Friday, August 12, 2005

As long as I'm being crotchety...

I have no great love for Gov. Rod Blagojevich - but I again have a giant "who cares?" about this tattoo veto. Most people get tattoos while drunk, anyway - so the 21 kind of matches. Besides, who is really losing - aside from the laser surgery business? When I was 18, I would have run off and had some huge portrait of Morrissey tattooed on my back, or something else that I would totally hate myself for now.

I thought of my 'dream tattoo' when I was 22 - it would be the Chicago Police insignia from a glass ashtray my dad had brought home from work once, it said "CITY PROPERTY" under the logo. I thought, what a great tattoo that would make! Then, suddenly, I felt a breeze - it was my father, spinning in his grave, combined with remembering MOM'S TATTOO RULE*

I'm not a fan of tattoos, and it's hard for me to take tattoos seriously outside of a tavern environment - at work, I am pretty amused by the hardass punk rock tattoos that are essentially telling me what a sellout this person is for 'working for the man.' I don't think tattoos should be banned, I just don't see what the big deal is about having to be 21 to get one - unless you own a tattoo parlor on the IL/IN border and have people cruising past you on the way to get cheap cigarettes, fireworks, and that Orange County Choppers tattoo they want so badly.

OK - I have been enough of an old woman today. No more bloggin'!

*My mother had the greatest tattoo rule of all time. I will bold-type it for emphasis, and put quotation marks around it:
"If I ever see a tattoo on any of you kids, I will take you right back to the tattoo parlor and have it tattooed on your forehead."

Caution: I Might Be Insensitve Here

The Supercuts Story is all over the place. Chicagoist wrote it up, the Trib, etc. etc.

Well, it reminds me a little bit of that Seinfeld episode, where Elaine goes to a nail salon owned and operated by Korean ladies, who mock her in Korean. She brings in Mr. Costanza to be her undercover translator, yada, yada.

While I know absolutely nothing about the women in the suit or the manager of Supercuts, my snap judgement was that the manager was paranoid that the employees were somehow making fun of her/him in Spanish - or is super-nosey and therefore annoyed by other people having conversations she/he cannot understand. Otherwise, who cares? The problem is the store manager, not the Supercuts company. Eliminate the management - and I am sad/sorry if it takes a lawsuit to report a sucky manager.

I think the much bigger story is how there might be a fuel truck exploding, somewhere, sometime soon, but not too soon, but nobody's going to do anything, because nobody knows if it's going to happen, or not, and well people say crazy stuff every DAY, but since 9/11 all this crazy talk has to be communicated to the public lest the government be hiding something. This is such a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. Blogs will complain about it either way, guaranteed.

So, here you go everyone, safety tips for crazy talk: Stay in your homes until October 1st. Don't go out. Don't drive anywhere. Don't go grocery shopping. If you live near a filling station where a fuel truck might park, move immediately. And, by the way, have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Chicago Tribune | Man dies after 49 hours of computer games

Egads! Thank goodness Scratch's marathons involve the board game Axis & Allies, instead of Starcraft. Now, as for me - I'm just one level away from finishing Diner Dash! See you in a couple of days... if I SURVIVE...

Chicago Tribune | Man dies after 49 hours of computer games

Monday, August 08, 2005

New vs. Used books

It's no secret that I am a fan of all books. I like to share books using, and am starting to investigate as well!

But something that this article seems to overlook about the used book phenomenon is that 'new' books in bookstores often look and feel 'used' thanks to the whole cafe/easy chairs in the bookstores.

Every time I visit a Borders, or Barnes & Noble, to buy a book as a gift, I usually walk out empty handed. Why? Because the books look like they've been returned. Scratched covers, bent spines - and my favorite interaction with an employee about the problem goes a little like this:

Enthusiastic Employee: "Can I help you?"
Me: "Yes - do you have a clean copy of this $40 book? I would like to purchase a new copy."
EE: "No, that is the only copy. But, we can order it for you and you could pick it up here in a couple of days."
Me: "Yes, well I can go to your website, and order it myself, and have it delivered to my home in a couple of days, too."

People have more respect for library books (as they should) than they do for these stores' merchandise. So, why don't they go read books... at the library? Is the library that un-cool for not having a cafe inside? Scuff up a glossy cover that someone won't want to potentially pay department-store prices for, OK? And if this is store policy, then may I suggest to these retail outlets that they start keeping clean copies somewhere that a latte lover won't be able to paw them?

Somehow, cool independent bookstores that have cafes in them manage to have clean books. Like, say, The Book Cellar on Lincoln. All my new books are purchased from them, even though I work across the street from the glossy Evanston Borders store.

Chicago Tribune | `LIKE NEW' BOOKS

Re-Make Mash Ups

Bill V.'s comment below reminded me of a fun game my mom and I started after watching the Bridget Fonda remake of La Femme Nikita (I think it was called Point of No Return.) The game is to 'mash up' the better parts of both the original and the remake to create the ultimate version of whatever. We hated Bridget, but loved Dermot Mulroney as the boyfriend, and Gabriel Byrne as the mysterious mentor. But Harvey Keitel was no Jean Reno. So, see, it can be done.

Another Example: The Office.
Without getting too deep into a show that's really just silly fun, I'd keep Ricky Gervais, but add Rainn Wilson from the American version. It's getting better already!

You can pretty much do this with any remake. Let's face it, with a few exceptions (like Sabrina) there are usually a couple of cool things about remakes, just not enough cool things to keep a remake from sucking. But if we can blend the old with the new, there's usually a pretty enjoyable movie or TV show or song we can enjoy without being pretentious about it ('I ONLY like the original of anything') and everyone wins!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It's Been a Lazy, Lazy Weekend

So, as part of my recovery from working non-stop the last few weeks, Scratch & I had a nice, lazy weekend. I had a lot of TV to catch up on, so here's a new feature on the blog I call The Un-Cool TV Round-Up!

I love television! There, I said it! And really, who doesn't love a little TV now and then? Here are the shows I'm currently TiVo-ing:

Rescue Me: Wow, what a great show. I love Denis Leary, and all of his contributions to televsion, like The Job, and the fake Project Greenlight show he did. Rescue Me is a well-done dramedy, and DL plays a character I love to hate. He's a total jerk. Fortunately, he's surrounded by a lot of supporting characters that make the show exciting every week. It's on FX, a channel you won't find in many hotels (thank you TiVo.)

Veronica Mars: Scratch is a "Lostaway," which means he loves the television program Lost. I also got sucked in, and therefore missed out on Veronica Mars in its first season. So, I'm catching up on summer reruns. I love shows about teenagers, especially shows that make teenagers seem smart, and witty, and well-versed in the pop culture of people in their 30's. This is because people IN their 30's can watch and imagine the characters to be cooler versions of themselves in high school. VM also has good stories, and an overarching mystery that is worth tuning in for. This has made a nice replacement in my tv habits for the cancelled Joan of Arcadia. This is on the UPN channel, also not a channel you may find on the TV Listings card at finer hotels. Dang it!

Six Feet Under: Why I hang onto this show is beyond me. I think Alan Ball called it quits to put me out of my misery. I have been so loyal to this annoying, awful show. It used to be cool, remember? On HBO, which you can get at pretty much any hotel (even the Lincoln Ave. motels.)

Kathy Griffin's D-List Show: While I've never been a huge fan of Griffin, I got sucked into the first episode of her show. I kind of like her. While 'on the road' this month, many of my students said things like "You should be a stand-up, Maggie." To that I say, watch established comic Kathy bomb miserably in front of 250 people. I'll stick to Lotus Notes training, thanks!

Aside from that, I mostly watch the cooking shows Scratch loves - lately he is into the Molto Mario. His idol, however, is Jacques Pepin. Pepin's latest PBS offering, Fast Food My Way, is if Mr. Rogers did a cooking show drunk. We love it!

Shows I Tried & Gave Up On:
Shows I Will Watch in Fall:
So, that's it for TV round-up! Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

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