Tuesday, June 30, 2009

3 AM Procrastination

Hi dee doo! This is Boop blogging at you in the middle of the night. Why have I turned into a creature of the dawn? Pure, old uselessness yesterday and a state of mental exhaustion leads me to this state. I have a piece I should have sent to the life coach on Sunday night. But Eddie and Mummy were buzzing around all Sunday evening getting ready for their trip to South Carolina this week. That spilled over into the 4:00 AM chaos on Monday morning, from which it took awhile to return to sleep.

I met my high school chums E, Gary (and Gary's partner Chad) for lunch and a movie yesterday. MY PMS-induced feeding frenzy left me in need of a nap at 4 PM. There I basically remained for the rest of the evening, occasionally waking to watch a few minutes of CNN and speak to Eddie by phone. (side note: I think I have undone most, if not all of my 9 pound weight loss in the last four days).

Ok, I am going to work now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jimmy Choo Shoes

My good buddy Jimmy, someone who entered my life during my recent stint at the ADA, wails on the guitar. Seriously. The first time I heard him play, I expected talent, but the dude is a virtuoso. I am proud to know someone with such skills.

Since this is my blog (well, mine and Jen's), I can use it to plug stuff I really believe in. One such item is Jimmy and his band, Part-Time Models. Here is a description of their mission:

"Part-Time Models is a high-energy Chicago rock cover band that plays songs to move to, sing to and drink to! PTM kicks into high gear from the very first song and doesn't let up until every bottle in the bar is empty, all high heels have been kicked off, shirts are off and dolladollabills are on fire. Come ready with no excuses and party with Part-Time Models all night long!These guys are certainly not actual models, instead the name Part-Time Models being a reference to the instant classic song "Most Beautiful Girl" by Flight of the Conchords(but you already knew that). Members of PTM both individually and collectively have been seen on most of your favorite Chicago stages ranging from Hard Rock Cafe to Double Door to Cubby Bear to Wise Fools to Chicago City Limits to festivals, etc. No strangers to the Chicago music scene, this crew brings you pro-quality versions of your favorite current and past sing-along rock songs...making sure to keep up with the latest songs on the radio today, of course the classics, and everything in between!"

If you're in the area, and even remotely like to rock, I highly recommend you check out their show on July 31st from 11pm – 3am at The Rockhouse (formerly Déjà vu) on Lincoln Ave. Here is a link to The Rockhouse web site:


I am always happy to support local talent, especially when that talent lives inside a dear friend. Rock on!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Project "Beat It"

Since 1983, I have been on a quest to learn the infamous gang dance at the end of the "Beat It" video. I have had several stops and starts. In fact, there is a painting of me hanging in my bedroom, done by my tremendously talented friend Brandon. A photo was taken of me way back in 2002, performing some of the moves in the parking lot of the Kum N' Go (seriously, that was the name of the mini-mart) in Omaha, Nebraska. Brandon cropped my head out of the shot (wished he could have cropped the extra 25 pounds of fat I had on me too) and captured the simple glee of my drunken display for all immortality. I love this painting.

After a mostly sleepless night last night (for some reason I can't separate Mike and Jesika right now), I decided I needed to channel my brokenhearted energies into something positive. This morning, inspiration struck! Yes, I am almost 31 years old. Yes, there are any number of productive ways I could spend my time. But I am finally, once and for all, going to learn each and every step of the "Beat It" dance.

As kids, Jen and I were particularly fond of acting out the part where the two gangsters tie their hands together, pull knives and dance around in a threatening circle. Now, I must tell you folks: Jen is at least twice the dancer I am. She is naturally gifted. Just ask the menfolk of Boys' Town who lauded her with catcalls and free drinks after a spot-on replication of Madonna's Cowboy dance in the "Don't Tell Me" video. Jen, I welcome your expertise and assistance in helping me get "Beat It" down. Let me know.

I will not rest until I have accomplished this. I may be clumsy and slow, but I will prevail. Eddie just bought us a new 24" inch monitor for our office. I will find the video on YouTube in HD and get to work. Once I am satisfied I am not a total disaster, I will have Eddie film me, and I'll post the final result on this blog.

I don't think there's anyone, no matter how cynical, who didn't wish for a moment as a child, that they could be the Gloved One. I think Jen got it exactly right yesterday when she said Michael's death is like a real loss of our own youth. I want to hold onto that and be able to pay tribute to MJ well into my 80s by nailing this iconic routine. I can never duplicate his mad skills, but I'd like to think Mike would enjoy the sight of this old dog inspired by him to learn a new trick.

Wish me luck! And no broken bones!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goodbye Legend

Michael Joseph Jackson: 1958 - 2009

I don't know about all of you. I know Jacko went wrong many times in the last 15 years, but for me and so many other kids growing up in the 80s, he was IT. This is how I choose to remember him. I kept telling myself I would see him perform live "someday." Eddie and I even talked about trying to catch him in London later this year. Now we will never have that chance.

Much will be said, written and offered about the original MJ in the coming days and weeks. A lot of it will be, deservedly, critical. Nonetheless, no matter which part of the globe you sat on, you knew this dude, and loved at least a song or two. How many people can you say touched that many lives?

Along with the Challenger disaster of the 80s, 9/11, Obama's clinch in the election of 2008 and the moment I learned my dear friend Jesika had passed, this day is forever seared in my memory. How about yours?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Damn it! Ok, so Gov. Sanford sucks. He is a whore and not cool at all. Even Boop gets it wrong sometimes. In a perverse way, it proves my point. Everytime I try to like a Republican lawmaker, they let me down.

Governors Gone Wild

As a general rule, I am not too fond of Republicans, although there are always exceptions, especially when a person forges their own path, rather than following their party straight down the line. Though I never heard his name before this week, I am going to have to add South Carolina's Mark Sanford to my "cool" list.

For those who are not abreast of this minor hullaballo, Gov. Sanford went MIA for four days, from last Thursday through Monday. Apparently, neither his staff, nor his wife, knew his exact whereabouts. In reviewing this story from the Associated Press, it is said that the Gov is a little offbeat in general, known to take solo excursions after particularly draining legislative sessions. So where's the problem? Apparently, Governor Sanford's staff, out of a misguided notion of "saving face" erroneously informed the press that the man was hiking on Appalachian trails. In reality, he made book for Argentina, allegedly to "write and drive along the coastline."

I would say this must be a slow news week, but that's not true. Obama is battling it out over health care, the flare ups on the streets of Iran are still at the forefront, and Jon and Kate are divorcing for God's sake! So why is this getting so much attention? Well, in my opinion, it is simply because we expect our politicians to behave in a buttoned up, predictable way. When they go off the rails and show they are not just sound bite drones, it is intriguing. The good people of SC, or at least other State officials, are "angry" that Governor Sanford's staff purposely mislead them as to his whereabouts. A political staff lying? Shocking!!!

Further research shows that Governor Sanford is far from afraid to irritate members of his own party, and frequently does things that are a bit unorthodox. This quote from the AP story makes this point clear:

"The governor has long been known as a loner — bucking GOP leadership during three U.S. House terms and casting the only dissenting vote on Medicaid coverage for some breast and cervical cancer treatment. He clashes often with the Republicans who control both chambers of his state Legislature, once famously carrying two piglets to the door of the House in opposition to what he said was pork-barrel spending."

Call me cynical, but I suspect Gov. Sanford's real "crime" is his failure to be controlled. Bravo sir!

Monday, June 22, 2009

And Iran, Iran so Far Away...

Two posts in one day, campers! I told you I feel giddy. Ok, so I think we all need a break from hearing about me, so let's take up something important. What do we make of the events in Iran? I have been doing some informal polling of my friends and neighbors, and many of them seem to think we are on a path to war. I am not sure I agree with that. For those of you who may not have ingested any news in the last few days, waiting with bated breath for the "announcement" promised by Jon and Kate Gosselin later tonight, allow me to give you a brief synopsis.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, the cur of a gentleman who has repeatedly denied the existence of the Holocaust, and who never misses an opportunity to promise the total annihilation of Israel, has recently won re-election. However, there are more than a few suspicions of electoral foul play afoot. Recently, demonstrations have broken out across the globe, and most promisingly, inside the reclusive nation itself, demanding a recount, or stronger still, a regime change entirely. Personally, I find Ahmadinejad to be a repulsive and dangerous individual, but particularly in light of the Iraq debacle, I say the U.S. needs to step back and let the people of Iran make their own decisions.

That said, President Obama has received a large amount of criticism, in fairness, not only from the right, for taking a relatively measured, hands off approach. I want to know what you think. Why should the Sunday morning talk show pundits have all the fun? I'd like to take this moment to issue a special plea to Jen of All Trades. For God's sake, talk to us woman!

Peace and Quiet

Whoo wee! It's hot as a mug out there, isn't it kids? I couldn't be happier. I am a heat person for certain. Makes you wonder why I choose to live and work in Chicago doesn't it? If I can convince Eddie, we will surely be that old couple retiring on Miami Beach. He says that minus the bikinis and hot cars, it's a bit too much like India for his taste. I'll work on him. Nonetheless, the sun is shining, temperatures are soaring and Boop is on the mend.

I was back on solid foods as of yesterday. A.D. had a backyard gathering for Eddie's folks in Wisconsin. I still had to steer clear of beer and dairy (two things I love dearly), but I was able to stand upright for more than a full hour without feeling woozy or nauseous. This is definitely progress. But the best reason for my upbeat mood today? I am alone, alone, alone. Eddie's folks have left for a three day sojourn to Buffalo, NY, and my hubby is in South Carolina for the workweek as usual. How did I celebrate this giddy state of independence? By doing almost nothing!

I desperately need to turn in a piece to the Life Coach, catch up on housecleaning, and other chores. Instead, I slept in, did some grocery shopping and caught up on my back of issues of Entertainment Weekly and episodes of One Life to Live. Mock me if you will, but Eddie is an even bigger fan of the daytime drama than myself. 2009 calls for a heavy dose of escapism, and the citizens of Llanview with their baby swapping, booty calls and "very special" teen episodes are just what the doctor ordered. I promise that tomorrow I will finally settle down and get to work. This taste of freedom unleashed the slag in me.

I met Rob the trainer at the gym at 1:30. I hadn't worked out in five days. I wish I could have. I simply wasn't able to due to sickness and family crap. I have never felt so old in my life as I did huffing and puffing during relatively simple exercises. I guess it will take me some time to get my groove back. With the parents in town, I have consumed very little protein in the last 10 days (they are die hard vegetarians), so I helped myself to some Whole Foods sushi and then went home for a nap. Who knew that freedom could feel so decadent?

The Edge shipped my first book today. I am now a book reviewer in addition to a theater critic for the online publication. Pretty cool right? I will finally get to use the long dormant, literary analytical skills I honed, completing my Master's in English at Northeastern. I have ten days to get through this vampire tome and write a review of it. Is it just me, or anyone else finding this vampire craze to be a bit played?

I also managed to pick up a copy of StreetWise today. The damned thing had been out five days already, and I still hadn't seen my story. I was kind of surprised to discover I had landed the cover again. Sweet! The vendor who sold it to me seemed rather impressed. It's a well known facts that writers, with their various demons and self-esteem issues, are in constant need of reassurance that they don't suck. Thus I was very nigh to beaming from the praise of vendor number #205.

I am still not making money from this writing thing, but slowly but surely, I am getting placement and attention. That is enough for now. I have suspended the search for a "real" job, at least until Eddie's Mom goes home on the 8th. I will update my resume and get back to it at that time. For the moment however, I do feel at peace.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Boop's Anatomy

I will try to keep this short, as I am decidedly still unwell. I have come down with a combination bacterial/viral gastrointestinal infection. This on top of dealing with the politics of caring for my in-laws while my husband is absentee, trying to keep my career afloat, etc. My latest StreetWise has been out for two days already, and I haven't even seen it. I was forced to turn down a fairly lucrative academic writing project this week due to my sudden illness, and I am left hoping that professional relationship isn't permanently soured, as I couldn't deliver on their first request. I suppose if it is, it will be alright somehow. If this post sounds somewhat depressed, noncommittal and and exhausted - well, that's about how I feel right now.

I started developing a headache on Tuesday evening, which later progressed to some violent vomiting (and other intestinal pyrotechnics). I was sort of up and down the next two days and nights, but around 6 PM yesterday, I started to worry something was really amiss. By that point, I had been able to hold nothing in for three days. Eddie's folks were downtown at the Art Institute, and of course my husband, as usual, was out of town on business. I rang up my BFF Gary, always dependable, always a friend, always a giver, and we hightailed it to Weiss Hospital at Wilson and Marine drive via taxi.

Four hours, one IV, several blood and urine tests later, I was pronounced the victim of an awful virus. One would think I'd be unhappy to hear this, but in fact I was relieved. This is because the resident on duty had initially scared the crap out of me with words like "aneurysm," "stroke" and "spinal tap." Eddie arrived at my bedside from O'Hare just as I started to shriek that I wasn't undergoing a spinal tap, no way, no how. When I was finally released, I had to sign a form stating that I was rejecting both a cat scan and the tap "AMA" - against medical advice. Honestly, I don't think it's that bloody serious, but that 1% doubt in my mind is playing with me a bit.

The good news is that my head still hurts, but feels much better, and I have successfully held down the plain boiled potatoes and Gatorade that are to make up the bulk of my diet today. In the evening, I have a hearty meal of Swanson's Chicken Broth in a can to look forward to. Beside turning down the well-paying writing job, I had to contact my Life Coach and give him the 411. He has been kind enough to extend my deadline until Monday.

Mummy and Papa have just gone off on a trolley tour of downtown, so I am able to snatch a few hours of uninterrupted peace. I need a bath, that's for sure. I may walk around the house with my now-scrawny body naked for a few minutes, well just because I can. It seems it's been forever now since my life was my own. It's shameful, but the weight loss is the one part of this week that pleases me. How vain and stupid, I know.

We have another full round of family visits this weekend. I will be sitting out the delightful eating portion of things, but at least folks will understand if I am a bit quiet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hump Day

Wikipedia, one of Eddie's all-time information sources, defines Hump Day as "An American English idiom, a reference to making it through to the middle of the work week as getting 'over the hump.'" Well I don't have a workweek anymore per say, although I have projects piling up on me left and right, the more so since Mummy and Papa are here and I don't have time to work. Isn't that always the way? These days, when it rains, it pours - quite literally.

Despite the cloudy morning skies, and little hope of seeing the sun at all this week, I do have some things to smile about. Mummy and I seem to be coming to a good understanding, borne out of mutual respect. I have been as they say, killing 'em with kindness, and the end result is that I am finding myself assaulted with criticism less and less.

Today is also the day that my second StreetWise article hits print. The Father's Day piece I worked on features interviews with our very own Jen of All Trades, as well as my Aunt Diane and another good friend, Danielle. The article deals with the role fathers have, or have not, played in the lives of successful Chicago women. It was an emotional piece for me to prepare and one I am quite proud of. If you have a chance, pick up a copy and let me know what you think.

I had grand designs of walking the in-laws around Milennium Park today, but it appears Mother Nature has other ideas. So it's Wal-Mart and pizza instead. Those of you closest to me are likely doing a double take, well aware that I refer to Wal-Mart on the regular as the "Evil Empire." But these folks from India feel it is a magical place where you can purchase anything at Third World prices. This ignores the competetively unfair practices engaged in by the corporate behemoth, not to mention their Draconian labor relations. But as I do not plan to give them a dime out of my pocket, I have decided it is best to go with the flow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Manic Monday

Fun fact of the day: I included a photo of the Purple One with this post, despite the fact that "Manic Monday" is a spectacular 80s tune made popular by female rock group the Bangles. The reason I put Prince Rogers Nelson up here, beside the fact that I adore him, is that he is the author of the former #1 hit. He wrote the tune and gave it to Bangles lead singer Susannah Hoffs because he had a crush on her. Lucky girl. I don't care if Princey is 5' 2" or not, he is dead sexy.

Anywhoo, today has been a hell of a day. The in-laws are here and the visit is in full swing. There have been the expected ups and downs, in and outs, a few tears. However, my hellish morning had little to do with Mummy and Papa and everything to do with karma, or whatever, raining shit down upon me. As stressed as I am, it was hardly appreciated.

Last week, the day I picked up the parents from O'Hare, as luck would have it, the rear brakes on our car started to go bad. We rented a car to drive Mummy and Papa to Indiana yesterday to see relatives. So I began my day taking my own car to Midas, getting a ride back home from a 22 year-old with pimples, before turning right around and dumping the rental car back at Enterprise. Don't believe those haters when they say they'll "pick you up." They should clarify by saying, "We'll pick you up or drop you off ONLY if you're within a two mile radius." I live in fact 2.5 miles away from the shop, and found myself trying to find a cab in Wrigleyville during Monday morning rush hour traffic. Not an easy task.

I returned home already bushed to be told by my father-in-law that the Internet had gone completely down. Say what? I am a freelance writer who works from home. I had my fourth theater review for the Edge due, oh, yesterday! Needless to say, my reaction to this was far from serene. I called the always useless customer service people at Comcast, only to be informed with something close to pride that I could indeed receive a housecall - on Wednesday morning. Seriously, they thought this was very helpful indeed. I resisted the urge to curse these suckers out (mostly because Mummy and Papa were in the room) and proceeded to weigh my options. I quickly wrote my review, transferred it to Eddie's flash drive and hightailed it over to my best pal's Gary's house.

I booted up Gary's laptop, finally ready to rock, only to discover that his laptop was a Mac, therefore incompatible with the PC flash drive. Zoinks! What now? Fortunately, Gary's brother Ed saved the day. He mercifully possesses a PC laptop. While posting my already overdue review, I fielded a call that my car was ready for pickup. I dashed back over to Midas, plunked down 500 bones and came back home. It was now 2:30 PM and I hadn't had so much as a sip of water.

My father-in-law decided to lend a hand and try to sort out the Internet situation. He, like my husband, has a Master's degree in Information Systems. He got on the phone with Comcast and somewhow managed to find someone who knew what the hell they were talking about. It took him about an hour, and a wealth of patience I will never have, but eureka! He got me back online. For the first time since Mummy and Papa came to Chicago, the tears I cried were joyful ones.

I threw a salad and smoothie down my gullet and then it was off to Bank of America. Eddie's folks wanted to start a bank account in the U.S. and were insistent it had to be today so they could receive their permanent debit cards before flying back to India. This took two hours. I am now in the midst of five loads of laundry created by all four of us (plus my two cats) and have cleaned the kitchen and office. I am freaking wiped and as yet, I still have a full night ahead of me.

I laugh now to think that when I left the ADA, Eddie told me to enjoy my summer "off." Hmmmm.......

Friday, June 12, 2009


You know what they say about the best laid plans. I had developed a logical and balanced itinerary. I had talked out everything in advance with both Eddie and his folks: the need to balance work with spending time with them, and keeping up with my own personal needs. And yet, here I sit a mere 19 hours after the arrival of Mummy and Papa, way behind already on work, skipping my Pilates class. I have changed Euros at Chase Bank, helped cook my first Indian dinner, learned to make tea the "right" way (and all this time I never knew I was doing it wrong), and even managed to slip out of the house to see the next show I have to review for The Edge.

Argh! Sorry I am back. My MIL was just giving me a lesson on the benefits and demerits of sleeping North/South vs. East/West, and the bad karma it causes when your head points North. Seriously. This is why I was called away from the computer. I love these folks to death, but how will I get anything done? This is exactly what I was afraid of. Eddie keeps saying we will work through this visit as a team, but that's sort of hard when he's out of town four days a week and working 12 hours on Fridays. I am going to need the weekend to catch up.

Folks, it's only Day 1. I need a pep talk.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Adam Lambert is Gay!...And?

I know some of you will accuse me of having fallen off the back of a turnip truck. Although we are in the Obama era, all "Yes we can!" and stuff, I am aware that this country has a long way to go in terms of mutual acceptance of our brethren. Even so, it is still possible to suprise me.

That happened again this week with "news" that American Idol runner-up (it still irks me that he didn't win) Adam Lambert has come out of the closet in the latest pages of Rolling Stone. There are a couple things about this which bother me. For one, I kind of figured out Lambert was gay the minute he came onstage during Hollywood week and sang a kick-you-in-the-ass cover of Cher's "Believe." My obvious question is: so what? Does that change the fact that the dude is a once in a generation musical talent? Unfortunately, Queen frontman and legend Freddie Mercury was forced to hide his sexual light under a bushel, but that was the 70s. I say that with a keen and painful awareness that we have obviously not come as far as I had hoped.

The Lambert/Mercury comparisons do not stop with sexual preference. Both men remain elecrifying rock performers. Through Freddie's death, he has been relegated to hindsight, but it does nothing to diminish the powers of his gifts in the present day. I fully believe that Adam Lambert is capable of such greatness, with or without the Idol trophy. I look forward to many years of following his career and attending his shows.

The second part of the problem with this public media "revelation" is that it carries the implicit assumption that Lambert owes it to America to come clean, so to speak, about who he is. Again, why? Rock n' roll has a long history of male whores such as Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Fred Durst, etc. They do not have to repeatedly reaffirm, with heads bent in shame, that they are straight. Boys will devilish boys, doing what is expected.....unless they choose to sleep with men after the show? Adam Lambert has a steady boyfriend, and is musically gifted. What else do we need to know? I would rather see Bret Michaels under the hot lights, grilled about the necessity of yet another season of VH1's Rock of Love.

It is apparent that Lambert is not using his homsexuality as a marketing gimmick. I have the impression that he has only made this "announcement" because of relentless media speculation that he figured would be better put to rest. I suppose Adam wants to avoid the years of endless "Is he or isn't he?" speculation that dogged Season 2 also-ran Clay Aiken.

Now that Lambert has given the vultures what they wanted, I hope we can move on. This interesting story from Reuters raises the inevitable specter that Adam Lambert lost the Idol competition to the wholesome Kris Allen, due to "Red State" disapproval of Lambert's style:


God, I hope not, but anything is possible. It is 2009 America. According to a number of reliable sources, 10% of the world population is gay. That means that roughly 1 out of every 10 people you encounter is homosexual. Shouldn't we all be comfortable with this by now? If not, why?

Adam Lambert says it best: "I'm proud of my sexuality," he said. "I embrace it. It's just another part of me." He seems to be a savvy gentleman with a healthy ego and a strong support system. He is not using his sexuality as a media tool, like say, Lindsay Lohan. Whether or not you are a fan of Lambert's music, the decision should have nothing to do with what goes on behind closed doors.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I am in uncharted terrority here. I am not used to hiding things, as you may have noticed. My life is pretty much an open book for anyone interested in reading. From age 16 on, I got out of the habit of covering anything from my own parents. Let them judge if they wanted. I had to find my own way, make my own mistakes, and I wasn't ashamed if my personal growth entailed the occasional fall on my face. That has pretty much been my life philosophy ever since.

As I sit here in the middle of my living room floor surrounded by mine and Eddie's "marital aids," wine bottles, the feather penis boa from my bachelorette party in 2007, and anything that could conceivably be construed as drug paraphenalia, I find myself wondering when this happened. When did I become the girl who wanted to make such a good impression on her in-laws, that I am boxing up little pieces of me, even if they are the darker pieces, in order to shove them into storage, however temporarily? Of course as I review my collection assembled on the floor, I am thinking I might be closer to depraved Amy Winehouse territory than I previously allowed myself to believe. I realize there is a fine line between respectfully keeping certain things out of the in-laws line of vision, and self-censorship, and I feel for now I am on the right side of that line. But I have to guard against my own tendency to put forward my most "acceptable" social self in a given situation. Often, I edit myself into an oblivion, with the result that I feel trapped and angry. That's kind of what happened when Eddie and I got married in India in December of '07. This will be an especially difficult course to navigate when I am essentially, fending for myself mano y mano with Eddie's folks for the next 30 days. My husband will ride into town every Thursday night to lend me a hand, but for the most part, it's me, Mummy and Papa 24/7.

I have a lot more to say on this topic, but I have to go and eat all the Lean Cuisines that contain beef out of my freezer (in-laws do not condone the consumption of red meat either). Anyone else ever been in this situation? Advice?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

As I drove to Oakbrook last night, attempting to meet Jen for a 8:00 showing of "Pump Boys and Dinettes" at the Drury Lane Theater, I decided to do a little channel surfing. My usual radio stations were all at commercial or playing something of a crap nature, so I looked around once to make certain I was alone (yep) before turning the dial to my favorite go-to guilty pleasure. That is Chicago "mature adult" staple, WNUA 95.5, Smooth Jazz (not that you hadn't gathered this from the photo above). During my childhood, my parents occasional patronage of this station was cause for jeers and mockery. "Only OLD people listen to that," I taunted them.

Well sure enough, I got older too, and while I still turned away from their various elevator music selections, WNUA was never above busting out a Roberta Flack, Whitney Houston or Peabo Bryson lite rock favorite. And don't try to get between me and Peabo Bryson. When your choice is listening to Jamie Foxx's criminally retarded "Blame it On the Alcohol" for the 10th time that day, or the refreshing strains of Whitney's, "All the Man That I Need," I think you can figure out the decision is an easy one.

So I as killed time on the expressways last evening, I went to 95.5, the home of WNUA for the last 22 years (though I swear it seems longer) to find...spanish music. Now my memory isn't what it used to be, so for a few minutes I thought I had the wrong frequency. I started to mentally sing their jingle over and over (don't say it), and kept coming up with the same answer. 95.5 is where WNUA should be.

Vowing to get to the bottom of this skullduggery, I Googled the station this morning. To my horror, this is what I read:

May 22, 2009

Dear WNUA Listeners,

I would like to take a moment to thank you for your loyal support of Smooth Jazz 95.5 WNUA during our 22 years of being a part of the Chicago community. We hope that you have enjoyed listening as much as we have enjoyed serving you. However, recent changes in how stations are evaluated by advertisers has resulted in a significant decline in financial support for WNUA. As a result, we are now faced with a decision that we hoped we would never need to make. Today at 9:55am we will be changing the format on our main frequency of 95.5 FM...

The WNUA On-Air Personalities have put together a photo montage of just some of our memories from the last two decades including Listener Appreciation Parties, Jazz Concerts, Trip-a-Day Destinations and so muchmore. Thank YOU for making all of these memories possible.

On behalf of Ramsey Lewis, Karen Williams, Glenn Cosby, Dave Koz, Scott Adams, and everyone at Smooth Jazz 95.5 WNUA, we sincerely thank you for listening.


Earl Jones

President/Market Manager

Clear Channel Radio Chicago

Not Ramsey Lewis! The soothing, dulcet tones of his voice lulled me during many a post lunch half-sleep. Why God why?! Oh sure, there is still the 93.9 the Lite for Mariah Carey classics, but I am fed up with change. Sometimes there's just too much progress for Boop, and 2009 seems to be moving faster than I can hold onto it. Is nothing sacred or reliable anymore? Healthy young friends die, financial security suddenly becomes unstable, your career moves in directions you never imagined, and now for God's sake, even Smooth Jazz in Chicago is not safe. I enjoyed you mostly in the closet WNUA, but I owed it to you to declare my love out loud today. I'll miss you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Name is Boop, and I am a Reality TV Junkie

It is time to admit my problem. I am an addict. Though only recently I wrote this post excoriating the likes of AI and DWTS, recovery my friends is not a linear process. Just as I threw off the shackles of reality behemoth American Idol, I have succumbed to the latest reality drug. That of course would be fourth place network NBC's reboot of I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here.

For those of you weary of the spring rain and cool temperatures as I have been, it is easy to fall down the summer crap TV rabbit hole. In years past, I am only mildly ashamed to admit having indulged in old favorites like the CW's Beauty and the Geek, or the double threat of Fox's Temptation Island and Paradise Hotel. Apparently there's something about summer which enhances my appetite for watching "normal" Americans make fools of themselves. This festival of fun is only enhanced when those humiliating themselves are the semi-famous.

So it is with I'm A Celebrity. Intially I was very skeptical of NBC plans to air the program four days a week. I thought to myself, "Is four hours of Speidi really necessary?" Turns out it is, because I am hooked! To use a well worn euphemism, this program is more enticing to the eye than a 10-car pile up on I-94. Though I must warn you of the program's one downside: If at all possible, record the episodes to your DVR before enjoying. That way you can skip through the painful intro segments and banter of hosts Damien Fahey (formerly of MTV) and Myleene Klaas. They are about as natural as rubbing vinegar in your eye.

If you can forgive NBC for their poor choice of emcees, the rest of the program promises to be a feast for the eyes and ears. See Spencer and Heidi threaten to walk off no fewer than three times! One of these attempts involved an actual ploy to make a run for it, Spencer trying to bumrush a line of angry producers like a playground game of Red Rover. During another of these attempts, he got on the horn with Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman of NBC Universal and accused him of using his "superstar status" to upgrade the cast of C-list losers. This tirade was filled with expletives. I marveled at the chutzpah. I would say that Speidi will not be invited back to appear on anything for the network, especially now that they have finally left. But how could NBC resist? I have never watched The Hills, and thus never understood the appeal of the Pratts (or the "Bratts" as they are known by the rest of the cast), but I do now. Spencer is a mastermind of self-promotion. In a cast that includes heavyweights no less than Janice Dickinson and Lou Diamond Phillips, Speidi completely stole the show. I am truly sorry to see them go and worry for the next three weeks. Rumor has it that alternate players will be introduced tonight, but if one of them turns out to be Daniel Baldwin as I have heard, well that's just no substitute.

The second biggest surprise of the season is the mad jungle skills of Sanjaya Malakar. You may recall him as the mohawk wearing Indian kid on the 6th season of Idol. He finished his run in 7th place, far more than his talent warranted, and I prayed American had seen the last of him. And yet, I have been floored by his pleasing attitude, survival skills and frankly, his bad ass nature. For evidence, witness Sanjaya's triumph over the likes of a former NBA great John Salley in the Trauma Tank of Episode 1. Little Sanjaya also swallowed a croc's tail in one bite. Enough said. When Sanjaya decides to finally come out of the closet, he will be the skinny Rambo of homos. It will be great for his love life.

I almost forgot to mention this, but dare I leave out that Patti Blagojevich, disgraced wife of former IL Gov. Rowdy Roddy, is included in the cast?! You can't make this stuff up people! Ok, so she is boring, and to my great annoyance, she had the nerve to come off as sympathetic when telling her story to Heidi and Spencer in episode 1. Then those two good Christian servants led Patti in a prayer for the "truth" to be revealed during Blago's pending trial. Gag me with drama!

I am starting to pant again with excitement as I write this. Don't take my word for it. Tune in yourselves. Then come back and post your comments. Let's discuss.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fast As You Can

I am going to give you all a rainy Monday treat and not blabber on for days, as I am prone to do. Much as I love to write lengthy posts, today I do not have the time. I knew this week was coming and I had every good intention of performing some legwork over the weekend, but there was a 40th birthday party to attend and plenty of beer to drink at Maifest in Lincoln Square. Priorities, you see.

I have two articles to write for the California life coach this week. He has started a new divorce based website, and has entrusted me with producing the debut copy. On top of that, I am back in the saddle with StreetWise. Suzanne Hanney, the Editor-in-Chief contacted me late last Friday with final approval for a Father's Day story I pitched her a couple months back. The subject will be professional Chicago women who, for one reason or another, do not have fathers in their lives; a bit of a downer I suppose, but a counterpoint for those who feel left out of the usual Father's Day hugs and kisses.

Lastly, I start my new gig with the Edge Chicago, sort of a gay Metromix that contains information and reviews about bars, nightlife, restaurants, etc. in cities across the U.S. I have been hired as a theater critic, which means Boop has to get herself quickly up to speed on how to actually write a theater review. Gulp! I am seeing and reviewing three shows this week alone: one tonight at the Goodman Theater, one on Thursday at the Drury Lane, and another Saturday night at the Bailiwick. Whew! This is my life, what I signed up for, and I am ready. I am writing my tail off, and it feels damned good.