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Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

Midnight in the garden of snowmobilers.

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Two snowmobilers zoom west on Chicago Avenue past LaSalle Street, the drivers whooping it up as they easily navigate the snowy tundra that has the rest of the city in a state of near-paralysis.

That was at midnight, Feb. 2, 2011.

You can debate the advantages of city life vs. the pluses of the suburban world until the Cubs three-peat as World Champions — but when a snowpacalpyse hits the Midwest and you live within walking distance of work and your car’s parked inside and you don’t have to shovel or plow your way to freedom, then going out for a walk into the heart of the storm is an adventure and a social study.

(For everyone who had to wait seven hours to be rescued from their cars, for everyone whose drive home was longer than a flight from Chicago to Switzerland, for everyone who suffered major inconveniences or property damage, for everyone that doesn’t have power or heat — I’ve been there. I feel for you. Hang tough.)

The snowmobilers aren’t the only travelers in the neighborhood. Every few minutes, there’s a fire engine, a bus, a police vehicle. The lone cab I saw during my hike honked his horn at me hopefully, then continued fishtailing down LaSalle Street.

On Wells Street, about a half-dozen young guys are whooping it up and throwing snowballs at a window, calling for a buddy of theirs to wake up and come down. The apartment remains dark.

In a 24-hour currency exchange on LaSalle Street, a woman takes shelter. She seems to be asleep but then walks into the snow and starts yelling at the heavens, or perhaps at some unseen demon.

And then the bicyclist.

Yes, there is a man with a bicycle heading west on Chicago, following the earlier path of the snowmobilers. He tries to pedal, he gives up, he starts walking with his bike, he tries to ride it again, he gives up again.

He’s either a very determined thief or someone who pays absolutely no attention to the news.

The Chicago Way

Not every establishment in the neighborhood has surrended to the storm of the year/decade/century/millennium.

At Chicago and State, a couple walks their smallish dog, who looks like he could be swallowed by a drift at any minute.

Peer inside Clark Street Ale House — the sign outside says “STOP AND DRINK” — and you can see a handful of warm and cozy folks enjoying their drinks as if it’s just another Tuesday night.

Across the street, a quartet of pint-lifters spills out of Celtic Crossings. As one lights a cigarette, two others give each other hearty hugs and bid a good night before they head off in opposite directions.

It’s a little before 1 a.m. Though I’m bundled from head to toe like Roald Amundsen seeking the South Pole, I can feel the weather. It really isn’t fit for pedestrian or dog (or bicyclist). Or man with camera.

But if you’re one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to contend with losing your heat or leaving your car on Lake Shore Drive, if you’re not looking ahead at a day’s worth of work clearing your driveway, you can appreciate the ferocious beauty of Mother Nature at work.

When John “met” Meg.

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Page Six of the New York Post is reporting John Mellencamp has been seen out and about with Meg Ryan. Reminds me of the “Ebert & Roeper” show in 2007, when Mellencamp filled in for Roger Ebert and we reviewed “In the Land of Women,” starring…Meg Ryan.

And…we’ve reached a new low.

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

How does the Onion stay in the satire business when reality is so ghastly?

The first reaction is: how do these people sleep at night? My guess is the answer would be, Just fine, thanks. To even think of shit like this, let alone to turn it into a television show, you pretty much have you leave your conscience and your soul at the door.

But I won’t be surprised if this…show, if you want to call it that, becomes a hit. The trainwreck factor alone will have people tuning in. And in a world where the Situation brings in more viewers every week than television art such as “Mad Men,” we’re already at the bottom of the barrel.

Now we’re just scraping it.


Brides-to-Be Compete in Wedding-Themed Challenges Collecting Extreme Plastic Surgery Procedures While Trying to Win a Dream Celebrity-Style Wedding

Los Angeles, CA, September 16, 2010 – Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day but for the women competing on E!’s new series, “Bridalplasty,” only perfection will do.  “Bridalplasty” brings together engaged women who are seeking complete image transformations before their big day – they want the dream wedding AND the dream body to go along with it.  These brides-to-be are willing to do whatever it takes to beat the competition in order to get that perfection.  Throughout the show, as they put together their dream wedding, each week one lucky bride will also get one piece of her dream body – going under the knife for one of the surgeries off her “wish list.”  The last bride standing will have the opportunity to have an extreme plastic surgery makeover and win a wedding fit for the stars where she will unveil her shocking new look for the very first time to the man that she’s about to marry.  Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Terry Dubrow joins host Shanna Moakler (a celebrity bride herself) to guide the competitors in their quest for a flawless wedding.  Executive produced by Giuliana Rancic, as well as Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego (51 Minds), the 10-episode, one-hour series will debut Sunday, November 28 at 9pmET/PT on E!

In the first episode, 12 eager brides-to-be from across the country move into a mansion where they live together and compete to collect plastic surgery procedures and fabulous wedding prizes along the way.  But before the competition heats up, they first meet with Dr. Dubrow for a private consultation to create a personalized plastic surgery “wish list” that they hope to complete before walking down the aisle – from muffin tops to crooked noses to flat chests, the perceived imperfections they hope to fix are extensive and dramatic.  Each bride will leave the consultations with a clear vision of what her new body could be.

The competition begins and the women go head to head in wedding-themed challenges, ranging from writing wedding vows to planning honeymoons.  The winning bride receives the chance to choose a procedure from her “wish list,” which will take place immediately and be revealed at the beginning of the next episode.  Each episode ends in a dramatic elimination with one bride being voted off by her competitors, possibly walking away with nothing and losing her chance to be the perfect bride.

In the finale, the “Bridalplasty” champion will be named and viewers will follow her journey as she prepares for her dream wedding, which includes undergoing all of the procedures on her plastic surgery “wish list,” and her fiancé’s anticipation as he waits to see her full transformation.  In a moment anticipated all season long, the bride will finally walk down the aisle to reveal her new appearance to her husband to be.  Viewers will witness his emotional and possibly shocked reaction as they stand at the altar and he lifts her veil to see her for the first time following her extreme plastic surgery.  The dramatic finale marks the end of her quest for perfection and reveals if her dream wedding does in fact become a reality.

“Bridalplasty” premieres Sunday, November 28 at 9pmET/PT on E!  The series is produced by 51 Minds Entertainment, an Endemol company who have been behind some of cable television’s biggest franchises, including “The Surreal Life,” “My Fair Brady,” “Flavor of Love” and “Rock of Love.”  Executive producers are Giuliana Rancic and Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego for 51 Minds.

Shanna Moakler is one of the entertainment industry’s most sought-after talents.  Shanna has hosted CW’s reality series “Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants,” starred in ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and also starred in the MTV series “Meet the Barkers” with her (now) ex-husband, Blink 182 Drummer, Travis Barker.  The former Miss USA has also made appearances on the big screen, including roles in “The Wedding Singer” and “Love Stinks.”

Dr. Terry Dubrow is a board certified plastic surgeon in southern California with over 15 years of experience.  He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Certified Expert for The California Medical Board.  He was the plastic surgeon on the Fox television show “The Swan” and his surgical practice includes reconstructive cancer surgery as well as cosmetic surgery.

About Comcast Entertainment Group
Based in Los Angeles, Comcast Entertainment Group operates E! Entertainment Television, the 24-hour network with programming dedicated to the world of entertainment, and E! Online; The Style Network, the destination for women 18-49 with a passion for the best in relatable, inspiring and transformational lifestyle programming; and G4, offering the last word on gaming, technology, animation, interactivity and “geek culture” for the male 18-34 demo.  E! is currently available to 97 million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S. and the E! Everywhere initiative underscores the company’s dedication to making E! content available on all new media platforms any time and anywhere from online to broadband video to wireless to radio to VOD.  The Style Network currently counts 65 million cable and satellite subscribers and keeps women up to date on all the latest fashion and beauty news on the web.  G4 is available in 70 million cable and satellite homes nationwide and is a top web destination for video game news and information.


Let’s shuffle up and deal!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
August 25, 2010
In case you haven’t bought your ticket to Aces UP! yet (it’s happening this Friday), here are the top ten reasons to do so RIGHT NOW:
  1. Your participation helps a great cause:  Urban Prep;
  2. The grand prize is worth $5,000 (and there are a bunch of other prizes too-bringing the total value of the prize pool to over $10,000);
  3. You could win a fantastic Tiffany & Co watch worth over $3,500 in a raffle (and you don’t even have to play in the tournament to enter the raffle);
  4. Win bragging rights (and a prize) when you send one of our celebrity bounties packing.  Susan Carlson, Ryan Chiaverini, DC Crenshaw, John Fritchey, Alexi Giannoulias, Teddy Greenstein, Jim Houlihan, Natalie Martinez, Stephanie Neely, Jannero Pargo, Richard Roeper, John Rogers, Ameet Sachdev, Jannero Pargo and Chris Zorich are among our celebs daring you to knock them out;
  5. There will be an open bar and plenty of food for spectators and players to enjoy;
  6. Your participation helps a great cause:  Urban Prep;
  7. You can enjoy the River East Art Center’s outdoor space on a gorgeous summer evening;
  8. Today is the last day to buy a discounted Aces UP! tourney ticket by clicking here;
  9. The event is the day after tomorrow and there’s no better way to enjoy a Friday evening than at Aces UP!;
  10. Did I mention you’ll be helping a great cause?
Hope to see your poker face when you go all-in this Friday at Aces UP!



Tim King

Founder & CEO

Urban Prep Academies

PS  For more information about Aces UP!, please visit or call or email Ed Briscoe (312-276-0259, ext. 1106;

New Harry Potter trailer

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

A few more shots from the game.

Monday, June 14th, 2010


Monday, June 14th, 2010

Some snapshots from Sunday night’s game/celebration at Wrigley Field..

Ice ice baby to go…

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew Girls put some…ice in our drinks.

Nice shot, dude.

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Here’s the montage I was talking about WLS-AM…

Flip Video thoughts on “Lost.”

Monday, May 24th, 2010

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