Divided We Fall (or Divided We Fail)

They say there’s enough religion in the world to make men hate each other, but not enough to make them love. – Angel Heart

There’s something else I can’t wrap my head around. Back when four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 we seemed to be coming together as a people. All of us on US soil. I was in NYC one week before this happened and very much enjoyed that city and its multi-cultural diversity. After the incident people from all over the US exuded their patriotism. Even foreign taxi drivers would sport tiny US flags in their cabs. I wrote a story back then titled Part Time Patriots. It was regarding how most races in the city would boast their flags especially the Puerto Ricans. But not so much American citizens till that dreaded attack. It seemed like a new trend to support our troops and be proud of our country. What the fuck happened since? Suddenly Americans burn and stomp on the US flag as it’s now the new popular trend and to boast pride for being American aligns one with being a racist of labeled some sort of “phobic”. I don’t understand it at all. It makes no sense and the irresponsible one sided reporting by the media seemingly propagates, promote and even encourage such behavior and often take a person’s words or actions out of context and create wide spread hysteria. Social media is even worse and has helped divide us as a country.

I have a couple of friends, who are still my friends even though I’ve managed to not jump on the bandwagon, something I’ve taken great pride in never doing. Every single day it’s some sort of Anti-Trump propaganda all day multiple times. I don’t like the guy and have gone on record that I never have and I certainly did not vote for him. Many “friends” deleted me, damned and berated me online because I voted Liberation which I have occasionally because I vote with my conscience and not with the American Idol mentality so many do these days. They certainly did it with Trump. I said it many times and am going to again right now. I’m not happy with our leadership but I’m not going to spend 4 years crying about it. I’m going to try to live a productive and happy life.

Also what the fuck happened with the Freedom so Speech. It’s so hard to say or write anything without paying a price for offending everyone. Back when I was working with the No More Censorship Defense Fund our biggest beef was with the far and well funded right wing Hypochristians. Now it’s the ultra Liberal extremists who will make sure you lose your career, education and respect if anything you do or say offends somebody. Thinking it over, all of the hypersensativity climate there’s no way MK ULTRA could be published in this era. We went out of our way to dance on the edge of what mainstream society considered objectionable. Protected by a disclaimer/warning from the very first cover, we did everything but take ourselves seriously when it came to trends or pop cultures as we were praised for our satirisation of the cookie cutter generation. That was 10 years ago. Now in the age of the millennials such a publication could not exist. It was a nice run. Yes, there are many days I do miss the heyday of the success and even some of the struggle that led up to it.

Last August in the issue of Esquire Magazine which I sadly left behind in Champaign IL, Clint Eastwood said it the best.

“…… because secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist. And then when I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, “This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.” And I said, “Good. Let me read it tonight.” The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, “We’re starting this immediately.”

ESQ: What is the “pussy generation”?

CE: All these people that say, “Oh, you can’t do that, and you can’t do this, and you can’t say that.” I guess it’s just the times.

ESQ: What do you think Trump is onto?

CE: What Trump is onto is he’s just saying what’s on his mind. And sometimes it’s not so good. And sometimes it’s … I mean, I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it.

ESQ: So you’re not endorsing him?

CE: I haven’t endorsed anybody. I haven’t talked to Trump. I haven’t talked to anybody. You know, he’s a racist now because he’s talked about this judge. And yeah, it’s a dumb thing to say. I mean, to predicate your opinion on the fact that the guy was born to Mexican parents or something. He’s said a lot of dumb things. So have all of them. Both sides. But everybody—the press and everybody’s going, “Oh, well, that’s racist,” and they’re making a big hoodoo out of it. Just fucking get over it. It’s a sad time in history.

Indeed, it is a sad time in history. 

Honey. Don’t put your man behind his years. And baby stop cryin’ all your tears. Baby do the things he says to do. Do it!

Background music is The Doors, ‘L.A. Woman’ Reissue’ my personal favorite record ever.

So. I’m gonna write this damned thing.

It’s been a coaster ride to say the least. I never realized how much my attempt to remain silent in the wake of the drama of people from the circle I once held sacred would be such a task, have been nothing more than a bunch of over dramatic self-absorbed, narcissistic cunts. That’s how I perceive them in retrospect.

Social Media is a social disease where people make statements and accusations that most of them would not do in public other than their so-called “peaceful protests” which are not for any cause to support the extreme left agenda.

Fucking roller coasters. I love em but not the emotional coaster. There are times when I don’t have 100% control of my life and I’m kinda’ there currently but mostly emotionally.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve made a gallant and very honest attempt/effort to express my feelings. The pain and the hurt from which it stems. I had it all ready to go here but something happened both times. The last was when my keyboard tray fell out of my desk thus breaking the method from the apparatus I write from. When I explained this to Newbomb he said what I was feeling. Not meant to be. So I won’t be specific. My back up laptop I didn’t even bother with doing anything but work on it. 

The weekend after the last LA GUNS show I spent mostly alone but some time with Bradford the barkeep at Tac Quick. I just got him an apartment and he’s a pretty good friend. I also popped into Wrigleyville North while doing laundry and spent about 2 hours chatting w/ Bobby T. I had already scored killer seats for Cheap Trick so I was minding my budget since Valerie was flying in from Dallas the following Tuesday. I cleaned up my ridiculously large home which houses myself, 2 cats and all of my stuff and went grocery shopping and as usual went overboard. When you love cooking for friends that tends to happen.

Valerie was my girlfriend in the summer of 1983 while I lived in Dallas TX. I was 18. She lied and told me she was 17. How we met is a whole other and very funny 1980′s era tale. Me, this kid from a broken family in a town with the population of 300 moving to a metropolitan city the likes of Dallas was ballsy enough.  Yes, I came home with my tail between my legs months later to a gloating father who pretty much in so many words said I told you so. Valerie and I lost touch up till about 8 years ago. She’s a born again Christian but one that accepts me and loves me for who I am. She prays for me and who can blame her. At times I taunt her online when she starts her day with a religious post and she remains amused and even jokingly refer to Roy.

Tuesday afternoon I came out of that self-imposed shell after a lack luster weekend. Valerie from Dallas TX flew up to see the CHEAP TRICK show with me from the 9th row seats I scored. She arrived in the afternoon with a very heavy suitcase and presented me with a very nice new set of eyeglass frames. I had spent the early hours of the day prepping some foods and after a few cocktails sitting outside playing music Ashley arrived and things kicked into gear. It was nice for them to meet and they got along quite well. She arrived and we started some rock n roll and some grilling and drinking and my sweet Ashley is also, another hard core heavy metal Christian who accepts me for my downfalls and I can always count on. Neither of them judges me. I was in good company and it felt like family in my home again. Of course Ashley didn’t come empty handed. She’s a chef and brought along two containers of her pulled pork BBQ. We all shared in spirits via infused vodkas and my elotes was a hot as well. I finally got to grill up that really good sausage I bought at Reams in Elburn a month prior. My guests were kind enough to help out by doing dishes, the one chore I despise because I use some much when cooking.

On the morning of the show we had plans to bike to the beach but it was not meant to be. I had brought down my spare bike, rode it to work and back to be sure it was in good condition for her. I put a little money into this bike tuning it up, new cables etc but not as much as I have on my main bike which is parked out front with a U-lock which I use exclusively now having had more than a dozen bikes stolen since I moved here in 1998. I parked the spare next to my main ride and a day later when Val and I had all of the beach gear ready to roll I had found that some drunken Chad Cubs fan had stomped the front end which makes it un-ridable till I take it in for repairs. That’s what these jerks do, I’ve seen around a hundred over the years stomped beyond repair and I live in a good neighborhood but it’s still hard to have anything nice in sight. Sickening how these spoiled types get their jollies. It’s no different than the vandalism they create whether the team wins or loses in a major playoff game or the World Series. This behavior isn’t to exclusive Chicago but it does reflect a stereotype. As Slash quoted in his autobiography

“……We’d usually cool down afterwards with cocktails at a sports bar. It didn’t matter how big we were back home or how many records we’d sold or shows we played; in Chicago, we were nobody’s. We were just a couple of regular Joe’s to our bar patrons, and there is not a bigger haven for regular Joe’s in America than the sports bars of North Clark Street.” – Slash of Guns N Roses from his autobiography “SLASH”.

So suffice to say a beautiful afternoon at the beach via bicycles was not meant to me. What is does mean is another fucking unexpected expense.

We got to Northerly Island for the show much earlier than planned but had fun taking pix and chatting with some of my industry music friends. I met Lauren O’Neil for the first time after I pointed out her JBTV shirt and I later discovered she’s a TV and radio talent. She took out picture and sent it to me. Once again was kicking myself in the ass for not bringing along enough business cards. Newbomb Turks there which was cool. We had excellent seats in the same area 9 rows back. Valerie and I both got guitar picks.

We left after Cheap Trick since we both had to get up early the next day. We got back to my street, I took her into Tac Quick to meet Bradford and I made Italian Beef at home and we both crashed quickly. The next thing I knew the alarm went off at 440A and she got an Uber to the airport and I worked from home on a fun and exciting project. All in all it was a very fun visit with an old friend.

Thursday night my brother flew out to LA as he worked on some props for that forthcomg Stephen King movie “IT”. The image below is one of the props me made for the premier. Turns out he was working around the clock with only a couple of hours for lunch breaks. He did not enjoy his most recent visit to LA. I felt for him through each of his meaages. 

Saturday I had plans to hit up Hot Dog Fest with Tom but as happens 90% of the time something came up and he had to cancel. It would not be easy for me to attend alone considering a year before would be the last weekend I’d spend with Julie in Chicago. A week later it would have been over as would Jeff’s life. When it rains it pours. So I went to Hot Dog Fest alone anyway and made the best of it. I had their most expensive hot dog made from alligator and may be the worst hot dog I’ve ever had in my life. Not even the taste of a few cups of sangria could get the taste out of my mouth hole. I won a stuffed alligator which I gave to KongKwan (Surussawadee Sailop), I made my way home after, opened a bottle of Jamo and sat outside. I still had a lot of music to put away that we had out during Valerie’s visit. From there I’d have to get through Sunday. Alone.

 

Not entirely alone. Somewhere over the past week I’ve opened up communications with unbelievable beauty from out in the burbs. Someone I get the impression owns the kind of independence I’m looking for. Above her stunning looks it also appears she has a life and above that is considerate. If we get the opportunity to meet in person this weekend I’m finally going to get to do something I’ve longed to do for years. Weather permitting. It’s also the damned Air and Water show which means hellish traffic and overcrowded beaches. I just look forward to meeting someone from the source where we made a connection, who is not into playing games. At least she seems genuine but I’ve been wrong before. I think what drew me to her was an image of her with a gun. Kinda reminds me of those old G. Gordon Liddy calendars. I just want to get through this month and when it ends spend a night in Kankakee County at one of my fave hotels and favorite dive bar in the world. Labor Day weekend it’s off to Iowa for a long overdue visit with two of my best friends, lots of hiking and canoeing. Of course with weather permitting. Weather won’t interfere waking up in my windowless vault in Dale’s guest room to Lauren Moss on KWWL.

I’ve been playing this record over and over and over for the past 2 days.

 

I’m a friend of Stuart Sutcliffe I’m a friend of Michael Miles I’m a friend of Jim Morrison I’m a friend of Nobby Stiles I’m a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend I’m a friend of a friend but you don’t know me I’m a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend And if I come on the night, can I get in free?

 

Set list – Chicago IL – 8/9/17
Hello There
Elo Kiddies
Long Time Coming
Blackberry Way
On Top of the World
Heaven Tonight
You Got It Going On
Waitin’ for the Man
The Flame
I Want You to Want Me
Dream Police
Surrender
Goodnight

More pix but WAIT till you read this one. MK is on Instagram now because a former friend that threw me out with the trash told me to get into the real world. I kinsa like this on, please Follow me:

https://www.instagram.com/mkultramag/

This is a list of all of the music I played for my guests (Valerie Kenwell) who came from afar to see CHEAP TRICK w/ me and who came to eat BBQ w/ my crazy azz. Only 2.5 daze.

I’m tagging Lauren O’Neil in this just so she knows how we roll. (I stole that from Timothy Juliusson)

DVD’s
Cheap Trick-Silver
Cheap Trick Sgt Pepper
Movie Sgt Pepper w/ Bee Gee’s Peter Frampton etc

LP’s
Def Leppard On Through the Night
Prong- Who’s Fist EP
Eagles Live 1980
Eagles- The Long Run
Cheap Trick – Dream Police
Cheap Trick – All Shook Up
Type O Negative – October Rust

CD’s
LA GUNS- Acoustic Gypsy
The Doors- LA WOMAN reissue
Prong- 100% Live
Prong – Zero Days
The Cult – Pure Cult
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Automatic
Van Halen – Fair Warning
Van Halen – Diver Down
Johnny Cash – Solitary Man
Beastie Boys – License to Ill
The Electric Hellfire Club – Calling Dr. Luv
Dread Zeppelin – UN LEAD ED
Aerosmith – night in the Ruts
Hanoi Rocks – Two Steps From The Moves outakes
Danzig 2
AC/DC – Powerage

“She said we couldn’t do no wrong, no other love could be so strong, she locked up my heart in her bottom drawer. Now she took my heart she took my keys, from in my old blue dungarees and I’ll never go to Texas anymore.”

Two nights of solid sleep which took me to alarm and I’m ready to go. Last night I got 2 tix in the 9th row in section 101 for the Cheap Trick show next Wednesday. I’m beyond ecstatic. Valerie gets in from Dallas TX Tuesday afternoon and we’ll have a nice couple of days to spend together. Funny to think we’ve known each other since the summer of 1983 when I was 18 and she was 16. That’s true friendship. 

I didn’t feel the frustration or depression that I’ve felt for the last week so Prong’s latest offering was not needed when I came home. Instead it was Van Halen’s ‘Fair Warning’ and ‘Diver Down’ CD’s which my friend Jason mailed to me from central Indiana. Before I knew it, it was after 8PM and I showered, stood out on the porch smoking a cigar and watching the rain and then fell fast to sleep just after teh 10PM hour. 

Downed the line, couldn’t get much Couldn’t get much, higher if you tried. And tried and tried, you’re as guilty It’s the crime, oh, oh, it’s a crime

Insomnia and Uninspired

 

I’m facing the fact that I can no longer get a good night of sleep without Rx or OTC sleep meds and here I am a result of being awake since 1AM. It’s miserable especially on school nights. Not so bad on days like this when I am on standby working from home. I haven’t felt the inspiration to update the site even though there was lots to inspire me. It’s kind of a bummer.

One bummer is cancelling my August camping trip wo Wisconsin. Instead I’m going to Kankakkee County for a night and chill out in the Comfort Inn and hang at the Looney Bin with my people from down there. A week later I travel to Iowa to officially wrap up summer.

Last week I took the train out to Joliet, dreading it at the same time asd I anticipated going to that dump. Between the new owner of The Forge 2 W Cass St., s attentive staff and the singer for Budderside it was a great evening of rock n roll headlined by LA GUNS.

After Turk and I finally secured a parking spot I communicated with Patrick the founding member of Budderside and we were promptly taken care of and given some space upstairs in the club to do our interview which turned out to be a lot of fun. When we wrapped up about an hour later went around the corner to THE TIN ROOF 158 N Chicago St. where we sat outside and were ignored completely so we went to Judge’s Bar 35 E Cass St. and hung out for about an hour where we were joined by my old friend Eden Lake.

When we returned to the venue and being hungry I ordered their signature sandwich The Forge (Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef, Salami, Pepperoni, Bacon, American Cheese, and Mozzarella Cheese) $8.50. It took a long time to come out but was worth it and I had a lot of company around old and new friends alike. Lainie, Rob, Gary, Eden, and Jason to name a few. Budderside kicked major ass as teh 3rd band on the bill and then came LA GUNS who played nearly 2 hours complete with the entire “Purple Rain” cover which we only got a verse of last time.

Chip Z’nuff introducing BUDDERSIDE by Newbomb Turk

Tracii Guns photo courtesy of Eden Lake

LA GUNS SETLIST 7/25/2017 The FORGE Joliet IL

No Mercy
Electric Gypsy
Killing Machine
Over the Edge
Bitch Is Back
Sex Action
The Flood’s the Fault of the Rain
Speed
One More Reason
Kiss My Love Goodbye
Purple Rain (Prince cover sung by Michael Grant)
Don’t Look at Me That Way
Malaria

Encore:
Guitar Solo
Never Enough
Jelly Jam
The Ballad of Jayne
Rip and Tear

When the show was over we were both exhausted and had each worked earlier that day. As tradition has it Newbomb made me one of his infamous home baked pizzas and we crashed. His older German Shepherd, Luger again slept at my side as usual.

My new used camera marked the incorrect dates on the images. I’ve since remedied that issue. 

We got out the next day around 1130 and ate at Riverview Diner 1420 SE River Rd Montgomery, IL which was very very good. It was like an old folks home cafateria though with all of the retired patrons but nonetheless was good enough I’ll go back one day.

I got home later in the afternoon and unpacked and uploaded pix and didn’t have much in the way of work since but for a few hours. I assume that has contributed to my mood.

Friday I bought a nice new phone, did a bunch of grocery shopping and came home to bed. The next day after a few errands I met up with Ashley at the Wrigleyville North carshow, then went to Tac Quick and then hung out at my place. That is the extent of my weekend. Blah

“This is the noise that keeps me awake. My head explodes and my body aches.”

Completely forgot that James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt were playing at Wrigley tonight and my bike ride home went sideways. However the new Gene Loves Jezebel arrived in the mail and I can’t wait to give it a spin.

Tuesday morning I played it starting at 6AM  as I worked from home with the bright sunshine setting my kicthen and back deck aglow. It was the perfect music for this type of morning. Beautiful and relaxing with flowing melodies and sizzling guitars. I played it 3x. Perfect inspiration and the calm before the storm as I only had 3 hrs to bill this day. 

Wednesday was a different monster as I kicked off some of my most intense research ever and built out the bigggest target list of my career. Much needed and will take many hours to complete. I love it. 

Wednesday 7/19/2017 630A

The Bowling Alley Book Concept

Jeff Windisch

Aug 13, 1969 – Aug 13, 2016

I live in an old house, 118 yrs old,  and I love it. The old detailed word work in the stairwell, the high ceilings and that turn of the century charm lacking in so many Chicago rehabs screams volumes of history to me. It has a few drawbacks, very few for me, but one is the bathroom. It is very outdated. There is blue tile I find myself constantly cementing back onto the backside of the tubs outer side. The toilet is very old and as I write this currently in a state of repair. The bathtub is the only thing I’d really change. Sure having in house laundry would be a luxury but I can make due as it offers its own adventures from time to time. I’ve been in this space since August 2007 and now approaching 10 years. I’ve been on the same street since 2005 a year when I made a drastic and much needed career change. My bathtub has endured decades of wear and tear and if the owners would allow me I would at my expense have the shower and tub completely updated. But they have their reasons and one of them is to preserve the historical status of the property.

 

Last night after winding down from a very long and tedious day of research at the west loop office I got into the tub and started scrubbing. This involves getting inside on my hands and knees naked with the shower running and scrubbing with a variety of chemicals which I’m sure have done its damage to my brain cells long before this particular deed. As I was scrubbing I was thinking about my musician friends Jason Meudt and Jeff Windisch who had been good friends of mine since 1999. Around 2000/2001 Jeff and I were bowling and were knocking around the idea of travelling cross country and visiting the many rural bowling alleys and photo documenting it for a coffee table book. It’d capture true Americana in its purest form we believed. MK ULTRA was just starting to gather momentum and would require almost all of my time and that book never became a reality. This is what I was thinking about as I was in the midst of hard labor tub cleaning. My thoughts would fast forward to 11 months ago on Saturday August 13, 2016 while I was in Champaign Illinois in the company of the woman I was dedicated to and fully consumed with for a short time last summer. It was Jeff’s birthday and I sent a funny greeting with a subtle inside joke that would only be appreciated by him. He and Jason’s latest band Emperors and Elephants were enjoying some minor success and playing later that night in Minneapolis opening for a national recording act. As my lady and I went about our day which was enjoyable even though it was sprinkled with a whole lot of unwarranted drama that even to this day I still cannot get my head around. That night she took me far out into the country to a Drive In. That’s how well she could read me and why I thought until that weekend was over that this was the one I’d spend the rest of my days with and live out our shared dreams of moving away etc.

Gibson Bowl: 915 S Sangamon Ave, Gibson City, IL 60936

On the way to the Drive In we stopped by an old rural bowling alley, Gibson Bowl in Gibson City, Illinois and for a couple of minutes I shared the concept of actually doing the book this time with her as my travelling companion and co-conspirator on the project. Something to do as we ventured across the country searching out an ill-fated dream of moving to another warmer climate together. Me, I’m always the dreamer. A realistic dreamer with a proven track record but always dreaming and creating in the back of my mind, even when it comes to relationships. Nothing is impossible. As my hands were getting worn out and I was inhaling the toxic fumes my mind also travelled to the next morning, Sunday August 14th when I woke up, checked my email and learned that Jeff had died suddenly after his band E&E played while watching the headlining act on his birthday. Right there in the crowd he collapsed and passed away. A big part of me died that weekend too. The biggest parts I lost other than a very good friend was hope and faith.

 

I’ve been working on an MK ULTRA retrospect coffee table anthology this year and once that’s published I think I’d like to revisit the concept of that bowling alley book and the travels it would entail and of course dedicate it to Jeff.

 

So that’s the kind of stuff I think about when I’m cleaning. I had to make a note and email it to myself so I would be sure to document it. I really do miss Jeff. Some days more than others. We had so many adventures as friends be it bowling, camping, canoeing, rock n roll, certain shenanigans that nobody would ever learn of, eating wings, funerals, his wedding or just good old heart to heart while drinking. The one thing I didn’t enjoy sharing with him was his funeral. 

Sunrise Lake Michigan (can you see that Jesus guy out there? ) Fri 7/21/2017

Friday began as one of the most beautiful mornings of late. The proof is in the pix. By 430P it was getting dark outside so I left the office an hour early in order to beat the oncoming storm. It would prove to be too late. By the time I got to LSD at the north edge of Grant Park I got dumped on and it was a torrential downpour. I crossed the Chicago River and parked my bike outside of Ashley’s place across from Navy Pier and took a bus to transfer to the Red line. I was soaked and had things to do. Once I got to my stop it was still coming down and the CTA station was flooded. Luckily unlike most of the other evening commuters, I was wearing sandals. After picking up some CLR at Ace Hardware I walked in the rain to buy a new camera down the street. It was still pouring and would continue till I was almost home. Frustrated as I loathe the rain when I have to be in it and it has been raining a lot and a lot of the outlying burbs have been flooded over and over this summer. This week has been the worst of all. I picke dup a bottle of Deep Eddy’s and said screw it. Went home, changed clothes, sat out back and played some LA GUNS to wind down.

 

My plans to see Garbage on Saturday fell through when I was unable to get on the guest list and was only provided a photo pass. The person I had invited was understanding, though certainly disappointed. As for myself I was devastated and embarrassed. She assured me we would get together though.

 

Saturday morning I ran my usual errands and got ready for Tom to meet me at the house and go to the Stones exhibit at Navy Pier. It was getting very hot outside. We walked by my parked bicycle on the way, stop and ate at Billy Goat Tavern and breezed through the exhibit which was a lot busier than before. While there I got a text from Jessica and I invited her over for drinks at 5. She would arrive 3 hours later and we met at Tac Quick. When I got home around 3P Syble was finishing up the repair on my toilet and put the shelving back together over teh back wall. Later that night when TAC QUICK closed the bartender Bradford and a friend came by to join Jessica and I. It went late, and much later than I have been up in months. It was so hot during the day that the Jolly Ranchers I had laying out on my living room Ouija table had melted. That’s damned hot.

 

Another Sunday I spent grilling and watching TV, very lazy but much deserved. I have the LA GUNS show Tuesday night which also includes an interview w/ Budderside’s lead singer. I’m off work early Tuesday and all day Wednesday though I can work from home later afternoon that day.

 

Summers winding down. I have 3 fests coming up, a few more concerts one being CHEAP TRICK on August 9 with Valerie who is flying in from Dallas TX. Happy Birthday Val! I have a trip to visit the Looney Bin in Bradley followed by a trip to Iowa Labor Day weekend to make up for the trip I cancelled there last year at the same time. 

“What are you talking about? Where you came from is gone, where you thought you were going to weren’t never there, and where you are ain’t no good unless you can get away from it….”

July 10, 2014

So it began 25 years ago with the release of “Psalm 69″. Well, in all actuality it was about a year before when Maria Ferrero sent me an advance of “Jesus Built My Hotrod” to hold us all over till the album was finally released. If you read yesterdays headline, you know what I mean by “finally”. Up till then my only affiliation with Ministry as a band was spinning their songs, yes on vinyl, in clubs throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania at the time. 25 years ago the album dropped and then I saw the band for the first of what would go on to be dozens of times to follow at Lollapalooza 92. It wasn’t long after that Alex Zander was born and within a few short years, my move to Chicago and many years of working with the band and building friendships would begin. 

Sticky and humid approx 530AM July 11, 2017. Like biking thru soup!

540AM Thurs July 16, 2017. Hazy, Hot and Humid.

Went 6 carbs over my 50 carbs diet yesterday and I felt guilty especially since I had no biking in and drank two cold beers when I got home and grilled outside in the sticky warm Chicago air. I had a beer the night before too but “what to do?” If all goes well I will be biking tomorrow (Friday) as well and after work all the way up to Loyola University/Rogers Park to see the new Spiderman Homecoming movie. 

I’ve reserved a room at one of my favorite area hotels in a city I loathe, Harrah’s in Joliet for the upcoming LA GUNS concert. The rooms are very Vegas reminiscent but I don’t like casinos and like Joliet a whole lot less. I do have good friends out that way and obviously really dig this band. 

Below is a hysterical shot of Tracii Guns from May 2016 photobombing Emily (Stitch Witch) and myself.

Saturday is the Thai Food Fest and I’m hitting that up with Tom. It’ll be the first fest in my neighborhood that I know of and I’ve lived there since 2005.

Diet be Damned.

Friday morning as I prepared for my bike ride into the office I put on a pair of shorts that 6 weeks ago I could not button. I was happy to be able to fit into them now with ease and I made my morning commute feeling good and only worked till 330P that afternoon.

I left my bike at the office and took the train home to run some errands before the movie. I stocked up on cleaning supplies and a few other items and proceeded to the New 400 Theaters 6746 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626 where I saw Dr. Strange with Ashley late last year. B the time I reached my stop at Loyola I was very hungry and there’s a Five Guys Hamburger joint right off that stop so I caved. Outside of the train station were a group of African American male bible thumpers with signs proclaiming Jesus is black. I wanted to ask if I could take a picture and planned to ID myself as a minister but didn’t feel safe in the midst of some unsavory types gathering around. Too bad because Dale would have gotten a kick out of it.

On my way to Five Guys I took notice of how filthy the area had become and the restaurant was no different. One I ordered I went to wash up in the Men’s room and it was disgusting. I was disgusted by the filth. When I went to get some unsweetened iced tea as my beverage I was told the CO2 for the tank was empty. Ugh. I had no idea they used CO2 in Iced Tea. My bags were sitting at my table by the window and I had space all around for myself to eat in privacy. There were maybe only 5 other customers. But of course my personal space would once again be invaded, a personal pet peeve when dining, doing laundry etc when there is so much other space for people that they have to sit or do whatever right next to me. I fucking hate it. I was uncomfortable enough and feeling the guilt of straying from my diet tossed the burger down my foodhole and made my way to the theater.

During my walk I was dumbfounded by how dirty the streets and some of the people were. Say it isn’t so. Over the years I dated 2 women who lived just off of the Morse station Red Line stop and didn’t recall it being this bad. Could the demographic have changed so drastically? Maybe I’m just spoiled by living on in such a well-tailored neighborhood. One inside the theater which I once raved about I was in utter disbelief. This place was a DUMP and again my personal space would be invaded, this time by a woman that brought her dog in. This was not a seeing eye dog but her pet and I wondered why they would let her bring an animal in. The theater adjoining mine where I was about to see Spiderman Homecoming was packed full of people for War for the Planet of the Apes. I wondered if it was the nicer of the 4 theaters at this location because when we saw Dr. Strange it wasn’t so bad.

The newly Diversified Spiderman was a 2 hour 15-minute nail biting thrill ride. I loved it and it certainly more than made up for the pair of Andrew Garfield flicks. Tom Holland as Peter is perfect, though I was also a big fan of Tobey McGuire’s performances; Holland nails the quirky/nerdy frustrated Parker. After all of the credits I made my way back to the train ride home. My neighborhood was peaceful and quiet and I was in bed by 11P and had a nice night of sleep before getting up to pay bills, do laundry and grocery shop before Tom would arrive at 1P to join me for the Thai Food Festival down the street the next day.

It was an absolutely beautiful morning and I got a very early start getting my laundry in before the bank opened. I didn’t want to kill time so I went to Target and Aldi and picked up some food for my week. Amazingly I kept right at my budget not going over as I suspected I may. I got back to the laundry, switched it out, went home and put food away, stopped back at the bank and then finished my laundry. At home I relaxed for about an hour and Tom arrived right on time and we walked down to the already packed festival. I had no idea what to expect but didn’t expect the fest to be held in the smaller lot across the street from the hospital. At 1PM the lines to each food stand were very long and people were shoulder to shoulder. The $5 fee to enter was not bad but I wasn’t about t stand in line for food only to have no place to sit or stand with a table to eat. I grabbed a coconut and some cocnut milk as I was dying of thirst. After about 20-25 frustrating minutes I suggested we go to Tac Quick where we would sit and be served. A great idea in theory but after  we sat ourselves outside learned that only Itti and one other employee were serving and soon a lot of other people would have the same idea as me and within a half and hour Tac Quick was packed and understaffed. I had some extremely spicy Som Tum Poo Secret Menu Dish papaya salad with salted crab at Itti’s suggestion. Tom had Neau Nam Tak Secret Menu Dish Thai beef salad and some sticky rice. he also ordered a martini which never arrived as they were so busy so once we finished we walked over to El Mariachi for drink and Tom ordered Botaña Mariachi which is little bit of everything, nachos, chicken flautas, quesadilla, pork tamalito, and a side of guacamole and sour cream. My guilt once again kicked into high gear and I also had the 60 oz. margarita. DAMMIT. We enjoyed sitting in the patio of my favorite Chicago restaurant and we soaked up the atmosphere as time went by quickly. We walked passed the fest on the way back to mi casa and I stopped and picked up some Absolut Citron. Along the way Tom pointed out a Lincoln MKZ and mentioned he wanted to buy one. I told him I have a great connection in my friend BH for all things automobile. We got back to my place, I called BH and put him on the horn with Tom and they began working out details. (As of this morning things are in motion) I showed Tom my EXXXOTICA pix and he went home around 6 and I sat out back and listened to some music before nodding off after a few tipsy phone calls to old friends, Mark is Austin TX and Jeff in Indianapolis. In the morning I’d curse myself for drinking, not because I was hungover but because I had indulged in empty calories. I did manage to invite a certain waitress I became friends with a few years back to join me at the Garbage and Blondie concert next weekend at Ravinia. As long as I’m on the guest list it’ll be great. 3 days after I have another LA GUNS concert and I’m going to buy that awesome work shirt this time with the patch on the breast that reads, SEX, BOOZE and TATTOOS. 

My beach plans were nixed as I woke up and it was cool and breezy and not hot and sunny like the day before. So I opted to be a bum at home. I made some eggs and peppers for breakfast, Italian Beef for lunch and grilled up some  Sheboygan Bratwurst to eat during the week. I sipped on iced coffee most of the day as I finished season 2 of Carnivale and made lunch for the next day at work. It was completely uneventful and the weather was not inviting enough for me to bike anywhere. Maybe I was just too sluggish from all of the food I consumed over the weekend. Having drinks was out of the question. I did run to the market and the streets were full of Asians going to and from the event down the street. I felt the urge to mingle but resisted.

By 9PM I was exhausted and went to bed for a nice solid night of sleep. It was a nice quiet and stress free weekend and I was more than ready for the work week ahead.

Awake at 415 AM and back to the grind. Now I need to bike off all of those calories from the weekend.