Crossword Solved

I solved this today. I'm pretty proud of myself. More to come later.

The thing that about this puzzle is the tricky rebus-stlye construction. Notice 37A: Bargaining phrase ... and a hint to this puzzle's theme (ITSGONNACOSTYOU). As in an arm and a leg. Get it? Well sure, once you get 37A you're set. My problem was that I got 9D: One column in the periodic table (NOBLEGASES) first. And instead of entering LEG into one square I thought there might be some twisting clues at work in this puzzle (follow the blue arrows), as that is another trick Mr. Shortz likes to keep up his erudite sleeves. Misleadingly, this actually fit with the rest of the answers in the northeast corner. 36D: Food company whose name is spelled out in its advertising jingle (OSCARMAYER) was originally entered this way as well, until 51A: It tends to increase with income (TAXRATE) necessitated some reconsidering. Not until it became clear that 17A: Events for some teens had to be some type of mitzvah did I figure out what was really going on here. Finally, I would like to discuss 60A: Something never shown in bars (CIRCLEGRAPH). First off, this clue needs a question mark. Second, I feel like 'circle graph' is pretty marginal. It's called a pie chart. Graphs have axes. A little disappointing Will, a little disappointing. (I did enjoy 45A: Follower of red or 50 (CENT) though.)

Oh, and we went for a run at 4:00 AM last night. Although there was some blowback from this, over all a good decision.


Midwestern Hip Hop

Thursday night found us at the Union Terrace. It was a warm night in the Midwest and a large crowd was gathered on the shores of Lake Mendota to enjoy the night's entertainment, and drink the beer. The event, part of Madison's "Hip Hop as a Movement Week", might not seem to be a big draw in a city that is less that 6% African-American and held at a university that is half that. This is where the Jews and the Lesbians come in though. Both demographics were out in full force, to a surprising degree. I think it's pretty reasonable to say that few people get to enjoy the funkaliscious stylings of The Coup in such an environment. I'm not going to claim that I was honored, that would be a lie, but I did appreciate that fact on an intellectual level. I also appreciated Coup members Boots Riley, for his impressive 'fro/mutton chops mien, and DJ Pam the Funkstress, for her energy and verve. The point of all of this? The Coup, really good. With or without Lesbos. A few choice tracks: Ride the Fence, Laugh/Love/Fuck, My Favorite Mutiny, and of course Baby Let's Have a Baby Before Bush Do Somethin Crazy.


The Whitney Pizza

It's been slow in .blog world lately. Thursday night Tommy, Leslie, and I came up with a few good ideas. Then I promptly forgot them. I was reminded the next day, but they didn't seem as good at that point. One thing I would like to bring up is that the Café Montmartre has a pizza named after me. Or at least they have one called the "Whitney Pizza". And since there weren't any answers forthcoming about why it's called that, I'll take it. Luckily it's a pizza to be proud of with two cheeses, spicy sausage, peppers, and probably some other things I don't remember.

Another topic was The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman. Tommy and I, et al., were suckered into the first episode of this while watching the college basketball finals. This is sort of ironic because nobody wanted either Ohio State or Florida to win in the first place, making the basketball game a lose-lose situation. The Bachelor managed to pull off the storied lose-lose-lose hat-trick. I won't actually go into what happened on the show, The Sports Gal does it much better here. Two comments though:

1. There's something really disconcerting about how overly excited this guy gets about just seeing the girls on the show. Maybe it's the navy in him coming out, but he ends up looking like a fat girl who's just been told about the gag reflex.

2. If I am ever in the situation in which a woman thinks that it would be a good idea to serenade me with an acappella rendition of The Star Spangled Banner I will know that I have failed at life. The bachelor obviously feels differently about this. His tears aborted the little fetus of respect that was already atrophying in my belly.


Sheboygan Ho!

Most junk mail I receive quickly makes its way into my bag o'recycling that sits on a bench in my breakfast nook. Two pieces that never do are the Usinger's House of Sausage catalogue and the City of Sheboygan tourism brochure (pictured at left). The actualities of how I came to receive these quarterly publications is slightly suspicious, nonetheless I will not be canceling my subscription any time soon. More likely, I will be placing my summer sausage order sometime this week.