Archive for April, 2012
What is the only animal that can’t look up? Which president was not married while serving in the White House? Who was Tom Cruise’s first wife?
Do you know the answers to these questions? Then you should be at trivia night. Every Tuesday starting at 8:30’ish the Blind Pig hosts trivia night. If you’ve never been to the Blind Pig, it is a Chicago-style bar — where the owner wears Cardinals baseball caps and leaves the St. Louis Blues games on when there is a Cubs game on, just sayin’ — that has great hot dogs, pig tails, homemade chips, and lots more. (As you continue to read my blogs, you’ll find that most of my outings and experiences revolve around food.) They also offer a great selection of beers, local and imported, that you don’t see everywhere else. Blind Pig always has great seasonal beers on tap, like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy or Shiner Holiday Cheer. It’s a low-key alternative to the mainstays like the Abbey or Spring Street, and Tuesday Trivia makes it especially unique.
I have been going to trivia for nearly a year now, and it really never gets boring. I have a regular team, and every week we come up with team names inappropriate for The Local Q blog. We try our best to place in the top three as the top three winners get gift certificates to the Blind Pig, which we inevitably use on beer and shots of Jaeger. Rarely do we win — those darn Pirate Monkeys and Underwater Panthers always stealing our thunder — but it is just fun to sit around, hang out, and realize how little you actually know.
Editor’s note: The Local Q is pleased to introduce Abby Schlipmann, our newest blog writer. Abby is a native of Quincy who did some traveling and educating before returning home to Quincy. Read more about Abby here.
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, free diamonds are a girl’s soulmate. I was given a diamond necklace by a relative about six months ago and couldn’t help but let the tears roll. A friend of mine was given a free diamond ring from the Sturhahn’s randomly one night at the Abbey, and she nearly married the man. Exactly what is it about diamonds that make a girl do crazy things like bawl her eyes out, commit to marriage with a man she doesn’t know or dive into a pool? That’s right, this weekend women (and men!) will be diving to the bottom of a pool in hopes of finding a diamond. As a kid I would dive to the bottom of pools in hopes of finding quarters, so I can see the attraction.
Luckily, it is all for a good cause, so these “Diamond Divers” won’t look as crazy as they sound. The Kroc Center is hosting its first ever “Diamond Dive” this Saturday, April 28, from 10 to 11 a.m. If memory serves me correctly, there has never been such an event in Quincy (if I’m wrong please correct me). There is a fee to enter, but all participants win something, albeit maybe not a diamond. No worries, though, your money goes toward providing scholarships to the Kroc Center for those in need. This is a great chance for those who have never been inside the Kroc Center to check it out. It really is a fantastic place. So this Saturday, I am putting on my goggles and flippers and diving for some diamonds.
I remember you so fondly when we were growing up. I was in grade school and junior high and you were so cool. I would spend hours glued to your great historic educational programming. Whether it was “Tales of the Gun,” “Mail Call,” “Wild West Tech,” or “The Presidents,” the programming on the History Channel had at least one thing in common. It was about history. Sure, there were problems: everything was about WWII, you only had two guys to do voiceovers, and you were guilty of over promoting any movie about history (“Braveheart,” “Black Hawk Down,” or “Titanic”).
But now I barely recognize you anymore. You have a tried to chase after the popular kids’ Discovery Channel, A&E and TLC. You saw the success of “Deadliest Catch” and have become so self-obsessed that you can barely see past “Pawn Stars.” You’ve started to hang with a rougher crowd too: “Ax Men,” “Swam People,” “Mudcats,” and Larry the Cable Guy — sure they’re good people but you’ve forgotten your roots, remember where you got your start.
The middle ages, ancient Greece, Egypt, the wild west and, of course, WWII — this is where you grew up and where I fell in love with you. Of course, there are still things I love about you, “Modern Marvels” and “Histories Mysteries,” but that isn’t enough for me to ignore “Ancient Aliens.” You even changed your name: you abandoned your real name, your just “History.” What would your parents think?
So as hard as this is for me, I can’t see you anymore. It’s not me, it’s you, and let’s not be friends.
Regrettably, I have to say that I am a highly active user of the social networking giant Facebook. I accept any eye rolling or mocks, but the truth is you are probably a “Facebooker” as well. If not already, social networking should be considered a cornerstone of the American lifestyle. For me, it has become part of the morning routine. I will feed my cats, have a cup of coffee, walk the dogs and then sit in front of the computer to check Facebook to see what is going on with the rest of the world.
As I scan my news feed, I glance over to see the number of friends I have collected. My tally is nothing impressive, but when I scroll through the list, I am shocked to see names of people I have not spoken to in years. Because of Facebook, I think Webster needs to reconsider it’s definition of what a “friend” actually is. Not only are there people I’ve lost touch with, but also on my Friends List, I have managed to add people who I am sure hate my guts.
How do I distinguish these sinister folks from my real friends? What am I to do with these people I have allowed to infiltrate my small hole in the social network universe? Or for that matter, how do I voice my distaste for music and movies that have rubbed me the wrong way? Enemygraph.com seems to have the answer. This new application for Facebook allows the user to separate their friends from those they consider enemies. According to the app’s homepage its creation was based on the idea that “most social networks attempt to connect people based on affinities, but people are also connected and motivated by things they dislike.”
Not only does this app allow you to put your Facebook friends in their proper place it also provides the chance to express your distaste toward the music, celebrities, movies, games and sports teams that happen to sour your fancy.
The Huffingtonpost.com features an article citing the application’s creators as being a University of Texas-Dallas student Harrison Massey, director of the New Emerging Media program Dean Terry and graduate student Bradley Griffith. Massey is quoted to say “Facebook has this artificial positivity kind of forced upon it. We believe that there is a certain amount of health in saying that you don’t like something, that something is your enemy, because you can create conversations about that. You can bond with people over that.” In the Huffingtonpost article, Massey continued his point by saying users of the application could bond over common aversion toward a company or a political party.
MSNBC.com has also picked up the new app on its radar. The website’s story cites some of Enemygraph’s trending enemies. Some picks include the Westborro Baptist Church, racism and the “Twilight” series. I am sure these results allow Mitt Romney to breath a sigh of relief. The last thing his shaky presidential campaign needs is to be included with this Facebook application.
Facebook has always been a voyeuristic avenue for us to pass time. Some might raise complaints about this new application but I would like to raise another point. Perhaps this gives us a chance to examine ourselves more closely. Instead of occupying our time examining what everyone else is up to we can turn the mirror back and take a close look. Maybe this will help us to learn a bit more about ourselves instead of being mindlessly distracted by checking in on other’s actions. In the age of social media, keeping your friends close but your enemies closer might be more true than ever.
I feel like I broke some kind of law at the Broadway Walgreens last night around 11 p.m. I was minding my own business, buying a Neti Pot with some friends; I was captivated by a strange but dangerous notion. Slowly, I approached the counter. Nervously, I pushed my appalling merchandise across the counter to the judgmental looks of the cashier. I pulled out one crumpled dollar and slid it over. Meekly, I took my change of four pennies and slinked out the door. I didn’t keep the receipt. When we got back to my friend’s house, I cautiously unveiled my terrible purchase: one Cadbury Caramel Egg.
The reason why I have made such a big deal of buying this confection is the fact that it’s Easter candy. Candy designed for consumptions after Easter and ONLY after Easter. Whether it was Lenten doctrine that I broke or some principle of natural law, I felt wrong, just wrong.
Obviously, the egg was delicious, milk chocolate and caramel delicately danced on my palate. In two bites, it was only a memory, except to my stomach, which churched and groaned with the massive influx of sugar. I was in mysterious agony and joy.
This was the first Cadbury Egg I have had since last Easter, but for some reason, I have a lingering guilt over eating this egg, which traditionally, for me at least, has been reserved for after the end of Lent. Maybe it’s a sign of growing up or maybe it’s just guilt for eating pure sugar after 11 p.m. Either way, I think the point I’m trying to make is: Cadbury Eggs are delicious, and, while their side effects might include diabetic shock and nagging guilt, they are worth it.
I’ve always loved the movie “Almost Famous.” The film chronicles the journey of a very young music journalist covering his first big story for Rolling Stone magazine — the young man, who by chance of fate, is plucked from his everyday life and goes on the road with a big time rock band.
At the risk of sounding cliche I find this movie to be a perfect example of a fairy tale for modern times. There is something magical to me about being freed of the rigors of the mundane everyday life and having the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary. Though “Almost Famous” tells the story of the film’s director Cameron Crowe, the whole tale still seems unbelievable. Being able to leave life behind for a bit and tour with a rock band is something reserved for wild imaginations. That may be true for some, but if you happen to be a lucky veteran then all of this could become a reality. According to MSNBC.com, the classic rock band Kiss is looking to hire a hard working vet for their upcoming summer tour.
Working with the Hiring Our Heroes program, Kiss is searching for a set carpenter for their tour featuring fellow rockers Motley Crue. The MSNBC.com article covering the story gives the tasks the lucky vet will be asked to partake in on the job. Some of these duties include assembling the stage, helping run effects during the show and taking down the set afterwards. Lack of training in carpentry is not a problem — all the band is looking for is someone willing to work long hours. The tour kicks off on July 14 and continues through Sept. 25. Helping put on one of the most infamous shows in rock history night after night seems like a small price to pay for giving up a summer laying by the pool.
Kiss, whose songs include “Rock n Roll All Nite,” “Detroit Rock City” and “Beth,” has made a name for itself as being one of the most over-the-top live pererformance bands ever seen. Going to a Kiss show, you are guaranteed to see fire breathing, blood drooling, huge pyrothecnics, lots of smokes and lights and of course tongue waggling. A thing some might not know about the band is that they have been big, long-time supporters of the U.S. military. MSNBC.com points out the band’s generous contributions to the Wounded Warriors Project. Now Kiss is taking its support to a new level by not only offering a paid job to a veteran but giving them a memory they will never forget.
Life is full of decisions. In the movie “Almost Famous,” the lead character can either stay in the life he is living or take the risk and chase a dream. Everyday there are proud Americans who make the difficult choice to leave their families and lives behind and serve in the military. Kiss may be a silly rock band in make-up, but it is making the huge move to make someone who served our country’s dream come true. In my opinion I cannot think of a group of people anymore deserving to have the chance to run down a dream.
Veterans interested in this position can apply by emailing their resume and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.