Sunday, February 24, 2008

Moneymoneymoneymoney... mon-AY

I've been meaning to post this photo for a while now; after telling Scott and Erin about this over dinner at Gio's Tuesday night I was reminded of why. If I get audited in the future, how do I explain what the "wooooooot" is for? While I'm at it, who the hell puts that in the meme section of a company check?

Anyhoo, in the week that was, you should check out my profile of BJ's Market and Bakery owner John Meyer while it's still up at the Sun-Times' website. I was inspired to write the story years ago after reading Timuel Black's Bridges of Memory: Chicago's First Wave of Black Migration (volume 2 comes out in April). I wanted to trace one family's recipes as an example of how the Great Migration affected Chicago in specific ways. It's still an idea I'd like to expound on, maybe for a magazine at some future point, and touch on more than Chicago. Maybe look at Detroit and other parts of the industrial Midwest. I simply find how the Great Migration transformed Chicago fascinating. Many thanks to everyone who wrote in with kind words congratulating me on the piece, in particular Mike Nagrant for linking to it on Hungry Mag. It was one of my favorite pieces to write and I probably would have done it for free. Well...

What else was fascinating? The Vintage Strong Ale Festival at Delilah's yesterday. I'll save my suggestions on how to improve it for tomorrow, you know where. You know, for a weekend where I was mainly trying to focus on this other story I have planned for the Sun-Times, it certainly seems like I lost my focus. I've got the festival review tomorrow; the next two weeks of the Chicagoist "One Great Sandwich" series locked in; mapped out "BotW" for at least the next month; working to get the new foodies up to speed; pitches to send in to Malt Advocate and, of all places, a medical newspaper; waiting for final edits from Shea on the second of two pieces I sent in to her; and coming up with more pitches for the Sun-Times. All this on top of work this week.

Thankfully, I've planned nights to decompress. Brady's back from China, so he, Brian, hopefully David Chavez at Uncommon Ground and myself are meeting at Sola tomorrow night for dinner and - inevitably - trading old HotHouse war stories. Thursday, which normally would be reserved for the monthly Chicagoist staff Happy Hour, will go on without me, as I have, um, other plans. Sorry, especially to the newbies.

Meanwhile, I read this interview with Thax Douglas (via)and don't know who I feel more sorry for, the interviewer or Thax. From Tankboy, I read this jagoff's account of being a bartender, and Jim's friend Ellie's rebuttal. Personally, I think the guy just plagiarized the best of Tucker Max's writings, which isn't saying much.

Months after Alpana Singh recommended it to me, I've started reading Bill Buford's Heat and I'm hooked. It's worth it just for this quote from Marco Pierre White on a young Mario Batali, who'd he hired as his kitchen slave: "'Joy Division was his favorite band. And that says it all. White put his finger to his nose and sniffed, 'Know what I mean?'" I'll never be able to make penance to her for foisting Pizza Red on her.

What else? Oh, yeah. Shelby Lynne does Dusty Springfield, and it kills with its intimacy.

That should tide y'all over until the next time, or unless I Twitter.

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