22 October 2014

Holy Crap, where they hell have YOU been?

So, 18 months since I've touched this.

No excuse other than work is crazy, life is crazy, world is crazy and frankly, this takes a lot of discipline to keep going and my borderline A-D-D self has two million other things to do.

That said, I need to get back to writing again.

It is a form of therapy, partly for my mind that has trouble resting and ultimately, as a way to stay sane in a world cluttered by bombardment of emails, issues and problems.

Shame on me but I control it.

03 April 2013

Chicago Fire: On Location at Lottie's Pub

So Lottie's Pub in Chicago is the place they use for the bar that Mouch, Hermann and Dawson buy on Chicago Fire and call Molly's.

My Dad grew up in that neighborhood (lived in the 1800 block of Winchester) in the 50's and has told me a few stories about Walter "Lottie" Zagorski.
Most people don't know that she was actually a six-foot transvestite (some say hermaphrodite) whose basement of the bar was solely there for the mobsters and gangster of the late 20's, 30's and 40's and then dirty politicians from the 40's onward.  This link takes you to a bit more of the history and story of Lottie's.

But my Dad's recollections of Lottie was her running down Winchester in a flowered muu-muu and heels, lit cigarette in hand, after her little tiny dog, cussing up a blue streak to get back to her in a very deep manly voice. My Dad said that it was a true sight to see and that he learned quite a few words in those days as well as learning what a transvestite was.

In the 90's I went to Lottie's for my one and only time to see the band of a co-worker. It was in that very basement where all the gambling and numbers running took place. It was only a 7' ceiling so the sound was horrible and the cigarette smoke just hung there choking you out.  It was a hipster bar before hipsters even became a 'thing'. 

Now it will be one of those places that people come to Chicago to see because it's on t.v.

22 March 2013

SMH: Welcome Class of 2027!

As I entered the doors of West Aurora High School Wednesday night with Mary Kay and Aidan at my side, we saw a simple sign on the table, "Welcome Class of 2027!".

Yep, as we prepared for a 75-minute winding path of Kindergarten registration, there it was, slapping me right in my big, fat face.

There's certain 'years' that I remember for some reason.
  • As a 9-year old, figuring out that I was going to be 33 when the calendar turned over to 1/1/2000.
  • The summer of 1976, the Bicentennial Celebration of the US and the July 4th Parade in Des Plaines, IL (as my Dad was on the Board of Directors of the Des Plaines Elks Lodge, 1526)
  • My 29th birthday (1995 when I spotted my first grey hair)
  • I remember Benet Academy's 1981 Frosh Fest (I was a Sophomore working it) and some Alum was there with a baby who had a t-shirt on that said Class of 2000
Although I think I've joked about it several times that when Aidan goes off to College that I'd be roughly 60 years old and probably ready to retire, it really hadn't hit me down deep in the dark, recesses of my stomach that it would be 2027.

Now, I know a lot of my friends have kids at a wide range of age, so for some of you, well, you're well past this part of your lives but this is both exciting and frightening at the same time.

Open House at Goodwin Elementary is April 10th and first day is August 21st.  This summer is going to FLY by far too fast.

Hold on Brian, hold on tight.

18 February 2013

I Ran (So Far Away) - Flock of Seagulls

Okay, second post from the Oy! High School Years and because I was on vacation, didn't post one last week.

C'mon 40-somethings, you know you all loved this damn song!  If you say you didn't you're a damn liar!

As mentioned in my Big Country post, the 80s were the launch of MTV and the influx of everything not American and very funky looking was attractive.  We all heard it at every sock hop and turn-about dance we attended.

Flock of Seagulls was just something we weren't all exposed to.  The look, the hair, the big glasses, the full-on synthesizer music... we ate it up and yelled out the lyrics when they hit the chorus.

But probably what Flock are most known for is the hairstyle which, when you take a good look at it, looks like Donald Trump got caught in a Hurricane force wind storm.  They didn't exhibit this during the I Ran video but on their other big hit, "Space Age Love Song".

I never had the guts to try it.  I had the typical part down the middle, hair feathered back on the sides look during this time.  I'm not sure Mr. Brown (dean of students) or any of the good Benedictine Brothers, Priests and Nuns would have allowed it in the doors of good ol' Benet Academy if I had even tried.  Maybe as long as I had my tie on straight they would have?