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What did I do to deserve this?

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I try to be a good man. I love my wife and boys. I take care of them as best as I can, though I've done some things I'm not proud of, and I'll admit I'm lazy as a dog. I'm a lover of comfort and I could work much harder than I do, but my heart is in the right place (somewhere behind my ribs, I think). And it's true, when I was in high school I scalped Cubs tickets, but it's not my fault, my sister totally made me. She would buy all these tickets to games she couldn't go to, and she would give them to me to sell and I hated doing it, but she let me keep half the profits, but even then I was sometimes too terrified of the police to even charge face value, so I'd walk down Clark Street and dump them as soon as I could, usually before I even got to Byron, so you see it's not something that could be held against me. Anyway, I went to lots and lots of games, and we're talking about the early 90s here when the Cubs were truly pathetic, but still I cheered them on and I never ever booed and I was totally on the other side of the bleachers when the three-row battle royale fistfight broke out on 70s night when security tried to bounce the moron who dumped beer on the (Mets?) left fielder. And it's true I would sometimes get intoxicated yuppies to pay me to eat fistsful of jalapenos, but COME ON, THEY WERE DRUNK A-HOLES OUT HANDING OUT $20 BILLS, any enterprising young teenager would have done the same, especially when he needed to make up the loss on "scalping" tickets to his sister, not that she would have broken my legs or taken away my lunch money, but I had teenage pride.

But all of that is besides the point. I've been a loyal fan my whole life and I'm even bringing my boys up to be loyal Cubbie fans. They all have Cubs hats they love to wear and they have a Cubbie flag on the door to their bedroom and if they keep their room clean for the whole month of October they'll get the red Wrigley Field sign painted on their wall and I took Matthew to see the Peoria Chiefs play and told him all about Ryne Sandberg and now he wants to play for the Cubbies when he grows up and it's so totally not my fault that he thinks I used to play for the Cubbies -- I told him I played baseball in high school in Chicago and he knows the Cubbies play in Chicago and he put 2 and 2 together but unfortunately he came up with 5 and I've tried to tell him I played for the Lincoln Park Lions, not the Cubbies, but he forgets and it's kinda cute, but when he tells people I totally correct him so they don't think I really used to play for the Cubs (because they would obviously think it's true, right?).

Anyway, the point is that I'm a decent fellow who's been a loyal Cubbie fan as long as I can remember going back to the game I went to as a little guy when Ron Cey (RON CEY) hit two home runs and I cheered and cheered and it was the greatest thing in the world and I've stuck by them my whole life unlike those fair weather yuppies who just go to the game to get hammered and try to hook up with blondes and puke all over the bleachers and swear at the umps even when there's kids sitting right behind them.

And don't get me wrong, it's wonderful that we've made the playoffs two years in a row, which is something I couldn't imagine happening growing up when I would faithfully and loyally watch the Cubs get ground into the dirt every year, but I lovd them always and never ever gave up.

But why oh why is it that we have to get so totally and completely embarrassed in the playoffs? Why can't our lineup, better than I ever imagined a lineup could be when I was cheering on Rey Sanchez, Jose Vizcaino and Luis Gonzalez (before he started juicing or sacrificing to pagan gods or whatever it was he did that turned him from a scrawny scrappy little dude into a 40 homer guy), do anything against... CHAD FREAKING BILLINGSWORTH, and who the freak is he and how can he make Soriano, Lee and Ramirez look like total chumps and what are we paying those guys for anyway and what is up with Fukudome -- why can't we hit the Asian jackpot like every other freaking team?

Anyway, what I'm really trying to say is that I've shed tears over this team. More tears than any self-respecting man should shed over the doings of other grown men who wear striped pants, but I shed them because I care, and honestly I'll keep caring, but why oh why can't we put up a decent fight? Is that so much to ask?

What did I do to deserve this?

(Cross-posted to my facebook account)

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Obama's Winning Strategy: Embrace the Sleaze


That would seem to be Dan Conley's advice:

Various articles during this campaign -- including some in Salon -- have attempted to tie Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to that outdated vision of the Windy City. But over the past 25 years, Chicago politics has evolved. The city is still divided along racial lines, and other layers of government here -- from the Illinois Statehouse to the Cook County government -- feature as much grandstanding and as many ad hominem attacks as anywhere. But anyone who doubts that a toxic political environment can be overcome should look to Chicago. Consensus has become more conspicuous than conflict. Deal-making is more important than showboating. In short, the city's politics has become post-partisan. It's a concept that should be familiar to anyone who has followed Obama's presidential bid.

Sure, when a corrupt mayor with extensive mob ties exerts the full weight of one of the nation's largest political machines to alternately intimidate and buy out all of his enemies, turning them into sniveling "yes"-men. we could call that "progress." We could also call it "Stalinism."

Here's the deal -- the author of the piece is a Daley goon, and his message to Obama is to be more like King Richard of Bridgeport. Give me a break.

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Lincoln Park Cemetery


This one's for my Chicago peeps: "A Conservatory, a Zoo, and 12,000 Corpses" from the Chicago Reader.

One day in the 1970s, when Pamela Bannos was a teenager, she was riding in the back of her father’s car as he turned off Lake Shore Drive onto LaSalle Street. Looking out the window, she noticed an old stone structure standing in Lincoln Park. Surrounded by a chain-link fence and a wall of weeds, it looked like it might be a tomb. The word couch was just visible on its crest. What is that? she wondered. And if it is a tomb, what’s it doing in the park?

It was in fact a tomb, and as she would later learn, the park had once been a cemetery...

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Ahhh... the 21st century


Lawrence Fisheries has a webpage.

Late night, fish chips
2-1-8 tactics

If you recognize that reference I command you to leave a comment.

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Nothing New


I recently discovered that the Chicago Reader has a website. This alt-weekly was my favorite newspaper growing up. Many an after-school Thursday I would pick up a reader and head for the Why Not? cafe on Belmont and Seminary for a junk salad, 3-4 cups of coffee and a half a pack of cigarettes.

Ahhh.... youth.

Anyway, this week's Reader has an article about a sweetheart deal that would have the Chicago Park District lease a sweet piece of Lincoln Park real estate to the very posh and very private Latin school for a soccer field of which Latin will have exlusive use.

Lincoln Park High School (my alma mater) features prominently in the piece - a Chicago Public School, LPHS uses adjacent Oz Park for their athletics. There isn't really a defined soccer field and the patch of park used by LPHS' soccer team features ankle-breaking craters and a manhole cover that is itself covered with a piece of green carpet. As the piece says, LPHS players share their field with "the football team, softball players, dog walkers, Frisbee throwers, nannies with baby strollers, pot smokers, you name it."

Naturally, community activist types are questioning the Latin deal, particularly the part that gives Latin exclusive use of the soccer field during the times of day/year that any other school (especially the unwashed public schoolers) would want to use it.

Interesting stuff. The private school kids get the lakefront playground while the public schoolers get a dirt pit. Will Daley let it go through?

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Ode to a City

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

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