#862: The Secret History of Illinois License Plates

December 13th, 2017 § permalink

Vanity license plates are one of the strangest displays of clout Illinois offers. They’re highly sought after and passed down through politically connected families for generations, with the lower number the bigger display.

“Low-number plates, that shows you have big you-know-whats,” an anonymous political operative told Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1999. » Read the rest of this entry «

#861: State Matters

December 11th, 2017 § permalink

She was waiting for someone else to care. That never goes well. » Read the rest of this entry «

#860: A Virus with My Initials

December 8th, 2017 § permalink

In a few hours, my virus will glow. » Read the rest of this entry «

#859: Two Women

December 6th, 2017 § permalink

Last night, I met a woman.

She was short, with either vintage style or a winter coat and hat — at a certain temperature, the indicators of “retro” and “just very warm” start to blur. But on a chill, dark train platform at Belmont, frantic rivulets of bleached orange hair crept at odd angles from under a jaunty cap.

And she held before her a cluster of dowel rods. » Read the rest of this entry «

#858: To Miss F—

December 4th, 2017 § permalink

Lady! I’ve gazed upon thy face;
     ’Tis [something something something]”
Mantled with smiles, what witching grace
      Has there built up as throue! [sic.]
Thy pearly teeth!  dear heart, don’t flutter
They must be death on bread and butter!

A man’s love for Miss F— only exists on crackling microfilm no one can quite read. » Read the rest of this entry «

#857: Is Illinois the Most Corrupt State? A Look at the Numbers

December 1st, 2017 § permalink

“The governor is guilty.”

“How do you know that?”

“He’s the governor of Illinois.”

– Fictional TV drama “The Good Wife,” 2014

Illinois’ reputation for political corruption is legendary, and well-earned. I have no problem with being the butt of jokes about shady politicos — we’ve put in centuries of work toward that rep — but it does raise an idle question.

Is Illinois the worst? » Read the rest of this entry «

#856: The Invisible

November 29th, 2017 § permalink

Javi’s roommate was very patient.

He came in the back, as requested, and glanced at the three men laughing loudly about 19th century dry goods magnate Aaron Montgomery Ward and hung out in his room for a bit.

He was cool. » Read the rest of this entry «

#855: Glass and Rust

November 27th, 2017 § permalink

Dawn is odd to colorblind eyes. It’s a mixture of orange and green, a color pairing that makes perfect sense to my particular visual defects but earns blinks and confusion when described.

It’s OK. My version of reality is prettier than yours. Even when seen from a 6 a.m. train rumbling toward a city of glass. » Read the rest of this entry «

#854: 1,001 Chicago Afternoons’ Updated Privacy Policy

November 24th, 2017 § permalink

As Chicago is as quiet as a tryptophan slumber, I’m stuck at work and I’d rather gouge an eye than cover Black Friday shopping, I will be using this post to announce new and exciting changes to the privacy policy for 1,001 Chicago Afternoons and its multinational corporate holding shell, thouagoftnernoo Inc., a Delaware Corporation.

We’re as open with our policies as we are with your data. That’s the 1,001 Chicago Afternoons Way.® » Read the rest of this entry «

#853: Scream

November 22nd, 2017 § permalink

I hate the smart ones the most.

Hate is the wrong word. I don’t hate them. I hate that they exist, that there are crazy screaming men out there savvy enough to include notes about the Federal Reserve Bank and on the Bears’ handling of Jay Cutler in their hobo screed. I hate that I can’t reach them. I hate that there’s nothing I can do.

He started so good too. » Read the rest of this entry «

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