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December 2010 Archives

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Little Fockers



The title says it all, really. When at least half the jokes in the ads center on how the family name can work in puns, well you have this nonsense with a 12 year old's sense of humor, which sometimes isn't a bad thing. This is not one of those times. This look really predictably dreadful.

Brew review: Schlitz. Get it? Get it?


True Grit, Somewhere, Gulliver's Travels, after the jump.

Top 10 albums of 2010

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Thumbnail image for jason.jpgNOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and occasionally blogs about the local music scene (usually Wednesdays) on Between the Bylines.


This year wasn't so good in retrospect. An earthquake in Haiti killed 230,000 people. Monsoons left 20% of Pakistan under water. An Antarctic collision between an iceberg and a glacier gouged out a chunk of sea ice the size of Luxembourg. An Icelandic volcano ticked off a bunch of Europeans. Winter was so warm that Canadians couldn't even make fake snow for their Olympics.

Man just made things worse -- between the BP oil leak and this country's lawmakers not being able to balance a checkbook, it's been a stressful year to be an American.

But you know what? Despite all that, at least some great records came out in 2010. Here's my Top 10 of 2010...


1. Iron Chic -- Not Like This

2. The Dopamines -- Expect the Worst

3. Sundowner (of Chicago) -- We Chase The Waves

4. The Brokedowns (of Elgin) -- Species Bender

5. The Riverdales -- Tarantula

6. Alkaline Trio (of Chicago) -- This Addiction

7. The Methadones (of Chicago) -- S/T

8. Old Wives -- See You In Hell

9. Off With Their Heads -- In Desolation

10. The Queers -- Back to the Basement


What were your favorite albums, songs or artists of 2010? Share your thoughts below, in the comments!


-- Jason Duarte, Freelance Writer

elgin watch list.pngThe Watch List is a weekly list of all those things we're watching, things we're loving, things we're talking about in the newsroom this week, in general.


EVERYBODY!!! Come and see how good we look! The Courier-News staff will be the People of the Week at Villa Verone, starting at 6 p.m. at the downtown Elgin bar and restaurant, 13 Douglas Ave. Reporter Mike Danahey's even made a Facebook event for the occasion. Come and meet us, have a drink and support a good cause! -- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter


Have you seen the Blue Moose Family at Platt Hill Nursery on Randall Road in Carpentersville? (Picture to come.)


Or any other great Christmas decorations, in general?!


Light.jpg


Post links to photos of your Christmas decorations here, or e-mail them to Between the Bylines editor Emily McFarlan at emcfarlan@stmedianetwork.com! -- Katie Anderson, Staff Writer


-- The Courier-News Staff

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Tron



Finally, the sequel to one of original movies made for geeks and gamers. I read Ebert's review. Like him, I am expecting a lot of stoners in Pink Floyd t-shirts at this. Of course, it's in 3D.

Beer rating: A six pack of Red Stripe.


Yogi Bear, How Do You Know, after the jump.

katie.jpgI am now a MoJo.

As many of you know from previous posts, on Monday, Dec. 13, the longtime Courier-News building at 300 Lake Street closed with many of its operations relocated to Aurora.

Although my former office now stands vacant, your trusty Courier reporter Katie Anderson (and my co-workers) still are working right here in the community. Parked in local coffee shops, libraries and other common spaces with wifi access, we still are taking calls, investigating tips, covering government and writing articles on the Elgin area.

This move has come with challenges, but we intend to take them all in stride, and each reporter with the Courier is creating his and her own space to do mobile journalism.


IMG00001-20101212-0212.jpg

Katie's new home office


Since I live in Elgin (on the northeast side), I have made my new base inside my home. I also plan to work on articles using my laptop inside the coffee shop at the Gail Borden Library several days a week.


More about where you can find us MoJos out in the community, daily, after the jump

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgWe unearthed a lot of gems while packing up 300 Lake Street last week. But perhaps the gemmiest of all is this stunning piece of video journalism, by Courier alum Matt Baron.

It's an interview with current Courier reporter Dave Gathman, a 30-odd-year journalism veteran and inveterate note-taker. And it REALLY gets good around 1:40 when we learn about all those pens meticulously arranged in Gathman's pocket? There is a method to that pen madness!

Oh, please, let this go viral.



Everybody who works here is SO GREAT.


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgThings get lost in a move: Spare change that slipped out of couch cushions or got pushed to the back of a drawer. Knick-knacks you didn't really like all that much anyway. That coffee mug I left soaking in the sink... shoot.

One thing we didn't want to get lost in the shuffle of our newsroom's recent move is the news of the move itself -- or our new phone numbers. That ran on page three of Sunday's Courier-News with the headline "Change of address won't affect commitment to Elgin, northern Fox Valley." Here it is again, from Sun-Times Media West Editorial Director Mike Cetera, in its entirety.


Thumbnail image for cetera.jpgThe Courier-News may be changing addresses, but our commitment to Elgin and the Fox Valley is unwavering.

Beginning Monday, advertising, the newsroom and other operations will be housed at Sun-Times Media's central facility in Aurora.

We hope the change is imperceptible to readers and advertisers. This move won't affect our deep roots and love for our hometown -- the city of Elgin -- and our commitment to serve other communities such as Hampshire, South Elgin, East and West Dundee and Carpentersville.


Our new phone numbers, more, after the jump.

elgin watch list.pngThe Watch List is a weekly list of all those things we're watching, things we're loving, things we're talking about in the newsroom this week, in general.


Hanging out with Matt Damon on the set of "Contagion": Reporter Mike Danahey returned from spending the day on the set of "Contagion," filming at the old Sherman Hospital in Elgin, with this to say about star Matt Damon:

"He's a big eater. Healthy appetite. Hates Ben Affleck."

Danahey claims he ran into Damon at Wendy's. Turns out it was a guy with a haircut like Damon's and about 150 more pounds on the Oscar winner. Don't worry: We let him down gently.

For the real scoop from the set of "Contagion" -- which also found Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow in Elgin -- check out Tuesday's Courier-News! And share your stories of celeb-spotting here in the comments!


-- The Courier-News Staff




Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Black Swan



What's that smell? Why, it's this piece of Oscar bait, with Natalie Portman as a ballerina who has a rival for the lead in "Swan Lake." Because, of course, "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker" are pretty much all the ballets hacks who put stuff like this together figure audiences would even know. Why do they keep making cliche-ridden backstage dance dramas? Oh yeah, cuz dance sure is purty, and the ladies eat this stuff up, right? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I'm sleeping already.


Beer: A lot of these.


WHAT?! You were looking for a REAL movie review? Our Sun-Times Media colleagues Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times and Josh Larsen at the Naperville Sun do a swell job at that.


-- Mike Danahey, Staff Writer




Thumbnail image for emily.jpg"In a landmark 32 to 24 vote, legislation recognizing civil unions among gay and lesbian couples passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday afternoon. The bill now heads to Gov. Quinn, who has pledged to sign it."

That report, from our "mothership" paper, the Chicago Sun-Times.

The bill passed the Illinois House of Representatives yesterday. And when signed into law, it will make Illinois would the sixth state to recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Many have expressed their opinions, the pros and cons of civil unions since they have become law in those states. We could rehash those here. But we want to hear your opinion.

What do you think of civil unions coming to Illinois? Share your thoughts here in the comments!


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

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