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    Three Brothers and A Lot of Beer
    10.09.2009 9:00PM

    And Mom and Dad, but they didn't drink any beer, so there is no reason for their antics. There's always enough debauchery (I love that word) and shenanigans (I love that word as well) to go around when the Dowell brothers come together. Throw in a 6 hour tailgate, Mark's roommates' parents (I call that an audience) and a BAC certainly over .08 (I wasn't operating machinery) and well things get crazy.

    This morning I woke up hoarse and had a headache. Apparently I yelled "fuck" more than I thought and failed to properly rehydrate myself on Sunday. You know its a good weekend when all the partying stops Saturday (okay technically it was super early Sunday morning) but you're still recovering two days later. And somewhere between being drunk and being drunk again, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad football game resulted in a Indiana victory over Illinois.

    In a word, the weekend was epic. Considering it may very well be the last collegiate (non-Alma Mater) visit I make, especially with Matt in tow. We probably had more fun than should really be allowed, but what can you do? I mean I shoved a whole over sized cookie in my mouth on two separate occasions. I mean, why not? When it comes to Illinois/Indiana football games, the game is usually just a footnote...the tradition continued on Saturday.

    In related football news, something unprecedented is occurring. The Dowell family is dominating the Bottom 10 rankings. Currently in first place is Mom's alma mater, Western Kentucky. Rice, Theresa's alma mater is not far behind coming it at #3. And then of my two schools, Ball State is ranked #6 and Illinois is #10 (The four schools have a combined record of 1-21). This is before all of them went out on Saturday and lost, again. I think it's only a matter of time before another family school joins the ranks, Louisville.

    Top Chef Master Fed
    10.09.2009 9:00PM

    So, Rick Bayless didn't actually prepare my food in the kitchen, but it was still his latest creation Xoco (pronounced Sho-co). If you know anything about chefs and food, you know Rick Bayless. Most recently he was the winner of Top Chef: Masters and is the master of Mexican cuisine in a America. Xoco is his third restaurant in Chicago, its right next to his other two and brings Mexican street/vendor food to his casual Frontera menu and more classy Topolobampo restaurant (where he is currently serving his Top Chef: Masters finale winning dinner).

    Xoco opened a month ago and serves a menu of tortas (sandwiches) and caldos (soups), as well as pastries. There is also a menu of hot chocolate drinks, which of course, is native to Mexico. Not surprisingly, the lunch crowd is big and the wait extended. From door to counter I waited nearly 40 minutes and then another 10 minutes before my food was up. Was it all worth it? Keep reading.

    I decided on the Gunthorp Chicken torta - wood-roasted red chile chicken, pickled white onions, black beans, avocado, with tamatillo sauce and the Atzec - fresh-ground Mexican cacao beans, chile, and allspice to drink (well actually for desert). Using the finest regional ingredients (mainly from Illinois and Wisconsin) the fresh avocado slices were great, the bread was toasted perfectly, and the hot chipotle sauce was to die for. And the torta didn't fall apart. The Aztec hot chocolate was perfect drink to wash it all down on this wet, gray, and dreary day. How do you make chocolate better? Warm and spicy.

    After seeing and smelling everything, I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. I'll be back, but probably to hit the off hours - between lunch and dinner, to try the rest of the menu. Considering you can't get much of a lunch for under $10 (unless you hit up the dollar menu) the $12 I spent on the torta and hot chocolate was very reasonable. Next time you're in Chicago be sure to set aside time for Rick Bayless and Xoco. Next up on my list, a dinner at Frontera.

    Check out more, including the menu, here at

    Fire Ron Zook
    10.05.2009 9:00PM in association with beaversandducks presents a new project by Jesus, Captain Keith, and Little Nick.

    Fire Ron Zook: Illinois Edition

    Obviously we're not the original but if we're lucky, we'll be the last. Check out the site for regular updates on the comedy/torture that is another Illini season under the direction (or lackthereof) of Ron Zook. Head over there right now because I don't need to soil this page.

    Another Facadomy
    10.03.2009 7:00PM

    - Over at the building bloc(k) I argue against another and all too common facadomy. For those of you out of the architecture/preservation loop, that is when just the facade of a building is saved by the developer in the name of preservation. Because you know just tearing down the whole building would be wrong. The building in question is a beautiful one I experienced during my travels in Germany. Check it out.

    - I was at the liquor store earlier picking up a six pack for the evening football games, when a group of three girls walked up to the beer section. One girl asked, "What beer do you want?" Another responded, "I don't care, something good. How about Coors Light?" And its at that point I literally laughed out loud. Just another reason why girls should not be allowed to shop for beer.

    - Another week of college football and another pathetic performance by the Illini. I want to thank Kenny for this one because I couldn't have put it better myself, as he said, "Are you watching this Illini garbage? They are worse than cancer." I really can't disagree at this point. There has always been the questioning of Zooks coaching ability but seriously there is absolutely no attempt to move the ball down the field. It's as though we're attempting to play the game as it was before the forward pass was invented.

    - It's been a wet start to October. I hope that changes quickly so I can enjoy my favorite month of the year.

    October Ramblings
    10.01.2009 7:00PM

    Fact. October is the best month of the year. The weather is perfect. The NFL is in full swing. And there's Halloween. Time to decide on the costume.

    - I'm torn. Since I'm now finished with college does that mean my Halloween costume can no longer be "slutty (insert costume here)"? Say for instance, "Slutty Abraham Lincoln".

    - Why is it when people say, "I hate to bother you" they go ahead and bother you anyway? Apparently they didn't hate it enough to keep them from bothering you.

    - What did people do before DVR? I just got it back in July and at that time there was nothing to DVR. And more than allowing me to watch my favorite show I may miss - which doesn't happen too often - it allows me to record another show I have interest that I may not want to watch when it premieres or runs in conflict with another show I watch.

    - Case in point, I'm DVRing Ken Burn's new documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea which runs all week for 90 to 150 minutes each night when I'm either watching MNF, Top Chef, The Office, etc. In the past I just would have caught it sometime in the future when I stumbled upon it. Oh yeah, DVR also allows me to catch Jeopardy every day.

    - With it October, it's not too soon to begin a rough draft of my Christmas list, which as in years past, will appear in the various forms here at Beavers and Ducks. Don't be shy, go ahead and get me something of the list.

    - The Raiders are who we thought they were.

    Gregory 'Jesus' Dowell
    Chicago, IL

    - Taking advantage of the unseasonably cool Chicago summer, while I have the chance. Work has provided a nice split of field work and time in the office. Stay right here at Beavers and Ducks for all the latest updates.

    Greg's Calendar
    Oct 17-18 Bloomington, IN Illinois vs. Indiana
    Oct 23-25 Louisville, KY Theresa and Jeff return
    Oct 31 Halloween

    The Latest Podcast
    A new podcast will be available soon.

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    September 2009

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