Monday, October 30, 2006

When You're So Close

You have no idea how close Woundup has been to changing Cracker Factory locations... twice. We've had to deliberate, internally and externally, the merits of new environs outside of Chicago. We would prefer to remain in the city and will adjust our search accordingly. We've been granted normal evening access to freetime this week ("the good old days, relatively speaking"). We'll try to use them the best we can.

Recent developments have heartened the Woundup camp regarding the search. Hopefully, we won't toil much longer a couple blocks down from the Midnight Hour.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rising Action

Erika had a good day. She just got her new laptop computer, and she doesn't have to work tomorrow. This would, in the normal Woundup order of things, necessitate a visit by us, the loving couple, to The New Watering Hole (Cleo's). But alas, your host may have been struck by a bug. Longtime Woundup readers will remember other pronouncements of sickness that fizzled quickly. I'm beginning to think the ol' Cracker Factory has something to do with it. Sick Building Syndrome wasn't just a great Rhode Island hardcore band, it's a very real, very modern affliction that might be afflicting me as I write this. I think.

Enough hypochondria... please enjoy the above picture from the loving couple's last visit to The New Watering Hole (Cleo's), which occaisoned an improvisiational dance from the above-mentioned wife.

Monday, October 23, 2006

To Sir, mit Liebe

Content explosion! Friday was fun and feckless, in the words of a certain radio broadcaster, and Woundup felt wanted. I feel even more wanted today. Wanted by my loved ones, certainly, but also by that elusive group we WeBLoGGeRS chase -- strangers. Keep your fingers crossed for this commentator and perhaps you'll get some exciting news in the coming week.

No, I didn't see the first inning of the World Series, last night, but I watched the mildly exciting conclusion with Cpt. Stockton, followed by a little "Check, Please!" Speaking now as a member of the viewing public (a "stranger") upon whom the minor local celebrity of Alpana Singh has been foisted... do you enjoy, as I do, watching her get a little wine drunk over the course of a show? You know that hazy, glazy look, wine drinker. I had it myself last night while watching "Check, Please!" Here's to getting buzzed and getting paid for it by viewers like you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Woundup Promise

Well, it looks like a scheduled trip to Wine Bar -38 Credibility is on the docket for tonight. Wine Bar -38 Credibility is always referred to in the passive voice. I promise... a picture or two. And listen to the album cuz it's bangin'.

O'Donnell Lives

Phew! In a fit of deluded self-importance, I feared I had single-handedly killed Sun-Times sportswriter Jim O'Donnell's career. Woundup often lashed out at O'Donnell's purple prose in the back pages of "The Bright One" (S-T marketing term), particularly last year's green-gold profiles of Notre Dame football players. A new ND season arrived and... O'Donnell disappeared. They had given someone else a crack at Weis' crew. Where was O'Donnell? Did a higher-up at the Sun-Times read one of my anti-O'D missives? Did my own diamond-sharp prosody convince an editor to give the veteran legman the boot?

I calmed down when I saw O'Donnell's byline on two college football stories today, including a wonderful featurette on Bill Cosby's playing days at Temple. O'Donnell has grown on Woundup, and we'd like to see more of him amid the Telanders, Mariottis and Brad Biggses. From now on, Woundup will support O'Donnell... and will stop believing anyone reads this thing.

Kirk: A Humidor in Every Glove Compartment

The election commercial circus has been swinging for weeks now. I'd like to know where they make these things, as they are all basically the same commercial with different faces. Would the same production company make commercials for two opposing candidates in the same race?

And why haven't any politicians courted Lake County resident Michael Jordan's favor? I'd pretty much vote for anyone M.J. told me to. Well, not really, but I'd like to think I would...

"Hi, I'm Michael Jordan. On May 3, 1991, I put the douchebag Detroit Pistons to shame by scoring 50 points to ice the Chicago Bulls' first championship*. This November, pull the lever for Mark Kirk. It's a slam dunk."

* May be factually inaccurate.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Havlicek Stole the Ball

I was sad to see Craig leave the Cracker Factory, but I don't mind hawking his free copy of Sports Illustrated. I'm fingering the SI NBA 06-07 preview at this very moment. It seems like yesterday Erika and I were watching the (sort of) dramatic conclusion of NBA 05-06 at a lakeside bar in northern Ohio.

I made a bet with Erika (also a basketball fan) that the Bulls would make it to the championship game this season. I didn't say they'd win, but that they'd just make it there. The loser of the bet will have house-cleaning honors for a month.

Think I'm crazy? The Bulls are filled with quality guards and small forwards, and have stocked up on forwards and centers, including Ben Wallace. Scott Skiles can rotate like crazy now and wear down the opposition. Who's gonna stop them? Miami? Old. Pistons? They're in decline. Cleveland? Still not enough help for LeBron. And... New Jersey? Nah... It'll be Bulls, Bulls, Bulls in June, June, June. Hopefully, we'll be watching the finish in a more desirable location.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rides Again

Picodiribibi, the Orland Park android, is back online (link at right). I re-posted his first adventure from more than four years ago. I hope you enjoy it. I'll add other stories from the Pico vault in the coming weeks. Keep checking in.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Up Next: 1987 Datsun Owner's Manual

Well, I finally have something in common with Marilyn. I finished "Ulysses" this afternoon. Ironically, they gave out the Nobel Prize for Literature today. I'm not looking for a pat on the back; I only want to say it's one of the best English-language books I've read. I don't think there is one "greatest," but I think any lover of literature should give it a look.

(Little known from this period is a picture of Joe DiMaggio reading "Mrs. Dalloway.")

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

We Sweat, Too

Welcome back, Chicago. Welcome to the grey season. Yes, I have problems with the wintertime blues. I've never had full-blown SAD, but I do feel a change around this time, particularly if the weather goes dour, as it has. Three years ago, I bought a sun lamp and found it helped. I used it for a couple winters. Last year, I exercised more and found that worked just as well. I used the lamp no more than three times in winter '05-'06. I plan to go with the exercise regimen this year, and I recommend it to fellow seasonal affective sufferers. I'm not an expert, but 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week does wonders for the body and the psyche. You can find me at the New City YMCA tomorrow around 11 a.m.

Monday, October 09, 2006

People Funny Boy

Yes, I did have the day off -- as did my wife, Erika. We had a lovely lunch at Earwax; thumbed through some books at Myopic and the Brown Elephant; and tried to locate me a warm-up jacket. You know warm-up jackets, Mr./Ms. 28-to-33. They grew abundantly on the thrift store trees 10 years ago, before the resale goblins stole them away. Now it's like trying to find Ornette Coleman's "Live in Stockholm '61" in a... yes.

I borrowed a Lee Perry boxed set from pal Jonathan a year ago. Listened to it once and promptly shelved it away. Well, a year later, I've picked it up again and can't stop listening. Funny how that works. It probably means the collector will be calling soon, which is good, because Stockty owes me a six-pack for winning our fantasy baseball league.

I told my mother I'd have a new gig within two weeks. If I say it will happen, it (might) will happen. Good night.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I will miss one thing in particular about the old Cracker Factory: the fantastic view of the city from our west windows. I love looking out them at all times of day and night, in all types of weather. You can see Pilsen, Midway Airport, I-55, the Kennedy, St. Elizabeth's Hospital and the co-op building on Division from our office. I can see the tall billboard that stands above our old home on Noble St., too.

Gazing on the distant lights of the South and North Side, it's pleasing to think I'll soon be out there, down some street or alley, below one of those lights. I can see a place hidden amid that yellow grid -- a dim room where a glass of Chambly Noir beer awaits me. Only four hours to go.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We Deliver

There it is: Rod Blagojevich Pizza. I met Erika at the Darkroom. We walked down to Chicago and Western. I got a slice. We went home. I ate the pizza and drank a beer. Are Woundup's forays into the "real world" starting to scare you? They're starting to scare me... and it's also a f*** of a lot of extra work.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nibbles and Bites

Mmm... something smells good in the Cracker Factory tonight. Smells like pizza. I could go for some pizza. Erika and I recently tried the clone pie place that opened in the old Bacci space on Chicago Ave. Must say, their cheese slice is much, much better. Thanks to the Admiral for the tip.

Say, if I'm hungry in this fashion later... maybe I'll stop by the aforementioned Rod Blagojevich Pizza and grab a slice. I call it Blagojevich because there's a crude rendering of the popular "Love Is" comic on the building's side. The little, black-haired fellow depicted bears a strong resemblance to Illinois' governor.

I could even... snap a picture of the cartoon (might be dark) or those big slices under the heat lamps. Yes, every WeBLoG pretty much devolves into a photo WeBLoG. It's much easier than writing, folks!

Monday, October 02, 2006

By Candlelight

I like this picture of Erika taken at Cleo's, Saturday night. A touch Pre-Raphaelite...

This is Going to Be My Week II

I was sure last week was going to be my week -- going to be good in some way. It was -- not as good as it could've been, but much better than I expected. I had a feeling last Monday that something would happen. I was right. Today, I don't have that feeling, but I think if I say it anyway, it might come true. The danger is in throwing out a lot of empty proclamations and predictions, thus diluting (I believe) the karmic energy pool.

Where do you find the karmic energy pool? I don't know, but I'd like to believe it resembles the pool scene in "Caddyshack."

This is going to be my week... again.