suburbs that instead suggests having an MRI performed before making that next step. If the cancer has spread, that doctor would conduct twenty daily treatments that would more than likely make Eva a resident at that vet’s for almost a month. I’m not sure what would be more traumatic for Eva: 1) no longer having a back leg or 2) being away from us for twenty days while being treated.

I should mention that we haven’t called these doctors yet, so we don’t know all the details. I think we need the weekend to let it all settle in for us. For awhile, it seemed like the logical next approach would be to wait to see if the tumor returned before making another decision. One of the oncologists said that if another lump appeared, it would appear within 80 days. Also, Rachel mentions a cat that also had a tumor removed at their vet and continued to live for 5 years without the tumor returning. If we do wait and the tumor comes back, the effectiveness of a treatment would all be determined on the aggressiveness of the cancer. So I’m left with a lot of decisions to make in order to save Eva Cat’s life. It doesn’t help that Eva looks so healthy on the outside.

So that this post doesn’t end on such a depressive note, Eva had me and Apryl cracking up the other day. When I got back home from a shoot, I found that Eva had eaten all her food in her bowl and was still hungry. So she ate a hole in the thick plastic bag of her new food. The funny part is that she also knocked over the bag—which I’m assuming is what flung the clip (like those used for potato chip bags) across the room—and then proceeded to drag this 5lb bag of food (with her lampshade on, mind you) into the middle of the kitchen floor so that she could have a little snack before I got home. Amazingly, she didn’t make a mess.

Another Eva relaxin' moment

Another Eva relaxin’ moment.

Everyone needs a Hero…

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Apryl didn’t find this as funny as I did but feel free to judge for yourself. Let me introduce you to Hero Ha, the Beatles covering baby from South Korea:

Hero Lo-Fi

Hero TV Star

Whatever your opinion, Korean TV sure looks more fun than American television!

My Dad’s Visit

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

This past weekend my dad made his second trip to visit us in the Windy City. Last time it was around Halloween, before it got as cold as it is now. You see, my dad actually enjoys the cold weather. And while we did get some cool temperatures, nothing like the single digit lows this week. Anyway, I digress.

My dad rolled up in his pickup around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. After settling in, I drove my dad around a few of the neighborhoods near us, including Logan Square, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Lincoln Park. He seemed to be amazed at how they all seem to flow into each other yet are all unique to themselves.

That first night we stayed in our neighborhood and walked over to Nick’s Pit Stop for some tasty charbroiled chicken dishes. Evidence below:

Dad outside Nick'sDad inside Nick's

After we stuffed our bellies, Apryl and I continued to overload with some desserts from Margie’s Candies. Yummy!

On Sunday, my dad and I had tickets for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game. But before, we took the train over to the sub shop Bari Foods on the Near West Side. My dad had heard about the wonderful subs here and wanted to try them out. We were both surprised to find that the sub shop was in the back of a small grocery store. A small sub is a 9 inch, and they wrap it in white paper. Both of us got the Italian Sub, and I believe we were both satisfied.

Bari Foods

After giving up on the bus, we decided to walk over to the United Center. It wasn’t that bad of a walk and probably helped us walk off our lunch a bit. Below, the stadium:

United Center

Wikipedia, we attended the United Center’s largest crowd for a hockey game (21, 715). Amazing!

Blackhawks face off

Other observations of note: 1) Even with a lousy team, fans of the Blackhawks are very passionate about their home team 2) Fights are more celebrated than goals 3) Hockey is far more exciting in person than on the tube

Wilco bass player at Blackhawks game

Above, John Stirratt (bass player of Wilco) attempts a goal during the 2nd Period break. He missed.

Below, my dad poses outside with a Blackhawks statue:

Dad with Blackhaks statue

We took the bus back to Wicker Park where we stopped in at Myopic Books, which is one of Chicago’s oldest bookstores. My dad picked up a copy of the Chicago Tribune to take back to my nephew Jackson who was writing a school report about Chicago weather. Good luck, Jackson!

Later that day, I drove my dad around to a few more neighborhoods such as Lincoln Square and Chicago’s Indian district, West Rogers Park. During the sight tour, we shopped for some DVD’s which we watched later that night. For dinner we walked a few blocks from our apartment at John’s Pizza and Lounge (home of the “football pizza”) where we all enjoyed some pasta dishes in this 51 year old restaurant.

On our last night, we hung out at the apartment watching a couple of episodes from my DVD purchase of The Very Best of One Step Beyond and my dad’s pick, Los Gavilanes (The Sparrowhawks), an old Mexican western completely in Spanish. Yes, we went to bed very confused.

My dad left Monday morning around 6 o’clock. I got up to tell him goodbye and then went back to rest up for a shoot later that day with the Oprah show (this time it wasn’t with Oprah herself but with Valerie Bertinelli for an upcoming episode). As with the last time, the weekend went too fast. It was so fantastic getting to see my dad in Chicago. It certainly means a lot to me that he was able to visit. I only wish we had had more time together.

Dad and Eva

Eva checking out Sampaw.

Eva’s Condition: Update

Monday, February 18th, 2008

On Friday, Apryl and I took Eva to the vet around 8:30am. They needed to prep her up for surgery which actually started around noon. This was her third trip in two weeks to the vet, so she wasn’t too happy about it. After dropping her off, we tried to keep our minds off of everything (if that was possible) by going out to breakfast at Milk and Honey and making a trip out to Ikea in the suburbs. After hours inside Ikea, we came out with a $6 reversible lampshade that we would later discover to be malfunctioning. As we checked out and headed to the parking lot, we got a call from Eva’s doctor.

She told us that the surgery went well. And that the lump wasn’t on a muscle, which is very good news since there is more of a chance she’ll fully recover the strength in her leg. Still, we won’t know until possibly 10 days if the removed lump was cancerous or not. We were then informed that we could pick her up in a couple of hours. When we got back to the city, we went straight to the vet to pick her up.

It was a bit shocking seeing Eva so drugged out on examination table. I think that was more surprising than the shaved back leg with the long line of stitches. No wait, the oddest thing was Eva’s lampshade over her head. Apryl calls her Conehead. The funniest story about the vet was her doctor telling us how sweet she was all morning. All the way up until they brought in another cat, and then she started her low growling noise. Apparently, she doesn’t like to share the attention.

When we brought her back home, she staggered around like a drunk person, knocking into a wall or a chair or anything in her way. Still, she seemed to be aware of where her things were located especially her food bowl. Even through all that, she hadn’t lost her appetite. And she sure didn’t forget how much she loves Apryl’s lap. Unfortunately, she scrared Apryl twice when she fell out of her lap and on to the floor. Don’t worry, she wasn’t hurt. That night I slept with her on the couch.

The next day she was pretty much back to her old self. She was even getting use to the lampshade, even though she still attempts to rub her face against everything with no effect. Well, the effect is plastic scraping across anything in her path. Also, we really get a kick out of her attempt to bathe parts of her body that she’s not able to reach because of the lampshade. Instead of realizing that it’s having no effect, she just goes ahead and licks the inside of her lampshade. I should try to get video of this and post it later. We even got a call from her doctor making sure everything was going alright. Thanks Dr. Rachel!

So, she seems to be doing really good right now. In three days, she can remove the lampshade and finally get full licking access. Thanks everyone for your well wishes. They were much appreciated. I’ll keep you posted on the results of the lump when we get them.

Eva on Apryl's lap

– Expect upcoming posts this week of my dad’s weekend trip and the return of Sox baseball!