#930: The Ways and Means of Dan Rostenkowski

May 21st, 2018 § permalink

Dan Rostenkowski owned “Chess” by Murray Head.

A concept album and later musical by lyricist Tim Rice and the B’s from ABBA, it’s mostly known for cheesy ’80s chart-flare “One Night in Bangkok,” an ode to the sexy, seamy world of Southeast Asian underground chess tournaments.

And it was one of the possessions up for grabs at the estate sale of late, disgraced U.S. Rep. Daniel “Rosty” Rostenkowski, D-Illinois. » Read the rest of this entry «

#776: Everything-But-The-Face-Lift

April 12th, 2017 § permalink

A neighborhood where you used to live is a gloomy night walk.

It can be fun in day, with popping in old haunts and sitting in parks and on benches where you whiled away those heady, halcyon days of yore when dreams seemed like promises made by an ever-expanding future. Ah, youth! Ah, those days of… like two years ago.

Maybe three. » Read the rest of this entry «

#666: The Wizards Altar

July 29th, 2016 § permalink

The Occult Bookstore has math on the door. » 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 «

#405: A Few Stray Ones

November 28th, 2014 § permalink

In 2009, I was driving by Cermak and Ogden and saw a license plate that said GOLDIGR. It was on a Dodge Neon.

Someone’s not doing their job. » Read the rest of this entry «

#386: The White Monster

October 15th, 2014 § permalink

A page at night is a terrible thing. A vile, grasping, chalk-white monster claiming your sleep, time and sense of confidence. » Read the rest of this entry «

#374: The Bitch Nun

September 17th, 2014 § permalink

He isn’t screaming anymore.

He’s not yelling “Fuck! FUCK!” like he was a few minutes back. He isn’t weeping into a phone, shouting through tears “I want to kill myself. I want to commit suicide.”

The man in my front yard isn’t screaming anymore. He’s no longer yelling about Sarah. » Read the rest of this entry «

#368: The Birthday Present

September 3rd, 2014 § permalink

I’m writing this about 10 hours before you’ll see this. It’s 8 p.m. Sept. 2, 2014.

Ten years ago tonight, my friends and I went out to get smashed at the Billy Goat. We did that a lot, in retrospect.

My out-of-town girlfriend was in town. We started to fight. We did that a lot too, in retrospect. » Read the rest of this entry «

#365: Why Write? A Letter to my Nephew

August 27th, 2014 § permalink

This isn’t really a letter to my nephew. It’s going to have swear words in it and a section on what some women find sexy – neither are really pertinent to a 9 year old.

What is pertinent is the amount of writing the fourth grade requires. » Read the rest of this entry «

#347: The Man Without a Neighborhood

July 16th, 2014 § permalink

It starts like this:

A couple. New place. A search for a new corner bar. A Stephen King-ish discovery on the level of a “pet sematary” out back or that you are the caretaker, have always been the caretaker.

“Hey, babe? Google Maps says we’re not in East Ukrainian Village after all.” » Read the rest of this entry «

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