Inhuman Swill : Page 72
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

This lovely parting gift

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We're listening to NPR's "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me" right now on WBEZ, and it's almost as much fun as it was watching the free live taping Thursday evening at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park!

One interesting thing is that the segments were not recorded in the same order that they're being played on the air. Also, we've caught a couple of the redo's that were recorded at the end of the show and edited in where bobbles were made.

The special guest this week is Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Just wait until you hear the lovely parting gift Peter Sagal gives him after his segment. Fitzgerald covered his face in embarrassment as he carried it off stage.

Interesting fact:  One of the redo's recorded at the end of the show was to eliminate the audience's cheering at the first mention of Scooter Libby's conviction.
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Help classify galaxies!

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Vacation disasters

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William Shunn vacations in Canada
An occasional nightmare of mine, in Simpsovision:

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A taste of Chicago

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Pritzker Pavilion and Millennium Park
Yesterday afternoon Laura and I bopped downtown to spend an afternoon gorging ourselves at the Taste of Chicago. After we were too full to go on, we waddled over to Millennium Park and flopped down to hear the Grant Park Orchestra and Karen Brunssen rehearse Duruflé's Requiem at the Frank Gehry–designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion. On the way back to the train, we tried spotting ourselves in the reflective surface of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate—known locally as The Bean.

And of course we took some pictures. Something more than half of these are Laura's, something less than half mine.

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Magic words

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A Walk in Chicago
We have arrived in Chicago safely, we have moved into our mostly refinished apartment, and we have put our things mostly into place. I will post a more detailed chronicle of our adventures at some point, but for now I offer you a pair of amazing magic words:

Central air.

In the meantime, here is a set of photos from a walk around our new neighborhood with the in-laws on Independence Day.

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Some last lasts

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Yesterday I wrote a check for what I dearly hope will be my last New York City parking ticket. I mean, we had that rental car for less than 24 hours! Oh, well. Thanks, Gotham!

Now I am sitting with my laptop at Esparks Coffee for what is probably the last time. Our apartment is empty, the truck having trundled away about an hour ago. It took five guys only about two and a half hours to load everything, owing mostly to Laura's fabulous packing job. Tomorrow morning we pick up a rental SUV and book for Chicago. With luck, we will overtake the movers, because they can't get in our new apartment Sunday morning without us.

Last night as New Yorkers! Thanks again, Gotham! It really has been unbelievable. Thanks to everyone here who helped make it that way.

And Chicago, we can't wait. It will be great.

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Fire sale!

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Okay, not a sale, really. A giveaway!

I'm cleaning out my desk here at the office, preparatory to the big Chicago move, and I find I have a handful of extra recent CDMOM mix discs.

To the first person who emails his or her street address to me at feedback at [mylastname] dot net, I will send three mixes: From Gotham to the Windy City, Children of the Beatles, and The Bestiary.

To the next three people who email me, I will send The Bestiary. (Yes, I have four copies of that one to unload in all.)

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Greg Bear on the Daily Show

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You've probably seen this already, but I finally got a chance to watch it...

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Here's most of the CDMOM gang:

We're not exactly in even rows, but if we start at the bright orange shirt and go left from there we have Nuno, Brenda, Robyn, Eric, Alan, Ben, and Francis (half-hidden). Then if we start from Eric's beer and go left, we have Brooklyn Brown Ale, Lisa, Ali, and Ken. And then if we start at the shocking pink cleavage and go left we have Carrie, Joy, me, and Cindy. What a handsome crew!

And here's CDMOM mom Lisa's official account of the evening.

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My main contribution to last night's June CD Mix of the Month Club (for which I'm still importing discs into the database) was From Gotham to the Windy City, a fantasia in which a girl and boy console themselves upon leaving town.

Since this was my last CDMOM mixer as a New Yorker, almost the whole gang turned out. It was a fun and gratifying evening, despite the fact that our first-choice bar was so packed that we had to move the festivities to an alternate location. I was dubious about any bar on that once-sordid-but-now-tourist-friendly stretch of St. Mark's Place between Second and Third Avenues, but Grassroots turned out to be a perfect dive bar for our purposes, not too crowded and not too loud. The gang surprised me with a card and a Morton's of Chicago gift certificate, Lisa brought homemade chocolate chip cookies, Ali brought cupcakes from Billy's (though sadly her bellydancing plan did not come to fruition), and people kept pouring me drinks. Everyone tried to egg poor Nuno on into giving me a lap dance, but to his immense relief they let him off the hook.

I will miss this crew, though maybe a few of them will move to Chicago themselves someday! If so, maybe there will be a Chicago chapter of CDMOM waiting for them to join.

But the story isn't done yet. As Alan and Ali and I, the last ones standing, were leaving the bar, I apparently started telling a story I had already told. This should have been a clue to me. By the time my cab had crossed the Queensborough Bridge, I was feeling decidedly sick. Now, I don't think I had that much to drink, so I'm blaming the combination of cupcakes and cookies and stirfry with far too salty soy sauce for dinner, but it wasn't long after I arrived home (and only a moment after Laura arrived home in a different cab, having gotten a last-minute ticket to see Romeo & Juliet in Central Park) that I was praying to the porcelain god. This, seriously, is only the second time in my life that ralphing has followed drinking. The first time was right after my 30th birthday party at Mooney's Pub on Flatbush in Brooklyn. Boy, was that a party.

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William Shunn