Friday, May 25, 2007

!!!!!!!CHICAGO IN REVIEW!!!!!!!!

Three day weekend happening. Gotta love it.

Wifey's finally getting some sleep. But since I've been cheating and getting - y'know - some sleep every night (as in, more than her requisite two hours at the beginning or end), I could probably catch up on some writing. 'Cuz I won't catch up on my reading, that's for sure.

Eat my moral-teaching shorts, John Dewey!

That'll show 'em!

There's a few places I want to check out this weekend, none involving ants or pic-i-nic baskets. *Crossing fingers*

Cozy Corner is the local (very local, being nearly across the corner. And very cozy, being that it's literally a corner of a restaurant and it's always post-full during human-being hours [like, after 9a.m.]) greasy spoon that my wife and I have made a weekly tradition of since we moved in. We haven't had the opportunity to go within the last month. It's great for traditional breakfast, with omelets so good you'll smack your mother, beautiful, fluffy, full pancakes, and a slightly Mexican-spiced orientation. Lunch isn't so great, but since breakfast is served as long as it's open (with relatively short hours, this place opens at 4am and closes at 6). So, that's one yummy butter-filled possibility.

bLENd isn't necessarily in our neighborhood, nor is it exactly close. But it's just a few stops away on the eL. And since Mrs. JasDye isn't such a big fan of coffee, we can get us some of them there fruitee smoovies what them new-nicks is always spittin' up about.
I may stop by there on Monday and try to get some reading done. And then race home to get my homework in. I'm such a lame.

There's also a new crepes and panini B&L place opened under the eL station near us that the alt-weekly Reader just featured with the title "Best Panini in Town?" The review seems to suggest that it's a strong possibility. Vella Cafe, though, may be tapped on Memorial Day Brunch due to the press, but we can at least swing by. If nothing else, we can at least support the local, independent restaurant movement by ordering a McSausageMcMuffinMcCheese and get a free McCoffee for my McTroubles.


Nothing except the Stax 50th anniversary double-album. If you're not a complete collector-nut, get this one, even if you already own, say, the Sam & Dave collection. Since my computer is completely down, I haven't been able to iPod in a couple months. But, when I do get another computer, my first purchase would be to get some more Booker T.

And then some more diapers.


No new updates, but when I'm in a better position emotionally (slow ebb of violin strings...) I totally want to see the newest teacher movies and do an analysis of the four ones released within the last year. At least the ones I'm aware of are The History Boys, Freedom Writers, Chalk and that Ryan Gosling as a coke-snorting one that I couldn't bear to watch. If you know of others please feel free to tell me (The Substitute XII, anyone?).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

That's some hot cup o' Jo

The Mrs. and I are leaving tomorrow night to see her brother graduate from Law School in GA on Saturday morning. Which means a lot of driving time. A lot. But it's cool. I'm really too busy to be writing this, which is probably why I'm doing it anyway.

I got a comment on a two year old post this morning. I had no idea what this cat was talking about (since I'm not too aware of controversies that don't have the words 'Chicago' and 'School' in them somewhere or other), but I slowly got the brain together.

My man Johan was involved in a little minor-celebrity moment a while back when he and some coworkers were featured on the cover of the free daily rag here, The Red Eye (Disclosure: The RedEye is owned by Tribune Corp. Tribune Corp. runs the Cubs through the end of the year. 'Nuff said.) The Red Eye ran a little piece about these young, emerging hottie celibates, with a blown-up pic of Johan (Disclosure: who, if I was a girl, I'd totally be crushing on. But I'm not. But if I were gay...) as I've hinted, on the friggin' cover. Pretty-boy eye-lashes and all. He and a group of like-minded and pro-abstinence young men and women (all great communicators and quite attractive in their own rights) did some speeches and rallies, etc., for an abstinence education group -- herein referred to as Project Reality. (Full disclosure: I was a big abstainer for a long time. As the soon-upon-us birth of our daughter will attest, I am no longer abstinent.)

I think Johan got me confused with real bloggers who keep up with other bloggers' news. If I can, I'll read the people in the top ten or so of my blogroll to the right. I need to update it (sorry, people), but that's about it. But I was made aware of Jo-hizzle's opening of a coffeeshop a few months ago by his mother. I haven't had a chance to check it out (although I did go to it a couple times before they moved and opened regularly). Apparently, it's called bLENd. I would assume that name has more to do with people-mixing and fruit-flavored mochaccinas than anything virgin-related, but I'll let J-Lohan tell his story.

Yo J,

Guess who?! It's the controversial Johan.

Just to help shed some light for you on why all the searches for my name.

There are some people, for reasons unknown to me, that have launched a smear campaign against blend.

They are using the lie of us giving all of our money from blend to abstinence education. This is completely ridiculous and false.

I can't believe how crazy people are!

We even got interviewed about this stuff, here's a lil' snippet:

Chicago blogs were all abuzz last week with news about recently-opened East Village coffee shop bLENd.

The simplest version of the story (as we read on The Food Chain) is that bLENd is owned by a founder of the abstinence-only education group Project Reality. We thought this was pretty interesting on a number of levels (not insignificantly the amount of media it has received) so we decided to get in touch with bLENd part-owner and Event Coordinator Johan Khalilian to find out what the connection is.

Khalilian broke it down for us: "In all honesty, Project Reality has no connection with bLENd. They do not fund us, we do not fund them. We have no intent on funding them or anything abstinence related, they have no intent on funding us." So where does the confusion come from? Why is everyone crying wolf?

Khalilian told us that he has done work with Project Reality "as a speaker on healthy choices and abstinence." Beyond that, he said that "there is no affiliation with what we are doing at bLENd. There are certain people who have just assumed, because of my stance on abstinence, that bLENd is affiliated in some way shape or form. That assumption is false."

The funniest thing is that they say I'm one of the founders of Project Reality!

Project Reality was founded in 1985, I was born in 1979! Either that's another lie or I was the smartest most politically inclined kindergarten boy in the world!

Since I like to think the best of people, I'm willing to go with number 2, Jo-Ko.

Some real cheap and quick googlin' has hit upon these links:

The official Metromix review, which labels "partner" Johan as "eye candy", "motivational speaker", and "male model". Yes, I laughed.

And then here's an example of one of the websites with horrible research that Johan is referring to, which actually has a commentator associating that President Bush himself is funding bLENd.

To be fair, though, the official website (ostensibly made in '06, before it opened) is hopelessly esoteric. Lovely to look at. But frustrating in any sense of the word 'business.' So, I could see why people would want to make up their own news, bad form of logic as they may use. Edit: Apparently, they're also on MySpace, but anybody who's ever tried to search for anything on there (except for hookup purposes, I'm sure) knows that I wasn't able to find it.

PostEditEdit: Hey, found it. Heavy Bruce Lee influence. That's cool. It's Wu-riffic.

But, mad props to ya, Johan. The wife and I (and baby?) will try to stop by sometime soon.

Monday, May 07, 2007


  • Yes, the Bulls lost the first two games to Detroit in some doozies. And without a brawl to write home to mommy about. Yet, we still have faith in 'em in Chicago. Win tonight, or start a fight. I don't care if Zeke is in NY now.
  • We're looking for a new apartment in the range of two-to-three bedrooms for under a thousand a month -which is difficult in Chicago. This would save us a lot of money that we'll need once the baby is born and we switch to a one-income family. It's too bad, though, since we really made this little cozy place our own and fallen in love with it. And the move will probably happen a couple weeks after the baby's born. Yeah, I know, I know. Not cool. Dread these summer-babies, though. Should've planned the pregnancy around the lease.
  • Taking a grad school program for teachers nearby. Like the saying goes, "Takes money to make money to burn money."
  • I'm also looking for a new school to teach at (more on that in the next month or just after).
  • Summer blockbusters (or semi- or pseudo-blockbusters) that I've seen without the wife so far: 2. Watch the tally rise. But for now, all I'll say is, a little disappointed in both Spider-Man III (as you're probably aware by now, too much happening; but then again, I plan on seeing it again and maybe again) and in Hot Fuzz (which I thought was a tad disrespectful to the genre it was trying to pay hommage to by interspersing it with a genre the filmmakers had already masterfully spoofed - goredom). If you missed the first, you're dead. Or my wife. According to the box office returns at least. If you missed the second, and can handle a bit of gore-ish violence (actually, not too much), you need a good laugh. Watch it (and while you're at it, rent Shaun of the Dead. Again.)