#897: Home

March 5th, 2018 § permalink

My apartment’s radiator sounds like Snap, Crackle and Pop have a fourth elf friend named High-Pitched Whine.

There’s an empty room in the basement off from the laundry room with brick walls, no window, a dusty concrete floor and some bits of long-broken glass. It’s the single creepiest room I’ve been in. I call it the Murder Room and want to hide a clown mannequin in there. It would be just standing there, looking.

And someone spilled like a ton of cat litter in the stairwell and didn’t clean it up. Used cat litter.

I love this place.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#896: The 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial Race (Or “Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!”)

March 2nd, 2018 § permalink

Welcome dear friends and hear now the story ‘a
A far-away land known as Gubernatoria
Where the grickle-grass grows and Whos have elocution
And each problem comes with a slogan solution.

There are Grinches and Sneeches, and Loraxi aplenty,
Enough to appease the Seuss cognoscenti.
But the land has a creature foul ’nuff to make eyes well
More than the other brain-kids of Ted Geisel. » Read the rest of this entry «

#890: Thursday Morning, Body Count 17

February 16th, 2018 § permalink

My wife’s school has active shooter drills. » Read the rest of this entry «

#880: The Question of the Pretty

January 24th, 2018 § permalink

They’re all pretty there. They’re all pretty in a way I find pretty too. » Read the rest of this entry «

#870: The Last Year

January 1st, 2018 § permalink

I’ve spent the last few days sick, limiting my Chicago exploration to the kitchen tea kettle and my adventure to whatever’s on Netflix.

As my writing output during this period has been limited to text messages about soup and several rude limericks about members of the presidential administration, I am today, Jan. 1, 2018, turning to you the readers to make this site’s last year a great one. » Read the rest of this entry «

#868: I Shall Hunt and Destroy Andre Salles

December 27th, 2017 § permalink

More years ago than I care to admit, I was lost in the snow outside the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#863: Me and Julio

December 15th, 2017 § permalink

I have a neighbor who doesn’t know my name.

He does, sort of. He knows it now and again, “Paul, right?” I say yes. He asks the same question about my wife’s name. I confirm he got that right too.

I don’t mind that he barely remembers me. I mainly know him because of Rocky, his little dog he walks in the morning, at night and presumably in between while I’m at work. Outside my apartment window is one of Rocky’s favorite spots for business, so I see the little black-and-white furball with his skittering little paws and the lumbering old Latino in the Cubs hat more often than they see me.  » Read the rest of this entry «

#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 «

#842 ½: An Announcement

September 15th, 2017 § permalink

When I started this site my worry was getting to my goal. Now I’m scared I’ll get there too soon. » Read the rest of this entry «

#825: The Poetry of Starbucks

August 4th, 2017 § permalink

One of the more grandiose dreams of this project is to chart for future historians what Chicago was really like.

I’d like a future researcher to stumble on whatever online archives come, and fall in love some line I wrote about how Chicago in 2K17 looked, sounded, smelled. I want to provide a bit of color, an unattributed quote in some future textbook about the lives and migratory patterns of Great North American Chicagoan in the dawn of the 2000s.

Unfortunately, “what it was like” is less and less “what makes it unique” each day.

So for this blog, this post, this day in the future’s history, I’m looking at a Starbucks. » Read the rest of this entry «

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