#872: The Sorta-Maybe Mayor Hoyne

January 5th, 2018 § permalink

Hoyne Avenue is special to me.

Hoyne was the home of my first real apartment in Chicago, a converted storefront we called the Bodega. The floors were so warped, my significant other at the time would laugh herself to tears rolling a baseball down it and watching it return to her. The wiring was so dangerous the old Lithuanian electrician the management company finally sent after three weeks of prodding started yelling “Is stupid! Is stupid!” when he got behind the outlet to see how it had been set up.

I was 23 and it was heaven. I found out a few months later that my great-grandparents were living a few blocks south when my grandmother was born. On Hoyne.

So it seemed especially fitting when I discovered that my street of stupid joy was named after a man involved in a story that now brings me stupid joy. I now bring you the story of Thomas Hoyne, who for 28 days claimed to be the mayor of Chicago. » Read the rest of this entry «

#710: Eight Thousand Fucks From Spider Jerusalem and My Own Thoughts on Donald Trump’s Election

November 9th, 2016 § permalink

“Your first deadline’s tomorrow. I want to see eight thousand words. Printable words. I still remember that essay you wrote when the Beast got elected. I do not want to see the word ‘fuck’ typed eight thousand times again.”

- Royce, issue #1, Transmetropolitan » Read the rest of this entry «

#511: Yellow and Blue

August 3rd, 2015 § permalink

“Who’s moving in?” the little old lady yelled.

“He is,” I yelled back.

“Hi,” she said, shuffling a few steps toward my friend.

Saturday was a moving day for two good friends of mine, and in the traditions of my people, I traded my weekend and my ability to walk without going “Ouch ouch ouch” for payment pizza and maybe a beer.

That’s what brought two tired, sweaty men to a tree-lined city block where the houses fly yellow and blue Ukrainian flags. » Read the rest of this entry «

#431: What’s Left in the Snow

January 28th, 2015 § permalink

Someone left a table of books out for passersby.

“The Witching Hour” by Anne Rice. “Bethlehem Road Murder” by Batya Gur. Paperbacks by Ursula Hegl, I.J. Parker, Margaret Erskine, Lawrence Durrell — all on a little sea-colored folding table propped knee-height in the snow and dark and cutting cold. » Read the rest of this entry «

#373: Five People Living in the Same World

September 15th, 2014 § permalink

I was a bit too stunned to ask the men why they were carrying crates of live pigeons.

I don’t even know if “crates” is the right word. Trays of pigeons? Pallets of pigeons? Port-o-coops?

Whatever the contraptions were called, the men piled out of the mid-sized car carrying two of them just packed to the brim with pigeons. » Read the rest of this entry «

#316: In the Wild

May 5th, 2014 § permalink

His hair was slicked in a perfect ’50s greaser do. His strong chin and cold, calm eyes were in danger of being swallowed by the full neck of tattoos reaching out from beneath his jean jacket. » Read the rest of this entry «

#289: Welcome to Wal-Cart

March 3rd, 2014 § permalink

I took a shot of vodka from a Cold War-era Russian intercontinental ballistic missile.

I watched a sexy C3PO grind on a leisure suit Chewbacca.

And I got “the highest of fives” from one of the faux Medieval warriors from that throne-game show I’ve never seen.

Because it was the Chiditarod and these sorts of thing happens there. » Read the rest of this entry «

#281: Trainmen vs. Conductors

February 12th, 2014 § permalink

The man in the zip-up cardigan, branded Metra blazer and hat that said TRAINMAN on the front pursed his lips and made a juggling/weighing-of-options motion with his hands.

“It’s the same thing. The conductor is like in charge,” he said, choosing each word with care. “But it’s the same thing.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#114: The DIY Orchestra, 3 of 3: The Composers

January 18th, 2013 § permalink

As the Dead Kennedys’ “Terminal Preppie” screeched overhead, Randall West took a swig of cider and talked about his series of short orchestral pieces based on the periodic table of elements.

“They build new atoms out of bombarding electrons onto the nucleus. They’re building new elements, I think, faster than I can write music,” the computer programmer said. » Read the rest of this entry «

#91: Greasy Spoons

November 26th, 2012 § permalink

You can tell the neighborhood has gone up in the world because they no longer use the bulletproof lazy susan to hand over the sandwiches. » Read the rest of this entry «

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