Archive for October, 2008

Hæ. Hvað segirðu?

October 21, 2008

Translation: Hi. How are you?


Dear Everyone,

Allow me to be frank:

Who wants to go on a weekend trip Iceland with me?


The current financial crisis has left this nordic country’s economy in the shitter. Consequently, the good folks at Icelandair are running some self-described “insane” deals.

$500 gets you round-trip airfare to Reykjavik AND hotel accomodations! Complimentary Scandinavian breakfast, you ask? But of course. All of this, while basking in the frigid glory of the most isolated nation in the North Atlantic!…!

Come ooooooon. It’ll be fuuuuuuun. The first glass of akvavit during our Bjork walking tour is on me. Let me know if you’re interested.



In other news, I’d like to once again thank the iTunes shuffle feature for reminding me that Car Trouble by Adam Ant is quite possibly the rocking-est new wave songs ever recorded.



Pattaneezer Scrooge

October 13, 2008

I’m not a huge spender by nature, but I’m trying to be even more thrifty than ever. Moving away from Chicago when my lease is up next July has been on my mind a lot lately. So I’m hoping to have a nice lil’ nest egg saved up to see me through all the financial hardships that come with moving to a new city…mainly being temporarily unemployed.

I was in rare frugal form this weekend. The perfect biking weather made it so I never had to use the CTA, or pony up for a cab fare. My cupboard was brimming with food, so I kept my dining out costs to only a slice of pizza Saturday night. My biggest recreational expense all weekend was beer, which was no more than $15 at the most. So many pennies being pinched.


Except for having to replace my bike lock. Last Wednesday, it was friend and devoted Acme Valley reader Jacob’s birthday. I had biked to the bar where the festivities were taking place. Once it go to be About That Time, I headed outside, unlocked my bike, and headed home.

As I’m about ready to head to work, I throw my laptop in my bag. I left my lock in there from the night before, so i opened it up and..nothing. 

I searched my apartment to no avail. Somehow, Between unlocking my bike and getting on my bike, I drunkenly lost my really nice Kryptonite Evolution Mini. For shame, PT.

My weekend costs more than doubled after my trip to the bike shop to purchase a replacement lock. How am I ever going to incubate my nest egg if I keep being such a GD boob?

Appropriately-themed, yet quasi sexual cartoon:


Pat’s Recipe Corner

October 8, 2008

On today’s stormy walk home from work, I stop by newly opened on Jewel on Milwaukee and Des Plaines to pick some food for dinner. (Quick side note: This Jewel-Osco is incredible. I’m fairly confident this is THE nicest Jewel-Osco in the universe. There is an olive bar.)

After a few minutes of roaming through the aisles, I found my ingredients for a quick, sweet-assed dinner. I got home a 7pm, cooked everything, ate while watching an episode of the recently-netflixed Larry Sanders Show, and still had 10 minutes to kill before watching the Presidential debate. Hit this recipe up, Sons:


Gary Shandling Tilapia Tacos

You’ll need:

– Tilpia fillet(s) (approximately 1/3 lb. of tilapia per person. Good for three well-portioned tacos)

– 1 Avocado

– 1 package of soft corn or flour tortillas

– 1 jar of Frontera Mango and Key Lime salsa (aka, Bayless in a Jar)

– canola oil (I’m sure olive oil would work just as well)

– garlic powder

– S&P

Preheat your skillet to medium-ish.

lightly brush your fillet with canola, and season both sides with the GP and S&P.

put your fish into the skillet, and cook, which should take 6 or 7 minutes total. This isn’t sushi-grade tuna we’re talking about here, so make sure your fillet is cooked all the way through. I may have purchased this fish at the Nicest Jewel in the Universe, but it is STILL fish from a Jewel.

Cut the now crusty and succulent fish into segments, and set it aside.

Now, slice your avocado. I only ended up using half of the avocado in my tacos, so feel free to follow my example, and scarf up that second half while a-cookin’.

Give your skillet a quick rinse, and throw it back on the stovetop. Now you’re ready to warm your tortillas.

Once warm, pile your tilapia into a tortilla, spoon on your desired amount of Bayless in a Jar, top with 2-3 slices of avocado and you’re golden.

I bought a sixer of Leffe to go with my dindin, and it was the wrooong choice. Way too filling. Tecate, or something, Tecate-like will totally make your meal. Right Gary?


October 6, 2008

Few things get on my nerves faster than shopping for clothes. I’m an awful shopper. I don’t really care if I’m in fashion or not, but I’m still ridiculously picky when it comes to clothing. It’s quite the rarity if I can actually enter a store and purchase a new (new new) item. I end up looking through all the racks and scoffing to myself “These prices are absurd. I can find this same thing at a thrift store for a PENNY. Eat my ass, Big Retail!”

While I thrift stores are a haven for the value-minded, vintagewear-leaning twenty-something, my recent luck at thrift store has been just short of non-existent. I’ll dedicate an afternoon to sifting through a thrift store’s wears; but only come away with an ill-fitting shirt I forced myself to buy. I have this thing where I always have to buy SOMETHING at the thrift store. If one is to put so much time into ThriftScavenging, you should come away with at least one item to commemorate your search. 

The combination of my hated of department stores, and the apparent thrift store hex which continues to hang over my head has left me without new (to me) threads for quite some time. 

I reached my breaking point this weekend. I was in serious need of new jeans. So I sucked it up, hopped on my bike, and prepared myself for a fruitless search that would leave me yearning to move to Bermuda, where shorts are king (I realize that I’d probably have to shop for shorts, but converting all my pants to cut-offs would surely buy me some time). 

Leave it Kohl’s to save my sanity…I GOTS JEANZ YA’LL. Nice Levi’s that don’t have any douchey pre-distressed rips or fades. 



October 3, 2008

Oh this list should be fun.

Cities that are lame, and that I would be totally fine with never visiting again:


Rochester, NY – This is a tough pill to swallow. Rochester is my least favorite city in the union, yet several members of my extended family live here. In fact, I’ll be traveling to The Roc in less than two months for Thanksgiving. It’s going to be just me, my mom, and the g-rents. A SEVERE departure from my usual Thanksgiving routine (drinking alone in my aunt and uncle’s basement in Omaha while watching either college football or TV Land. Nothing else.). 

It’s polluted, run-down, boring, and I’ve never witnessed such vocal white-on-white racism like when I’m in Rochester. Man, people HATE Italians there!

Blue Earth, MN – We had pen pals from Blue Earth in eighth grade. at the end of the year, we took an hour and a half bus ride to Blue Earth to meet face to face. They were all douches, and had I believe intended to try to beat us all up. THey didn’t take kindly to us city folk. It was so weird. The tension during our tour of a farm was palpable. I left unscathed, but still, even the power of the town’s Jolly Green Giant statue couldn’t bring me back.

Indianapolis, IN – This could be more attributed to the incompetence of Greyhound, but I had to spend eight agonizing hours in Indianapolis a few years ago. I was stranded in the downtown area with a dead iPod and no book. I went on to spend a majority of the day at a weird half-mall. I strolled into this place’s food court, and thought this delay would have at least one redeeming quality when I saw that there was a Chick-Fil-A (on my fast-food-chain-that-I’ve-never-eaten-at list) but apparently Chick-Fil-A is owned by a southern gentleman who doesn’t believe his business should be open on Sundays. Fuck. I guess I’ll check out out Suncoast Video…again.

Winnipeg, Manitoba – I went here for an ultimate frisbee tournament in high school. We stayed with host families. Th family I was assigned to can only be described as a modern day equivalent to the family from A Christmas Story. Not so much because of their personalities, but more due to their quirks and interaction with each other. I stayed on a bunk bed and was forced to hang out with my “host brother”, who was clearly the social dud of the Winnipeg team’s roster. Winnipeg itself was windy, lifeless, and grayyyyy. 

Eau Claire, WI – During college, my friend Dan and I were driving back to Chicago from the Twin Cities in his car. we get an hour into our voyage when his car’s alternator shits out, and we’re stuck on the side of the highway. AAA comes to the rescue and tows us back to Eau Claire where we spent seven hours waiting for the mechanic to fix his car. Keep in mind this wasn’t really near the city center, but rather at a gas station just off the highway. After a luxurious dinner the the Green Mill, we killed time by playing catc with a discarded blank CD, talking up the local skaters who ollie-ing in the parking lot, and, my favorite, sitting quietly. Finally, the alternator was replaced and we were back on our way to Chicago. All in all, the usual 7 hour trip took 14 hours.


That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll be sure to counter-balance this post with an Awesome Cities list at some point.


Aww Shit, it’s Hypothetical Time!

October 2, 2008

Tomorrow, the human race is suddenly stricken by an unstoppable outbreak of locked-in syndrome (as seen in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). We all awaken from our respective comas, write touching and life-affirming autobiographies using only a series of blinks and a our iron wills, and then we drop dead. Everyone, gone.

Thousands of years later, aliens arrive to explore our vacant planet. They take a particular interest in late 20th/early 21st century American culture. How can they learn about our complex society? They look to the monuments erected in our cities to see who citizens admire the most. Who is held in a higher regard than your average civilian? Who are the leaders? The pioneers?










 The Fonz
















 Mary Tyler Moore











 James Garner (Maverick and Mr. Rockford Files)


















 Samantha Stevens




And of course, Andy Griffith and Ron Howard on a date.


Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOVE television, but I feel public spaces are being infiltrated by commemorations of fictional characters at an absolutely ridiculous rate. I understand the thought process behind dedicating these types of statues. They’re quirky, remind you of the good old days, and can ultimately turn into very popular touri$t de$tination$.

See what I did there?

It’s sad. I can’t recall a statue that’s been built and displayed in a prominent place (university campuses don’t count), of a scientist, educator, or physician during my lifetime. 

My hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota is home multiple bronze statues of the Peanuts gang. They were dedicated only a few years after creator Charles Schulz passed away; and they are now a key point of interest for the 18 people that visit downtown St. Paul every year. It’s a very nice tribute.

But Come ON, St. Paul! Senator Wellstone, for one, is very deserving a statue. To put it in terms you can understand, St. Paul, he was totally the Charlie Brown of Washington.


Sigh. At least not every American hero goes unhonored: