Category Archives: Chicago

Why I won’t live in Lincoln Park

Hello fair readers!

Hopefully this beautiful Saturday is treating you well so far.

seriously perfect.

(the view from my window. just now. perfect)

This day has actually inspired me to pump my tires on the old bicycle (finally) and go for a jaunt.

But first, I thought I would share my interesting experience last night at Hideout Block Party.

This event is an outdoor music festival of sorts that takes place in a parking lot that appears to be owned by the Department of Fleet Management of Chicago. It’s a 2 day event and only costs $35, which is nice…unlike certain other music festivals….


too much money!


Granted, this festival is a much smaller scale than any of those festivals or even Pitchfork for that matter. Still the first night was yesterday and there were two bands that were totally worth seeing.

They were The Cinematics and The Changes, who were my personal favorite of the night. Unfortunately, there were also some disappointments…as there often can be. Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, besides having one of the worst band names ever, is barely worth mentioning. And the 1900s were just at the wrong festival. If we were in Tennessee and it was the middle of the summer…maybe. But I just ended up feeling sorry for them.

However the most disspointing, hands down, was Bloc Party, the brit pop band.

They were by no means bad live. That wasn’t the issue. In fact, they sounded exactly like their albums….which can be, well, just disappointing. Not bad. In fact I’m sure this says something about them as pop musicians, that they can sounds so much like their recordings. It just is also kind of boring. And when it appears that 80% of the population of Lincoln Park showed up to hear them as well? Well then it just goes from boring to unbearable.

I saw many of these


Please note the trucker hat, which I was sure had gone out of style once Punkd was finally canceled.

But I was wrong. In fact, there were multiple trucker hats, bros or as I have heard them called before, “chads” and “trixies“.

And apparently, they are all avid Bloc Party fans. Which is disturbing on several levels including the fact that I think the band is kind of fun and neat.


Needless to say, we left after a couple songs because it was just unbearable. I will suffer through a shite crowd for bands or performers who I really love...but not for a band that I could get the same experience listening to their CD in my bedroom.

Tonight is Andrew Bird. Let’s hope these guys

(from the Urban Dictionary)

3. bro


Obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties. When they aren’t making an ass of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying. Nearly everyone in a fraternity is a bro but there are also many bros who are not in a fraternity. They often wear a rugby shirt and a baseball cap. It is not uncommon for them to have spiked hair with frosted tips.

stay at home.

Happy beautiful Saturday fair readers.

Blame it on the rain.

Everyone in the Chicago area today was lambasted.

scary weather.

And I was outside.

Today, was a very strange day at the library.

In fact, today was just a really strange day.

First off, my allergies were freakin’ insane all morning. Awful. It was practically unbearable.

Then I finally get to work and the fire alarm goes off.

really loud.

Not a warning because we evacuate the building and fire engines pull up. We wait. And wait. No fire. We can all go back in.
Back into the building. And start hearing rumors about storms. I felt like I was in a mariner’s pub.

“There’s a storm a-brewin'”.

watch out for albatrosses

So, I’m feeling a bit peckish. And what do I decide to do? Go get food! Great idea! Hurray!

I get outside and call my mother. All of a sudden the sky gets dark. I literally said to my mother

“I think I might get rained on”.

And whoosh. The craziest insane wind/rain/hell rains down on Fairbanks Ave. I scream a bit, hang up my phone and try to decide what to do.

This results in me standing still for a minute, thus completely soaking my entire body to the bone.

::run for cover::

As I stumbled back towards the library, I realized it was pointless. I basically just had taken another shower, with clothes completely on.


Then I get back to the library, where everyone is headed towards the basement. Apparently there is a tornado warning.

So down we go, to Wieboldt Hall’s basement. Which was yes, very creepy. And I was wet. Very very wet.

My mother calls to make sure I’m ok. I say “yes, i’m in a basement”. Oh boy. And strangely, my allergies that had been plagueing me all day? They were better.

What the hell?

I went back upstairs to hear a sea of sirens.

scary monsters.

Apparently the scaffolding on the building across the road from us had tumbled down during the storm.


When the student worker for the night finally made it into work she told us her version of the chaos. Waiting an incredibly long time for a train and then just giving up and driving. While driving, she saw something a little like this:


Lightening striking the top of the Sear’s Tower.

Now after a couple of hours huddled next to a space heater, I’m almost dry. My horoscope for the day? It’s as follows:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It’s hard to keep an even keel with others
today. You might go overboard, or they might go overboard. Somebody’s going
to end up in the water.

Seriously? Wish I would have read this earlier on today. Never have I had a horoscope that was so literal.

Now those of us stuck in the library still from the weather and also those of us who still have to work tonight (me) are sitting around our student worker’s Mac laptop, watching old Alfred Hitchcock presents episodes

it's slow in Schaffner

Because, quite honestly, not many people are headed to the library when there is a Sever Weather warning in effect for the area.

Hopefully everyone is safe tonight. And taking shelter from the rain. It will surely be an interesting commute home tonight.

Happy Thursday fair readers. Stay dry.

Reading between the lines.

There is an editorial in the Chicago Tribune today that really shouldn’t surprise me. The Tribune is wildly conservative. They supported Bush for the past two elections and that pretty much means that I will ignore most of what they write about. However, this editorial was emailed to me and thus, it will not be ignored.

Dennis Byrne? You are an idiot.

He happened to write this today. Let’s have a read shall we?

Filtering the facts from the fallacies of BP controversy

August 20, 2007

U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) is correct to call for congressional hearings into government approval given to BP for a $3.8 billion upgrade to its northwest Indiana gasoline refinery.

Just as long as the hearings help to clarify and correct the barrels of misinformation and distortions swamping the debate over the massive project that will bring cheaper and more abundant gasoline to the Midwest. The distortions have been sloshing around now for more than a month after approval of the project by federal and state regulators came under fire. A public summit of the major players in the controversy last week seemed to do little to clear them up.

Take the issue of “backsliding”: Can any additional “pollutants,” no matter how infinitesimal or harmless, be discharged into to the nation’s lakes, rivers and streams, even if they are legal and within federal and state limits, as BP’s are?

Some critics, such as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) would go so far as to inaccurately suggest that any additional discharges are illegal. As he said in a letter to Benjamin Grumbles, the Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator for the Office of Water, “A specific provision in the federal Clean Water Act prohibits any downgrade in water quality near a pollution source even if discharge limits are met.”

Well, yes, but there’s a legal exception, according to the EPA, that he fails to mention, either from ignorance or mendacity: “Anti-backsliding provisions of the [Clean Water Act] contain an exception where material and substantial alterations to the permitted facility justify the application of less stringent effluent limitations…to accommodate important economic or social development.” Regulators correctly determined that the economic and social benefits of the refinery expansion meet that requirement.

Other critics don’t go as far. They regard the exemption as a “loophole” that BP will use to “foul” Lake Michigan. Such claims usually are made without precise evidence about how the discharges will “foul” the lake, endanger the water supply or lead to horrific events that might justify the critics’ hysteria.

For example, in ranting about the relatively small amount of ammonia allowed into the lake, the critics ignore the fact that ammonia is not a bioaccumulative chemical. It breaks down in the water. If it didn’t, all the fish in the Great Lakes might have disappeared eons ago from swimming in their own urine.

Also conveniently missing from the debate is the context that could be provided by comparing BP with other industrial and city “dischargers.” According to the EPA, BP’s 4,925 pounds of suspended solids allowed a day compares with 16,630 at International Steel Group’s East Chicago plant and 121,861 at its Burns Harbor facility. Ispat Industries’ East Chicago plant is allowed 130,453 pounds, about 27 times BP’s limit. Chicago, of course, is on another planet, permitted 243,000 pounds, almost 50 times BP’s. Maybe Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who is threatening to sue BP, ought to sue himself. Except, I suppose that Chicago’s discharges don’t count because they aren’t into the lake; they’re just gifted to the Illinois river system.

Note also might be taken of the fact that no ammonia limits are imposed on a bunch of papermakers and cities such as Milwaukee and Green Bay. Chicago’s allowable ammonia discharge (from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) is 61,000 pounds, compared with BP’s 1,584.

Considering these facts, Stephen Elbert, BP America vice chairman, should have said at last week’s summit, “Nuts. You don’t want our jobs and economic development? We’ll take them elsewhere.” Instead, he went well beyond what is required and promised to look at suggested alternatives to cleaning up the plant’s discharges. But, he added, any discharge alternative will have to “fall within the economic boundaries of the project,” a perfectly legitimate position.

Mary Gade, EPA Midwest regional administrator, probably said the smartest thing all day when she asked everyone to get beyond the headlines and emotions and begin a more practical discussion.

The issue is larger than BP. In a way, it’s a test of national importance of whether we can balance legitimate environmental and economic concerns. Of whether we can avoid couching the debate, as did Ann Alexander, a local Natural Resources Defense Council attorney, in such destructive and extreme terms as “sacrificing Lake Michigan in the name of oil addiction.” Of whether politics will run roughshod over the public interest. Of whether demagoguery and emotion will trump facts and reason. Of whether radical environmentalism will prevail over science.


idiots make leah's head explode

(that is my head exploding by this man’s stupid arguments)

Let’s go over why he thinks BP should be allowed to dump more pollution into Lake Michigan.

1. Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t we?

So…he thinks BP is right, simply because other people are already dumping and dumping more of it. Well! In that case, let’s just let everyone dump in the lake! Everyone else already is. Right Dennis? Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that make it worse? Maybe, and this is a wild and crazy guess here, this is an effort to curb the corporate dumping into Lake Michigan. A first step, so to speak.

2. Ammonia is supposedly non-toxic…..

OK. This one really makes me irritated. So, according to this author, ammonia will naturally break down and not hurt anyone. Hmm. Well first off, I don’t trust you Dennis. Sorry but that argument about the fish pee thing? Not buying it. And second, Chicago already has days where you can’t swim in the water. How on earth will dumping a chemical into the lake not hurt the quality of water? And what about the mercury, which is probably the issue that most people besides Dennis are worried about?

3. Cheap Oil

I could drive over to this man’s house and give him a swift kick in the ass. Cheap oil? Are you kidding me? Seriously, just because there is a BP chemical plant near us certainly doesn’t mean that we will get cheaper oil and more jobs. Not. At. All. BP is almost at least 10 cents more per gallon….ALWAYS! And the jobs thing? How does dumping more pollutants from an already existing plant, create more jobs? The dudes who will dump the magical non-toxic ammonia? Is that it Dennis?

Here’s my issue, he is trying to bulk up a conservative argument, obviously meant to rally up heated emotions, (hmm reminds me of someone….hmmm), by trying to sound intelligent. Take this sentence:

“it’s a test of national importance of whether we can balance legitimate environmental and economic concerns”

Can someone please, yet again, explain to me how this will economically help the nation? He is twisting emotions about a topic of great concern to people today. It is manipulative. And, quite frankly, I haven’t fallen for it.

If you haven’t already sign this petition: Take Action

And for heaven’s sake, let’s all go read something intelligent today. Maybe rid our brains of the neo-conservative rhetoric and actually learn something of value.

Have a lovely Monday, my fair readers. Spread love and intelligence. Because we all know, that’s the key to a happy life.