Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Dad Steered Me Away From These

For those who don't know what a Four-Plus-One is, here's an article that describes them and how they fit into Chicago zoning laws. It tries to defend the four-plus-one, mostly from forty-year-old arguments expressed once upon a time by Yuppies in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, and in so doing kinda glosses over how they were generally not built with an eye to quality, and for a long time were not maintained horribly well (until various areas in the Winthrop-Kenmore corridor gentrified). Needless to say, I was not impressed with the four-plus-ones I was shown while I was looking for an apartment.

Kudos to Gaper's Block for the link.

This Cannot End Well

Via El Reg, Fox has picked up a pilot for an American remake of Ab Fab. Merely thinking about it hurts my brain. Hopefully Fox'll do what it does to any of its shows in the past decade that have even the hint of being successful and cancel it before it finishes its first season.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Zombie Musical!

The Trib reports that some production company has purchased the rights to make Michael Jackson's Thriller into a musical.

The Nederlander Organization announced officially today that is has acquired the rights to Michael Jackson's iconic 1983 music video "Thriller" and plans to turn it into a Broadway musical.

Rumors of the project first surfaced last fall on New York gossip pages. Since the Nederlander Organization controls Broadway in Chicago, that would suggest such a project would start out in Chicago.

"Could be," said James L. Nederlander, the coy lead producer, on Monday morning. "I'd like to."
Apparently Michael will be involved with the creation of the show - which should bode well for the sake of the choreography, at least. The man's a creep, but he can still dance better than more or less any other pop star out there.

Myself, I forsee this being made of either epic awesomeness or epic fail. There really can be no middle ground on it.

Fictional Course: ENG 415 - Ethics and Morality in Speculative Fiction

Essay question: Discuss how the term 'grok' relates to the concepts of agape, philia, and eros.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't They Say This Every Year?

Streets and Sanitation is telling residents to get their crap out of the street.

Coincidentally, this is probably the last week for curbside specials this Winter, at least until the various colleges start letting out for the summer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As If More Important Things Weren't Happening Today

Cnn.com felt the need to bring up a 25-year-old story about a missing white female.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Exploring Chicago, Part Two

Part of an ongoing series of observations.

Lincoln Avenue is a looooong diagonal street.

There are also other streets (e.g. Clark) that appear to be mild-mannered North-South streets, but with a diagonal bit in the middle that puts them out of order depending on which part of town you learned the names for.

Learning the Marker Light system for the L is helpful when one is squinting into the distance trying to tell if that's a Red Line train coming, or just another Brown.

Speaking of the L, the heat lamps on the platforms are great, but only do so much to prevent frostbite.

Hardly anybody takes credit/debit cards in this town. Restaurants want cash, cold and hard, unless they're either nice or are places where people drop loads of money all at once.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

A Chicago Tribune headline asks, "Have we set the bar too low for miracles?"


This has been an installment of Simple Answers to Simple Questions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Number 6 is Dead

(Via the Tribune) Patrick McGoohan died today at the age of 80. While not as well-known to more mainline sci-fi geeks as the passing of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, it's significant to those of us who are familiar with The Prisoner, a rather surreal ITV show produced and starring McGoohan. For those who haven't watched the show, AMC (which is remaking the series) has put all 17 episodes online. If you've not seen it before, you should go watch it, and be surprised at the little references to the show that you'll recognize in later TV and movies.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What Do You Mean, "Not Your Job"?

Gov. Blagojevich was impeached today by the IL State House, 114-1. The one against was Rep. Milton Patterson, D-Chicago, who the tribune reports said that it "wasn't his job to vote to impeach the governor," saying things about the criminal process needing to take place instead.

Well, excuse us, Rep. Patterson, but one of your admittedly rarely exercised powers as a state representative is to vote on articles of impeachment of state officers that are put before the Illinois State House. As Archpundit has repeatedly stated, impeachment is a political process, not a criminal one. The object of impeachment is to send to the State Senate a recommendation remove state officers who have manifestly demonstrated their inability to follow the law while doing their jobs, with or without actual criminal charges being filed. If you think part of your job is not your job, you and your constituents need to have a conversation come primary time, hopefully one ending with you not appearing on the November 2010 ballot.

And besides, if you really thought that it "wasn't your job", Rep. Patterson, you could always have abstained.

Monday, January 5, 2009

An Auspicious Start

So I get to the L platform this morning to head to campus for my first day of grad school, and wait... and wait... and wait some more. Two Northbound trains went by, but for us Southbound folks, nothing. The platform was actually almost crowded, which for an 8-car platform at my stop is something of a minor feat, as best as I can tell. Then the CTA attendant came on the PA and told us that there had been a derailment at Howard, the terminus for the Red Line and the location of one of the yards, which was preventing Southbound traffic.

Thankfully, the CTA already runs bus routes parallel to the line which, while it took a long time, at least was warmer than the L platform and involved motion towards my destination.

As for my first day of classes - I currently do not feel as if I have been hit with a sack of bricks, but that should not last long. Maybe a week. If I'm lucky.