Friday, December 26, 2008

We finally made it!

The Creech gets his first taste of Europe in Prague's Old Town Square.
Hot mulled wine. Yummmm!!!

I begin drooling and rubbing up against old buildings.
Please? Can I live here?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Delicious M83

A few weeks ago I had to return to Minneapolis for my grandpa's funeral. It was cold and sad. Especially since this was my first time back after the last burial.

There was however one highlight. Ed and I got to see M83 play the Triple Rock Social Club on Saturday night!


These guys really blew me away. I'd heard their records before but never had a chance to see them live. I think it was the perfect combination of a really great space that got filled to the brim with their permeating sound.

You couldn't help but jive and sway to their tunes. Especially the Graveyard Girl -- they just jumped right into it and for a few minutes there I forgot where exactly I was. And why.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When Pandas Attack

The following is by far my favorite news article of the week. It teaches us several valuable lessons about the dangers of unrestrained desires. And in addition it confirms once again that human stupidity is truly international.

Retrieved from CNN on 11/22/2008.

Panda bites student seeking a hug

BEIJING (AP) -- A college student in southern China was bitten by a panda after he broke into the bear's enclosure hoping to get a hug, state media and a park employee said Saturday. Don't be deceived. Pandas might look cute but they're not to be trifled with.

The student was visiting Qixing Park with classmates on Friday when he jumped the 6.5-foot (2-meter) high fence around the panda's habitat, said the park employee, who refused to give his name.

The park in Guilin, a popular tourist town in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, houses a small zoo and a panda exhibit. It was virtually deserted when the student scaled the fence surrounding the panda, named Yang Yang, the employee said.

He said the student was bitten on the arms and legs. Two foreign visitors who saw the attack ran to get help from workers at a nearby refreshment stand, who notified park officials, the employee said.

The student was pale as he was taken away by medics but appeared clear-headed, he said.

"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn't expect he would attack," the 20-year-old student, surnamed Liu, said in a local hospital, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Liu underwent surgery Friday evening and was out of danger, but will remain in the hospital for several days, Xinhua said.

Yang Yang, who was flown to Guilin last year from Sichuan province, was behaving normally on Saturday and did not seem to suffer any negative psychological effects, the park employee said.

He said it was not clear whether the facility would add more signs around the enclosure or put more fences up.

"We cannot make it like a prison. We already have signs up warning people not to climb in," he said. "There are no fences along roads but people know not to cross if there are cars. This is basic knowledge."

Pandas, which generally have a public image as cute, gentle creatures, are nonetheless wild animals that can be violent when provoked or startled.

Last year, a panda at the Beijing Zoo attacked a teenager, ripping chunks out of his legs, when he jumped a barrier while the bear was being fed.

The same panda was in the news in 2006 when he bit a drunk tourist who broke into his enclosure and tried to hug him while he was asleep. The tourist retaliated by biting the bear in the back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rosebuds + Megafun

The Bottom Lounge | Chicago, IL

I must say, my new and sexy friend Alice dubbed these guys most aptly: "The Lumberjack Experiment." At one point on stage there were multiple cowbells in addition to a theremin. We found out later that one of the gentlemen happens to give incredible hugs.

And then came The Rosebuds!

The Rosebuds
The Bottom Lounge | Chicago, IL

There are very few bands that can still get my geriatric ass off the couch on a school night. Damn near midnight, at that. These guys however are different. There's something about their hard-driving pop full of hooks and spooky images that maks me crave them something crazy. Kind of like Chipotle. Except good for you. And not owned by McDonald's.

They played an awesome set covering many of the new songs off their la Life Like. And at the very end they unplugged, climbed down off the stage. and hung out with crowd singing a few more. Seriously, it felt like we were all just chilling at someone's house.

Naturally, as soon as it was over, I ran off and hid.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes I Did!

Chicago's 17th Precinct of Ward 25 reporting. At 6:15am the wait was approximately one hour with no visible problems aside from pen and donut shortages. I was briefly harrased by the Republican judge for taking a picture of my own ballot but all ended well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween 2008 | Day 1

Isadora Duncan was a 1920's modern dancer and flapped about the stage wrapped in scarves. She loved scarves. She also loved cars. Not a safe combo, as it turns out...

Halloween 2008 | Day 2

Koschei the Deathless and Baba Yaga reigned supreme at the AV-aerie on Saturday night.

However it was the Invisible Man who took home "The Scariest Costume" ribbon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In the Maze!

This weekend, in search of the last bits of autumnal fun, we headed out to a modest 10-acre corn maze at Jonamac Orchard.

We were warned. We had been given a map. Yet nothing could prepare us for what lurked in the maize.

Somehow we managed to escape and headed out to the pumpkin patch. Surely, in the open air there was nothing to fear... Nothing, except for AIR itself!

Things ended with wet pants all around.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sedona's Beauty Secret

The gorgeous red rock and the delicious greenery banking the Oak Creek are apparently the result of tireless auto-watering.

I had the distinct pleasure of being stuck behind this mammoth watercan for about five miles on a single-lane highway.

Waterside Blogging

I take laziness to new heights in Sedona, AZ

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On the Way to Sedona

Montezuma Castle
Camp Verde, AZ

A pretty neat collection of historic condominiums along I-17.

Snacking in Tempe!

I flew to Arizona Tuesday night and upon arrival at Sasha's house I was greeted with a midnight gastronomic delight! Mr. Smolyanitskiy busted out one mother of a borsch (a veggie rendition, no less!) along with delicious spaghetti dressed with mushrooms and zucchini. Meanwhile Mr. Faralli executed a flawless cookie cheesecake, pouring over it a bowl of hot caramel!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Slim Cessna's Auto Club

And what a Club it was!

The Bottom Lounge | Chicago, IL

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Heart My HMO!

My back is out. It hurts like a motherfucker. And when I move something pops.

So I'm ouchy and go to see the doctor. She examines my back, has me lay down and hears the pop. Alarmed, she sends me to get an xray. (The pop, really, is very impressive.)

Meanwhile, I'm still ouchy. So she prescribes a muscle relaxant. It's called Skelaxin. Seriously? Skelaxin? What is its target demographic, the pimps?

Anyway, I get out of the doctor's office with only the $25 copay and it's off to the pharmacy. The Creech gingerly loads my crippled ass (literally) into the car and we head to Target. Walking through the football field that is that store is out of question for me so I hand him the prescription, my insurance card and some cash. Just to be sure I pull out three twenties because who knows, he might be moved to pick me up the new Kenny Chesney CD on his way out.

A good while later he's back. The tiny white bag contains the 21 Skelaxin pills which are to last me one week. There's nothing else in the bag. No Kenny Chesney CD, no change. The Creech is prepared "Yup, they kept all of it."

I freak out: "What the fuck do you mean?! Sixty fucking dollars? Did they run it through my insurance?!"

I am really fuming now and it's doing no favors for my back.

"Yup. Look at the retail price, it's $75. You really got some discount there."

The Creech is a kind soul and he's already doing me a huge favor. So I try to spare him the full extend of my rage.

"I. Hate. This. Fucking. Country! I would never have to pay this much in England. None, probably. And in Spain they'd prolly send a doctor with pills to my house! I've seen Sicko, I know!"

The Creech is quiet and calmly proceeds to drive my raging ass home.

"I mean, seriously, what kind of a developed nation are we where a simple backache results in an $85 bill? And what would happen if I didn't have any health insurance like all those other people?"

The Creech sighs and continues driving.

"Fucking A! I hate this place. What right do we have to claim any sort of supremacy on the world stage when we can't even manage to keep our population healthy. Or literate?! What is this, Zimbabwe?"

The Creech says nothing and finally we're home.

I collapse on the yoga mat trying to arrange my clenched limbs into some kind of a stretch. Seconds later my new downstairs neighbors plug in their new amp and begin band practice. The bass reverberates through my spine and I scream, causing one mother of a back spasm:

"FUCK YOU! Fuuuuuck you, you douchebag hipsters!!!"

Well, at least they're probably uninsured.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Breakfast of Champions

The Creech strikes again!

Stuffed with the apples gathered last Sunday, this pie is criminally good.
So good in fact, they might deport me for possesion.
No matter, it's worth it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gelukkige verjaardag!

Guess who's 30 today?!

All the best!!!



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A tvorog a day

My favorite breakfast ever!

1 cup Russian curd cheese (tvorog)
1 tbs Sour cream
2 tsp Unbleached sugar
1/2 cup Fresh raspberries

Just mix sour cream and sugar into the cheese and sprinkle the berries on top.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Mmm, that's some good apples, Nelda!

On Sunday we went apple picking in Woodstock, IL.
We were in it for the forbidden fruit.

What we found was the town where Groundhog Day was filmed!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Night of the Tutus

Last night I got to watch the Kirov Ballet bust out some serious Giselle! The production was pretty kick-ass, as of course was the dancing. All the way back to the el I diligently tried to master the trot from the first act, while The Creech looked on and sighed.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Keep it Classy!

The Hideout Block Party 2008 | Day 2
"Maker's & Ginger" number five.

The Creech is attacked by own woman, shrieks in horror. Waffles toasts the occasion.

Photo by Cliff Etters

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Times

I took one college course in Macroeconomics about ten years ago. That was it for my formal education on the subject so it's safe to say that I am in no way qualified to give advice on the state of our economy. And so, like everyone else, I will proceed to do just that.

Let's see... From what I understand, the current crisis is in part a result of irresponsible lending, right? In other words, people borrowing more than they can ever repay. And what are they doing with these huge mortgages? Why, buying huge houses, of course! And why do they need such generous accommodations? Right! The litters of offspring they've joyously brought into this world.

So you know, I'm just sayin'...

P.S. Special thanks do Daniel for the brilliant picture forward.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Red Elvises!


The Red Elvises are hitting FitzGeralds this Saturday, October 4th.

I am so psyched to finally see them! Sadly, I suspect that Berwyn would not let this much nudity fly at FitzGeralds, however the animal prints should make up for it.

Mmm...can't wait!

Monday, September 29, 2008

...And we're back!

It's been a while since I've posted and I'm hoping this here site will keep me more regular. Like Metamucil.

So in honor of my return, here goes my first contribution: a calendar! That's right, kids, a calendar full of shows and events around Chicago that I think are worth checking out.

Naturally I make no promises about its upkeep and thus will gladly grant editing rights to anyone wishing to contribute.


CSS: Chicago Shows to See!