Winter is Here

I still prefer Winter is Coming. Chicago is supposed to see single digit temperatures today with a Blizzard warning tomorrow. The worst part is not going to be the temperatures. The worst part is the road. Chicago’s streets are full of potholes. Given the Mayor’s statements of, “We won’t see as many plows as we did last year,” does not inspire confidence in how the city will respond to the snow.

This lack of confidence is not why I’m dilly-dallying this morning. I’m not busting my hump because it looks really fucking cold outside.

The Spread

For the past year, I’ve spent (damn near) every Wednesday night at Sid’s, keeping Shannon company (and doing small bar tasks). Last night, the first Wednesday of my post Sid’s life, I was at The Spread, a bar on Chicago’s Northside, playing bar trivia. It was cheat night–and believe me, we took full advantage of it.

Our team was Thunderbolt Mindbender, Featuring Satan’s Balls. My younger cousin and his friend Tony are typically on the team; however last night, they arrived just in time to be carded. I believe they can actually get into the bar during a DePaul game…but I’m not entirely sure.

We came in fourth place–all the scores were within 3 points–which was due to stupid mistakes made by all the team members. For instance, being the geek at the table, I should have been able to divine “Star Trek” from the Long Winded Euphemism round. I didn’t. I also didn’t read Hugh Hefner’s bio as closely as I should have. Then again, we also screwed up when we looked up Riot (not paintball gear, but Kayak’s) and when we lost our Sudden Death Challenge because we were too busy rewriting what we had scratched out earlier.

Our trivia moderator bought us a round of shots at the end of the night-a consolation prize for having the right answer and turning it in first in the Sudden Death challenge-and he was pretty fair. He allowed for challenges to his answers, which I appreciate. He was also willing to buy shots to appease his audience–another thing I appreciate.

What I do not like about Trivia night, and this is rather assholish of me, are the high population of Cobaggus Americanus. One individual in particular, a stunning example of the Blue Breasted, Red Capped American Cobag, actually said to the crowd while discussing an answer, “I’ll stand up here man. I got your back. I’ve got red hair and I don’t care! I need $1200 in my pocket!” He also changed his typical mating call from, “Let me buy you a drink, bitch,” to “NERD! NERD! NERD!” when his team lost.

Being scientists, our team called back, “TED DANSON!” The poor thing was confused. It was unethical of us to torment one of these dumb animals… but it sure was hella fun.

Overall score to Trivia Night: One Thumb Up. Less cobags, more cousins, and I’m sure it would have been two thumbs up. Next week, Shannon is supposed to go. I’ll push her to have her own review.

Let’s Talk Anti-Choice

From:  Aurora police probe incident near Planned Parenthood clinic —

Authorities are seeking a woman accused of harassing and grabbing an employee of an Aurora clinic that offers abortions and has been the site of protests and conflict.

Aurora police are investigating the months-old incident as a comparatively minor charge of misdemeanor battery, but it highlights the uneasy standoff between the protesters and the clinic, which offers family planning services, including abortions.

He alleged incident happened nearly one year after the opening of the clinic, on Oct. 2, 2007, and occurred during a 40-day protest by the Pro-Life Action League.

Eric Scheidler, spokesman for the Pro-Life Action League, said he first heard of the alleged incident Monday, but he doesn’t believe his group’s volunteers would physically harass Planned Parenthood employees.

I am going to refrain from using a large brush here; however, there are a number of documented instances of people being harassed at Abortion Clinics.   Mr. Scheidler should at least have the courage to say, “If this occurred, we are sorry.  We plan on cooperating with the police on this matter.”

He won’t.  Despite seeing this as a “holy crusade” to save babies, I honestly don’t think a many anti-choicers ever stand up and take responsibility for their actions.  They JUSTIFY their actions, saying that they need to defend fetuses; however, do they actually go to the mat for their beliefs?

If you are going to take a stand for something, then you take the stand all the way.  You do the deed and suffer the societal consequences:  Even if those consequences mean you go into hiding and forgo a normal life.

The only thing these so-called Pro-Lifers have in their favor is their rhetoric.  They’re prolife.  Peel the layer of “pro-life” and you find individuals who are , in fact, just Anti-Abortion.  Pro-life isn’t just about zygotes and fetuses.  Pro-life means Anti-Death penalty.  Pro-Life means a standard of living for all of God’s Children.  Pro Life means taking stances for ALL Life–not just the proto-human inside someone’s uterus.  How do I know this?  Once upon a time, I was a practicing catholic.  The church’s stance on what is Pro-Life is pretty well spelled out (emphasis mine).

The Church’s mission to defend human life applies over the entire course of life, from conception to natural death. And so the Catholic Church has been a strong supporter of the civil rights movement and a leader in international relief and development efforts. Catholic hospitals and other health-care facilities form the largest network of private, not-for-profit health care providers in the United States. Catholic Charities USA — one of a number of Catholic charitable groups — is currently the single largest provider of social services to all Americans, regardless of race, creed or national origin.

Being Anti-Abortion means you are Anti-Choice.  This philosophy removes a significant option from a woman’s right to chose what is to happen to her zygote or fetus.  Pro-Life is a bullshit term conjured to make some unsympathetic protesters palatable.   Pushing, pulling and yelling at women who are going through a difficult situation.  That is a deplorable method of achieving one’s ends.

The wonderful thing about this, in order to justify or take responsibility for their actions, most AntiChoicers have to take a position held by the Radical Saul Alinksy:  “The question is not do the ends justify the means.  The question is do these particular ends justify these particular means.”  Granted, he is not the originator of such a sentiment–but it is a sentiment popularized by a left winger.

So, for the last time, we as a nation should stop framing the Debate as Pro-Choice or Pro-life.  It is pro-choice and anti-choice.  Get it straight.

update 1:  Currently, an Anti-Choice organization was picked this article and not cited me.  I wrote them a polite letter and asked to have my content removed from their site.  I’m giving them 24 hours before I change the nature of this post.

Update 2:  Plan #1 wouldn’t work for two reasons: First, the changes would only appear to those who load the page. Second, and pointed out by my consiglari, the proposed changes would go against the tone I wanted for discussion.  Therefore, I need to think about Plan #2.

good bye sids

Tonight, The Dive Bar on the South Side is closing. Sids has been my Wednesday night destination for the past year. The owners have been good to us, but the money hasn’t been good to Sids. It reverts back to the original owners tomorrow.

There won’t be another SIDS. I don’t think there will ever be a bar like this one.


Bake Off Bitches!

via {we are excited to eat your contributions!} | The Republic of Dogs

Man your ovens, liberal wretches! The war on Christmas ain’t gonna fight itself!

The rules:

* Each contestant may enter up to three items.

* Cookies or bars only!

* No cookies can contain any nuts! (Please be stringent about this, one of the judges has an allergy. Nut allergy = anaphylactic shock.)

The deadline: Submissions must be received by December 19th. Submissions received after December 19th will be eaten and publically mocked.

The Judges:

* Claire

* Shannon

* Von

* Marty

The Prizes: reputed to be fabulous beyond your wildest imaginings! But will probably turn out to be a Target gift card or some half-price crap from Barack Obama’s online gift shop.

If you want to enter, shoot me an email at kwbaker at gmail dot com, and I’ll provide you with the mailing addresses for the judges. Oh, and you only have to mail two packages, since Shannon, Von and Marty are all in once place.

Okay, here’s the deal: if you read this blog, even in passing, you are qualified to enter the Great Bake Off of 2008. This means that you, you, you, you and you and your spouses are morally obligated to participate. the moral obligations include AG and Seth.

The prizes will be fabulous. They will be amazing. They will be cooler than an igloo.

There was a time where bribes were encouraged and accepted. For me, this is no longer the case. If I want to seriously do the whole political office thing, I am going to pull a Nancy Regan and just say no to bribes….