Monday, April 30, 2007

What I want for Christmas

The refs

I found this article on Gapers Block:

After losing $31 million (all figures U.S.) this season and $191 million over the past 10 on the beleaguered Blackhawks, Wirtz said if the players union hires someone cut out of the mould of Bob Goodenow as executive director, he'll hang up a for-sale sign on the Blackhawks.

Dear Santa,

I've been a good girl this year, and I promise to behave for the rest of the year. For Christmas, could you please bring me a head for the NHLPA cut out of the mold of Bob Goodenow? Thanks. I will leave a nice plate of homemade cookies for you when you bring my gift.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sharing moments

The Friday night before last I was in a cab with two friends. We were in the middle of a crazy evening in which we atteneded two general admission concerts. That's a lot of standing, so the cab ride between gigs was a welcome rest.

As we were nearing our destination we stopped because there was an ambulance in the middle of the street. After a while I realized that the ambulance was backing into the fire house (I was sitting behind the driver and couldn't seen very well). Since I couldn't see what was going on in front of us, I decided to look out the side window for entertainment.

Standing on the sidewalk was a fire department employee. I couldn't tell if he was a fireman or a paramedic. Since at that point I didn't know what the ambulance was doing, I decided to watch him because maybe he'd do something interesting.

He was looking around, and he noticed me looking at him, and we just sort of looked at each other for several seconds. And no, it wasn't in that he/she's hot sort of way. Just looking. And I wondered if I should wave to him. Would that be weird? Just as I thought that, he smiled and waved at me, and I waved back. Then the cab took off again, and we were on our way to the second concert.

You would think that in a city of millions of people we would have random connections with strangers all the time, but we don't. We avert people's eyes on the street. Walk around people. Stay in our own little world that consists of nothing more than our iPods and our shoes. Isn't it sad? I understand it is a safety mechanism, but isn't it sad that a random connection with a stranger is unique enough that it makes one's evening?

Friday, April 13, 2007


Q: Where can one smell fresh bananas and fart all at the same time?

A: On the Red Line.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Lollapalooza lineup leaked!

I know it's just one day early, but not knowing who would be performing has slowly been killing me. Here it is:

Pearl Jam, Daft Punk, Ben Harper, Muse, Iggy & The Stooges, Modest Mouse, Interpol, My Morning Jacket, Satellite Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snow Patrol, The Roots, Patti Smith, Kings Of Leon, The Black Keys, Regina Spektor, Spoon, Lupe Fiasco, TV On The Radio, Pete Yorn, G. Love, Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse, LCD Soundsystem, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Silverchair, Femi Kuti, Yo La Tengo, Hold Steady, Jack's Mannequin, Stephen Marley, STS9, MIA, Slightly Stoopid, Blonde Redhead, Sparklehorse, Sean Lennon, !!!, Blue October, Son Volt, Motion City Soundtrack, Polyphonic Spree, Peter Bjorn & John, Silversun Pickups, CSS, The Rapture, The Wailers, Roky Erickson, Tapes N Tapes, Heartless Bastards, The View, The Cribs, The Fratellis, Ghostland Observatory, Tokyo Police Club, Rhymefest, Soulive, Cold War Kids, Annuals, Fields, Electric Six, Jim Noir, Elvis Perkins, Sam Roberts, Black Angels, Charlie Musselwhite, Aqueduct, Juliette & The Licks, Dios, Viva Voce, David Vandervelde, Los Campesinos!, Chin Up Chin Up, Ryan Shaw, Colour Revolt, Satin Peaches, Illinois, Arckid, Mickey Avalon, The 1900s, Bang Bang Bang, Bound Stems, High Class Elite Carey Ott, Matt Roan

To say I'm excited is an understatement.

Do you have any idea how upset I will be if Muse and Iggy & the Stooges are on stage at the same time?

I've heard of rain outs, but this is ridiculous

Aramis Ramirez

This photo was taken at a Cubs game I attended last May.

There is no baseball at Wrigley Field today, as today's game against the Houston Astros was postponed due to snow. This is *so* not what I want to hear four days before I have tickets to my first game of the season. So far the forecast for Sunday is better than today's weather, but this is Chicago so one never really knows what the weather is going to be.

I have lived in the Chicago area my whole life, so I know I shouldn't be surprised or disappointed by snow and sleet in April. But for crying out loud already. The snow this morning wasn't so bad, but the sleet on my way to work nearly killed me. The wind was whipping the sleet right into me, burning my face and hands. Ouch! 99% of the time I love living near and working across the street from Lake Michigan. It's days like today, where the wind off the lake whips sleet into my face, that I abhor it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Rules for tourists

[I want to apologize in advance for the slightly snarky tone of this post; however, I work near the Magnificent Mile, and let me tell you, leaving work to go get some lunch and trying to get back during tourist season can be like trying to get through an extremely difficult obstacle course. It gets frustrating.]

That time of year has arrived. Tourists are again flocking to Chicago. Actually, it started a few weeks ago when various schools started having spring break. Whether you are coming to Chicago from another part of the country, or whether you live in Chicagoland but rarely come Downtown, here are some pieces of advice for you to keep in mind during your visit. This advice won't make your trip any easier for you, but trust me, it will make your visit to Downtown Chicago easier for me and everyone else who works here.

1. If you are using an escalator to come up from the subway, stand on the right, walk on the left. Just because the escalator is wide enough for two people to stand shoulder to shoulder doesn't mean you should do that.

2. Learn how to use a sidewalk before trying to navigate one during rush hour or lunch hour. There are wide sidewalks downtown, probably wider than you are used to, but that doesn't mean that your party should spread out and take up the whole width of the sidewalk. There are two reasons for this. First, there are people walking in the opposite direction. Those people should not have to practically step into traffic to go south while you go north. Second, and this may seem shocking to you during your leisurely tourist trip, but some of us actually work in Chicago and need to get somewhere quickly. If you are in a group, travel in a small pack so that when you are moving at a snail's pace we can get around you and get to work/make our train on time. Also, don't stop dead in your tracks to take out a map. Move to the side. Please. I'm begging you.

3. When you get on public transportation, have an idea of where you are going to get off. Public transportation can be confusing at first, and sure, us locals are usually willing to help out with directions, but there is something fundamentally wrong with people who get on the Red Line before they figure out that Wrigley Field is at the Addison stop. If you have seen The Blues Brothers you should be able to put two and two together on that one. I am not joking, every single time I'm on a northbound Red Line train before a Cubs game I hear at least one group of people ask which stop Wrigley Field is at. IT'S AT ADDISON!!!

4. If you go through a revolving door, say at Water Tower Place, do not under any circumstances stop right in front of the door once you are through it. That leaves the rest of us trapped. Get out and move to the side if you haven't decided the direction you want to go in. This also goes for stopping at the top of an escalator. You can do that if you want to be bowled over by the people behind you on the escalator who then have no where to go but to plow into you. Move!!!

Really, I am not a mean person. I love Chicago and I want everyone who comes and visit to fall in love with it, too. I just think that, sometimes when we are on vacation, we forget about common courtesy. I will admit to having been a clueless tourist as well. Then I started working in an area that is heavy with tourist traffic, and now I am much more conscious about how I navigate in another city.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The rare music post

I haven't posted much about music lately, which is weird given how important music is to me.

Lollapalooza tickets went on sale today, 9 days before the lineup is announced. Because of this, tickets are $30 cheaper than they will be otherwise, and there are no service fees. Score! I got my tickets, did you? Well, one band has been announced. After weeks of rumors, Pearl Jam announced on their website yesterday that they indeed will be the headliner this year.

I love Pearl Jam. I do. But I must say that I was sort of hoping that The Smashing Pumpkins were going to be headlining, or at least in the lineup. Instead, they will be playing at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore that weekend.

I don't want to get into how festivals are booked or anything like that. My disappointment goes beyond Lollapalooza. As a Smashing Pumpkins fan and a Chicago resident, I'm a bit dissapointed that the Smashing Pumpkins have a bunch of dates scheduled, and that none of them are in Chicago. I'm sure one of these days a Chicago date will be announced. At least I hope. Perhaps I'm a bit impatient, but I want one now!!!