Friday, May 30, 2008

Cartoon Cartoon

I have repressed a lot of my adolescence, mostly because it was composed of the kind of embarrassment and awfulness that would lead to some kind of 'Nam war vet never-ending flashback and/or arrested development... and I'm not talking about the TV show.

However, I do remember the icons of teenage angst I identified with. MTV's Daria Morgendorffer with her caustic wit and deadpan was my animated alter ego #1, but Emily the Strange came in a close second. She hated everybody and, with her gang of cats and slingshot, ruled the night. I drew images of her in my black and white spottled composition books alongside diary entries of why and how much high school sucked. Possibly because of the success of graphic-novel-turned-movie Persepolis, Emily the Strange is hitting the big screen.

Excited to see how this develops.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hello, Lover!

It is woefully clear to me that I don't have enough girl friends in Chicago; I have no one to watch the Sex and the City movie with! Say what you will about Carrie Bradshaw and the "Scary Sadshaw" offspring she's created (you know, women who apply the rules that govern SATC characters into their own lives?), I love it and can't wait to see whether the movie will live up to all the hype the media and diehard fans have created.

For all the ladies (and fellas brave enough to admit their fans) with plans to see the stateside premiere of the movie tomorrow, there's an AWESOME event going on tomorrow which will help you indulge in your girl about town fantasies. Dinner, drinks, cocktails, and a fashion show. Click here for all the info:

And the trailer I've been salivating over for the past 3 months!

(I love the big band version of the theme song!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ching-Ching, Getting Paid Over Here

(Photo credit: Meeno Peluce)

Riot-grrl and feminist-friendly rag, Venus Zine, is having their summer release party tomorrow. It's their Hip-Hop issue, with Missy Elliott gracing the cover. Start your weekend early with this dance party at EvilOlive (I love this place, not because I've actually been there, but because it's a palindrome)!

Venus Zine's Summer Release Party

EvilOlive (1551 W. Division)

DJ sets by Pixiu, Miss Gab and Jordan Z. Gift bags to the first 50 people.

No cover, and since it's sponsored by hipster abrosia provider Pabst Blue Ribbon, PBR's are $3.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Waiting for Summer

Yesterday it was 82 degrees. I looked out the window of my apartment and could see boats on the placid Lake Michigan and families and pets wandering the streets. The skyline was ablaze with sunlight reflecting off glass; I drew in a deep breath and sighed. Ah, Chicago.

Today its 46 degrees and I'm back in my office. But I love thinking about that season that will soon — hopefully — be upon us: summer. This summer, I'm going to have a taste of what it's like to be a single gal in the city; my boyfriend is hightailing it to Guatemala to take classes in K'iche Maya for a month and a half. Chicago in the summer will keep me company though, and I've already compiled a list of things to do to take advantage of the city at its best:

Breakdance classes, $95 for a six week class
• Go to concerts at Millennium Park
• Have picnics in Millennium Mark
• Start riding a bike
• Decorate my apartment
• Eat al fresco
• Summer nights in Wicker Park
• Continue with my book clubs

Have any other suggestions for me?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My God

I really have a hard time respecting anyone who supports Hillary Clinton. Especially after this latest gaffe. What a horrible human being. What a despicable, condescending, ignorant, power-hungry person.

...and then to try to back out of it by saying she was distracted by the BRAIN TUMOR Senator Ted Kennedy suffered this past week. Jesus Christ.

And Another One

According to black celebrity gossip website, The YBF, there are three versions of Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" video. Here's the second one.

And click here to view the controversial original.

Friday, May 23, 2008


It's a pretty dreary day here in Chicago. We're finally getting a spring—we usually just jump from winter to summer. This song and video by English singer Adele, sums up how I'm feeling in all avenues of my life and is a perfect background music for this chilly, gray day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Perilous Biking

I've recently been considering getting a bike. My new neighborhood is going to be a lot more biker friendly, it's a great way to exercise, and I no longer fear the opinions of militant and mean hipster bikers. However, there has been an increase in cyclist deaths in Chicago as the weather warms up. Two have occurred within this past month and who knows how many others before them; the cover of one of Chicago's newsprint tabloids focused on the rise in biker deaths.

While driving to work this morning and listening to NPR, there was mention of the recent spate of cyclists deaths. Last night, Chicago bikers held their own "Ride of Silence," a nationwide event where bicyclists visit the sites of bicycle-related deaths throughout their cities. Eight Forty-Eight did a segment focusing on friends of fallen bicyclists and biking activists creating monuments in the form of "ghost bikes."

Ghost bikes are stripped bikes (so people won't deface them for their parts) painted white and locked up at the site of a biker's death. To listen to Eight Forty-Eight's story and learn more about ghost bikes, click here.

(A Ghost Bike for Tyler James Fabeck, killed two days ago. Photo credit: Howard Kaplan.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

You Know You Love Me, xoxo

(photo credit: Giovanni Ruffino/The CW)

Beyond all reason, I am completely and utterly obsessed with the CW's teen drama Gossip Girl. Based on the young adult book series penned by Cecil von Ziegesar and created by the man who brought us "The OC," Gossip Girl follows the lives of rich Upper East Siders and their "poorer" Brooklyn cohorts in high school. Yes, it's yet another addition to the pretty-white-rich-kids-with-problems genre, but I can't help it: the acting, the New York angle, the improbable situations, the pithy dialogue, the pop culture references, the clothes, the music... I was in love by first commercial break.

Tonight is the series season finale and I'm super excited. Will Rufus break up the pending nuptials of Lily and Bart? Will Georgina be exposed for the psychotic liar that she is and get whats coming to her? Will Serena and Dan Humphrey get back together after all the lies and betrayal? OMFG, I can't wait. And until its return in the fall, I'll have these things to keep me GG-happy... that is, until the first season DVD set is released August 19.

  • Gossip Girl Episodes Online: Ok, so I know for some fans of Gossip Girl, I am part of the problem. The CW is confounded by the show's online success with the coveted 18-34 year old slot and abysmal Nielsen TV ratings score. So confounded, in fact, they pulled online episodes off their official website. There was even talk of dropping the show (thank God it got picked up for a second season, though)! But I can't help it. Sometimes, I'm not home Monday nights at 7pm Central. And when I'm not, I go online the next day to see what I missed in the world of Gossip Girl.

  • New York Magazine's Daily Intel Coverage: New York Magazine has a weekly blog on Gossip Girl highlighting its hits and misses through a reality scale. Would any real New Yorker call the subway a "train"? And OMG, bagels are totally necessary for an underaged (or any aged) hangover recovery session. Click here for all articles tagged Gossip Girl.

  • Gawker's Gossip Girl Coverage: Even the New York media's kings of snark can't help but be sucked into Gossip Girl mania. It makes me feel a little bit better about my addiction.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coke Habit

N.E.R.D.'s new video for their single, "Everyone Nose" was posted up on Kanye West's blog today. Cocaine references, cameos galore (I wonder why Lindsay Lohan appears...), and a shout out to Merlin Bronques party photography website Last Night's Party. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chris Ware and This American Life

This American Life, a radio show on NPR that was originally based in Chicago, is in its second season as a television show on Showtime. I haven't seen it as a show but love listening to the podcasts at work or on the radio as I drive around on the weekends. Here is a clip of a segment, animated by Chris Ware and featuring the amazing voice of host, Ira Glass.

Love and Marriage

(click for larger image)

Want to see how you modern day gals would rank against a 1939 married gal? Boing Boing, a tech blog, has produced a marital rating scale used by a marriage counselor to "give couples feedback on their marriages." Eh.

How is this Chicago related, you may ask? The opening credits for the TV sitcom "Married with Children" featured the song "Love and Marriage" by Frank Sinatra and the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago's Grant Park. Ha!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Trapped in the Courtroom

Robert Kelly, aka R. Kelly, aka the Pied Piper of R&B, aka the Remix Killer, is finally having his day in court for child pornography charges (the alleged victim was 13 at the time the infamous video was taken). Jury members are currently being selected and disgusted by descriptions of the sex acts depicted on the tape. Only two people have dealt with the R. Kelly sex tape charges in an appropriate manner. Aaron McGruder and Dave Chappelle. Video below.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chicago Memory #1

(I wrote this on my Myspace blog this morning and thought that this might be a good new series: my memories, good or bad, of Chicago for your perusal.)

One of my favorite Chicago memories involves a boy I am well in the process of forgetting (that's a long story not suitable for publishing). He takes me out for amazing Indian food and drives me home. We get on Lake Shore, Chicago's freeway that wraps around the ocean-esque Lake Michigan. His car is more like a robot trained to fulfill my every comfort: one button pushed reclines my seat, another heats it up, and yet another opens up the moon roof so I can see the stars and tops of buildings as we glide down Lake Shore. And then the last button puts on Esthero's dreamy song, "Country Living (The World I Know)."

"And I want to live
In the passenger seat of a car
We can drive around all night
We wouldn't have to go to far
Just look at those stars
Listen, they could be ours

I love Lake Shore Drive. And as I drove down it yesterday, I thought of that moment where all of my senses were completely sated because of this great city called Chicago. And then I felt a little bit better.

But I still came home and watched "Sex and the City" DVDs until after 3 a.m. to cheer myself up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Step Away and No One Gets Hurt

Today pundits and commentators from all over the nation and interwebs weighed in on the state of the Democratic candidates chances post-Indiana and North Carolina's primaries. Two of my favorites:

(Obama as Harry S. Truman. Image courtesy of Young Manhattanite)

(Matt Drudge, who runs the news website, compiled a photo montage of Hillary Clinton's various expressions [all grotesque] titled "No Way." Animal New York Andy Warholized the montage.)

Monday, May 5, 2008


Photobucket The Midwest Independent Film Festival continues their First Tuesday events with a "comedic shorts program." Tomorrow's events begin at 6 pm at Landmark Century Theater (2828 N. Clark) with a pre-show Cocktail Reception, a panel discussion on film financing at 6:30, and the main event at 7:30. After the screening, mosey over to Forno Diablo, (433 W. Diversey). The line up (click here for more detailed information):

Train Town (Official Selection, 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival)

Starting Tomorrow (Grand Prize Winner, 2007 Element 79 Film Festival)

The European Kid
(Official Selection, 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival)

Game of Love (World Premier)

The Cherry Tree

Check Please (Official Selection, Santa Barbara International, Cinequest, Miami Shorts, Cleveland and Florida Film Festivals)


Death is My Co-Pilot

Must Like Magic


The Job (Official Selection, South by Southwest Film Festival)

Music Video: "Out to Get You," from Chicago's Jonny Rumble.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And They Call Kansas City Killa City*....

(photo credit: Rueben Cox for the New York Times)

Just two weekends ago in Chicago, with the first warm weather, 36 people were shot, 7 of them fatally. The Chicago Sun-Times called it the “weekend of rage” ... Since the beginning of the school year, 18 Chicago public-school students had been killed. (Another six would be murdered in the coming weeks.)”

Chicago has experienced a shocking wave of violence, affecting the families and friends of the slain and wounded and leaving the city at large in shock. The New York Times Sunday Magazine's article on this issue focuses on the efforts of an organization called CeaseFire, which aims to stem violence at its source, treating violence more like an "infectious disease."

(* Editor's Note: I'm originally from Kansas City where the same increase in gang-related violence and deaths has earned the city its moniker, Killa City.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Today, hundreds of Chicago activists, Latinos, and supporters will march in protest of America's current stringent immigration laws. Last year, I was working on a documentary for my Documentary Video class that took us to Pilsen, a largely Latino neighborhood in Chicago fighting the tide of gentrification. My partner Roger and I skipped class to go to last year's May Day March and got some footage. This morning NPR says that many involved with this year's march doubt it will have the large numbers of previous years or garner support for reform in immigration laws.

Below is the documentary I worked on. I cringe every now and then—some shots are too long, I would've edited it different etc.—but if you're interested, it gives a very cursory introduction to Pilsen.

New York Magazine has compiled an "electopedia", with blurbs on each presidential candidate under categories like "Mentors," "Worst Speech," and more.