I smell Oscar.

The pay-per-view choices on Saturday night at our house came down to “Milk” or “Pineapple Express.” I know I’ve been saying I want to see “Milk,” but I was kinda sorta hoping Alan would be lured into the Pineapple camp by the presence of Danny McBride, star of our new favorite HBO comedy, “Eastbound & Down.” Alas, he voted for “Milk,” and so “Milk” it was.

And it wasn’t bad, if you don’t count against it that it prompted a new vow from my corner of the couch: No more biopics, at least not of people whose story I already know. I don’t know how many more two-hour chunks of my life I want to give over to these earnest, medicinal stories squashed into standard three-act structure, perhaps tarted up with a few invented anecdotes or imagined juxtapositions. (Milk, dying, looks poignantly out the window of City Hall at the opera house where he’d seen “Tosca,” another operatic assassination tragedy, only the night before. Oh yeah, I’m down with that.) Or maybe it’s just that it’s difficult to make politics cinematic. All those maps and papers and clipboards. Directors and writers fall back on the most movie-like thing about politics — a man leading a march and/or delivering a speech through a bullhorn before a cheering crowd — until you get sick of the story entirely and start appreciating things like the set design and wardrobe. Loved Emile Hirsch’s glasses — I had my own pair, back in the day. Loved the ringer T-shirts, a look I could never endorse. Loved the 501s and flannel shirts. Loved Josh Brolin, and loved that the script didn’t dwell overmuch on Milk’s theories about Dan White’s closet status. In the end, there’s nothing more dangerous than a failure with a gun.

And as someone whose initial awareness of San Francisco, as a child, was as the center of the hippie movement and the necessity of wearing flowers in one’s hair, it was interesting to see what that replaced, the city’s working-class roots, now thoroughly buried by yuppification. Milk’s voiceover mentioned in passing that the Castro was once an Irish-Catholic neighborhood, and I’m all, really? I had no idea. And perhaps because the political story wasn’t exactly a page-turner, I started thinking about cities like that. White represented the resentful long-time residents being pushed aside by the wave of the future, Harvey’s people, the gay men who colonized a place where they could kiss their lovers on the street and not get their asses kicked for it. I thought of a comment I read on a blog recently, from a religious conservative in San Francisco who feels persecuted because he has four children and another on the way, and, I dunno, people glower at his double stroller, or something.

I thought of the hundreds of places in the U.S. where a person like that might feel right at home, but of course it’s unlikely that person would want to move to Salt Lake City or Fort Wayne or Holland, Mich., because a) it’s not home; and b) there’s a strong possibility he likes feeling persecuted, just like Jesus. I guess what we all want is to feel at home wherever we live, whether we’re there because of corporate vicissitudes, family obligations or choice.

I also thought of the people on the short end of all such gentrification, who wake up one day to find their neighborhood is filling with people radically different from them, who move in and say, “Finally, I have found my true home.” My guess is they’d feel like Palestinians.

And then I reconnected with the thread of the movie, and discovered the Briggs amendment was still keeping Harvey Milk awake at night. Tried not to think, I could be laughing at potheads right about now.

Lance Mannion spent Saturday night being disappointed by another holiday movie release. It was that kind of weekend.

Sigh. I’m thinking about movies to avoid thinking about the economy. I’m trying very hard not to despair. But I am starting to wonder where we’ll be in a year. We’re both working hard — everyone I know is working hard — and you have to believe work leads to something good, but of late I’m starting to consider lighting a match to the whole place and going on welfare somewhere with a sunny climate. Kind of like AIG.

A little bloggage for you to bat around on a Monday? Let’s see what we can do:

I found this via Memeorandum, as I don’t usually read the Sun-Times. Most of you are aware that the big trend in city management these days is to sell off the assets to private concerns. These schemes are easy to sell, because the numbers are so eye-popping and it fits in with the general idea that government can’t do anything right and private business will find new efficiencies. Yes, we’re told, the price may go up in the short term, but service will be hugely improved.

This worked with the Indiana Toll Road. Nine-figure sum to maintain/improve other roads in the state, followed by toll increases. But the plazas were improved, and lanes added, and regular commuters would find the roads easier to use.

But what can you do with a parking meter? How can you improve service at a parking meter? Well, you can’t. Chicago privatized its meters last month; Carol Marin explains:

…A month ago, when the City of Chicago privatized parking meters, rates were immediately jacked way up, and you now have to feed 28 quarters into the meter to park a car in the Loop for two hours. In exchange for a 75-year lease, the city got $1.2 billion to help plug its budget holes.

But by handing over municipal parking meters to a private company, the city has given its citizens a colossal case of sticker shock. The cost of most meters will quadruple by 2013.

Detroit parking meters take plastic, btw. I love it so much I don’t even pay attention to the per-hour cost.

Just for laffs: One of Josh Marshall’s readers finds a small tragedy deep within the Madoff victim statements, submitted by e-mail.

Something I read in the Free Press this morning: The annual exhibit of work by students and staffers at Pewabic Pottery has been attracting metro Detroiters since the ’70s. The just-opened show is loaded with edgy and provocative creations… All in favor of banning the words “edgy” and “provocative,” especially as they describe ceramic, raise your hand.

(You wait. I’ll go to this show, and find a display of dinner plates with giant holes in the middle.)

And so it is Monday, which for me means: Time to study irregular Russian plurals. Dosvidanya.

Posted at 8:37 am in Current events, Movies |

55 responses to “I smell Oscar.”

  1. Connie said on March 23, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Move to Holland Michigan? The home town I couldn’t leave fast enough, and wouldn’t visit if not for a brother, father and bff there.

    An MSNBC crew showed up at one of my branch libraries yesterday to interview unemployment filers. This, my busiest branch in the midst of a two week re-carpet project, and open yesterday only to filers. The rest of you had to settle for the bookmobile in the parking lot. Think we’ll be on Olbermann?

    Huckabee did his show here this weekend as well. I guess with the third largest unemployment rate IN THE FRIGGIN COUNTRY, we will continue to get this kind of attention.

    Dosvadanya tovaritsch.

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  2. Kirk said on March 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

    So Holland, Mich., really sucks that much? Never been there, but the brewery there certainly does some fine work.

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  3. nancy said on March 23, 2009 at 9:58 am

    My point is, it’s the sort of place a religious conservative with a million kids would find quite welcoming. Others (Paul Schrader is its most famous ex-resident, with Connie coming in a close second), not so much.

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  4. brian stouder said on March 23, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Well, we had a free Starz weekend, and Pam and I watched that Steve Carrell movie – not Get Smart (which was good!) – but the one where he’s a widower and goes to his parent’s New England summer home, and meets Miss Right, who is involved with his brother, etc etc – very funny stuff! But for much of the weekend, the girls were taken with Tyra Banks sadistic little model competition show, which drove me to read through 2/3’s of Ms Lippman’s new book Life Sentences (an excellent book, btw).

    Speaking of which, the closer of this post – “Time to study irregular Russian plurals. Dosvidanya.” makes me think that sometime in the next chapter or two, we’ll find that Madam Telling Tales has been re-assigned to, say, Miami, further to her highly classified work (as an independent contractor) with the National Security Agency

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  5. alex said on March 23, 2009 at 10:15 am

    The privatization of Chicago’s parking meters means the citizen will have even less recourse, I imagine. I used to appeal tickets when meters were malfunctioning — which they do constantly — and usually prevailed. Here’s how the meters work. You start dropping quarters in and you get nothing, or maybe the meter will give you fifteen minutes for every other quarter. You manage to get two hours on the meter for more than it should have cost. You go do your business, making sure you come back well before the meter is set to expire. And when you arrive you find the meter expired and a ticket on your windshield showing the meter expired an hour previously.

    If I could have a quarter for every one that I lost in a Chicago parking meter I could probably retire.

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  6. MichaelG said on March 23, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Well, the Opera House is just across Van Ness from City Hall. I don’t know where in the building Milk’s office was, though. The thing about Milk was that he was very conscious of the fact that he had been elected to represent everyone, not just gays. He was an excellent supervisor (SF is a combined city and county and the elected leaders are called “supervisors” as in board of) and was well liked by all. The mayor, George Moscone was from one of the old time Italian families. Also a fine man and well liked by all. I have no intention of watching the movie mostly for reasons already cited. I lived in SF at the time. I’ve never enjoyed movies made about times and or places where and when I was present. They just never work out.

    In Sacto they’ve replaced all the downtown meters with central, middle of the block things the size of vending machines that take quarters and credit cards. You pay for a dollar’s worth of time with your Visa because you don’t have enough quarters and the stupid machine doesn’t take dollar bills even though every coke machine in the world does. It spits out a little ticket that you put on your dash. Walking a half block to the meter thing and back to your car with your stupid little ticket and then back up the street to your destination is especially enjoyable in the winter rain. The whole deal pisses me off. I can just envision the salesman peddling the cursed things to a bright eyed city official citing all the advantages to the city. There are certainly none for the citizens.

    Time to lighten up. Great post about crime in New Jersey by the incomparable Ken Levine:


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  7. Julie Robinson said on March 23, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Chicago also likes to change parking rules in non-metered areas without posting a new sign. Months later they send a ticket. Our daughter has had this happen to her a few times and appealing does no good, of course. It’s insidious.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Gran Torino would be the answer to your movie and gentrification related question, i’m thinking.

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  9. Connie said on March 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Well Kirk, it depends on if you are into Calvinism and Dutchiness. Lots of great restaurants, shops, and beaches though. Perhaps I should say, a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.

    I just spent an hour with a reporter from ProPublica. Interesting organization. The usual questions though.

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  10. Laura said on March 23, 2009 at 11:06 am

    You need to see The Times of Harvey Milk. It’s far superior to Milk, and it will only take about an hour or so of your life.

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  11. LA Mary said on March 23, 2009 at 11:13 am

    There are plenty of places in the LA area where you could have eight kids and be a fundamentalist or whatever and no one would give you a dirty look. I used to feel I was getting the stink eye for not having a bunch of kids and being a church goer.

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  12. John said on March 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Didn’t Luke Jackson have an issue with parking meters?

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  13. nancy said on March 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Small town. Not much to do.

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  14. brian stouder said on March 23, 2009 at 11:23 am

    What we have here is (not) a failure to communicate

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  15. Rana said on March 23, 2009 at 11:26 am

    No plates with holes that I could see, but there is a lovingly rendered rabbit and an interesting green sculpture.


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  16. nancy said on March 23, 2009 at 11:30 am

    That one rabbit looks like it’s pooping. Edgy! I am provoked!

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  17. Sue said on March 23, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Brian, I must very respectfully disagree with you regarding the Steve Carrell movie. I watched it with my daughter, and after the “meet cute” moment where the female lead has this long, extremely irritating monologue regarding all that she must have in a book (or books, or whatever), we both wanted to kill her.
    But what do I know about art of any kind. My idea of a visit to an edgy pottery place is the outlet store for Haeger Pottery in East Dundee, IL. A not-very-noticeable defect that cuts the price in half – very provocative.

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  18. kayak woman said on March 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Well, I will miss the Ann Arbor “Snooze”, which I have read every day for the last almost-30 years:


    (testing to make sure that link closes itself, looks like it did)

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  19. Mike said on March 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Having recently lived in an Atlanta suburb that went from 90% white to 90% Hispanic/Middle Eastern in four short years, the Palestinian reference is right on. Our best friends were the Nicaraguans next door and Baha’i Persians three doors down; but still, the neighborhood did change. ‘Twas interesting, and somewhat enlightening. Still though, glad we moved when we did, at the top of the market.

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  20. jeff borden said on March 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    The City of Chicago has, for all intents and purposes, declared war on the car. It has nothing to do with keeping the streets safer or helping businesses or cutting down on pollution or easing traffic flow. It’s about generating more revenues.

    A silly little decal on the lower right side of the windshield costs $75 annually. If you live in an area with permit parking, as we do, the special sticker is another $25. If you want to buy a packet of temporary parking stickers, so your friends won’t get tickets when they visit, they are $1 apiece and sold in blocks of 10. The price on these stickers rise, by the way, if you drive one of the more obstreperous of the SUVs. (This sticker is over and above the $78 per year charged by the state.)

    Growing numbers of intersections are equipped with “red light cameras,” which snap photos of anyone in the intersection when the light turns red. The device is unable to discern if you are one of those fools blasting through at 75 mph or if you are a polite driver who pulled into the intersection to make a left turn and were still hanging there when the light changed.

    Coppers increasingly are pulling over motorists for using cellphones without a headset. This is a $75 ticket and while you might agree with this on principle, why is it a moving violation to be on a cellphone and not to be fiddling with your GPS device while careening down Lake Shore Drive?

    This would not be so hard to take if the roads were smooth, but we are home to potholes that are wheel and tire killers. (I was out $158 for a right front tire last winter that developed a huge sidewall bulge when I hit a hole on LSD. The wheel is slightly bent and still leaks a little.)

    These kinds of fees are always in play and likely to rise in direct proportion to the tumbling economy. Already, our governor is talking about hiking the license plate fee.

    I love Chicago and I love cars but they do not go together well.

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  21. del said on March 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    As for Holland, Michigan, my sister-in-law was on a Lake Michigan beach there and another woman introduced herself and asked, “What are you?” . . . as in, what is your religious affiliation. So there’s your master-status, as they say.
    Also, about 10 years ago I met a guy at a bar in St. Clair Shores. He’d lived in Holland for 19 years with his ex-wife. He described the people there as cloistered; and said he never felt like he was at home there.

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  22. Kirk said on March 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Closest I ever have been to Holland is Saugatuck, which, I imagine, is also a world away.

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  23. Sue said on March 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I say we all go there for the Tulip Festival and see for ourselves.

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  24. Danny said on March 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Closest I ever have been to Holland is Saugatuck, which, I imagine, is also a world away.

    Saugatuck? It took me four days to hitchhike to Saginaw.

    Brian, we saw “Dan in Real Like” a few months back. We really loved the scene where the daughter screams that he is a “murderer of love.”

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  25. Connie said on March 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Saugatuck is truly a world away. Even though it’s just one exit down the freeway.

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  26. del said on March 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Danny, I’ve come to look for Amerrrrrica.

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  27. del said on March 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    A girl from the nearby Bible-belt Michigan town of Wayland once turned to my 18 year-old-self and announced, point blank — “Delmas, I like you, but it is my firmly held belief that you shall perish!”

    Ouch. Not of her “faith,” you see.

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  28. alice said on March 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks Del & Danny for the earworm. I had to rush off & google “Gabardine”.

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  29. John said on March 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    “when I hit a hole on LSD”

    Earth to Jeff, lay off the hallucinogens while driving…just a word to the wise!

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  30. jeff borden said on March 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I knew that reference to our beloved LSD would provoke some sort of rejoinder. You don’t need anything to enjoy Lake Shore Drive, which may be the loveliest urban roadway in the nation and, if not, certainly one of the loveliest. Lake Michigan to one side. . .Chicago to the other.

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  31. Dorothy said on March 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Ummm, John – the LSD he was referring to was Lake Shore Drive. I ain’t a Chicagoan but at least I knew that!

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  32. alex said on March 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    If you want to buy a packet of temporary parking stickers, so your friends won’t get tickets when they visit, they are $1 apiece and sold in blocks of 10.

    Yeah, I know about those. I parked and went to my friend’s third-floor walkup to get one. As I looked down from the third floor, a wrecker was yanking my car and dragging it off. This was on Roscoe just west of Southport at around 5:00 PM, right before a Cubs night game. I spent the rest of the evening trying to get my car out of impoundment, which cost $150 (and that was some years ago). We called the alderman to bitch but got no satisfaction.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Many varieties of same joke —

    Person (may insert religious celebrity name here if you wish) dies, enters Pearly Gates, meets St. Peter who offers a personal tour. Much amazement and mild, but quickly subsiding dismay, as neighborhoods along the Streets of Gold are pointed out by Pete — “There’s the Lutherans, these mansions are the Presbyterians, down that side street are the Zoroastrians, and the Tibetan Buddhists are up that mountain over there, but they don’t believe this is really real, so we don’t talk to them much.”

    [Personally, i think that in the Heavenly Realm is precisely replicated that glorious drive from Jackson Park to Streeterville, albeit without potholes. Surely there are no potholes in heaven. Plus Michigan Avenue, and Lower Wacker paralleling the River of Life. And of course Wrigley Field!]
    Further along, they walk past a high, thick wall, and Simon Peter makes a hand motion to the new arrival to be very quiet, shushing off any attempt to speak aloud. When they’d gotten down another block, heading closer to the Great Throne and the River of Life, St. Peter explains in a low voice, with a thumb back over his shoulder, “That’s the Dutch Reformed.” Why the wall, his guest asks? “Well, they think they’re the only ones here. We hate to ruin it for them . . .”

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  34. Connie said on March 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Yup. Dutch Reformed. The biggest reason not to live in Holland.

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  35. John said on March 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Sure, I knew it was Lake Shore Drive, but it ruins the joke! “Objects in mirror may appear to be groovier than they are!” “Watch out for dancing bears!”

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  36. Joe Kobiela said on March 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Jeff B,
    How in world does Lil Dick Daley keep getting elected up there in Chicago??
    I know how corrupt and powerful the Machine is, but how in the world does he do it time after time. Can’t the people find some one to run against him? I read John Kass in the trib and just find it mindboggling, what Da Mare gets away with. I still can’t believe what the man did to miegs field.
    Pilot Joe

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  37. jeff borden said on March 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm


    Mayor Daley never really has any opponents. The GOP is literally a non-entity in Chicago proper –some years back the winner of the Republican mayoral primary was a nice enough fellow who also worked the weekends as Spanky the Clown– so there is no opposition from them. The occasional shining star who emerges tends to leave town or get nerfed to the side in some way or another.

    Additionally, the business community is largely supportive of the mayor. This may sound counter-intuitive given our tax rates and fee schedules, but it’s true. Most city services function pretty well and Daley’s obsession with keeping the city looking good through ginormous numbers of tree, shrub and flower plantings and aggressive litter and graffiti control are greatly appreciated.

    Alex, you got caught in a whole `nother thing, bud. There are posted signs all around Wrigley Field about parking on game days/nights. Residents are issued a sticker, but there is nothing set aside for would-be visitors. My reference is to the large number of neighborhoods where you will see white and red signs noting that only cars with stickers for Zone 67 are allowed to park. These areas are often by L stations, to prevent suburbanites from clogging residential streets by parking for free and hopping the train, or by neighborhoods with an active nightlife/restaurant/club scene, where locals need them to assure a place to stash the car. My street was once near a Social Security office, which attracted so much traffic the residents sought permit parking long before we ever arrived. In fact, that S.S. office is now gone, but the permit requirements remain.

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  38. alex said on March 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Jeff B, at the time my car got towed residents were allowed to give guest passes during night games. My problem was my car got snatched by overaggressive enforcement before I even had a chance to put the pass on my dash. After that experience, my friend gave me a pass to keep in my car so this wouldn’t happen again (and it didn’t).

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Joe K — am i right to suspect that the likely problem in that Montana crash tragedy is that the pilot miscalc’d the fuel consumption and just ran out of gas on approach? That’s sure what it sounds like to me . . .

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  40. brian stouder said on March 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I always assume crashes like that one relate to center of gravity and/or over-loading (people and luggage)

    and didja see the FedEx crash video? The big bounce looked bizarre, until one notes that there was a 50mph wind (cross wind?) – terrifying stuff

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  41. jeff borden said on March 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    The guy from NTSB on CBS Radio News earlier said the airplane in question was built in Switzerland and had a total capacity of nine (9), so the overloading question might be germane.

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  42. Dexter said on March 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    nance: Kenny Fuckin’ Powers got the girl, for a while, anyway.
    After much discussion on XM 212’s Ron & Fex Show today, I now am in the camp that those were not April’s tits. (Sorry for the graphic-ness, here, folks—but it’s that kind of TV show).
    It was a body-double posing for the “great revelation”.
    I went to “On Demand” and studied on the matter for a long time, back and forth, forth and back…tell-tale moles and skinny arms on the body double sort of make it easy to decipher that a body double was indeed used. And wasn’t that a GREAT cast? “Stevie Janowski” was too much! This was like a real-actor Simpsons , X-rated.

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  43. nancy said on March 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Definitely not April. If it had been, they’d simply have tilted down. The cut was the giveaway, not the moles and arms. (But if it gave you pleasure to “research,” that’s fine and no one should make Dexter feel guilty about it.)

    My favorites were the minor characters. Stevie was sublime, and I loved the blonde slut, too. “This is my evenin’ wear!”

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  44. Sue said on March 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Well well, a conviction for the Streets and San branch of the Chicago City Hall hiring scandal. Interesting and amusing comments in the article, including from Sanchez: “I just did my job the way I was supposed to do it”. Oh yes, indeed you did.

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  45. jeff borden said on March 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I share a package of Cubs tickets with three other people, so I see about 12 or 13 games per season. The bicycle is the way to go. I’m often home before the post-game show is over and while many of the 39,000-plus are still standing in line for buses or Ls or taxis. I prefer locking up to a parking meter or street sign, but the Cubs for the last few seasons have been doing a bike valet service, which is quite popular.

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  46. Sue said on March 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Jeff and Alex: Or you could head to Wrigley North (Miller Park). Too bad all the Cubs games are already sold out, but there are still some tickets available for the Sunday game of the Brewers/White Sox series (June 14). We have a crowd of 15 meeting there. We will be wearing a variety of Sox, Cubs and Brewers apparel and will travel in a pack and protect each other.

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  47. jeff borden said on March 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Miller Park is a great stadium. I’m probably in a minority for having enjoyed the old County Stadium too, which sold super cheap brauts with red sauce, or super cheap compared to Chicago. I remember strolling around the stadium and coming upon a display of some Hank Aaron memorabilia behind a glass case on the wall. Included were Hank’s rubber shower thongs, which we were helpfully told he wore for XX number of seasons while with the old Milwaukee Braves.

    That said, Miller is a great place for baseball. I will have to check out the Chisox-Brewers, which was a great feud until the league realigned and put the Brewers back in the NL. This is the year when the NL Central is playing the AL Central in intra-league play, so I’m working to get tickets for the Indians vs. Cubs in June. I generally root for the Cubs, of course, but old loyalties die hard, so I’ll be there with my Chief Wahoo attire.

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  48. Sue said on March 23, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I saw the Zambrano no-hitter there last year. We scrambled to get the tickets because it came up so fast. It was the most fun I have ever had at a ball game; all Cub fans with several Brewers fans there and oh yeah a few fans from the opposing team. It was like the biggest living room in the world, everywhere you looked was “family”.
    I think of a comparison of Wrigley and Sox Park (sorry, can’t remember what it’s called these days) with Miller Park in the same way as a comparison of O’Hare and Mitchell. Miller Park/Mitchell are accessible and downright cozy compared to their Chicago counterparts.

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  49. Dexter said on March 23, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    jeffborden: I also ride to games, but I have never lived in a MLB city…I drive and park for free in some city park or use legal street parking , sometimes a few miles from the stadium, and I ride and lock my bike.
    Do NOT try just chaining up anywhere near Progressive Field in Cleveland, though.
    They installed a few bike racks near the Ninth Street entrance (and around towards Quicken Loans Arena) and they will impound any bicycles chained to poles and fences…I was warned sternly by Cleveland cops about this.
    For Sox games, I park the car in a free lot on Halsted and ride and lock the bike right beside the main entrance. I lock onto a railing.
    For Cubs games, I park near Lincoln Park on a free parking street and lock right beside Wrigley, just anywhere…lots of choices.
    In Detroit, I park near old Tiger Stadium, ride up Woodward from Michigan Ave. Bikes are OK to chain to a nice wrought-iron fence.
    In Cleveland, on Saturdays there is free street parking by The Flats and then a nice steep hill to climb as you head to the ballpark.
    I still haven’t tried my system at GABP in Cincinnati.
    For UM football games, parking is free and plentiful in Burns Park and then a short ride to stadium.
    Only once did everything go to hell: I had a bike chained to a light pole on Plum Street, right across from Tiger Stadium. I used an industrial “Yale” lock I bought from a catalog at work…extra large and seemingly safe. I also had bought a thick link-chain and had painstakingly heat-treated it myself at work , sent it along with a load of parts, and it had a very intensely hard case built up.
    “They” stole the lock, chain, and bike and never left a trace.
    Once in Cleveland I caught three very young thieves trying to remove my saddle, but I had ridden an old cruiser that day, and the seat post was bolted down tight, and they apparently were adept at stealing only quick-release saddles and posts. They ran in three directions when I yelled at them…very quickly and very well orchestrated…they were definitely experienced.

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  50. Jim H said on March 23, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Well, thanks to Jeff B, I couldn’t get Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah outta my head for most of the afternoon. Then Alex mentions overzealous parking enforcement and it’s Steve Goodman’s ode to Lincoln Towing. Now with talk of the upcoming baseball season, I’ll probably be asking “Do they still play the Blues in Chicago…” all night long. Jeff – I used to enjoy County Stadium too, and the food was a large part of that.

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  51. MarkH said on March 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I’ll leave further commenting to Joe K., but it does appear that overloading was a culprit in the Montana plane crash. Which might have led to unintended fuel shortage as the plane worked harder to maintain altitude. More here from a local writer:


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  52. Jolene said on March 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Lord, there were three families on that plane. Two of the women were sisters and, between them, they had five children. Somewhere, there’s a couple who lost their two daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. The things life brings.

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  53. Joe Kobiela said on March 23, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    It is way early to speculate on the Montana crash, but a Pilatus is a BIG single engine turbo prop, The cabin is around the same size as a king air. They can be outfitted for 12 passengers. The youngest kids would have probably been on the parents lap,which is legal, from what I have heard thru the grape vine, is he had fuel on board and had taken off and landed at another airport. Could have had a c&g problem but I doubt it, he diverted to Butte which is a half hour closer, I wonder if he was feeling sick and then had a heart attack.The way the witness said the plane was acting, it is a possibility. As far as the fed ex plane, it looked like he got caught in a down draft, due to wind shear, bounced and had his cargo shift to the rear causing the plane to climb and then stall. Cross wind is a possibility.
    One thing to remember with a plane crash is never listen to the media, very rarely due they get it right.
    Pilot Joe

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  54. Jolene said on March 23, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    James Fallows, who is a pilot and aviation analyst as well as a writer, is keeping track of details re the Montana crash as they emerge. He has links to several interesting articles re the people, what witnesses said, and what NTSB people are saying (not much).

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