July 20, 2010

Restaurants

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:08 am by Heather

  1.  Spring (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Sept 1, 2009
  2.  Hot Chocolate (Wicker Park) – October 27, 2009
  3.  Chalkboard (Lincoln Square) – December 6, 2009
  4.  West Loop Tavern (West Loop) – Jan 5, 2010
  5.  Gemini Bistro (Lincoln Square) – Jan 31, 2010
  6.  Kuma’s Korner (Logan Square) – March 26, 2010
  7.  Naha (Near North Side) – April 1, 2010
  8.  Marigold (Uptown) – April 8, 2010
  9.  LM Le Restaurant (Lincoln Square) – June 21, 2010
  10.  Otom (West Loop) – July 16, 2010
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February 21, 2010

2010 Best Pictures – Up

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:00 am by Heather


Up (2009): Jonas Rivera – watched Feb 19, 2010

Heather’s Rating: **       – It was ok

This was OK. I thought the first 5-10 minutes would have been a spectacular short film on its own – really sad and moving.  The rest of the film made me laugh a couple times, and was predictable as most animated films are.  Visually stunning, but the story line left me a little Blah.

February 20, 2010

2010 Best Picture Nominees – The Blind Side

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:47 am by Heather



The Blind Side (2009): Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson

Heather’s Rating: ****   – Loved it – would see again

I really liked this movie – it was warm and made me think if I was in Leigh Anne’s shoes that I would take in some total stranger at 17 years of age from the projects and adopt him.  I think Sandy Bullock was fantastic in the role, and I can see why she gets nominations.  I’m not sure this is dramatic enough to win a best picture, but it definitely deserves a nomination.

January 7, 2010

We interrupt your 101 in 1001 programing for this news

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:57 pm by Heather

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.

Registration code: 732751

November 16, 2009

[Travel / Adventures] 071. Visit Houston (part 1)

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:04 pm by Heather

Houston Skyline

Late night chats often turn into crazy hijinks, which is how my semi-impromptu trip for Houston during April‘s Birthday Month had its origins.

My flight got in very late, thanks to the storms flying over Chicago and delays from Houston.  April had to pick me up at about midnight, and after some crazy navigating of IAH, we made it out and back to casa April.

April, being the dedicated employee she is, was up 5 hours or so after we got home at 1 am to head into work for a half day.  I decided to accompany her to see what the Schipul was all about, and of course, we passed a Whataburger, and Gus Taunting promptly ensued.  I think Tony sums up Schipul when he wrote: “My understanding is that it’s apparently got something to do with the zoo, and somebody named Brandius works there. Also, there are sharks. Please be careful.”

April was only going to work a half day, and it was then off to James Coney Island (where Joel Taunting ensued) with JMO.   A nap then prudently followed, before we were off to attempt to a) find and b) partake of dinner at the Downtown Aquarium, recommended by the lovely Liz B.

Once we woke up and got dressed, we headed downtown and enjoyed some typical Houston traffic.  I also found out that google text searches really suck and couldn’t tell us the hours for the restaurant.  Plus, the battery on my camera died, and thus I was forced to take pictures of the beautiful Houston skyline with my wee Motorola Q.  We also managed to get turned around by the Juice Box, and took the scenic industrial route to dinner.

We did finally make it there, and decided to purchase our All-Access Pass and were set to enjoy the Aquarium Awesomeness.

Continued in Part 2.

November 12, 2009

[Travel / Adventures] 067. See the Penn & Teller show in Vegas

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:34 pm by Heather

I made my first foray into getting Penn & Teller tickets for my visit to Vegas in December with the WPBT. The tickets are just shy of $100 each so I’d like to use my degenerate gambler skills and get the tickets comped, since I’m staying at a Harrah’s property and I have a shiny Diamond card.

One minor problem with this is that I don’t have a Vegas host, and I’d been putting off calling down there to get one. Finally, after a month of procrastination, I called the Paris hotel and talked to someone.

Of course, it turns out I can’t get a host until I am actually physically present there, and ask for a casino host in person. Frustrating. However, the service agent did say I probably wouldn’t have an issue to get a host and get tickets comped on Thursday when I get in. Still frustrating.

However, I might know a fellow craps degenerate who has a casino host in Vegas, so there’s still a little hope.

November 10, 2009

[Education/Learning] 014. Complete Level 3 of Rosetta stone in Spanish

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:23 am by Heather

I’ve always wanted to learn spanish, and in fact took half a semester in jr high, but took french in high school and was so scarred by my 5 year AP french teacher I wigged out and didn’t take any in college and now I have lost all my fluency in the language. I can read some, but I cannot speak it or put words together any longer – it took me 10 minutes to remember that the word for “cold” was “froid”.

So, I admit I saw the Rosetta Stone on another 101’ers list, and he had done some research and used the program before and was able to read a book or two in Spanish, and decided that I’d give it a try.

And so far, I like the program.  I’m still on level 1 of the 3 I’ve purchased, but I’ve gotten through one of the core lessons and am halfway through the second.  It’s really quite a good program in my opinion – it forces you to think while learning, and engages your “gaming” brain, so it doesn’t really seem like work.

In fact, at the end of Lesson 1 (about 2.5 hours worth of work), there was a “milestone” check which put me effectively inside a conversation – a character in a comic book if you will and forced me to think/act like you were having a conversation to test your language skills.

It’s really interesting, and I’m learning about the tenses and conjugation organically instead of through a classroom.

November 9, 2009

Week 11 of 143 plans

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:58 am by Heather

Here’s the to-do list for this week:

  • call casino host about penn & teller show in Vegas
  • complete lesson 2.3 in Rosetta stone
  • Finish first course for CCNA
  • write 1 blog post per week
  • call mom
  • call claire
  • take own zone test
  • upload heart monitor
  • upload pedometer

What I managed to accomplish last week:

  • call mom
  • call claire

November 5, 2009

[PROJECT] 099. Donate at least $50/mo to http://www.donorschoose.org/

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:20 am by Heather

I chose to donate to DonorsChoose.org as part of my project, as it is an online charity where public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests ranging from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.

This allows me to chose local schools in Chicago and focus on a science project, which is near and dear to my heart.  I think kids in lower income schools don’t generally get a good grounding in science, math and tech, and I’d like to help out in some way.

My current project that I’m donating to is Chemistry Comes to Life Through Images!! where a teacher has requested an LCD projector for a chemistry class.  In the teacher’s words:

One of the biggest challenges facing a chemistry classroom is making abstract content accessible. Without an LCD projector to show videos, students cannot visualize how concepts work in “the real world”. Therefore, it is imperative that students SEE examples and work visually with content to make it come to life. Students need the concepts in this class to help them prepare for the ACT, college, and the marketplace.

This project is also one of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation projects, which means they will match donations once the halfway goal is reached for the project ($342).  So, even if it’s just me, they’ll get there in 7 mo.

November 4, 2009

[A-Z Movies] The Proposal [October 16, 2009]

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:12 pm by Heather

The Proposal (2009)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Malin Akerman, Craig T. Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Oscar Nunez
Director: Anne Fletcher

Rotten Tomatometer: 43%
NY Times: ***.5
Heather’s Rating[1]: $$

Plot Summary (from wikipedia): Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is the executive editor-in-chief of a book publishing company, Colden Books. All of her workers, including her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), dislike her. She fires a senior editor, Bob Spaulding (Aasif Mandvi) because he is unable to get an author named Frank interviewed by Oprah. After learning she is being deported to Canada, she forces Andrew to marry her, as his future is tied to hers. When the government investigates, Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) informs them that they will undergo rigorous testing to prove that the marriage is not fraudulent, after being notified by Bob Spaulding that this marriage might be a sham. Andrew grudgingly accepts the proposition of marrying Margaret, under the condition that he is promoted to the position of editor and his manuscript be published. He also forces Margaret to propose nicely to him on her knees in the streets of New York, and to allow him to tell his parents they are getting married. [And hijinks ensue -ed.]

Heather’s Review: 

If you put Sandra Bullock in any movie, I am 75% likely to see it.  I have thought she was fantastic since Speed, although the jury’s out on that Blind Side movie – even though the B slot is still open.  Add Ryan Reynolds (have you seen Definitely, Maybe? If not, you should), and the percentage goes up to 95%. 

Yes, the movie is formulaic.  Yes, it ends just as you expect it to.  But getting there is really great fun.  And it has Betty White as Andrew’s grandmother, which is hilarious and worth the rental just for that.  Add in the other great cast and I was laughing through this movie and I had tears at the end.

And yes, I’d like my own Ryan Reynolds, thank you.
Heather’s Ratings:
$$$$ = Worth pa,ying the Friday evening price
$$$= Worth paying the Matinee price
$$= Worth a rental
$ = Wait for cable
# = Skip it


1. TOTALLY stolen from Donna who has awesome movie reviews and you should add her blog to your feed (back to review)

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