23 June 2009

John & Kate + 8 + 2 attorneys + child support + psychiatrists

I don't even watch this program, but unfortunately no one can escape the endless fascination by "news" channels covering the "big announcement" last night.

Look, these people will have to live in the hell that they created on their own, so who am I to add in my 2 cents? I'm Duey's Brain, that's the hell who!

But Kate, if it truly IS all about the kids, then you should realize that the real problem isn't your spineless husband, it's your obsession with being on TV and being a "celebrity" (in only the true fashion that Patty Blagojevich is finding herself in). Tell TLC to go piss up a rope and leave you house/life immediately and work on your marriage. That simple act would show more about how much you truly care for your kids than anything else you can do.

The problems between you and John likely would have existed if the cameras WEREN'T there, but they've only increased the attention and pressure on them and made them more difficult. THAT'S the real problem here. Why don't YOU grow a set and give up the "fame" to keep your family together?

And John, you grow a set and act like a man!

13 June 2009

Thin the herd - Digital Transition of TV

When last blogging about this issue, I had THOUGHT the move by the current administration to move the date had failed but of course, it didn't.

So, about 12 hours ago, the analog signals were cut and those who have done nothing are not getting their "programs" and probably are screaming bloody murder, banging on the sides of their sets, blaming Obama and calling the TV stations to complain.

I just read this article and only have this to say to Patricia Bruchalski who, by her own words "When you're alone like me, that's my partner." If you depend on this SO much and you supposedly call it your "partner", are you THAT dense that you've ignored the PSAs that have been running for oh, TWO YEARS?!! Almost once a week for the last 5 months, the NEWS has been running tests so that you know whether or not you'll be affected.

It's nice that someone, once again, probably bailed you out, but seriously, how much money was spent on the last 2.5-5.0% (according to Nielsen) of the public? Unfortunately our government runs on the same mentality when it comes to social programs most of the time.

I realize that Patricia is 82 and that we should treat our elders nice, but at some point, there's a point of diminishing returns and money needs to stop being spent to support the group that's left.

We make these judgments all the time in my line of work. If it's going to cost 200x the amount of a normal interview to get the last 2 people then we just stop hemorrhaging the money and call it a day.

Thin the herd and move on!

10 June 2009

An all-out Meatgasm

As part of my weekend birthday-fest, we met up with my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law at Fogo de Chão. My S-i-L has a birthday at the end of the month so it was more of a co-celebration which made it all the better.

If you're unfamiliar with the Brazilian Churrascaria method of dining, it's best described as the return of Roman gluttony without the presence of an official vomitorium.

After being seated and a drink order taken, you're informed that you can head to the salad bar at any time and that it, as with the main part of the meal is "unlimited". Let me tell you, this isn't any typical Wisconsin supper club sort of salad bar, this one is probably one of the finest in the nation. From hearts of palm to smoked salmon to bufala mozzarella, all of the ingredients presented are of the finest quality, straight from the farmer's market. If I were a vegetarian, I'd be happy with this choice, and as you'll see, it'd be the only part of the night you'd probably need. But if you're there for the meat, do NOT fill up on salad bar stuff. Enjoy one trip and then settle in.

Before you head up to the salad bar, the waiter also lets you know that when you're ready to start the main course/meat course, that you flip over the little coaster shown above to green which means you're ready for men in traditional Brazilian gaucho dress to show up at your table with skewers of 15 different types of meat. When you want to take a break, you just flip it back over to red.

I think, after a few visits to these types of restaurants, I've learned that you just keep it green. Although they do their best to ensure that each type of meat makes it to your table, it's much easier to just turn away the types you don't want (or don't want MORE of) and they don't get offended versus missing out on some of the better cuts of meat that come around.

Top cuts are the top sirloin and the filet. There are various types including some lamb, pork, chicken and beef, but beef is the predominant choice. The gaucho stops at your table and then either slices and servers or, for the larger cuts, slices and then you grab with some mini-tongs while he finishes cutting the meat for your plate.

I believe I set a new record for myself when it comes to consumption and I was indulgently keeping up with every cut that hit my plate. I purposely didn't eat a huge breakfast and had no lunch so that I prepared the passage to the stomach appropriately.

What I always find amusing is that they DO serve some side dishes at the table (also unlimited if you desire) which consist of some fried polenta sticks, sauteéd bananas (like bananas foster w/o the ice cream) and some garlicky mashed potatoes. Frankly, I call them "space fillers" and they have no place at my plate although I do like the polenta.

It's a prix fixe meal except for your drinks and dessert and it's definitely not cheap, but to spin back my roots to the days of the early Romans, it's totally worth it. I know for John and Marie, they left with their stomachs in pain. I felt fine and can't wait to do it again.

There are various chains and a few independents, but having been to several, Fogo puts out the best salad bar and has the tastiest meats. They ALL do a good job, but for me, Fogo is the top of the line.

And with that, it's time to....

09 June 2009

Gettin' old can be funny

Yesterday was my 43rd Birthday. I'm almost in a new demographic but not quite yet.

However, I do tend to exhibit the "old man" sort of behaviors every so often. I can be forgetful, I can talk about ailments with the best of them, I definitely can be crotchety with those darned neighborhood kids and well, my ass can dial my BlackBerry.

So after I get into work, I'm talking to cube-neighbor Bob and I hear my phone ring. It was on my desk so I didn't get to it in time to answer, but I picked it up. It almost immediately rang again. I'm thinking maybe it's someone calling to wish me happy birthday, but I get this.

"Naperville 911, what is the emergency?"
"Uh, I don't know, there is no emergency"
"Are you sure no one there needs any assistance?"
"Uh, yeah, pretty sure"
"Okay we just want to make sure that no one is in need of medical assistance"
"Yeah, i must have accidentally dialed, sorry"
"thank you"

I know my ass is, well, not petite, but seriously? I had the phone locked, how did it do it? Well, there's an emergency call button on BlackBerries even if they are locked. But that means my ass would have had to have hit that button and then hit it again (since it confirms you want to do that before calling)

I'm sure this has happened to many people but it really played with my mind since it was on my birthday. Welcome to the 43rd year of my life, rang in by my ass dialing 911.

Maybe my ass knows something about me that I don't. I'm sure it sees a different side of my life every day.

So what can your ass do?

See, I'm fitting in to this old man lifestyle by inappropriately talking about body parts, functions and ailments just fine!!

04 June 2009

Psycho "Jon & Kate" driver on the road

Yesterday, on my way home from work one of those custom 10-passenger van in a blazing red color whipped onto Westbound I-88 from Farnsworth and prematurely merged right in front of me.

I mean, there was no possible way she couldn't have seen me and of course, no way I could miss her. Big ugly red van, license plates Mag 7, with those stick figure family appliques on the back window. Daddy, Mommy, Child 1, Child 2, Child 3 and then Children 4-7 who were Quadruplets.

I didn't honk but I was a little pissed that someone who has such a massive family would be driving so carelessly, so I changed lanes and moved up along side. I SWEAR, I'm not making this up but the woman driving had the exact same haircut that Kate from that ridiculous show has.

I'm sure in some way this mom of 7 relates, but seriously, maybe she relates too much based on recent news reports and tabloid tales?

The crazy driving didn't stop there, as we approached the backed up toll area, she whipped into the manual lanes and went speeding off. She happened to merge back about 5 cars in front of me and we both got off at the Rte 31 exit.

So let me get this right, she got ON the tollway to go basically 5 miles, pay $0.40 and then get right back off?

As we got to the end of the ramp she changed lanes to the right (to make a right turn) and then whipped back to the left almost undecided, and then finally committed to the right and turned right very quickly. Our experience was over.

There were no kids or adults in the van with her and clearly she must have been running late if she didn't care about spending $0.40 to go 5 miles but you're not going to endear yourself to me and your massive family by doing what you've done. The fact that your plates were Organ Donor plates let me know that you actually CARE about others too, but you just weren't showing it today.

Yep, just me ranting again, but I hope I don't see this van in a wreck someday.

03 June 2009

R.I.P. Koko Taylor

One of the pleasures of my life was that for a brief time, I worked in the music business in Chicago. Several times my path crossed that of many Blues artists, but always an enjoyable one was Koko Taylor.

She always had a nice word for EVERYONE, and I was the recipient of those words no less than 20 times in my life. When she called you "baby" you knew it was because she wanted you to get her something but it was always said in a motherly sort of tone that made you feel loved and wanted. Hanging out with her before her shows was just a privilege and she'd share stories about the "old days" and give her opinions about current music as well.

Although I'm hardly a rap music fan, she likened it immediately to the Blues. She lamented that it had it's "gangsta/thug-life" reputation but said that ultimately "it was people singin' about the difficulties in their lives and how they dealt with them on a daily basis and that's what the Blues was all about."

She used to tour every so often with Big Twist and the "tales" she'd tell about Twist were priceless. Out of respect for the dead (Twist passed in 1990) I won't re-tell those in writing, but if you want to know them, just ask me.

She was the Queen of the Blues and Chicago's Very Own (sorry WGN for ripping that off) and that is evident if you go to the Chicago Blues Fest website. She's the damn banner! Blues Fest is June 12th-14th this year and although I don't believe she was scheduled, I'm sure not an artist will leave the stage without paying some sort of tribute.

She was born to share-croppers in Tennessee and came to Chicago in the 50's, was spotted by Willie Dixon and the rest is history.

Today, one year and one day after Bo Diddley passes, Koko passes on from complications from surgery she was having.

Unfortunately this is a constant reminder of an art form that slowly is dying as well. Although there is a burgeoning Blues community coming up, none of the artists will ever share what the Dixons, Taylors, Diddleys went through in their lives. So it's a NEW Blues artform but one that will always pay tribute to the past. The new artists can PLAY the blues, but there's something in these old timers voices when they sing. It's almost as if you can hear the pain they suffered and that's something that younger artists just will struggle to sell as time goes on.

R.I.P. sweet lady and Queen. I'm glad our lives intersected even if for the briefest of moments. I have got to believe there's one hell of a band being put together up in Heaven with you and Willie and Bo together.

02 June 2009

Oh, to be a child again

Note sent home today with Aidan:

Summer camp starts next week... This year's theme is "Amazing Animals".

What I wouldn't give to be 18 months old again ;-p

Along with NINE splash days (days where they'll play with water and get drenched) which can be increased by the individual room's teacher, a petting zoo comes to their school next Tuesday.

What I'd really be looking forward to is August 11th and the "Monkeys and More" presentation. Having seen hundreds of Market Research presentations and done quite a few myself, what I would give to just sit back, relax and soak in some knowledge about prehensile tails!

Not only do they get this cool course load, but they get their own water bottle, t-shirt and backpacks with the themes.

It's nice to see that in a time when the economy stinks, the world is in a bit of upheaval, and people are freaking out that our children can still enjoy what summer is about. Carefree world where the biggest concern is whether or not it's a splash day.

I'm jealous of my child but very happy that we can offer this to him at such a young age.