Archive for March, 2007

Ok, E

March 7, 2007

For your viewing pleasure, we have screwed around with the font & stuff.

For extra credit, please explain the Santa outfits.

half-assed little dribbles of verse

March 7, 2007

Writing the below post about the strange normalcy of people walking around downtown Chicago reminded me that while working at the Aon Building & Prudential Center for a few weeks last month, I got all poetic-like and started making up a poem in Ginsburgian/Sandburgian style.  Massive office towers teeming with humanity can do that to you.  Sort of an ode/entreaty to the “Office workers of America!”  But since i was just making it up in my head as I wandered the crazy food court nether regions of those particular skyscrapers, I would never remember to jot any of it down later. What do real writers do about this sort of thing?

 P.S. It was a really awesome poem, ok? Even if it doesn’t sound that awesome!

P.P.S. cold4thestreets, I so feel you, re: the whole “where’s the space/motivation/energy for art in my life now?” thing. Also the whole “oy, I feel old!” thing.

Spies Among Us!

March 7, 2007

On Monday, I decided to walk to the train station that is about 1.8 miles from my current office, as the googlemap flies. It was really really cold, and I have abandoned my earlier-in-the-winter practice of wearing long underwear under my pants, so my thighs were feeling frozen and sad, but it was worth it, just because i got to spend a few minutes outside instead of in a stuffy office.

So on this walk, as I was crossing a street (I think Wells?) I saw a guy who, it appeared to me, was wearing a fake beard. It was a VERY GOOD fake beard and I thought to myself, “whoa! that’s a darn good fake beard!”  A moment later it occurred to me that it was probably NOT a fake beard, just a fake-looking real beard, because, well, probability would say so.  It is probable that there are more people walking around downtown Chicago at any given moment with stupid-looking real beards than with real-looking fake beards. But its a lot less fun when you realize that.

Jury Selection

March 6, 2007

This is interesting:

During jury selection, the defense filtered out those District of Columbia residents who acknowledged negative feelings about the Bush White House and the war.”

 Does this mean that the jury was comprised of people who have warm & fuzzy feelings toward the Bushies?

or of people who have NO opinion of the White House or the war (and who are those people? I am perpetually puzzled by the idea that such people exist!)

or does it just mean that some of the people on the jury lied and said they had no opinion at all, when obviously they must have had some opinion.

Those of you with (or currently obtaining) experience with jury selection, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

I don’t actually blame the NYT for this one

March 6, 2007

Have sex, don’t have sex, whatever.

The important thing is that young women have some arbitrary standard by which to measure their romantic and sexual lives so that they can feel inadequate/shitty/filled with anxiety.

More on this later.

Music & Lyrics: commentary track ON

March 5, 2007

 (edited to protect the innocent)

E: did you go see music & assme: yes  it was awesome E: and you loved it? me: because it was at court street (@ atlantic)7:43 PM E: yeah, i know that sketchy theater me: and there were all of 10 people in the audience [and we got there really early, to make sure we got seats– i love when that happens] me: and ALL of them were talking constantly over the movie– explaining to their friends what had just been said on screen, talking about what had happened to them earlier in the night, or just commenting on the action in the movie.  It was hilarious–some of the comments were quite insightful. (oO any other night, with any other movie, i would have minded a LOT but somehow the commentary track made this one much better.)7:44 PM Anyway, every time it got sappy, every time Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore kissed or flirted or sang one of their abysmally sugary songs, one lady next to us said (full voice):  “OHH NOOO!!!!! me: I really couldn’t tell whether she was being funny or serious– it sounded like she was saying “I can’t believe this SAPPY SHIT”  me: like she was genuinely surprised and disappointed that there was (gasp!) kissing in a romantic comedy. 
Anyway, the verdict is: if you MUST watch a comedy and the only other options are Norbit and Wild Hogs, Music & Lyrics is not punishingly bad (though i don’t think i would rate it quite as highly as the White Bear). Especially if you turn on the commentary track.

things i have recently consumed which were very good

March 5, 2007

1) corn pudding: 1 part coarse corn meal, 5 parts water (boil water, add corn meal slowly, stir for 10 minutes)– when soft like oatmeal, add: 1 part milk, a bit of butter, some brown sugar, a pinch of nutmeg, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This is an excellent breakfast food- so much better than plain oatmeal.

2) red egg noodles: put 1/3 cup mixed currants and raisins in hot water to plump. Toast some walnuts and/or pepitas. Saute an onion, 2 cloves garlic, then add 1/2 bunch red swiss chard chopped up in strips until it wilts (add salt + pepper). Cook egg noodles, toss with a healthy wallop (6 tbls) of browned butter, then add chard/onion mixture, raisins, and nuts. This is especially good if you add a bit of curry powder and/or cinnamon in the butter as it is browning.

3) 30 Rock, generally
4) Grbavica.

Alie thinks we should go on a winetasting tour

March 5, 2007


me: if i went on a bus tour i would feel obligated to pretend i was a senior citizen, which might be kind of fun

Alexandra: totally

March 4, 2007

Vive La Liechtenstein!

saturday afternoon food musings

March 3, 2007

A while back, I was flipping channels (because i have CABLE now!!) and I came across a broadcast of a conference that took place last summer, sponsored by a Chicago bank, about the problem of food access in minority communities in Chicago. It was interesting, and interesting that this bank was sponsoring it (As a community service/PR-type thing? As reparations for something or other? Out of the goodness of their hearts?). Anyway, access to healthy food for poor and working class people is an issue that has gotten a lot of press lately with regard to childhood obesity, and an issue I have been interested in for a long time.

How do we get food stores to locate themselves in neighborhoods that desperately need them? Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported the closing of a whole slew of Dominick’s supermarkets, many in predominantly minority neighborhoods of Chicago. This sucks. But I personally don’t think that gigantic chain supermarkets (this one is owned by Safeway) are the best answer to the “food desert” problem.
Author Nina Planck says Of course poor people can afford real food – and she backs the assertion up by suggesting some specific policies that would make it easier.

Stay tuned for the book I will someday write about all this stuff. I am not kidding.