#554: The Smell of Magic

November 11th, 2015 § permalink

“I spent, God, probably two, three months researching the history of smell in magic,” the woman said. “I could count on one hand the number of examples that I was able to find of people doing it in the last 200 years of written history.”

We’re sitting at a coffee shop in Lakeview. The hissing of espresso machines and light 1960s pop play overhead. The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic” plays at one point, which the woman, magician Jeanette Andrews, calls “a riot.”

We’re talking magic. Magic and art and performance and philosophy, perception, phenomenology, vaudeville and Siegfried & Roy.

It wasn’t a wide-ranging conversation. These are all the same topic for the 25 year old who wants to make magic art again. » Read the rest of this entry «

#545: Gutterpunk Hustle

October 21st, 2015 § permalink

It took me a second.

We had already passed each other going down the little side street in Lakeview, so, flanked by his two friends, he had turned around to ask me his question.

He was tall and built, white with a blonde ponytail. I doubt he would have tried that if he weren’t white — privilege even among the homeless. » Read the rest of this entry «

#421: Keys That Work

January 5th, 2015 § permalink

When you walk in, you look for the parakeets.

You look around and around and around, not realizing until the door slowly shuts and the chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp falls silent that it was a recording, an avian version of little bells that jingle when someone walks in.

Then you stand in a room filled with keys and the ticking of a loud clock. » Read the rest of this entry «

#393: A Halloween Story

October 31st, 2014 § permalink

I saw four rabbits the other day. » Read the rest of this entry «

#372: The Descendents

September 12th, 2014 § permalink

Before a crowd of every aging punk in Chicago, the band lined up and tried not to tell the Houston story.

They hemmed and hawed, drummer Bill Stevenson of the Descendents and All alternately cackling at and begging off from my shouted request to tell “the best story that didn’t make it into the movie.”

“Let’s just say when Bug fucks ‘em, they stay fucked,” bass player Karl Alvarez finally concluded to the crowd. » Read the rest of this entry «

#354: 20 Brats and 10 Steak Burgers

August 1st, 2014 § permalink

“What type of brats you want? We got a lot of type of brats,” he said, gesturing at a glass case of meat.

There were many type of brats. Andouille, curry, Gyulai, jalapeño pepper jack, lamb, Nurenberg, Sheboygan, tomato basil, cheddar, bacon cheddar, veal – I don’t eat veal.

“Pork, I guess?” I said. » Read the rest of this entry «

#292: A School of Fish

March 10th, 2014 § permalink

The children ran and shrieked among, around, over and under the folding tables filling the gym. » Read the rest of this entry «

#271: The Door at the End of the Hall

January 20th, 2014 § permalink

The hallway walls are gray and white, with a linoleum floor that echoes clack clack clack as you walk down it.

Clack clack clack up four flights of stairs since the elevator’s busted. Clack clack clack past the offices of counselors drug, marriage and guidance in a hall that looks and echoes like a 1950s grade school. Clack clack clack to the end of the corridor where a blank, windowless door sits between two therapists offices. » Read the rest of this entry «

#267: Party at Uncle Fun, 2 of 2

January 10th, 2014 § permalink

1. Cuckoo clock? (from Wednesday)

2. WOLF! (from Wednesday)

3. Your crappiest day (from Wednesday)

4. ‘The one what?’

5. A bidding war

6. The mayor of Baltimore/Party at Uncle Fun

» Read the rest of this entry «

#266: Party at Uncle Fun, 1 of 2

January 8th, 2014 § permalink

1. Cuckoo clock?

2. WOLF!

3. Your crappiest day

4. ‘The one what?’ (coming Friday)

5. A bidding war (coming Friday)

6. The mayor of Baltimore/Party at Uncle Fun (coming Friday)

» Read the rest of this entry «

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