Friday, January 21, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle(s)...

Aside from the fact that this blog is filled with petty complaints by me and my fellow blogger, we both know that our urban experiences are lucky. This was highlighted for me during a recent four-hour flight delay. To kill time, I bought a copy of The Jungle, that infamous exposé of the Chicago meatpacking industry circa 1904*.

Debbie Downer! I should have bought Snooki's book. The Jungle was the Food Inc. of its day, except infinitely more foul and depressing. In brief, an immigrant family makes its way to the Union Stockyards and the members spend a couple of years destroying their souls and bodies amid cow guts, pig blood, and deadly, sharp things. The family is fictionalized but the basis of the story was very real.

The book got me thinking about how Chicago today, despite its flaws, is totally "out dangered" by itself a century ago. So it wins the battle of Chicago, but how does The Jungle compare to other notorious jungles? Let's investigate...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Old Movie, New Review: Willow

I'm nothing like The
Lord of the Rings! Nothing!
After an unseasonably balmy New Year's Eve, Chicago has succumbed to an arctic hangover. With the "feels like" temperature flirting with low double digits, leaving the warm cocoon of home is unappealing. But, one has to be creative in battling weekend cabin fever. Selected method this weekend: 1980s fantasy film Willow and the finest bottle of Moscato $7 could buy.

I had lukewarm feelings going into this viewing. It was heavily endorsed by the friend who loaned me the DVD, but the cover art suggested strong notes of cheese with undertones of The Lord of the Rings. Nevertheless, I popped the cork and hit play...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unnecessary List: D.C. Edition

Here's mine. 
City Life Shout Out of the Year: Here’s a shout out to taxicabs: thanks for saving me a lot of money this year. Whether you maliciously ignored me, refused to accept a debit card, or just weren’t around when I needed you, you did what it took to protect my pocketbook and get me some much-needed exercise.