Bugs and Candy

Yesterday, the Mars Candy factory, here in Chicago, was shut down for insect infestation. They make snickers bars, M&M's and other candy, not sure what else. But, that is so nasty. Not just a few bugs, but infestation.

I, for one, plan to stay away from candy bars for the time being.

Grade: F

Michael Copon

Wowza. This is Michael Copon who was on some celbrity dance show. What is he famous for you might ask? For being a Power Ranger on TV.

Go Go Power Ranger! Yum!

Grade: A



Ribs have always been something I avoid on menus. They just seem messy and weird to me. A whole lotta bone without much meat.

But I had some ribs the other day, and I wasn't too impressed and probably will continue to avoid them for a while. These were like a whole slab or ribs that I got with the bf. He loves them, and the meaty part was super good and they were cooked so they were sort of falling apart and stuff. That was good, but what I couldn't handle and didn't know about was the caritlidge tendony party of it. Ew. I can hande a lot, but that is sort of boge to me.

The worst part: My bf eats those. No joke.

Grade: C


I finally checked this movie out. Felicity was good. The story was good. The son was way cute (see above pic for reference). But, I wasn't blown away by any of it. I didn't even cry once, and it ain't hard to make Chargenda cry.

There was some weird script things. The overall tone was bouncing back and forth between a comedy and a drama, and not sure which it wanted to be. Did the director think that was the only way to make a trannie movie palatable? Like a lot of the reviews I read said: It was just one step above a made for TV movie.

As for Felicity's Oscar nod, I am not sure I would have had her in the group if it were up to me.

Grade: B-



Halloween 6

I started this movie and it was like a train wreck, I couldn't turn away. I love a good scary movie, and even a bad one sometimes. But, wow, I couldn't believe how terrible this one was.

I had seen the original Halloween movie and the second one, I think, and remember liking both of them and being scared. And this one was like lots of other bad horror movies, but then it just got really crazy in the end. Where did the guys in black come from? Who are they? How did Paul Rudd and the old guy get drugged? Why didn't we see that? Why did Michael Meyers kill those people at the hospital, wasn't he in cahoots with them? Why does Paul Rudd talk like that?

Despite how terrible the movie is, I found myself desiring more slasher flicks. Did you know Tyra Banks is in either Halloween H20 (part 7) or Halloween: Resurrection (part 8)? I need to see that.

Grade: D+



The rest of the summer's movies

This weeks opening of Superman Returns has me all worked up. I don't know why, I never gave two shits about any of the other Superman movies, but I am really excited about this one. And I just found out that Parker Posey is in it!

So, here is a rundown of what to look for the rest of the summer, sorry for breaking my format here:

June 28 - Superman Returns - I predict there are going to be all sorts of gays going to this movie.

June 30 - The Devil Wears Prada - Early reports are saying that Ms. Streep is in top form in this one. I smell a Golden Globe winner!

July 21 - Lady in the Water - M. Night's latest movie looks like it could be another total stink-bomb, just like The Village.

August 4 - The Science of Sleep - Gael Garcia Bernal in a movie directed by Eternal Sunshine's Michel Gondry. Sounds like a wet dream to me, speaking of sleep.

August 11 - World Trade Center - Oliver Ston's take on September 11th, focusing on the story of two guys stuck in the rubble. I am nervous for this one.

August 18 - Snakes on a Plane - I don't plan to see it, but I give you one guess to get what it's about. Yes, the title is really that literal.

Angry Dykes

I was at a party Saturday night, having a lovely time. I was chit-chatting with some lesbians, bein rowdy and crazy. So, a new group of dykes came in and I assumed I could be just as forward with them. I asked to see a woman's tattoo, and reached to move the strap of her tank top aside. She got all upset and told me not to touch her, and I responed by saying "You aren't a lady!" I don't even know what I meant, by this, just that she wasn't being very gracious about the whole thing.

She stormed out, caused a scene, threatened me, called me a faggot and freaked out. I went to the front yard, apologized for upsetting her, said it wasn't intentional and told her she should just come back in and have fun. She wasn't having it.

It's pride weekend and everyone is drunk and having fun and being obnoxious, just calm down lezzie mclezster! Just let your mullet down, have another PBR and have some fun. Someone needs dick, and bad!

Grade: F

My new nephew

Everyone say it along with me: "Awwww!!!"

He doesn't even look that ugly for a newborn baby. Sometimes they look straight up freaky and nast.

And the best part is this little guys middle name: Charles...welcome to this cruel world Ian Charles...at least you can comfort in the fact that you have the coolest uncle ever!

Grade: A

Winner of the National Book Award

This is a damn fine novel. I really enjoyed it. It is a story of twins, domestic violence, sex, aspiring writers and terrible weather. Super clever and witty and fun to read. I have been meaning to read something of Willets for a while because both Augustin Burroughs and David Sedaris are fans.

But, the thing that totally irked me about this book were the promotional quotes on the back. They talked about how funny the book was, talked about laughing out loud at it. While the book was witty and smart, and humourous in lots of ways, it wasn't laugh out loud funny like they claimed. Why do books need to do this? I hate when they throw in famous writers giving their props to the book and talk about how they responded. Don't tell me that you cried or laughed over a book before I have opened, because that gives expectations, and if they aren't met...that sucks...

Other than that, I really loved this book.

Grade: A-




Don't get me wrong, I can talk with the best of them. But, I work with this woman who comes into my office and just talks and talks and talks.

This is hard for me, because I have the attention span of a flea. I get really easily distracted, and I have told some of my good friends before that they need to keep stories to a maximum of 30 seconds if they want me to listen.

Moral of the story is: be concise and to the point and everyone will love you more.

Grade: D

Pride Weekend!

It's Pride weekend here in Chicago! A time to celebrate equality, human rights, our struggle for acceptance, and naked menz!!!!

I love this weekend, and it kicks off a summer full of gayness here in Chicago: The Gay Games and Market Days to follow. I have a few get-together to attend, and lots of good cheer to be had!

Grade: A



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Big Brother: All Stars

Last night was the preview episode for Big Brother 7. I get so hooked on this show during the summer. And this time it is All Stars. They presented 20 candidates for the show. I really want to see Janelle, Kaysar and Howie from the last season get in together. Loved them! And Lisa who won it a few seasons back.

I hope this season rocks. If you haven't watched the show, I know it looks like trash, but watch it. It gets super interesting and way intense.

Grade: A




I have two awesome cats, Meff and Carlito. And as I plan on moving in with my bf, I need to find a home for this one, Carlito. He has claws and sheds too much for my bf. But he is the sweetest most wonderful kitty ever. I really want him to be with someone I know so I can come and visit and stuff. Any cat lovers out there in Chicagoland that want him? Please! You can even give him a trial run and I will take him back if you don't fall in love with Carlito (also sometimes called Buttercup, Onion or Senor Meow Meow)

Grade: A+ for kitty, D for getting rid of him, A for a good home for him!

The Beach

I was sort of glad that I watched this movie last night. Only because I have had tons of really nice great reviews lately. So, this shit sammy of a movie give a chance to rip on something.

I mean, wow, I heard how bad this movie was when it came out a few years back, but I couldn't' believe how terrible it was. The premise was OK, and interesting, but this movie seriously get progressivly worse as it approaches the end. Leonardo's character gets all crazy and stuff, and people start dying...and it gets SO lame!

Grade: D (the scenery is gorgeous, even thought they destroyed an island to make the movie)



A Prairie Home Companion

I should start out with this disclaimer: I love Robert Altman movies. Love love love them! So, my opinions are a bit skewed.

But, for real, A Prairie Home Companion was really wonderful. I grew up listening to this radio show because my Dad loved it. I hate the show so much, but sort of grew to like it a bit more as I got older. But never really a fan of Keiller or his show.

The movie version is about so much more than the radio show. It deals with death, religion, family relationships, all wrapped up in this story of the shows last time airing. Just like most Altman movies, there is lots of overlapping chatter, dialogue that seems so casual and unscripted, and everyone playing a supporting role. Meryl Stree shines and Lindsay Lohan impresses. The pacing is low key, nothing is too in your face, and it really is the perfect movie for a Sunday afternoon. I found myself grinning from ear to ear a few times at the dumb jokes and charming performances.

I would love to see this movie glide through to award season and get lots of recognition, but I don't know that it will make it that far. Streep deserves a Best Supporting Actress nomination, Altmand a Director nomination and the movie a Best Picture nomination, but I doubt any of that will happen.

Grade: A+


I had an amazing afternoon on Saturday. I got a haircut from Nina, a massage from Martin and a pedicure from some lady who didn't give me her name or speak much English. It was pure heaven and it all happened at Spacio on Halsted.

I highly recommend the place for any of you menz out there who want to pamper yourselves. Women, too, but this place was very man-friendly, with a big ole mens locker room with products and showers and robes and slippers for the guests. Really nice, really relaxing, and a bit pricey, but all worth it!

Grade: A

Sweets & Savories

Last Thursday I went out to din din to celebrate a raise I just got at work. And after some research heard that Sweets & Savories on Fullerton can't be beat. The reviews were all right. It was amazing food, and the night we were there there was a special wine dinner being served. 8 courses with six different wines paired with them. I would have preferred just a normal tasting menu for the pacing and service, but the food was top notch, with good and very friendly, but not always the best service (I don't like having to ask for a knife twice while my food gets cold).

My favorite dish was the scallp with the foie gras on top. But we also had bbq shrimp in pomegranite bbq sauce, halibut with some tamotoes and a tomatoey sauce with mussels, a mushroom risotto with white truffle oil, beef tenderloin with lobster mashed potatoes, goat cheese with some chutney, chardonnay sorbet and then a hot chocolate cake with chocolate sorbet. Each amazingly paired with wine.

I want to go back, ASAP!

Grade: A-


Wine and cheese party!

Nothing is more fun than in imprompteu wine and cheese party! While the NYC friends were in town this weekend we stopped at Pastoral, the best cheese store ever, and picked up a few hunks of cheese. Got some wine, had a few other snackies and we were off! It was great to just hang out at my place with friends.

Good times!

Grade: A

The view from my office

This is a picture taken from my window at work. It isn't the best shot, but still a good representation of the awesomeness that is the view from my office. I can see the Hancock Building, Michigan Avenue, the lake, the MCA, the best hotels in the city, and much much more!

Loves it! I am so lucky to have this great job and this great view!

Grade: A+


A Cook's Tour

I am at home sick today, so I am going to be brief:

This book is all about Bourdain going around the wold in search of "the perfect meal." It is fun the first few chapters, but gets old quick: travel, describe a meal, travel describe a meal. His tone and voice sort of irk me, too.

So, even for me, who loves food, I got tired and found myself skipping pages toward the end, despite loving the subject matter.

Grade: C-



Feeling wiped out

I am feeling SO exhausted. I had friends here from NYC who I have known for years and their presence usually means a long crazy weekend. We keep getting older, but we continue to go out like we are 21 when we hang out with each other.

So, after a Friday and Saturday where I got home super late/early, I am feeling like I am getting sick and feeling exhausted and worn out. This is not a good feeling.

Grade: F

Filipino Feast

Yesterday, Anthony, one of the New Yorker's in town had us to his parent's house for a big ol' filipino feast. It was good stuff. He is from Chicago originally and slaved away to have a bunch of us over for din din last night.

He made pancit (shown here), adobo, some fish dish, these awesome fresh veggie rolls. It was all totally delish.

Thanks, Anthony!

Grade: A



I finally saw this Best Pic nominee this week.

I can't say I agree with it being on the list over Walk the Line, but it is a damn fine film. Bana is great. It is compellingand thought-provoking without being too heavy-handed or taking sides really. But, there was something that just wasn't sticking with me. It felt a bit too impersonal to me.

Grade: B


Bryn Mawr Deli

If you are a Chicago fag on your way to Hollywood beach and need to stop and get a sammy before you hit the sand, then go to the Bryn Mawr Deli on Bryn Mawr. Cheap food, great chicken salad, great quality, friendly people in there. Love it!

Grade: A


Me, Many Moons Ago

This is me as a young pup. I was about 20 years old there and think I look super hot! I mean, I am not too bad looking now, but I totally want to do it with the 20 year old Charlie in this picture.

I just got this sent to me yesterday and haven't seen this photo for years.

Grade: A


My bf's buffalo wings

I love buffalo wings, like really really hard. I can't get enough of them, and I go through phases where I eat a lot of them. I am in one of those phases lately.

Last night, my bf made a batch of these bad boys and they were some of the best ones that I have yet to have. He fried the wings, then tossed them in a some store bought wing sauce mixed with melted butter. It was heaven...

Dontcha wish your boyfriend made wings like mine?

Grade: A

Dick's Last Resort

I went to this place in Streeterville before the movie on Sunday. It is a total tourist trap with overpriced, mid-grade food, but I knew that going into it. Sometimes it is fun to be a tourist in your own home town. We wanted fried stuff and ribs, and this gave us a bit of all we were asking and hoping for before we went to a movie. And we got to sit out out on Dick's Dock by the water, drink a beer and watch the ducks in the water on a beautiful afternoon. It was good times, not necessarily 60 bucks worth of good times, but we had fun.

Grade: B

X-Men 2 and 3

I watched the DVD of X2 on Sunday and went to see X-Men: The Last Stand later that day.

X2 was great, really fun, great, solid story, and just fun to watch, but anyone who is following the whole series knows that already.

The latest movie was good, but not awesome. There is something really fun about the whole concept of the X-Men, I mean, what little kid didn't used to pretend they had super powers. I remember being a little kid and standing in my back yard trying to control the weather ala Storm, no joke. Is that weird?

But the story is a little more disjointed, the character development a little more lacking, and the overall tone a little off. I really think this movie could have been better if they gave it a whole additional hour of time to tell it in. Just SO much going on that when a major character is axed I hardly have time to think about it or care about it.

But, just wonderfing if I was the only one out there who stayed through the credits at the end. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you do, they leave some room for another movie by that blip of a scene in the end.

Grade: X2: A-
X3: B- (I am totally stealing Naivehelga's and EW's grade)



Hamburger Mary's

The Chicago branch of this burger chain opened yesterday in Andersonville. It is a gay hamburger chain, which can be found in gayborhouds in cities around the country. And all of my hood was atwitter with the news of the opening last night, that's why there was a bit of a wait to be seated, and the anticipation after waiting for about 6 months for the place to open.

And, the wait was worth it.

The offer up big huge yummy burgers, and some other sammies and salads and appetizers and stuff. The menu is uber-gay and so are the servers and most of the customers. This is a sign that A-ville is turning into the new Boystown, slowly but surely.

For being their first day, there were very few glitches and the owners, gay identical twins, came around and said hello a couple of times, but they also know a friend of ours. And they even brougth us a few more of the olives that are stuffed with asiago cheese and fried that we loved.
The burgers can be a little pricey, especially for my friend, RJ, who ordered the Elvis Burger with a buffalo burger, totalling 13.95.

I will for sure be back and hope they continue to do great business.

Grade: A

The Davinci Code

I kept reading all these stinker reviews of The Davinci Code, but I still made myself go and check it out. I mean, I heard the book was poorly written, but a good story, sounds like a reason to skip the book and watch the movie to me.

I can skip the storyline, because everyone under the sun knows it.

Overall, I was really pleased with the movie. Decent acting, a really fun, exciting story, and not too corny for your blockbuster fare. I wasn't on the edge of my seat the entire times, but a jump or two happened and I was pretty engaged the whole time, except for when the crazy man a row behind me started talking to the screen and talking about Jesus having an erection.

I am not going to run out and buy the book now, but if you are looking for some fun and a decent summer blockbuster, check it out. It ain't as bad as all these reviews are painting it to be.

Oh, and for those religious freaks out there who are trashing this movie, it is just a fucking story, give me a break and lighten up. Jesus, what is wrong with you people!

Grade: B


Adrienne Curry and Christopher Knight

On a whim I went to Hydrate last night after a movie. And in the middle of the drag show a few people walked in and sat at a reserved table there. It was Adrienne Curry (winner of Cycle 1 of ANTM) and Christopher Knight (Peter Brady). That's right, the couple, who were married Monday, showed up two days later at a fag bar in Boystown.

Taj Mahal, the drag queen, called them up to the stage and congratulated them, they told the whole story of why they were there (hanging with their gay wedding planner before they head to Tahiti) and were super gracious and good-humoured about the thing. She looked really amazing and loved the drag queens and kept tipping them.

I love my reality TV star run-ins!

Grade: A+