How 'bout them apples?

Ripe and ReadyIn the past few days, I have eaten more apples than probably in the last two years combined.

Yes, there is something about a fresh, juicy apple.  But after a while, you get sick of them.

So you do different things with them… like bake an apple pie.

I’ve baked TWO in the last two days.

And when I bake a pie, I don’t buy frozen pie dough and slap it in a pan and pour a can of goopy apple goo in it.  I make my crust from scratch and my apple filling from scratch.

Yeah… there is NOTHING better than fresh apple pie.

Homemade Apple PieWant some? 🙂

Good Times in Saugatuck!

Here’s the Story…

Originally uploaded by RcktManIL.

I had such a great time in Michigan this past weekend… the weather wasn’t too terribly cold, and the colors of the trees were amazing. The highlight by far was our trip to the apple orchard where we picked a bundle of apples and enjoyed the crisp autumn air.

Of course, we had no idea that it was Transsexual weekend at the Dunes Resort, where we stayed… it made things quite colorful at night as well, let me tell ya. 🙂

Click the pic and check out the set!

Sesame Monday: Bein' Green

Hi-ho… RcktMan Rick here!

OK so that was a lame attempt at playing Kermit the Frog… but anyway.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube lately… you know, that site that was recently bought by Google?  Yeah that one…

Anyway, I have amassed quite a collection of videos in my Favorites that took me back to my childhood– so I’m going to start sharing them with you.

And we’ll start with one of my all-time favorites:  Kermit the Frog himself singing the classic Joe Raposo song, “Bein’ Green.”

Grab a hanky.  You may need it.

Winter already! (and other ramblings)

It snowed today in Chicago.

That’s right… snow.  As in that white, puffy stuff that we get plenty of in December through February or even March.  It decided to snow in October.

OK, it wasn’t all that much snow.  In fact, it pretty much melted as soon as it hit the ground.

But still…

The thing that sucks is I’m heading out of town this weekend with my friends… back to Michigan again.  This time we’re planning to go apple-picking, wine tasting, pumpkin-choosing, and all those fun-filled fall frolics.  So hopefully the snow will go away and we’ll have somewhat more tolerable weather.

But snow or not, it’ll be nice to get away for a couple days.

The Pirate Queen

I promised a review of The Pirate Queen, and I will post it soon– I actually started writing it but it got to be way too long.  And as my rule states, if it starts to get boring for me as I’m typing it, it’s bound to be boring for you as you read it.  So I’m going to whittle it down and give you the good stuff… but not today.  🙂


Bushie vs. Oprah

Georgie W. made an appearance today in Chicago… as did Oprah and Bono.  Who drew a bigger crowd?  I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two aren’t Bush.

Bush was in town for a fundraiser and to pledge his support to Dennis Hastert, whose image has been tarnished by the whole Mark Foley and his teenage boy pages scandal.  And in typical Bush style (with an almost uncanny nod to his similar speech about former FEMA head Michael Brown after Katrina), Bush said about Hastert:

“I am proud to be standing with the current speaker of the House, who is going to be the future speaker of the House,” Bush told several hundred people at an intimate fundraising reception at the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Michigan Avenue.“Speaker Denny Hastert has a long record of accomplishment and he’s not one of these Washington politicians who spews a lot of hot air,” the president said. “He just gets the job done.”  (source: Chicago Tribune)

Question:  Does this guy know anyone’s given name?  It’s always “Denny” this and “Brownie” that… simply no class whatsoever.

Anyway, the helicopters and Air Force One whizzed by at around 2-3pm and we could see them from our windows downtown.  A joke was made about shooting them down… which of course is preposterous, but I won’t say who made it.  Never know who may be reading this thing, ya know. 😉

A few miles away, Oprah and Bono were on the “Magnificent Mile” of Michigan Avenue to promote Bono’s “Product Red” campaign to help end AIDS.  They drew enormous crowds, of course… as they shopped the stores along the street and recorded scenes for an upcoming Oprah Show segment. 

There have been billboards and posters all over the city promoting Gap’s participation in this interesting concept:  Huge corporate brands such as Gap, Motorola, and Apple have all joined in and produced merchandise bearing the Project Red logo– most of which is, itself, red.  Proceeds from the sales of these items will go toward a charitable fund to help fight and hopefully eliminate AIDS.

So why did I list these two stories together?  Because here is the difference between spending money to do good, and spending money for nothing at all worthwhile.  Bono’s efforts are admirable and 100% commendable.  Bush’s efforts are borderline repulsive, but certainly nothing more than an ego boost– at taxpayer’s expense, no doubt.

And one wonders why 60% or more of the population thinks the Republicans are screwing our country up?

I certainly don’t.

That’s the roundup folks… have a great weekend!

The Pirate Queen

The Pirate QueenYou would think that with me living in a city like Chicago, I’d be out seeing shows all the time.

Well yeah, I guess Chicago isn’t really New York or anything.  The infiltration of Macy’s aside, of course.

But tomorrow night I’m going to see a show that might be the next big thing. 

Or it might totally suck ass.

I guess I’ll just have to find out for myself.

The Pirate Queen is the product of two sets of well-known show-makers:  Alain Boubil and Claude-Michael Schönberg of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon fame; and the producers of Riverdance, the show that made Irish jigs and Michael Flatley famous.

The Pirate Queen is in Chicago for its preview run before heading to Broadway.  Chicago is becoming a popular “tryout” city for shows headed for Broadway, and the city is enjoying these special opportunities in huge numbers.  The first show to preview here was The Producers, which I saw with my ex almost five years ago now.  I loved every minute of it.  So I’m hoping that The Pirate Queen doesn’t disappoint!

I really don’t know much about this show at all. I am going into it with a completely open mind.  I’m kind of excited about that, because with other shows I’ve either seen them before, or been in a production, or at least heard the cast recording.  It’s nice to go in with an untainted expectation.

I’ll follow up tomorrow or Wednesday with my thoughts.  In the meantime, if you have seen any shows recently, drop a comment and let us know!