Motivational Poster Contest

Motivational Poster Contest

shit is real in the battlefield

Discuss: The Golden Child vs. Coming to America

but Chango is not here.

I’m going to tell you this because I like you. You can’t stay here – you stay here you going to die. Some crazy people may say that Chango is here. . .


Random Notes From The FalcZone

– This newly-released Bruce Hornsby song is just weird.  It’s called “The Don Of Dons”.  I wonder if Trump commissioned it.  The biographical depth is….weird. 

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– And what’s with Trump threatening to run for President?  His platform: something about a pissing contest with the Somali pirates.  Ridiculous.  He’s making a mockery of our Democracy.  This is why I usually raffle off my vote as a door prize at my annual “Wear-A-Crazy-Hat” theme party.

– Overheard On The Streets Of Downtown Denver – A 50-year-old white dude with dreadlocks talking to a couple of scummy-looking street kids: “Kids these days don’t understand what it means to be a Juggalo…”

– President Obama announced today that we’re bombing Libya now.  Sweet.  I was wondering who we were gonna bomb next.  Why Libya, though?  I thought Marty McFly took care of the Libyans back in 1985.  Unfinished business, I guess.  How many more wars do we have to fight over plutonium?

– Hopefully our leaders in Washingtion consider carefully the grave implications of using military force.  As my wife would say, “They better stop cashing checks out of their ass that their ass can’t cash!”  She likes to put her own spin on colloquialisms.

 – I’m told by people with inside knowledge of the ongoing negotiations that this picture of Neil Diamond kissing a koala bear is doing a lot to ease tensions between NFL ownership and the players’ union.  Is there anything Neil Diamond can’t do?

– Speaking of animals: Jag Dazzler.  That guy’s an animal.

– The Latest Buzz: Have you read the controversial new bestseller by conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks?  Me neither.  I don’t read much.

– I love this guy Gus Johnson.  His verbal eruptions make March the maddening miracle that it is.

-Now I’m done….check this space regularly for more of my exclusive musings on music, politics, and the human condition.

Portillo’s Big Beef Italian Beef Sandwich

All the talk of Frankly Yours the other day gave me a hankering only a beef could cure.   With my friend Aldo in from Italy for a few days, a meeting to experience his countries namesake sandwich was obligatory.

While I can take credit for introducing Aldo to the sandwich, I can’t take credit for the heights their relationship has reached.   Only the allure of the Italian Beef is responsible for that.   Who can avoid it’s charm?

Waiting to order we were pondering the decision of ordering an extra sandwich to split.   There is no Italian Beef in Itlay and its a long time between his visits, so its understandable.

We went with Big Beef’s.

Portillos Big Beef

This is a Portillo's Big Beef

The stereotype of Portillo’s skimping on the beef is well founded.   Even with the Big Beef pictured here they failed to take the beef to the ends of the sandwich.   Its a big sandwich, but incomplete in my book.

Aldo Portillos Big Beef

This is a Big Beef

With that being said, this sandwich was very tasty.   I defiantly suggest going for the Big Beef next time you are at Portellies.

For a chain location Portillo’s should be commended for having high quality consistency over many locations.   It’s a challenge one-off Boutique Beef establishments don’t have to contend with.

It’s hard to overstate the impact Portillo’s has had on the personal lives of many and also on the greater Chicago Italian Beef landscape.      For many of us, including Ronnie McCoury, Portillo’s was the first beef we tasted.

They set a high standard that many others have had a hard time trying to attain.   And with locations everywhere in Chicago, Portillo’s is easy to frequent.

I’d like to thank Portillo’s for hosting and enabling what was all in all a great beef time with my good friend.

Good bye’s are always hard for me, emotionally.   This one was especially because it was hard to keep my greasy hands off his tailor made Italian suit during our embrace.

However, send offs are a lot more bearable when you know your companion has a fresh beef in the tank.

EXCLUSIVE: The 7th and Santa Fe Interview with Chango Budelwood, Jr.

Chango Budelwood, Jr.

History defines every generation by its heroes, its heartbreaks, and the happenstance in between.  Meanwhile, the ever-droning bagpipes of our collective dreams and desires continue to expand and contract with the rhythm of life.  7th and Santa Fe is humbled and honored to get up-close and three-wide with the daydreamin’ everyman who’s dead set on blowing his own bag to the beat of our times, and in doing so, redefining what it means to be alive and good-looking in the new decade: Chango Budelwood, Jr.

7&SF: You’re so driven.  What drives you?

CB, Jr.:  A 1994 Ford F-150.

7&SF:  If you could touch just one person with your work, who would that person be, and how would you like to touch them?

CB, Jr.:  I generally don’t like specifics. Though, it gives me a huge rush, a thrill, whenever I touch some body. Especially, when they don’t know that I’m touching them.  Do you know what I mean?

7&SF:  You can be kind of a jerk sometimes.  Care to comment?

CB, Jr.:  That’s a fact. Its well documented. Did I really come here to discuss how big of an asshole I am? Who is this clown?

7&SF:  Let’s play a word association game.  I’ll say a word or a phrase, and you tell me the first word or phrase that pops into your mind.  Get it?  OK, let’s start: Hot dog.

CB, Jr.:  Pass.

7&SF: Mucus.

CB, Jr.:  Is this how the whole interview is going to go?

7&SF:  Host of TV’s Dancing With The Stars, Tom Bergeron.

CB, Jr.:  Not familiar.

7&SF:  That was fun.  What would you say to someone who’s wondering what you’re going to say right now?

CB, Jr.:  I am going to let you in on a little secret that everybody else already knows. Control is an illusion. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next. I think you have gotten a glimpse of that, and you’re scared. You might not have the courage to ask me another question. You may never have had it.

7&SF:  A personal question (our readers are dying to know): Does the carpet match the pubes?

CB, Jr.:  I have hardwoods.

7&SF:  Anything you’d like to add?

CB, Jr.:  I think everyone should just slow down.  Take a yoga class – core training, that’s where it’s at.  Eat a falafel.  If you have more than three things on your itinerary for the day you should reevaluate.  Busy schedules are for bankers and sports agents.  Although, I have based much of my professional persona on Tom Cruise‘s character, Jerry Maguire – romantically speaking.  I mean, how do you know how someone will perform in a work environment until you have slept with them.  Right?  Anyways, that’s how I feel.

Some advice for the next generation: stay hungry, eat out when you can.  Also, I learned this one the hard way: Always ask to speak with council.  I can’t stress that enough.  Somebody told me once, “you can do anything you want in this country as long as you’re innocent”.

And to the huge bald guy at the gym that whispers in a heavy German accent before every set, “finders keepers – losers weepers”: I see you my man.

Frankly Yours Original – Schaumburg, IL

Frankly Yours

The man with a vision!

Whenever the Chicago socialite Todd Cunningham can fit me into his busy schedule, we try to rendezvous at Frankly Yours.   This fine Italian Beef venue has been the pebble in a pond, sending ripples from Chicago to Denver, and even all the way back to Italy.

It’s safe to say that if an establishment of this stature hadn’t been found and frequented by Todd, Terry and Cam, the Italian Beef sandwich wouldn’t be the Chicago icon it is today.

While its easy to admire Frankly Yours for its place in history, trying to pin down what sets it apart is quiet elusive.   The beef is out of this world.   The portions are substantial.   The peppers are hot, really hot.   The fries are great.   And they also have beer on tap.

Frankly Yours Italian Beef

Italian Beef with Hot Peppers - Perfectly Dipped

While our light conversation was enjoyable, a couple Leinie’s Red made it effortless to probe deeply the Toddinham psyche and thought process.

Ownership changed here a few years back.   While the interior signage changed, their focus on maintaining high quality and large portions is commendable.

With so many impostors out there making beef sandwiches, asking for a sandwich dipped can be a roll of the dice.   The sandwich can just disintegrate after the first or second bite.   Making it very hard to salvage.

The staff at Franly Yours have mastered the dipping process.   Taking into account not only dip depth and duration, but also the angle the sandwich takes as it plunges into the juice bath.   It results in a perfectly uniform juicy beef matched perfectly with the rolls they are using.

Franlky Yours Italian Combo

Italian Combo

It’s details like this that make Frankly Yours remarkable.

Todd went for the Combo Sandwich which he found unwieldy.   Before long it looked like Wheels had been handling it.

Even though he pulled it together he must have found it laborious because he soon broke a sweat.

All in all it was a great beef encounter.

EXCLUSIVE: The 7th and Santa Fe Interview with Jag Dazzler

Jag Dazzler

In an exclusive encounter, 7th and Santa Fe goes one-on-one with a heavy hitter who’s not afraid to mix it up, max it out, or tax it twice.  We recently had the pleasure of probing Jag “Wildman” Dazzler: the activist poet and pacifist pirate known for stoking flames, stroking dames, and touching the American totem where it throbs.

7&SF: Let me start by saying, I’m a huge fan.  What do you think about that?

 JD: Thanks, I’ve always thought that. Fandom is important. It makes people feel more important, and feelings make reality feel more real.
7&SF: How have your influences influenced you?
JD: Namely through their actions and beliefs in what they were doing, which I imagine they derived from their influencers. So I really would like to give thanks to the imaginations of my influences’ influencers, the real deal. Additionally, when I am under the influence I tend toward inspiration, which is always aspirational.
7&SF:  Your last project provoked a lot of what-have-yous.  How do you react to that?
JD: I trend provocative. The what-have-you’s will come hand in hand with the what-have-you nots;  I believe in rolling the dough before the muffins rise. 
7&SF:  Recent events have people buzzing.  What say you?
JD: Get people drunk, and they will say anything, that’s what I’ve always said – drink?
7&SF: Knowing what you know, and having said what you’ve said, tell us more.
JD: It is what is left un-said that leaves people questioning, did he just not say that? 
7&SF: What does the phrase “it is what it is” mean to you?
JD: Principally “it is what it is” is a great phrase to toss around in a professional setting. It makes people feel like you know what “it” is, which provides you a bit of a leg up while giving the sense that you are a “total picture guy”, who is “grounded,” and not afraid to “call a spade a spade,” because “at the end of the day” “the net net” will increase “the bottom line.” At least that is “how I see it,” while always adding “from my perspective,” to “put a steak in the ground” without really having a real steak in hand. By the way, I could go for a steak dinner about now, you down? I’ll “write the whole thing off.”
7&SF: If you could ask anyone anything, would you?
JD: Most certainly. Asking things leads to answers; from right and wrong to just off-putting and odd, to the inevitable erotic outcome. My father always said, “man, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” I’m a big believer in that. Buy me a beer?
7&SF: Anything you’d like to add?
JD: Bobby Falcon, you sir are an American, this country needs more of you. Remember to love yourself at least 3-4 times a day