#799: Yawn of Man

June 5th, 2017 § permalink

There’s getting old, and there’s falling asleep at a punk show. » 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 «

#778: Perfectly 22

April 17th, 2017 § permalink

She got on board the train at a stop in Wicker Park, which was the perfect place for her to get on.

She had mid-cropped hair bleached to a sandy platinum, the perfect color for her to have.

She wore the perfect big glasses, the perfect wafting dress, the perfect marigold top that an ingénue in a 1930s MGM romp would giggle over and say, “This old thing?” She didn’t giggle or act a part, though. She was just a woman riding a train to work — pretty, but giving me thoughts more of the calendar than the bedroom.

She was perfectly, perfectly 22. » Read the rest of this entry «

#709: Vote Like a Champ in Just Six Steps

November 7th, 2016 § permalink

Voting is like improv comedy: The fact you’re unprepared is only amusing to you.

For the rest of us, those who take more than one stab at existence and who tire of any activity with a cover and two-drink minimum to watch state school theater majors laugh harder at their own jokes than the audience ever will, we like to be a little more prepared.

So in the vein of my Bare Minimum Voting Guide from the primary, a six-step plan that will get you voting like a champ in no time. * » Read the rest of this entry «

#663: Brown Girls and the Act of Existing

July 22nd, 2016 § permalink

There’s an air conditioner window unit chuffing luke-cold air into the tiny studio space at the Flat Iron Building.

It ruffles a few sheets of construction paper taped to the walls, souvenirs from the cast party for Sam Bailey’s web series You’re So Talented. “You’re so…” was printed, leaving party attendees to fill out the rest.

Bailey only kept the snarky ones, the ones where her friends jokingly called her trifling, bougie, thirsty, mediocre.

All the walls in the small studio are covered in taped images, whiteboards and Post-Its. Outlines for a someday future season of You’re So Talented, photos of actors and artists for inspiration, dry erase diagrams of odd film-ese.

Past the note-strewn desk and table, past the mismatched chairs, the coffee maker, array of snacks and not-well-hidden bottle of Scotch, one section of the wall is devoted to Bailey’s upcoming web series, set to start filming in August and debut in early 2017.

There are taped-up stills of Bollywood films to nail the South Asian movie color scheme, pics from indy arthouse fare like “Pariah” and “Obvious Child” to inspire on lighting, framing or other technical details. And there’s a line of headshots of the new series’ cast.

There’s not a white face among them. » Read the rest of this entry «

#643: Who I Want to Be

June 6th, 2016 § permalink

He shuffled into the train, a thin, fussy old white man wearing New Balance sneakers over brown socks.

He wore light khakis. He wore a checked button-up shirt under a cardigan under another cardigan.

He looked around, his fine mustache twitching, and found a spot. From his canvas bag advertising the Environmental Law and Policy Center, he pulled a folded-over copy of the New York Times. He pushed his thin bifocals up on his nose, twitched the ‘stache a time or two more and proceeded to read the Times, article by article, in order. » Read the rest of this entry «

#609: The Entrepreneur of You

March 18th, 2016 § permalink

A St. Pat’s Day scramble off the train, green-clad men and women who will be yelling or crying outside a bar in a few hours stand outside the station, happily planning their assault on Wicker Park’s alcohol reserves. Some gutterpunks smoking cigarettes and playing with their dogs hold up a sign that they need money to kill Donald Trump. An actual homeless man sits in a closed doorway, shaking a cup, his voice weak from the hunger the would-be Trump assassins play at.

And a young woman holds CDs.

“Would you like to buy my poetry?” she asked. » Read the rest of this entry «

#581: The Podcast Cometh

January 13th, 2016 § permalink

Listen… » Read the rest of this entry «

#552: Goodnight Wicker Park

November 6th, 2015 § permalink

Goodnight moon. Goodnight stars.

Goodnight overpriced, ridiculous bars. » Read the rest of this entry «

#519: Chizbooger 2015

August 21st, 2015 § permalink

In 1983, newspaper columnist Mike Royko, then at the Sun-Times, measured sanity in hamburgers.

It was a column that ran July 20 of that year, entitled — at least in my world-weary used bookstore copy of the Royko collection “Like I Was Sayin’” — “’California Burger’ Can Drive You Nuts.”

In the column, Royko and an unnamed friend stopped in a fern-laden early ‘80s California cuisine restaurant for lunch. » Read the rest of this entry «

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