#844: The Thought

November 1st, 2017 § permalink

“No, no,” the slim woman said, looking out at the scattered crowd eating pizza and toying with microphones in a far Northwest Side rental hall. “Stay where you are. Do not break the stillness of this moment.”

No one did, not the microphone tinkerers, the laptop typist nor the woman running line-by-line through a Braille transcript of the slim woman’s words.

“For this is a time of mystery, a time when imagination is free and moves forward swiftly, silently. This is… The Haunting Hour.”

And the music swelled.

“The Thought,” she said, taking a step backwards from the first of four mics. » Read the rest of this entry «

#843: Meresamun the Chicagoan

October 30th, 2017 § permalink

From: eteeter@********.edu

To: 1001chicago@gmail.com

Questions for Meresamun:

What did your music sound like? Was it more like chanting? Were there duos or trios?

I know that you worked in Thebes. Where did you and your family live? 

Did you know any of the other people who worked at Karnak that we know from their mummies-like Paankhenan (Art Institute) or Djedmaatesankh (Royal Ontario Museum)?

Amun loves her, that’s what the name means.

Meresamun worked as a singer-priestess in the wind god’s temple at Karnak in Thebes twenty-eight hundred years ago. She was about 30 when she died, a woman of wealth and status who pacified Amun, king of the gods, three times a day, one month out of every four.

Today, she lives under glass in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Teeter and I wonder about her. » Read the rest of this entry «

#842 ½: An Announcement

September 15th, 2017 § permalink

When I started this site my worry was getting to my goal. Now I’m scared I’ll get there too soon. » Read the rest of this entry «

#842: Quizmaster D

September 13th, 2017 § permalink

Do people know DeKalb produced barbed wire?

Who has a clue what the second-biggest city in the state was before Rockford?

What is a reasonable amount of Cheap Trick lyrics to expect people to know? Like, all of them or just most? » Read the rest of this entry «

#841: The Business of Beauty

September 11th, 2017 § permalink

She shifted foot to foot as she spoke to the 10 of us.

Her talk was inflected and genuine, but as lunchtime became afternoon she was getting tired being on her feet. An active 50s in dyed red hair and white hoodie, she wanted us to turn down cellphones, sheath our umbrellas, check any bag that might knock over one of the artifacts should we turn too quickly and unwarily.

Then she could turn us over to the tour guide. Then she could walk the five meters back to the gift shop in the converted car garage where she could rest, chat with co-volunteers and get off those aching ankles that made her shift as she talked. » Read the rest of this entry «

#840: A Review of ‘Hamilton’ Written Several Hours Before I See It

September 8th, 2017 § permalink

In October 2016, my friend Kate stood in line for six hours to buy a block of tickets for “Hamilton.” Thursday’s 7 p.m. showing was the first available date. So I saw “Hamilton” last night.

Although my readers deserve a probing, incisive review of the rap musical’s portrayal of our nation’s early days, I have a flight this morning. In the interest of time management, I pre-wrote my review before the show based on what I’ve heard about the play and what I remember off-hand about American history. » Read the rest of this entry «

#839: A “Prominent Author” Deems You Should Go To This Fundraiser

September 6th, 2017 § permalink

In the last few weeks, I have made the transition from “and many more” to “prominent author.”

The “and many more” was for “Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology,” which I wrote about in August and which conveniently ran out of pixels on the website before they could add my name to the list of contributors. While I am honored to be part of this collection of  pieces about life in 21st century Chicago, this is the writing equivalent of getting to play with your favorite band but seeing “and Guest” on the marquee when you pull up to the club.

But although I got the Professor and Mary Ann treatment in the marketing copy, it’s still a great book, mine was one of the five stories they chose to put online and you should totally buy it.

My upgrade to “prominent author” just came this evening, and you should totally put your money toward that too. » Read the rest of this entry «

#838: A Happiness of Cicadas

September 4th, 2017 § permalink

I detest stories about the wonder of childhood.

I detest the way they imply an innate happiness at the simplest of things is the sole domain of those who can’t yet drive, vote or depreciate noncurrent assets using the straight-line basis. Childhood is magic, yes, but there’s an inherent plaint in such stories that it’s the only magic there is.

“Behold the child!” the stories seem to cry. “Behold his or her wonder at the world because you have to behold it in others because you’re clearly a boring old fart who understood the ‘depreciate noncurrent assets’ line in the last paragraph.”

The wonder is out there for adults to see. Granted, having a kid around helps.

» Read the rest of this entry «

#837: Fire-Flowers

September 1st, 2017 § permalink

The sky above exploded in whites, reds, blues, crinkly crinoid yellows that shimmered over its reflection in a darkened lake.

The concrete below shook and rattled with every car that sped by just feet behind us. » Read the rest of this entry «

#836: Funny Things

August 30th, 2017 § permalink

I presume the calligraphed words running down his well-hewn triceps said UNTOUCHABLE and UNSTOPPABLE. » Read the rest of this entry «

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