My work having a happy hour today at 4!

We are all meeting in the Board Room at 4 today to drink. Just 7 of us in the office, so will be a fun way to start the weekend! Can't wait!

Grade: A



This is my favorite place to go for lunch near work. foodlife has little food court like stations all over the place with really good stuff. But, this is not your average food court. The qualify of the food is better and the rules here are a bit different.

You go to a hostess as you enter who gives you a passcard type thing. Then you are seated (I prefer to be seated in the Asian Deck) and the hostess flips over a thing saying the table is reserved. Then you wander around and decided where you want to eat, and pass your card over to be swiped. You pay on your way out. The process is a little scary the first time you go. I was way confused...

Now, the place is usually full of office workers and some annoying tourists. The other downside is that it is owned by Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, which I just sort of don't like as a whole. Ask me sometime about my experience at Cafe Ba Ba ReeBa.

Oh, and the food is pretty expensive. Lunch and drinks for two today was 22 bucks.

But despite this I sill love it! The stir fry station is wonderful and just tastes better than other nast places like Mongolian BBQ where you make your own stir fry. I seriously crave that place lately. The mexican place and salad stations also are great. And when I was there today with my friend Ryan he pointed out that they are always playing really gay music, like Erasure or Kylie or some shit, which is a plus.

Grade: B+


Post Secret

Visit http://postsecret.blogspot.com! My friend Craig Gaines (whose blog Rocket Fever is in my links to the right) had a post about this site and I checked it out. Crazy! People send in mail and postcards to this person who posts their deep dark secrets online. I couldn't get enough.

As hooked as I am, some of the secrets are pretty depressing stuff. But, others are hilarious, like the one above. I mean, the guy in the middle is kind of hot...

So, why don't you reply with an anonymous comment to this post and tell us all your secrets!

Grade: B+ (the secrets about rape were a pretty big downer)

Being cheated on...

This is my ex-boyfriend Brady. When I was 19 he was my boyfriend for almost a year until he moved to New York City and cheated on me. God, that hurt. We are friends now and I don't cry as much. It was in 1998 after all.

Grade: D+

Sending my blog into outer space

I just went to http://bloginspace.com and sent my blog to outerspace. Now aliens can read Chargenda! As I hit the send buttong I got nervous that they might target me if they ever come to earth, but whatevs...

Grade: C

Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Jim Sheridan, the director of In America (One of the best movies. Ever!) is releasing this movie with 50 Cent. Holy shit I can't wait! This is territory the guy know nothing about, he is from Ireland and usually sticks to topics he has some experience with. But, the guy is amazing and I have high hopes. Makes me nervous, either going to bomb or be soooo good!

Grade: B


Bookmarking Chargenda

Have you added Chargenda to your bookmarks and made it part of your everyday routine? If not you should.

Grade: A+

Big Chicks

Chances are this won't be the first time you hear me rave about Big Chicks (5024 N. Sheridan Rd. 773-728-5511). When I first moved to Chicago just under two years ago, this was my second home. Now, I am not sure whether I should be proud of spending as much time as I did at this bar, but facts are facts.

Las night I visited the Uptown gay bar for Buck Burger Night. You get a 1/3 pound burger and really yummy french fries for just one dollar (75 cents extra to add your choice of an array of cheeses). And this is a damn good burger for a dollar. The place is never too crowded on a Monday and really is a great way to start the week.

The allure of Big Chicks is that on a night like Monday it is just a laid-back neighborhood gay bar, but on a Friday or Saturday when the back room becomes a dance floor it turns up the energy a few notches, but still is attitude-free without being sketchy.

And with Dave, Ronnie and Stuart as bartenders you are alwasy treated great!

I'll save the amazing and free Sunday BBQ for another day!

Grade: A



Big Brother 6

People discredit this show, but I think it is some of the best reality TV, ever! Yes, it is totally trashy, but I don't think people get how insane of a concept it is. You are thrown into a house with 13 strangers and have to live witht them for like three months. No TV. No radio. No phone. And there is constant plotting and scheming going on.

I took a break for a few season's, but I can't seem to get enough this season. It totally sucks that it is on 3 times a week. That is rather excessive, and I found myself watching all three shows this week. What a waste of time!

But, it is just the third week they have been inside the house and everyone is seriously going crazy already. Nobody trusts anyone and everyoe is lying to cover themselves. Also, this season, everyone has a secret partner they came in with.

And I am totally in love with Kaysar...

Grade: B+



1/2 Way there Oscar predictions

We are halfway through the year, and as always, not a lot of Oscar contenders out there. But, I continue to keep and update predictions throughout the year. Not a review, per se, but just thougt I would post these! About ten options per catagory; my top five and then some runner's up. Enjoy!

Best Picture
The New World
Memoirs of a Geisha
Brokeback Mountain
In Her Shoes

Walk the Line
Cinderella Man
The Producers

Best Director
Rob Marshall – Memoirs of a Geisha
Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
Terrence Malick – The New World
Steven Spielberg – Vengeance
David Cronenberg – A History of Violence

Curtis Hansen – In Her Shoes
Cameron Crowe - Elizabethtown
Robert Altman – Paint
Sam Mendes – Jarhead
John Madden – Proof
James Mangold – Walk the Line

Best Actor
Colin Ferrell – The New World
Viggo Mortenson - A History of Violence
Jake Gyllenhall –Jarhead
Ralph Fiennes – The White Countess, The Constant Gardener
Joaquin Phoenix – Walk the Line

Eric Bana – Vengeance
Orlando Bloom – Elizabethtown
Nathan Lane – The Producers
Russell Crowe – Cinderella Man
Steve Martin – Shopgirl

Best Actress
Ziyi Zhang – Memoirs of a Geisha
Cameron Diaz – In Her Shoes
Felicity Huffman - Transamerica
Charlize Theron – Class Action
Joan Allen – The Upside of Anger

Gwyneth Paltrow – Proof
Claire Daines – Shopgirl
Rosario Dawson – Rent
Uma Thurman – Prime
Selma Hayek – Paint

Supporting Actor
Peter Saarsgard – Jarhead
Jake Gyllenhall – Brokeback Mountain
Christopher Plummer – The New World
Ed Harris – A History of Violence
Christopher Plummer – The New World

Anthony Hopkins – Proof
Liam Neeson – Kingdom of Heaven
Jamie Foxx – Jarhead
James Franco – Paint
Ken Watanabe – Memoirs of a Geisha

Supporting Actress
Susan Surandon – Elizabethtown
Gong Li – Memoirs of a Geisha
Reese Witherspoon – Walk the Line
Michelle Williams – Brokeback Mountain
Toni Colette – In Her Shoes

Meryl Streep – Prime
Frances McDormand – Class Action
Annette Benning – Running with Scissors
Renee Zellweger – Cinderalla Man
Hope Davis – Proof
Maria Bello – A History of Violence


People randomly sending me money

I love it when people just decide to send me money in the mail; cash, checks, gift cards, whatever. OK, so that doesnt' really happen that often. OK, ever...


If you wanted to send me some you could!

Grade: A+

Kimberley Locke lookin' bad in Lane Bryant ads

Why did Kimberley Locke let these pictures of her be put in the Lane Bryant ad campaign? She looks fugly in them. You can do better Ms. Locke!

Grade: D


The new poster for Brokeback Mountain

I am SO excited for this movie to come out. Here is the poster for it. Ang Lee directing Jake and Heath in a gay love story...bring that shit on! Ange Lee better not screw this up.

Grade: A+


War of the Worlds

Wow!! War of the Worlds is Awesome. I had read some great reviews and was actually interested in checking it out. Not much of a summer blockbuster guy, and I fucking hate Tom Cruise's guts. Despite this I wanted to check it out.

I was blown away. I haven't been to a big blockbuster like this where I have been this into it for a long time. From the first scene where danger looms and clouds start to form in the sky I felt this constant tinge of fear and nervousness. The special effects, the cinematography, the pacing, all of it were just phenominal and what a movie like this should be like.

Those factors were so great and overwhelming that it let me forgive some of the films faults: Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise, some cheesy dialog, and a sappy happy ending.

Grade: A-


Korrey not posting comments on my blog

I know you read this and don't ever post any comments or say anything about my blog. That is so lame Korrey!

Grade: F

Szechwan Restaurant

Guess what. You can pay 12 bucks at Szechwan Restaurant, located at 625 N. Michigan Ave, and for that low-low price you get to shit your brains out the rest of the day!

I know that Chinese buffets are not pretty places, but I met a couple of friends there, and we were hungry and thought it was a good idea at the time. Typical Chinese buffet stuff, maybe a step below that.

Stay away from this nasty place!

Grade: D- (OK, the deep fried crab rangoon things tasted sorta yummy)



Argyle St. Restaurants

I love hitting up restaurants on Argyle street. I hadn't really had much Vietnamese food before I moved to Chicago, just a few times here and there. And Argyle has an overwheling number of options, some really really good and cheap, others also cheap, but a little sketchy.

I went to a new place yesterday that I haven't tried, and was reminded how yummers it can be. I had an avocado smoothy (one of the best things ever!). and griled pork and beef with noodles. Really basic dish, but hit the spot.

Pho is the most commen Vietnamese dish you will find, and is full of chunks of meat, noodles, and some super savory broth that you add your own cilantro, hoisen, lime and other junk to.

I really don't know which places to point you towards, because I dont' know the names of any of them. But, the one with the purple awning is really good. Tank Noodle is the most popular with the whities, but just mediocre in my book. And there is some new one with orange walls inside that is super nasty.

P.S. - Look for a future blog just on the local Ba Le Sandwich shop, cuz that deserves a blog all it's own (go there now!)

Grade: B - (just because sometimes you pick a bad place and it blows)


The Patrick and Noah Show

So, after a whole lot of pushing and prodding from Noah I finally gave in and listened to their podcast. Now, I am just not a huge fan of podcasts, but these are my friends, so I had to give 'er a listen.

Overall, a good listen and a lot of fun. If I hadn't already heard the first story in detail I probably would have been more interested. The little tunes thrown in bring the show to the next level. I would give the following tips:
- Keep the stories nice and short
- No more celebrity guests (the Bear Arthur thing didnt' work for me...)

But, the premise is there and how can you not love these two guys. Can't wait until a few episodes in when they have it polished a bit more. Well, I don't know that you could ever call Noah polished...

Grade: B+


Trader Joe's

God, I sure do love this store. I just returned from a trip there and spent a little over 100 bucks. They have your everday items that you need, and yeah, they might be a little more expensive than some places, but it is the Trader Joe's Brand items that are super great.

And the staff is awesome there. Every time I am checking out they are chit-chatty and talk up the products and actually seem happy there. Today, the guy at the register (who was sorta cute) was excited because he had never seen these frozer burgers I bought with blue cheese and bacon in the middle of them. And he thanked me very sincerely about three times for helping him with bagging my stuff.

Some highlights from my purchase today.
- The above mentioned burgers, can't wait to try that shit...
- The frozen Orange Chicken. Let me just say "Wow." Better than any Chinese take-out I have ever had
- Frozen enchiladas
- Their guacamole pouches rock!
- Pepita simmer sauce and any of their simmer sauces have been amazing.

Grade: A


My friend Noah

Every now and then in life you come across someone who just totally opens you up to a whole nother world that you never knew existed, and this is a good and a bad thing.

I met Noah (on the right in this photos, that's me on the left) once or twice in college and didn't really think too much of it. He just seemed like another silly East Lansing fag. And I also really didnt' think too much when I moved here and ran into him a few times. Until I started to realize we had one important thing in common: we both liked to get drunk and makes asses of ourselves. So, we started to hang out and go to bars together and stay out way late. Some underwear ripping happened, some slapping, some drinks poured on each other, I even fell off the roof of a bus once with him...

But, soon, we became more than drinking buddies. We talked tons and I realized we both were really fucking funny. We cracked each other up. And Noah is super sweet. He has come running to my place when I was a sad sap crying over some stupid boy, etc, and he actually cried with me just becasue I was crying...awww.

And he is also a tall sassy drink of water, with an ass that won't stop...

Noah, truly is one of the best friends I have ever met.


The guy has some issue. I mean, what's up with him passing out at around 6 p.m. the last weekend or so and not being up for doing anything?

And he tends to steal underwear from my roomate RJ. And once I decided i would be nice and rub his head and his head was full of sand, and this was like on a Tuesday and he hadn't been tot he beach since Sunday. Take a shower, Noah!

And sometimes he acts happy and I look into his eyes and I know he just sort of looks sad. Are you sad Noah?

Grade: C+

Moving to Mexico

All I have to say is that moving to Mexico is stupid...

Grade: F


Crunchwrap Supreme

Taco Bell has duped me again. After seeing photos on the sides of buses I feel for their ploy and started to crave a Crunchwrap Supreme (how the hell do they name these things?)

Plain and simple, it's pretty nast. I grew up eating far too much Taco Bell and have witnessed the introduction of many products (enchiritos, chalupas, mexi melts, etc.). And despite the fact that they have strayed far from anything authentic, I have mostly been pleased with the results (with the exception of a few items: choco tacos, that one value menu burrito with potatoes in it...)

Taco bell should have learned when they brought out the double decker taco that you should not put a hard shell inside of other ingredients. It gets soggy quick and ends up tasting weird if you eat it more than two minutes after the product hits the tray.

And they need to teach their workers how to evenly distribute ingredients. My first three bites were full of a shit-ton of sour cream, the middle was a whole lotta lettuce and the end was when I experienced my first taste of meat. And I would have preferred real cheese instead of the liquid nacho stuff.

Nice try Taco Bell, but this ain't no Mexican Pizza. Oh, and why did you stop putting black olives on food? I miss 'em.

Grade: C-

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I remember reading about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it's plans to be remade over 5 years ago. And at the time I was super excited to see it. So, I have to say that I had a LOT of anticipation about the release of this film. I really really wanted it to be good. And I am excited to say that it was. After a string of what I saw as disappointments by Director Tim Burton (Big Fish being my most recent let-down) I was nervous that the same could be true of Charlie.

A friend had some advance screening passes and last minute called to let me know she had an extra one. I was so excited!

This movie, more an adaptation of the novel than the first movie, is classic Burton. He creates a rich, bold world for the viewer to get lost in. From the gloomy shack that Charlie lives in to the Nut-cracking room full of trained squirrels, this is a story that Burton was meant to tell.

I have already heard some rumbling about Johnny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka. "He is just a little too creepy for a kids movie," "He reminds me of Michael Jackson." And while these criticisms might be a bit true, it is this uniqueness he brings to the character that bring the movie up a level from just a pretty and goofy kids movie to something more. Depp's Wonka is one disturbed guy, but there is something just a little creepy about many children's icons; Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, Bozo the Clown, that guy from Blue's Clues. They all seem like they could just snap at any second and freak out on the kids, and Wonka is just a little more insane and messed up then the rest of these famous folks. But, wouldn't you be pretty fucked up too if you had lived your whole life in a factory without any contact other than the oompa loompa's?

And the Oompa Loompa's are yet another wonderful addition that varies from the first movie. The same actor portrayed every single Oompa in the movie, and the scenes featuring these guys are awesome and just really crazy. The musical numbers have some of the strangest and most brilliant moments of the movie. After the demise of each of the movies' bratty kids, the Oompas present us with a little musical number, and they all are hilarious.

There was much buzz about Freddy Highmore being selected as the next Charlie, and in the first 15 minutes we get to see a fair amount of him, and he shows some real promise, but then suddenly when we enter the factory, Charlie fades tot he background and hardly speaks a word. Willy takes over and during each scene we focus on one of the kids, with Charlie generally being a wordless observer. I wanted to see a bit more of Freddy and to find out what kind of potential this kid had.

So, in the end, I left the movie feeling great and really happy about Burton's telling of the story. But, the movie was just a lot of fun and fluff and prettiness, without enough drama for it to really leave an emotional impact or impart some sort of lesson on me. Don't get me wrong, I love this kind of pretty entertainment, but I don't think it is enough to get Depp, Burton and company much recognition come Oscar time.

I look forward to seeing Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

Grade: B+



My intentions...

So, I am just now toying with the idea of starting a blog. Everyone seems to have one and I don't want to be another drop in the pan. But, I would also really like to have an outlet that allows me to write some and vent some.

My plan is to focus on reviews on this site. I want to give people my feedback on movies I see, restaurants I dine at, events I attend, etc.

I love Chicago so hard, and I just want to share some of my joy and some of my frustrations with others.

I plan to attend the Movie in the Park tomorrow at Grant Park. I have never been, believe it or not, and they are showing Citizen Kate at 8:50 tomorrow evening.