Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What Happened To Numbers Five Through Eight

Interview. Continued from yesterday, where I ramble on and on and end abruptly with nary a conclusion, nor lesson, nor moral. So thanks, Sarala, for your questions and fun.

5. You like lists. Write me the two following lists:

Ten Reasons to Live In Chicago [the number is irrelevant]
  • Kuma's Corner: I know, I know, I talk about this place all the time because every single bite, every sip, every sound at this restaurant blows my mind. The menu itself, like the actual physical listing of food and drink in ink on paper, is subtle discourse at its finest. Plus it's delicious.
  • Wrigley Field: I don't give a fuck about baseball, first of all.  The bars surrounding Wrigley Field are populated by people that are the exact opposite of me and what I value in life and human beings in general. But just one day at Wrigley Field is enough to sustain the other three-hundred sixty-four. Half the fun of Cubs games is reveling in the frenzy of the stadium and the neighborhood that houses it. Shit sings. Fuck the Cubs, fuck baseball, fuck teams, fuck the organ, fuck hot dogs, fuck Old Style. Look at the fucking rooftops...the entire city is there and watching. Can they see me? They can see me. And I'm a part of it. There's intoxication built into the bricks, and once you've caught that swell you forget that they can see you, and when did the turbulence kick in? Fuck, turn it up, turn it up, turn it up. And it hums.
  • Experience middle child syndrome from the viewpoint of a city in a nation. Geographically, spiritually, emotionally, chronologically. Watch our struggle for recognition from the inside, feel the city surge with hope even after it gets collectively kicked in the balls and just goddamn refuses to stop wishing that someday, somehow, if we whine enough and start enough fights, we'll get that respect.
  • Smell the despair and lean on its shoulders, because Chicago is a lonely place, filled with lonely people who really, really depend on each other. Is it weird that I love that? Does anyone else feel that about this place? The corruption of soul, the crooked pride, the brothers that grow from it? No? I feel that here. It's neat.
  • Food. Hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, chili, sliders, foot-long Italian beef sandwiches.  Grease, clogged arteries, heart attacks. Cholesterol on a stick.  Mow like wow.
  • This town has more bars per block than any other city in the country. Some town in Wisconsin wins the bars per capita contest, but around here, you can't walk more than a block without passing some place to sit and get drunk.
  • The fucking glory of summer in Chicago cancels and exceeds the depression of winter.  Now, I love the winter.  But no one else does, so I'm alone in my happiness, which grows into depression.  And to further amplify my conviction: I hate the heat, but it's worth it in Chicago. There's just so much shit to do and not do and lounge and avoid and act and live, it's great.
  • Honestly, the changing of the seasons is essential to the feel of the city. It's impossible to fully appreciate good weather when you've never been through the bad. In a town where the air temperature, exclusive of wind, has scale of 130 degrees to play with throughout the year, you're on your toes.
Ten Reasons To Get The Hell Out Of Here, Like Tomorrow [see bracketed follow-up of previous list]
  • Fuck this fucking weather.
  • How can one stay in shape or get in shape with consistently giant portions of fatty goodness? I mean, sure, I could start like, running or something. Or walking briskly. Or getting off the couch. But it's so hard when there's all this eating to be had.
  • Daley, you corrupt motherfucker: fill in these potholes fucking right now, or I'm just gonna sledgehammer the entire street.
  • This town's elevated subway system is entirely designed to discourage ethnic diversity, because the neighborhoods with the least white people are the neighborhoods where they didn't build any trains, making transportation much more complicated for people who live near or within those neighborhood patches. Like me. Even though my neighborhood consists nearly entirely of old Ukrainian men. Whatever.
  • Wrigleyville
  • Hipsters. Hipsters and their superior bullshit, the name-dropping and the condescending accompanied smirk, their smarmy hair and their "skinny" jeans (fuck you, they look stupid on everyone) and their cultural stranglehold and worship, misuse, and abuse of irony. How they stand there at concerts, too placid and cold to react to the music. How everything I like is automatically bad (fuck you, I like Walking Tall) because I don't have plastic fashion glasses and intentionally clashing but slightly complimentary patterns to my clothes because of my carefully-constructed quirkiness. 
  • Even worse: the people who emulate the hipsters, the recent converts from the high-class neighborhoods who show up and dress like the hipsters and live in their hood, adopt the elitist personality and then they don't have anything to be elitist about, and they all copy each other and don't care about shit all unless it's their scene or their image or whatever they hear on The Daily Show (I should add: I love The Daily Show. I watch it every day. Stop trying to pawn it off as your own ideas.  We're all on the internet.  You cannot fool us). They're going to drive me to genocide.
  • Stop building banks where there used to be hot dog shops, because all you're generating is really, really angry drunk people.
6. You wrote in a recent post: "Never start an argument with an ignorant bastard who thinks his business parking in the middle of the road for several minutes during rush hour is far more imperative than the flow of traffic." This kind of behavior is one of my pet peeves. I once posted about it. I'm in your corner but I need your advice. Should we both sign up for anger management classes?

I've been pretty good about controlling my anger lately, actually, which is one of the reasons I did not get out of my car yelling like fuck-all at that guy the other day. When you grow up all sorts of Italian/Irish/Catholic, every little thing is taxing your sanity. With this background in mind: I gave up fighting for Lent last year, despite the fact that I'm not Catholic anymore, but because I feel shamefully guilty about everything. I gave up nothing this year. Possibly pride.

So, yes. Either anger management, or Catholicism.

7. The big debate in my house is Mac vs. Windows. Which do you pick?

Well, I'm a Mac fan, because my laptop is the shizznet. This has risen not from actual computer literacy and shrewd technological experience, but an unrelenting devotion to anything supported by Justin Long.

8. Do you tell many people you know about your blog? Do they read it and what has been their response?

A shit ton of my friends know about the blog, and about five of them read it regularly. I'm guessing it's because they are self-obsessed and yearn to see their names in print, as am I. Even though my name is not on here. And neither is theirs. But they satiate my ego splendidly, and I'm pretty sure they think I'm the fucking bees knees, which is like the most daft expression ever, due to the excessive quantities of knees per bee.



derfina said...

Note to self: Pester the Unit for a trip to Chicago.

paperback reader said...

I personally think you're the cat's pajamas, but what do I know? I'm not a crazy cat lady.

formerly fun said...

The menu at Kuma's Corner? I think I gained ten pounds reading it. I want to make love to the menu the food sounds THAT good.

Hubs was in Chicago last night and today for a job interview(company's here and there--no we are not moving to Chi). He had about 7 pieces of Chi-style pizza and would not.stop.talking.about.it.

Oy. I grew up in Milwaukee so spent a shit load of my childhood/teen years and twenties in Chicago, all the good shopping, culture and when the bands didn't make it to MKE, they always came to Chicago.

I took hubs there last summer for the first time and he loved it. He grew up in Southern California-didn't travel much and when he saw the lake front, he could not get over the fact that you could look out and not see land. I pictured, you know, a lake, not a fresh water ocean, he said. He still goes on about how Lake Michigan was so big, he could see the curvature of the earth, nerd.

I miss Midwesterners, I miss the accents, the friendliness, evenall the fucking smokers(almost noone smokes here). Thanks Rassles for taking me down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

true that, i only read this stuff to hear about me. whoo.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

I fully ate and got wasted in Chicago the extended weekend I was there one summer. It was delightful and I'd love to do it again. In summer. Cuz seriously- I can appreciate the seasons just fine as long as the cold and snow are not involved.

Anonymous said...

You, my dear, are the cat's meow. And I absolutely love seeing your name in print!
Great interview. Great questions and, as always, you make me smile Miss Rassles. You're brilliant. And meowing. And a cat.

Anonymous said...

Ok I'm in Chicago for the week RIGHT NOW and you've convinced me to check out Kuma's Corner.

Le Meems said...

Aaw the hipsters debate.
I rain myself down on either side.

On one side I like to see what the cool kids are doing so I can stand by later (oooh much later) and watch fat asses strangle themselves into Gap skinny jean and waddle around with their reverse farrah fawcett haircuts.

On the other hand, as President of the Bay Area Hipster Club....

oh fuck. I was trying too hard to work in a Men's Warehouse reference because I saw a commercial the other day and this just isn't winning or working.


foiling me again.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you - HATE hipsters. With a passion.

And Mac rules. Awesome lists and interview.

American in Sydney said...

I only lived in Chicago until I was six but I still jones for Chicago hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Why do they have to be so freaking good? Oh yeah-- pizza.

Red said...

I don't live in Chicago, though it could be in my future. But I've been there and I really dug the food at the Bongo Room. And the Art Institute and the fact that you guys have awesome theatre whether it's at Steppenwolf or in Rogers Park. And Wrigley Field totally rocks, even if you don't like beer.

renalfailure said...

And up until his death in 2003, the number one bestest thing about Chicago was Wesley Willis.

One of my college roommates moved out to Chicago and sent me a Rock n' Roll McDonald's t-shirt for Christmas on year.

Gypsy said...

I've only been to Chicago once, and it was for BookExpo. So I will always associate the town with a hellova lot of books, which means I love Chicago.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog regularly out of sheer boredom...getting to see my name every once in a while is just a perk. daf;dskkakl HAH, my word verification is bling. damn right.

Rassles said...

Derf: You should, it's one of the greatest cities in the world.

Pistols: It's my experience that most cats sleep in the buff, so that would make me...yeah. Naked.

FF: You want to go there. Kumas, that is. Love.

Gyner: Awwwwwww yeeeeaah.

Ambiblob: That's really all there is to do here, is eat and get drunk.

Mongo: I'm a cat? I don't know if I should be offended or thrilled. Either way, I feel similarly about you, and you know it.

Meagan: Oh, you should, and then you should totally blog about it.

Le Meems: I have a great many friends who number among the hipster population. But really, I can only hang out with one or two at a time. Once there's an entire gaggle, I just get frustrated and leave.

Wolf: Fucking hipsters.

Flora: Italian beef is soooooo gooood.

Red: There's a Bongo Room like, right by me, and I've never been there. Because I'm an asshole.

RF: Good fucking call on the Wesley Willis. You whipped a camel's ass.

Gypsy: Printer's Row booksale is one of the best book festivals ever. Fantarstic.


Bluestreak said...

that´s it, i´m coming to chicago.