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2005-02-10 - 9:12 a.m.

Amazing Race critique Ė Chicago portion:

Iím definitely somewhat bitter because Iím a Kris/Jon fan and thought Freddie/Kendra needed to get stuck in Africa until she lost her racist, classist, neo-colonialist attitude. That being said, I got such a kick out the last section of the race.

First of all, the editing made it look like you can get from OíHare to the Water Tower on the el with no transferring. I understand that the show needs to move along at a quick pace, but instead of showing contestants receiving the wrong information twice, they could have shown one group getting the right information and skipped the people asking directions again. I realize that few people will try to do get their information exclusively from a reality show, but it just seems silly to edit it so itís wrong when it could easily be shown correctly.*

Second, where the heck did Kris and Jon end up when they decided to look for a cab? It looked like the West Loop! Thatís really far away from the Water Tower if youíre on foot.

Third, the pizza they ate was stuffed not deep dish. Stuffed = sauce on top, cheese and toppings in the middle. Deep dish = cheese and toppings on top, sauce in the middle. Theyíre both an inch or two thick, but they taste completely different. Kendra retching and calling it disgusting made me hate her more than I did. And I lost even more respect for Adam and Rebecca with their little ďI donít eat tomatoes!Ē ďWell, I donít eat cheese!Ē Eat the @$%ing pizza.

Finally, I pass Ping Tom Memorial Park in the el every single day. Iíve been there. Itís only about a mile from my house. And even I didnít know its name! I just thought of it as ďthe park in Chinatown.Ē That being said, Iím not a cab driver (who should really know where it is Ė itís only about 10 minutes from the Loop) or a cab dispatcher (who should definitely at least have the resources to find out where it is! ( Internet, anyone?).

*With the rules set forth in the show (no busses or taxis), directions from OíHare to the Water Tower would be as follows:
-Blue Line to either Forest Park or 54/Cermak (it doesnít matter which, they donít split off until after the Loop) Ė take to the Washington stop
-Follow signs through the tunnel to the Red Line
-Get on the Red Line to Howard Ė take to the Chicago stop
-Walk east (donít know which way is east? Ask someone!) until you see the Water Tower at Chicago St. and Michigan Ave.
See? Not that difficult or lengthy.

Wow, I think I feel a little better now. Maybe I can go back to having a life? Nah...

Another Chicago/reality TV link:

Donald Trump is butting heads with Mayor Daley. (registration required, but free Ė itís worth it for this article!) I donít watch ďThe Apprentice,Ē but I do pay enough attention to the news to know that he doesnít lose very often. So his new tower that is going up on the site of the old Sun-Times building should be just how he wants it? Nope. Mayor Daley likes spires.

Actually, Iím not convinced that he actually likes spires as much as he likes knocking any other city off of the tallest buildings list. At this point, Iím pretty sure itís turning into a snarky way to prove his point about how the Petronas Towers shouldnít have eclipsed the Sears Tower the tallest-buildings-list since it still has the highest occupied floor. It may not be that Mayor Daley likes spires then, so much as Mayor Daley doesnít like to lose. Here, though, I canít blame him. Spires count, antennae donít count, so heís just playing by the rules.

STOP with the reality TV already!

A few book recommendations:

-Grocery shopping makes me crazy. This book helps quite a bit and makes me less unhappy when I have to go.

- Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life is a beautiful book. Itís kind and lovely and small and perfect. Especially for commuting (small chunks that allow me to continue to pay attention to what Iím doing), but itís mainly just a book that makes me want to read it again and again.

-Baseball fans are the main audience for Bill Veeckís autobiography, but anyone who even has a passing interest in the game should be entertained by this book. Heís a wonderful innovator, has a background in both the Sox and the Cubs (no disloyalty by reading it...), and is so down-to-earth yet fascinating.

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