Took the midnight train going anywhere

28 October, 2010 (11:45) | Reviews

Kallie’s cousin, Julia, works at the Steppenwolf Theatre, and while we were in town, she hooked us up with tickets to see Detroit, by Lisa D’Amour.

First off, Kallie and I had never heard of the theatre, let alone the play.  Maybe it’s because we’re not from Chicago, or maybe it’s because we are uncultured neanderthals.  Either way, we were thoroughly entertained.  The set was beautiful and even the theatre itself told me that I’m in a place that’s taken seriously.  As I browse the program, I see that Gary Sinese and 2 friends started the company back in the 70s, and now there’s a ensemble of MANY familiar faces!  I was very impressed, to the point where I felt ashamed I didn’t know anything about this place before hand!  I would think a place with the caliber of it’s ensemble would be as well known as Second City (which we tried to get tickets for, but they were sold old 3 days out).

To the actual play, a cast of 4, most recognized by Laurie Metcalf (Jackie from Roseanne), Detroit is a play that tackles very modern american ideals and circumstances.  A long time married couple without children in the suburbs of Detroit struggle in their relationship while a younger, recently clean and sober, couple moves into the house next door.  There are some great laughs, but it also has a lot of deep meaning.  Something I’ve never heard of before, after the play, they have a discussion group with an assistant producer of the play.  They talk about the characters, how the definition of the American dream has changed, and what changes we saw in the characters.  It was awesome.  Kind of like a college class, with a bunch of old people in it. 🙂

It was a great play, a great place, and a great night.  Consider it RECOMMENDED.

Related:  Detroit is a focus for Palladium and Johnny Knoxville in their exploration how Detroit Lives –


Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell

28 October, 2010 (11:19) | Reviews

So, I called this Girl and the Goat place after looking online and seeing they were booked for 2 weeks out.  They did have a cancellation at 11:30pm if I wanted that.  I had just read an interesting article about getting into elite restaurants, and was excited to try my hand at some of the tactics.  The first one, is just show up.  They opened at 4:30, and we got there around 4:50.  We got seated right away, but at a table for 8 they call the lounge.  It’s actually a pretty sweet idea.  It’s a very wide table, and couples sit next to each other.  We were seated at one end, and a guy and his son were at the other end across the table.

The menu was “interesting” to me.  I’m not all that adventurous with food, so I look for familiar things on menus.  There was a lot on the menu that I wasn’t sure what it was, let alone if I’d even like it.  I found a few things that I would be comfortable with though.  It is served “small plate” style, so you order like 3 different items and split it between the 2 of you.  So we got the ravioli, the mussels, and skirt steak.  I also had been told by a few friends to try the Golden Monkey from Voodoo Brewery, so since I saw it, I got one of those as well.  Later, I also downed an Left Hand Brewery Polestar Pilsner.  Left Hand has a dear place in my heart, originally just because of the name, but I really like their beer.

Anyway, back to Girl and the Goat.  As they’re bringing out food to Tony (the guy at the other end of the table) and his son, the server is giving him the full schpeel about what it is, what Chicago Magazine had to say about it, and used a bunch of colorful adjectives to describe what went into it, almost as if Tony was a food critic.  There was too much laughing and smiling about it though, as it turns out, Tony was an employee just stopping in with his son.  Tony strikes up a conversation with us, and tells us about the sharing food idea, and he said that a little known secret is to use the sauce from the mussels with the fries, which he had, so we ended up putting the dishes together.  As we’re doing this, 2 other couples join our table and join in on the plate sharing.  Tony ended up passing around his extra lamb shank.  It was soooooo good.  Everything was so good.  I have no idea what was on the skirt steak, but it was awesome.  This could very well have been the best food I’ve ever eaten in one sitting, and I don’t usually get excited about food.

One dish had brussel sprout leaves in it, and since Kallie has been growing brussel sprouts, she asked Tony and our waiter if it was indeed the leaves of the brussel sprouts, or if they were the bigger leaves of the brussel sprout plant itself.  Tony said that particular dish was just the sprouts, but there was another dish that had the large leaves.  We ordered that so Kallie can see if it’s something she wants to learn how to make.  A few minutes later, our waiter brought the owner, Stephanie Izard.  Wow, what a surprise.  The waiter was just so surprised about Kallie growing brussel sprouts, that he asked Steph to come out and share the recipe with us.  It was a short conversation, and you could tell she was very involved in taking care of the restaurant, but it was an awesome surprise.

This place was awesome.  The food, the staff, the atmosphere were all exceptional.  It was a little on the pricey side for small plate, but it’s one of those great date dinners where you get dressed up for a night out.

I’ll give it 10 feet out of 10 (that’s a good thing).  If you’re in Chicago, GO.


But when we wake. It’s all been erased. And so it seems.

27 October, 2010 (12:00) | Dreams

I’ve written before that I’m convinced [at least my] deja vu’s are my past dreams coming true.  Part of my dream blogging is an effort to prove that.  The hard thing is to separate the dreams from things that can possibly happen from the impossible, and then remember the non-remarkable dreams after waking, and the final step is usually the kicker, to blog about it.  It’s easy to blog about the entertaining, far-fetched, or intriguing dreams, but it’s hard to place importance on the dreams, or part of the dreams, where I’m sitting at a table with 3 people and someone says or does something and another person says or does something else in reply.

A lot of my dreams take place at the estate (the house where I grew up).  I would say it’s the most frequent dream location, with Heritage Hills (the school I attended from 3rd grade until 9th grade) being a close second.  Both of these places no longer exist.  I know these will never turn into a deja vu.

A lot of my dreams involve my dad, or me at high school, or just at a younger age.  I know these can never happen.

It’s the dreams that are mundane, or even with people that I don’t know (yet?) that I need to focus on and document.

Sometimes, my dreams are hard to deal with.  Sometimes, I do things that I’d be ashamed to do in real life.  My dreams are in my memory though, so they don’t just fade away.  I remember them, as if I did them.  If the act alone is not bad enough, sometimes the emotions that go along with it make it a nightmare.  In real life, I’ve trained myself how to deal with my emotions.  Possibly as a result, my dreams become emotionally intense, and that emotion does not go away when I wake up…

She’s standing on the landing to the upstairs of my house.  I get down on my knees to be at her height and she laughs at me.  “How old are you, Daddy?”, she says to me as I chase her up a few steps.  “I’m 37”, I reply, knowing I’m lying, but not really able to remember the right answer.  She says she’s older than me.  I look at her analytically to figure out her age.  “No way, you’re like a 2 year old, Jule.”

I know her name.  She’s my daughter.  She looks like Mara Wilson of “Matilda” and Mrs. Doubtfire, only with shorter blonde hair.

As she climbs a few more stairs to the top, she calls out that she’s taller than me now.  I crawled up to her and tackled her to put her under my height again as she laughs.  Kallie’s at the top of the stairs, holding our son.  “I’m going to give Micah a bath.”,  she says.  I reply, “OK, I’ll keep Jule busy.”  As I roll around with Jule, a yellow lab comes up the stairs and joins in on the fun.

And then they’re gone.  Your first reaction is probably, “aww, that’s cute.”  My first reaction, in the middle of the night, is tears.  Actually, as I assume I felt myself waking up, I held Jule closer, starting to cry even in the dream, and that carried through to reality.  This was not a dream to me.  That was my child, I knew her, and I loved her.  I effing loved her, and then she’s gone.  It’s the same exact thing as death.  Even though the cause (what takes them away) is different, the effect is still feeling like someone you love is not there anymore, and never will be.  It’s pretty effed up.

That’s part of the reason I don’t want to talk about kids.  Dreams tend to pull inspiration from your real life and your actual thoughts that day.  I want to reduce the risk of me ever having dreams like that.  A beautiful nightmare?  Perhaps, but a nightmare still.  I’m still getting watery eyes just typing about her.

Hall's Rules of Social Order

Hall’s Rule of Social Order #71

25 October, 2010 (12:00) | Hall's Rules of Social Order

Don’t clap at the end of movies.  No matter how many people are clapping.

Thoughts & Ideas

I’m fat, I’m fat, you know it

22 October, 2010 (12:00) | Thoughts & Ideas

I’ve heard about the airlines that charge you for 2 seats if your body “prevents the use of safety belts or arm rests” or whatever, even famous director Kevin Smith was forced to pay the fees on one airline.

What I’m thinking is that airlines start charging based on BMI, or some other type of health standard.  This could be extremely effective in our nation’s healthy and it’s completely based in sound logic.  The heavier you are, the more fuel they have to burn to move you.

Maybe even throw luggage into the mix.  Charge everything by the pound.  If you and your luggage weigh 300 pounds, it will cost you $300 for every 300 miles you go or something like that.  Even if the ratio is majorly slanted for profit of the airlines, it will be simpler for everyone, get rid of the unfairness of little people paying more and huge people inconveniencing anyone else.


Poll the People

Don’t be that guy

20 October, 2010 (12:00) | Poll the People

Can a band member wear their own band's t-shirt?

View Results

Spurred from Hall’s Rule of Social Order #103.

The Ramones did it.  Tom Delonge did it.  Some fans say it’s like wearing uniforms in sports.

Some fans think’s it silly that you can wear a sport jersey to a game, but you can’t wear a band’s tshirt to their concert.  Maybe it’s a point of if the fans can’t do it, the band can’t do it either.