Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

The Dodgy in Panama City Beach

Posted on March 14, 2019

Panama City Beach sunset

Been taking a break writing and editing the book, and took a break from that by visiting Panama City Beach with Mosquito (featured on this site in various posts and also in the book). That pic above was taken from the balcony of our hotel room.

Panama City Beach – only about a 13 hour drive from Chicago. Quickest way to the ocean by vehicle from the city.

Often referred to as the Redneck Riveria, here is Urban Dictionary’s definition: The most beautiful beaches in the world. Sugar white sand, gently washed by an azure sea. Home of the best spring breaks, water parks for the kids, tattoo parlors, beer joints, crab shacks, burger barns and tee shirt boutiques. Plus more beach trash and trinkets than you can imagine. There are high-rise condominiums with beautiful drunk skinny girls on each floor. 

Well, here is my take on a late January visit. Definitely some nice beaches, and barely anyone on them due to brisk weather (heavenly compared to Chicago, however). I actually prefer my beaches this way. Sweatshirt weather. And not filled with throngs of asshats on a 95 degree day.

Yes on the tattoo parlors, beer joints (though not many on the strip as far as I saw), crab shacks, burger barns and T-Shirt boutiques. However, a lot of the beach clothing stores/gift shops were closed until March. One of the diviest dive bars I’ve been too is there called Donovan’s Reef. Plenty of Miller flowing, a transvestite doing karaoke, smoking allowed (and preferred) and TV screens showing the latest battle in motor-cross.

Also did not see any of the described beautiful, drunk skinny girls on balconies. I didn’t see much of anyone at all. Believe it or not there is a trailer park right on the strip, but it is also next to one of the best eateries there that I would highly recommend (I’m not the only one).
Moe’s Original Bar B Que reminded me of some of the better joints in Austin, Texas. Oh look here is a pic.


We stayed at the Legacy Hotel and the free breakfast, while free, wasn’t breafasty enough so we headed across the street the top notch Great American Diner. Get the breakfast buffet. Enjoy the toast and the friendly waitresses.

No photos for this recommendation, but definitely check out Great White Pizza in Pier Park, a strip with a lot of restaurants, gift shops and even a Ferris wheel.

I’ll leave you with some Panama City Beach photos, including some nice night shots. Cheers.

The Louisville Hugger

Posted on October 18, 2018

I visited Louisville a few weeks ago.

The last time I was there several years prior our band U.K. Grief played a show at a dive bar that goes unremembered. But it was where we debuted a new song there, “Pretty Little Johnny.”

We went bar hopping after the show and discovered The Louisville Hugger. She was about the age of Courtney Cox when “Friends” ended and wore a brown leather jacket, loose green pants and blue heels. Long scraggily brown hair covered the parts of her face that weren’t already hidden by large sunglasses.

She called herself The Louisville Hugger. She would go around offering free hugs.

She had one of those little Louisville Slugger souvenir bats they give you at the end of the tour at the city’s famous baseball bat museum. After hugging my friend Mosquito, she took the small bat and rubbed it between his legs.

During that incident she showcased a wide toothless grin which made the scene more interesting.

The Louisville Hugger shadowed us to another nearby bar. While Mosquito and another band member talked her up at the bar, I went to the bathroom where at one of the urinals was a pissing man who started burping loudly. Indeterminate fluids  spewed from his mouth with each burp. He laughed and burped and pissed and farted. I hightailed it the fuck out of there.

“You’ve heard of cotton mouth? I’ve got cotton ass and a bad case of it.”

That was what I heard The Louisville Hugger telling my friends as I returned to the bar.

She left us, a drink in one hand and the tiny bat in another, apparently targeting someone else’s genitals.

Back at the hotel room I could not sleep because of Mosquito’s snoring. He sounded like a sick animal. A pig in distress. After going to the bathroom and seeing Mosquito’s tighty whitey underwear stacked on the toilet tank, I decided to crash on the floor in another room where my bandmates were.

The room was near the elevator, which opened as my groggy bandmate Franz let me in. I looked over and The Louisville Hugger was crouched inside, with her bat. As the elevator door closed she put her tongue between her fingers and called me “a fucker” and finished her crap.

I didn’t sleep well that night.

Depeche Mode Came To Town

Posted on June 29, 2018



On June 1 Depeche Mode cleared out the stink in the United Center that was left over from the Bulls and Blackhawks.

I had a good time at the concert. For the most part I was fine with every song the band played, but I as always I wish they would dig a little deeper. How about “Only When I Lose Myself.” Let’s hear that one for a change.

I told my neighbor, Ms. Weregun, that I went to the concert. If you’ve read some previous posts, you know all about her. Especially from the one titled “Ms. Weregun.”

Ms. Weregun reminded me of something I’m not sure I wanted to remember. That time she danced on the bar at Mickey’s Tavern in Bucktown to “My Joy” – a scampy and wonderful Depeche Mode B-side that I wish they had performed June 1.

I spent a lot of time at the concert looking at the row behind me. I thought my ex-girlfriend Angela was there, about seven seats down. I noticed, while Dave Gahan was shaking his ass, that this girl danced like Angela, smiled like Angela, and drank beer like Angela.

She looked a little taller than Angela, but her jawline was straight up Angela. From my vantage point I could not tell, however, if she developed the same crooked eye that Angela did after drinking several beers.

At a point in the concert I stood in line to order a $12 beer, I recalled that Angela didn’t seem to care for Depeche Mode. While eating french fries during “Personal Jesus” I remembered her preference for Latin dance music.

If it was Angela, I wanted to dance with her like we did at my friend Strob’s party in Pilsen. That dance with her was sensual and yet stupid. The song was “Armies of the Night” by Sparks. Then I watched her dance with a girl named Comisa who had a T-Shirt that read “I Will Keel You.”

It made me remember that Angela used to call Depeche Mode’s grungy hit “I Feel You” by another name – “I Will Feel You.”

Depeche Mode did not do “I Feel You” on June 1 at the United Center. And had it been their final song of the night, Angela (maybe) was already gone.




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