Friday, January 30, 2009

A Meal To Die For

I am going to have to plan a trip to Phoenix just for this. Who's in?

Read this

Read this.

Bring Kleenex.


So I write reviews here occasionally. Mostly movies, occasionally restaurants. I want to do this more often. It is hard to write a review with out spoilers but I try and sometimes I wonder if I do a god job. Well, this man knows how to write a review.

Seriously. And I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but at some point it just becomes copying. So instead I will say ARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!


(seriously I need to stop accidently posting these things before I'm done)



I think I finally figured out LOST. LOST is like a prize fighter. A good prize fighter. You think you're a prize fighter. You may even think you are a championship prize fighter. But you're not. It's LOST. And you are just lost.

The first time you meet him in the ring he knocks you around. Dance, dance, punch. Dance, dance, dance, punch. Dance, dance, dance, dance, why are we still dancing. Wham! Punch. And then the punches keep flying. You're reeling, what's going on, did that just really happen. You're stunned, hurting, confused.

But you make it to round two. And you're getting better. Your not getting hit as much. Maybe even seeing some of the punches coming.

You make to round 3.

You make it through round 4. Barely. It was rough. You really got knocked around. Didn't see that one coming. But you made it. and you learned something. You saw something. A pattern. Left jab, left jab, right cross. Left jab, left jab, right cross. He missed you with that one.

Round 5 starts. He seems stronger rejuvenated. He starts a little different, but then you see it. Left jab, left jab, right cross. You smile, you're ready. Here it comes. Left jab, left jab, right jab! Wham!! Right between the eyes. Never saw it coming. You're down. You're stunned. What just happened. You stumble to your feet. It's over.

That's LOST.

Holy crap!!!!!!! Did you see Episode 3, really should be episode 2 why can't they give the 2 hour episode only one name.

But seriously did you see it? Who saw that coming. Not me. Maybe should have, but how?

Now no real spoiler here, just food for thought?

Has Daniel Faraday time traveled before, or does he just not age?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Twenty minutes

Is all you get because it is 1:15am and although I am supposed to get up for work in about 4 hours I am barely tired. So if I am going to be up then maybe I should do something productive instead of sitting on my cough surfing the internet like I'm on vacation.

Went and saw Inkheart today. Good movie. Not great though. It is worth renting and watching on a day where you want to pleasantly whittle away a couple of hours. I liked the ending better than monkey. But then again she actually finished the book and read the next two in the trilogy. So she was upset by the changed ending. It apparently negates the possibility of a sequel. According to her anyway. She doesn't know Hollywood very well. There is always the possibility of a sequel. Look at Alien Resurrection for heaven's sake. The killed Ripley off and still found a way to bring her back for a fourth one. That movies is one of my guilty pleasures actually, I really kind of liked it. It's the third one I thought was crap.

Monkey is yet again not handing in her homework. Short of setting her on fire I really don't know what to do about her. She seems intent on deliberately sabotaging herself. I think it is because she is so scared about going to college and not knowing what she wants to do with her life, that she thinks that if she does poorly in school it will limit her choices and then she won't have to make one.

My plans to buy a condo this year may be crushed for more than one reason but am still going to move forward and plan like it will happened so I am prepared if it does.

I must be getting tired because I am only 12 minutes in and I have nothing to say.

So I will say goodbye.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why do people insist on texting me

Written while in Vegas, just saw/remembered it was on my phone.

While I'm writing a post on my iPhone? I was 2/3 of the way through a medium sized post
Unfotunately This time the person was my mom and how can you not reply to your own mom. Hitting the close button instead of reply would be a crime or at least an offense worthy of several days of catholic guilt. So I hit reply and as soon as it switched from blogwriter to the text screen I knew what I had done. I had wiped my entire sleeping brother post into the ocean. Not that there is an ocean for a thousand miles, but it may as well have gone that far because it is now quite irretrievable.

I always new I was destined to be number 1

I occasionally check how many visitors I get, I average 4, and where they come from. Today I discovered something quite pleasing. I am #1.

On Google no less. Someone found me by googleing Cimmaron remake 2010. And they found this page. And not only did that search link to me. I was, as stated, #1. Even above the Wikipedia page List of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer films.

I know this means nothing on the grand scale but it makes me happy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I keep bullshitting around on the internet not accomplishing anything. Although I did learn a few things.
Obama loves the woman in the crowd.
There really is something for everyone on the iPhone.
Star Wars was way bigger than Cabbage patch kids or Tickle Me Elmo

The rest of my day included

Me waking up to an even colder apartment than I went to bed in. My thermostat went out the other day and when I got home on Friday after not being home for 2 days my apartment was 60 degrees. Or at least that is what the thermostat said. I think the living room was a good 10 degrees colder than that. The heat would kick on if you turned the thermostat up but then would only be on for a few minutes and would turn off again and would not turn back on even though the temperature in the apartment was way lower that the set temperature on the thermostat. So as soon as the heater would turn off I would turn the thermostat all the way down and then all the way back up again and I would get heat. And even though having a snowball fight INSIDE your apartment would be pretty cool, the best thing about a snowball fight, other than winning of course, is that you get to go back inside to warm up afterwards. And if you are already inside then you are just fucked.

Luckily I have a very responsive landlord and he showed up about an hour or so after I called him. And had a new thermostat in a couple of hours after that, so I am actually typing this without seeing my breath.

I was planning to go see a movie with Monkey so well could get out of this freezing hole that was beginning to resemble the fortress of solitude. Did you know that The Spirit is not showing in the Chicago land area anymore? Has it really been out that long. It seems like a way better movie that some of the other crap out there. Speaking of other crap our back up plan was The Curious Case of Benjamen Button. Now although the premise seems cool, the critics panned it and in rewatching the trailer the potential for suckiness looming over this picture like a dark cloud becomes evident. And is it over 2 1/2 hours long. I don't mind a long movie as long as it doesn't seem like a long movie. I just don't see this movie moving at a breakneck pace. Give me the Dark Knight anyday.

As it turns out I was spared finding out if this movie sucks. By my parents. Who called me yesterday to see if Monkey and I wanted to go to dinner with them at some restaurant they saw on Check Please!, which is a show where they invite a few local people on and each on picks a restaurant and then they all go at seperate times and then review it. I like the show so I was all up for but they wanted to go at 5pm. So I suggested 6pm to which there was hesitation but agreement and right before my dad hung up I said It's Saturday call and get reservations. Good thing too, because all they had was 5pm and 9pm. We took 5pm and that put a kybosh on the movie. Monkey and I went to a Borders Books near the restaurant and played Scrabble. We each won 1 game.

It turns out it 5pm was perfect because after that it was a mad house. Turns out that the episode of Check Please! was filmed quite a while ago and it was unusual because one of the invited locals was then Senator Barack Obama, and every one and there mother wanted to go to the restaurant that the President has been to. If I would have not gone on the day after the episode aired. The restaurant in question is Zia's Trattoria on Northwest Highway, and the management apparently had enough sense to staff the place well because despite the fact that all the tables were filled by 5:30 or so and the bar was packed to the gills by 6, everything ran smoothly. Our order was taken promptly, bread on the table and refilled immediately, busboys were zooming everywhere and always polite and attentive. My guess is they brought in more people than they would have on a regular weekend night.

The food was decent. I had the fillet mingon stuffed with three cheeses, served with Asparagus and mashed potatoes. Mom had pork roast wrapped in pancetta, which gave it a marvelous taste. It was slightly over cooked but certainly not too dry that you would even complain about it especially with that flavor. Pops had the Lamb shank that came with a bone big enough to kill someone with. I unfortunately did not get to taste, but the reports from the rest of the table were all positive. Monkey had the butternut squash appetizer for her dinner. Why I don't know exactly but she seemed happy with her choice and the taste I had was quite pleasing but I dont know if I would want a whole plate of it, though. Mainly because to me it is not a meal without meat.

The desserts were good. I had Tiramisu which is what I always have when I eat Italian. Was it the best I have ever had? No. Would I order it there again? Absolutely. Monkey had the Creme Brulee which was worth ordering for the fresh fruit on top alone. Mom had somesort of apple pie thing, didn't really pay attention. And right now I can't remember what Pops had.

The bill for 4 people? $135. We didn't drink any alcohol but I still think that was a pretty decent price for what we received. I've spent $45-$50 on just monkey and me for mediocre meals. $65 for a good meal is pretty good.

Would I go 12 miles from home to eat there again? Eh, probably not. Would I go if someone else really wanted to go? Sure. I would definitely recommend it if someone was looking for something up in that area or was looking for a cute date spot.

Unfortunately no pictures. I need to remember to actually use the camera I make sure I bring with.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It smells like toast

Written yesterday

Last night I went drinking in Joliet. I hate Joliet. I don't know why exactly I just do. I have some really good friends that live there. I work there. I just hate the place. I think it is because no matter how happy the people around me are, it just seems like such a dismal place. The kind of place that you would think everybody would want to get out of but very few actually do. They grew up there, they live there, they have no problem dying there.

I grew up in Chicago. To me that is what a city is. But what it is is a big city. I grew up believing that all cities were big. Anything smaller was a town. Or a suburb. I always felt that anything less than a million people wasn't a city. One of the times I said this out loud and someone smarter and wiser than me said that that means there are only eight cities in the U.S. I replied that there are more than that. Turns out there are nine. Nine cities with more than a million people. Maybe bigger isn't always better. I have been to Honolulu. I like it. It has a downtown. A small one but there are enough tall buildings there to make me happy. And there are nice restaurants. I mean NICE restaurants. Not oh, that restaurant was nice. But get dressed up fancy, have people call you sir, sigh or even moan every time you take a bite because you can't believe it tastes so good nice. It is close the beach. It is practically surrounded by beach. They bars, big open places with people you would be afraid to talk to. Maybe even people you would want to talk to. It is diverse. It has culture. I could live there. I could even live in the some of the communities and small towns outside of Honolulu.

Honolulu has 375,000 people. Joliet has 145,000. Almost half the population. But to me Honolulu is a city and Joliet is just a big town. I will give it credit for being somewhat diverse. White 69% African American 18% Native American 0% Asian 1% Hawaiian 0% Other/Mixed 12%
Chicago: White 42% African American 37% Native American 0% Asian 4% Hawaiian 0%
Other/Mixed 17%
I don't know how Native Americans, Asians and Hawaiians get there own categories but the Hispanics are other/mixed. Seems odd to me. I remember when filling out forms for various things, usually college registration having to check the box marked white/non-Hispanic. I wonder if they still have that box in this politically correct world. One thing that Joliet does have in common is that it is as segregated as Chicago. I grew not knowing how segregated Chicago was. We were poor enough that we mainly lived in neighborhoods that were equal parts black, Hispanic, and white. I still try to live in those neighborhoods but my taste for good food and variety of bars and restaurants have me living on the outskirts of those neighborhoods, but the encroachment of the rich white into my neighborhood have me longing to move back into Humboldt park. But of course I want to move into one of the newly built luxury condos in Humboldt park. I am against gentrification, but I want to be one of the last white people let in before they stop letting them in.

I couldn't live in joliet. I might save money if I did. The cost of living is less. I probably wouldn't go out as much. Who am I kidding? I would be dragged out just like I was last night. I wasn't so much dragged as convinced. And I kind of helped convince myself. Megs was working last night. My favorite bartender in one of my least favorite bars. She is more than a bartender, she is my friend outside the bar. I attended her wedding. I work with her best friend who is now technically her sister in law. She is one of those people that everyone would describe as good people. There is a difference I think between being a good person and being good people. I don't know why exactly, and wouldn't be able to explain it. There just is.

I was very happy to see her, and her me. She came out from behind the bar to give me a hug which made my trip worthwhile. I sat and talked with her for a while then said I better go say hi to the kids, but I'll be back to talk. She said ok. There were 4 other people in the bar other than me, matador, aborama, and special k. I figured Megs would have plenty of time to talk. So I sat with the kids. Abs almost immediately dragged me to the bar for a shot. I really don't want a shot. You don't want a shot? No, I don't. So if I said Irish Car Bombs you say no? I hung my head in shame. Don't you hate when your friends know your weaknesses. That is why your best friends are always your worst enemies. So we compromise and do Southern Bitches, which is only the greatest shot ever invented. The Irish Car Bomb being a close second. But you really should have a semi-decent buzz going before you imbibe a car bomb. And/or be prepared to ride the rails off the crazy train.

I sit back down at our table and Special K soon leaves, just as the bar is going from dead empty to crazy packed. On a Sunday. At midnight. I think how do they get busy on a Sunday. Then I remember that I am in Joliet, and that most of the bars in Joliet close at midnight on a Sunday. Except this one. Lucky us. There goes any chance of any real conversation with Megs. In addition to the dregs of Joliet, in enters Sarah and BS. BS is her name and what she spouts all day long. I've frequently say that if I lost my hands I wouldn't be able to talk. And I'm not even Italian. If BS lost the power of speech I don't think she'd be able to move her hands. Or anything else for that matter. I don't think I have ever seen her go more than five minutes without speaking. It is now 11:57 and I notice that Matador has a fair bit of his beer left to finish, and I say you better hurry you only have 3 minutes left. I know that he is getting his wisdom teeth pulled in the morning. He says I have and hour and three minutes, I only have to be NPO (nothing by mouth) for 8 hours. I say then we should get a pizza. He was just munching down a bag of chips to get some food in him prior to the fast. The four of us agree on one cheese and one sausage. They don't have just cheese. I get a No Worries from Matador and the order is placed. I get another drink and the empty stomach and the recockulously large pours are apparently getting to me because I am in old stories from the ER mode because I spend the next 15-20 minutes telling crazy stories. Then... Mmmmm the pizza smells goood. Everyone else sniffs the air apparently the scent hasn't wafted over to them. And I say...It smells like toast. I does says Sarah. The other 3 give us weird looks. No, it really smells like toast. And I am transported back to my childhood on a Saturday morning. Don't you smell it I say it smells like Saturday morning. Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash brown potatoes in my Mom's kitchen. And toast. The toast ties it all together. Because it is the last thing made and that smell means time to eat. Everything is ready, let's say grace. I get even weirder looks and I turn to look to see if the pizza is ready and Megs is standing there with a pizza in front of her on the bar with her hands on either side of the pizza. And as I walk up I see her face. It is one of the saddest faces I have ever seen. It is face that says I just broke mom's favorite vase, or I lost your favorite book, or I killed your dog in the driveway, or...

Or I burnt your pizza. She was all I'm so sorry. It is on me. And I look at this pizza and think what are you talking about. Yes, the edge of the crust is black, yes the cheese is a fairly dark brown possible a little black at the edge of one side. But it is also the I just had 3 drinks and a shot, no food in 6 hours, it's midnight pizza. And it smells like, well it smells like toast and that for some reason at that moment makes me happiest of all. I told her to charge me for it. She doesn't. And the next pizza was perfection. Minus the smell of course.

We talk some more, we drink some more, we are still there at closing. We leave. We go back to the humble abode of Abs and the Matador. To the happy greetings of the craziest and ugliest dogs I know. (one is crazy the other is ugly) And I am wide awake. Matador makes a beeline for his room. Abs and I decide to watch the first season of Lost. She barely makes it past the first 10 minutes. I make it through four episodes.

I wonder why I am tired the next day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I want to thank you for what you did, what you did

I want to thank tony pierce for referring more hits to my site than I have generated this month so far. It would help if I had posted more than once this month. There really is a good Vegas story in my head I just hope to get it out.

I also want to thank strayfarce for recommending because so far that is my best bet at finding the owner of the lost camera.

While I'm at it I guess I should thank Brother for getting a kickass comped suite at the MGM for NYE in Vegas. It's a shame no one else saw that suite, but I am glad I did.

I want to thank the MGM for inviting us and installing a shower head that provides so much water pressure that it exfoliates your skin while you shower.

I want to thank the chef at the Brand Steakhouse for providing a Chicago steakhouse quality steak for me to consume. And those Au Gratin potatoes could give Carson's a run for their money.

I want to thank the very attractive girls at Diablo's Cantina for wearing lingerie and pouring drinks down my throat like pouring gasoline into a car. I was fueled up I'll tell you that.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Have you seen this woman

She was last seen drunk off her ass at the Monte Carlo Hotel trying to leave Diablo's cantina and falling down the stairs. I helped her up the stairs, took a picture with her tried to call her friends from her phone but she couldn't tell me who to call, so I sat her down in a chair, turned around to find Brother and when I turned back she was gone. And no one around had seen where she had gone. Now I would just say a brief prayer that she found her friends and call it a day, but she left me in possesion of her camera. That leads to a dilemma. What the hell do I do with this thing and how do I find her.

I know some of you what say, find her what for? Dude you have a new camera. I don't know why my conscience won't let me think like that, even though my current camera has a broken screen, chews threw batteries like cracker jacks, is one more fall from oblivion, I would still like to return it so if you have any suggestions on how to find a needle in a haystack let me know.