Friday, September 29, 2006

I promised myself I'd respond to every TAG.

Dirty Tagged Me.

1) Would you bungee jump? No. I just don't think falling is much fun.

2) If you could do anything in the world for a living what would it be? Quarterback the Chicago Bears.

3) Your favorite fictional animal? A Liger.

4) One person who never fails to make you laugh? My buddy Anita.

5) When you were 12 years old what did you want to be when you woke up? A lawyer.

6) What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? go to the bathroom.

7) Have you ever gone to therapy? No.

8) If you could have one super power what would it be? For a comic book fan, this is a difficult question. Probably invinciblity, there's just something cool about takeing a bullet with no problems.

9) Your favorite cartoon character?
Another tough one, probably Bugs Bunny, despite his habit of cross-dressing.

10) Do you go to church?

11) What is your best childhood memory?
Going on vacation to Wisconsin every year.

12) Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
No. But I do think it's meaning is unique for everyone.

13) Do you own a gun?

14) Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?

15) Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?

16) What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
If they smile or not.

17) What is your biggest mistake?
Not taking better care of my credit.

18) Say something totally random about yourself...
I eat about a gallon of Breyer's Ice Cream a day.

19) Has anyone ever said that you looked like a celebrity?
Yes. Most common: Jerry O'Connell

20) What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?
Marry me.

21) Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?
Sometimes, depends on my interest in that person.

I'll tag Megan over at By & By.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Race for The Sixth District of Illinois Pt. 3

Illinois Sixth District.
The Fightin' Sixth!

Friday was the first debate between Illinois 6Th District Congressional candidates Dem. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Peter Roska. The debate is available on WBBM 780's "At Issue." The chief topics debated are immigration, taxes, Iraq and stem cell research. Duckworth has been getting alot of heat for not being open and available to news outlets as well as voters. That may or may not be true. You be the judge, I think she holds her own nicely.

Also, Bridget in the Sixth, Wurfwhile and Soapbox/Chicago are doing great work getting info out on the various elections this year in Illinois.


C.I.A. Reqruitment Commercial

Is anyone else alarmed by this? Do they really need to run commercials advertising the benefits and opportunities at the C.I.A.
I'll admit most of what I know about the C.I.A. is limited to what I picked up from movies and T.V. I always figured they plucked the best and brightest out of the highest institutes of learning and the armed forces. Do they really expect to improve the quality of applicants by running adds on cable? If anyone is considering a career change, here is their link.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Celebrities I've Waited On.

Celebrity: Robert Plant

Date: 1998

Location: Mity Nice Grill, Chicago

Robert Plant came into my restaurant and sat in my section. I was rather excited, this being the first celebrity I had ever waited on and no minor celeb at that. He was curt, but polite, ordering a salad and coke, meeting my gaze with his own. Our mutual respect was obvious.

"Good choice, that's what I had today."
"Great, uh...thanks."

People began to realize who he was, creating an audible stir throughout the restaurant. One of my tables passed me a hundred, ordering me to pay for Robert's meal with it. Taking some pride in my new position as guest artist/collaborator on Robert's lunch; I told him I had to ask Mr. Plant. He rejected the offer out of hand. He seemed to find it silly. I silently agreed with him. This lunch didn't need guys like him, Robert.

After he had finished his meal and paid, I found myself in the bathroom with him. This being before the days of widespread cell phones, he was using the payphone. Later in the day we found he left his glasses resting on the phone. Trying them on I was a little put off by how dirty they were. How could he see out of these, I asked myself. I wear glasses. A single speck of dust on my lens will drive me insane. His had multiple thumbprints, entire areas light would have trouble passing through. How would I ever listen to "Physical Graffiti" again? He had tipped 20%, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd witnessed the dirty side of Rock & Roll.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Musician Friends.

My Name Is Phil.

This is my song.

My buddy Aaron, pictured above, just spent the weekend recording. This is a link to his MySpace to hear the song, "My name is Phil," among others.

Please check it out and, as always, thanks for your support.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Brett Favre can't hurt you anymore.

It's all over. Nothing more to fear. The worst nemesis in Chicago Sports history is done. Brett Favre shouldn't be feared any longer.

All sports teams need rivals. It happens naturally. One team plays another. You cheer for your team, boo their opponents. Loyalties are based, mainly, on location. If you are from Chicago, or the area, the Bears become your team. If you play a team every year, competing for a Divisional Championship, the rivalry grows.

Sports have been in Chicago a long time. We have two baseball teams, a hockey team, basketball and football. In all that time, none of those teams has had an enemy like Brett Favre.

Isiah and the Pistons were tough, but the Bulls broke them over their legs and went on to much greater heights. We even adopted Dennis Rodman as our own for awhile. Reggis Miller? Maybe, but only for one year, in one series. The Knicks? Please.

The Cubs have the Cards, and previously the Mets, but the Cubs have never been serious contenders for anything. No single team, or man, has ever stood between them and glory. Usually, it's just themselves.

The Sox biggest rival is the Cubs, a team that's not even in their league.
Also, divisional realignment has changed their yearly rivalries. The winning of The World Series last year washed away so many bad memories. On their way to the top they didn't have to face anyone or any team that had historically bested them. There is no Yankees to their Red Sox. Go White Sox!

Hockey, well, no one
really pays attention to the Blackhawks. If they do, then I assume their public enemy #1 is the owner himself.

The Bears greatest rival is the Packers. We play them twice a year and have been for nearly a hundred years. And, we are a Bears town. Even when the Bulls were collecting championships they had to fight for headlines with Dave Wanndstedt. Kevin Butler of the '85 Superbowl Championship team still does commercials here. You ever hear a Judd Buchler commercial? Nope, it's all about the Bears here.

And the Bears hate the Packers.

Brett Favre is Green Bays quarterback. He has been for 211 straight games.

We hate Brett Favre.

Here's some number to illustrate why.

Brett Favre first start was on Sept. 20, 1992. He hasn't missed one since.

Games versus Bears, by season.
'92 1-1 CH W in GB.
'93 0-2
'94 0-2 CH beaten in season series by a total score of, 73-9.
'95 0-2
'96 0-2
'97 0-2
'98 0-2
'99 1-1 CH W in GB by blocked FG. Nov. 1, Payton passes
'00 1-1 CH W in GB.
'01 0-2 CH swept by GB despite going 13-3 and winning division.
'02 0-2
'03 0-2
'04 1-1 CH W in GB.
'05 2-0 CH first season sweep of Packer since '91, the freakin' year I graduated high school.
'06 1-0
Total 32 games played, 9 Bears wins, 22 Bears losses.

We didn't win in Green bay from 10/25/92 till 11/7/99. That streak was broken just days after Walter Payton had passed away. Emotionally, the greatest game I've ever watched.

Brett Favre had a 13 game winning streak in Soldier Field. I went through my twenties never seeing the Bears beat the Packers in Chicago. This guy made it a yearly ritual to come to Chicago and beat our butts in. Virtually every Packers game during my six years in college was misery. Highlighted by a Halloween smack down in '94 that still haunts me.

This past Sunday, the Chicago Bears beat the Green Bay Packers, in Green Bay, 26-0. That's right!! 26 to Nothing!

It is the first time Brett Favre has ever been shutout in his NFl career. It is the ONLY time Brett Favre has been shutout in his life. Brett Favre has played in more straight games at the quarterback position then anyone else in the history of the NFL. He had our number like no one ever has. But we beat him in his last home opener, cause this year is it for him.

Yeah, he was a great QB. First ballot Hall-of-Famer. I always thought he was a bit of a frontrunner. Sure, he won a Superbowl, but when he ran into a team that punched back the next year, he blew it.
He should have retired two years ago when everyone loved him. Now, everyone is just sick of him. He's proving to be a bad teammate, selfish and unwilling to change. Unwilling to help a bad team move on without him.

Enjoy the next 16 weeks, Brett.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Race for The Sixth District of Illinois Pt. 2

Illinois Sixth District.
The Fightin' Sixth!

The campaign rages on. We have received seven, expensive looking, flyer's mailed to our home. Three from the Republican Party. Four from the Democratic Party. All related to Illinois's 6TH Congressional race. The Dem's took the lead with three in my mailbox today. Not including today's flyer's, the main focus of these is immigration.

This one was sent by the RNC. Tammy Duckworth's responses is to call him a liar, saying she supports increased military presence on our borders.

I consider immigration to be one of those election year issues. An issue that hits close to home. Gets people emotional. They pull it put out; fight about it. I don't think the G.O.P. or the Dem's really want to do anything about it. Different than Gay Rights issues which they do in fact want to do something about. Bad somethings. Other than a knee-jerk, fearful, nationalistic urge to protect ourselves from the foreign; do they really want to eliminate all that inexpensive labor? I doubt it.

I'm not sure illegal immigration is a problem in the Sixth. I do think our boarders need to be more secure. Not just our southern boards, our northern boarders, and especially cargo that arrives in this country whether by air or sea. I did find this study on illegal immigration if you are interested.

None of these flyer's discuss any plan to deal with immigration. They only attack the position of the other. I favor a "path to citizenship" for illegals. Rounding them all up, prosecuting them for illegal immigration and deporting them seem wildly unfeasible.

No, the flyer's are all about perception; as so much is in politics today. Peter Roskam is playing the perception with his unscheduled debates ploy. There are four debates coming up. Roskam schedules debates outside those already scheduled, invites Tammy Duckworth. She turns down the invite; Roskam goes and beats up an absent opponent.

Today's mailing looks like this:
Playing up the link between Roskam and Pork Barrel spending. They are right to do it; Roskam has already pledged to earmark funds for road construction needed here in the 6TH.

I have no end to this post. Check out all the info and get to the polls in November.

Elmhurst Teachers Council Vs. Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205: Pt. 3

Looks like the Teachers Union and the School Board have come to an agreement on a two-year contract.

This is good news; no strike. I hope they feel they got a fair deal.

I'm happy, if the teachers are happy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New picture.

I got tagged and didn't realize it.

Sorry about this. I didn't notice Frank tagging me.

A Book That Has Changed Your Life: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. If you talk to friends they'll tell you that I like to indulge myself. I have attempted to recreate the opening paragraph to this book, and the contents as a whole, in Vegas on a couple of occasions. Honorable mention: One Knee Equals Two Feet by John Madden.

A Book That I've Read More Than Once: The Catcher In The Rye. When I was young it helped me feel like I wasn't the only kid pissed off all the time. As an adult it reminds me that kids are pissed off all the time. That's an oversimplification of course. Honorable Mention: Watchman by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.

A Book That Makes You Laugh: Fargo Rock City. Deconstruction and defense for an era and musical genre that often get the short end of the stick. Honorable Mention: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard.

A Book That Makes You Cry: The 9/11 Commission Report. Much better written than I expected. Say what you want about it, it humanizes the events of that day better than anything I have read on 9/11. Honorable Mention: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

Book You Wish You Had Written: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. The best "modern" American novel I have read. A grand historical-fiction about the origin of comics, the people who created them and America in the 20Th century. Honorable Mention: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

Book You Wish Had Never Been Written: The Bible. I know the other religious texts out there have caused some trouble, but has any book ever written been the justification for more misery than the Bible. Honorable Mention: Dianetics by L.Ron Hubbard.

Book You Are Currently Reading: A People's History of The United States, 1492-Present. Excellent "alternative" history from the perspective of the oppressed throughout U.S. history. Thanks for the recommendation Chris. Honorable Mention: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Book You've Been Meaning To Read: The Bible. I should know more about it if I'm gonna criticize it so much. Honorable Mention: Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard.

I tag Dirty Laundry. And also Johnny Yen.

Monday, September 11, 2006

First Day Of School

Today was Philip's first day of school. Preschool, actually. He attends Precious People classes at the local YMCA. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Nine a.m. till eleven a.m. He was enrolled in the same class, same teacher, last spring semester. So, it isn't a completely new experience for him. He was fairly excited to go back, see his friends and teachers.

Why the YMCA? One, the price is right. I don't like to put a price on my kids education, but let's be honest, the cost of a standard Montessori school is a bit much. There is probably something to be said for rampant consumerism invading our school choices too. I'm not the guy to make it other then to say, the costliest isn't always the best.

Two, we love the facilities. No it ain't much to look at, but they take the kids swimming ever week. In the winter they ice skate and swim. Very few preschool programs offer that. Philip's heroic level of energy require's it. Activity equals expended energy which equals naps. Sweet, sweet naps.

First days of school occur for millions all over the world. Normal. Ordinary. What is just as common, but much more difficult, is the feeling a parent has as they leave their child behind at that school. The child is partially on their own, partially in the school's care. Most important, they are not in my care.

Your child trusts you to keep them safe. We drop them off and trust that they will be. I trust the parents of his fellow students. All the parents trust the other members of the Y coming and going. You trust the community the school is in. Strangers in a web of trust, or TrustWeb, for our purposes. If you asked me if I trusted a stranger with my son, I'd say no. I'd be lying. I trust strangers everyday to keep them safe. I should be more honest. When that safety is menaced, history tells us it will be those strangers first to help.

Thought I would forget the most important reason we attend the Y? We like the teacher. Her name is Ms. Maryellen. After meeting her last semester we were impressed with her patience, openness and creativity. I try to get daily behavior reports on Philip plus any homework for me; ways I can re enforce what she is working on with the kids. She has been very good for Philip. We trust her.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Random Elmhurstian Sightings.

A few months ago, a buddy of mine had a bachelor party. Perhaps the worst bachelor party a group of guys could throw for a friend. It ended up being rather fun, but at one point we were all standing around my broken down car after our lunch at a Blimpie's. Broken down car and Blimpie's are not two things you want at any bachelor party.

Later that evening, wandering from bar to bar in Lincoln Square, we stop at the Chicago BrauHaus. It's a nice German restaurant we go to from time to time. Unfortunately it was packed on this night. There was no way twenty guys were gonna fit comfortably in there.

Loitering out front, trying to decide where to go next, Dave and I needed to use the bathroom. We step into the Brauhaus to use their faculties. One of the stalls was in use so I took the free one. Dave used the toilet. Dave finishes first and moves to the sink. I guess he washes his hands after using the bathroom. Yuppie. Anyway, Dave is from Elmhurst too.

He wonders out loud, "What was the name of that German place in Elmhurst?"

Still standing at the urinal, "I don't remember any German place in Elmhurst."

"It used to be right downtown."

"Must have been before my time."

"What was the name of that place?"

"I don't know, Dave."

Before we came to blows over this, from my left at the next urinal I hear, "The

Dave exclaims, "That's it! The Heidelberg."

Zipping-up I turn to look at the person talking.
I haven't noticed this guys face because, well, men don't really look at each other in the bathroom. Now that I am looking at him there's something familiar.





Excited, and more than alittle drunk, I holler "Dave, Guido's here!"

I also begin to kick Guido in the ass as he still stands facing the urinal. From what I remember, Guido was the type of funlovin' guy who wouldn't mind being kicked in the ass as he is trying to zip-up.

I'm not getting that from him tonight.

Guido is a former Elmhurst resident and York High School alum. Turns out Guido is there to propose to his girlfriend, who works at Chicago Brauhaus. I guess he doesn't like getting kicked in the ass, standing at a urinal, right before he is about to ask the women he loves to spend the rest of his life with him. Yuppie.

Guido invites us to come back in awhile to see it all go down. Unfortunately, we can't guarantee anything.
Snapping a picture in the bathroom and wishing him good luck; we walk up the stairs and out the door. Bachelor parties being what they are, we never do return.

I hope it went well. I hope they are happy. I hope I wasn't the only guy to kick you in the ass on your engagement night.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Burn Hollywood Burn.

I was reading the latest post over at [Catchy Title] about his hatred for Hollywood. It's the first post over there I have ever read. I don't have anything against Brian. I'm assuming I don't know him. This isn't an attack on him. It just gets under my skin when anyone brings up the subject of Hollywood. Invariably, they hate it.

I hate Hollywood.

It's a cliche. I hate Hollywood. You hate Hollywood. Everyone hates Hollywood. If you have any urge to be unique, when the subject of Hollywood comes up, say nothing. Even if you hate it. It can go unsaid. Everyone hates Hollywood. You wanna be punk and edgy try loving Hollywood.

I hate Hollywood and that whole L.A. scene.

Most people who hate Hollywood base their entire opinion on the film and television industry. MTV's Next is bad T.V. poisoning our youth, so the beauty of a sunset while sitting on Malibu beach can't be considered. Or watching whales surface while migrating north or south at Santa Monica Pier sucks cause of it's proximity to NBC.

I think California is morally and psychologically killing the children.

Sometimes they even like to roll all of California into their hatred; you know those ancient Redwoods are responsible for teen anorexia. I wonder if people hate Washington D.C. because of political corruption. Do they hate Nevada because of gambling? Do you hate Utah because of the Mormon religion? Why would you hate an entire city or state because of a single industry? Nobody ever says, I hate Nashville. I hate Tennessee. No. They say, I hate country music.

It's a plague.

Film and Television products are just that, products. Watch or don't watch. Hollywood is a city. Thousands of people who live there have nothing to do with the products Film and Television produces. California is a state with millions of people and natural wonders that have nothing to do with film and television.

I hate everything about it.

I lived in Hollywood for awhile. Both of my sons were born at Glendale Memorial. My time there is a laundry list of friendly gestures and helping hands; hardworking people trying to support one another. From crashing on couches to free babysitting. Rides to auditions. Agent meetings. Rides to work. Food. Cash. I had a friend who would watch my son, Philip, while he auditioned. Would you take a friends son to a job interview cause they needed it? I now live in the near west suburb of Chicago, Elmhurst. Sometimes I wonder if the people here, my friends included, are as welcoming, open and generous as those I left behind in L.A.