The long vacant lot at Irving Park and Sheridan has now been purchased and development is set to begin Spring 2017 on the Newbomb Turk Memorial Library and Hibiscus Gardens.
What a fucking day!
First order of business was that I ordered my Cheap Trick tickets for March 11. Phil is coming up from Indy and we’re staying at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Waukegan night of the show but only after Friday night in Chinatown even before we go back to Casa Diablo for the night. Also bought Patti a ticket to come visit in a week. It’s the least I could do after the wonder box of homemade cookies she sent to me. Also I confirmed VIP for SEXCON for Max and I after paying down some medical bills.
After I did my chores and barely had time to sit down, Greg Duncan arrived at 1135 bottle of Jamo in hand. I had a quick drink with him and walked over to Tac Quick to meet Tom Coppola at 1PM for lunch which impressed him being that he’s a frequent visitor to Thailand. As we finished the chef-owner Itti Damprapa sat with us for a chat and then left by 230 to a snoozing Greg back at Casa Diablo. We had another drink and were off to Little Vietnam for shopping and a bite to eat.
I’m in love with this neighborhood and can’t wait till summer.
The first stop was to order a new watchband for my favorite timepiece. I was amazed he had many right there on the premises.
First impulsive purchase of 2017 from Little Vietnam. I went in to have my Kenneth Cole watchband replaced and walked out with a new ridiculously larger watch.
Dong Ho Hien Dai / New World Watch 1038 W Argyle St. Chicago
I went into Viet Hoa across the street while Greg picked up a bottle of wine for dinner. I told him to meet me after. Being a former fisherman in Alaska he was especially amazed at all of the fresh fish. So many options. Then he taught me about these expensive pears.
My first Olympic Giant Asian Pear, a species of pear native to China and Vietnam from Viet Hoa Plaza. Massive in size and juicy.
From there we were seated at the most fancy restaurant in the neighborhood, Pho Viet 4941 N Broadway St, Chicago known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes. Which was my second visit. There are so many options of places to eat and I am amazed at how busy there all are.
Then some shrooms from Tai Nam Food Market and ginger chews before hitting up Target for vitamins and Aldi for fresh fruit and vegetables.
A drink back at Casa Diablo and then his sister Kelly picked him up and I called it an early night.
Sunday I was up, walked over to do laundry and had lunch at Bar on Buena, watched It Follows (it’s slow) and the hysterically vulgar Dirty Grandpa starring Robert DeNiro in a role unlike any other he’s ever played. I was in tears 5 minutes in.
My first time making pan seared sautéed oyster mushrooms
New Glarus visit #1 2017
WOW. I’ve been crushed with projects at work that I barely have time to get here and I am much too wiped out by the time I get home, and have been going to sleep earlier than usual. It wasn’t fun coming home and suffering through a horrible head cold thanks to me dressing lightly in the cold New Glarus air.
New Glarus as always (sans the two ill fated drama filled birthday trips) was a lot of fun, food, friends and of course libations.
Last Thursday when I got off work I did laundry and decided to stop into Tac Quick for a bite and some drinks. I had too many drinks and still felt it when I woke at 4AM. Luckily I was pretty much packed and left early enough to grab a bite at McD’s.
My bus picked me up at 6AM and for the trip there were no more than 3 people the coach and we dropped one off at Janesville. Figuring I only paid $4 total round trip to ride The VanGelder/Coach USA I was more than pleased. I arrived in Madison around 1030AM, had enough time to go in and buy a Gatorade, and came out to where my good friend Renee’ was waiting to pick me up. I was expecting that other than just having lunch she would spend the afternoon with me and then later after dinner. It was one helluva afternoon and we made the rounds.
Roy’s Market for vodka and mixer
Chalet Landhaus early check in, changed clothes,
Toffler’s A couple pre lunch margarita’s
Cow & Quince Wisco Pop! Ginger Pork (Jordandal Farm roasted pork shoulder, pickled jalapenos, kohlrabi & beet slaw, aioli, Madison Sourdough country bread)
Kristi’s (for better margaritas and a vist from Lloyd and Kris)
Ott Haus Pub and Grill met Shelley Golackson
Dinner at the New Glarus Hotel with Mike and Stef Ganshert
Puempel’s Olde Tavern
Mr. and Mrs Kasza drinks by the fire place / built fire
Renee’ and Shelley
With Stef and Mike Ganshert
I woke up Saturday morning feeling like it was Sunday and put the TV on for the CBS Sunday Morning program I enjoy from bed when time allows me every Sunday. I was quick to realize that it was still Saturday so I logged onto my laptop and played WBBM news from Chicago and sat at the desk during the top stories. I still had the faint smell of firewood from the night before from the fire I built while sitting in the lobby with my new friend Jenny Kasza and her husband. In all the years I’ve stayed at the Landhaus I’ve never used the fireplace or that area of the lodge.
After I showered up I went downstairs for breakfast and was seated alone by a very pretty waitress named Jaime. As I went to the buffet the Kasza family invited me to join them. I met their son, a polite boy and aspiring drummer. I could tell his parents were proud. After I finished and excused myself I went back to my room and changed into my new swim trunks for their maiden dip into the Jacuzzi. To my surprise the pool area was busy. Most of them I later discovered were locals who the owners allow in the pool and spa area during the winter as long as they sign in. I soaked for about 30 min and went back to my room. I had no phone signal in NG but had a friend message Dale and Anne my room number. By the time they arrived I was ready. They brought me my birthday gifts which they were unable to bring in December due to poor weather conditions. All wrapped in Batman and Watermelon wrapping paper. We had plans to meet Mike and Stef at Toffler’s to give Mike his retirement gifts from us. We proudly presented out good friend with a bottle of The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch one of Speyside’s definitive malts, and one of the classiest, most sophisticated malts. As well as a bottle of 4 year old Templeton Rye 4 the good stuff, made in America (Iowa/Indiana who knew?) The kicker however was Anne’s concoction, a box of handmade cookies decorated to look like toilet seats. Mike after all had just retired from the water/sewage treatment plant which Dale and I have affectionately referred to as the “poop plant” over the years. A classy local lass named Julie captured the little party and posted it to music on Facebook. Afterwards Dale, Anne and myself went to the brewery where my good friend Vicky and her husband joined us for the day. I picked up a sampler for my friend and co worker Jake and we were back on the town.
I changed our dinner reservation for 7PM so Dale had time to shop and I visited some friends, bought a nice pair of black Chalet Landhaus coffee mugs and chilled in my room. After dinner and a couple of bars I decided to make it an early night. We all met for breakfast the next morning and I opened my gifts. All great as usual. One box was big and I had to take it home to open. It was all glass and Anne packed it carefully for me after breakfast the next morning and then they took me to Madison to get my coach home. It was light as far as passengers and I fell asleep till Rockford when they picked up about 20 people. I was getting antsy and did some stretches in the rear where I was seated. Anxious to get home I hailed a taxi as soon as I got my giant suitcase and with it much heavier than when I left just two days before dragged it up the stairs. I wasn’t home long and it was still daylight so I went back over to Tac Quick for a couple of drinks. My cough was already apparent. A mix of my own fault for dressing so lightly in the cold Wisconsin air and the passengers hacking on the ride home, I knew I was going down for the count. I sat at the bar and chatted with Bradford and the ladies for about 2 hours and went home and crashed. I had every intent of working from home as I normally do the day after a travel, but my cough was so hearty I thought it best just to rest. I was pretty much caught up, so far. But that would soon change. Tuesday and Wednesday I got slammed.
I love my friends in Wisconsin and look forward to returning Memorial Day WeAkend for camping canoeing and other outdoor fun. Greg and I are already plotting it out.
Slainte! – az
New Glarus here I come.
I feel more energetic and healthier than I have in a couple of months. I have to be honest and cast the blame on really good sleep. Thank you Dr.Tong. Things are work seem more secure and stable since last July and for that I blame persistence. In a nutshell I’m happy and in a very good mood, despite the fact that I left my keys at home and arrived at the office 2 hours early. Luckily I remembered the code to punch in from outside or I would have been screwed till someone got there.
Tonight I pack for my 545 morning bus ride out of the loop and into the rolling hills of Green County WI. have lunch with Renee and then I’ll do some time in the jacuzzi and the sauna before dinner with Mike and Steff at 6P. Jay Panick may or may not be joining us. Otherwise it’s AZ solo mixing with the fine folks of New Glarus for as long as I can.
Saturday, Dale and Anne will arrive. We have plans for lunch at Toffler’s and a trip to the Brewery and dinner back at the NG Hotel which isn’t really a hotel.
There is sometimes confusion about why the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant is called a hotel when it primarily serves guests as a restaurant. The reason is simple: history. The building began its life as a hotel, housing salesmen, travelers, and those awaiting the services of nearby livery stables or harness makers.
The hotel’s main dining room was once an old opera house. Traveling stock shows and vaudeville revues were billed often at the old theater. It later featured silent movies, complete with pianists. The first motion picture in the village was shown in the hall in 1922. Talking movies were introduced in 1930. But the stage stood mostly dark and silent from 1950 until 1965. It was then converted into a Swiss-style Yodel Club, complete with restaurant. While yodeling is now mostly reserved for performances, the authentic Swiss-style dining experience still endures.
As always I’m staying at one of my favorite hotels, the Chalet Landhaus Inn which was influenced by a small canton in northeast Switzerland, the beautiful Swiss-style inn was a grand vision by a cheesemaker, restauranteur, architect, and printer. The dream became a reality in 1980 and has been a treasure of New Glarus ever since it was built. The Chalet Landhaus Inn was built in a traditional Swiss style with a perfect blend of modern convenience and old-world Swiss décor.
The New Glarus Brewing Company has been one of the most award-winning brewers of its size. It won two bronze medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Spotted Cow has won a variety of awards over the years, including Best Drink in Wisconsin in 2009 by Bon Appetit magazine.
New Glarus beers are distributed exclusively in Wisconsin by 17 independent wholesalers. In 2009, a New York City bar was raided and fined for illegally selling Spotted Cow. In 2015, a bar in Maple Grove, Minnesota, also was caught illegally selling Spotted Cow after the establishment’s owner allegedly purchased kegs in Wisconsin and took them back to Minnesota for retail sale.
I’m such a huge fan of the culture which ooze’s from out of New Glarus, the varied accents, traditional attire, food etc. Over the years I’ve made many friends with the locals and befriended many of the business owners. Pete Berwick played my ill-fated 50th birthday party 12/13/14 which was attended by people from many miles and states away and he played there again on 7/12/2015 which was the last time I was in New Glarus as 2 weeks later I was on a cane and a certified cripple. That was also the last time I was camping and lost two of my tents and a lot of gear due to a horrendous storm, which I don’t even have photos of being that I also lost two cameras.
This great mood I’m dragging with me to my second home, New Glarus, which I’ll see again when I go camping Memorial Day Weekend. Between now and then it’s another trip to Florida.
Hoping for a weekend full of laughter and fun as well as a toast to Michael Ganshert’s retirement from the poop plant. Oddly most of my friends will be either in Anaheim, CA or Las Vegas, NV this weekend while I’ll be in New Glarus WI.
“The art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot, who steers clearest of the rocks and shoals with which it is beset.” ― Thomas Jefferson
It’ll be nice to pay no attention to the debate over the Presidential Inauguration for a change and not have to be in the loop to deal with all of the protests and marchs that are planned by masses while I’m away. Knowing that the next four years won’t be a cake walk is one thing, but crying over it for the next four years makes no sense to me at all. It is a fact so I just wish everyone would just “human up” (is that PC enough?) and deal with it. Wake up and smell the coffee, or bourbon, we’re still living in a great big shopping mall.
“It just seems to me, that only a really low IQ population could have taken this beautiful continent, this magnificent American landscape that we inherited. Well actually we stole it from the Mexicans and the Indians, but hey, it was nice when we stole it. Looked pretty good, it was pristine. Paradise. Have you seen it lately? Have you taken a good look at it lately? It’s fucking embarrasing. Only a nation of unenlightened half-wits could have taken this beautiful place and turned it into what it is today – a shopping mall. A big fucking shopping mall. You know that, that’s all you’ve got here, folks. Mile after mile after mile of malls after malls. Many, many malls. Major malls and mini malls. They put the mini malls in between the major malls, and in between the mini malls, they put the mini marts. And in between the mini marts, you got the car lots, gas stations, muffler shops, laundry mats, cheap motels, fast food joints, strip clubs and dirty bookstores. America the beautiful. One big transcontinental commercial cesspool. And how do the people feel about all this? How do people feel about living in a coast to coast shopping mall? Well they think it’s JUST FUCKING DANDY!
Americans love the mall. That’s where they get to satisfy their two most prominent addictions at the same time. Shopping and Eating. Millions of semi-conscious Americans, day-after-day shuffling through the malls… Shopping and Eating, especially Eating. Americans love to eat. They are fatally attracted to the slow-death of fast food. Hot dogs, corn dogs, triple bacon cheeseburgers, deep-fried, butter-dipped in pork fat and cheesewhiz, mayonnaise soaked barbecue, mozzarella patty melts. Americans will eat anything. Anything. Anything.
Shit, if you were selling sautéed raccoon’s assholes on a stick, Americans would buy them and eat them! Especially if you were to dip them in butter and put a little salsa on them! ” -- George Carlin
Every night for a week I’ve been playing the unreleased Cheap Trick -Steve Albini Sessions 1997 and I cannot get enough. Endless thanks to my good friend in Rockford who shares the same management as the band. I didn’t even know this existed till a week ago.
It was last week that I came across a piece in Rolling Stone titled “10 Insanely Great Cheap Trick Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know”. I reached out to Adam and got files to some really great stuff that I’ll play as I do the 40th Anniversary version of The Doors LA Woman till I leave this mortal coil.
Legendary post-hardcore and alt-rock producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, the Jesus Lizard) has always been an outspoken advocate for Cheap Trick, and his group Big Black once went so far as to cover the band’s “He’s a Whore” for a 1987 seven-inch. In 1997, Albini invited Cheap Trick to Electrical Audio, his Chicago studio, and had the band re-record their entire 1977 sophomore album, In Color, which fans have often derided for its saccharine production. The results of these sessions were never officially released, but as a listener can hear on this impossibly heavy reinvention of “Clock Strikes Ten,” a song whose original version topped the Japanese charts, it’s no surprise that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain once proclaimed, “We sound just like Cheap Trick, only the guitars are louder.”
- April 5, 2016 By Tom Beaujour
Dinner with old friends tonight TAC Quick
Beloved for its generous portions and authentic Thai dishes, TAC Quick first opened in Lakeview in June 2003. TAC, which stands for Thai Authentic Cuisine, quickly gained a reputation for inexpensive and artful meals and has several years of Michelin Bib Gourmand awards under its belt.
My workday was short on Friday the 13th and I left the office at 1P and went to my mailbox and then to Michaels for some items to help cataloging material for the MK ULTRA archieves which is the first step in getting the coffee table hardback together. Afterwards I went upstairs to Marshall’s for a little “Beavis and Butthead” humor by putting together letters to form words that juvenile schhol boys would find funny. When I spelled out BALLS a lady customer caught me and said that’s a good one.
I chilled out at home for 2 hours after and met Max at Tack Quick for drinks before his Dallas trip. Greg Duncan, Greg Miner and Ash met us at 6P and we were seated for dinner. It was very nice and of course tasty as always. I ordered the Clay Pot Lover Entree choice of protein stir-fried with glass noodles, jumbo shrimp, ginger, garlic, baby corn, pea pods, napa, onion, bell peppers and carrots with their own signature sauce.
When dinners was over me and the two Greg’s went up to my place and broke open a bottle of Jamo and we sat around listening to the Doors LA WOMAN 40th Anniversary Edition CD. Greg Duncan stayed over and we watched The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner which would prove to be the final thing ever played on my region free DVD player. The next morning after breakfast at El Palmar it would no longer play DVD’s. So now I’m left with no choice but to purchase a region free Blu Ray DVD player. It’s something that was on my short list anyway.
Breakfast at El Palmar has become a “rite of passage” for guests for many years now and Saturday would be no exception. I figured it was a lazy weekend anyway so we picked up a bottle of Jack and since we both have great admiration for NASA I showed Greg the first two episodes of MARS.
By mid-afternoon he was gone and I went to bed much too early. Woke up at 3AM watched Smallville, took a sleeping pill and stayed in bed till just after 8AM. My Sunday was as low key as many. I went grocery shopping and watched Apollo 13, John Adams, Walking Dead and Smallville all afternoon and into the night as I would take breaks to cook a dish or two for my upcoming week so I wouldn’t have to make a mess before heading off to New Glarus. I was very impressed with John Adams and it was nice to see two of my heroes on the screen, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. George Washington was also very well cast. I only took two calls, one from my brother and the other from Ash. I was in bed at 930 and had a great night of solid sleep.
New Glarus is right over the horizon.
New Glarus, WI Weather Forecast
Much like last year I already have 2 CHEAP TRICK shows lined up.
MK ULTRA Mobile Office in the haus!
Cascade Drive-In West Chicago, IL only 40 miles from my home
“Is sex dirty? Only when it’s being done right.”
― Woody Allen
I cannot believe I’ve actually quoted Woody Allen, but these words are so very true.
Work has been busier for me now than it has been in a year. I love it. I’m sleeping better than ever and I’m busier than ever outside of the office.
Last night after work I spoke to Larry, owner of Born A Babe and also the head of The CHICAGO SEXCON about his upcoming April 26th event at Volkan Night Club. We confirmed my buddy Isaac’s band SLEEZE for part of the musical entertainment and who Larry is also a huge fan of. We actually came up with a new slogan for the band which Isaac loves. I also suggested bringing turn of the century adult superstar Gauge back to town for the event. I reached out to her and she’s game, Larry’s game and now we just need to work on the details. Larry is a great guy to talk shop with. It’s great having someone on a local level who is even more connected to the industry than me and whom I have great respect for. He’s a fun guy, but don’t get me wrong, with Larry it’s business first.
Gauge (born July 24, 1980) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and featured dancer.
Gauge entered the pornographic film industry in 1999 at the age of nineteen. After having appeared in about 140 movies, she left the industry in 2005 due to a contract dispute with her management company. She was certified as a surgical technologist, but she reported that she was often turned down for jobs because of her adult film career.
While Gauge was studying to become a surgical technician, an anesthesia student recognized Gauge from her adult film career, word quickly spread through the hospital staff that there was a porn star among their ranks, and, when Gauge was set to graduate, she said that no one at the unnamed hospital would sign off on her required hours. Gauge has also claimed that while “working at a hospital” that her “boss hit on her”, and she was unable to convince the hospital’s complaints department that the incident actually happened, so she ended up giving her notice.
In August 2013, she announced that she was mounting a comeback in adult films, with a feature for Brazzers. In September 2013, her story was featured in an article on Salon entitled “Fired for doing porn: The new employment discrimination”.
“If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, then you’re going to get selfish, ignorant politicians.” - George Carlin
Greg was supposed to be back in the city last night and at he and Bree’s apartment. We have dinner plans for after work tomorrow. So far Ash, Grego, and Max are supposed to join us I hope the plans don’t fall through because I hate nothing more than when that happens, without good reason.
No other plans for the weekend other than to get the house into order. I’ve been digging items out of the archives for the MK ULTRA retrospect book and it’s literally a pain in the ass. But anything can happen at the last minute so I can’t really guarantee I’ll have a lot of down time.
One week from now I’ll be halfway to Madison WI where I’ll meet Renee for a ride into New Glarus. I really need this getaway and getting more and more excited as the day approaches. Mike Ganshert retired last week so we’ll have to have a couple celebratory cocktails.
“Nature knows no indecencies, man invents them.”
- Mark Twain
@alexzander714 you 2 look like you came from a Gypsy Sex Trafficker Convention…and that grin doesn’t help your case
Greg Duncan‘s eulogy to Bree A. Sutherland today was so touching and choked me up so bad I nearly had to walk out of the funeral services. My multi talented friend/brother is a helluva beautiful writer.- alex zander
Ash pops in 7pm-ish. She’s sad. I wasn’t gonna drink this weAkend. Leaving for a funeral at 11AM.
Laughs and tells me loves how I go from zero to one hundred in a millisecond when I can’t get my DVD player to do what I want. We watched Avengers Age of Ultron
She’s picking up enchiladas at El Palmar to go, gonna have some of my awesome chili I made this week and I’m have colossal shrimp cocktail.
My new swimsuit a Kanu Surf Men’s Camo Swim Trunks and Alex Stevens Men’s Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater arrived Saturday while I was in Michigan and I am very happy with both. The ribbed sweater is very dressy and I could not believe the quality.
Sunday I went to Asia on Argyle to do some grocery shopping. It was very very busy. I did notice a lot of white men with Vietmanese women which I didn’t see a whole lot of till then. They were all going to lunch. The grocery stores were 100% Asian with the exception of myself. I wrote about it to my friend Tom who dates a lot of Asian women and travels to Thailand a lot. He repsoned, “I also love the viet ladies- they are still beautiful and attractive in middle age, unlike the thais and latinos!!!” haha
After I put everything away I watched the horror thriller “Bug” and sipped Shannarita’s (the margarita recipe I use that Shannon Brady created while we were dating during the summer of 2012) Also upgraded my OKCupid dating profile to the A-List in order to make my romantic search more fine tuned. This on the advice of my old friend Julie who rode with us to the funeral Saturday.
I’m really looking forward to my trip to New Glarus coming up. Renee is picking me up in Madison and we’re going to have lunch together. Hopefully I’ll have dinner with Mike and Stef Ganshert Friday night. I’ll get to see first hand now how much renovation Roland has done with the Landhaus and thr hotel restaurant. Dale and Anne will arive early on Saturday. I intend to spend some quality time in the pool area.
THIS JUST IN!