Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OMFG For Real


After days of horrible news after horrible news (I couldn't even bring myself to write about the tragedy that befell Jennifer Hudson and her sister), an email from the Obama Campaign brightened my day.

Obama will be having an election night event in Grant Park, which you can register for online tickets here. Gates open at 8:30, but can you imagine the crowd that will be there, just to experience this moment of history, to hear whatever this man has to say to us as he begins his path towards ushering America into a new dawn (or, heaven forbid, console us as America stands in front of a social/political/international firing squad)?!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Groovy, Baby

I love "Electric Feel" by MGMT. It makes me want to dance as soon as I hear it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


David Sedaris, a writer who I have already fully disclosed my love for, has written a short piece in the New Yorker about Undecided voters in this year's election appropriately titled "Undecided." In true Sedaris fashion it's thoughtful, hilarious, and a must read. Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Ring On It

1. I wish I could dance like that.
2. I wish I looked like that.
3. Damn, that's a big ring.
4. I can not get this song or its Fossy-esque dance moves out of my head. Pretty embarrassing, but I try to do them at my desk without the same flawless results.

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Well, you shouldn't be. Especially if we're talking about the Art Institute's Art After Dark event this Friday. The event series is definitely not one to be missed: you get to view relatively new exhibits (this month, Henri Cartier-Bresson's photojournalistic glimpse of Paris are on display), see amazing performance art courtesy of Collaboraction, dance, people watch, drink, and eat to your heart's content. The Art Institute (111 S. Michigan Ave.) intends to keep the party going with an after party at the Base Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel (230 N. Michigan Ave.). To order tickets, click here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival, in its forty-fourth year, is on in various movie theaters across the city. Click here for a list of the must see/skip movies on the schedule according to Metromix. My picks: Gael Garcia Bernal's "Deficit", animator and director Bill Plympton's "Idiots and Angels", and Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, NY" starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, just to name a few.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Bottom of the Ninth....Nine Runs Down...and [McCain is] the Cubs..."

(photo credit: Damen Winter for the New York Times)

Last night, my boyfriend and I watched the final Presidential Debate at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark), a part of their In the K/Now series. The evening began with a moderator and speakers, including 848 and WBEZ political reporter Ben Calhoun (you're amazing on 848!), and two other gentleman whose names I couldn't hear, sadly. The gem above is from one of them, continuing the use of sports analogies throughout the discussion.

The crowd and panel were decidedly for Obama and we all laughed heartily at every dig at McCain's sinking ship. I had hoped there would be an equal mix of conservative and liberal speakers, just to make things interesting, but I guess its hard to find McCain supporters in this blue state and in Obama's home turf of Chicago. In effect, the panel was preaching to an enthusiastic choir, with only three undecideds in the room.

After the panel discussion, we watched the debate. I thought it was the best debate between the two, with moderator Bob Schieffer getting more specifics out of the candidates than before. Joe the Plumber made the audience gag, McCain's erratic facial ticks scared us all, and Obama's calm under McCain's lies and misrepresentations made me think all the more that this man needs to be in the White House.

Although there wasn't a follow up by the panel after the debate, overall I enjoyed my first experience at the Chicago History Museum and look forward to attending any other of their special events that pique my interest.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Another Voting Reminder

For all my talk about being registered to vote, I should also add that one should make sure their voter registration is up-to-date so they can go to the correct voting location. I used Vote For Change to download and print forms updating my voter registration and for some reason, this change hasn't been noted on the website or the Chicago Board of Elections site either.

I could either go back down to the South Side (where I am currently registered) to vote come election day, go in person to the Cook County Clerk office downtown and update my registration there, or vote early at a nearby Northwest side location.

I'm leaning towards early voting - I doubt some October surprise is going to sway my vote. But again, make sure you're registered to vote and know where your district's polling site is!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Love Lock Down

Another rainy day in Chicago. I'm waiting for my boyfriend to get back home so we can head to the opera (more on that tomorrow), but here's Kanye West's video for the first single off his "808 and Heartbreak" album "Love Lock Down." The radio DJs on 103.5 didn't "get" the video and said he was trying to be deeper than the song calls for. I disagree, but then again 1- I think Kanye can do no wrong and 2- appreciate any break from the hip-hop video narrative of bling, bills, and bitches. What do you think?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lazy Sunday Love

Completely self-indulgent post but I live for moments like this.

I am lounging on my sofa as late afternoon sunlight streams through my apartment windows. I'm reading my favorite blogs, the New York Times, and drinking tea in my bright orange caftan I had made in Nigeria from some cloth my Aunt gave me as a gift. My boyfriend is at our desk listening to jazz and geeking out and I just got off the phone with my best friend who I love like a sister who makes me laugh like no other.

I am having a quiet, "God, it feels good to be alive" moment.

No Words

Make Sure You Are Registered to Vote!

Vote For Change is a helpful website that puts together a voter registration card for you if you've yet to register, moved and haven't updated your registration, or need an absentee ballot. As Joe Biden stressed in the Vice Presidential Debate, this November 4 will be the single most important our generation has ever voted in. With the economy and America in the catastrophic state its in, we can not afford to assume Obama will clinch the election. His lead in the polls is encouraging but slim and who knows how people will actually vote come election day (the Bradley effect, anyone?) So please, check Vote For Change to make sure your voter registration info is up to date and vote November 4.

While wide sweeping change is unlikely to happen, to quote Monhandas Gandhi, "We need to be the change we wish to see in the world."

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Subprime Primer

This Powerpoint has been making the rounds since early spring when news of the subprime mortgage crisis first broke. Now that we're looking at at $700 billion bailout, I think it does some good to get reacquainted with (or just plain understand) how America got here in the first place.

Despite the stick men figures, this makes the subprime crisis understandable/makes me all the more angry at the level of greed that ensures the haves will always have more than the have nots.

The Great Debates (and 100th Post)

(photo credit: Richard Perry for the New York Times)

I watched last night's Vice Presidential Debates at the Whirlaway Lounge (3224 W. Fullerton) in Logan Square. It was a small, narrow bar with most eyes glued to the debates on the plasma screen as the three Cubs' fans in the corner cursed and cheered at the playoff game on mute. I could go on and on about how Palin dodged questions, stuck to the talking point(s) (because really, all she has is energy) her coaches spoon fed her, and clung to her "folksy" hockey mom persona for dear life...but really, half the fun of watching her slip ups were experiencing them with like minded, slightly buzzed bar patrons.

For the third and last presidential debate, I'll be far away from $2.50 PBR and .50 bags of Doritos in favor of a panel discussion at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark).

The Chicago History Museum has screened the presidential and vice presidential debates in their lecture hall, accompanied with a discussion led by Chicago professors and journalists. I'm excited to hear what Chicago's political minds have to say in real time. There is a suggested donation of $5 but free tickets are also available. Buy your tickets here.

Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 W. Clark
When: October 15, 7pm
What: In the K/Now: Presidential Debate II Domestic Policy
Cost: $5 suggested donation, free tickets available

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The White City Revisted

(photo credit: "Crowd on the Shore," Chicago Tribune photo archive)

Chicago was the home of the World's Fair in 1893, taking the honor from other American cities (Ha! Take that New York!) skeptical of Chicago's ability to outshine the Exposition in Paris that had captured the world's imagination. The city was still crawling out of the Great Chicago Fire wreckage and was considered less cosmopolitan than other cities vying for the Fair. Chicago architect Daniel Burnham met the challenge and exceeded expectations as the fairgrounds (known as the White City for its gleaming white stucco buildings) rose up on the South Side along Midway Plaissance and Jackson Park, delighting Chicagoans and patrons the world over.

Erik Larson does a great job recasting the story of the Chicago World's Fair in his book, Devil in the White City, a definite must read. Today, the Chicago Tribune has dug up beautiful, old archival photos (which, if you read the book, makes them all the more special considering what a tight hold Burnham had on photography within the fair grounds). Click here for more pictures.