Monday, November 30, 2009

Adoresixtyfour: The Lost Files, Vol. 1

When I shut down my original website, many of my entries migrated over to this blog--many, but not all.

There are plenty of reasons for this--sheer volume (I was much more verbose in those days when I updated less frequently); sheer laziness (not wanting to sit at my home computer for hours and hours copy and pasting); and technical difficulties (my home phone line started malfunctioning some time ago, and even if it did work properly, my poor home computer is so old that she probably can't get on the Interwebs).

However, over the Thanksgiving weekend, I finally resolved to remedy the situation by buying a flash drive, loading the old files and photos onto it and bringing them into work. It's slow going--I have to edit out old URLs, update copy where needed and upload tons of pictures--but progress is being made. I even found a holiday special review that I never finished, but will post on the bloggity soon.

In the meantime, I'll post periodic "Lost files" entries to let everybody know what old entries are now the ones linked below.

Ghosts Along the Midway

Grandma's House

Review: Samson vs. the Vampire Women (1961)

Review: Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/30/09

This loveseat has issues with the photographer.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/27/09

Most years, the official City of Chicago Christmas tree is not, in fact, one big tree, but many smaller trees bound together. This year, however, the city went with a less expensive option: They bought a single tree on the property of a suburban family, cut it down and hauled it to Daley Plaza.

One the one hand, the city should be applauded for exercising some long-overdue fiscal responsibility, though it would be much better if they'd apply such thinking to less superficial, more long-term areas of the city budget. (You know, aspects of Chicago government that affect the citizens the other 11 months of the year.)

On the other hand, those trees bundled together were grown on tree farms for that specific purpose, while the single tree likely spent about 50 years growing to that height.

A sentimental notion, I know. The season brings that out in me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/25/09

With Thanksgiving so close, the turkey is already nervous...

...when Iron Man decides to cook his holiday feast a day early.

But things don't go exactly as Iron Man planned. (He best pray that the turkey doesn't know how to use a can opener.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/23/09

This turkey raffle ticket was found amongst Grandma's possessions after she passed away in the early '90s. The theater still stood then, though it was substantially run down and showed little but porn. It had a brief period as a music venue before it was demolished in the late '90s. A drive-thru bank sits there now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Last year, when Ms. Christopher had to be put to sleep, I was in no emotional or financial shape to play host to my annual Halloween Movie Bash (or HMB, as it's known amongst my friends).

Fortunately, Superbadfriend and her husband, Scott, very kindly allowed me to shift the HMB from its usual venue, La Casa del Terror, to their place.

There was much fun and festivity that night, significantly aided and abetted by Superbadfriend's kitty, Ernie, who greeted me, JB and Dee upon their arrival and more than occasionally "worked the room" (i.e., stopped by each person to rub their legs and/or offer his head for petting), making an already comfortable and welcoming atmosphere even more so.

Ernie was always like that. I've visited Superbadfriend and Scott many times (either at their old place in Boystown or their current abode in Buena Park), and I never failed to get a friendly welcome from their feline companion.

Even when their other cat, Other Ernie (who passed a couple of years ago), hissed or even took a swing at me (because he could smell my kitties on me and took offense), Original Ernie never gave me anything but affection.

If a gentleman could manifest himself in the feline form, that would be Ernie--with a special emphasis on the "gentle" part of the equation.

Even in recent times, when Ernie's overall health declined due to kidney problems and caused him to lose a good deal of weight, he still made the rounds, giving everyone an opportunity to stroke his soft fur and feel his strong purr.

On the Sunday before Labor Day, we sat out on their deck, drank wine, ate brownies and generally had a grand old time. More than once during the course of the evening, Ernie wandered out, walking between legs and sticking his head between the bars of the railing to look down into the darkness below before wandering back inside.

Last night. Superbadfriend had do the thing all pet owners know they must do someday as part of the deal for all that unconditional love--she had to say goodbye to her sweet, furry, funny little friend after 17 wonderful years together.

He'll be missed by everyone who had the pleasure--the honor--of knowing him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/13/09

The Vic Theatre now serves mainly as a concert venue--I've seen Ladytron and Liz Phair there--but it was for many years a movie house (and still is a few nights a week, for its popular "Brew & View," which shows a combination of second-run movies and older fare).

The Vic's origins are still faintly visible on the north side of the building from the Belmont CTA platform; the words "PHOTO PLAYS" are just barely legible.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Haiku

Dappled maple trees
sway along my walk to work,
their leaves soon to drop.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/11/09

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Miscellania 11/9/09

Travel Reading: The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper. Unlike most books about the gruesome murders in Whitechapel in 1888, The Mammoth Book doesn't push forward a single candidate and scream "HE DID IT!" Instead, the editors lay out the indisputable facts (while simultaneously noting that, among "Ripperologists," there may be no such thing as an "indisputable fact"), flags suspect evidence and turns loose a whole slew of experts offering a wide range of opinions as to who may or may not have done it. It's a great place for a beginner to get an overview of history's greatest unsolved crime. It's definitely better than just about any of the movie versions. (!988's Jack the Ripper, recently issued on DVD for the first time by the WB Archive, is the most historically accurate, though it fudges enough details throughout to place it more appropriately in the "speculative fiction" category. 1999's From Hell is allegedly based on the exhaustively researched graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, but bears little resemblance to the graphic novel, much less reality.)

The last movie I saw: The Men Who Stare at Goats. "Military intelligence" has long been accepted as an oxymoron, and nothing in this movie, an adaptation of Jon Ronson's nonfiction book, contradicts that view. However, director Grant Heslov, screenwriter Peter Straughan and most of the actors (Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey among them) put so much emphasis on the wacky aspects of the story of a U.S. military unit that tries to employ psychic abilities in defense of our country that I fully expected Fozzy Bear to come on screen and yell 'WOCKA WOCKA WOCKA!" at me to punctuate the jokes. (As it is, the awful music score by Rolfe Kent pretty much does that anyway.) Only George Clooney, who plays psychic "super soldier" LynCassady, seems to know that with material this potentially outrageous, the smartest approach is to play it with a straight face. Consequently, not only are Clooney's scenes funnier, but his character is far more sympathetic; it's a lot easier to care about the fate of someone who genuinely believes something crazy and is crushed to discover it isn't true than it is to sympathize with someone who constantly winks at you as if to say, "Just kiddin', folks."

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/9/09

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/5/09

"Remember, remember, the fifth of November..."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 11/4/09

"I like the picture on your screen," a coworker said, pointing at the sunflower photo above. "It makes me happy."