#748: Rise and Fall of the American Stuff Store

February 6th, 2017 § permalink

It’s a bolder smell than taste, although the flavor lingers the longer I  let it steep.

The smell wafted full and strong from the box, but put in water it’s gentle and nudging. I like it more with each sip, but can’t explain the taste, either by experience or by ingredients. According to the side of the box, the ingredients in masala tea are tea and masala flavour, with one of those superfluous U’s countries that get worked up about cricket seem to employ.

At the end, it tastes like cheap chai I bought from a corner store. » Read the rest of this entry «

#747: The Chicago Journalism Quiz – Answers

February 3rd, 2017 § permalink

On Wednesday, I ran the Chicago Journalism Quiz, looking at our city’s journalism heritage.

Each correct answer below is a link to a place you can learn more about what really happened. » Read the rest of this entry «

#746: The Chicago Journalism Quiz

February 1st, 2017 § permalink

Hello from the opposition party!

When I’m not spouting emo political whines on this blog or fighting crime as The Crimson Hammer, I’m a journalist.

The news is troubled and troublesome, both a victim of the current political climate and complicit in its creation. But when the president of the United States starts yelling FAKE NEWS at anything he doesn’t like and calls your inky tribe “the opposition party,” it’s hard not to swell with pride a little.

It’s also a discouraging time for some in news, so in a rally-the-spirits moment, let’s remember how we got here in this city with the Chicago Journalism Quiz. » Read the rest of this entry «

#745: A Ramble

January 30th, 2017 § permalink

It seems like time for something funny, an uproarious deep dive into the minutiae of urban living, like… winter hats or something.

But nothing seems funny. » Read the rest of this entry «

#744: Unnoticed

January 27th, 2017 § permalink

Yes, I peer at phones.

I peer and prod, sometimes under the pretext of whatever form of journalism I imagine this site to be, sometimes just because I get bored on the train but reading makes me motion-sick.

So I peer over shoulders, watch people swipe through Pinterests of shoes or scroll past images of friends both real and Facebook. Or, in the case of the shortish woman with the dark curly hair and the tam-style winter cap, the text exchange she was having with an unnamed someone.

She was angry and sniffly, vexed look on her face as she shot perplexed, suspicious and nasty looks around the car.

I knew who she and the unnamed were texting about. » Read the rest of this entry «

#743: Life, the Universe and Everything

January 25th, 2017 § permalink

They pulled the battered paperback out of the bag, handling it like it was the relic of a saint. » Read the rest of this entry «

#742: We Marched, What’s Next?

January 23rd, 2017 § permalink

The people screamed. They yelled. They chanted and hooted and all muttered between each other that “Let It Be” was probably a bad choice to play at the Women’s March because the whole point is not just letting it be.

The people took to the streets, strode down Michigan Avenue, yelled that this was not normal, that the loser by 2.9 million votes should not be the winner of the nation, that the clown should not be allowed to fail up.

It was super-fun.

So what do we do, like, now? » Read the rest of this entry «

#741: Isaac and Ishmael

January 20th, 2017 § permalink

It couldn’t have been the big blue purse.

It was large, made of a plastic that apes leather, and bright. Crayon-bright blue on the Green Line.

It couldn’t have been the gleaming white sneakers either, the ones bedazzled with the line of rhinestones that curled into two little hearts as it snaked across her metatarsus. She tapped one foot gently, almost nodding it as the train pulled out of the former manufacturing district that’s now the spot for the hottest of hot restaurants.

It couldn’t have been the blue jeans with the six metal buttons pulling each cuff into the perfect skinny cut either.

No, it must have been the piece of cloth on her head that makes her hated. » Read the rest of this entry «

#740: Hush and Hustle

January 18th, 2017 § permalink

A damp gray morning wrapped around the city.

A puffed indigo coat wrapped around the little boy.

His light blue eyes wrapped around the workers in the middle of the street. » Read the rest of this entry «

#739: A Pause by the Church Door

January 16th, 2017 § permalink

I thought about the dab of water.

I thought about how it feels on the forehead, a bit too much and it dribbles down a bit. A perfect amount and it sort of stays there, giving the illusion of coolness as it evaporates into dry, marble-laden air.

Up, down, left shoulder, right shoulder. Sit, stand, kneel, sit, stand, shake hands and say “And also with you.”

The music curled out of the church as I walked by. » Read the rest of this entry «

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