Friday, November 27, 2009

That's a truly beautiful sight.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Best Song of All Time of the Week-Thanksgiving Edition

No, this song doesn't have any relation to Thanksgiving. Yes, many of my readers who are Beatles fans will call this sacrilege.

This week's Best Song of All Time of the Week is "It Won't Be Long" which was originally recorded by the Beatles. I'm not awarding the honor to the Fab Four though. I'm awarding the honor to Evan Rachel Wood and her performance in Across the Universe. The girl absolutely belts.

Last night, my brother and I were discussing favorite Beatles songs and I've come to the realization that I can't pick just one. It's impossible. I've decided to organize my favorites into 3 or 4 categories. Pop (Do You Want To Know A Secret), Ballad (Across the Universe), Blues (Yer Blues), and Rock (Helter Skelter).

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I was walking home from work the other day when I saw this sign. I can't recall for sure if I had mentioned this before, but A CONEY ISLAND IS OPENING IN CHICAGO.

For you who don't know, a Coney Island is a Detroit-centric item. Essentially, it is a all beef hot dog, on a steamed bun, with a chili sauce, yellow onions, and mustard. Technically, I've never had a coney because I don't eat onions or mustard, but I tell you, my fellow Chicagoans, that when this place opens, you need to make sure you get in and experience greatness.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best Song of All Time of the Week 11/19/09

Today's winner is "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon.

This is one of those songs I want to sing everytime I get into a fight with Kristen, after it's over, as my side of the apology. The only problem is I'm not really a jealous guy. Other lyrics usually apply to any fight in any relationship though.

I, of course, first heard this song when it was used in the touching montage of mean things that Mikey does to his new baby sister Julie in Look Who's Talking Too, right before baby Mikey (inner monologue by Bruce Willis) kisses his sister good night. I didn't even know who John Lennon was then, and I was like "That's such a good song". I was probably 6 or 7.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I think I've said this before, but Guthrie's is my favorite bar in all of Chicago. It's just great. Good music, board games, and really cheap drinks. I wish I lived next door, I'd go there every night.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Song of All Time of the Week 11/12/09

This week's winner is "Nothing Came Out" by the Moldy Peaches. You know them from the movie "Juno".

I love this song very much. Especially the raw recording. There is a great moment where a telephone rings in the background and Kimya Dawson, who is singing, laughs a little bit.

It's also a really sad song. I feel like there are times where Kimya is choked up or even crying in the recording.

Check this song out!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I am not against the idea of a convenience fee for online purchasing anymore than I'm against paying a shipping charge. I wouldn't doubt that Ticketmaster incurs costs that they need to recover when they operate a large and widely used website, which requires constant updates and a 'round the clock development team to keep it running. I understand all of that. I appreciate the option to not have to leave my house to buy tickets and I would expect to pay a little extra for the convenience.

What I'm not ok with is not having the choice.

To set the stage, Weezer is coming to town. Chicago is one of like 8 cities they are playing on this short little jaunt across America. Granted, their new album is pretty mediocre, but they are still one of my all time favorite bands (probably second only to the great Elvis Costello). So of course, I'm going to go. Plus, it's one of the few bands Kristen actually likes enough to go see live, so any chance I can get to share a concert with her, I'm going to take.

Yesterday, I call the Aragon Ballroom box office. I ask my standard questions (do you accept credit cards, what kind of extra fees do you impose, etc.) and then finally ask "Do you still have tickets for the Weezer show on December 1st?" "Oh, those tickets can only be purchased by Ticketmaster, we aren't authorized to sell them."


I no longer have the option to purchase tickets straight from a venue and avoid the outrageous convenience fees. I don't want this convenience, therefore I don't want to pay for it. It's not inconvenient for me to go to the box office, it's 15 minutes from my house. Dejected, I go to the TM website and put in the order, just to see. All told, after the convenience fee, the venue fee, and the tax, the tickets are about 20 bucks more than they should be. Outrageous, but still, I can manage. I click through to the final step. And another fee of $5.60 has been added to my order. An order processing fee. To me, this seems like it should be something covered by the other 8 dollar convenience fee. The service TM is providing is to take, process, and deliver on my tickets. Can you imagine going to McDonald's, ordering a Big Mac, and then they set it in front of you, in a glass case, but in order to unlock said case, an extra 3 dollars is required? You would freak out!

Beyond that, when you go to the delivery options for your tickets, there are 6 or 7 choices. Very speeds of mail delivery, at various costs. A mail option for anytime up to 48 hours before your event, which is free. And something that I could not believe.

The option to print your own ticket, FOR 2 DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS A TICKET!! To use your own ink, paper, and printer! They send you an e-mail, with your printable tickets, and you print it. And they make $2.50 a ticket.

Listen, I need the 4 of you that read this blog to all tell your friends that we need to fight against Ticketmaster and their unfair ways. I'm not in any way looking to deny them the right to charge convenience fees to those who want the convenience. But they must provide an option, on every show, of a way to get tickets without those fees for those willing to suffer the inconvenience of something like riding a El train 10 minutes and walking two blocks to pay with cold hard cash.

In summation, as a total pussy, I'll be paying all of these fees and going to the concert. But, I'm going to write a strongly worded letter to Ticketmaster, for them to throw in a big pile and then respond with a form letter. That'll show them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Our fridge has not been as cold as we'd like it to be this past week. We called our landlord, who doesn't speak much English, but through her thick accent and broken grammar (and a Google search on common fridge problems) I was able to figure out that she wanted us to try cleaning the coils. This is apparently something you need to do every 6-12 months. As you can see above, it had been way longer than that since they had been cleaned.

You need a vacuum with a hose to properly clean these bad boys, but we, of course, don't have one. Kristen, playing the McGuyver part, fashioned this thing with a Swiffer, a hair tie, and a tape measure.

Our milk was colder this morning, so I guess it worked.

Best Song Of All Time Of The Week 11/5/09

Kristen has started reading my blog. Her first remark was "Man, that song of the week thing makes you look pretty gay." She's right I suppose. I mean past winners have been Mariah Carey, Erasure, and Michael Jackson. This week's winner is known for their theatrical shows, but I don't think they skew towards the homosexual audience.

This week's winner is "The Rake's Song" by The Decemberists.

Apparently this band has been around for a while. Apparently a lot of my friends love this band. Apparently none of them feel that it was important to hand me a cd and say "HEY! YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS!" I guess that just shows that I don't have any friends.

To be fair, one friend did try. He gave me a mix CD that apparently had a Decemberists song on it. The only problem, he provided me no track listing and until now, I never figured out which song it was.

In an effort to be a better friend to my readers than my friends have been to me I will say this. YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THE DECEMBERISTS! ALOT!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another installment of "Things I Never Thought I'd Say"

I finished a 5k on Sunday. I was only walking, but 5,000 miles is still a long way.

Who am I kidding? 3.1 miles was a long way. But for someone who used to drive up to the corner for milk, this is a big accomplishment. I was pretty proud of myself.

I was even more proud of Kristen. She ran a 15k. RAN! 9.2 MILES! This one took alot out of her so no celebration breakfast after, but we're going to Tweet this Sunday instead.

I had my beefs with this 5k though. Mainly the people who put the race on. It's called the "Hot Chocolate Run". It's sponsored by Hershey and after the race everyone gets hot chocolate and fondue and stuff. I was told by some friends who are runners that it's a really popular race because of the goodie bag. That's the main reason people pay money to run in circles is for the goodie bags. Otherwise, shit, just go run around Montrose Harbor and time yourself for free.

So our goodie bag was purported to have a windbreaker (not my style, but I knew that) and a pretty nice moisture wicking winter hat. The hat I actually wanted. When we got to the packet pickup/expo thing, I got my goodie bag, looked in and saw a cap. A stupid brown cap with the logo of a running store on it. I was pretty upset about it. I consoled myself at thoughts of really good hot chocolate (those who have been to the Hershey store downtown know what I expected).

So after the race, we get our hot chocolate. Actually, I should clarify. We get our water mixed with brown chalk. The line for the fondue was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long, so we just high tailed it. Kristen did win a pretty nice pair of Nike flip flops at their tent though.

All in all, I was glad I did it. But I actually lost no weight in the training process. I think my mind said "You're working out a lot more often" so in turn, I was eating more. But, walking doesn't burn as many calories as biking like I normally do at the gym, so I stayed the same weight (actually fluctuated 2 lbs up and down) for 6 weeks. It's my hope that now that I'm done I can get back to my old routine and start losing weight again.