Monday, April 25, 2011

Dispatch from Saturday Pop In Excitement

This past Saturday we popped in at the Rogue Gallery on Western shortly after being truly bummed out by this sign on Plazzio's Pizza, [[CONFESSION: one of our favorite places for cheap pizza and greasy-but-good eggplant Parmesan sandwiches that have the best salty decadent fries rolled into the butcher paper. come back soon, plazzio's!!]].

Um, back to the "story," we couldn't help but notice a popcorn machine, and a few moviegoers chilling out inside the Rogue Gallery's makeshift movie theater. What could be happening? We wondered. Come along...

Turns out there was a fundraiser happening, for the Chicago chapter of Off the Street Kids, a non-profit mentoring program started by actress Gillan Anderson, best known as the smart and sassy female sidekick, Scully, to actor David Duchovny's Mulder, on the popular TV series, X-Files.

More specifics on the now-passed-event can be found here on this ChicagoNow blog by Andy Daglas.

Pictured is Melanie, in blue top, who earns the distinction of having traveled the furthest to participate on the fundraiser. Melanie reported that she drove into Chicago from Kalamazoo, Michigan after hearing about the daylong X-files marathon on a website community called IBG (note: Inspired by Gillian, but not affiliated with her, per this website.]

Though in an alternate reality we would've donated $10 and chilled out, like we witnessed one woman doing, who was knitting a blanket while watching X-files, we had a lot of neighborhood ground to cover- literally-since weekends are the only time we have to "pop in" these days, as well as interview people and solicit participation in our upcoming printed booklet. So, we could not help but find some cash to participate in the IDG raffle, in hopes of winning X-Files swag, and then, at the Rogue's gallery neighbor, Challengers, we purchased a $4 dose of reading therapy, a graphic novel called Castling by Logan Square's very own Sarah Becan, founder of, which will be participating in free comic book day, per Patrick of Challenger's.

Castling was devoured later that day, where we enjoyed every page and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast and innovative read! The plot is simple yet universal-- a teenager estranged from her father gets slowly closer to him, as they realize that they swapped dreams on the very same night. When the coincidence ends up affecting reality, and the father's premonition from a dream plot line comes true, the teenager responds by wondering if this man-who-wants-to-be-called-Dad but doesn't deserve to be, should be someone who should be in her life. Not to ruin anything else, but we found the teen's simple, "I...I don't have your number" and her father's response of "Got a pen?" to be brilliant and simple and poignant and even eye misting since we were feeling kind of hormonal anyway.

For whatever reason, in times of stress I always find myself reading graphic novels more so than literary ones. Anything to quiet the mind.

Pictured is Castling, along with a grilled vegetable sandwich enjoyed on the serene back patio of Yuca Cafe, one of the best kept al fresco secrets around. The sandwich was amazing, along with the fries. Not Plazzio's, but close.

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