Advertisements
Tag Archives: El

My “Review” of a “Relevant” Punk Band

10 Jul

Some say that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a huge source of inspiration for these old dudes.

We entered the train and almost immediately got in trouble. My roommate talked me into going to a concert at the Metro, where we would be seeing the Zero Boys, a punk rock band that was big and influential for about half a year in the early 80’s. With a deep devotion for one-hit wonders, she is a devotee of the early punk rock scene, an enthusiasm she refers to as “a curse.” Her excitement was contagious though, and we got on the El while gabbing about our respective summertime occupations. We sat down behind an old man who looked like he’s hit a few people with belts back in the day, and she loudly groaned that all of her coworkers were fucking up. This made the old man to turn around gruffly and give her a scorching look that said he knew exactly where we’re going when we die. This made me feel really really punk, and I was now ready for the show.

Walking up to the venue, I realized we were the only people there not wearing all black, and for the most part the youngest. A guy in front of us in line for 21+ bracelets was wearing a cool vest and had sweet tattoos (Krusty the Clown without skin and Cthulhu were on either elbow), but my roommate called him a “fashion punk” with disdain. These scenesters apparently got gussied up for punk shows, which my roommate could not abide, but he seemed alright to me in a sort of friendly rockabilly way. Continue reading

Advertisements

The El at Night: A Poem

4 Jun

TRAIN(1)

Outside the Keg, I loosed a sigh,
The frigid air cut to my core.
“It should be spring,” I dared to cry,
“Still freezing cold! Chi-town! You whore!”

It was past one, a Friday night,
And dark as Tisdahl’s crumpled heart.
I felt my mind flood then with fright,
For I had quite a trek to start.

Though I had drank with all my boys
I had forgotten what I’d known.
For I lived North, At Sherman-Noyes,
And now, alas, I was alone.

I gazed upon the road ahead
Its passage paved with glacial air
And thought, “I would rather be dead,
Then walk the way from here to there.”

But dare I face the other choice?
A risky move at better times!
“Just call safe ride!” rang out a voice!
“Or Anything! Except the El!”

But I ignored that fateful call
And soon I found myself again,
Inside an almost empty hall
Of rattling steel, upon the train.

I say ‘almost’ for there was one
Who sat across the car from me.
He sat as silent as a nun,
His forehead resting on his knee.

“Only two stops,” I muttered then.
“Yes! Only two, and then I’m home.”
Oh hope, how you do toy with men!
Alas, if I had only known!

For as the train began to fly
And travel North, to bare me hence,
This other man, he met my eye
With such a glare to give offense.

And then he stood and turned, and sort
Of slowly, he began to stride
Along the aisle, stopping short
Of where I sat; of where I cried.

For I had seen a dreadful sight!
A sight most terrible and crude.
He was riding the El at night,
Completely and utterly nude!

At last the train came to a stop
At Foster: one stop short of mine.
I lept from my seat with a hop,
And found myself, at 1:09,

Back on the road, to walk the rest.
For I had seen a gruesome scene,
And I had learned that it is best,
To stagger home in moonlight’s gleam.

Remember this! Please hear my cries,
And save yourself a horrid fright.
That comes from seeing naked guys,
Who ride the el here, late at night!

The 7 Types of People You Meet on Chicago Public Transportation

24 Apr

7.  The costumed horror

It is impossible to frequently ride the El without running into someone wearing a costume that simply cannot be explained.  Whether it’s a group of young Asian men dressed as the Teletubbies or two middle-aged women dressed as salt and pepper shakers, every costumed horror will bring a mixture of confusion and awe to your CTA experience.  If you ride the CTA on Halloween night, you will see everything you never wanted to see and you will never be able to live your life as you once did.   Continue reading

Your Monthly HorrorScopes

22 Jan

Photo courtesy of Ross Packingham and Ginger LeatherDream

Congratulations! Everyone’s having a pretty good month! Except for Pisces, that’s what you get for being an attention whore who steals my paper thesis and claims it as your own! (How do you live with yourself!?)

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)
This month, take some time to focus on you. Take a bath, watch a movie, finally get around to burying that body. LOL JK! But there is a fresh dirt path in the park on Grove, approximately 10 feet, from the SW corner, and shovels are on sale this week at Ace Hardware. Pro tip: If you wear a fluorescent orange vest people will assume it’s community service! Happy “planting!”

Things to avoid saying: “I confess”

Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20)
You may or may not die in a horrible, horrible terrorist attack on the El. You probably deserve it.

Your lucky day: Not Wednesday

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19)
When Jupiter moves into the apex of Croatia’s left nut, expect good fortune at your feet. That’s right, your new plaid Sperry’s Top Siders finally arrived in the mail! Your fraternity brethren will be drooling with envy, but they will have the last laugh when the snow disintegrates them by the weekend. But, of course, you will be too drunk to notice.

Things to avoid: KKD, DDD, DZ…you know what you’ve done

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20)
You’re at the crossroads of what is sure to be a long journey. Question is, do you watch the video of the panda sneezing set to dubstep, or the new “Shit Adorable Kittens Say After Their Baths?” You also have a midterm paper worth 40% of your grade due tomorrow, but we all know that’s not happening. Pop another caffeine pill and watch them both. Six times.

Your lucky time of day: 7:34 pm (Brian will smile at you in Norbucks!!!)

Gemini (May 21-Jun 21)
Your month begins with a surprise, as the long lost twin sister you never knew you had shows up at your door! (All Geminis are twins, right? That’s how this works?) Even better news: She’s smokin’ hot! As a dude, you know it’s your right, nay, your responsibility to nail her. As a lady, it’s still your job to nail her and film it. Make it black and white, add come captions in a language you made up, and there’s a good chance you can get it into Sundance. If not, at least into the hearts of a few boys in AEPi. Oh, and all of this is definitely not weird at all.

Things to avoid: Taking your sister on a date to see “Shame”

Cancer (Jun 22- Jul 22)
Financial woes have been weighing heavily on your mind, but due to Saturn coming out of the closet, your problems suddenly vanish! Don’t question your roommates newfound money flow, just politely volunteer to peddle his “product” for him. And those little bags of white powder he’s been leaving around the house? I’ve seen enough episodes of Breaking Bad to know that is definitely NOT meth or weed, so stop worrying that you’re a “drug dealer” and start thinking of yourself as a “businessman!” Kellogg, Shmellogg.

Your lucky street name: Chet Haze

Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22)
Looks like it’s a good time for love! Just not for you, but I’m sure your best friend and girlfriend, whoops, EX-girlfriend, will be very happy together. It’ll all be okay! Turn off the Adele, stop licking cookie crumbs from the bag, and GROW A DICK. Maybe then you could keep a girl around long enough for her to see it, too.

Things to avoid: Admitting that you watch Say Yes to the Dress

Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22)
Everyone agrees you are the best, so why can’t your TA see it too? Did she really expect you to turn in that silly little 10-page paper about the Russian Revolution through the eyes of Tina Fey when you were busy catching up on Mad Men? And your theatre professor didn’t take too kindly to your idea of “sleeping as performance art,” but don’t fret! There’s still time to bring your grades up before Mommy and Daddy take away your new Lexus. Take one for the team, and bang that nerdy, silent girl from down the hall. She’s got a 4.0 average, and you’ll have 4.0 less things to worry about.

Your lucky charm: No bookworm girl can resist a man in thick-framed glasses!

Libra (Sep 23-Oct 23)
Zeus is pissed at Snooki, which parallels your current relationship with your roommate. She’ll hit her breaking point near the end of the month, after you “borrowed-my-favorite-scarf-again-I’ll-kill-you-you-bitch-don’t-even!” You could take the high road (don’t ask ME how to get there, though) and apologize, perhaps buying her dinner to make up for it. But my real advice? Hit the road, girl, and ask for a room transfer. That’s what you get for living in drama-heavy Elder. Pick a nice, quiet, place like ISRC, where you can almost guarantee no one will ever talk back to you. You will be their queen! Enjoy your newfound power!

Things to avoid: Doing the dirty on your roomie’s bed

Scorpio (Oct 24-Nov 21)
Let’s play good news/bad news. Good news! The Tsar has been overthrown! The revolution is over! Huzzah! I’ll tell the people of 1917 you’re very happy for them. Bad news: meanwhile, in 2012, your family dog gets hit by a truck. Good news: He wasn’t really your dog! Bad news: I’m joking. (Too soon?) Good news: He didn’t have cancer! Bad news: You do.

Your lucky charms: will taste bitter after you learn the news

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21)
The B-list stars are aligning, which means that this month is a good time to expand your talents. Take a pottery class, pick up the harmonica, try swallowing fire while juggling swords and riding a unicycle. Naked. Trust me, I watch Grey’s Anatomy which basically means I’m a doctor. And if these new escapades don’t work out, don’t be discouraged! Just get right back out there and try, try again once you’re released from the hospital!

Things to avoid: Nothing! Stare death in the face while flipping him off!

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19)
The smell of a blooming romance is in the air! At least that’s what you think. Turns out to be the rotten Joy Yee’s leftovers on the bottom shelf of your fridge. But hey! At least you (probably) won’t die alone, your cat happens to love the smell of Chinese food!

People to avoid: That boy in your poetry class that caught you sniffing his hair in last week’s discussion section

Have a good month! And remember, things will never be as bad for you as they are for George Lopez’s fan club!

Ali Parr

20 People Who Accomplished More Than Me Before They Were 20

9 Nov

This cupcake symbolizes the defeat of teenage pregnancy

So this weekend I turned 20. The celebration was excellent, and the weekend was replete with friends, family, Lupe Fiasco, inexplicable football victories, a seemingly insurmountable stockpile of baked goods, and innumerable abuses of new Sherman Ave writers-to-be. But at some point during the frivolities, somewhere in between heinifying the Shakespeare Gardens and shouting Taylor Martinez-related obscenities on the El, I was struck by the realization that I had suddenly graduated from being merely a teenager into the vaunted world of the 20-something.

Now, I’d like to think that I fit into the 20-something club quite nicely. I publish self-indulgent blog posts, live in dire fear of missing a party, and am woefully unemployed. I vote Democrat and laugh at the word “clitoromegaly.” I buy records on vinyl, wear flannel, and spend an obscene proportion of my income at either BK or EV1, which suits me just fine. I fervently and irrationally believe that Steve Kerr was one of the most important guards in NBA history, and will be a drain on society in general for the next five years or so. Needless to say, I play a good deal of Sporcle and Civilization IV.

This 20-something is a Starbucks barista and staff writer for Thought Catalog

Besides being a great excuse to drink Andre and treat my friends as dutiful subjects to the Birthday Boy for a day, turning 20 is also a good milestone to size up the accomplishments and failures of my life. Even if I never played first base for the White Sox or fronted a touring rock n roll band, I’d like to think I’ve accomplished a fair deal, including roadtripping to LA and founding the most atrocious blog known to the greater Chicagoland area. But no matter what I’ve done, here are the 20 people who accomplished so much more than I could ever dream of before they were even able to legally drink in Japan.

1. Beyoncé’s Unborn Baby
That fetus was still only 5 months old when it garnered 8,868 tweets a minute at the MTV Music Video Awards. To be honest, the only time I can ever hope to gain that much recognition in social media is if Ross Packingham mentions me in one of his status updates. The progeny of Ms. Knowles and Mr. Z will almost certainly emerge from the womb with more talent, beauty, and hedge fund investments than five generations of Rees’ will be able to amass. If this kid doesn’t have a hit single by the time she’s 7, Amy Winehouse will turn over in her grave.

Jesus getting hammered, like a proper 20-something

2. Jesus
Although by the time he was 20 the God the Son incarnated hadn’t quite gotten around to teaching the word of God, performing miracles, or founding the Church, he was at least gainfully employed, which is much better than I can say for myself. You can rest assured that the Messiah was a really fucking good carpenter, as evidenced by his prominent position on Wikipedia’s “Notable Carpenters” list.

3. Harry Potter
Defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Check. Graduate school? Check. Bang a butterface ginger? Check. The kid did it all, which is even more impressive considering that he never once succumbed to the distraction of working alongside Emma Watson.

I'm going to grow up to do WHAT???

4. Michael Jackson
Despite being born in the eternal hellhole of Gary, Indiana, MJ quickly rose to prominence. At the age of eight, a time when I was mostly concerned about training my Bulbasaur and watching The Bachelor when my Mom wasn’t home, the kid was opening for stripteases with the Jackson 5. If the vocal talent wasn’t enough, he also sported the greatest afro any prepubescent boy ever possessed.

5. Koko the Gorilla
It took me nearly two years to master elementary Spanish, but this adorable ape mastered American Sign Language and English in a few short years. She also had a kitten, and apparently assaulted more women than Herman Cain, both of which prove her superiority to me.

Morty as a child

6. Morton “Morty” Owen Schapiro
The man could grow a full grown beard in first grade in the same time it took me to read a page of Good Night Moon. But for a more complete examination of his exploits in the early years of this man’s life, I suggest you reference Chloe Woodhouse’s expose on the legend himself.

7. Macaulay Culkin
This kid was uglier than what I imagine Steve Buscemi to have looked like as a child, and yet he was still fucking boss. Not only did he single-handedly defeat Joe Pesci in the highest grossing comedy of all time, he also got to live the life of the richest boy in the world as the son of the founder of Rich Industries. The icing on the cake: Mila Kunis.

She also accomplished scaring the living shit out of me as a child

8. Matilda
So smart she could develop telekinetic abilities with the unused part of her brain, she was able to defeat Miss Trunchbull and form a happy, loving family with Miss Honey all before graduating elementary school. Although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive her for the nightmares I suffered after watching the chokey scene.

9. Willow Smith
This video has over 64 million views. The most popular video I ever starred in was of me doing the “Single Ladies” dance in my senior year econ class. Either there’s something wrong with America, or I just got my ass handed to me by a 10-year-old. Or both.

He also managed to get arrested before me.

10. Bill Gates
By the end of sophomore year, the nerd had set a record for the fastest algorithm produced in his Harvard combinatorics class that stood for 30 years. Then he founded Microsoft. By the end of my sophomore year, I intend to have decided upon a concentration and get Sherman Ave to generate enough revenue to pay for beer.

11. Jane Austen
The woman had written most of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice before she turned 20. Not that I really care about the morals, scandals, and marriages of the early 19th Century landed gentry of England, but I’d just about die if Colin Firth ever portrayed one of my characters. Just saying, he’d make a great Sir Edward Twattingworth III.

12. Peter the Great
Dude was 10 when he became Tsar. During his reign he transformed Russia from a freezing, backward, and destitute rural society into a 5,000,000-square-mile freezing, backward, and destitute society. All while suffering from epilepsy.

Despite a lack of physical presence, he still dominated in the paint.

13. Air Bud
That golden retriever probably scored more points in one season than I did in my entire rec league basketball career. Second only to Michael Jordan’s role in Space Jam for convincing kids that they were better than basketball than they actually were, the only downside of Air Bud was the experience of overwhelming disappointment when you own dog couldn’t drain a three-pointer.

14. Lindsay Lohan
Herbie: Fully Loaded aside, The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls are some of the greatest acting performances I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’m pretty sure most guys my age have harbored a life-long crush on her ever since she valiantly challenged herself to a fencing match.

15. Michelangelo
Probably one of the best artists in Florence by the age of 14. No big deal.

16. Eliàn Gonzàlez
Not only did Gonzàlez cross from Cuba into American waters in an aluminum boat with a faulty motor, he also survived a sea storm while floating on nothing more than an inner tube. He also accomplished more in politics than any MTV Rock the Vote campaign ever has, quite possibly costing Al Gore the 2000 presidential election.

17. Madeline
The girl got her appendix removed and acted like it was no big deal. She also survived a fall off a bridge into the Seine River and ran away to join a group of traveling gypsies before she learned long division. That’s all there is; there isn’t any more.

18. Beethoven
Sure, as a child his father made young Ludwig stand at they keyboard until he cried. But it all worked out, right? He was seven at the time of his first public performance, and was publishing original compositions before most kids his age had mastered the art of five-paragraph essays.

Adorable

19 and 20 (tie). Eng Seng Ng and Cheng Yen Ng
Eng Seng Ng is a 19-year-old grad student at Stanford. Most people that age are busy playing National Treasure drinking games and sleeping through 11:00 am discussion sections, not completing their master’s in mechanical engineering at the top school in the country. Ng’s sister Chenny is just as amazing. The renowned master of the Hoedown Throwdown, Chenny is also an internationally-acclaimed practitioner of all things heinous, not to mention the most adorable member of Sherman Ave.

Honorable Mentions:
Adele, Kain Colter, Sasha Obama, George Harrison, LeBron James, Achilles, and Charlie Young.