#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 «

#820: A Letter to Me, Pre-High School Reunion

July 24th, 2017 § permalink

My high school, while a fine place with some lovely people, was never much in the “having its shit together” department. » Read the rest of this entry «

#814: Paul Clifford’s Open

July 10th, 2017 § permalink

The crash woke us up, early morning mumbles of oof, uh, what, oh just thund- and then back to sleep mid-word.

The crash of thunder kicked off a gray, wet, want-to-sleep-must-work Monday morning. It was a morning made for failures, busted deadlines, plans oh so many plans that just won’t come to pass because you had the audacity to enjoy life for a few short hours over the weekend instead of work work work.

It’s a cheap writer’s trick — both cheap writing and done by cheap writers — to talk about the weather. Never open a book with weather, Elmore Leonard tells us, the first and foremost of his 10 rules for writing. We mock it with Snoopy’s tapping over his doghouse. It was a dark and stormy night.

It was a dark and stormy morning. » Read the rest of this entry «


June 26th, 2017 § permalink

I’ve been a bit busy. » Read the rest of this entry «

#804: Daisy Mills Puppy Farm

June 16th, 2017 § permalink

It turns out Snoopy was born at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, but the man running the trivia night said he’d take Daisy Mills. » Read the rest of this entry «

#801: Icing

June 9th, 2017 § permalink

No one likes a happy man. » Read the rest of this entry «

#791: How We Live Now

May 17th, 2017 § permalink

This is it, right? This is how we live?

We live in sunsets now, and warm nights of sushi and wine on patios. We live in texts from friends letting us know of impromptu get-togethers after.

That’s it, right? Life’s like this forever now? » Read the rest of this entry «

#782: Cassini

April 26th, 2017 § permalink

The website ticks just out of time with the clock in the room. The pair keep pace, more or less. They’re just out of sync enough to notice.

The clock clicked 20 minutes to 11 roughly the same moment the website went from the 200,000s to the 199,999s. Each click of the clock brings another second on earth, another seven or eight miles tearing through space.

It’s going 79,032 miles per hour through the void, 198,381 or so miles from its target. I’m motionless, lit by a lamp behind, some streetlights outside and a gleaming laptop screen 934,000,000 miles away watching the spacecraft Cassini dive toward Saturn.

The clock ticks away another heartbeat, another seven or eight miles. » Read the rest of this entry «

#777: A Tupperware of Kugel

April 14th, 2017 § permalink

Candy canes are breath mints, the ones that stack up untouched in the bowl by a diner’s cash register.

Turkey’s a sandwich meat noted for being drier than chicken.

Who the hell likes candy corn anyway?

And, until a few days in spring every year, matzo is a dry cracker. » Read the rest of this entry «

#764: Atom Orbitals and the Charm of Being Lost

March 15th, 2017 § permalink

I was told the TV was mine, that the long day earned me a couch and control of the remote.

I looked at the couch and blanket and said “I’m going to watch a TED Talk about atoms.”

And within three minutes, I was. » Read the rest of this entry «

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