Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't propose over Valentine's Day dinner

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM

There are too many variables. That's the conclusion Gourmet Magazine reaches in this great article about restaurant marriage proposals. Every restaurant promises it'll go great, not only to get a couple's business that special night but also because it "usually means the couple will come back every year to celebrate."

The article is full of embarrassing story after embarrassing story, from the man who has to give his girlfriend the Heimlich when she accidentally swallows the rings to the woman who proposed to a man, When he didn't accept the offer, the woman stood up, started cursing and began throwing plates onto the floor. "Clearly, he made the right choice," says the captain on duty.

If your heart is truly set on proposing at a restaurant, there are some general guidelines. The first one, which seems like a no-brainer, is make sure your mistress is not at the same restaurant (one hostess says February 13 is much more interesting than February 14 because the 13th is when all the men bring their mistresses.)

Secondly, scope out the restaurant in advance and for heaven's sakes -- tell the staff what you're doing. Hosts will always give prominent tables for proposals. If you plan on divorcing (which people have planned to do at restaurants) you might want a discreet table.

Third, don't hide the ring in food. That seems to be where the proposal always goes wrong. Either the date doesn't finish her meal or she breaks a tooth or the waiter has to forcefully make her get dessert.

Finally, hotel manager Carlos Lopes has the best advice of all: Men should propose at home, where the future wife will celebrate and call her parents. "If you tip off your future mother-in-law, chances are she'll buy you dinner."


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Lame Overland Park kidnapping attempt foiled by stubborness

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Yesterday, Overland Park police arrested a 19-year-old man who really sucks at kidnapping. I imagine it went something like this:

Kidnapper: I'm going to kidnap you.

Kidnappee: No.

Kidnapper: I have a gun.

Kidnappee: I don't care.

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Kidnapper: I'm serious.

Kidnappee: Dude, shut the fuck up. I'm trying to play Call of Duty.

Kidnapper: Aww, c'mon. Please?

Kidnappee: No.

Kidnapper: Damn it [pitching a fit].

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Think You Can Record an Album in February? Join the RPM Challenge.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 11:02 AM


The NaNoWriMo for musicians is at hand.

Beginning this Sunday, February 1, and ending February 28, those who have signed on for the RPM Challenge will attempt to record an album -- 10 songs or 35 minutes of original material -- in the 28 days of February. Read the whole challenge.

The search feature on the site's list of 1,481 participants isn't helping me find out if anyone local signed up, so if any Kansas Citians or Lawrencians or Warrensburgeois out there have signed up for the challenge, make yourself known.

And good luck.

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Eight best Super Bowl food and drink commercials

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

I know everyone is making a list of favorite Super Bowl commercials this week, but being trained in the black arts of advertising I couldn't resist making my own.

Culled from the dredges of YouTube and my memory, here are my eight best food and drink Super Bowl commercials of all time.

Number 8: After losing the '96 election to Bill Clinton, Bob Dole showed he can shill product with the best of them. Here he is promoting his "little blue friend."

Continue reading »

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A Star-studded affair

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Cafe Sebastienne's Eileen Jones, chef Jennifer Maloney, Janet Ross
Last night's fundraising event at the Boulevard Brewery was called Four Stars for Lauren because it honored the memory of the late Lauren Chapin -- longtime restaurant critic for the The Kansas City Star -- by raising money for the education of her teenaged daughters. But many stars of Kansas City's culinary community were in attendance for the sellout event. Among them were Café Sebastienne's executive chef Jennifer Maloney, Jasper's chef (and co-owner) Jasper Mirabile Jr., chef Ted Habiger and the staff from Room 39, and the chef and staffs from more than 20 local restaurants.

The two upper floors of the brewery were crowded with guests who had been quick enough to purchase tickets in advance: They sold out within a few days of going for sale online. One of the organizers, publicist Will Gregory, told me that about 300 tickets had been snapped up (raising thousands of dollars for the educational funds of Brenna and Maren, daughters of Chapin and Star music critic Tim Finn), and many potential patrons were turned away. I was glad I was there, even though I didn't eat much -- I won't eat standing up anymore. I'm just too clumsy. I did sample Maloney's exquisite pork mole, though, and KCUR 89.3's Michael Byers goaded me into eating several Christopher Elbow chocolates.

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Rave reviews and an extended run for KC Rep's Glass Menagerie

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Kyle Hatley (Jim) and Susan Bennett (Laura) in "The Glass Menagerie."
  • Kyle Hatley (Jim) and Susan Bennett (Laura) in "The Glass Menagerie."
The Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of the The Glass Menagerie has received rave reviews from The Pitch and The Kansas City Star. The Pitch's Alan Scherstuhl called David Cromer's staging of the play a "great writer's masterwork, presented by gifted artists at the top of their game." Today, The Wall Street Journal's theater critic also really, really liked the show.

If you haven't seen the highly recommended play, yet, you still have a chance. The Rep extended the show's run until February 15.

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Stealing Time: Lego art at Block

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Jeff Lyons' "Ascending Red Tiles," Acrylic on Canvas.
  • Jeff Lyons' "Ascending Red Tiles," Acrylic on Canvas.

ArtKC365 profiles Jeff Lyons 2-D Lego-inspired artwork. If you don't have anything going on today, check out Lyons' work at H&R Block's downtown HQ. It'll be up until February 28. And if you're not reading ArtKC365, you should be.

Bottom Line thinks former Kansas State Wildcat and current Miami Heat baller Michael Beasley is as mature as a 12-year-old. I'm just glad the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose.

Dirt Diver Kansas wonders where all the black Republicans are in lily-white Kansas. He counts three.

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Green tea ginger ale. Yuck.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 10:00 AM


Normally I try to keep my reviews to alcoholic substances since it's more fun for me and, besides, nobody wants to read about Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper's newest flavor creation that will be gone in two months. Also, I don't drink many sodas. However, I do drink ginger ale -- and when I saw that a new hybrid called green tea ginger ale was just named the best beverage product of the year by an influential consumer group, I had to try it.

Green tea ginger ale is made by Canada Dry, so I was expecting the taste to be similar. It's not. Not even slightly.

Continue reading »

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Breakfast Buffet: Friday, 01/30

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM


Even in the middle of winter and in a small kitchen, you can start an herb garden. [Just Me]

This story ranks high on both the weird and creepy scale. Carl's Jr. is having a funeral for a toilet that was "well-liked by both customers and crew members alike." [Franchise Pick]

No matter what this article says, I'm still weary of screw-cap wines. That said, there's some deals to be had. [Forbes]

More shady dealings from the peanut state concerning -- what else? -- peanuts. [AP]

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Tigers + (No)Math

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM


One needs no hipster sensibilities to know that Marc Pepperman, Justin Tricomi, Ryan Pinkston, Adam McGill and Kenn Jankowski, the men of the Republic Tigers, are KC's latest contribution to the world of electro-pop. From NPR to Letterman, London to L.A., the Tigers are steadily building a considerable following alongside their 2008 release, Keep Color. Check out the hometown heroes for the first, 10th or 20th time tonight when Scion presents DJs and Rockstars at Crosstown Station (1522 McGee, 816-471-1522). New-wave-prog DJs Nomathmatics co-headline. Avoid serious crowd congestion in the Skylight Room, the 5,000-square-foot space upstairs, where Tonsil Hockey, Dunkjamz, Black Box Revue and Hoodie will be spinning while the show downstairs plays on closed-circuit TV. The 21-and-older event starts at 9 p.m., and the cover is $5. For more information, see -- Berry Anderson

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