Saturday, December 30, 2006

Top 10 Sandwiches in Chicago

Wow, I have not posted in a long time. Sorry blog! I have lots and lots of pictures to post on here but my USB ports are broken. So in the meantime, I will post about other things. First off, sandwiches. Apparently Red Eye currently has a best-of Chicago sandwiches list that sucks . Here are my 7 favorite sandwiches in Chicago in order. I couldn't think of 10, but if I remember others later, I'll add on.

1)The Yale Special at Lucia's. Prosciutto and mozorella.
2)Pear and brie sandwich at Julius Meinl.
3)Hamburger at Top Notch.
4)Corned beef at deli on south side (I can't remember its name!!! Ah!!!).
5)Turkey and avocado sandwich at Mercury Cafe.
6)Pulled pork sandwich at Smoke Daddy's.
7)Skirt steak sandwich at Cleo's.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Political Miis had a celebrity Mii contest (characters designed for the Wii) and these politicians are my favorites: Condi Rice, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, and Admiral Ackbar.

Three things

I read an article recently about a scientific study that suggested people could substantively improve their happiness by reflecting on three good things that happened to them at the end of each day. I wish I had the link, but I don't. I find myself focusing on the difficult things in life too often so I decided to implement the three-a-day rule. Sometimes I focus on accomplishments--goals I fulfilled that day. Sometimes I go for things that happened to me that I don't have any control over. Along the way I discovered that it makes me not only happier but also more grateful and conscious of what I have in life.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hannukah V

It is now the third night of Hannkah. Yay! It's been very nice so far. Some candle-lighting. Some presents (to be seen later). Some latkes.

Which brings me to the issue of Hannukah food. Hannukah food in my family is generally synonymous with Jewish food. My favorites include:

1) Latkes. These are the infamous potato pancakes. My favorite way to eat them is with apple sauce. They are very delicious.

2) Brisket. This is basically very tender, ketchup-y, onion-y beef. I'm not quite sure why but it's--you guessed it--delicious.

3) Kugel. There are sweet and savory varieties of kugel, which is an egg/noodle casserole more or less. The sweet kind is very good with cinnamon, etc, but my family goes for the savory more often. I really like both.

4) Matza ball soup. This is chicken noodle soup with balls of matza dough in it. AKA Jewish penicilin.

5) Fried matza. This is pieces of matza broken up, soaked in egg, and then cooked. It's kind of like Jewish french toast, but savory. I've tried to make this myself and failed miserably because I didn't let the matza soak in egg long enough. Also, it's better if you cover the bowl the matza soaks in.

Okay, that's it for Jewish food. Jewish gambling next!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just One of the 80s Movies

Wow. I saw most of Just One of the Guys on TV today, and it is awesome. Basically, Terry is a girl who poses as a guy at another school for a journalism story. Then she falls in love with a guy named Rick as a guy. She deals with this problem by giving Rick a makeover and trying to find a prom date. Then everything comes crashing down at prom when Terry's boyfriend shows up and Terry has to confess to Rick. To get him to believe she's a girl and not gay, she has to flash him her boobs. And then to try to prevent him from running away angrily, she kisses him in front of the whole prom, who still thinks she's a guy. Oh man it's so dramatic. I won't tell you whether she and Rick get together. I don't want to ruin it for you.

Partly this movie is so awesome because it's so gender-bendy. And partly it's so awesome because it's so 80s. And partly it's so gender-bendy because it's the 80s. Terry can get away with both male and female personas because it's the age of Pat Benatar and Elvis Costello/Karate Kid (which one girl who wants her as a guy describes her male persona as). And the movie has one of my favorite lines of all time. After she flashes her boobs at Rick, his response is: Where do you get off having tits? Where do you get off having tits? That's comic gold. Comic GOLD.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hannukah IV

As I mentioned, Hannukah shouldn't be a major holiday, but is, partly due to Christmas. Similarly, Hannukah shouldn't involve gifts, but does, partly due to Christmas. Yay! Anyway, the way it has worked out is that most families give a gift every night for the eight days. Half-Jewish kids like me got eight days of Hannukah gifts and Xmas gifts. We are spoiled.

When I was a kid, my mom made these decorations that were basically life-size wood cutouts of my brother's and my own head and shoulders. Then she attached felt as 'clothes' with eight pockets on each. And then there was a little present in each one. It was basically a Hannukah stocking.

At least one of the presents in the pockets each year was Hannukah gelt. Gelt is a standard Hannukah gift. It's basically chocolate discs wrapped in gold foil so that they look like coins. There's a Jewish money-grubbing joke in there somewhere. Yum.....delicious anti-semitism.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hannukah III

Okay, obviously I've gotten ahead of myself about Hannukah. And since I had this silly idea to try to make 8 posts about Hannukah, it's good I'm slowing down and adding this post. Here are the basics. First all Jewish holidays begin the night before their official day on the calendar. So if it were Christmas, Christmas would officially begin on Christmas eve at sundown. I'm not quite sure why the Jewish notion of time works this way or if it's related to their use of a lunar rather than a solar calendar. I should look that up. But that's how they do it. Second, the main prop for the holiday is a nine branch menorah (candelabra basically). The rest of the year you use a menorah with only eight branches, and only at temple, not at home. On the first night you light two candles--one to light the other candles with (the shamash) and one that represents the first night. Then the second night you light three--the first one with the match and then you light the other two with the first one. And so on and so forth until you light all of them on the eighth night. You can't blow them out, which was quite a blow when I was a kid and my only other reference to candles was birthday candles. And while you're lighting them, you sing a blessing. There's actually three parts, but my family only sings the first part. It goes:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik neir (shel) chanukah.

Translation: "Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights."

Thank you wikipedia for having this alliterated for me, and a translation. Coming up: gift-giving, the food, the games, the songs.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Daily Lit

Wow. Somehow I didn't realize yesterday was the last day of blogging month. I feel a little bad about it because I would have made much more of it. A little more fanfare. Some pictures. Etc. I guess it's okay though because without my own computer it's hard to do pictures and I'm still posting today, so it's almost like it isn't over.

Anyway, today I have to recommend the website They take books that are no longer under copyright, break them up into small chunks, and send you a little bit each day to read. I've been reading Country of Pointed Firs for 52 weekdays now, and it's been such a nice reading experience. Just a little tidbit each day. And in the story itself, nothing much happens, but that was fine and even appropriate since it was all doled out so carefully.

In a last bit of news, it snowed last night and now it's beautiful out, though I'm sure soon I'll be more aware that it's slippery and wet and cold and awful. But for now, it's just perfect.

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