Outrunning age.

The sun was out today, the temperatures reasonably mild, and in what I hope is the first of many mild, sunny evenings, I headed out on the new two-wheeler. Did I tell you I bought a new two-wheeler? I did. A used one, of course — a Volkscycle, an old frame tricked out with new components from the hipster bike shop down in the Cass corridor. Weren’t too much money, and I’m adding some clipless pedals. Look for me to add a broken elbow to my wounded eyeball any day now.

But it was a glorious ride, and I am so, so glad to be out of the house after all these months. What happened to me? I used to love winter. Now it’s just an ordeal to get through. Is this how people end up in Florida? Because this is disturbing. Along with this eye thing, this is making me feel very, very old. Other than the standard-issue lower back and knee pain, I’ve not really had any age-related decrepitude yet. And now it’s just dawning on me that I’ll be seeing a fucking ophthalmologist every six months for the rest of my life.

Makes me want to get on my bike and ride until I reach some other place. Someplace younger. Not Florida.

Oh, but before I do, I have bloggage:

This is so damn disturbing. Remember Patiend Zero from Randy Shilts’ AIDS book, “And the Band Played On”? The sexy Canadian flight attendant, whose promiscuity jump-started HIV all over the globe? He existed, but he didn’t really function as the Typhoid Mary of AIDS. It was exaggerated to sell books. Doesn’t that make you feel wonderful about American health reporting?

Here’s a long, readable and compelling story about what happens when the Satmar sect of Hasidism takes over an entire town.
And what do they do? Dismantle the public schools. Because they don’t use them, and besides, they really want to the few non-Jews left around to move out. It’s a fairly horrifying story.

This might be worth a trip to the National Archives: Searching for the Seventies. This woman could have been me, c. 1978. I loved this decade.

Finally, the Boston bombers’ horrible parents.

And now, let’s get Tuesday under way, OK?

Posted at 12:30 am in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

63 responses to “Outrunning age.”

  1. Dexter said on April 23, 2013 at 2:11 am

    I am going in for lab blood work tomorrow as part of my yearly pre-exam detail. Friday I see the doctor, and I used to get a little nervous as I wondered what new order he was going to give me. (Stress test this time?)
    It’s always “lose weight”. I have been taking statins for high cholesterol for years now, I take more pills to prevent more calamities also. I have to be very mindful when fasting for the blood draw. One time I was heading to the lab and I let my mind revert to auto pilot and I grabbed the orange juice and poured a little glass and downed it and OH NO! I had to fast the next day as well. I had ruined the setting.
    Once I had to see a different doctor. He listened to my heart and kept saying “hmmm” like he was in a movie. He said “I don’t like the sound of your heart”.

    He brought in a technician who gave me an electrocardiogram and he looked at the results and seemed alarmed as he said he had to have the cardiologist look at the results “right now.” Then he came back in and might as well have said “April Fool’s”. No abnormalities after all. Oh well.

    It’s just about closing time for the town bars and I live close enough to have foot traffic past my house some nights. Loud drunks walking and laughing make my Labbie dog nervous. She starts barking. She would love to bite those loud drunken young people right square in the ass.

    I was at a Tigers game years ago…must have been 1987…and I always parked in Corktown those years near or on Bagley or Leverette Streets. I’ll never forget the middle age woman with the garden hose. Ballpark drunks would urinate on her trees on her terrace and she would blast them with this powerful- nozzled hose while screaming at them. I saw her do it one time…hilarious. In the waning years of Tiger Stadium, one of the papers featured her and her hose.

    nance, congratulations on the Volkscycle. This has been the latest ever for me for getting out there and riding a few miles at a time, a couple times a day. Time to get serious, quit buying oatmeal-raisin cookies and ride some miles. I spend most of my totally free time walking these dogs.

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  2. MarkH said on April 23, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Fuckin’ priceless:


    Question: this guy got to KDKA (Pittsburgh), and THEN went to Bismarck to blow his career?

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  3. David C. said on April 23, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Volkscycles always had a reputation of being heavier than average, but a steel frame’s ride is a lot less jarring than an aluminum frame. A good buy I’d say. Yesterday, I took my first fall attributable to clipless pedals – that and the damned fool walking his dog with a f-ing retractable lead letting his dog wander into the street in front of me. I’m none the worse for wear, just slightly embarrassed.

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  4. Linda said on April 23, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Re: the Saletan article. I get most of it–his clueless parents overindulged his b.s. and stick up for him inappropriately. It reminded me of what a juvenile criminal case person I met a long time ago said about certain kids and parents–that no matter how obviously rotten their kid was, they would plead for leniency, because he was SUCH a good boy. But then Saletan doesn’t stick the landing. He says the parents had a duty to “do something” before such a crime took place. Even if they knew their kid was no good and dangerous, it’s often hard to get authorities to do anything ahead of the crime, for various reasons. I remember reading about a woman who spent her life trying to alert authorities about her mentally ill, violent daughter wherever she lived, but it came to nothing as her daughter ended up creating a mass shooting anyway. I’m sure JTMMO would have much to add to that discussion.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Linda, you’ve got it in one. There’s a horizon, a margin within which a serious emotional disturbance (often what we’re now labelling “borderline personality disorder” much more often than high-functioning psychotic, which is almost a contradiction in terms) can co-exist with an ability to just barely function in society. That just barely is enough to keep you off of the ability of courts or systems that actually WANT to intervene, and those are in a minority because usually the active meltdowns and self-admitted delaminations are enough to keep us busy, so there’s not much capacity in a system like juvenile justice to pursue against resistance.

    The Tsarnaev parents are not at all unusual in my experience beyond the accents; outwardly polite and deferential and compliant with court requests and guidelines, but when you get them talking, and start moving towards placing responsibility on them to follow through on new responses (consequences and incentives, basically) to change their child’s behavior, you find out the depths of their contempt for you, the system, their neighbors, other authority figures in their child’s lives, and their own bosses or associates. Some are so skill-shy they are entirely dependent on public assistance, which gives me (yes) a tool to get leverage of a sort, but if they have mastered one or two means to make a living that doesn’t require working with others and can pay bills, occasionally even making decent incomes (which itself is used as an argument that anyone telling them anything is going wrong in their household is stupid), then you end up at an impasse.

    I can fart around all afternoon after a session with a family like that trying on diagnoses, like “sociopathic family system with paranoid delusions” but the bottom line is: they are very difficult families to help. Either the school should stop bothering them about attendance and also give their child better grades (“because they are a Tsarnaev” is the sort of statement I hear occasionally unironically made), or the neighbor should stop creating the necessity for their child to go over and harass them (they say about the 87 year old lady who just wants them not to set slowly oozing transmissions next to her azaleas), or they will tell me, if I’m on my A-game in getting them to open up, about just how deep the society wide conspiracy is to keep people like them, and mainly them and their people, from getting what’s coming to them (again, the irony needle does not budge).

    That’s not even a plurality of the parents/families I meet, but it’s a pretty consistent subset. There’s lots of Tsarnaev types out there in my town right now: I could give you five without going to the files. My point being — even that profile doesn’t tell you much about who’s going to go “spunnnnnnnnggggggg” someday.

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  6. Suzanne said on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I was not a fan of winter once I got a driver’s license, but I hate winter more and more as I age. I used to marvel at “old” people who went south for the winter; now, I’m trying to figure out how I’ll be able to afford to do so.

    Yeah, JTMMO, I’ve run across plenty of the people you describe. Those types, and the parents who have no freaking clue what their kids are up to whatsoever. Once my kids got well into their academic careers, I was really surprised at how many parents had no idea what classes their kids had in school, if they had homework, what their teachers were like (or even their names), who they were hanging out with or what they were doing when they were hanging out. As long as the kids are on the right sports team and seem to have a pack of peers to hang with, it’s all good! Until it isn’t…

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  7. alex said on April 23, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I want a Volkscycle! Wonder if my health plan would pay for it if my cardiologist prescribed it. If they consider stationary bikes durable medical equipment, why should this be different? Do they make a broad-brimmed biker’s helmet? My dermatologist could write me the ‘script for that one.

    When I was a kid there was a family in the neighborhood with inattentive parents. They were fun to hang out with to the extent that I got to eat the junk foods and see the TV shows that were strictly forbidden in my home, and got to play with no supervision whatsoever. Well, not really, come to think of it. When we were going out one night to commit some petty vandalism, the mother made sure to give us the materials we would need to commit the crimes and made some suggestions as to whose homes she wanted to see desecrated. One of her sons, who was very maladjusted and a bully, committed suicide at 15. Don’t know what happened to the other kid, but wish him the best wherever he is.

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  8. beb said on April 23, 2013 at 8:33 am

    It seems like once you are out of childhood winters start to become cold. It’s like when you’re a kid you don’t really notice that being cold is unpleasant, or being too hot during summer is unpleasant. But once you turn adult you don’t like it getting too hot or too cold. Or maybe it’s just me.

    I was reading some blogs yesterday that talked about what an awful, clueless column Maureen Dowd has written on the failure of background checks to pass. It was all the president’s fault she argued because he hadn’t given enough speeches, held enough public events, etc. This is weird because that was all the president had been doing the couple weeks leading up to the vote. It makes you wonder where does she get her facts? Does she even read the newspaper she works for? Does she watch any TV? What does she do all day to justify her well-paid position as a columnist?

    I remember the early days of AIDS as well as I remember anything from the past (which is not that well) but one thing I remember was how hard it was to get the government and not gay communities to take AIDS seriously. As long as it was “the gay cancer” the majority of American were unconcerned. So getting people to read a book about AIDS, to get people to start caring about AIDS, to get them to realize that AIDS wasn’t a gay or druggie thing was eally hard. So Shilts, I think, can be excused to exaggerating the role of Patient Zero to make his book more salable.

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  9. Judybusy said on April 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

    There will be no biking here for me. Forever, I’m beginning to think. We got another 4″ of gloppy snow overnight. I’ve actually come to like winter more, but this is annoying–we’ve already had 5 months of snowcover, and it all melts so quickly there’s no way to ski it. The dog loves it, though, and it’s quite beautiful.

    Over the weekend I went to the American Craft Council show and saw so much amazing work in ceramics, wood, glass, fiber and jewelry. This guy’s wood-working was my favorite. He was super nice, too, and you could open all the cabinets and see all the detail inside.

    How will that newsanchor recover from that gaffe?

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  10. DanB said on April 23, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Made the mistake of reading the Hasidim in East Ramapo New York story last night and then had trouble calming down enough to go to sleep afterwards. Definitely infuriating.

    I even delved into the comments (I usually know better; these weren’t a [I]complete[/I] cesspool, fortunately, but I still wouldn’t recommend it), and agreed with the several who thought that the tone and structure of the article was weird. It gets you outraged over the gutting of the school system, then ends with an evocation of the Hasidic community and it feels like we’re supposed to see this as an explanation or balance, but it just doesn’t work that way.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on April 23, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I’m no fan of winter, but owning the dog for the past two-plus years has forced me to adapt. The right clothing and the right footwear and I’m good. I look like the Michelin man, but I’m warm.

    Folks in Detroit who are sick and tired of every lazy East Coast writer using it as shorthand for decay in the industrial heartland can be cheered that Chicago was slimed by a lazy writer originally from the East Coast in the Sunday NYT Book Review. She even managed to compare us to Detroit, of course, because that is what lazy writers from the East Coast do. It’s less a review of the three books she was assigned than a bill of particulars on why the reviewer doesn’t like our town very much, which is a shame because she has a nice, tenured professorship at DePaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic college.

    I’ve lived here for almost 24 years. I am not naive. Much of Chicago is a mess and in need of fixing. Crime and corruption are as much a part of our fabric as hard winters and bad baseball, but Christ, the pleasures of this place are completely ignored in the screed. I still believe to my core that this is a (largely) livable and scalable great city. . .one of the best in the nation. . .despite our many flaws and challenges.

    Anyhow, this must be very familiar territory for Michiganders.

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  12. Randy said on April 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

    You’ll like clipless pedals, Nancy. I recommend you take your bike to the shop and get someone to help you be fitted for the pedals. That helps with knee strain etc., especially for long rides.

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  13. Peter said on April 23, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Jeff, I’ll reply to your comment when I calm down – but suffice it to say that the writer really set me off.

    On the wonderful happy All-American Tsarnaev’s: I’m not the most astute parent, and I don’t know about you, but if two, count ’em, two FBI agents show up at your door about your kid, I’d either read the riot act to the kid, send him off to the old folks, leave the kids here and go back to the old folks, or get lawyered up. I mean, this isn’t the guidance counselor doing a well being check, this is serious shit.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Every year winter gets harder for me, too. Next year we’re going south for a week or so to see if that will help us get through, or make it worse when we get back. Since we’ve had a few nice days my mood and energy level have perked up considerably.

    If the Tsarnaev family had experienced economic success, do you think we’d even know who they were today? I can’t help wondering about that. If they’d found good jobs, and the boys more successful at school, would they still have turned to extremist thought? We as a nation need to consider these kind of side-effects to the low-paying, part time jobs so many business school majors think are the answer to corporate profits and stock prices.

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  15. Deborah said on April 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I read that book review too Jeff B, and had the same reaction. I’ve only lived in Chicago 10 years and as you say it’s got problems but what a great city all in all.

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  16. coozledad said on April 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Back in the fifties, my uncles got in a lot of trouble playing with black powder chips and dynamite purchased for splitting trees and dislodging large rocks on the farm. My uncles, being teenagers, discovered you could use them to lift a mobile home off its foundation, which they did a couple of times and got caught quickly, fortunately before there was a slip up and someone got killed.

    The sheriff asked my grandmother if she thought they should spend a little time in the cooler and she said yes.

    The FBI would so be on their asses these days.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Aside from cheap shots at Neil Steinberg that seemed pretty obtuse, the “reviewer” (who certainly seemed to be writing more of a review of the city of Chicago than books about Chicago) was oddly muddled on so many specifics, like about Millenium Park (an extension of Grant Park, and not entirely built over a rail yard, which she implies it replaced which is itself not giving credit to the creativity and engineering at work there) or claiming that disliking yuppification means you want decay and grunge to remain.

    Her closing ruminations on Chicagoans desire to be, generally, “regular” folks and a wrap-up slap at the location of Chicago being its main challenge leaves me thinking she just doesn’t like being in the Midwest. As the cultural capital of the Midwest, the frame is set to different proportions than it is in New York or LA, but the idea that Midwestern folk are de facto more boastful, less adventurous, and much more cliched than people elsewhere, all of which holds Chicago back from being a “real” urban center — it makes me want to contribute to a fund to help her move back to Brooklyn where real folks are more interesting. To her.

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  18. Dorothy said on April 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Jeff B – a young man I know via theater where I live quit his job and picked up and moved to Chicago the end of February. He said he had enough money to last two months before he’d be in trouble if he didn’t find a job. It’s nearing the end of April and he’s been on lots of interviews but so far I don’t think he’s had a job offer. I really hope he gets a job because he was SO very excited about this change. He’s in his mid-30’s and his wife took up with his best friend about 18 months ago. He’s divorced now, and he owns a small house about 20 miles from where I live. His parents are looking after the house for now. He does not have a college degree. He’s taking a chance. But he’s also living his dream. I sure hope he gets a job soon. I miss him, our theater group will miss him terribly but I’d be very glad if he finds happiness in Chicago.

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  19. alex said on April 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I didn’t read the piece on Chicago, but it sounds just like some of the dismissive New Yorkers I’ve met who think they’re the center of the universe and the rest of us are unwashed hicks. But Chicago’s reputation as the Second City goes far beyond the Big Apple. Years ago I hosted a distant relative from Switzerland while I was living in Chicago and took her to the Art Institute, where she was astounded to learn that an American city scarcely 150 years old could be home to one of the best world-class art collections she had ever seen.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on April 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Those early days, when AIDS was a death sentence, were awful. The worst part, for me anyway, was watching the “they had it coming” indifference of government and religious types.

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  21. Charlotte said on April 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Max Baucus is retiring!!!! Wooo! Hoo! Hate the fucker — gutted the public option before it ever got traction. And I wonder — his recent vote with the Republicans to shoot down the background checks did not go over well here at home. I’ve met him a few times and he is so stupendously dumb it’s astonishing.

    As for delusional parents — I had two. They were never delusional about how great *I* was, only how special and picked on *they* were. It’s very very very difficult dealing with people who refuse to acknowledge reality. I’m having to cut my mother loose, and it’s heartbreaking. She’s going to go through her whole inheritance in three years, then be calling me screaming on the phone because she’s getting evicted. And I’m done. Which is killing me, but it’s more than time.

    However, the pair of sandhill cranes who live at the bottom of the road were doing their festive mating dance this morning, and the sun is shining on the Absaroka and Gallatin and Crazy Mountain ranges, and despite it all, it’s all good.

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  22. brian stouder said on April 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Charlotte – I like you!

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  23. Linda said on April 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Cooz, your grandma sounds like da bomb. We need more like her.

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  24. Charlotte said on April 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thanks Brian!

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  25. Peter said on April 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

    OK, now I’ve calmed down enough to give my rant on that article.

    Alex, if you had read that article (and I suggest you don’t – that will be 10-15 minutes of your life you’re not going to get back), you’ll find the one sentence that explains the whole rant – the one where she says that she attended the University of Chicago.

    Let me start out by saying that are only a few women at U of C who fit the stereotype, but anyone who has spent time in Hyde Park knows what I’m talking about – the East Coast wannabe who just hates being here – hates the neighborhood, hates the school, hates the prestigious school that wouldn’t let her in, hates her parents because they couldn’t afford the prestigious school that did admit her, really HATES Northwestern students because they’re only in it for the money and connections, not serious study like them (as an aside – Neil Steinberg plugs his alma mater a lot, and that has just got to be like nails on the chalkboard to her), REALLY HATES that because people will Not Listen to Her because they are greedy the neighborhood she HATES to live in is going to the crapper, HATES people with pets because they are a blot on the environment, HATES being in academia because the private sector resents her power so they won’t hire her, and I can go on but you get the picture.

    And don’t tell me that you can find people like this in New York or California – oh no you can’t. Just like NY bagels, it’s something in the water.

    I mean, where do you begin with that article? Her complaint that Chicago has gone downhill when people became greedy? I had no idea that the rest of the country was so altruistic – that’s got to be a surprise in Texas. Her observation “noted by many” that Chicago’s decline is directly tied to Daley’s election in 1955? Really? I’m not saying either Daley was a great mayor, but was Martin Kennelly the best mayor Chicago ever had? Really?


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  26. brian stouder said on April 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    A story – which should be as big as the Boston terror attack – about genuinely soulless corporate chuckleheads-gone-wild,


    an excerpt:

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Henry’s Turkey Service, of Goldthwaite, Texas, on behalf of 32 former workers whom it housed and oversaw while they worked at West Liberty Foods in West Liberty, Iowa. The commission is expected to seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against Henry’s for allegedly subjecting the men to abuse that “created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation,” court filings show. The men, long known locally as “the boys,” worked at the plant from the 1970s until 2009, when Iowa officials placed them in the state’s care and shut down the bunkhouse where they lived after finding unsafe conditions. The action triggered numerous state and federal investigations, which found the men were severely underpaid. For three decades, each was paid $65 per month — or roughly 41 cents per hour — for their work processing slaughtered turkeys. There were no raises.

    A key sentence: The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has declined to charge anyone in the case, saying that the civil penalties sought by regulators were enough to hold company officials accountable.

    And the ending –

    Henry’s improperly deducted $1,000 from their monthly paychecks — and hundreds more from disability payments — to cover their room and board, transportation and other expenses, the EEOC has alleged. The company rented the bunkhouse from the city of Atalissa for $600 per month. Even though the men had been for decades, the law limits their recovery to the two-year period before the violations were reported. Henry’s agreed to change its wage practices in 2003 following a federal investigation, but it never did so, Wolle ruled.

    If they ever make a movie about this, the $50,000/plate types that sit around bitching about “the 47%” will, no doubt, cite it as those damned Hollywood Lib’ral types stirring up trouble again

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  27. Prospero said on April 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Great bit of gun nut paranoia:


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  28. Heather said on April 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    The incessant boosterism of Chicago can get annoying, but as a friend pointed out, you have to make a distinction between “Chicago” (the tourism bureau, etc) and actual Chicagoans, who know they are living in a great city. Maybe we will point it out a little too strenuously if asked, but mostly we are just pleased to live here, and clear-eyed about the many drawbacks.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on April 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I’m not sure what this talk about excessive boosterism is about aside from what Heather says above. We love our sports teams and will absolutely deliver the shit to folks from other cities on that topic. What else, for example, can long suffering Cubs fans say to the followers of the St. Louis Cardinals –who are second only to the Yankees in titles won– except, ‘Sure, you have a great baseball team, but you have to live in St. Louis.’

    Maybe I move in different circles, but I rarely hear anyone talking about how great we are in the manner Rachel Shteir quotes. Of course we’re not New York, the media, culture and business capital of the nation. Of course we’re not Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the nation with a yearly climate we can only dream of. We’re Chicago. Period.

    When I was contemplating my move to Chicago in 1989, I also had a job offer on the table from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which was dangling a TV/radio reporter job that would’ve included covering all the Turner holdings world-wide. My soon-to-be wife from a smallish city in Florida was quite concerned about Chicago, which she equated with NYC. Her best friend in the world lived just outside Atlanta, so she had a very significant interest in my choosing that city.

    I argued then as I argue now that Midwesterners are just as friendly as Southerners, but lack the accent. The weekend I brought her up here underscored that time after time. . .from the folks who gave us a half-full bottle of wine when they finished their meal to the bicyclist in Grant Park who paused in his ride to take a photo of us near Buckingham Fountain.

    Last year, as I was walking in the Loop, I came upon a young couple with a big map spread out before them. I stopped to offer help and the guy actually got a little pissed. He was an Aussie and he really just wanted to be left alone to suss his way forward, but all those damned friendly and helpful Chicagoans kept stopping to help.

    I add as a post-script: Many years ago in the New York City, when the place really did seem ready to spin out of control, I was lost on the subway in the financial district. Graffiti completely obscured all the transit maps. I was screwed. But a guy in a suit and a briefcase could tell I was confused, stopped and help me determine what trains I needed to get back to Queens.

    There are nice folks everywhere. Unfortunately, there are assholes everywhere, too. Chicago has more than its share, but I continue to believe most people here are essentially good.

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  30. Dorothy said on April 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    With apologies if most of you have seen this before, but I just saw it for the first time a few minutes ago. Some smiles for this afternoon: http://www.buzzfeed.com/scott/the-funniest-sign-improvements-of-all-time

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  31. JWfromNJ said on April 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    This won’t surprise those of us in the field, but newspaper reporter has been ranked as the worst job in America. I’ll stick with it since I’d NEVER aspire to the “best” job: an actuary.


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  32. Scout said on April 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Since y’all are talking about Chicago today: http://twistedsifter.com/2012/12/chicago-from-afar-mount-prospect/

    My partner is from Chicago, Andersonville specifically, and although I don’t think she’d ever want to move back (see also, too, the discussion about cold weather above), is proud of being from there.

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  33. brian stouder said on April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    ? And not for nothing, but – as The Warmth of Other Suns shows us, terrorist bombs exploding in big cities such as New York or Chicago is nothing new at all. Remind me, and I’ll post a paragraph from that book – which very strikingly captures the violent response (from, come to think of it, European immigrants probably not unlike the Boston chuckleheads) to the first black Americans who moved into a vigorously segregated white area (I think it was Cicero, circa 1920’s). The new neighbors got a hand-written warning, and then over the next few days no less than 3 bombs were detonated on their block.

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  34. alex said on April 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Yay, Andersonville! Some of my best friends live there.

    And now the New York snob gets hers.

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  35. Scout said on April 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I finally got chance to visit the link jc set up with bhd’s posts. This one struck me:

    “baldheadeddork on My hero.
    February 17th, 2010 3:06 pm
    Nance – I’ve been aware of Ebert for most of my life, but I found his writing through you. Thank you for that, and this.”

    I can just picture the two of them having a good chat on the other side of the veil.

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  36. brian stouder said on April 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    So I learned – from that ‘this day in history’ calendar that Shelby got me for Christmas, that today is William Shakespeare’s birthday.

    And do you know what his wife’s name was? I didn’t.

    (wait for it….) Anne Hathaway – who was 8 years his senior!

    That calendar has grown on me.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Who got his second best bed. (See the will of Will.)

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  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Total threadjack, but I had to share this. Long unpleasant day thus far, which I’m now laughing at and smiling through, because of two minutes spent scrolling through this. Am I a bad person for having tears in my eyes after seeing these?


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  39. beb said on April 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Most of the photos are kind of sad. In several of them it looked like one half of the couple were not at all excited about becoming engaged. I did chuckle at the guy pretending to take a dump in the “no dumping” zone. It reminded me of “Bridezillas” – a cable TV show about over-the-top crazy-bitchy brides. They did a “where are they now” episode. I was surprised by the of couples that were still together. In some of those episodes I expected the groom to walk away from the altar!

    But anything to get you through the day, Jeff.

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  40. Deborah said on April 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Tears in your eyes from sad or funny?

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  41. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    It’s not just Shakespeare’s birthday, it’s also his death day. I learned that from a friend who shares his birthday. As Ed McMahon used to say, “I did not know that!”

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  42. brian stouder said on April 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Julie – Good God! My calendar page even concludes with that, saying he died April 23, 1616 – so he was only 52 (my age!) and his 8-yr-older wife Anne Hathaway lived another 7 years.

    It’s re-assuring to say that what I don’t know would fill volumes; but it’s somewhat depressing to say that what I don’t know also will fill calendars (from here to eternity!)

    PS – and Richie Havens has passed away. Shelby and I caught Country Joe McDonald and Tom Rush, when they spoke and performed a little, at IPFW. They opened the show with “GIVE ME AN “F”!” and the crowd yelled “F”; “GIVE ME A “U”!”; and the crowd yelled “U” – etc…and when we got to the ‘c’ and the ‘k’ Shelby was fairly stunned, and – in all honesty and innocence – said to me “I thought we were going to spell “FUN”…..and I think I’m still chuckling over that!

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  43. Jeff Borden said on April 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    It’s a sad world indeed when Richie Havens is dead and Dickie Cheney isn’t.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    *looks for the non-existent like button*

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  45. Sherri said on April 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t wish Dick Cheney dead, however much I dislike him, but it’s a sad world when he’s alive thanks to very expensive taxpayer supported health care that he would deny to millions of his fellow citizens.

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  46. Prospero said on April 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Will Shakes’ Anne was not the woman to whom the sonnets were written. He was born in 1564 according to church records. He was also largely responsible for the grand, orotund language that comes from God’s mouth in the King James version. One of my brother’s is quite a Shakespeare afficianado, to the point where he might draw a cane sword on somebody that expresses a Devonian authorship opinion. We have lunch for Will’s birthday every year and had a very nice one today–over-flowing bento boxes and sweet and sour soup, with quart size bottles of Kirin. Damn fine. We also have lunch out on Bloomsday.

    Best speech in support of same sex marriage ever, from the NZ Parliament, by way of a Margaret Atwood tweet:


    “It’s all the black guy’s fault” department:


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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I laughed, because I am a bad person. And in no mood to reflect on how those marriages will turn out given the pictured expressions. They’ll get to my office soon enough.

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  48. Prospero said on April 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Oops. Misapplied apostrophe. Whatever section of the afterlife he landed in, this must make Frank Zappa smile:


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  49. MarkH said on April 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Sherri, if you’re talking about his heart transplant, it’s a pretty safe bet that the only thing he had to wait for was a compatable donor. Trust me, Cheney has enough cash and personal insurance that he didn’t have a problem getting top care in a top facility for such a procedure immediately. If he did dip into the public dole, I’m sure one of prospero’s websites would have been all over it.

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  50. Deborah said on April 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Allan Arbus, or Maj. Sidney Freedman from M*A*S*H, died. He was 95! Wow how fast time passes. He was previously married to the famous photographer Diane Arbus. She was poet Howard Nemerov’s sister, a former neighbor of ours in St. Louis.

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  51. Dexter said on April 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    The North Dakota anchor disaster was because the new guy was trying to figure out how to pronounce the winner of some athletic endeavor…the name was a garbled mess of consonants and the new anchor just hadn’t a clue…even for a smart east-coast West Virginny-ian. He just got caught.

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  52. Prospero said on April 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Sidney. My favorite MASH character other than the Hamilton Camp character with no name, who sang the beautiful song about how sad they all were when the nurses had to bug out. Cheney undoutedly takes advantage of his Coupla Cadillacs gubmint health service. If you think he doesn’t go to Walter Reed or wherever for his heart surgery, you are fracking loony. He uses the NatGuard to shut down miles of trout streams so he could fish uninterrupted when he was VP. He probablt still uses his Secret Service detail to bully people every day. Just the sort of asshole that guy is.As far as buying the organs, I’m sure that’s all Halliburton or Erik Prince, or some sort of coven/consortium they form with the Carlile Group. But the actual medical cost, Dickless is happy to eat that up like he’s one of those veterans he and his fellow chickenhawks are so happy to fuck over.

    And MarkH, websites I read and occasionally cite have at least a modicum or credibility. No Mediaite, no Freep, no bullshit in the same depths of lying hell as Drudge. Really, Free Republic or anything connected even remotely with Breitbart, you ought to Kick that Shit, 4 It Kix U. That’s from John Lee Hooker.

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  53. Prospero said on April 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    SAMCRO fans and Top of the Lake fans: Hulu has a terrific family crime drama called Straits. Set in Oz and Papua New Guinea. Pretty Violent but humorous.

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  54. MarkH said on April 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Ooops, wrong. Didn’t have to go far for this after my post above. Cheney’s status as an ex-VP means we taxpayers did indeed pick up the tab. Questions remain on the priority of a 70+ year old getting in line for the procedure. Good summary from Forbes:


    Dexter, priceless.

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  55. coozledad said on April 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Basset: I was just checking up on Stanley Whitaker to see how he’s doing with his throat cancer, and found this:
    I never realized how close they came to being Peter Gabriel’s band. They should have ditched their label.
    This is about the only old art rock I listen to anymore.

    They had some strong compositions, especially for young folks. Now most of the moog parts would be played with actual strings and woodwinds. I’ll bet that would be right purty.

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  56. Sherri said on April 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    MarkH, not only is Cheney an ex-VP (and ex-Congressman and someone who has spent most of his adult life in government), he’s also over 65, which means he’s on Medicare. I don’t begrudge him Medicare, nor do I begrudge him government health insurance as a former employee, but I do dislike those who get taxpayer funded insurance fighting so hard to keep others uninsured.

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  57. Prospero said on April 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    My websites? Cooze. I listen to Yes for sure, but my collection is so huge. So yeah, some jerk like Danny will point out I sound jejeune. My deal on shit like this? I represent what came before and it isn’t about battles, by any stretch of the continuum. Whatever could convince anybody.

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  58. Sherri said on April 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    A look back at Waco: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/04/14/4773124/20-years-after-fire-david-koreshs.html

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  59. redoubt said on April 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Peeking from behind the curtain to say this: I’ve lived in the South for nearly thirty years, but Chicago is where I was born, and grew up, and educated (in the Chicago Public Schools). Problems there are and were a-plenty, and neither I nor my wife (born in Albany, Georgia) can hack the winters anymore.

    But Ms. Shteir should know that Chicagoans will still pick up her trash, and make sure her utilities work, and the L runs (mostly) on time, and the water is clean and drinkable–all the invisible stuff that nobody talks about but everybody wants, and has to be paid for somehow. Whether she’s here or not.

    PS: comment 33, about The Warmth of Other Suns–those stories are also my parents’ stories.

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  60. Rana said on April 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Dorothy @18, according to one of my fellow alumni here in the city, Chicago is a really fertile place for theater folk in the early stages of their career, so he should do well. Partly it’s because there are so many venues; partly it’s because there’s a strong community established that wants to encourage young playwrights and directors and theater owners, and so helps them with things like grant writing, finding a good location, etc. There are a lot of small theaters here, not to mention the famous ones like Steppenwolf. So I wish him luck!

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  61. Rana said on April 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Whoops, I misread. I thought he was looking for work in theater, not work in general. I still wish him luck, though, since moving to Chicago in search of work is why we’re here too!

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  62. Rana said on April 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I also have to wonder about the “excessive boosterism,” but then I’m from California, which, if it didn’t invent the concept, polished it to a glossy sheen.

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  63. Jenine said on April 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    @ Deborah: “Allan Arbus, or Maj. Sidney Freedman from M*A*S*H, died. He was 95!” I was just thinking about that actor the other day. What a beautiful voice he had.

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