Friday, August 23, 2013

Beer and Baseball

Drewry'sIt was way too nice today to mess around with pictures on the computer, so no Cubs entry today. I still intend to make that an entry, but it might not happen this weekend!

After picking up Matt and dropping him off at the train station at the airport (so glad his folks are doing okay!), I headed home and did my workout and a few chores, but also had time to enjoy the perfect weather out on the deck.

The perfect weather looks to hold throughout the weekend, and tomorrow (Saturday) promises to be especially fun. First we’ll be attending the launch party of the new (old) Drewry’s Brewing Company downtown. Drewry’s used to be brewed in South Bend, and a Chicago entrepreneur decided to start the brand up again, and it is currently being brewed in Milwaukee. They hope to build a new brewery in South Bend at some point.

There will be music, food, and plenty of Drewry’s! The party is from noon to 5, but we probably won’t get there until around 2, because we have a second event to go to later on.

Silver HawksKen’s company party is also tomorrow, a picnic at Coveleski Stadium, AKA The Cove. Our South Bend Silver Hawks will be taking on the Great Lakes Loons, and the company picnic will start at 5, and the game starts at 7. So after the Drewry’s party, we’ll be heading over to the Cove for another party. Whew! It’s going to be a long but fun day, and I will definitely have to pace myself!

In a nice bit of serendipity, it was announced today that the first time that the new Drewry’s will be made available to the general public is at Saturday’s Hawks game!

It’s shaping up to be a fun weekend, with beautiful weather. I hope yours will be as pleasant!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

And now…a song

I ran errands this morning and got a little behind on stuff, so while I continue to work on getting my Chicago pictures sorted out (Cubs game coming to this space soon!), please enjoy this musical interlude. It’s a sweet song from Green Day called “F.O.D.” This is not a message to any of my friends, by any means! I just dig the attitude.

Something's on my mind
It's been for quite some time
This time I'm on to you
So where's the other face?
The face I heard before
Your head trip's boring me

Let's nuke the bridge we torched
2,000 times before
This time we'll blast it all to hell
I've had this burning in my guts now
For so long
My belly's aching now to say

Stuck down in a rut of dislogic and smut
A side of you well hid
When it's all said and done
It's real and it's been fun
But was it all REAL fun?

You're just a fuck
I can't explain it 'cause I think you suck
I'm takin' pride
In telling you to fuck off and die

Goood niiiiiiiiight…

Then I was thinking that nobody does the rage face sneer like Billie Joe...but then I thought of some other guys.

Billie Joe rage
Billy Idol
Elvis sneer
Sid Vicious

And THEN I made you a poll. Who doesn’t love a good pollin’, amirite? If you vote for “Other,” you have to be fair and say who you think does the Sneer better.

Who has the best sneer?
Billy Idol
Billie Joe Armstrong
Elvis Presley
Sid Vicious
Please Specify:
free polls

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buddy Guy’s Legends

Buddy Guy'sAfter an enjoyable ride up to Chicago, with lots of talk—and traffic that wasn’t TOO bad—we found our hotel with no problem and got checked in. We had a little time to relax and freshen up in our rooms before we met in the lobby for our first evening’s adventure: Buddy Guy’s for dinner and music.

We cabbed it down (six miles is a little too far too hoof it) and got in with no problem. Apparently, they fill up fast on Friday and Saturday night, especially when one of the sports teams is playing, and they don’t take reservations. But we got there early enough that we breezed right in like rock stars. Well...not exactly rock stars. More like people who just got there really early. [grin]

We got a couple of pitchers as we looked at the menu, and the first act started soon after that. A low-key acoustic player, and a nice start. One of the appetizers we got was catfish tenders, and they were so freakin’ good that I ordered the catfish dinner! Definitely some of the best catfish I’ve had, with a light cornmeal coating, nicely cooked, and very tender. I love me some catfish, especially with a little hot sauce on it. Mm-MM! Tom got ribs and seemed to like them, and Ken and Di got the Bayou sampler, with the usual New Orleans fare of jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, and red beans & rice. Not quite the same as having it in a New Orleans restaurant, but the tastes I had were not bad at all! I thought they did a good job with the food, and I would definitely eat there again!

Sammy FenderMore pitchers ensued, and then more bands came on. Sammy Fender was an older gentleman, and one helluva showman. He’s also not as tall as he looks in the picture—and I’m not as short! He was standing onstage, and I was on the floor. The guitarist for Sammy was a younger guy, and was just fantastic.

More pitchers, and another band, this time a guy named Biscuit Miller, the headliner for the evening. Damn, Skippy! He brought it, as did the whole band! The dance monster in me was awakening, and when Biscuit and the band played some James Brown, I really shook what my mama gave me, I tell you what! I worked up quite a sweat to JB, and if it was that much of a workout just dancing to it, James earned his Hardest Working Man in Show Business moniker!

At one point, I headed to the restroom, and when I got back, Ken had caught one of the t-shirts the staff was tossing out from the stage. Sweet! Sadly for him, it was a medium, so I was the recipient of the shirt. (Thanks, Honey!) I now have an authentic Buddy Guy’s t-shirt!

Beth and Ken3We were pretty much pitchered out by this point (remember, we were cabbing it, so no worries!) and headed back to the hotel. We all agreed that it was a fun evening, and I can say that the caliber of talent that takes the stage at Buddy Guy’s is top notch. Of course, I would expect nothing less! I have a feeling that Buddy Guy’s is similar to the places on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or Beale Street in Memphis: if you’re playing there, it means you’ve got chops. They don’t let just anyone play these places, and I bet you could go to Buddy Guy’s any night of the week and hear some fabulous talent. We sure did on Friday night! My buddy Jim spent a week at a guitar school in Chicago a while back (I believe that’s what it was...he can correct me if I’m wrong), and one of the perks of the school was that they got to play at Buddy Guy’s. Jim and his bandmates in Cornerstone Blues Band definitely have that kind of talent, and if they ever get a gig at Buddy Guy’s, I think we’ll just have to go up to see them play there!

It was a great kickoff to our weekend, and even though we were dancin’ to the blues, none of us were feelin’ them!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Bean

BeanI’m going to go all out of order on the Chicago weekend—no, YOU’RE out of order!—but I plan on writing about it all.

One of the things we had not planned on was seeing the Bean. If you aren’t familiar with this particular work of art, is it a large sculpture in Millennium Park. We were excited to realize that it was right next to the Art Institute, which was our Sunday afternoon destination.

We had all seen plenty of pictures of this unusual Chicago art piece, but none of us had seen it in person yet. It was even more fun to see it up close and personal! It is quite large, and the polished surface is a mirror for all those who are observing. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, there were tourists from everywhere swarming around the Bean, taking pictures of it, and taking their own pictures in the reflection. We joined in, of course!

The real name of the sculpture is Cloud Gate, and it is by the British artist Anish Kapoor. Its shape led to the obvious nickname “The Bean.”

What I loved about this is that it is somewhat a participatory art piece. The structure stands on its own, but what really makes it “pop” is the way the viewers react to it. The artist really got this aspect of the piece right...the reaction is as much of a part of the art as is the art itself!

Bean2I really noticed that when we stepped underneath the Bean. It is arched, and there is a small walkway below the arch, and people can crowd in there. Because of the mirrored arch, you see people in a wedge, heading into the tunnel of the Bean. It’s hard to explain, but we were all up in there and looking overhead at our reflection. We had become a part of the art. Our reflection made the Bean something more than just a mirrored, kidney-shaped structure. Our presence brought something to the piece that it didn’t have on its own.

I felt the same way about Cadillac Ranch on Route 66. The observers become part of the art. I love that sort of art installation and sculpture. Visitors are encouraged to add their mark on Cadillac Ranch with spray paint; visitors to the Bean document their presence with pictures taken in the reflection of the large structure, and the photos are all over the Interwebz!

I love the picture of my reflection taking a picture of Ken resting his head on mine, and my sister leaning over and looking at us!

More Chicago stuff to come!