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Showing posts from March, 2016

Springfield road trip

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll remember that we'd been having some difficulty coming up with Spring Break travel plans. We had a trip planned to Milwaukee that was scrapped. We had a trip planned to St. Louis that was scrapped. We had a trip planned to Nashville...scrapped. And we got a mixed reaction from the kids about various local plans in the Chicago area for the two days after Easter that Mama took off work for family time. It's really gotten to the point where we've decided to stop getting input from the kids about activities. If we want to go somewhere, we'll tell them to get in the car and we're going. So the Sunday evening discussion took a turn to the unexpected at bedtime and we decided to make a quick hotel reservation and drive to Springfield for a couple of days.

Springfield, for those who haven't ever been, is a weird place. Driving south of Chicago--whether you go to Indiana or stay in Illinois--is a mix of industri…

The Matchmaker review

"The Matchmaker" by Thornton Wilder is at the Goodman Theatre through April 10. 

We rarely get a date night and don't always choose to see a show when we do, so theater reviews are not my usual blog thing--despite my background. But it was The Mama's birthday last week and we managed to get a babysitter. So we thought about a few plays for what we'd see...since both of us have theater experience, we joke that this is how we'll spend our later days (along with travel). The tickets were discounted via Hot Tix and turned out to be quite good. In the mezzanine was great. Really, there's not a bad seat at The Goodman though. It was my first time visiting and it's a very intimate venue. Good acoustics and sight lines.

For those unfamiliar with the history of the play, it was Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker which was eventually turned into the musical Hello, Dolly! The musical had his blessing though he wasn't involved in the production. The Matchma…

Playing percentages with our kids

My daughter had what was supposed to be a routine follow-up for an ear infection on Friday. She's been feeling fine. Not complaining about her ears like she was. Maybe a bit of a runny nose and cough, but previously she'd mentioned her bad ears at least once an hour. So I figured it would be a quick look to confirm that the infection was gone and we'd be on our way. But this was her second ear infection in a row and we weren't taking any chances.

The infection isn't as horrible as before, but she still has fluid and problems. 
So we spent our Friday afternoon hunting down a progressively stronger antibiotic--her 3rd now (all stronger than the last)--that is difficult enough to find that a number of mainstream pharmacies did not have it in stock. We ended up at our small, local shop who happened to have the generic on their shelves. She's on another 10 days of it and then we'll be referred to a specialist if she's not better.

In the old days, we would ha…

What's going on in the IL primary?

It's been a crazy few days here in Illinois. There was the chaos of the Trump rally/protest on Friday. (He leads Cruz by a few points.) And you could be forgiven if you looked at the polling results that came out on the Democratic side over the weekend and scratched your head. A few weeks ago, Hillary was up by about 40 points. Now, the polling average is Hillary by 11 with a range of Bernie by 2 to Hillary by 37.

So what's going on?

To start, a number of polling companies looked at what they got wrong in Michigan and altered their data to reflect the turnout there. More young people, less of a lead for Hillary among African-Americans. One theory in the Chicago area is that Bernie distancing himself from the mayor has helped. Early voting in Illinois is setting a turnout record...a good sign for Sanders? Maybe. Illinois definitely has a more progressive streak than the other primary states tomorrow. So if Bernie is going to do well anywhere it would probably be here.

Adding to…

Another explanation for the rise of Trump

This week, one of the major candidates for President of the United States asked supporters at his rally to raise their hands and swear an oath of support that has been variously criticized, mocked, and shamed as Nazi-esque. The swearing to vote for Trump isn't itself so Hitler-like...but you can see where the jump to conclusions came from given the giant border wall to keep Mexicans out, the fear of foreigners, Muslims, and the rallying behind whiteness as black protesters get beaten at Trump campaign events.

As efforts to stop Trump are variously underway (and may or may not work within the GOP), the news this week has been full of analysis trying to figure out how America got here. Explanations have ranged from racist backlash against the first black President to years of Republican vitriol to class struggles by less-educated whites watching the economy and culture head away from them. (For the record, to win in November Trump would have to have levels of non-college educated wh…

The tale of the toilet seat

Note: The following product was purchased for our family by us. I am not affiliated with the manufacturer and have received nothing for my opinion. 

We had a game-changer in our household yesterday. This bad boy cost about $30 on Amazon and is an investment I wish we'd made sooner. It's the Bemis 483SLOW toilet seat and I never thought I'd have glowing things to say about a freakin' toilet seat, but I do. It's an engineering marvel. Parents, if you have young kids too small for a full-sized grownup toilet, this is it.

The anticipation on our purchase was actually magnified because yours truly screwed up the first shipment and accidentally bought the elongated version. Don't do that. Your toilet is probably the standard "round." Even if it looks oval. I promise. Measure if you doubt.

We'd been living with multiple devices up to this point...the standard plastic, on-the-floor potty that you have to empty. Pain in the ass for both floor space and cle…

Super Tuesday was one for the ages

If you know me, you'd think I'd be wanting to talk about the Democratic side of the race as usual. But I'm actually more fascinated by the Republican side--I'll get around to it in a minute. 
First, it was a great night for Hillary and she has essentially put the race for the nomination out of reach for Bernie Sanders. So there is lots to talk about...the shift in tone for both of their speeches, when she'll clinch, whether Sanders may drop out eventually, etc.. Lots of phrases being thrown around the politics-geek world like "no path forward" and "insurmountable lead." For the record, by my best guess Hillary will have the race clinched in late April. Probably the 26th. Maybe early May. It depends on how big she wins March 15 states. Also for the record, I don't think Sanders should drop out nor do I think he will. He'll tone it down and shift to become a conscience more than pretending to be a viable candidate. But he'll stick arou…