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Showing posts from September, 2015

Ticket Service Charges

How many times have you purchased an entertainment ticket online and the service fees to purchase said ticket surprise you?  Me: so many!  It feels like a rip off.

A few weeks ago I went to an event with some girlfriends at Bang Bang Pie in Logan Square.  The tickets were $10 for treats from Bang Bang Pie, Big Gay Ice Cream, and 3 Floyds Brewing.  

I was not surprised to see a $2 service charge for the ticket.  I was surprised to see it went to charity.

They set-up the event on Brown Paper Tickets, which doesn't charge service fees to use their service and includes the option to donate to charity instead.  

If you're setting up an event with tickets soon, I think Brown Paper Tickets may be the way to go.  It's win win!

Cardinal Injuries

Just as it seemed our roster was being restored with players returning to the team from the DL, not one, not two, but three players go down.

Yadi at the Cubs game in Chicago he made a sweep to tag the runner out at home.  He did.  And in the process partly tore his thumb tendon.  They said he'd be out for a week.  A week later, they say the rest of the regular season (which ends Oct. 4).

So basically who knows?

Martinez at the Brewers game last Friday, he pitched 7 pitches before he was removed from the game.  Reporters were saying he would be our ace of the post season.  He's out for the rest of this year.


Piscotty rewind to two weeks ago at the Cards/Cubs game.  The Cubs fan in front of us turned around to ask some questions about Piscotty.  She said he's her least favorite Cards player because he's so good.  He's a rookie who the Cardinals brought up in July and he's been on fire.  Last night I was listening to the radio broadcast when Pis…


One of the best (brief) descriptions I've read on how to approach running for the first time.
Do you have any words of advice for people who would love to incorporate running into their lives but (like me) have trouble making it more than a few blocks at a time?Yes! I do. (A full run-down is here!) My advice is to start with just those few blocks at a time and nothing more. Do that every day for a couple of weeks until you can do ten blocks at a time. And then fifteen, and then twenty! Running is really, really hard when you’re out of practice and if you push yourself to the point where it’s completely miserable you won’t go back and do it again the next day. So go easy on yourself — and make consistency your only priority. As long as you’re getting out there and sticking with a routine the distance and speed will come eventually. (via)Honestly, I've essentially taken a break from running this year.  I am going to run a very unofficial, low-key half marathon in a few weeks with…

Friday it's Friday!

This week brought the first day of fall.  I really don't mind fall, but thoughts of the next season scare me...a lot.

Summer I will miss you.

I worked on an endless project this week.  It was so time consuming and somehow I needed to manage it on top of my current responsibilities.  Needless to say this week was not my favorite.  (Last week was the same deal.)  Although, this week the co-worker I covered for while she was on vacation last week was back on Tuesday.  So there's that!

Here's to Friday and the weekend.

Anyone celebrating Oktoberfest?

This song reminds me of a Friday in early spring when it was still freezing.  I went to lunch with some of my co-workers for ramen and this song played.  And it was so much fun.


Some days just turn out to be more eventful than you planned.

Saturday was one of those days.

Mike & I walked to Filter Cafe, a coffee place near his place, for some breakfast.  I grabbed a Reader and we started flipping through it.

We finished and I flipped the newspaper shut.  Then we looked at the full page ad on the back.  312's having a block party?  On goose island?  Matt + Kim are playing?  Jukebox the Ghost is playing?  Local H is playing?  It's not on goose island, it's in the west loop?  Hmmmm?  (This is a combination of what we said.)

We were already planning to spend some time at Renegade Art Fair and go to his roommate's girlfriend's birthday party that night.  (Yes, I recognize that's confusing.)  So why not squeeze in a concert...?  Squeeze in we did.

After finishing our breakfast at Filter.  (Have I mentioned before how my mood is so affected by the weather?  Let's just say after a rough week and rain all night Friday, I was still coming out …

Baseball Divisions

Date: September 5, 2015


Why are there divisions in baseball?


Until 1969 there were only the National League and the American League and the only postseason was the World Series.  

They added divisions so there could be more teams involved in the "postseason".  First, the two leagues were divided into East and West.  They played one round of playoffs and the winners went to the World Series.  

Then there was more expansion (oh yeah, in 1969 they added two expansion teams in each league) so now they have three divisions in each league and two rounds of playoffs before the World Series.

Update: just last night listening to the Cardinals game the broadcasters were talking about this very question in regards to the post season.  Currently, the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs have the best records in baseball.  They are all in the National League Central Division.  This means two of the best teams won't even make it to the National League Division Series of the post s…

Biking Milwaukee Ave

I've written about this before, but biking Milwaukee Avenue is such a different experience for me, I feel like I need to again.

I was heading to my sister date with my sister in Logan Square and we both had our bikes at work so we decided to bike straight there.

First of all, Milwaukee has such a great bike infrastructure, it'll spoil you quick.  On the way home, we did not take Milwaukee and the contrast was strong.

While making my way through Wicker Park one of the drivers pulled up next to the pack of bikers at a red light and said, "you guys are tough." The other bikers ignored him.  I glanced over.  "I don't usually even drive in the city.  It's crazy."  I smiled.  The other bikers still ignored him.  (They must have been focused on the light.)

As we past North Avenue I felt like I was in a little pack (lights will do that) and I started to size them up.  I was with three other bikers, they all looked like regulars, two especially.  

As we rode past…

LouFest 2015

LouFest by the numbers:

34 bands there for the weekend
20 bands we were able to check-out
$50 tickets for the weekend
approximately $2.50 per band

perfect sunshine skies

I think I would say Sunday's weather was the best LouFest weather I've ever experienced!

So many bands, so many good people, such a good time.

I walked into LouFest with a different mindset this year than years past.  There wasn't one band I am absolutely crazy about that I was so excited to see.  Was Billy Idol on my to see list?  No.  Did I absolutely sing and dance to "Dancing with Myself"?  Yep.  So even though I wasn't crazy about a band, I really enjoyed LouFest anyway.  Who can complain when your surrounded by so much music all weekend.

Monday morning I got to work and after being quickly thrown into work by 11 I texted Mike.  "I wanna be back at LouFest"
Sunday we got to the fest and decided to take our daily jump picture.  The lovely volunteer taking our photo started the burst befor…

Strike 'em Out!

Here's another "Questions with Dado".  Right now I'm on the baseball train because that takes up a lot of my brain (and my dad and I talk a lot of baseball). 

So maybe the questions will change in November...when baseball's over for the year.

Date: September 3, 2015


how do you score a 3rd strike when they run (and are out) at first?  and why do they run to first?


If the catcher doesn't catch the ball on a third strike, the runner can try and get to first before he is thrown out - doesn't happen very often.    If they don't beat the throw to first, I don't think the scoring is any different.  If they do, I think its an error or passed ball.  I never thought about it before, but the other day, I heard something that made me wonder if the pitcher still got credit for a strikeout even though no out was made.

Zucchini Soup

Oh man, this zucchini soup.

I found a huge zucchini at my farmer's market Saturday for $2 or $3.  And this Silky Zucchini Soup was recommended.  It's such a simple recipe with a reasonable number of ingredients and it's delicious!  Pretty sure the zucchini I bought was more than a pound and a half...a little extra zucchini can't hurt. :)

I used my immersion blender, instead of the standard blender, which I thought was a bit easier.  Dumping boiling food in a blender is a little scary (I have done it successfully before...somewhat).  Immersion blenders solve that problem.  It may take a few extra minutes, but in the end, it's much easier.  Win!

Starved Rock State Park

On Memorial Day, Mike & I hiked some trails in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland so Labor Day...Starved Rock State Park.

We knew going into the day the waterfalls wouldn't be flowing because that is more common in the spring.  We also knew we were more likely to see some water falling at St. Louis, French, Wildcat, Tonty, Ottawa and Kaskaskia canyons.  So we started at St. Louis, for obvious reasons.  It was beautiful and a wonderful start.

St. Louis Canyon
It was a hot, rather humid day so we both got pretty sweaty, pretty quick.

Then we went into the main area of the park and hiked to see Starved Rock, Lover's Leap Overlook, Eagle Cliff Overlook, French Canyon, and Wildcat Canyon.

My favorites were Eagle Cliff Overlook for a good view of the dam and French Canyon (once we were walking in it).  
Eagle Cliff Overlook

French Canyon
We weren't sure what the famous Starved Rock was.  After we walked around the overlook we thought, "Maybe it was where the flag was...may…

Questions with Dado

I decided I'm starting a new series on questions for my dad because he's the best.  But seriously, if you're ever in need of a trivia team member, ask him and you won't be disappointed.  Which makes it so sad how terrible my brother, sister, and I are.  

I'll randomly ask him questions and he always seems to know the answer.  On all topics.  It's gotten to the point when a question comes up with friends I'll always say, "I'll ask my dad."

So I'm going to share a tiny bit of his knowledge with you!

First up:

Date: September 3, 2015
Subject: disabled lists


hey dado,

question:  what's the point of having 7 day, 15 day, etc. disabled lists?  i understand putting them on the disabled list allows for someone else on the roster, but i don't understand why they need to put a time on it...

fire away :)


good question, you ought to call that into guys on MLB network on SiriusXM.  They can talk a subject to death.   I think these times…


I remember walking from the Megabus to the eL in Chicago after going back to St. Louis to celebrate the Cardinals World Series title in 2011 talking to my dad.  There was an announcement.  Tony LaRussa had an announcement.  Our beloved manager.  My dad called it:  he's retiring.  And he did.

I remember feeling scared.  No one can be like Tony.  And that's probably true, but I must say Mike Matheny, the Cardinals catcher of the past who was working in the front office, made some people nervous.  Boy has he proved them wrong.  

I love this article by Joe Strauss: Matheny overdue for some credit.  

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“I don’t want to get in the way of what’s going on,” Matheny said hours before the Cardinals produced their ninth win in 10 games, improving to a preposterous 86-46 despite missing their opening day starter, No. 3 bat and cleanup hitter for most of the season. “This is a group of extremely talented people. I believe the clubhouse guys have a role. The m…

Summer Highlights

The summer is coming to a close and I am very sad to say good bye to my favorite season of the year.  Yes, my friends, we still have some left, but we're starting to round the corner.  (And the last couple weeks in Chicago have been chilly!)  All I can think about right now is LouFest, which I consider my end of summer (2 more weeks!) even though there's a lot happening within that time, I rounded up a few of my favorite things from this summer (in no particular order)

This one's a guarantee, right?  But aside from it being Italy I loved what one of my bosses said when I got back, "How special that you had that time with your parents and sister."  It's true.  It may never happen again.  I'm very grateful I had that time, bickering and all.
Not to mention I don't feel like Chicago got very warm this summer.  This is where I got my heat for the year and it felt so good!
Girls Weekend in Wisconsin
I just don't see these girls enough.  It was a perf…