Friday, April 25, 2014

Actress Swoosie Kurtz releases book,"PART SWAN, PART GOOSE An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family"

Beloved Actress Swoosie Kurtz Looks Back at Her Amazing Career and Unique Relationship with Her Parents
An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family
Swoosie Kurtz
with Joni Rodgers
“A brave and riveting book about family, fame, theater and life.
It is witty, wise, and irresistible. I loved it.”
—Tom Brokaw
“I laughed and cried (sometimes at the same time) reading this extraordinary story about
Swoosie and her parents and her work and her loves.
Swoosie has the beautiful gift of a seasoned storyteller.”
—Carol Burnett
“I’m often asked What’s Swoosie Kurtz really like? I say, warm, incredibly funny, grounded but spontaneous, irreverent but always kind, independent yet deeply rooted to her family.
Swoosie has put her heart and her humor into these pages.
Now, when people ask, I can say, Here, read this!
—Melissa McCarthy
With a name like Swoosie, she was destined to lead an interesting life.  In PART SWAN, PART GOOSE: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family (Perigee Hardcover; April 29, 2014; $25), award-winning actress Swoosie Kurtz gives a guided tour of her journey from Nebraska to the theater stages of Broadway and the television and movie screens of Hollywood.
From her first appearance on The Donna Reed Show (a part that was whittled down until only the back of Swoosie’s head was shown on-screen) to her Tony Award-winning roles in Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July and John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves to her much-heralded turns on television series Sisters, Pushing Daisies and Mike & Molly, Swoosie has been embraced by critics and fans alike for her quirky, heartfelt, and always attention-getting performances.
But her life off-screen has been just as extraordinary.
The only child of Frank and Margo Kurtz, Swoosie shares an incredible bond with her parents—both accomplished, opinionated, and filled-to-bursting with personality.  Swoosie’s father was an Olympic diving medalist and later became one of the most decorated aviators in American history.  During World War II, Frank flew a record number of missions in a cobbled-together B-17D Flying Fortress called The Swoose (part swan, part goose).  Swoosie’s mother chronicled the early years with Frank in My Rival, the Sky, a homefront memoir published by Putnam in 1945.  Margo’s book ends with the couple happily anticipating the birth of a baby who will be named after the indomitable Swoose.
Swoosie’s life and career have been hugely influenced by her close ties to Frank and Margo.  Swoosie stayed with her parents during the entire five-year run of Sisters, and after Frank’s death in 1996, Margo moved in to her daughter’s home.  Drifting between lucidity and confusion, Swoosie’s 98-year-old mother still lives with her. Margo requires 24-hour care and companionship, but she remains the sweet-natured, loving woman who can delight Swoosie with a witty and well-placed quip or surprise her with an in-the-moment memory of a 1943 bond tour.  Swoosie struggles to stay ahead of her mother’s increasing needs while navigating the demands of the entertainment industry. 
PART SWAN, PART GOOSE weaves Swoosie’s story with passages from My Rival, the Sky to create a vivid portrait of the mother-daughter relationship and of the very different paths taken by two women of different generations.
Here is that rare Hollywood memoir that takes readers behind the curtain, but doesn’t live there.  It is endlessly entertaining, but doesn’t pretend to tell all—what it does tell will resonate with millions of Americans caring for aging parents.  PART SWAN, PART GOOSE is as endearing, real, and compelling as Swoosie Kurtz herself.

About the Author:
A multiple Tony, Emmy, Obie, and Drama Desk Award winner, Swoosie Kurtz is a Broadway icon whose work also includes movies like Liar, Liar, Dangerous Liaisons, Citizen Ruth, and the television hits Sisters, Pushing Daisies and Mike & Molly.
New York Times bestselling author Joni Rodgers has collaborated on several celebrated memoirs, including A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth and My First Five Husbands…and The Ones Who Got Away by Rue McClanahan.

Kevin Kline Honored at Chicago Int. Film Festival Summer Gala June 28 (Chicago)


Kline to Receive Festival’s Career Achievement Award Sat., June 28 at  The Four Seasons Hotel

CHICAGO - Celebrating its 50th anniversary of saluting the greatest talents in world cinema, The Chicago International Film Festival will honor Academy Award®-winning actor Kevin Kline with a Career Achievement Award on Saturday, June 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware, at a special Summer Gala celebration.

With this award, Kline will join the ranks of many of the film industry’s most influential talents through the decades, including past Chicago International Film Festival honorees directors Orson Welles, George Cukor, Oliver Stone, Lord Richard Attenborough, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg and actors Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, Sigourney Weaver, Liv Ullman, Shirley MacLaine, Faye Dunaway, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Sally Field, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino.

“Kevin Kline’s ability to transfix movie-goers was evident from his earliest appearances in such celebrated films as ‘Sophie’s Choice’ and ‘The Big Chill,’” said Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza.  “As he matured as an actor, the breadth of his talent has been proven over and over again.  From his outrageously comedic turns in the award-winning ‘A Fish Called Wanda,’ ‘Dave’ and ‘In & Out” to the heart-wrenching drama of ‘The Ice Storm’ and ‘Life as a House,’ Kevin Kline is one of the most versatile performers of his generation and truly deserving of the Chicago International Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award.”

The celebratory evening will kick off with a lavish cocktail reception during which guests will browse an array of unique silent auction items, followed by a delectable dinner. The highlight of the evening will be a conversation with and special tribute to Kline complete with a selection of clips showcasing his most memorable performances.

The Chicago International Film Festival’s Summer Gala is a highly anticipated event in Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival’s year-round programming. A primary fundraising event for the not-for-profit arts and education organization, profits from the Summer Gala support Cinema/Chicago’s Education Outreach Screening Program, which brings more than 6,000 Chicago Public School students to film screenings each year.

About Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline has earned accolades, awards and critical acclaim for his stellar career in theater and film.

Kline’s film credits include many of the most memorable films of the past three decades including “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Big Chill,” “Dave,” “In & Out,” “Soapdish,” “Grand Canyon,” “Life as a House,” “French Kiss,” “Cry Freedom,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Anniversary Party,” “Fierce Creatures,” “As You Like It,” “The Emperor’s Club,” “A Prairie Home Companion,” “Queen to Play,” “The Extra Man,” “Silverado”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Darling Companion” and “Last Vegas.”

Kline made his Broadway debut in “The Three Sisters.” Other credits include “Hamlet,” “On the Twentieth Century,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Henry IV,” “King Lear,” “Richard III,” “Henry V,” “Measure for Measure,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Seagull,” “Mother Courage and Her Children,” “Loose Ends,” “Ivanov,” “Arms and the Man”  and “Cyrano de Bergerac,” among others.

Tickets and More Information
The Chicago International Film Festival’s Summer Gala honoring Kevin Kline will be Saturday, June 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware.  Tickets are $400.00 and tables start at $4,000.00. To purchase tickets or reserve tables, call (312) 683-0121 ext. 131.  Additional information is available at

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Summer Gala is one of the year-round events presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival, The Television Awards, Intercom Competition, CineYouth Festival, International Screenings Program, Black Perspectives and Education Outreach. The Chicago International Film Festival is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.





BurgerFest is back | Mother's Day Brunch --Rockit bar and Grill(Chicago)

Your Mom rocks. 

Your Mom rocks and she should know it...treat her to something you will both love this Mother's Day, and take her to brunch at Rockit Bar & Grill. Doors open at 10:30am and we're offering half off select champagne bottles (including Tattinger and Domaine Carneros!), and $6 bloody marys and mimosas all day. 
Everyone's favorite week-long food festival is back at Rockit Bar & Grill. Join us May 12 - 16 for daily, mind-blowing burgers from Executive Chef Amanda Downing, creator of the global hit the "Mac & Cheese Attack", as seen on the TODAY Show and Good Morning America! 

Bulgogi Bison Burger with garlic sesame fries
Chicken Enchilada Burger with lime salt fries
Smokey Pork Burger with yukon waffle fries
Spicy Chorizo Burger with chili seasoned fries
Bacon Grilled Cheese Patty Melt Burger with a side of tomato soup for dipping and tater tots
Special Offer for Summer Private and Semi-Private Events 
With Spring finally starting to show its lovely face we wanted to tell you about a special offer we have running for June and July events at Rockit Bar & Grill. We are currently offering 10% off of our food and beverage minimums* for any group event booked in these months. In addition we will be adding a complimentary DJ for any private event.
*Minimums and certain date restrictions apply.
Treat your guests to lighter fare with our custom salad buffet

Rockit Bar and Grill | 22 W Hubbard | Chicago | IL | 60654 | United States

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Simple Re-Design Ideas & Tips for a Modern and Unique Fix A ‘how-to’ on transforming your furniture into beautiful new items

Simple Re-Design Ideas & Tips for a Modern and Unique Fix
A ‘how-to’ on transforming your furniture into beautiful new items
Revamping old furniture is a perfect way to save money and add personal finesse to any room. A great place to start is your own home. Items that are an eyesore to your decor or relatively unused can be the foundation to create something with functionality and uniqueness. Dilapidated dressers, coffee stained tables and desks are easy to transform and versatile for many uses. Keep an open mind and keen eye for the potential in items that can be transformed, updated and fixed.
of Chicago, IL offers tips and tricks on how to repurpose furniture for new and beautiful functions.
One’s Old Desk is Another’s New Bathroom Sink
The cross functionality of dressers, side tables and desks are endless. Saving money on current items instead of brand new furniture allows you to splurge on exquisite fixtures and updates. Look for fun paints and stains to accent the room of choice. Go wild with painting; adding texture and design is simple with painter’s tape or wallpaper. Intricate knobs will add a lavish look; check out your local hardware store or online shops such as Etsy for fun cheap fixtures. Once you have the new look, its time to give the item a new function. If you're not equipped to install plumbing, its easy and cheap to have a plumber help you out.
      Revamped desk into a modern new sink
      Dresser into his & her bathroom vanities
Make a Statement
China cabinets are extremely multifaceted and can easily be altered for many uses. Due to the traditional large size, the remodeled cabinet will surely become the main attraction of whatever room it is used in. China cabinets often have intricate woodwork and detail. Painting the molding of the cabinet can offer depth in color as well as showcase the design. The glass doors of China cabinets can allow you to add a pop of color to the inside or fun wallpaper. The transformations are endless with cabinets. Think different with its purpose, such as;
      A fashionable shoe organizer
      Children’s closet fit for a princess  
      Classy and modern bar
Cabinets & Concealed Storage
Entertainment centers are similar to China cabinets but often have more storage and concealed drawers. They are perfect organizers for many uses due to their deep storage and abundance of shelving. Upscale your tv armoire into a major component of another important section of your home.
      Clean and organized kitchen pantry  
      Linen closet  
      Book Shelf  
Nest Furniture is known not only for it’s unique pieces imported from around the world, but for the quality craftsmanship with which the pieces are made. Many of the pieces at Nest were originally doors, windows and chairs revamped into one-of-a-kind pieces that reveal their multi-purpose functions. 

: Nest designs, develops and produces their ideas in carefully chosen factories around the world. All pieces are made with solid hard woods from reclaimed and recycled wood, as well as wood from eco friendly harvested tree plantations.
Nest Furniture uses sustainable practices to design, refurbish and create unique furniture for the modern home. Their goal is to bring the great inspirations and designs of the world to their customer’s homes and lives. Nest mixes multicultural global designs of modern furniture with rare cultural antiquities. All pieces are one-of-a-kind and hand picked from such places as; India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. Nest has two locations; Lincoln Park (2707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614), and the 900 Shops off Michigan Avenue (5th Floor).

Upcoming events at Navy Pier in Chicago

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Chicago International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show
April 25 - 28 The inaugural Chicago International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show will feature the world’s finest and most prominent exhibitors showcasing their impressive collections of fine art, antique, estate jewelry, sculpture, textiles and more. The show kicks-off with a private Opening Night Preview Party today, Thursday, April 24, offering attendees a first glimpse of the rare treasures available for purchase. The show is open to the public Friday, April 25 through Monday, April 28.
Meet & Greet Disney XD Star Billy Unger
On Friday, April 25, join Radio Disney Chicago at Navy Pier for your chance to meet Billy Unger from Disney XD’s “Lab Rats.” Wristband giveaway begins at noon in the Family Pavilion and then the Radio Disney Road Crew will entertain with music, dancing and prizes. The meet and greet is from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and a wristband is required.
Pinot Days Chicago
The 7th annual Pinot Days Chicago Grand Festival at Navy Pier in Lakeview Terrace on Saturday, April 26 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. showcases more than 60 producers of pinot noir. Consumers will be able to sample up to 150 pinots from the Russian River Valley to the Sonoma Coast and talk with the gifted winemakers who create them – all in an intimate setting.
Ferris Wheel & Outdoor Rides
With the sun shining, step outside to have some fun in Navy Pier’s Pier Park where you can find the 150-foot high Ferris Wheel, Wave Swinger, Carousel, Light Tower Ride and The Links, an 18-hole miniature golf course.
Navy Pier Bean Bag Tournament
Bring your friends on May 3 to Navy Pier¹s Festival Hall and see if you have what it takes to out-toss the competition. There are two divisions of registration open now for the experienced and the novice in both singles and doubles. Get at least two rounds of play and an event T-shirt, plus the chance to win $5,000 in cash and prizes if you¹re in the top three of your division. Use code NAVYPIERBAGS to receive $5 off your entry.
Cirque Shanghai: Warriors
Cirque Shanghai combines impressive acrobatics with martial prowess at the all new show “Warriors” performing May 24 through September 1 at the canopied, open-air theater of Pepsi® Skyline Stage. An extraordinary line-up of thrilling acts returns to the stage including China’s premier daredevil steel globe motorcycle troupe. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 2.
Mystic Blue Craft Beer Cruise
Join us on Thursday, May 22 to enjoy the Chicago skyline on a Lake Michigan cruise and beers, including some rare selections, from America’s top craft brewers including Goose Island and many more. Beers will be poured by those behind the brewery including some founders and brewmasters, so bring your questions. Tickets are $40 and include four beer sample tickets. All guests must be 21 or older with ID.
Learn about special and upcoming events in every Navy Pier newsletter and receive exclusive offers. If you received this e-newsletter from a friend and would like to subscribe to our email newsletter, click the link.

Links TapRoom to host “Revolution 'Gene Pool Party” on Sunday, May 4 and “Cinco De Mayo Party” on Monday, May 5 (Chicago)

Links TapRoom to host “Revolution 'Gene Pool Party” on Sunday, May 4 and “Cinco De Mayo Party” on Monday, May 5
  Links TapRoom – an All-American craft beer and sausage focused neighborhood bar from owner/beer director Michael Quinlan and managing partner Cary Michael located at 1559 N Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park – will host two upcoming events: the “Revolution 'Gene Pool Party” on Sunday, May 4 and a “Cinco De Mayo Party” on Monday, May 5.
Links will tap six different varieties of Revolution Brewing’s Eugene Porter – including four rare barrel-aged versions – and a bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout at its “Revolution 'Gene Pool Party” starting at 2pm on Sunday, May 4. They are:
* Eugene Porter ~ 16 oz pints for $6 and 9oz pours for $4
* Coffee Eugene (Eugene Porter aged additional week with whole bean coffee from Dark Matter Coffee) ~ 16 oz pints for $6 and 9oz pours for $4
* Mean Gene  (Eugene Porter aged for eight months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels) ~ 9oz snifters for $9
* Bean Gene (Eugene Porter aged for eight months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels and steeped with whole bean coffee from Dark Matter Coffee prior to bottling) ~ 9oz snifters for $9
* Blue Gene (Eugene Porter aged for eight months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels with fresh blueberries) ~ 9oz snifters for $9
* Boy Gene (Eugene Porter aged for eight months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels with boysenberry purée) ~ 9oz snifters for $9

* Deth’S Tar (Russian imperial stout is aged in four different types of bourbon barrels - Old Fitzgerald, Old Forester, Elijah Craig, and Evan Williams - then blended for the resulting thick and dark brew) ~ 9oz snifters for $9

Links TapRoom’s “Cinco De Mayo Party” will run from 11:30am until 2am on Monday, May 5. The following specials will be available from open to close:
* $6 “Mexican Cousin” sausages (crumbled Italian sausage, jalapeno mustard, and tequila vinegar slaw on a housemade pretzel tortilla) that are regularly $8 each.
*$6 13 oz tulip glass pours of Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin American IPA
* $6 Corazon Blanco Tequila shots and El Jimador Reposado Tequila shots (regularly $8 each)

Links TapRoom is open from 11:30am until 2am Monday thru Saturday and from 10:30am until 1am on Sundays. The Links TapRoom phone number is 773-360-7692, its website is
, and its email is

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bites Asian Tapas in Chicago serves up fabulous Asian Fusian dishes!

Bites Asian Tapas in Chicago Illinois held a media dinner to sample their popular Asian Fusian dishes and delicious creative cocktails.Pictured below are a few samplings from the menu and buffet.Here is the part where grown adults got to attend an event  and 'play with their food' with their smartphones and digital cameras. These were photographed quite quickly so we could all enjoy the food which  was delicious! I especially loved the kimchi egg roll and wings and have been back there twice since the event.

photographed with one of my fave light modifiers,the Rogue XL Pro Lighting kit in Strip Box mode!

Canon 600RT Flash unit, Flash remotes(generic) and the Sony RX10 camera body(my  favorite overgrown purse camera!) My friend held the off camera flash.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Big Jones Hosts Second Annual Trash Fish Dinner with Fortune Fish & Gourmet (Bensenville,IL)

Big Jones Hosts Second Annual Trash Fish Dinner with Fortune Fish & Gourmet


Big Jones will host second annual Trash Fish Dinner with Chefs Collaborative and feature the best seafood you've never tasted!
Chef Paul Fehribach welcomes five chefs for a multi-course dinner in support of sustainable seafood on May 19
On Monday, May 19, chef-owner Paul Fehribach of Big Jones will be joined by five chefs to present the second annual Trash Fish Dinner. The event benefits Chefs Collaborative, a national network of chefs working to foster sustainable practices in restaurants. The family-style dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature seven courses. Seafood will be provided by event sponsor Fortune Fish & Gourmet. The cost of the dinner is $125 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. Tickets are required and can be purchased by calling 617-236-5200 or online at
The featured chefs will showcase an assortment of fish species that are often discarded by fishermen as bycatch. These sustainable fish include dogfish, smelt, bluefish, triple tail, and triggerfish, and are often known as "trash fish." Since these species are traditionally left off the menu by chefs, they are virtually unknown to the general public.
The chef lineup for the Trash Fish Dinner includes:

Susan Spicer - Bayona and Mondo, New Orleans
Colby Garrelts - bluestem and rye, Kansas City
Phillip Foss - El Ideas
Brandon Baltzley - TMIP
Andres Padilla - Topolobampo
Paul Fehribach - Big Jones

"I am pleased to host another Trash Fish Dinner and work alongside these esteemed chefs. I always welcome the opportunity to partner with Chefs Collaborative to promote more sustainable practices," said chef Fehribach. "We call it a trash fish dinner because these fish are historically discarded. This dinner shows that these fish are not trash and that they make a great meal. If we're successful that evening, it will turn diners onto lesser-known seafood. In turn, it will take some pressure off popular and overfished species."
The Trash Fish Dinner sponsors are as follows:
About Chefs Collaborative
Chefs Collaborative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with chefs and the greater food community to celebrate local foods and foster a more sustainable food supply. The Collaborative inspires action by translating information about food into tools for making knowledgeable purchasing decisions. For more information, visit
or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

About Big Jones
Inspired by food traditions of the American South, Big Jones offers Southern heirloom cooking utilizing locally-grown, sustainably-farmed ingredients to preserve heritage foods. Big Jones is located at 5347 N. Clark St. in Chicago and is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Chef Paul Fehribach is on the national board of Chefs Collaborative. For more information, call (773)275-5725, visit
or follow Big Jones on Facebook and Twitter.

About Fortune Fish & Gourmet
Fortune Fish & Gourmet is a Bensenville, Ill.-based seafood processor and distributor providing white-tablecloth restaurants, private clubs, elegant hotels, and independent, gourmet retail stores with the finest quality, fresh live and frozen seafood and gourmet foods.  Fortune Fish & Gourmet's key associates have more than 150 years of combined experience in the seafood and gourmet business, with a worldwide supplier base ranging from individual fishermen and small family farms to multi-national aquaculture and agriculture firms.  Headquartered only minutes from O'Hare International Airport's cargo docks, Fortune Fish & Gourmet has the world's markets at its fingertips.  Fortune handles more than 8,000 seafood and gourmet products, selected to exceed the high standards embraced by their quality driven customer base.  Fortune currently services customers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Michigan with a fleet of over 43 refrigerated vehicles and nationally through its Flying Fish program. Since 2001, Fortune Fish & Gourmet has brought innovation to seafood and gourmet food distribution, consistently raising the bar for integrity, quality, sustainability, and service. To learn more about the company, visit
 or call 630.860.7100.

1068 Thorndale Ave.
                       Bensenville, IL 60106