Hot Air

Gas Pains?

Get this: I filled my tank yesterday evening for the delightful total of $13.91.

That’s right. I’d been driving on fumes and my empty dummy light was strobing like mad. Of course, I used my Kroger ID to get a seventy-cents-a-gallon discount but still….

Kroger Gas


It reminds me of the summer of 2000. The bust had just begun so tech geeks weren’t lighting their cigars with hundred-dollar bills but, man, the folks from Iowa continued to pour into Chi-town, their overalls pockets brimming with fives, tens, and twenties, and they were more than happy to spread it around. I know this because I was working at Chicago Trolley Co. at the time. I was buying cars and computers in cash, thanks to generous tips from all those Ma & Pa Kettles comin’ to town burdened with excess foldin’ money.

The entire state was so flush with dollars that had fallen from the sky like so many snowflakes that the Guv at the time — one George H. Ryan, yet another state chief executive/future guest of the very accommodating Illinois Department of Corrections — said he wanted to give some dough back to the peeps. And, by golly, he did! Early that summer, Ryan announced that Illinois had collected so much surplus money from its gasoline tax that, hell, the state was almost drowning in money, so he was going to drop that tax. Yup. On July 1st, just like that, the price of gas dropped to something on the order of $1.20 a gallon. People started taking showers in gasoline, for chrissakes.

Of course, next thing anybody knew George Bush and Dick Cheney personally piloted those airplanes into the World Trade Center towers and the whole economy collapsed quicker than the structures themselves did.

Sheesh! I hope yesterday’s fill-up isn’t as much a harbinger as that summer’s gas bender was.

You Deserve A Break Today

Personal to all my friends on the Left side of the political spectrum — yeah, that’s right, Liberals, Progressives, and even Occupy radicals, all of you: Please do yourselves a favor and start taking a break from reading, listening to, or watching the news now and again.

I mean it. I’m going to do it. The goofs who are running the US Congress now, along with the Reagan/Bush/Bush Supreme Court as well as the old standbys on Fox News and conservative talk radio are pretty much flipping out these days now that they control almost everything. It has become an orgy of excess, with the Supremes “reasoning” that men can lactate, Rand Paul and Chris Christie calling for laissez-faire vaccination policies, Midwest governors trying to start state-run news services, Paul Ryan claiming that Barack Obama is responsible for the wealth gap, hell, even some GOP senator wants to knock off the regulations that mandate restaurant employees wash their hands after dropping a deuce. The madness is overwhelming and, quite frankly, frightening.

Republican Convention


The Right is becoming giddy with its new-found power. Some are even descending into an orgiastic variety of acting-out; witness Sarah Palin’s recent speeches in which she appears to be, well, plastered.

If we continue to sop up all this lunacy, we’ll becomes lunatics ourselves. We have to take strategic breaks from reading about Mikes Huckabee and Pence. It’s for our own good. Will one day off suffice? No? Then take two.

Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.

Go With The Flow

Speaking of orgies, catch the four-day flow arts bash this weekend at venues around Bloomington. The Kinetic Arts Academy folks are billing their mid-winter demi-fest the Flow Motion Chiller: Multi-Prop Cirque & Kinetic Arts Retreat. Hula hoop doyenne Paula Chambers and cohorts will preside over a dizzying (literally) variety of flow motion stuff, including public exhibitions, art displays, performances, and workshops for the serious flow motioner.

Rall/Flow Motion Fest

Sue Tarnow Rall On Aerial Silks At Flow Motion Fest

They’re hosting a free, open-to-public event Friday 5-9pm at the I. Fell Building, 415 W. 4th St. with a gallery show featuring photography, videos, and other renderings of past flow arts performances. You’ll also see live fire and aerialist performances and the experts will even let civilians try flow arts like acrobatic yoga, juggling, hoops, poi, stilt-walking, and other giddy endeavors.

Some 35 workshops will be offered over the course of the four days. They’ll be conducted by flow arts instructors from all around the country, leading classes in acrobatics, aerial silks, contact staff, cyr wheel, hoop, lyra, poi, pole dance fitness, and yoga. Click on over to the Kinetic Arts Academy’s website for a full schedule of performances and workshops as well as ticket info.

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