Leslie's Omnibus


I have another political crush -- Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford. I don't suppose we can cajole him into running in the next gubernatorial race, can we?

Before I head out to see Gavin Coyle at the Irish American Heritage Center this Saturday evening, I'm going to spend the day at the Printer's Row Lit Fest. The line-up of workshops, authors and speakers looks fantastic.

Knee-Slapper of the Day:
"[S]he’s a very natural girl."
Sorry. That should have come with a spit-take warning.

Have you bought your ticket to come help Seanachai Theatre Company party with Frazier's dad yet?


What are you waiting for? June 13th is right around the corner and it's not every day you get to hoist a pint with a celebrity!

In Memoriam

In the words of fallen hero Marc Alan Lee:
"I think the truth to our greatness is each other. Purity, morals and kindness, passed down to each generation through example. So to all my family and friends, do me a favor and pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life to each other so that when your children come into contact with a great conflict that we are now faced with here in Iraq, that they are people of humanity, of pure motives, of compassion."
One way you can help? Support families of fallen heroes by purchasing the Tea Are The World CD/DVD package, the Tee Shirt or the complete set.
Get this, folks — around 100 musicians across America flew or drove, on their own dime, to Deltona Records in Florida to record “Taking Back America.”

Frank Starchak, Deltona Records owner, music producer, and engineer, is famed for recording Tupac Shakur and numerous other celebrities. FREE of charge, Starchak recorded and produced the 100 musicians singing “Taking Back America” and mastered the 44-song double-CD set included in the Tea Are The World package.

Emmy-winning TV producer Norvell Rose informed me that he and his son, Conner, both in Virginia, would be arriving at the recording session to produce a music video and a “Making of Tea Are The World” documentary — all for FREE. Both the video and the documentary are now included on the DVD included in the Tea Are The World package.

Professional distributor Tom Horn offered to distribute Tea Are The World FREE of charge.

Singer Lisa Scott Kelly joined Debbie Lee to shake the trees and find funds for manufacturing, our only expense. Everything has been donated....

Please do not think I am dissing other fundraisers by simply stating a fact. With some, when the dust clears, as little as 10% goes to the charity. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Tea Are The World go to the benefits bestowed upon the families of our fallen soldiers by AmericasMightyWarriors.org.
It's not often that you can do a good thing and get so much in return.



Giggle of the Day:
A punk rock nine course tasting menu would be a case of Old Style missing three cans that were thrown at the band.

Looking to adopt a really special pet? Why not consider a retired Military Working Dog?

Hero of the Day: Elizabeth Smart
"I know exactly what you did. I know you know what you did was wrong. You you did it with full knowledge," Smart said, looking directly at Mitchell, 57, and speaking forcefully during brief remarks in federal court in Salt Lake City.

"I also want you to know that I have a wonderful life now, that no matter what you do you will never affect me again," Smart told Mitchell. "You took away nine months of my life that can never be replaced. "In this life or the next, you will be held responsible for your actions and I hope you're ready for that when the time comes."
(Emphasis mine.)
Young lady, I take my hat off to you and your incredible inner strength.

Ear Worm of the Day:

I'm going to have to get their album. Fabulous stuff.

Oh, puh-leeze:
But consider this: It's not that Obama can't speak clearly. It's that he employs the intellectual stammer. Not to be confused with a stutter, which the president decidedly does not have, the intellectual stammer signals a brain that is moving so fast that the mouth can't keep up. The stammer is commonly found among university professors, characters in Woody Allen movies and public thinkers of the sort that might appear on C-SPAN but not CNN.
And it may just be that if he hasn't thought it out beforehand, he's not quick enough on his feet to formulate an answer readily.

Reading and doing crossword puzzles can block your ability to hear? Hah! The Princess Mom, were she still alive, would be assuring my readers that in my case, reading blocks not only the ability to hear, but also to smell.

Back in my youth I once read my way through a chicken burning so badly that it welded itself to the pan, which had to be tossed. I was so wrapped up in my book that I didn't see or smell the smoke that had filled the entire first level of the house. (So it's no wonder that i can read in the middle of a very busy and noisy sports bar and not be distracted.)

I can now validly claim limited brain capacity...

Head-Scratcher of the Day:



As some of you are aware, I recently underwent major oral surgery -- in 16.5 hours I went from a mouthful of teeth to no teeth to a mouthful of temporary teeth.

Here are some observations:
  • Now I know what the phrase "like pulling teeth" really means.
  • My brother tells me that toothless is not my best look.
  • My brother tells me that I should be commended for having the guts to go out in public looking like Jacob Marley's ghost. He also confessed that he wouldn't have. (The big chicken!)
  • 16.5 hours is a very long time to sit in a dentist's chair.
  • If you're going to get implants, get 'em all done at once. It's not brave. Brave would be willingly going through that more than once.
  • If the dentist offers you more novocaine -- TAKE IT. Don't gut it out.
  • Apparently I have a very high pain tolerance.
  • You are going to need more than four days off before going back to work -- mostly to wait for the swelling to go down and bruising to fade so your coworkers don't think you're a domestic battery victim.
  • Buy a couple of large gel packs and have them in the freezer before going to the oral surgeon. The eensy weensy ones you'll get from your oral surgeon are a joke.
  • It's a good thing you can't get stretch marks on your face, because the amount of swelling is amazing.
  • You'll look fine the day after. It's the day after the day after that you'll start looking like crap.
  • "You look pretty good, considering everything we did to you," is not a morale booster.
  • I just don't have it in me to do an all liquid diet for six months.
  • Mushy food mostly sucks.
  • On the other hand, I finally took my brand new food processor out of the box an put it to good use.
  • If toothless isn't my best look, neither is two black eyes and a purple Fu Manchu.
  • With your temporaries in place you'll be lithping like Winthrop Paroo. Temporaries are made of acrylic and are very thick.
  • My temporary choppers are bee-yoo-tee-ful... but I want my permanents, and I want them right now.
  • I am hyper-aware of the temporaries and of the lithping; therefore, I'm talking a whole lot less... and I was much more of a listener than a talker in the first place.
  • Oddly, talking less has lead to blogging less. Don't ask me why -- I surely don't know. And I'll try to do better.

Quote of the Day:
“As a child, I had an inordinate fondness for Orange Circus Peanuts. Colored like an orange, shaped like a peanut, flavored like a banana. What the hell was I thinking.” – Phil Vettel
What was your favorite childhood (purported) food that now makes you scratch your head in wonder? (I've got too many to count!)


Do you have a universal life insurance policy? If so, you may just want to request an in-force ledger illustration. Prepare to be shocked when you get it.

Things I'm Digging This Week:

I'm not in any way, shape or form an oatmeal for breakfast kind of girl. I want eggs, bacon and toast on a regular basis. But, given that bacon is not on the list of mushy foods I'm allowed, I've gotten a little desperate. Fortunately, I tripped across BetterOats' mmm... muffins old fashioned instant oatmeal with flax. Yummy stuff, and not the texture of wallpaper paste.

I have a 9" Tiffany pewter bowl on my desk that I got for hanging around the company for 10 years. I put it to work as the world's largest candy dish. Normally I fill it with Hershey's kisses, Starburst jelly beans, and all sorts of appallingly normal American candy. This weekend, however, I trolled the ethnic aisles at my local Shop 'N Save and found Mieszanka Krakowska in the Polish section. Not reading a word of Polish, I figured they were fancy hard candies (and cheap), so I threw a bag in my cart.

I'm not a big candy person. Give me salt or tart. I'm the one that will choose the savory dessert plate over the chocolate mousse at a fancy restaurant. I have a piece of candy out of that ginormous candy dish maybe once a week or so. Until now.
"Named after Poland's most romantic city, these chocolate covered jellies come in a variety of flavors: orange, lemon, pineapple, raspberry. Each jelly is slightly tart, not too sweet and covered with a rich dark chocolate which makes these a favorite with adults."
Oh. My. Gawd. They're like crack cocaine.

Here's another Facebook scam to avoid.

Ear Worm of the Day:

I wish Gavin Coyle's version was up on YouTube, because it's absolutely haunting (and has been stuck in my head for days).

Update: I just noticed that Gavin Coyle will be playing at the Fifth Province Pub at the Irish American Heritage Center on June 9th. Does anyone want to go??? This is fabulous news!


One of the reasons I love my Kindle is that I am no longer bringing more books into my house than I take out again. I still have bags and bags of them... and now I have good motivation to finally get rid of them. Operation Paperback, here I come!

I probably have enough to put a book in the hand of every single man and woman in an entire division and still have a few left over!

(A tip of the cap to Dear Abby.)

Quote of the Day:
"Why is it so difficult for so many people to grasp the concept that one can address each issue on its merits, and not automatically take the “liberal” or “conservative” stance?" -- Richard Roeper
It's a little bit like being a Cub fan or a Sox fan in Chicago, I think.

10 Facebook settings you might want to tinker with.

Ear Worm of the Day:

Dear God, that's beautiful.

Roadside Diner

I just ran across Bangers & Lace via Twitter (follow me, will ya?) and, unless I'm willing to settle for the grilled cheese and tomato soup (which, by the way, would be no sacrifice), it'll be October before I can indulge.


And that "Lace" part of the name? It's the lacing on the beer glass.

Oh, mama! Do I have to wait that long really?

Night Moves

My porcelain throne did its best imitation of Old Faithful in the week small hours of the morning.

I found this out due to my downstairs neighbor pounding on my door to let me know HER bathroom light fixture was doing ITS best imitation of Victoria Falls.

After much wailing, gnashing of teeth, manic plunging and flailing around with a sponge mop, the beast was temporarily tamed.

That's the bad news.

The good news? It took four big tall brawny men (my Super, his two sons and his cousin) with great big wrenches to wrestle the problem permanently into the ground. Lawd-a-mercy, Miz Scarlett!

The other good news? I finally got this little doohickey installed. And considering the fact that I got almost no sleep and, since I was awake, I began my Spring cleaning to kill the time until the Super arrived, I'm ready to test it out right now.

Later, peeps!

Roadside Diner

I was interested in trying Village Vines ($10 for the reservation, but 30% off the entire bill) and I was ready for a girls' night out. My first choice wasn't available for a Sunday evening, but a quick choice of the remaining options turned up Azucar, which turned out to be a lovely trifecta of great wine, small plates and convenient location.

My girlfriend and I agree -- charming ambience, super selection of Spanish red wines, small but outstanding selection of cheeses, and fabulous seafood, as well as a friendly and knowlegeable bartender (ask for Michael -- he's great), made this a place we'll go back to again and again... and we'll bring friends and family, too.

Our favorite? Vieiras Salteadas -- Sea Scallops Dusted With Smoked Paprika, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Serrano Ham With A Porcini Mushroom Sauce -- three perfectly seared scallops with a sauce I threatened to bathe in, rather than leave sitting on the plate. We also had a lovely Crema Catalana for dessert that came close to bringing on tears of joy when it hit the palate, and, if applied facially, would take thirty years off your complexion.

Directly across the street from the Logan Square Blue Line stop, it's easily accessible. With regular Sangria, Margarita, Mojito and CaipiriƱa drink specials, as well as a small but lovely outdoor patio, it would be silly not to try out this neighborhood gem!

Quick Stops

Do you drop off donations at local drop boxes? Make sure it's going to a charity, not a for-profit organization:
Though the drop-off boxes may look similar at first glance, only some are operated by charities. Other boxes are placed by commercial companies that may — or may not — donate some money to charity. And some of the charities involved don't meet the baseline standards of the Better Business Bureau or the Chicago-based American Institute of Philanthropy.

During a day's drive around the Chicago area, the Tribune spotted about 10 types of boxes that ran the gamut from collecting the clothes almost entirely to benefit charity (Salvation Army) to collecting the clothes purely for profit (USAgain).
Some of these non-profits will even take... and use even the most motley of your donations:
By government estimates, Americans throw 85 percent of their unwanted textiles in the trash each year. That may be, in part, because of a widespread perception that charities want only those items that can be resold in their thrift shops. While these are the most valuable donations, other castoffs can still make millions for charities on the secondary materials market, which includes selling used clothes in developing countries and recycling them for industrial uses.

So the Salvation Army's Maj. Mark Anderson stresses that he doesn't mind when people donate ripped jeans, stained shirts and coats with broken zippers.

"We want to receive any and all articles because, if we can't sell it in one of our stores, then we can sell it to what they call the 'rag market,'" Anderson said. "They can repurpose those textiles for anything from wiping rags or materials for new textiles to even as an additive to asphalt. (That revenue) is a big deal for us."

One of the oldest trades in the world, textile recycling today represents a nearly $1 billion business, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles association (SMART), an industry trade group. Eric Stubin, president and CEO of Trans-America Textile Recycling Inc. in the New York City area, said many businesses work closely with charities to recycle clothes that can't be sold in domestic thrift stores. According to Stubin, used textiles unfit for resale in the U.S. can fetch up to 35 cents a pound.
See? You can feel good about even your flimsiest, ripped up, worn out our torn cast-offs.

25 manners every child should know by age 9? I've met adults who haven't learned half of them.

After reading this article, it's a wonder that anything other plain filtered water is good for you.


Euphemism of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
"You can look it up in the Guinness Book of Nut Huggers." -- Julie Hammerle
It'll take me a while to bleach that image from my brain.

Pssst! You might want to consider changing your Facebook password.

I've had three -- count 'em, three -- referrals from here today. Why?

Note to the big-mouthed guy who holds our entire train car hostage with your pontifications on everything and nothing every single day of the work week: We're getting quiet cars, pal. Nanny, nanny boo-boo to you!

Stuck in the Middle (Ear)

Back in the '70s I was in a high school theater production that involved interpretations of a number of children's books. "May I Bring a Friend?" was done as a spoken chorus with high and low voices, boys and girls voices and a triangle.

Today I have had a running chorus of:
The King and Queen invited me
To come to their house on Monday (Ding!)
For Tea.

I told the Queen
And the Queen told the King
I had a friend
I wanted to bring.

The King told the Queen,
"My dear, my dear...
Any friend of our friend
Is (Ding!) welllllllllllllcome here.

I brought
My friend.
Why, after more than 30 years, has this popped up amidst the flotsam and jetsam of my psyche?

Quick Stops

Father Mike is being a douche bag and a passive-aggressive hypocrite:
"...Pfleger insisted that the only way he will leave St. Sabina is if he is thrown out or if he believes God wants him to go."
Man up, Father Mike, and quit trying to gain martyrdom by forcing Cardinal George to fire your flaky butt because you can't even zip your lip when you're on suspension for not being able to keep your big yap shut.

If you don't want to follow the doctrines of the Church you serve (and apparently you don't), just be honest and quit already.

Well this is just scary:
At least four mail carriers have been robbed in Chatham and Englewood in the last month alone, two of them at gunpoint. Another was robbed at gunpoint in Englewood in February.

This follows a series of less violent thefts from mail carriers on the West and Northwest Sides last year.

Nobody can say whether the targeting of mailmen is just another sign of desperate measures in a bad economy or part of some criminal strategy, but it’s prompting the union that represents mailmen to appeal to the public for help in watching their backs.

The public may have a bigger stake in this than just receiving its mail on time. In at least two of the recent incidents, the robbers specifically targeted the carriers for their “arrow keys”—the master keys that not only give a mailman access to a bank of mailboxes or a collection box but also in some cases to the locked front doors of apartment buildings.

One arrow key could allow a criminal to get inside the front door of most apartment buildings in a given zip code — and inside all its mailboxes. But it’s the possibility of someone wanting inside a building for more sinister purposes than rifling through the mail that could be a real cause for concern.

Those who do not learn from the past are apparently doomed to repeat it. Just what we need -- more credit to people who can't afford it.

Tootin' the Horn

Things that make me happy today:

Sandals! At last!



Quote of the Day:
Chicago may be the unofficial brestaurant capital of the U.S. with 11 Hooters, 10 Tilted Kilts, two Brick House Tavern & Taps and a Show-Me's, with Twin Peaks planning to enter the market within the year.
I can't tell you how proud that makes me to be a Chicagoan.

Theatre District

I'm pleased to share the news that Seanachai Theatre Company is throwing a special benefit on Monday, June 13th from 7-10 p.m. at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago.

What's so special about it? John Mahoney has agreed to do a dramatic poetry reading, and a meet and greet immediately following!

In addition, there will be dramatic readings by guest actors Brad Armacost and Steve Pickering (who will be featured in Seanachai's second play of the new season A Moon for the Misbegotten), as well as by members of the Seanachai Ensemble and live music.

Also, we will be saying good-bye to Martin Rouine, Chicago's Irish Consul General and Seanachai board member.

Tickets are $50 in advance/$60 at the door (subject to availability), which includes free parking, hors d'oeuvres and entertainment. Cash Bar.

To reserve your tickets, call 773-878-3727.

I hope to see you there!

Viva Mexico!

CharlieDelta's cat says...


Kerrcarto also makes a Mexican (wildly politically incorrect) funny here, which I found just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Get your Cinco de Mayo freak on!

Bus Fumes

Well it didn't take long for Obama to go from the first really presidential act since he took the oath of office to returning to his usual douche baggery:
"As a former attorney I know you can't tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, 'No, I can't.' But I said 'we -- that shouldn't stop you from giving your opinion. We wouldn't be here today if they hadn't done their jobs. Can't you at least give them your opinion.' And he said 'no I won't,' and he turned around and walked away."
Swell guy, no?

Book Your Ticket

I may not have read a lot of books last month, but four of them were hefty buggers:

April – 5/27
A Storm of Swords, George R.R.Martin
A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin
Swept Off Her Feet, Hester Browne
Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books, William Kuhn
The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, Jane Leavey


... bling:

That's all I've got.


A willing and patient model is a beautiful thing...

And occasionally, so is a plexiglass window.

Quote of the Day:
“It’s more important to learn how to be independently poor, than dependently wealthy.” -- Bill Sheppard

Want fantastic deals on airfare? Go here. I've already found some terrific bargains for trips to Houston and Las Vegas!