static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Rule of Three

Doesn't it seem that celebrities with similar vocations seem to die close together? I reported last night that Dennis Weaver and Darren McGavin died over the weekend. I read today that Don Knotts, the actor best known as Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith Show and Mr. Furley in Three's Company died on Saturday as well. While I try not to be superstitious, this would fulfill The Rule of Three and is a little weird.

Monday, February 27, 2006

This Weekend

There was a lot that happened and I will touch on it quickly because I don't want to write a long post which is what it potentially could become. I started Friday with a business happy hour thing at the Wyndham Hotel in Itasca. I then went to the Critical Mass Bike Winter Art Show Closing Party. I was hoping to see my friend Cathy but she apparently had bronchitis and was staying home. It was a good time anyway.

On Saturday, I helped set up for a benefit for children with AIDS at Union Station and then went to listen to my artist friend Lacey talk about her installation and residency at the Around the Coyote Gallery.

This weekend, two actors who were well known as TV detectives, died. Dennis Weaver, who played McCloud for 7 years from 1970 to 1977,died of cancer on Friday. He was 81. Darren McGavin, Kolchak and The Old Man in A Christmas Story died on Saturday. He was 83.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

St. Pat's Queen

This news article is just too funny. The national color of Ireland is Kelly Green. Kelly Green is also the name of the 2006 Chicago St. Patrick's Day Queen. Kelly won over 100 other contestants. While the name is very appropriate, the contestants are only introduced by first name in order to prevent possible bias. A Queen only has to be partially Irish, a queen in the past actually had an Italian last name.

There was a pretty good coyote picture in the Sun-Times recently. Mainly because there have been many area coyote sightings and a toy poodle attacked in Oak Park recently. A recent study said that Chicago has the largest urban coyote population in the nation with about 2000 living in the Chicagoland area.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Social Stuff

Yesterday was our monthly book club meeting. We read City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. Berendt, the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which was written about a murder in Savannah, Georgia and the people of Savannah, wrote this time about the burning of the historic Venetian opera house, the Fenice, the investigation, the reconstruction, and the high society of Venetian life. I really liked the story, he built the book as a character study of Venetians and the social battles they have among one another. Most of the people at the meeting this month liked the book but there were a few that didn't care for it. Our next book is Thank You for Smoking, a book about a tobacco lobbyist. I wanted to read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, but I also picked up Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. In addition, I recently bought Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences. So, I have several new books to read in addition to several books that I had picked up in the past. It's amazing none of the books that I have to read are science fiction or fantasy. It's what I used to read exclusively.

Today, I went to lunch with my friends , Bob and Jon. We were going to go to the local Bulgarian Restaurant but it wasn't open so we ended up going to Mexico Restaurant, a family owned Mexican restaurant that has been around for about 20 years. I had never been there but I had heard good things about it and was not disappointed. I picked up the tab because Bob's birthday was three days ago and Jon's birthday is in three days.

And this evening I went to a vigil sponsored by Move On, People For The American Way, and the ACLU to protest this administration's running roughshod over the Constitution. We read the bill of rights and talked about what we thought about warrantless spying. While I was there because I believe in the cause, I have to say that the women leading the vigil was really cute and I wouldn't mind seeing her again.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A good weekend

I had a very good weekend albeit very busy. On Saturday, I volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. I like doing the food depository because you can definitely feel like you have done something after finishing. We did one of the bigger jobs although it also is one of the jobs that requires the least amout of effort. We sorted bread. We were supposed to be there from 1:15 PM until about 4 PM but for whatever reason, we worked until about 4:30 or a quarter to 5. It was all right, they needed us and we provided them some assistance. Afterwards we went to a pretty good Mexican restaurant. I think that it was called Cuculo's but I'm not sure. I left there, went home, burned a CD, and left to meet my friend Lacey and her boyfriend Andy. I won a free pass to a show that was part of the newly formed League of Chicago Music Venues, the Hawk Winter Music Fest. My ticket was for a show at the Empty Bottle with the Dials, the Negligents, and the Returnables. I thought that I had seen the Dials, but apparently I hadn't. While I thought every band was good, I managed to get all of their names confused. The Dials are a kickass post-punk girl group. The Returnables were the Indie rock band that had some great harmonies, and the Negligents did some great old school punk. While I generally go out to concerts by myself, it was nice to have company even if we couldn't really talk (noise).

Sunday, I went to my sister's house to celebrate my nephew's 5th birthday. I was going to get him Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit but somebody else got it for him. I will keep the DVD myself and find something else for him.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Last weekend and a new blog.

I had a great weekend last weekend. I got to do a couple of my favorite things, hang out with friends and see some really cool art. Friday was the night of the Chicago Critical Mass Bike Winter Art Show. My friend Cathy was one of the curators of the show so of course I had to be there. The art was pretty cool even if some of it was a bit amateurish. There were three musicians playing in different configurations and three different names. One of them was pretty cool, one of them reminded me of insane caberet music and I don't even now how to explain what the other "band" was like.

Last weekend was also the weekend of the Around the Coyote Winter Festval. My friend Lacey, who I met through my friend Guy, was the Winter Artist in Residence for the organization. Guy came into town on Friday night for the show. I was hoping that he was going to make it for the show I was at on Friday, my friend Cathy wanted to meet him but it didn't happen. We went to the Around the Coyote show, met up with Lacey, saw the different artists works, went to dinner at the Sultan's Kitchen, and went back to the gallery to wait for Lacey's boyfriend. We stopped at Filter to wait for Adam (Lacey's Boyfriend) and then commenced to a few bars. We started at Piece, commenced to Lottie's, and ended up with the after bar eating at Underdogg. I managed to get home at 5 AM Sunday morning.

So I have a profile on MySpace. One of the things you can do on MySpace is to blog. I am going to use the blog to talk about this blog when I post something new. Maybe I'll get more hits here and maybe I'll get some traffic there as well. We will see.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Grammys

The Grammys were held last night and U2 was the big winner taking home every grammy that they were nominated for, five. Kanye West, Mariah Carey, and John Legend took home three. After watching the show, I really have to say that I was not impressed. It seemed very clunky and several of the duets and group get togethers seemed a little unrehearsed. Add to that the background mikes that were audible during several numbers and you are looking at a trainwreck. The televised portion of the show ran 3 1/2 hours which they used to announce 13 of the 108 awards. I really love music but the Grammys seem to me, at least in the rock categories, to be a popularity contest. While I can't speak for jazz, country, R&B, or Rap, I would imagine that the same is true in these genres as well. According to a nation wide survey of critics, the best album of the year was Kanye West's "Late Registration". Of the nominees for best album, only U2 was named in the top 50 (It was number 8). Several highly lauded artists' albums like M.I.A., Sufjan Stevens, Sleater-Kinney, and the New Pornographers, were not nominated. So what am I saying, popularity equals mediocrity? While that isn't necessarily the case. It does help to drop to the lowest common denominator in order to be popular.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Convergences & Chickens?

So yesterday, I went to a lecture (actually a conversation) between Ira Glass, the host of This American Life on NPR and the new head of the Chicago Humanities Foundation, Lawrence "Ren" Wechsler. Dr. Wechsler talked about his new book, "Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences". Ira is a very good interviewer but Dr. Wechsler really liked to talk and he seems to have the sense of wonder about life that a child does. Listening to him was refreshing. He showed several pictures/comparisons from apparently disparate images. It was interesting to see him draw a link between a Babylonian Cuneiform writing tablet, a South African prisoner, and the Cook County Jail or Slobodan Milosovich and Newt Gingrich or a painting by Cezanne and an image of "Ground Zero" after 9/11. I will pick up the book eventually, it would definitely be a conversation starter.

I heard this on the news on the way to work this morning and it was just too weird not to mention. A retired nurse in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Marian Morris, saved her brother's pet chicken, Boo Boo, after finding it floating face down in the family pond. The bird wasn't breathing so she decided to perform artificial respiration. She put mouth to beak and Boo Boo's eyes opened, she breathed again into his beak and his eyes opened again. She figured the bird was alive so it needed to be kept warm. By this time Boo Boo's family became involved and they put him in a large cardboard box with water and a feeder. The chicken was called Boo Boo because its afraid of everything. They figure he became scared and fell into the pond.

The Grammy's are being announced as we speak. While I have my opinions, that leaves me something to talk about tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Where Have I been!?

Its been a few days since I posted. Why is this, I haven't had enough to right about every day but for the few times that I did try to write, the website seemed to be down. Now that I have given my excuses, what have I wanted to post? Last Thursday was Groundhog's Day and Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow thereby predicting another 6 weeks of winter. While Phil is the head prognosticator, there are several other groundhogs that make there own predictions. Cloudy, a groundhog at Brookfield Zoo did not see his shadow predicting an early spring. While I might have leaned that way until Groundhog's Day, Feb. 2nd was our last warm day. It has gotten colder and the weather has it staying cold for at least the next week and a half. While that isn't six weeks, things have certainly gotten colder than January.

On Friday, I went and saw Pericles at the Goodman Theatre. It was very good although I have to say that it was the first Shakespearean play I have seen or read that wasn't a comedy that had a happy ending. While it was Shakespeare, the director did take liberties with the costumes and sets and there was some slight changes to the dialogue. Having said that, Shakespeare is timeless.

On Sunday, I helped my friend Cathy receive art for the Critical Mass Art Show. It was a bunch of grunt work, but I don't mind grunt work occasionally, especially since it gave me a chance to talk to a friend that I haven't seen in a while.

And to give myself something to talk about, I will leave tonight for tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I just watched the movie "Troy" and liked it. A common objection is that it isn't true to the source. The Odyssey by Homer is a story that is about 2500 years old. It was originally written in Greek and was written in verse. It has probably been translated hundreds of times which would likely change aspects of the story. Having said that, movies almost always change the source material. I do however have one question. Why do characters in movies that are supposed to take place in a classic historical period (with the exception of the Passion of the Christ) have English accents?