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 «
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 «
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 «
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 «
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 «
January 13th, 2016 § permalink
November 6th, 2015 § permalink
Goodnight moon. Goodnight stars.
Goodnight overpriced, ridiculous bars. » Read the rest of this entry «
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 «
August 5th, 2015 § permalink
Sparkles of water and, I assumed, particulate of tooth spattered out from below my field of vision, which was locked ahead on a view of sunglass-shaded light and one, two hands of blue coming at me to jab drills, mirrors, lights and hooks into the collection of holes and porcelain that was once my mouth.
I haven’t been able to go to the dentist in years. The economy wouldn’t let me.
RRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHHOOOOOO went the drill, hollowing me out for the first of too many fillings. » Read the rest of this entry «
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 «