#651: My Concession Speech for My Unsuccessful Run for the Chicago Reader’s Best Bahn Mi Sandwich of 2016

June 24th, 2016 § permalink

On May 11, 2016, I officially launched my write-in campaign to be named the Best Bahn Mi in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2016 online poll.

The results were announced yesterday, naming Nhu Lan Bakery the best Vietnamese sandwich Chicago offers.

What follows is a text of the concession speech I delivered at my campaign headquarters on Thursday, June 23. » Read the rest of this entry «

#650: Thoughts on the Chicago Troncune

June 22nd, 2016 § permalink

The oldest written record of the Chicago Tribune is someone wishing them luck. » Read the rest of this entry «

#649: Ticketmasterblaster

June 20th, 2016 § permalink

“We are currently experiencing difficulties. Please check back again at a later time,” the message said, presumably because an “Our servers literally cannot handle the sheer number of people we screwed over” would make a rather embarrassing error message. » Read the rest of this entry «

#648: My Life in Paper

June 17th, 2016 § permalink

I was proud of the story I wrote about the linear accelerator, although that was cut some when Fermilab never built it.

I hadn’t thought about the little girl with Down syndrome in years. What a smile she had. How proud she was of her swimming.

Oh god, the circus story. That damn elephant.

It was good to go through my life in paper. » Read the rest of this entry «

#647: Shoelaces

June 15th, 2016 § permalink

It’s a story that takes longer to tell than it took to happen.

A blink of an eye, the tick of a clock, the nervous lip-chew of a man who spoke broken English and it was done. I snapped the phone shut and told him as best I could that the ambulance was on its way.

It’s a story I’ve tried to forget, too. » Read the rest of this entry «

#646: Little-Known Facts

June 13th, 2016 § permalink

The following is an excerpt from a piece I’ll be reading tonight, June 13, 2016, at Is This a Thing?, a FREE storytelling series at O’Shaughnessy’s Public House in Ravenswood.

Tonight’s theme is Little Known Facts, so I decided to share a mishmash of some of the odd Chicagoana I’ve learned from writing this site and from running the Chicago Corruption Walking Tour. 

It’s about how I get through the day knowing all the often-depressing facts both require, plus about some of the ghosts following me around the city. » Read the rest of this entry «

#645: The Language of Smell

June 10th, 2016 § permalink

I thought the day was petrichor, but it turns out I didn’t remember the word right. » Read the rest of this entry «

#644: Can You Master the Chicago L? A Text-Based Role-Playing Game

June 8th, 2016 § permalink

One of the most iconic images of Chicago is the sight of an L train rumbling down the tracks. But can you tame this rough beast?

Play this text-based role-playing game to see if you have what it takes to…

Master the Chicago L!

» Read the rest of this entry «

#643: Who I Want to Be

June 6th, 2016 § permalink

He shuffled into the train, a thin, fussy old white man wearing New Balance sneakers over brown socks.

He wore light khakis. He wore a checked button-up shirt under a cardigan under another cardigan.

He looked around, his fine mustache twitching, and found a spot. From his canvas bag advertising the Environmental Law and Policy Center, he pulled a folded-over copy of the New York Times. He pushed his thin bifocals up on his nose, twitched the ‘stache a time or two more and proceeded to read the Times, article by article, in order. » Read the rest of this entry «

#642: The Brainstorming Meeting for tronc Inc.

June 3rd, 2016 § permalink

On June 2, 2016, Tribune Publishing announced its new corporate identity.

The nation’s third-largest newspaper publisher and owner of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times is now tronc Inc., “a content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content across all channels.”

This is the only way the brainstorming meeting could have happened. » Read the rest of this entry «

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