Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Clown Prince of Italy is one loud Mother Effer

Nino here, on the left has been whooping it up across the street from my place for the last three days. An Italian Circus has set up camp in the heart of one Chicago's largest Mexican neighborhoods, and each night Nino and his pals love to blare Neil Diamond and the Lone Ranger theme at ear splitting levels. It's brutal and funny all that the same time.

Earlier today I had brunch with Rusty and told her that the circus left town. (Incidentally we determined it's not the menu that made it brunch, it was that we waited over an hour for a table and even had to buy cookies at a bakery to fight off starvation.)

"That's cool," she said about the circus. "Go check on our table."

When I got home, I realized how wrong I was. It turns out Nino isn't leaving town until tomorrow, and he and his circus cronies are now competing with some sort of religious revival in another portion of the park. So anyway, the circus and the blaring religious music has driven me out of my home and into a coffee house to catch up on my favorite blogs. Perhaps they will let me sleep here.

Last week I had the ear of a former president, a one Mr. Bill Clinton. My boss made me go to his book signing at Borders for his latest, and in my view, lamest book about how we can all make a difference. Snore. But for just $20 and three hours of my life waiting in line, I had the chance to have the following exchange with Bubba (let it be known that Smokey Robinson was playing in the background.)

I said to him, "Promise me Hilary can win next year." As he was signing my copy of Giving, I see that my comment agitated him. He paused, the publisher chick handed me yet another book that will gather dust on my shelves, and in a huff he said:

"Well if she doesn't, it's not going to be my fault."

Oh snap! I thought he'd take my hand, look deep into my pleading brown eyes and assure me that the team of Clinton and Clinton was going to save me from four years of looking at Mitt Romney's face.

The Four Horsemen of the Public Transit Apocalypse have been closing in on Chicago during the last month or so. The CTA has been holding this "Doomsday" budget over our heads, threatening us with higher fares and bus line cuts if we don't call our legislators and get more dough for them. I, for one, am all Doomsday'd out. We hear this every summer, and I don't know who to believe. This drama has us all stressed out. Yesterday a lady on my bus was one missed green light from blowing up the #18.

As we're chugging along, she says, "You have GOT to be kidding me! Why are we going so slow? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!

At question were the skills of this driver, who appeared to have this "I'll get there when I get there" attitude. She, much to our dismay, was taking us all for a leisurely morning drive. Now, I've been commuting on the CTA for 11 years, and I'm well aware of situations where buses are, for scheduling reasons, kept back to avoid bus bunching. This wasn't one of those times.

Was the passenger crazy? Maybe. But I felt her pain. What you want is a happy medium. You've got some drivers who will drive on sidewalks, pass your ass up, or turn Canal Street into the Indy 500 to stay on schedule. And then you got others who don't appear to give a shit. I'm just not sure how a state budget can fix that.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Who in the hell are these people?

Can someone explain to me why your computer has to come with free pictures like a $.99 picture frame would from Dollar General? Wouldn't it be something if these were like my children from a former life and maybe in say, 1998, I had a traumatic experience and developed amnesia? If the latter is true, it appears as though I homeschooled my children.

Yes, I've been drinking since 6.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Over the summer I popped into the Chicago History Museum and it reminded me how much I loved 19th Century newspaper headline writing. HANGED! or RIOT! or ANARCHY! or DEATH AMONG WHIZZING BULLETS! Just really delivered the punch the stories deserved. Contemporary copyeditors pussy foot around, in my view.

Take this headline from today at Chicago Tribune online edition:

LAME! It should read:


Also from today's Tribune:

Now this mob trial has been going on all summer, so maybe the copyeditors are just plum exhausted. However, this might be the last great Chicago mob trial so they could inject a little energy into the headline. How about:


The Sun-Times is no better. Here's one their evening headlines:

But I think this is much better:


Anyway, let me know if you think I should submit my resume to either of our great city's Big Dailies.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I finally have something in common with President Bush!

The following has been revealed in the new book you see pictured:

Both I and George Bush have been crying alot since he's become President.
I know what saddens me about his administration. But what about him? Is it the long hours, the fact that the Right Wing can't seem to go a month without having one of their own revealed not only as homosexual, but creepy and deviant, or maybe it's just that he's losing his mind.
In other political news, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is proving to be a bigger tard than I thought he was with this budget nonsense. Politics it not only local, it is immediate and fucking ridiculous. He eliminated the state funding for a program called Cease Fire, an organization that works in West and South Side neighborhoods to quell gang violence. Cease Fire was forced to layoff "violence interrupters" who are primarily former gang members, this weekend, and fifteen people ended up dead in Cease Fire neighborhoods like Englewood and Humboldt Park. I remember an interview I did a while back when I asked a police commander about Cease Fire. "It works, it just works," he said, shrugging his shoulders.
It's too bad they weren't working this weekend.