Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/30/09

The famous clock on the Marshall Field's building (now occupied by Macy's).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday While Shaving

A small black dot
with eight thin legs

executes silken
scrimshaw within

the shadow of my
medicine cabinet.

Kiddieland, Part 10

RIP Kiddieland, 1929-2009. Their last day is Sunday. 9/27. Large crowds are expected.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/21/09


Gold locust leaves caught
in the webbing spread outside
my bedroom window.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Still Can't Stop the Music

I get bored with my iTunes mix pretty easily. Therefore, I change it often, uploading new songs and deleting old ones. Among the new tunes:

You've got to Hide Your Love Away - Beatles
Hold Tight - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beazy, Mitch & Titch
Cactus - David Bowie
Planet Earth - Duran Duran (happy now, Superbadfriend?)
Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
The Last Race - Jack Nitzsche
We Have All the Time in the World - Louis Armstrong (last song he recorded before he died)
Train from Kansas City - Neko Case
Live & Let Die - Paul McCartney & Wings
Mysterious Ways - U2
Thunder Island - Jay Ferguson
Lake Shore Drive - Alliota, Haynes & Jeremiah

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/18/09

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/13/09

Bird painted on fieldhouse wall, Waters Community Garden. (A cardinal, maybe?)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Eleventh of September

I've written about what happened on 9/11 before (at least, from my distant perspective). No need to repeat that account (such as it was) here.

That date has become our generation's "date which will live in infamy," as well it should have done--The events of that day, and the horror, anger, fear and unity of nation they inspired, will never be forgotten.

Other significant events in history, minor and major, that happened on this date, however, have faded into the shadow of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and rural Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed.

Events like the foundation of the World Wildlife Fund in 1961. Or, on that same day in that same year, the first broadcast of Bozo's Circus, the Chicago children's show that would have an amazing run of just under 40 years. (Its 40th anniversary was, in fact, 9/11/01, but the show had been cancelled earlier that year and its last original broadcast, featuring Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins sining Bob Dylan's "forever Young," aired in June.)

Authors O. Henry and D.H. Lawrence were born on this date. So were directors Brian de Palma and Brad Bird, as well as actors Herbert Lom, Amy Madigan, Virginia Madsen and Kristy McNichol and music makers Moby and Ludacris.

Actors Lorne Greene, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter and John Ritter died on this date.

And Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all-time Major League hits record on this day 24 years ago.

Like I said--that terrible day in 2001 has forever marked this point in the calendar, and it will never be forgotten. Today has become a day of prayer, of reflection, of service to this country, of mourning. But in the midst of that reflection, I don't believe it's disrespectful to take a moment or two and recall other events--some happy or amusing, others far less so--that transpired on this date.

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/11/09

Who doesn't want to end a long, hard week with a relaxing massage?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/9/09

Mom's oldest kitty, Peeper, who died this past Friday at the age of 20. She was in excellent health--you'd never have even known she was a geriatric feline if somebody didn't tell you--until the past year, when her eyesight started to fail (she could see things that were right in front of her, but not much else) and she began to lose weight. Still, she was able to get around just fine, had a decent appetite and, whenever I visited, sat on the loveseat next to me in a pet bed just for her, until finally she stopped eating and could no longer walk in anything but wobbly circles.

This past Saturday, I visited Mom, but the pet bed was empty.

Mom had Peeper from the day she was born until the day she died. In between? there was much unconditional love--both given and received.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/5/09

Face on facade, Wabash south of Madison. The building it was originally attached to, which dated back to at least the 1890s, was demolished (along with the buildings adjacent to it) to make way for a skyscraper. The street-level facades were retained--the architectural equivalent of taxidermy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/4/09

Mom's kitty, Mimi, is already in the basket for her Labor Day picnic!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Miscellaneous Miscellania

Last Movie I Saw: None, actually. Time has been tight, money tighter. Hope to catch up the next couple of months with a whole bunch of movies I want to see, like Whiteout, Extract, Whip It and Zombieland.

Travel Reading: The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill. You think the classic movie is hard to believe? The story was actually toned down from what really happened when 76 POWs escaped from a German prison camp during World War II. Just shows how creative and energetic one can be when starving and desperate.

Halloween Harbingers: Last night, I stopped by one of my many neighborhood Walgreens to pick up a gallon of milk and saw the worker bees in the seasonal aisle busily packing away the back to school items and loading the shelves with Halloween merchandise. Away go the Hannah Montana spiral-bound notebooks. Out come the light-up pumpkins and scented candles. In past years, I've lamented this--it's not even Labor Day yet, for cryin' out loud--but this time I'm embracing it. I'm ready. Bring on the skeletons and bats, the witches and rats (sorry JB). Throw open the doors of La Casa del Terror and let the Halloween Movie Bash (actually on Halloween this year!) be festive.

And Last, But Far from Least...A very Happy Birthday to Superbadfriend! Hope you're out doing fun, celebratory stuff instead of staying in and reading this, even though you're one of the relatively few who does!

Political Miscellania

A Taxing Issue (update): The Cook County Board of Commissioners once again failed to overturn the odious, economically crippling 1% sales tax pushed through by County Board President Todd Stroger. This time, the effort to override Stroger's veto of the rollback was defeated because one commissioner, Deborah Sims, who had voted in favor of the repeal the last time it came up, changed her vote at the last minute. (Bet her constituents just love that.) I just hope the voters of Cook County remember all this--how Stroger and his enablers raised our taxes while not making necessary cuts in our bloated county government. They are stealing from us. The voters need to stop helping them do so.

Oprah-Sized Traffic Jam: On behalf of the many people (including several coworkers) who will be inconvenienced by the massive traffic entanglement to be caused by the taping of the season premiere of The Oprah Winfrey Show, for which the city is closing several blocks of the ordinarily very busy Michigan Avenue for two days, I'd like to thank Oprah for not caring how much she inconveniences the average people just trying to get their hourly wage. (Couldn't you have just had your premiere in a park? Or a theater? Or on the South or West Sides, which could badly use some attention from someone, anyone?) I'd also like to thank Mayor Richard M. Daley for telling everyone what a great idea he thinks this is, how he wishes we could do stuff like this more often and how he's sure the people understand why this is necessary. Uh huh.

Olympics Decision Day: Speaking of our mayor, he can't be too thrilled with the latest poll results regarding his bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will be approved or denied in a matter of weeks. According to the latest Chicago Tribune poll, respondents were nearly evenly split on whether they wanted the Olympics here or not--hardly a ringing civic endorsement for the idea--and they clearly don't want taxpayers to foot the bill for it (by an 80-20 margin). We don't have the money. We don't have the transportation. We don't have the infrastructure. Recent city endeavors, like Millennium Park (which is beautiful, but ran four years and hundreds of millions of dollars over what it should have) and the massively screwed-up parking meter lease deal. So, naturally, the mayor thinks it's a GREAT idea! (And we keep re-electing this guy why, exactly?)

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/3/09

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story: 9/2/09

A lion's face on a building at Washington and Wells.