Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chicago's Finest Fast Food Lovers

First off, the views expressed in this blog are solely that of Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, and in no way are they being expressed by any other members of The Liar's Club team.

My Paramedic Roommate (PR) came into the apartment at around 2 PM, and in a gravely voice and announced, "I got arrested last night."* I congratulated him, and asked that he regale us with the tale.

He had some friends in town from Iowa, and they were all shit-canned at Subterranean. Just after initiating an unsolicited staring contest with the coat check guy, which he remembers, he knocked a beer out of a random, Black guy's hand, chipping the guy's tooth with the bottle, making him bleed, and this Paramedic Roommate does not remember.

Chipped tooth guy was none-to-pleased about this, and after unsuccessfully trying to kick PR's ass, he was held back by people, Chipped Tooth Guy alerted the police. Now, if I'm PR, I'm getting the heck out of the bar after this, especially since the guy told him he was calling the police, but PR stays there, drinks loads more, while already blacked-out.

So five cops come into the bar, walk PR out and into a squad car, and drive off with him. PR shows them his paramedic card, and one of them says, "Yeah, don't worry about it." They drive him to McDonalds, everyone pounds down some grease, and they drive him home. No arrest is made.

The reason I am posting this on a Chicago-related blog is that this is nothing out of the ordinary for Chicago police. People drink a lot in this city, the cops couldn't possibly arrest everyone who breaks a law while drunk, so they just deal with the bigger crimes. I understand this, and I'm okay with it. I've only been pulled over once in Chicago, it was by a bike cop, and that's different. Bike cops have something to prove.

What I'm not okay with is that while this story is a funny one, I was laughing my ass off at the time, it is indicative of something far more shitty. Raise your hand if you think these cops would have been so friendly had my roomy been Black, paramedic or otherwise, and chipped a white guy's tooth? Ah-hah!! I didn't see any hands go up! Wait, how would I . . . Anyway, I don't want to make any generalizations about cops and their racial beliefs, but yeah, it more than likely would have played out differently had that been the case.

I love my city, and I have loved running "stoptional" signs all these years right in front of our police officers, but there is no doubt that many Chicago cops, and cops in general, are assholes. Even if they're not born-assholes, they become them after the power goes to their heads. If they're not born-racists, they often times become them, since they see so many ethnic populations committing crimes in poor, segregated areas.

Sure, you may say, "But didn't a Chicago Cop fuck your wife when you were married." Why, yes! One did, and I hate him, and her, for it. Do I think that lots of cops like to lay married women? Yes, because they do.

I'm getting off track here, but all that I'm saying is while I'm happy my roomy didn't get arrested, because then he'd be less likely to pay us rent on time than he already is, but let's look at it this way: If you're out having a good time, some guy you don't even know, intentionally tries to knock your beer out of your hand, chipping your tooth, making you bleed, and you call the cops, would you want said cops to arrest him or treat him to late-night meal at McDonald's

*Turns out he wasn't, but that's what he said.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hash Muffin Lady

I went in Cody's (Barry and Paulina) the other night, which is the best dive bar within walking distance from my house. Reasons being, they have outdoor darts, bocce ball, a jukebox with Built to Spill, you can bring your own dog, you can bring your own propane to grill, and they have this killer beer from, I think Belgium, that's only like 3 bucks for a can. I discovered if you pour it into a glass it's like liquid candy. Liquid candy that gets you piss drunk. It's got a yellow and blue can, so it kind of looks like a can of root beer, it's called like Whittakerke's, and it has those little dots over a couple of letters, kinda like Motley Crue.*

So, I'm in there with some friends, and in walks The Tamale Guy with a red cooler full of love. I'm really hungry, so I get six chicken ones for five bucks. He hands them to me, but not before he hits on every one of my female friends, which didn't bother anyone, because he's The Tamale Guy. They're damn tasty, and he hooks you up with hot sauce to accompany them and napkins for a little post-tamale freshening up. Now, I must warn you, they don't look nearly as good as they taste. In fact, I pointed out to my medical school neighbor, who was quick to lend a professional affirmation to my assessment, that they look like 6 penises (or is it peni?) all in the advanced stages of Syphilis.

As I'm merrily scarfing away on my tamales, thinking how great a concept The Tamale Guy is, trying to get the thought out of my head that I just ate what looked like 5 chancred up schlongs, I asked anyone if they heard what ever happened to the Hash Muffin Lady. Because I do believe she predates my bar-going days by a couple of years, I've never been fortunate enough to see her stroll in with her basket of pyschadelic baked goods, but I've heard a few too many first-hand accounts to doubt her existence. One source divulged that she used to bring hash brownies, fell off the map for a period of time, only to make a glorious comeback, only now selling a slightly more discreet foodstuffs vehicle for her pot: Hash Muffins.

I can't find ANYTHING on the internet about her that will speak to the validity of these tales, but if Chicago can claim a Tamlale Guy AND a Naked Guy, then why should we doubt that the finest city in all the land also has a Hash Muffin Lady going bar-to-bar stoning up Chicagoans until last call?

Doctor Kenneth Noisewater

*The men's bathroom at Cody's has really old, yellow newspaper cippings all over the walls, and the patrons have since written many of their own editorials on them. There is one cartoon someone drew which cracks my shit up every, single time I see it. There's two guys talking.
Guy 1: I fucked your mom last night.
Guy 2: Shut up, dad. You're drunk.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Woo Woo Where Did You Go Go?

Lots of sports teams have super fans. I can remember Crazy George at all of the Oakland A's games when I grew up. He was a freak. The Cubs have their own super fan who takes it to the next level... he lives it.

Ronnie Woo Woo is know by Cubs fans and Chicagoans as the ultimate Cubs' fan. He wears the full uniform that matches the uniform the players wear the same day. If the Cubs are on the road then Ronnie Woo Woo is decked out in his away uniform. Since I work in the Wrigleyville neighborhood I see Ronnie Woo Woo quite often and he always remarks on my White Sox hat letting me know I am on the wrong side of town. He really is a unique guy, and extremely kindhearted. I loves the Cubs, and more importantly he loves baseball.

So this year the Cubs have been pretty good... they won the Central Division and are now in the playoffs (struggling). But one thing has been missing... Ronnie Woo Woo. I have not seen him at all. Not once this baseball season. I usually see Ronnie Woo Woo walking down Southport or Waveland a few times per month - but this year... zero. The last time I saw Ronnie Woo Woo was last winter on the Clark bus and he was in plain clothes. It was a very strange site.

Where did you go Ronnie Woo Woo?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chicago: Things Still To Do.

Now that I have passed my three year mark as a citizen of Chicago, I am realizing there is so much I have yet to do. The first six months here I played tourist and tried to go out and experience all the super "Chicago" things to do (Sears Tower, Navy Pier, Art Institute, Field Museum, Sox Game, Cubs Game, Ride the Santa El, etc.). Here are some of the things I still need to do:

1. Go for a drink at the Signature Room.
2. Go sailing in Lake Michigan (I have been on a tour boat in the lake).
3. Brookfield Zoo (just been to the Lincoln Park Zoo).
4. Bears Game.
5. Green Line El (for some reason I've never been on it).
6. See A Show at the Abby Pub.
7. Museum of Contemporary Art.
8. The Harold Washington Library.
9. Charlie Trotters & Tru.
10. The South Side St Patrick's Parade.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ass Shaking... Saturday Night.

Cherry is calling it... Niner is posting it. There is going to be some ass shaking at the Liar's Club this Saturday night. ReckenRoll will be in town so we all need to get our drink on and our dance on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Businesses

On the stretch of the avenue I live on, I have witnessed the rise and fall of some interesting establishments. At one point there was a great little Mexican restaurant called Picante, but it shut down to become a different not so great Mexican restaurant called Picoso which had two stupid dancing peppers on its sign. Picoso shut down after several months and is going to re-open as not another Mexican restaurant, but as a Thai restaurant. Sounds good right? Who wouldn’t want a Thai place across the street from them? Well, I am going to reserve my gushing until I actually go to the place with one of the worst names ever, Poo’s.

Why oh why didn’t someone advise the owners of this error in judgment? I don’t care if it’s the restaurant owner’s name and he/she is a world renown Thai culinary expert, pick something else! Standard Thai Restaurant would even do or Delicious Food Palace or even Bow Thai (barf, I know, but still better than Poo)! There’s a Standard India Restaurant nearby and that name doesn’t seem to hurt business. I just hope that the food is so good and that the name has enough kitschy quality for them to stay in business for longer than it takes to digest the food and you know, do the deed.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Poop and the Big City

Someone shit in the stairwell that leads to the storage room of my apartment. I was putting my bike away the other night, and I heard my roomy yell from the balcony that I should be careful not to step in the doody. Sure enough, there was a messy turd on the concrete floor of the stairwell. I know it was a person, as opposed to an animal, who "dropped it on the deuce," as Whitney Houston would say, because there was toilet paper all around it.

How do I justify this on a Chicago blog? It's simple: Homeless people will not shit in my stairwell if I lived in the burbs. Sure it stunk to high heaven for the next couple of days I had to get my bike, and the flies circled around like, well, flies on shit. But, that's a little treat you don't get in the burbs: Authentic, urban, homeless, poop.

Today, I saw three of my hot neighbors in their kitchen as I was going upstairs, and one threw me the extended smile, like the, "Maybe you should come in and talk to us, dumb-ass" look. I had nothing worth opening the glass door to tell them, except, "Hey, I hosed down the poop in the stairwell. Don't all of you thank me at once."

I opted to just smile back, and go upstairs. When I have an opening that's not poop-related, I'll give it a go.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Elbow Room

Last night I went to the Elbow Room, which is a great bar near my house, and I can't figure out why I don't go there more. They have a big space downstairs where bands play, but they so rarely book acts I've heard of. They also have a friendly staff, and Old Style cans for two bucks, which worked great with the promotional cozies. Last night it wasn't any of these elements that landed me there, as much as it was the promise of free booze from a friend of a friend doing a promotion there.

Here is the highlight of the evening: A female friend of mine was being STRONGLY pursued by a drunk guy there. He went in for a kiss like six times, and was denied each and every time. He then came over to say he was leaving like eight times, only to go back to the bar to regroup and make more attempted last ditch efforts/exits.

This gave us a great opportunity to do a play-by-play and color commentary, and we could do so within ear-shot, since both parties were drunk off their asses.

Hey, Liars, anyone else do any good people watching lately?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Disco Sucks... 1979.

In Chicago, 28 years ago today... Disco Demolition Night happened. In case you do not know about this historic event... it was a promotional event that took place at the original Comiskey Park. It was held during a scheduled doubleheader between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.

What happened? They collected a bunch of Disco record and blew them up. Then people ran on the field (total chaos) and tore it up... so much destruction that the White Sox had to forfeit the second game.

I wish I was there.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Has anyone been to lately? What the hell is going on over there?

When I first moved back to Chicago, I would check it out all the time to try and find cool blog sites, and to get a feel for the city. The site was modeled after other metro blogging sites, like NYC and DC (I used the DC site all the time when I lived there). Now the site is pretty tired and lame.

Granted, I realize the folks who run it (Matt and Nikolai) do it voluntarily. But the site's been looking the same for months now -- I'm a little tired of seeing "Jeff Woelker's Chicago Usability and Web Design Blog" (no offense Jeff, your site is lovely) and "A Deaf Mom Shares Her World" in the "most recently added" column.

And don't even get me started on the blog links on the right side of the page - so many of them are dinosaurs that don't even exist or haven't been updated in years.

I should probably donate some money to the site to get them motivated to clean it up and make it cool again.

Chicago's a great blogging town, and I think the flagship site should reflect that.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Traffic Tax In Chicago

Yesterday 14th Ward Alderman Edward Burke proposed that the city investigate a tax for all drivers into downtown Chicago, similar to London's tax (apparently NYC is also considering it).

I'll assume that the reason he's suggesting it is to: raise some money for the CTA (this would be a good thing), get people to consider other means of coming into the city, other than the single car driver coming in from the far reaches of the city and burbs (this too would be a good thing), and perhaps slow air pollution (also a good thing).

This idea is just never going to fly. If we already had a better public transport system -- a system in which it would actually be feasible for most people to come into the city by bus or train -- then maybe putting a tax on those who don't use it would be good and fair.

How about we give tax breaks to those of us who choose to walk, ride a bike, or take a bus into the city already? I'm a much bigger fan of that. But then, I believe an idea like that would never cross the mind of a city official, since about 99% of them drive a car to get anywhere.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Wieners Circle

In Chicago, at 2622 N. Clark Street, you will find The Wieners Circle. They are known as a spot to get some late-night/post-bar, Chicago-style dogs, but they are also known for the verbally abusive staff. Now, there are other restaurants, like Ed Debevic's, who specialize in some witty, playful surliness, but the African American gals at the Wieners Circle are downright brutal. I read one guy's blog while searching for pictures who said it's not uncommon to hear, "Can I help the next c@#K-sucker in line?" They should offer a promotion, like, "If we don't call you a c@#k-sucker, your dog is on us!"

I have a buddy who knew nothing of the shtick, so you could imagine his surprise when he was greeted at the counter with a, "What you want, little-dick man?" The insults continued to the point where he slammed his hot dog down and stormed out. His reaction was no doubt mostly due to the fact that he didn't know this is how these women act towards everyone, but perhaps he really is a "little-dick-man."

I've heard that it's customary to give it back to these ladies a little bit, like, "Bitch, shut your mouth, and go get me a damn dog before I slap the taste out your mouth!" I am not daring enough to try that, because with my luck I'd say something like that, I'd hear a record scratch, and guys who look like the starting defense for the Chicago Bears would come out from behind the counter and beat me and pour hot grease down my shirt.

If you ever have the pleasure of visiting the Wieners Circle, don't order a chocolate milk shake. That is, unless you WANT to pay an extra ten bucks to see an overweight lady lift up her shirt and shake her bare, floppy, as Frank Zappa would call them, mammalian protuberences, in your face. I've posted a video of a chocolate milk shake, so watch at your own risk, and thank your lucky stars that it was dark out and the window is dirty.

Well, their milk shakes bring all the boys to the yard, so next time you're in Chicago, be sure to get thoroughly schnockered at the bar, and swing by the Wiener Circle for a dog and some abuse of the verbal and titty varieties.

And now . . . The chocolate milk shake:

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chicago Grooves.

Sorry about the lack of posting on the Liar's Club... we all should be beaten. Well, minus me since I am posting here.

Last night I went out to Schuba's to check out three local bands. All three are heavy in the groove and bass sounds... but all three are very rooted in the indie rock scene. Jai-Alai Savant sounds kind of go all over the place... but bring influences of funk, reggae, and electronic dub. They easily get the crowd moving. The Eternals keeps it simple with bass, drums, horn, and vocals... reminds me of an indie-rock Sly & Robbie. Way fun. Kind of nerdy but good (white people can dance to it). And Watchers meld the sounds of the Talking Heads, Radio 4, and Gang of Four... indie rock with heavy funk/groove percussion. The percussion makes the band. Their singer grabs his crotch a little too much... but I am sure he like it.
I highly recommend checking all of them out... way fun.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Brighten Your Day

A friend of mine said that when she was at Asha, a she she salon in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, she came across a service called "anal brightening." She couldn't resist asking someone what in the blazes that service involved, and evidently there are people who like their anuses, or is it ani?, to shimmer bright, white in the moonlight. I'll never be able to take Brighten the Corners by Pavement out of my CD rack without thinking of this operation, and think to myself, "Gosh, I wish my anus where whiter."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why I Love The Cubs.

The title to this entry is a little misleading since I do not love the Cubs at all. I am not a Chicago Cubs fan one bit. It's the White Sox all the way for me. But I cannot turn away a baseball game no matter who is playing.

My office is four blocks away from Wrigley Field which has it's pluses and minuses. The biggest plus is that often during the baseball season someone calls me up and offers me a free ticket to a Cubs' game. How great is that? It is usually a client or vendor who offer... so my boss is usually ok with it. So this means:

1. I get to go to a baseball game.
2. I don't have to be at work for the afternoon.
3. I get to wear my White Sox hat to Wrigley and get the Cubs' fans all worked up.
4. I get to drink a tasty Old Style beer which is not allowed in our house since it has the Cubs' logo on it. I love Old Style beer.

I don't hate the Cubs... I'm not like that at all - I'm just not a fan. But working right by Wrigley has it's benefits.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I like eating especially when injury & ingesting dish towel water is imminent

In the Lincoln Square area, on the corner of Lincoln and Montrose, there used to be this shady looking Eastern European restaurant (?) with flamingos on the window and awning. There always seemed to be only two people there at a time and I was too scared to enter its doors. Well, I was over there recently, not to get some shady action, mind you, but on my way to get some pub grub with my friend, when we noticed no flamingos and a sign for $3 mojitos on the restaurant’s wall. Sign us up. Too bad, I don’t remember the name of the new place, but what I do remember is the dessert, the cookie monster. I was expecting something like this one on the left (you can sign me up for that oreo thing as a chaser while you're at it):

This is the cookie monster dessert from Chicago’s own Home Run Inn Pizza, which is one of the best pizza places in the stratosphere. Not only do Home Run Inn restaurants have a pizza buffet that includes something that looks like a deep dish pizza, but is actually a pizza whose crust is made out of Italian sausage (you heard me right), they also have the cookie monster. One time I drove 45 minutes just to have this skillet full of goodness.

At unknown Lincoln Square place the menu said, “A warm plate sized chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream.” What we received was more like, “A burnt cookie that you can’t cut with a knife and when you do it shoots across the table, but you still eat the piece that touched the table because, well, it’s a cookie and no one in their right mind would waste a cookie, and even though it’s a struggle to eat the cookie you still try cutting it again and again until you almost break the plate.” That’s some menu description, huh? I’ll be back there soon with the hope that the culinary skills have gone up a notch and because man, their tater tots were off the chain.

Winter in April.

One of the things I've learned about Chicago is that Winter always comes back the first week of April. The past three years have seen snow flurries and cold-ass temperatures the first week of April. I have been to baseball games the past three years so bundled up that I look ready for a Bears game in January.

This would not be so bad, but every March we always have a string of nice days in the 70's... so going backwards into the 20's is the worst. I love the winter. I love the winter more than most - but by April 1st I am so over winter. These flurries on the way to work this morning just pissed me off.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pain Killer

There is a bar in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood called Trader Todd's. The bar is owned in part by none other than Donald Gibb, otherwise known as Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. Do you think he's related to the Gibbs of Bee Gee's fame, like maybe their manic depressive, weight-lifting brother who they employed as a bodyguard, only to learn that he was prone to flying off the handle and killing people? Okay, that's certainly not true, but I did once see Ogre in the bar, someone handed him a cell phone, told him the guy's name on the phone was Bill, and Ogre's all, "What's up Bill, you big neeee-eeeeeeerd!!!" That is a true story.

Trader Todd's is known for Ogre, karaoke, and nautical themes, but I mostly know it for the painkillers, a 3 shot pina colada type drink that knocks you on your ass like a right hand from Buster Douglass before he got horribly fat. I had one of them Sunday afternoon and I felt like each coconuty sip tripled my drunkness until I was not unlike Dudley Moore in Arthur 2: On the Rocks, wait, make that like Liza Minnelli twenty years after Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Get your ass to Trader Todd's and have a painkiller. If you go after a Cub's game, your ticket stub will get you a mess of free wings, but you might want to go with mild sauce, because if you're putting out that fire with painkillers, you'll find yourself Liza Minnelli-style in no time.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chicago Style.

When I moved to Chicago I embraced all things Chicago (except the Cubs)... I usually do that when moving to a new city. I love to feel apart of the city I live in, it makes life a little better when home feels like home. So I learned to love Chicago style pizza... something I had never tasted until I decided to moved here. Yep. I am certainly disappointed that you cannot get a good NYC style thin crust in this town - but I can always take a trip to NYC.

I have gone out for pizza at a few different places in Chicago and I quickly learned to love Gino's East downtown (Ontario & Wells)... none of the other locations are that good. Yeah, it's a tourist magnet but the pizza is top notch and since it is downtown I rarely go. Well on Monday night a few of us met up at Gino's to take Loaf for his first slice of Chicago style pizza. It was mediocre at best. I was disappointed that my Gino's East fell short the one night I needed to it shine (bubble and steam). So I am dropping Gino's down in my top places to go for pizza in Chicago.

1. The Art of Pizza
2. Gino's East (only the one on Wells)
3. Giordano's
4. Lou Malnati's
5. Chicago's

Monday, March 19, 2007


This past Saturday (St. Patrick's Day) I finally went to the Liar's Club.
It is a bit strange being part of a group of bloggers named after a place I've never been to. Now I can say I've been there... and had a great time.

LP, Cherry and the Aussie were there. Dr. Ken showed up a little later. Classy was a flake (lame... it was my first time!). And the highlights for me were meeting two new bloggers... K.I.D. attended which was fantastic, especially since she had to be on a plane early the next morning. What a trooper. And she is a PBR drinker... always a good choice. Loaf was there... he is visiting from London. The guy drinks straight vodka... much more of a man than me.

The 80's tunes were blasting (not all 80's tunes, but heavily 80's)... so much that with my damaged ear drums from my Austin trip I caught about 70% of each conversation. K.I.D. probably thought I was slow, but she humored me with conversation. And with Loaf's accent and funky English vocab I probably only caught 40% of those conversations. He was probably asking me if I do meth every day... and I was probably agreeing. Lovely.

Everyone was dancing except for me. K.I.D. told me a story about someone throwing up on her jacket at a bar, and there were so many drunk people at the Liar's Club that I just figured it would be smart if I stayed at the table and was Coat-Protector-Guy. There were a couple close calls, but no barf ever made it on to any of the coats. I did my job well.

A great time at the Liar's Club. A good time with friends. And a good time meeting new people. My only complaint is that beer is way too expensive. Fat Tire was $5 a pint. Too much.

My vote is to add K.I.D. to the Liar's Club.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gutter Punks from the 'Burbs..

I was on the Belmont Bus last night sitting right next to three gutter punks. They had the look down. Two had grown-out messy mohawks. All three has the black zip-up hoodies with all of their patches sewn on with visible white stitching making such bold statements of what bands they liked. They had the creepers and all black Chuck Taylors. They were so anti-establishment (yet completely conforming to something else). And then I caught a great part of their complex conversation:

Boy Punk: Do I look good in this shirt?
Girl Punk #1: Yeah.
Boy Punk: Really? You don't think this red shirt clashes with my pants?
Girl Punk #1: No.
Boy Punk: Are you sure?
Girl Punk #1: Yes. You look hot. (followed by much face sucking)

Wow... so anti-establishment. What morons. I wish I could add the photo I took with my phone, but it did not come out. So you guys get the Punk Chipmunks.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

So smooth . . .

When I am too lazy to plug in my ipod in my car for my less than ten minute commute, my radio dial is usually tuned to one of two stations: the Drive 97.1 or Love FM 100.3. These two stations are also on my radio in the bathroom and help me to get in the mood to a)help poor people or b)forget about helping poor people.

I reserve this blog for all the wonderfulness of the Drive. First of all, they have barely any commercials in the morning, it's all tunes. When it isn't tunes, there's a really relaxing DJs voice, usually Bob Stroud, who has some wonderful feature segments, like the "Ten at Ten" where he highlights ten songs from a year. One of my personal favs? 1975. This Ten featured not only Fleetwood Mac, but BTO, Bad Company, the Eagles, Crosby & Nash, and Steely Dan.

Another feature is One 45 at 1:45. Now, you might be asking yourself, umm, does this girl work if she can hear the Ten at Ten and the One 45 at 1:45? Well, that's none of your business. I'm a slave to the tunes. Every once in awhile the Drive will also feature full sides of vinyl. If you don't think that listening to a whole side of Boston's self-titled debut is worth your time, well then there is something wired incorrectly in your brain.

So, tomorrow another feature is in full effect on the Drive. The Thursday Artist Portrait, and oh yes, it's a doozy. It features two that were well immersed in the fantastic genre of Blue Eyed Soul, Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart. I will be busy working, but you know I'm going to catch at least five songs by each of these gentleman over some part of the day.

I will also leave you with the awesomeness of Yacht Rock, which highlights the struggles of those involved in the Blue Eyed Soul Movement of the 70s & 80s.

Friday, March 2, 2007

What a Bunch of Morons

From Thursday's Tribune, a lawsuit filed by some guy to the Jade Dragon Tattoo & Body Piercing on Belmont. He went in for a "Chi-Town" tat and came out with "Chi-Tonw."

I don't feel sorry for any of these idiots, especially the victim Michael Duplessis. No self-respecting Chicagoan goes around saying "Chi-Town" to describe our city. Sorry, they don't. Only tourists, obnoxious radio DJs and meat-head Wrigleyville frat boys who grew up in the suburbs say "Chi-Town."

I was hoping for a photo of the hilarious fuck-up, but apparently Duplessis is shy about showing it. At least he's smart about that.

UPDATE: Here's a photo:

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The God Awfuls

That title is what my dad called the Chicago Cubs when I was growing up. He'd come home from work and say, "What did The God Awfuls do today?" He also called the New York Mets the "Eviiiile Mets," which would more than likely have that exact spelling.

This weekend, I'm going to a Cubs spring training game and bachelor party in sunny Arizona. There will be lots of baseball, beer, and God willing, a donkey sniffing cocaine.

Let me ask you this? How tacky would it be to go to this bachelor party in Arizona, and then blow off the wedding in North Carolina? To be honest, I can barely afford to go to both, and I'm not allowed to bring a date to the wedding. Readers, your thoughts?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Two-Bit Manchild (The Windy City)

Chicago is know as the Windy City... also the Second City, and the City of Big Shoulders. But for today let's just focus on the the Windy City (it's in italics because it makes it look windy). Focus.

In elementary school I learned that Chicago was named the Windy City not because of the actual wind but because of the "long-winded and boastful speech of Chicago politicians" during the late 1800's (I also learned that Columbus discovered America). But later on Neil Diamond would teach me that "The wind is where I got my roots nah nah nah nah"... whatever that means. Focus.

Very eloquently I would like to say: My Ass. This city is windy. Super windy. I walk to work every day so I would know. Only those annoying Santa Ana winds in Southern California come close. Sure, the politicians are screw balls (Todd Strodger being at the top of the current crap pile) - but before politics were here I am sure the winds were... and I am sure people were bitching and complaining (in their native tongues) about the winds. In the winter it makes the lovely windchill get down to -30, and in the summer it makes the heat feel like a convection oven. It's WINDY in this WINDY CITY.

So if you live here in Chicago you should just let everyone know that age-old politician story is a bunch of crap, and it is really windy here... sometimes.

* OK, I was listening to Neil Diamond while writing this.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bogus Science Boulevard

Within a three block stretch on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, there are offices for both kabbalah and scientology. My apartment is right in between the two. I live on Bogus Science Boulevard!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Liar's Club Blegger

The Liar's Club has a friend from the UK coming to visit Chicago next month. Loaf has expressed interest in meeting some of his favorite Chicago bloggers, so I think the time is right for the Liar's Club to host our first kegger party for Chicago bloggers to get together and socialize.

We're* coining the term "blegger" (get it? - blog + kegger) and are thinking about throwing one soon. Stay tuned.

* Of course, when I say "we" I am really referring to just "me" since I have not discussed this in any detail with the other Liar's. But they'll totally be game. I mean, who wouldn't?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Today was a big milestone for me. It is the first time since probably May that I have taken public transportation (in this case the Brown Line) both to and from work. Until Sunday, I lived close enough to my office that I could walk or (through November) ride my bike. There were days were I might grab the bus home or take it to work, but never both ways. It was a nice luxury.

I also had the luxury of getting a ride to/from work most days from Richard. That's been a sweet gig.

But now that we're up in Lakeview, and because it is winter, I need to take the bus or train each way. And (as of yet) I'm not complaining; it may seem weird, but I enjoy the walk to the station, the crowds, the waiting in line -- it makes me feel like I am a part of something. It is an experience that most Chicagoans share that up to now I've not related to, sorta like the person who misses their high school prom.

A few years ago when I first moved from Portland to DC I went from working in a big office (300 people) to a small one (3), having lots of friends to having almost none. There was talk of me working from a home office which I think would have been lonely and disastrous. For those first few weeks, the only time I was surrounded by people is when I'd take the Metro to/from work. And again, I enjoyed it because it made me feel part of a bigger machine, and there's comfort in that. Without it, I would have been a social outcast, a hermit.

I hope to begin riding my bike again in April. But until then I'll be joining the ranks of morning and evening commuters, reading the Red Eye, listening to my iPod, cramming for a small little square among the rush hour crowd on the Brown Line train. I say Bring It On; I'm ready to go to the big dance.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Don't Want a Sign This Dumb Anywhere Near My House or . . .

. . . I might get dumber.

The sign is in front of a locksmith shop, and it reads as follows: "Keys That Work."

Wow! I was hoping for some keys that don't open a damn thing, so that I can make a decorative, bling, tripped-out necklace.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I Can Lock All My Doors . . .

I went to the Chicago Auto Show this past Sunday at McCormick Place. In sum:

1) Chicago does not mess around when it comes to its conventions. There was over a million square feet of space utilized for the spectacle. The carpeting was extra cooshy. They are still expanding McCormick place, I think at one point it will be connected to every household in the Chicago Metro area through those overhead tunnels.

2) It was fun talking smack at the Lexus display where they were doing a demo of the car that parallel parks itself. It only took the person three tries (no joke) to get the thing to work. Basically, you have to line up the sensors and then engage the function, but they were having a really hard time with the sensors. The space they were parking the car in was huge and it took forever to get the thing to back up. By the time you got that car to park itself in Chicago, someone would have already stolen your spot or car jacked you.

3) I searched diligently for a Ryba's chocolate nut sundae. For me, it was the highlight of the auto show comprising of vanilla ice cream dipped in homemade chocolate then rolled into nuts and served in this oddly boob-shaped cone. I couldn't find a picture of it, but here is a shot of their fudge shop on Mackinac Island in Michigan when I was an employee there.

4) The cars overall with were cool, but nothing really stood out to me. There weren't a ton of concept cars and the ones that were there weren't anything too crazy. The Chevy Camaro concept car was sweet, but perhaps I was just swayed by the atomic orange color and black racing stripes. I really dug the Porsche 911 GT3 and said hello to my two dream cars, a Subaru WRX sti and Mitsubishi Evolution. They were happy to see me.

5) I didn't get to meet any of these three guys. Shoot.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hot Dougs.

Last Friday my friend Stephanie took me on a lunch adventure with some of her friends to show me Mecca... the mecca of hot dogs. Hot Dougs is the Encased Meats Emporium and Sausage Superstore. Located on the Northside of Chicago at the corner of California & Roscoe this is by far the best hot dog I have had in Chicago... and the best dog I have ever inhaled.

Before ever coming to Chicago I was always a fan of the hot dog. In most cities people poo-poo the hot dog... they are too good for it. Not in Chicago - and that might be my favorite thing about this city. Almost everyone here eats hot dogs (not all the time - that would kill you). There are so many hot dog eateries and so many choices. I have become the fan of the true Chicago dog (boiled with tomato, pickles, glow-in-the-dark relish, celery salt, and mustard). Yum!

What makes Hot Doug's hot dog so good? Simple enough: choices. You can get any kind of dog any kind of way which will make anyone who likes to partake in encased lips and assholes (and veggie lips and assholes too) jump with glee. These are some of the dogs that were on the menu this past week...

The Game of the Week:
Smoked Rattlesnake Sausage with Blueberry-Port Sauce and Smoked Gouda Cheese

The Dog:
Chicago-Style Hot Dog with all the trimmings: 'nuff said.

The Elvis:
Polish Sausage: Smoked and savory - just like the King.

The Paul Kelly:
Bratwurst: Soaked in Beer – sort of like Paul.

The Jennifer Garner (formerly the Britney Spears):
Fire Dog: Mighty hot!

The Madonna(formerly the Raquel Welch and the Ann-Margret):
Andouille Sausage: Mighty, mighty, mighty hot!

It was a truly Chicago experience that I will partake in many more times and you should to. My only tip is that if you order the cheese fries, get the cheese on the side. I was told about this after I placed my order and my stomach was coated with cheese the rest of the day... which is not always a good thing.

And Pink's in Hollywood is over-rated.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Bears . . . Bears . . . Bears . . .

After a night of drinking and being saddened by the Bears losing the Super Bowl, I woke up drunk to hear, on my alarm, the following exchange in an interview.

Some Dude: What did you learn from this game?
Bears Tight End Desmond Clark: I learned that when you lose the Super Bowl it feels like crap.

Crap, indeed, desmond. Crapadoodle-doo.

I want a time machine

So I can go back and erase the utter bs that was the Superbowl. I almost had a heartattack during the opening kickoff and then almost committed suicide after the defense couldn't stop the Colts' running game and Grossman kept getting picked off. All right I am being dramatic, but seriously, I almost left the party I was at during the fourth quarter. It was one heck of a party. Trays of deep fried chicken legs and venison. I had some schnapped up coffee. It was delicious, but I couldn't handle watching the game any longer.

To top it off I ended up at a bar on the North Side and there were Colts fans there. I wanted to puke and punch them in the gullet. Maybe both at the same time.

Chicago is one sad city today. We are the walking wounded. I wonder how long they are going to keep the blue and orange lights up on the Sears Tower and Hancock buildings. I wonder how long it's going to be until we snap out of it.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sports & Weather.

Last night I some how made it to the Beat Kitchen to see Maritime (from Milwaukee) and Chin Up Chin Up (from Chicago) . Both were amazing... and the club was over packed / sold out. Maritime played lots of new songs making us all very excited about their upcoming album.

The funny thing about the evening was the topics of conversation on everyone's chapped lips were so not what most hip indie rock kids talk about at shows - Sports and the Weather. Really. Since the Chicago Bears (Go Bears!) are in the Super Bowl today, and because Chicago is such a football city, people had their Bears gear on and their football talk on too. Also it was -5 degrees outside, and the windchill was around -25... so people were also talking about the weather and how cold/hot their apartments were.

It was a refreshing experience. And I must say that the Beat Kitchen is a great place to see a show, even when it is sold out. Good room with good sound, and a separate bar that you can escape to.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Liar's Club

Jeez! I need to post more on this here rag. Well, I promise to update with great Chicago stories, as soon as something interesting happens to me. For now, check out a post I did about The Liar's Club, so you can learn more about the bar that gave our site it's name . . .


This past Thursday evening I went out to see The Narrator (from Chicago) play with the Oxford Collapse and Thunderbirds Are Now! at Subterranean. The Narrator was fantastic... they played all new songs and they were great. The Oxford Collapse completely won me over - A must see. But I was tired and it was really nasty and cold outside so I just wanted to get home before it got worse. I mean what could I miss... right?

I missed George Wendt! Norm! I guess he came to the show minutes after I left so he could see Thunderbirds Are Now! George is in town preforming on stage in Twelve Angry Men.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

O Red Line.

Red Line, O Red Line
You are so nasty.
Your seats are stained.
I never want to touch anything.
And your floors are way past gross.
Red Line, O Red Line
You are never on time.
You seem to stop between stations.
Stops all the time, for no apparent reason.
And the cars usually smell.
Red Line, O Red Line
This construction work is the worst.
I thought the stations were fine.
As long as the heater works in the winter.
And did I mention your cars usually smell?
Red Line, O Red Line
I don't want to catch a disease.
Please install sanitary wipes, or just clean.
Why can't you be more like the Brown Line
And less like the Blue.

Schuyler Fisk and Joshua Radin at Schubas

Richard and I caught the Schuyler Fisk and Joshua Radin show last night at Schubas. Schubas is a nice change of scenery from some of the other venues in town - very intimate (yay) and smoke-free (yay).

Both sets were good and Joshua (the headliner) was excellent ("These Photographs" is one of my favorite songs from 2006). But for me Schuyler sorta stole the show. She's only written a few songs (her EP is only six songs) so her set was short, but she has an incredible, sorta-smokey/bluesy voice all wrapped up in this cute petite package. She also gets extra points for playing the girlfriend in Orange County - an extremely kickass movie, btw.

After the show was over and we were weaving through the crowd, a girl stopped Richard and said, "That was a really good show!" Which was weird until we realized that she confused Richard with the band's guitar player (they don't really look anything alike, except they were both tall and wearing beanies). That was the other highlight.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What's the Deal?: Janet Davies

The Liar's Club has talked about Janet Davies before, as part of our annual "15 Chicagoans You Shouldn't Know" post.

As previously mentioned, she is also a co-host of that ridiculous "190 North" show. Sunday night she was dressed in her Joker finery (in this case a blue faux fur coat), highlighting the "beautiful" suburb of Lombard (question to any Chicago readers out there: Do you actually know anyone who lives in Lombard?? Didn't think so.). She introduces the segment by saying: "Lombard is just 20 minutes west of the Loop, so it offers the best of both worlds..."

Sorry, 20 minutes?? In what universe?? 20 minutes west of the loop is Bucktown. Another 50 minutes after that and maybe you'll find Lombard.

Bitch has got to go... that Joker...

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Tale of Two Bars...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... and it was all within one weekend. This past weekend I had two birthday parties to attend, on two different nights, at two different bars. One good. One... well...

Friday night was birthday number one (the best of times). It was at a bar called Danny's which is on the Northside... possibly in the Bucktown neighborhood. From the outside it looks like a dive, but on the inside we discovered it is a cool little dj bar that spins good music (not uber snobby electronic... at least not that night), has Anchor Liberty on tap (my favorite), and has a few little corners to hide from the music if so desired. There was dancing going on which is always fun to partake in, or just watch and make fun of (one person was dancing like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles). The company was great so it made the night even better. And the birthday girl did not pass out at the bar, which is always a plus. I am looking forward to going back to Danny's.

Saturday was birthday number two (OK, it was not the worst of times, not even close - but... ) was at Delilah's. Delilah's is fine. I have nothing against Delilah's. Every time I go there it has the same people drinking the same drinks in the same spots... or at least that is what it seems to be. And when you leave you are guaranteed to smell like ass (smoke). Delilah's is a Northside sort-of dive bar that has good tunes playing (although most of their djs spin CDs which is weak). This party was $20 all you can drink for two hours. I wanted two drinks, so I was going to opt out of paying the $20. Nope. Cannot do. I was stuck paying the $20 which I was not happy with (and I could not even get a bottle of cheap domestic.. that was $2 extra). But to my surprise they had Adam's Family pinball (one of my favorites) and after putting in the money I discover the right flipper did not work. Strike two. With most of the people there trying to kill themselves with alcohol by drinking as much as they could stomach in two hours, it brought out the worst in the group. Drunk dudes high-fiving, staring at cleavage from the few women that were in the room, and then the lovely barf in the bathroom. Oh joy. And although I did actually meet a couple new fun people, it just was not worth the $20. The birthday boy (the one I knew - there were two) seemed to have a good time (which is the most important part), and he was not one of the completely f-ed up dudes staring at boobs.

Don't get me wrong, I did have fun on both nights (why be a miserable downer at a party?)... but Danny's was so much more my scene. I recommend it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Alter Egos

Thanks to the wonderful internets and the people of Japan, we bring you The Liars Club!

As if you didn't already love us enough already . . .