#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 «

#581: The Podcast Cometh

January 13th, 2016 § permalink

Listen… » Read the rest of this entry «

#504: Shameless Self-Promotion Theatre Part 2

July 17th, 2015 § permalink

I spent all Thursday talking to myself, listening to my voice over and over again, snipping out ums, uhs, and aaaaah-okays with a flick of the wrist on a program called Audacity.

I would love it if you heard the results.

But it’s not that simple. » Read the rest of this entry «

#500: Return of the 499

July 8th, 2015 § permalink

500. Half a thou. D, to the ancient Romans. As close to the halfway point of the project as an odd-numbered goal allows.

So what should I write this milestone story about?

I decided to toss that question to the folks who made up the first 499, asking the people who got me this far how I should kick off the second half. » 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 «

#199: The Nut Hut, Part 3

August 5th, 2013 § permalink

“Sometimes the guys do get really angry when they figure out that they’ve just dropped a thousand bucks and they’re not getting any. And to be fair, I would be angry too.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#196: The Nut Hut, Part 2

July 29th, 2013 § permalink

“So they’re in a bath towel, right? Like their luxury spa bath towel from Walmart. But you’re way more vulnerable and starting to get a little bit more excited and thus more willing to part with your money at that point,” she said as I poked at a menacing-looking bit of my Vietnamese noodle soup.

“Kind of like in a doctor’s office,” she continued. “You’re naked and he’s in a coat and whatever he says goes because, you know, he’s the guy in the coat and you’re naked.”

She took a big, slurping bite of mi xao. » Read the rest of this entry «

#193: The Nut Hut, Part 1

July 22nd, 2013 § permalink

A noodle shop in Little Vietnam.

“So first of all it wasn’t actually technically called ‘the Nut Hut,’” she said. “In fact I’m not sure what its official name was as a licensed business, because it was a licensed business.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#24: James of Little Vietnam

June 22nd, 2012 § permalink

Heavy and hunched and with a face like a chipping wax statue, James walked up and told me to recycle the books. » Read the rest of this entry «

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