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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, November 30

Gapers Block

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10 Things I Really Enjoyed (In No Particular Order)
Shylo Bisnett

10. Books made from plastic.
9. Pin-up calendars.
8. Boards of Canada, "Music Has the Right to Children."
7. The New York Times Crossword.
6. Seeing Morrissey in concert thrice.
5. Ripping down wallpaper.
4. Fresca.
3. My $15 engagement ring.
2. Aprons from thrift stores.
1. Prom decor catalogs.


Top 10 Books I Didn't, and Probably Won't, Read
Veronica Bond

10. Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes. I hear that it's supposed to be a sort of parody of chick lit, but that doesn't make it good.
9. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. Badly disgused tell-all of disgruntled editor at major magazine. Boo-effin'-hoo.
8. He's Just Not That into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. Um, I already know that if it takes him over a week to call, he probably won't. Unless it's for booty.
7. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. ABC made a movie of this and showed it instead of "Desperate Housewives," totally ruining my Sunday.
6. How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers. I don't hate Dave Eggers, as I'm finally getting into McSweeney's, but I certainly don't want to read another book of his.
5. My Life by Bill Clinton. I'm no Republican, but even I would use this as a doorstop.
4. The 9/11 Commission Report by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks. It happened. I don't need to read about how it could have been prevented. It wasn't.
3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I'm guessing Narnia 101 is a sort of prerequisite for this and I totally skipped out on that class.
2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The first time I read the back cover it seemed boring. Months later and hyperbole abounding, it still sounds boring.
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I don't care how popular the movies are, I read The Hobbit in sixth grade and I hated it. Nothing you can say will ever make me voluntary pick up Tolkien. And, Viggo or not, I don't want to see the movies either.


Top 10 Political Quotes of the Year
Ramsin Canon

10. "This is the number one issue. There are more abandoned cars than people." -Mayor Daley
9. "If not 50, then certainly close to it." �Ald. Ed Burke (14th), on the number of votes he expected Mayor Daley's budget to get.
8. "I'll sign anything." �Mayor Daley, upon unwittingly signing a petition asking County Clerk David Orr to perform gay marriage ceremonies.
7. "The city owns the sidewalks. We own the streets and we own the alleys." �Mayor Daley
6. "[The Cubs] should get a team�[and Andy MacPhail], poor guy. He should really put a clamp on his mouth." �Mayor Daley
5. "We were the insiders. We were not the outsiders. We couldn't think outside the box. We were inside the box." �Mayor Daley on Howard Dean's message.
4. "That means well over 500, by your numbers, haven't [donated]...I'm delighted to hear that, quite frankly. It's more than I thought." �Governor Blagojevich upon being told the large number of political donors who have gotten government jobs.
3. "Hmm. Well, I don't believe you." �Ald. Ed Smith (28th), upon being informed that the majority of the UFCW's membership in Chicago are minorities.
2. "No." �Ald. William Beavers, upon being asked, while smoking a filter-less Pall Mall, if he would consider a city-wide smoking ban if it were found not to hurt business.
1. "Sorry, I have no problems." �Mayor Daley, asked if testimony in the Hired Truck Scandal would cause him problems.


Top 10 Recipes I Haven't Been Able to Cook
(since my kitchen is being remodeled.)
Cinnamon Cooper

10. Paduan nests
9. Homemade Ginger Beer
8. Welsh Rarebit
7. White Roux
6. Stuffed Calamari
5. Venetian Seafood Salad
4. Stuffed Steak with Prosciutto and Spinach
3. Shepherd's Pie
2. Crawfish Boil
1. Gumbo du Monde


Top 10 Drinks of 2004 (AKA The Year I Cut Back on Bourbon)
Jes Davis

10. Tie: Mai Tais (Phoenix Dumpling House) and Widmer's SnowPlow (Portland)
9. Imperial beer (Costa Rica)
8. Atom smashers (Smartbar)
7. Raspberry Bacardi and rosehip hibiscus iced tea (Lava Lounge)
6. Jack Daniel's, straight from a brown paper bag in Hart Plaza (Detroit)
5. Ginger martinis (Mod.)
4. Footballs of Everclear (Las Vegas)
3. Lychee mimosas (Rodan)
2. Orange Stoli and club soda
1. Sake, in any incarnation


10 Times I Said "Hi" When I Should Have Said...
Naz Hamid

10. Hey Ya!
9. God you're beautiful. Marry me?
8. Your work sucks and so do you.
7. Oh my gawd! Can you be anymore fake/superficial?
6. The 80's are so over and were so never ever in.
5. Fuck the Rainbo Club.
4. You know, dying your hair black makes it look so ridiculous, not to mention it looks so dry you look like a witch.
3. Boo-ya!
2. Just because you're a creative director and you wear black, it doesn't mean you know shite. This is obvious by the question you just asked me about my web work: "So, what kind of hardware do you use?"
1. I just called to say, "I love you."


Top 10 Most Annoying Intersections
Andrew Huff

10. Michigan & Chicago.
9. Sheridan/Broadway & Devon.
8. Shields & 35th (during a Sox game).
7. State & Monroe.
6. Logan Circle.
5. Damen & Diversey.
4. Clark & Addison (during a Cubs game).
3. Milwaukee & Damen & North.
2. Western & Lawrence.
1. North & Sheffield.


Top 10 Reasons Why Having a Roommate is Better Than a Cat
(with all love and apologies to my new roommate)
Anne Holub

10. She doesn't have Tender Vittles breath.
9. No inappropriate licking.
8. I can knit, and she doesn't attack me.
7. Her presents have a lot less to do with things she killed.
6. When she goes into heat, we hit the bars.
5. She's not interested in my cereal milk.
4. I can leave her alone for days, and she feeds herself.
3. Thumbs!
2. No kneading my back with her claws.
1. That's not kitty litter, it's cornflakes!


Top 10 Accomplishments for 2004
Alice Maggio

10. Remembered to floss.
9. Hung that one picture in the bedroom.
8. Watched 2 more friends get married.
7. Spent $986.32 to keep my car running another year.
6. Wrote 47 columns for Gapers Block.
5. Read 39 books.
4. Catalogued 3,168 new items for the library.
3. Didn't get the flu.
2. Paid $2764.60 towards my student debt.
1. Finally got that box out of the trunk of my car.


Top 10 Reasons I Moved Back to Chicago
Paul McAleer

10. Warm, tropical climate.
9. Sports teams have no pretense of potentially winning anything significant.
8. Voting more than once in an election doesn't go over well in Denver.
7. Multiple Urban Outfitters locations.
6. You can't duplicate the CTA Guy ("Liberry") on any other public transit system, anywhere.
5. Chicago bloggers have more posts about their cats.
4. While "Mayor Hickenlooper" is fun to say, "Mayor" without "Daley" after it just seems wrong.
3. Rush hour on the Ike.
2. Gapers Block had no Paul on staff.
1. Chicago is the only place on earth where pizza is religion


I hate Top 10 Films lists, because you know there's no way half of these people have actually seen all of the great films released this year. Then, how do you compare a film like The Incredibles to a film like Million Dollar Baby? As many films as I've seen this year, there are any number of films popping up on Top Ten lists all around the globe that I haven't seen, and so, rather than listing all the movies I gave 4- or 5-star reviews to this year, I present...

The Top 10 Films I Didn't See (But Wanted to) in 2004
Gordon McAlpin

10. Kinsey
9. Tarnation
8. Maria Full of Grace
7. Osama
6. Shaun of the Dead
5. A Very Long Engagement
4. Bad Education
3. Before Sunset
2. Sideways
1. The Sea Inside


Top 10 Albums I Hate That Made Pitchfork's Best Of 2004 List
Ken Meier

10. Scissor Sisters "Scissor Sisters" (Polydor)
9. Interpol "Antics" (Matador)
8. Franz Ferdinand "Franz Ferdinand" (Domino)
7. TV on the Radio "Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes" (Touch & Go)
6. Modest Mouse "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" (Epic)
5. Air "Talkie Walkie" (Astralwerks)
4. Kanye West "College Dropout" (Rocafella)
3. Dizzee Rascal "Showtime" (XL)
2. Animal Collective "Sung Tongs" (Fat Cat)
1. Arcade Fire "Funeral" (Merge)


2004's Finest Fashions, Courtesy of International Male
Brian Sobolak

10. Pocket Thong. One of our briefest.
9. The Sparkler Shirt. Powerful, dynamic, glittering glamour.
8. Durango Leather Chaps. The ultimate look in Western wear that also translates to the street with ease.
7. Manhattan Half Boot. Genuine snakeskin.
6. Versailles Waistcoat. For the man... who loves fashion and romance and theater.
5. Gauze Caftan Oh the comfort.
4. Trieste Compos�. Exemplifies fine fall fashion.
3. Leather Swashbuckler. Enduringly popular.
2. Sparkling Cape. Holiday attire at its most dramatic.
1. Biker Hat. Choose from Cross or Heart.


Top 10 Things (Good or Bad) About Getting My License Back After a 13 Year Hiatus
Alejandra Valera

10. Parking in Logan Square -- oh, what a joy!
9. I look pretty hot in my Driver's License photo.
8. Asshats who don't believe in turn signals.
7. I am smug with the knowledge that I can still parallel park a big car.
6. Bird poop on car windows. Where the hell do they find berries in the city?
5. Now when I'm feeling nostalgic and want to see my childhood home, I can just drive by instead of hopping on a long train ride.
4. I'm still getting accustomed to that new rule where five people can make a left-hand turn on a yellow, four on a red, and two on a green. I'll get it, don't worry.
3. I'm not one of those morons driving a Hummer.
2. Twenty-five cents for 15 minutes on a meter? You've got to be kidding.
1. See my relatives more often (good and bad)


Top 10 Excuses in Chicago Sports, 2004
Kris Vire

10. Fear of falling concrete.
9. "I pulled my back... by sneezing."
8. [This item cancelled due to NHL lockout.]
7. Mark Prior's achilles.
6. Magglio's knee.
5. Rex Grossman's knee.
4. Jonathan Quinn's everything.
3. "No, I stayed for the whole game... video camera? Really?"
2. The Bulls' theme for 2003-04 was "No Excuses." For a 23-59 finish, that sounds about right.
1. Steve Stone.


About the Author(s)

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