Wednesday, December 17, 2003

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

My very favorite version of this song is the one by Sixpence None the Richer, which we play here on 101QFL. Leigh Nash's oddly lovely and lilting voice, and almost childlike quality in the speaking parts, really lends itself perfectly to this whimsical tune.

Apparently this reviewer of the 1999 Christmas compilation album, Happy Christmas Volume Two, agrees with me: "If you buy the CD for only one song, it would have to be Sixpence None the Richer's 'You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch.' Their oddball rendition is just too much fun..."

By the way, I've never seen the live-action "Grinch" movie, and I don't plan on seeing the current live-action "Cat in the Hat" movie...despite the fact that I've always liked Dr. Seuss. One reviewer said the "Cat in the Hat" movie just isn't "Seuss-y" enough. I'm pretty sure I know what they mean.

Come on,Chicago, give Rockford a break!

Apparently, some Chicago columnists have recently been rippin' on the city I've lived in for the past 23 years and that I now regard as my hometown...Rockford, Illinois.

Elizabeth Davies has an interesting article in today's Rockford Register Star, titled "Smells like snobbery--Chicago, stop rippin' on Rockford!"

Particularly stinging is this quote from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg: "Rockford is an argument against the idea of human grace... Ten miles of Wal-Mart, Jiffy Lube and Olive Garden leading to a bleak downtown where the pedestrians all seem to be killing time, waiting for the shelters to open. 'Let the insects win,' I think darkly."


Davies disagrees with Steinberg's assessment of the Forest City, saying that she is a Chicago girl who chooses to live here...and that she appreciates the affordable housing and the fact that she can get anywhere in town inside of 20 minutes, among other things.

To be honest, I wasn't crazy about Rockford when I first moved here. I had lived in fairly large cities for a good portion of my young life, and in a fairly bustling college town for another portion of it, and Rockford seemed a bit dull to me at first.

Through the years, I have come to appreciate it. This is a great town in which to live and raise children. Sure, it has its faults, problems and ugliness just like any other city in America. But it also has a great deal of's not called the Forest City for nothing; there are trees and beautiful parks galore.

I love the Swedish and Italian influences on everything from architecture to food...I challenge anyone to come up with better pizza than Giuseppi's or better Italian food than Maria's, Lino's, Pino's and a host of other local restaurants too numerous to mention.

Some of the loveliest old, dignified, beautiful homes grace tree-lined boulevards here. The Fourth of July celebration, with its dazzling fireworks show, is one of the best around. And who can not like a city that boasts the scenic Sinnissippi bike path and the gorgeously ornate and historic Coronado Theater?

Chicago is an amazing, incredible city, and I love that I live so close to one of the greatest cities in the world. But I agree with Elizabeth Davies. Chicago...lay off my hometown!

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