#456: A Love Story (With Slapping)

March 27th, 2015 § permalink

“Cold” isn’t the right word. It’s accurate, in the same way “nice” or “fine” is accurate in most settings, but not quite good enough.

It was a brisk, jarring, sobering chill. It wasn’t quite an ice cube down the shorts, more of a splash of water in the face. We both needed it as we ambled out into the night.

“Ah,” I said, taking in the chill. “I have no idea what I’m going to write about for tomorrow.”

“How about this place?” he said.

“Yeah,” I said, drawing out the words in that way that implies a guilty admission. “I was thinking about writing about us slapping the shit out of each other.”  » Read the rest of this entry «

#455: Ode to a Young Guy With My Same Sunglasses

March 25th, 2015 § permalink

We’re both sitting on the train on opposite sides of the aisles. I got a backward-facing seat, he got one looking forward.

Young guy. Beard and a stocking cap. Headphones playing, I’m sure, the coolest of tunes. Jean jacket that somehow looked good on him.

And he and I both blocked out the world with large, old-fashioned Ray Ban knockoff tortoiseshell sunglasses. » Read the rest of this entry «

#454: The Expert

March 23rd, 2015 § permalink

She wasn’t so much sexy as stylish. That’s the characteristic I figure they hired her for.

Some people can be decked and drizzled with the hautest of coutures and step out into the world looking like a kid in a Halloween costume.

The Gucci, Versace, Dolce and/or Gabbana fits and clings in all the right places, the heels lift asses and the suitcoats hide beer guts just as well, but there’s something awkward and wrong, a plaint in the eyes crying for socks, Crocs and an oversized T-shirt advertising their favorite sports team.

But not her. » Read the rest of this entry «

#453: The 1,001 TIF Guide, Part 2 of 2

March 20th, 2015 § permalink

I recently heard a political guy fulminate against tax increment financing — one of the hot-button issues of the upcoming election and a funding source either raising or stealing billions of dollars, depending on who you ask. He inspired me.

He inspired me to take a couple of these 1,001 afternoons to explain TIFs, because that guy clearly didn’t know what he was talking about.

On Wednesday, I touched the broad strokes — why we have TIFs, what they do and why they’re only as bad as the person using them. Today, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. » Read the rest of this entry «

#452: The 1,001 TIF Guide, Part 1 of 2

March 18th, 2015 § permalink

I recently went to a political thing that had a courageous, honest, truthful speaker who clearly knew diddlysquat about TIF districts.

While I admire the passion the man (who was not either of the mayoral candidates) exhibited, it drove me nuts that media efforts to educate the public on how city finances work have culminated in “TIF bad.”

With that in mind, I’m going to use the next two of my 1,001 afternoons to tell you what tax increment financing is and how the current system is screwing you with your pants on. » Read the rest of this entry «

#451: 1143 Said

March 16th, 2015 § permalink

“I don’t care what they say,” 1143 told me. “You see that building on the corner, the glass one? Behind that there was a four-story, a two-story office building. And in 1979, the executives, there were these eight executives, and they lined up four by four and shot each other.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#450: Micro Views

March 13th, 2015 § permalink

He was tall, six foot five at the low end, and angry. » Read the rest of this entry «

#449: The Itch of the Tree-Mice

March 11th, 2015 § permalink

I was woken to the chirping of those little feathered flying tree-mice things whose name escapes me because it’s been so long.

There’s an itch in the air in Chicago.

It’s not the full-on fever of spring, just an itch on the skin, a tickle on the back of the throat. There’s just enough sunlight and just enough open coats to remind you spring is coming. » Read the rest of this entry «

#448: Pompon Circumstance

March 9th, 2015 § permalink

The bus pulled up and I got on, my little skirt waving in the wind. » Read the rest of this entry «

#447: The Astounding Chicago Man

March 6th, 2015 § permalink

“What’s Superman’s lair called?” the older businessman-type in the barber’s chair said.

“The Fortress of Solitude,” a man waiting with a magazine and I said in unison.

“Is that the thing made of crystals? Yeah, instead of that, Chicago Man has a parking space,” he said, and we all laughed.

“And whenever he leaves, he puts a gigantic, 80-foot lawn chair there,” I added, to more laughter.

We were trying to describe the powers of Chicago Man. » Read the rest of this entry «

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