He always made me laugh....

I gotta admit, I watched Match Game all the time as a kid. I remember when they took u the old year sign and brought down the new "Match Game XX" sign.

Anyway, here's a little YouTube goodness in rememberance of Charles Nelson Reilly.



This will appeal to more than you think....

I saw on Metroblogging Chicago that there is a documentary called Helvetica coming to the Gene Siskel Film Center in June. Looks like tickets are only $9.

The schedule from the website:
June 15--21

Fri. at 6:00 pm and 8:15 pm;
Sat. at 3:00 pm, 6:30 pm, and 8:15 pm;
Sun. at 3:15 pm and 5:00 pm;
Mon.-Thu. at 6:15 pm and 8:00 pm
Ironically, there is no Helvetica available through Blogger for this post.


Once again, no idea....


The Full Monty x 10

Stratton PTA Carnival

The boy's school had a carnival to raise funds for the PTA. You could get a bracelet and play on all the inflatables they had set up. There was a big tunnel looking thing.

And then there was a giant slide.

And, of course, they had an obstacle course.

They also had someone from 105.5 there playing music and the kids were dancing and singing all over. Plus they grilled out hot dogs and hamburgers.

And they rented games from Dallas & Company (I saw a sticker on one of the games) for the kids to play. Everyone played until they won. Then you got to dig in a box for what you wanted---candy, fake snakes, pencils, little notebooks, bubba teeth, noisemakers, and more.

Look at that determination....

It was a pretty good time and the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity volunteered to run all the games and help cook the food. I haven't heard how much money they made, but it was *way* more successful than any other fundraiser I've seen done.

Look at my beautiful Columbine....

Makes me happy everytime I step out the front door....


Fubar Lounge

Apparently, the old Gully's/Library/etc near the corner of Fourth and Green has been extensively remodeled and renamed FuBar Lounge.

They have food and a dress code that varies by night. The entrance age also varies by night, with weeknights at 19+ and weekends at 21+. The pictures of the place are amazing.

I'm wondering how long before the place is stained with vomit.

However, if the FuBar can hold out until the brand new 26-story luxury student apartment building is built across the street, that place could probably be money....

Summer pool plans

With the weather as beautiful as it's been, I've been talking with friends about what we are doing for pool passes this summer.

The answer is: I have no idea.

For the last two years, I've been going to Crystal Lake Pool in Urbana. It was way less crowded than Spaulding during Sholem's construction, they have an awesome concession stand, and the pool was big enough that the water stayed cool and refreshing even when it was really hot at night. Spaulding, while close and small, gets quite bathtub-like in the heat of the summer.

However, I live in Champaign and I drive past Spaulding to go to Crystal Lake Pool and if Spaulding is empty, I'll stop there instead. But if I buy a Champaign pool pass, I can't use it at Crystal Lake and if I buy an Urbana pool pass, I can't use it at Spaulding or Crystal Lake.

I also haven't checked out Sholem since it was rebuilt and I'd like to go at least once this year with my nephew or with friend's and their kids. But if it's really crowded, it won't be my regular destination.

Spaulding costs $1.50 for residential day pass, Sholem is $5, and Crystal Lake is $3 ($2 on Tuesdays).

Champaign pool pass is $70 for an individual. Urbana's is $69.

Honestly, I don't know if I'd use it enough to be worthwhile. I take the nephew maybe 2 or 3 times a month on the weekends. I'd like to get back into lap swimming, but the hours and locations aren't real close to my work. Sholem has 6:30-9am (ha!) and 8-9pm lap swim times. The night lap swim is a real possibility for me---which makes the Champaign pass more attractive. Spaulding doesn't have lap swim times, and Crystal Lake has lap lanes open all the time in addition to multiple lap swim weekday and weekend hours.

So it looks like Champaign might get my pool pass purchase with Crystal Lake getting occasional day pass purchases.

I really wish they would go in together and make all the pools available with either Park District pool pass. It would be really convenient for C-U residents. With the new ID card system, each park district and facility could keep accurate numbers regarding patrons from the opposite city. If they is a drastic disparity, there could be some sort of reimbursement.

Just a thought....

Any pool plans in your future?


Smoking ban repealed 5-4

I watched the whole thing on local access.

You all know how I feel. It now looks like everyone will truly have a choice. We went from *no* smoke-free bars to *no* smoking bars to a situation where we will have both.

For seven months, we'll get to see the power of the marketplace. Eventually, we'll be back to *no* smoking bars, anyway. Perhaps it's the innate people-watcher in me, but I'm sorta interested in watching what happens.

Carlos Nieto has said he intends to keep his bars smoke-free. My guess is that Mike and Molly's will go smoking at midnight. The owner stepped up to the mike right after the vote and asked if the repeal was immediate or if went into effect tomorrow. (Tomorrow.)

Midnight's tomorrow, right?

My sister made the point: there are shootings going on near local grade schools and what brought a *crapload* of people out to the city council to talk?



Jerry Falwell started out as a segregationist.

He urged people to buy Kruggerands from South Africa during Apartheid.

He blamed the ACLU for 9/11.

Tinky Winky.

What more can be said about the guy?




As seen in parking lot at Dodds

One of the million reasons why I'm not a Rush fan....

No---not the band...the right-wing talk show host with "talent on loan from God" has been played a song on his show called "Barack the Magic Negro" in an attempt to...I don't know.

CBS has a poll that has an *overwhelming* majority voting that the song isn't racist.

What do you think? Take a listen for yourself. It's supposed to be a guy pretending to Al Sharpton criticizing Obama for not being a "authentic black" while singing it all to the melody of Puff the Magic Dragon.

According to Media Matters, Rush began using this term by quoting an article written by L.A. Times cultural columnist, David Ehrenstein, in which Ehrenstein discusses the idea of "magic negro" in a historical and sociopolitical context and then gives examples of why he think it applies to Obama.

Rush, however, has taken this idea and run with it---and he continues to refer to Obama as the "Magic Negro" and has said that white folks who support Obama are the *real* racists....

Here's what Ehrenstein said about the idea of "magic negro":

The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. "He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist," reads the description on Wikipedia.

He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

As might be expected, this figure is chiefly cinematic -- embodied by such noted performers as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Scatman Crothers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Smith and, most recently, Don Cheadle. And that's not to mention a certain basketball player whose very nickname is "Magic."

Think The Legend of Bagger Vance or The Green Mile or another other movie in which a black man appears and whose sole purpose seems to be to *inspire* the main character---who is generally a white guy.

Here's what Rush said:
So those of you white people out there who are supporting Barack Obama, you are racists. That is the point that David Ehrenstein's made. So your attempt to assuage all of your white guilt by supporting Obama is worthless because you're just---you're just exhibiting racism because you know he's not a real black.
This is sort why the whole Don Imus thing didn't really change much. It's not even like this is the first time Rush has made "jokes" regarding race and Obama. I'm sure you heard about the whole "Halfrican" thing, right?


Great new local photoblog

I *just* checked the email associated with my blog and I see an email announcement from Dan O'Brien for his new blog, gct13.com. He's got some good photos. And apparently it's updated every day---or least so it says in the header.

He also posts photos on Illinois Loyalty---an Illinois sports messageboard.

And he's recently gotten some plugs on IP and It's Matt's World. Here's my plug. I can't wait to see what he'll post next.


Once again, funnier if less often....

So I went to Beloit and sold books on my birthday and stopped off in B-N that night for dinner, drinks, and board games with some friends. This is my friend J and her husband, the skateboarding *legend.* (Another story, another day.)

Yummy Mexican food and pitchers of margaritas. I didn't have to wear the hat (thank goodness....), but I *did* get a free shot of tequila. Mmmm....


A few drinks out---and a few shots---and our designated driver drove our drunk asses home. For a friendly game of Cranium.

This is me and the skateboarding legend pre-post-bar festivities (did you follow that?). Can you tell I'm old? The moment we all got home, with the exception of the skateboarding legend, I had comfy clothes on and contacts *out.*

Now, if you haven't played Cranium before (though I'm sure many of you have), basically, as they say on the website, you "sketch, sculpt, solve puzzles, act, and hum." Of course, being a *teensy* bit drinky, we didn't actually play by the rules, but whatever. It's got clay, an egg timer, and a 10-sided die in the box---what more could you want in a game.

I got a lot of the "draw with your eyes closed" challenges. Didn't do too badly. This was my closed-eye attempt at "watermelon."

Anyway, I finally got a card where I had to act out a word: parachute.

So...the other team flips over the egg timer and I jump up onto the chair I had been sitting on, act like I'm strapping on a pack, and leap off the chair.

I smack my head on the light fixture hanging from the ceiling, break the bulb without breaking the glass, and land on the floor while my chair is flying across into the living room.

All the while, my teammate is yelling "Skydiving! Hang Gliding! Parasailing! PARACHUTING!!!!"

Course, the other team challenged my use of the chair as violating the "no prop" rule. However, it was ruled that the Birthday Girl is always right.

The cat disagreed....

UPDATE: Read the comments for a freaky-deaky blog coinky-dink.


This thing on?

Crazy, crazy, crazy, wonderfully fun spring....

The boy (which is what I am now calling the nephew because he has taken offense to "little man---"I'm *not* little....") had his second-to-last soccer game last Tuesday night. We took pictures before and after the game.

The boy played goalie for the opposite team during the first quarter because their team was short. And he stopped our team---his team---from scoring in the first quarter. They've played together for four seasons with the same coach. Unfortunately, they break up the teams when you go into Bantam Level. Sad, don't ya think?

Last game, Tuesday night....