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Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004 04:36 pm

quick takes 11-25-04

WHINE AND CHEESE

Abe is back, with cheesecake on the cover -- and we're not talking about Maria Libri, the fox from Fox 55. Benjamin Lowder's on-again, off-again bimonthly magazine has returned to newsstands after a summer-long hiatus, and the cover story is a recipe for "ultracreamy cheesecake." (Directions: "Drizzle with raspberry sauce and serve to Maria without a plate or utensils." Yummy!)

True to form, the photogenic Lowder's photo appears a whopping eight times in the 64-page magazine. Four of the pictures appear with a story about Lowder's fashion makeover. We think Abe should have given singer/songwriter Tom Irwin the makeover, but Tom -- the celebrated calendar editor/columnist for Illinois Times -- has to settle for a mere glowing profile. We learn, for example, that Tom is fond of reading Dostoyevsky. That seems to explain everything.

Meanwhile, up the scale a bit, Springfield Scene Magazine -- a new venture by former WICS-TV anchor Don Hickman -- made its debut. The bimonthly publication, "devoted solely to society and to social events," includes features on half of Springfield's glitterati: Richard Norton Smith, Julie Cellini, and Sheila Stock-Smith.

Like Abe, Hickman's magazine is packed with snapshots of local notables but none of the publisher. Too bad: We'd love to see Dapper Don in mustard-yellow faux-alligator shoes!

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGARS

First Presbyterian Church hosts a "Taste of Cuba" buffet dinner at Maldaner's Restaurant, 222 S. Sixth St., on Tuesday, Nov. 30. The buffet is an outgrowth of First Presbyterian's sister-church relationship with Sancti Spiritus Presbyterian Church in Cuba.A social hour begins at 6:30 p.m., and dinner starts at 7:30. To make a reservation, call 217-528-4311. Tickets are $25.

MORE SNOOZE NEWS

It's true! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

On Saturday, Nov. 20, the State Journal-Register reported that a "local conservation organization" -- Friends of the Sangamon Valley -- "had completed a survey of Sangamon County's remaining natural areas." The headline on the news story: "Taking stock."

Sound familiar?

Here's the lead of an Illinois Times cover story, published Oct. 7: "A local volunteer-based environmental group has released what is widely being hailed as the most comprehensive inventory of natural areas ever compiled in central Illinois." Our headline: "Taking stock."

We're flattered.

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