#496: A Whole New Deal

June 29th, 2015 § permalink

The little old lady with the walker, gray Bears sweatshirt and small golden cross stood in front of a house drawn by an untalented child. » Read the rest of this entry «

#495: Mama Olaf

June 26th, 2015 § permalink

The smell of tripe is faint.

The smell is meaty, yes. And it lingers in the air around the bubbling pot of stomach and bone. But it does so lightly, almost gently.

A Romanian woman smiles and offers a sliver of tripe. It melts on the tongue.

“I worry about Danny,” Mama Olaf said. » Read the rest of this entry «

#494: Rebranding: An American Love Story

June 24th, 2015 § permalink

The following is a work of satire, in the vein of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” As with Swift’s masterwork, in which Robert Redford pays Woody Harrelson $1 million for a night with Demi Moore, the following work should not be taken at face value. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. » Read the rest of this entry «

#493: Hunter of Magic, 2 of 2

June 22nd, 2015 § permalink

At a noodle shop in Little Vietnam, Ryun Patterson showed me a video of a Cambodian sorcerer on his iPhone.

The man in the video is garbed in brown with an embroidered orange sash across his chest and a red kerchief atop his head. He’s sitting in a doorway, happily chatting in Khmer, gesturing with a handful of yellow candles.

“What are the candles for?” I asked. » Read the rest of this entry «

#492: Hunter of Magic, 1 of 2

June 19th, 2015 § permalink

After two years of dating, Ryun Patterson’s girlfriend sat him down for The Talk.

“She took me to a restaurant, a very serious conversation, like ‘What is going on?’ And that’s when she told me that her dad has nine wives and is a sorcerer,” Patterson told me over pho soup in Little Vietnam. » Read the rest of this entry «

#491: City That Never Sleeps, Or the Saga of Little Stubby

June 17th, 2015 § permalink

Narrated by the city of Chicago itself, 1953′s “City That Never Sleeps” is the story of a love triangle between a cop, a night club dancer and the guy who pretends to be a robot in the club’s storefront window.

And it just gets weirder from there.

» Read the rest of this entry «

#490: Business Models in Cinema

June 15th, 2015 § permalink

I still say Lex Luthor is the worst businessman in modern cinema, but I knew, when I wandered in the hall of posters, shirts, metal music and film after film after film after film that I had found the right place to check. » Read the rest of this entry «

#489: Wicker Park Jones and the Search for Meaning

June 12th, 2015 § permalink

He was tired. Tired and premature old, with gray hairs nestling about his temples and a few scars on the right side of his face showing battles against time. » Read the rest of this entry «

#488: Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century

June 10th, 2015 § permalink

A dragonfly zipped through the pre-lunch swelter.

It zipped by shuttered stores and tourists huddled around iPhone map apps, startled a young woman in short shorts and a jam-packed halter, licked between a rumbling Loop train above and a delivery van below to skim a construction worker jam-packing a grimy T-shirt near the chain link and tarp separating the dingy building and the street. » Read the rest of this entry «

#487: TP8

June 8th, 2015 § permalink

It’s a little wire with a mic jack at one end and rubber earpiece at the other. It came a few days ahead of schedule in a padded manila envelope with a cloying note begging for five-star Amazon feedback rating (don’t worry, Markdown Mania — I did you right.)

And it scares the crap out of me. » Read the rest of this entry «

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