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Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Istanbul is the world’s only mega-city that spans two continents. Many Turkish commuters take the fifteen-minute ferry ride across the Bosphorus Strait, traveling from their suburban homes in Asia to the urban sprawl in Europe. I’m seeing a comparable journey for you, Aries: a transition that happens casually and quickly, but that moves you from one world to another. Prepare yourself, please. Just because it unfolds relatively easily and benevolently doesn’t mean you should be nonchalant about the adjustments it will require you to make. Read the rest of this entry »

The World Cup Runneth Over: How to immerse yourself in the beautiful game from 9,000 miles away

Sports No Comments »

By Elias Cepeda

With millions of residents directly from, or descended from, and with at least sporting allegiance to, many different foreign countries, Chicago is a perfect city to get a taste of just how popular soccer is all around the globe come World Cup time. For the next month (June 11-July 11), South Africa hosts thirty-two countries’ teams vying for the title but with all the events going on in Chicago to celebrate the World Cup, you might think it was 1994—when the U.S. hosted and games took place in Chitown—all over again.

Splashy ‘n’ Big
There are more Mexicans in Chicago than in most Mexican cities, and our southern neighbors’ squad—nicknamed El Tri—takes on host-nation South Africa on the tournament’s first day. If you can get away from work downtown for a little bit, check out the full-day viewing party in Daley Plaza. There will be a giant screen to watch the action. It’s free and kid-friendly (see World Cup mascot photo ops). Mexico plays South Africa at 9am and France takes on Uruguay at 1:30pm. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The “secret” is in plain sight. The “hidden resource” is freely available for anyone who intends to use it with integrity. The “lost key” is very close to where you left it when you last used it. The “missing link” is missing only in the sense that no one recognizes it for what it is. The “unasked question” is beaming toward you from three directions. The “wounded talent” will be healed the moment you stop thinking of it as wounded and start regarding it as merely unripe. Read the rest of this entry »

411: Live the horror at the Surgical Museum

Events, Museums No Comments »

Among the highlights of “The Menagerie, ” the International Museum of Surgical Science’s upcoming fundraiser, which also includes burlesque dancers, karaoke, and, perhaps, a large python, participants will be given the rare opportunity to “own [their] own death,” says Death by Design Co.’s co-founder Teena McClelland. She and her team of video and special-effects experts will transform individuals into Dr. Moreau’s grotesque half-man, half-animal experiments, who will then enact their revenge on one of H.G. Wells’ more memorable anti-heroes. And it will all be available for posterity on tape. “We like to help people realize inner narratives,” McClelland says. “We like to tell stories with people and people have interesting stories to tell.” Death by Design staff members will play directors and producers as participants come to terms with mortality in a strange yet controlled scenario. Inspired by her own fear of horror films, McClelland insists that once people experience death, in some capacity, it seems less intimidating. Beyond the obvious reasons, the International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 North Lake Shore Drive, was a natural choice for such an event after the latter played host to the Threewalls Gallery’s vampire-themed fundraiser, “You Oughta Be In Fangs,” last spring. Spend $50-$100 for a good cause and come see “who gets torn apart” on Saturday, June 12 from 7pm-11pm.  (Emma Ramsay)

Grain of Truth: Taking stock of the relics of Chicago’s era as the world’s “Stacker of Wheat”

Architecture, Chicago History 3 Comments »

By David Witter

Grain elevators were the city’s first skyscrapers, rising up as high as fifteen stories along the Chicago River and Sanitary and Ship Canal from downtown to the South Shore, supplying the nation’s bakeries much in the way that the stockyards of the Armours, Oscar Mayers and Swifts gave us steak, bacon and hot dogs. Along with being the “Hog Butcher for the World,” they gave rise to Carl Sandburg’s description of Chicago as the “Stacker of Wheat.” Poured from trains and barges, wheat, corn, barley and other crops were stored within before being sold at a “new” market called The Chicago Board of Trade. Today, only two grain facilities, the Archer Daniels Midland Plant, and the Illinois International Port Grain Elevators at the Port of Chicago, remain in operation within the city limits. Dozens have been demolished, while still more sit vacant. Too large and expensive to tear down, they are slowly deteriorating like Egyptian ruins in an urban desert, standing as a final reminder of Chicago’s agricultural past amid the modern skyscrapers, condos and highways that are now Chicago’s landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange No Comments »

This week’s biggest gainers:

1 Lee DeWyze
Just think, you’re the last American Idol to accessorize with Simon Cowell’s fang marks.

2 Joel Quenneville
Just two games away from leading the Blackhawks to break the Curse of Muldoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you’d like to be in supreme alignment with cosmic rhythms this week, I suggest that you completely avoid using the f-word. Likewise, you’ll maximize your chances for taking advantage of fate’s currents if you refrain from ever using the s-word, the c-word, the m-word, and the b-word. As a general rule, the more precise and the less lazy you are in using language, the more willpower you’ll have and the better able you’ll be to attract the experiences you want. It’s always invigorating to choose your words creatively and kindly, of course, but especially now. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Mozart once challenged his friend Haydn to play a harpsichord piece he’d written. Haydn tried, but stopped partway through when the musical score called for him to play a note in the middle of the keyboard even though his right hand was fully occupied at the high end and his left hand at the low end. “Nobody can play this,” protested Haydn. “I can,” said Mozart, who proceeded to perform the piece flawlessly, dipping down to play the problematic note with his nose. In the coming week, Aries, be inspired by Mozart as you not only cover the extremes but also take care of the center. Read the rest of this entry »

411: The Prom is Dead

News etc., River North No Comments »

There’s mindless entertainment, and then there’s brain-dead entertainment. Zombie Prom 2010 is proud to be the latter. After a successful test run last year, Zombie Army Productions has teamed up with Q101 and Elevate Chicago to “make Zombie Prom one of the premier dark events in Chicago,” says founder John LaFlamboy, stressing that it’s not just for horror aficionados but “for everyone.” True to its name, there’ll be free prom pictures, a prom king and queen contest, and a DJ. Unlike the often-fraught high-school version, though, the goal of this prom is decidedly unserious fun. “We’re all just putting on makeup like clowns and having a good time,” LaFlamboy says. Just in case, he’s booked “an eighties zombie cover band just to make sure that none of us take ourselves too seriously.” Getting decked out—costumes and makeup are mandatory, with makeovers available onsite for $10—gives partygoers permission to loosen up, or, in LaFlamboy’s words, “just have fun and be ridiculous and act like an idiot.” (Rachel Sugar)

Zombie Prom 2010, May 21, Vision Nightclub, 640 N. Dearborn. 9pm-4am with free dinner buffet from 9pm-10:30pm. $20 at the door. Costumes and make up mandatory, onsite makeovers available $10.

Confessions from the Welfare State: Lessons learned, and offered, along the American way

Brighton Park, Essays & Commentary, Politics 1 Comment »

By Frank Pulaski

We sat in the restaurant, Huck Finn’s, almost every morning sitting in the restaurant from nine till noon, my father Frank and his friends, George the Greek and Jimmy Figgs, and my uncle Tom, mocking the idea that the world’s highest ideal was work. That work was the gold standard of virtue in society. It was as if you were with escaped convicts, runaways from the labor force. Their eyes were always bloodshot and tearful. Woeful may be a better word. They’d sneak little hits of whiskey into black coffee, watching workers cross the bridge on the way to their jobs. Sometimes, when the restaurant phone rang for a long time, the Greek enacted a little drama. He pretended to answer the phone. Then like magic we were supposed to imagine that we were on break, sitting in the basement of Ford Motor Company, playing cards and drinking whiskey. If you used your imagination, you could almost hear the assembly line roaring overhead, spitting out cars and profits.

The Greek: Hello, yeah, George, right…Hey Frank it’s for you…
Frank: Who is it?
The Greek: It’s Mr. Ford.
Frank: Tell Ford I’m busy. What’s he want?
The Greek: Mr. Ford, Frank says he’s busy, no, Figgs is taking a shit… Can I take a message? Yeah… right… yeah…. Frank, Mr. Ford says he needs more cars… He wants us to get upstairs and crank up the assembly line…
Frank: Yeah, well you tell Ford that if he wants more cars that he can come down here and build them his fucking self.
The Greek: Mr. Ford, Frank says he ain’t gonna do it. If you want more cars, you gotta come down here and build them your fucking self! Read the rest of this entry »