FYI

I don’t really write here anymore. I’m pretty obsessed with my tumblr blog. There, I mostly bitch about local news and politics.

Not to say I won’t ever write here. I mean, I am right now. I drank a bunch of wine at my mom’s house. I’m sitting on her couch watching television. Aside from watching Mad Men on DVD and the news at work, I don’t remember the last time I watched TV.

It’s wonderfully mind numbing.

My face itches. I ate too much pasta and drank too much pinot noir.

OMG!!! My mom has LOGO! I’m going to watch it until I pass out.

PS- where it’s at

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Last night while working the bar, I talked to my coworkers and my favorite regular about writing. I told them I felt that, while I write for one of my two jobs and do a column, I feel completely uninspired and ready to work on something that I really care about. I made excuses as to why I have very little time to write–overworked, underpaid, things of that nature–and went home feeling tired and frustrated with the entire situation. I set my alarm to wake up early and do some writing before work.

At 4 a.m., however, my phone started ringing. It rang every hour until about 11 a.m.

I love my family. I am lucky to have people who love me, support me and make me laugh–most of the time. Unfortunately, my parents have never quite gotten around to growing up.

Talk of jail, bail, and my amazing sister having to talk to the cops at 3 a.m. while her high school friends (having a sleepover) sat terrified in her bedroom filled my early-morning hours.

Aside from the jail, this is nothing new. It’s always something. It always involves drinking. It always leaves my mom sleeping soundly until 5 p.m. the next day while I struggle to work on 3 hours of sleep.

Maybe I can write tomorrow.

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summer (over)nights

I cannot stop bitching about the fact that I have to work three overnight shifts this weekend. I am in the midst of my second one now, and I hate it more than words can adequately describe. The biggest problem is the fact that I cannot sleep during the day—especially when it’s sunny, 75 degrees and my lady is waiting for me to wake up and do fun things with her. The second biggest problem is the fact that I operate on a completely opposite schedule all week long.

So, I slept a few hours after work today then made the most of my pre-work evening.

I have been on a mission to buy a decent couch for, well, about four months now. Ok, maybe I want more than decent. I want a vintage, Mid Century modern-style sofa in good condition.  Oh, and I want it to be cheap.

These specifications are why my apartment has yet to be completely unpacked. I am waiting to find the “perfect” everything. And Thursday, I thought I was in luck.

I found a cute, vintage couch—almost exactly what I wanted—for $200 on Craigslist. I called the guy and was shocked to hear it was still available. Ali and I headed to the North Side to look at it today, with my hopes quite high.

We got to the apartment after climbing the five flights of stairs to look at the couch (the whole time thinking, “How the eff are we going to get this thing down?”) We walk into the place and this woman is there, wearing two pairs of eyeglasses. Yes, one on top of the other. She was also holding a bird and had a huge tongue ring.

Weirdest shit ever.

The guy showing the couch was so awkward to us. Ali said it was because he was weirded out by “the lesbian thing” but I just thing he was socially fucked. He then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to sell these two weird chairs with the couch and that he wanted at least $500 for everything. Creature! Who does that?

Anyway, we left and I decided I would rather  be couch-less than buy from that weird beard.

After dinner, we headed to the Musicbox and saw the new Guy Maddin movie, My Winnipeg. It was expectedly weird and really funny. Throughout the film, the words like “Gay Bison” and “Hairless Boner” would flash on the screen. Since I’m 12 years old, I found this extremely amusing. But seriously, it was pretty great and now I need to check out The Saddest Music In the World (Isabella Rossellini with a beer-filled leg?! I’m sold!)

Now I’m at work and whiny but I really shouldn’t be. This summer has been great thus far. For once I feel like I’m taking advantage of the weather and doing things (other than work) that make me happy. Next weekend Ali and I are heading out to Saugatuck to stay in a beach house with her friends Becky and Mike (who are full-blown awesome).

I got really down about work, money, etc. last week but I’m realizing that it’s going to be okay one way or another. I can learn so much from the great reporters here, and despite what all of the Chicago media critics have to say, I have faith that we can turn things around here with a little TLC. Not to say I don’t cringe every so often, but I would like to think every reporter I know gets squeamish about their company’s journalistic choices from time to time.

Ahh, I get to go to the county morgue after I write about two gunshot victims and an extra alarm fire. My job is pretty rad, I suppose.

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A.D.D.

I have it!

http://newsandbooze.tumblr.com/

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come on, city council!

UPDATE: Promoters law passes committee

After a more than four-hour session Wednesday, the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection passed the proposed promoters law written about at length in the preceding post. The ordinance now goes to the full City Council on May 14, and if approved there, the Chicago music scene will once again change for the worse at the hands of city officials.

Of course, the city already has myriad laws on the books dictating proper licensing and safety codes for concerts and clubs — not the least of which is the controversial “anti-rave ordinance” passed in the ’90s, which came on top of police, fire, city building and health department oversight and the always acute watch of aldermen and neighborhood groups.

But suddenly, city officials — chief among them committee chair Ald. Eugene Schulter (ward47@cityofchicago.org) and acting director of the Department of Business Affairs and Licensing Mary Lou Eisenhauer — have an urgent need to create an entirely separate part of the city code tightening the reigns on promoters even more. And this need is so urgent that little effort was made to seek any input from the promoters or the people who work with them.

If approved by the committee and the City Council, the law would require anyone promoting any event drawing more than 100 people to obtain a license — even if they are working with a well-established and already licensed promoter.

Licensees would also have to carry at least $300,000 in commercial liability insurance (even if the venue is insured), and they would have to be at least 21 years old (thereby ruling out enterprising college students, D.I.Y. punk fans and other budding young entrepreneurs from hosting a concert or a legal rave — and if you think that’s not a good idea, you should know that several of the top promoters in Chicago actually started their careers at age 18 or 19).

What all this means is that if, say, a local fanzine wanted to promote a monthly concert featuring the bands in its new issue at a well-established local club of 200 capacity, the editors would have to apply for a promoters’ license and meet all of the requirements and expenses, even if the club already has a license and can boast of a clean record of trouble-free events. The same would hold true of many regular benefit gigs.

As it now stands, the law would only allow venues with “fixed seating” — that is to say, chairs that can’t be removed — to host one-time events by unlicensed promoters like our magazine or benefit in the example above. This requirement rules out the exact sort of clubs that would most benefit from these events, including venues such as the Empty Bottle, Buddy Guy’s Legends and Metro.

One music activist who asked not to be named said that “the net impact of this law is simple: It’s going to make it harder for a lot of people to promote concerts in Chicago, and therefore there’s going to be less music in Chicago.
–Jim DeRogatis

I wrote this letter to Alderman Schulter and Mayor Daley in response to the ordinance:

ward47@cityofchicago.org
mayorDaley@CityofChicago.org

SUBJECT: In opposition to Chapter 4-157, titled “Event Promoters”

Alderman Gene Schulter, Mayor Daley and other city council members,

I am writing in opposition to the proposal that recently passed in City Council regarding new regulations for city event promoters. As someone who helped organize a DIY festival to benefit rape victims in 2007, I know that we would not have been able to raise as much money as we did or generate as much community outreach without the help of small event promoters and clubs who will no longer be able to operate under the expensive and outrageous new regulations proposed in the ordinance that passed Wednesday.

Being a member of the media, I was shocked at how little I heard about this ordinance until it was relatively too late, and when I spoke to friends and colleagues about it, they were as outraged as I am. It was Mayor Daley who said, “It’s the whole idea of what a city should be: the appreciation of the artistic community. That’
s the soul of a city.”

This ordinance shows a complete disregard for the artistic community and appears to be drafted by people who are out of touch with those who stay in this great city because of its thriving independent art and music scene.

Obviously, we all want club and concert-goers to be safe. The E2 incident was a tragic but rare one and there are other ways (come on, city council, you can do better than this) that we can combat ignorant and dangerous club promoters. Most people who promote independent music are tax paying citizens who just love local art, not criminals who need to be fingerprinted.

Please reconsider this ordinance before even more of our artistic community flits off to Brooklyn or LA.

js

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yum

I decided I don’t like my blog. I’m starting a food blog, basically to amuse myself. It’s going to be delicious. I’m not deleting this one, even though I want to.

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man shot on south side

There is a very good chance that by the end of my shift tonight I will have devoured an entire box of “matzoh crunch” and will feel pretty damn bad about it.

I’m so bored that there also a chance that my head is going to explode.

The past few weeks have been pretty terrible. I could really use a few days to just decompress or get out of town (some place warm and very far from Chicago) but since that won’t happen I figured I would blog. Because, well, I kind of hate writing right now and should force myself (aside from the occasional “man shot on the South Side.” I’m sure I’ll write many more of those before the night is over).

My nana died this week. I am lucky that I have had her in my life until now, but it really doesn’t make it any better. I’ve never really lost anyone that I was terribly close to, and when my aunt died awhile back I was too young for it to really effect me the way it probably should have.

I’m generally sad and have been sad since I found out on Tuesday and saw her lying there in her bed. I didn’t really want to see her like that. I don’t do well with death and it’s hard enough looking at someone in a casket. Fuck.

I just kept thinking about being at her house telling her about my boy troubles and our crazed relatives while we ate chocolate and drank Diet Pepsi. She always had cats and cookies and would make me pour vodka into her 7-Up at family parties.

My heart hurts. I mean, she was nearly 80 and had a rough life. The past couple years have been particularly bad and seeing her deteriorate like that was the worst.

I don’t know. I don’t really want to write about it anymore.

I don’t know what I want to write about anymore.

I sometimes wish I could just work a job, make decent money and have benefits, have 2 days off a week to spend doing anything I wanted. I am tired of this pattern. I’ve been doing this since I was 15, and though I know I’m young I would like to die knowing I spent at least some of my young life enjoying myself. Not constantly stressing about work and having to beg someone to switch with me so I can go to dinner with my dad once a month or see my sister’s softball game.

I just feel like none of this shit even matters. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything with my life that I’m particularly proud of. I’m not inspired, I’m just fucking tired.

I hate having to see my girlfriend at midnight and hang out for an hour before we sleep and for a few hours in the morning before I have to get ready for work and do it again. I guess a lot of people deal with weird hours, but I really don’t want to.

I’m being dramatic. It’s just been a bad week. I really hate blogging and feeling like my blog is stupid and irrelevant and self-involved.

Ugh, whatever.

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