We are tremendously loyal to our big name stars who have spent any amount of time in Chicago. We are frequently claiming credit for the accolades that anyone brings to our grand city. The warmth of your accomplishments leaves us magnificently glistening beneath the snowy stars.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, three major internationally recognized stars hit the pavement hard. And we watched with gleeful anticipation.
Derrick Rose – MVP
First we lost D Rose. Former MVP of the NBA out with another knee injury, his third requiring surgery and major rehabilitation in 3 years. Yes, Derrick Rose, a truly homegrown product who has accomplished much in his short and talented life. Down for the count again. Will he return? Possibly. But will he ever be an MVP again? Hard to say.
Some say “No way!”
Will he ever lead the Bulls to an NBA Championship? Time will tell. I wouldn’t count him out.
We love our heroes when they win. We adore them when they repeat.
Next, (yes, all on the same day) we lost ‘Kaner’ aka Patrick Kane leading scorer in the NHL on this day. Yes he has the repeat bug 2-Time Stanley Cup winner and the reigning champion of the All Star Game Skills Competition. Gone for 6-10 weeks with what appears to be a broken collarbone.
Taken out on a cheap hit by some guy know one pays to go and see no matter where he is playing. Kane is from Buffalo NY but he is ours now baby! It is safe to say we don’t win either of those Cups without him. I mean, just look at this guy … Will he be back in time for the playoffs?
Third (and not so lastly) Rahm Emmanuel reigning champion of Chicago politics. Former Chief of Staff of our Commander In Chief and Chicago home owner Barack Obama. Currently our sitting Mayor of only one term. His predecessor, Richie M Daley holds the record for 6 terms, which he wrested from the the previous record of 5 terms held by his Dear Ole Dad Richard Sr.
Yet poor old Rahm may not make it to repeat with even a 2nd term. Why? Because he did not hold a majority in the election held on Tuesday and now faces a run off in 6 weeks against some guy named ‘Chuy’.
Yes Chuy ran as kind of an afterthought and has basically no clue what to do with our huge budgetary shortfalls and monstrous chasms of quality jobs if actually elected.
So instead Chuy just stands there on the podium and smiles like he just got elected Prom King along with the virgin cheerleader that never talks to him in the high school hallways.
These three stories are in no way to be dismissed lightly when Chicago history books get re-written. And yet these three separate but significant events will be talked about and examined by pundits, talking heads and prognosticators until the first tulip blooms this spring.
These next 6-8 weeks before the run-off election and before the playoffs will be a boon for comedy writers and bloggers spanning this City of Big Shoulders. From Lakeview to Austin. From Evanston to Hyde Park. Yes we will capitalize on the heart ache and misfortunes of others’. Even though they are our superheros.
But we will do it with love and good humor. After all it is February and it is Chicago and there is a new layer of snow falling to the ground as I write this.
So we’ve got to do something to pass the time. Because even though pitchers and catchers reported to spring training last week, from where we stand we are still light years away from a walk down by the lake to cool off from a humid summer day that we spent in the bleachers that have been completely rebuilt during the reconstruction of Wrigley Field that seemed to have never ended.
So here’s to our stars, home grown and otherwise. The winners and the not so winners. The runner ups and the contestants. We love you all for gracing us with your presence so that we may temporarily bask in your warm glow, if only for a moment, to say “C’mon! You can do it again!”
The first Chicago Mayoral Runoff Election is over. It’s finally over.
And there really wasn’t any doubt. Rahm-bo has won re-election and he gets another 4 years as our CEO of Chicago.
His challenger was a reluctant candidate named Chuy. Yes. You heard me right. That’s pronounced ‘Chewey’ as in I got something in my mouth and I got to wait to finish ‘chewey’ it before I can answer your question.
And that’s exactly how the guy who was going to take City Hall by storm and unseat a very unpopular incumbent was acting. “Yeah, I’ll get around to it. I didn’t really feel like running, but let me finish my lunch first.”
Rahm Emanuel and Chuy Garcia
I say Rahm was unpopular because, well, he is. He has had to make some of the tough choices. Our city is upside down financially (like the rest of the state of Illinois is). Rahm came in and cut union jobs, trimmed fat and ruffled feathers as he tried to shore up pensions. But honestly, in this writer’s opinion, he is going to have to do more. Which will make the next election in 4 years even more contentious.
This election at least had a few laughs. No one thought Chuy was a real threat. But we welcomed the levity of it all.
Would you like a few suggestions for the next time you run as an opposition candidate? Glad you asked:
Lose the mustache. We don’t want the Frito Bandito to be our mayor.
Drop the next door neighbor act. We are a world class city playing on an international stage. No one from Switerland who is bringing in millions of dollars in revenues from his trade show cares. We care. But they don’t. And you know what they say, “The customer is always right!”
Your neighbors will get work from the trade show. The tax base will get solvent from all the hotel and restaurant revenues. Plus, as mayor of Chicago you might actually get a free trip to somewhere other than the corner store for a pack of smokes.
Have a plan. Fer cryin’ out loud! You got up on stage in a debate without a plan?!? Next time when they ask you how you’re going to fix this fiscal calamity staring us in the face and you say, “I’ll form a committee?” we’re going to punch your ticket to the minors. At least act like a politician. Lie to us. A committee? Are you F$%&^#@^ kidding me?
Having a committee meeting with politicians is like telling a 9 to 5-er he can have a 3 hour coffee break. He’ll take 5 and come back sauced with a case of chlamydia. And no chlamydia is not the latest micro brew from Wrigleyville.
Get a better nickname. Chuy, if you think George Lucas is going to take your meeting to bring his Star Wars Museum here, you better at least change your last name to Bakka.
So here we go tumbling down the abyss with another 4 years of a tried and true, cut throat, kick ass politician who loves a good brawl. If you got to break a few eggs Rahm, make a damn good omlette. Just do it in fine Chicago politico style. Break a few legs too. Just try not to break too many rules.
And if we find out later you broke a few laws to get it all done. Don’t worry. We’re getting kind of used to dressing our former leaders in orange jump suits. Or as we like to say in the neighborhood, if you’re going to be douche bag politician, at least you’re our douche bag.
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“A satirist is a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself
and then says them about other people.” – Peter MacArthur
That about sums it up. I love complaining. It sometimes comes out a bit caustic. I think I’m being funny. But my wife says differently.
The Zen of Driving
For example, when I’m driving on Chicago streets. I think I’m providing a public service when I let other drivers know how they’re doing. It works especially well in the winter time when I’m screaming at another driver with my windows rolled up. I’m pretty sure my message is getting across fabulously.
But just to make sure they actually get what I am trying to say I use sign language that involves flailing of the arms, extension of the fingers and stretching the facial muscles into contorsive positions the face was not meant to adopt.
Of course, this leads to glandular secretions and onset of early Alzheimer’s because if you were to ask me 5 minutes later what I was so creatively expressing my opinion about, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps I have moved on to other, more worthy subjects of derision or it just didn’t merit my well intentioned wisdom. comedy
Nevertheless, I do it strictly for the good of the community, providing a service in the name of entertainment. It’s just in my nature I guess; entertaining the rank and file. It’s cheaper than my shrink and I’m pretty it entertains you.
Plus, I don’t need to set up a play piano.
So thank you for playing along. We’ll see you at one of the music and comedy shows I have scheduled coming up. If I don’t see you then, I’ll see you later.
Until then .. just remember …
“Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else.” – Will Rogers
So we got smacked with another snow storm here in Chicago this week.
Typical. It’s Chicago. It’s February. Go figure.
So why the hell don’t people know how to drive in this stuff? I mean – Seriously! Is it because we don’t have a foot of snow very often anymore? Are we just out of practice? It’s like Heeey C’mon already.
I remember getting a lot of snow when I was younger. Even in my early 20’s I had to be able to navigate city streets with all of the other citizens.
It was Par For The Course. Modus Operandi. Another Day in The Neighborhood.
When I was still a student of music at U of I in Chicago, as it was called back then, I lived in Wicker Park. My rent for a 2 bedroom was $150 a month. For those of you out of town, I can tell you now Wicker Park is one of those great neighborhoods where you now will not be able to find a 2 bedroom for less than $1500 these days – if that.
I had an old Chevy Suburban. Great truck. 8 cylinder. Rear wheel drive. Heavy. Moved everything and everywhere. Awesome truck.
Wicker Park was a barrio back then. Gangs? Yeah no problem. Ghettos? Yeah sure, whatever. Rat hole apartment and scum bag landlords? Heeeey it’s Chicago. Whatever.
I remember getting going after digging out of my parking spot, not daring to stop, zipping through one of those unplowed alleys on questionable snow tires I got from that discount tire shop on Division to get to the unplowed side street to get out to Damen Ave when I encounter another vehicle driving in my direction.
Now I had lived in Wicker Park about a year and a half at the time. I knew my neighbors. All upstanding citizens to be sure and they were kind enough to inform me, in true Chicago tradition, “Heeey, we’re all okay over here. It’s those people across the alley/across the street/ north of Milwaukee Ave/fill in the blank you gotta worry about … “
So in other words, I knew how to fill in the blanks, I knew where the boundaries were drawn and I knew who was on who’s side. I knew I had a guy and I knew the other guy had a guy so it’s all kopesthetic, right?
So like I said, I’m zipping along on my snow tires in my Chevy Suburban and I realize I’m in that ‘other’ neighborhood and I see this guy coming at me in his beater and we both know not to stop in the snow or we’re both getting stuck.
So what do we do?
We keep going.
That’s what we do.
C’mon it’s Chicago.
Sliding along, spinning our wheels but moving forward and as we miraculously pass each other safely we both look out our rolled down windows and we both started laughing. We were passing by so close we could have reached out and High Fived each other but we didn’t dare take our hands off the wheel at that particular moment.
As we finally fish tailed past each other our tail ends decided to dish out that High Five. It was a Love Tap. A Cheek Kiss.
Maybe it was that I didn’t want to stop knowing I wasn’t going to be protected in that neighborhood. Maybe it was him who didn’t want to get out and check it out for possibly very similar reasons. Add to that neither one of us were driving a brand Audi or anything.
So I looked out my side mirror and I saw him wave an “okay” as I was doing the same back to him.
No harm. No foul. No big deal driving in Chicago snowstorms.
Come visit some time and we’ll go for a drive. And maybe we’ll play some great live music together. Or if you’re not a musician and you’d rather just listen, we’re okay with that too. Either we’ll entertain you with tails and songs.