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

Aidan at the Warpaint show

Posted on October 18, 2016

Aidan was late to the Warpaint show.

“I had to deliver fucking paint,” he said.

Thalia Hall, Sept. 30, in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Warpaint on tour in support of their new album “Heads Up.” I was there first. After a few trips up and down 18th Street I found a free parking space just a few blocks away from the hall in front of a liquor store called “Trebxl Liquor’s.” At least that’s what the sign said. Apparently they have low prices and only accept cash, and have interesting spelling.

As I was walking past the alley next to Dusek’s Board and Beer, which is in the front of Thalia Hall, I could hear the sounds of Warpaint’s “Undertow.” I was running late because I was helping my neighbor, Mrs. Weregun, get rid of a raccoon that found its way into her place. I was more worried for the raccoon.

“You’re worthless if you can’t this this animal outta here,” she said, with a cigarette in her mouth. “You’re a shit. Going to a concert with that stupid hat.”

I was tempted to leave Mrs. Weregun in the company of the raccoon. But I really felt for the raccoon. And it looked like it regretted sneaking in there, and left as I left.

“Great, both of you assholes go,” she said.

I walked into Thalia Hall and after using a really nice empty bathroom I grabbed a 3 Floyds Yum Yum beer at the bar in the back just as the girls were starting one of my favorite Warpaint songs, “Love Is to Die.”

Aidan walked in shortly after. He grabbed a beer and told me he was late because of his job and delivering the fucking paint from Bridgeport to “fucking Indiana.”

He also said he paused outside the hall to watch a man who was choking on a moth that apparently flew into his mouth.

Seeing Warpaint was inspiring, musically, as Aidan and I plotted our next UK Grief recording.

A Christmas record based on “It’s A Wonderful Life.” It would be a little punky, with some “hee haw style” thrown in.

Potential titles include “Help You Down,” “The Life and Death of Mr. Gower,” Mary’s Legs,” “Youth is Wasted on the Young,” and “Naked Harry.”

After the show we hung out at Punch House with a few gals we met at the show. One said she was a Cam Girl and despite being really pretty she had hairy legs. She said that it “was her thing” on the Cam.

When I got to my apartment I saw a silhouette of Mrs. Weregun in her window, doing some kind of weird “I’m getting electrocuted” dance to music that from what I could tell, sounded like some kind goth circus. I averted my eyes and went inside my place, heated up a leftover Egg McMuffin, and listened to the new Warpaint album. I turned it up for “New Song” and did my own little dance.


Coming Next: Aidan at the Warpaint show

Posted on October 13, 2016

Aidan at the Warpaint show (or “I had to deliver fucking paint”)

Aidan and I attended the Warpaint show a few weeks ago at beautiful Thalia Hall in Pilsen. Aidan talks about the show and why he was late, as do I (another run-in with neighbor Mrs. Weregun) in the next post that should be up this weekend. Meanwhile, I continue work on the book “The Dodgy.” 

warpaint at thalia hall

The view from near the bar at Thalia Hall for the Warpaint show.


The Serbian Girl with Green Underwear

Posted on August 31, 2016

I met a cute Japanese girl who liked IPAs who said her mom was one of the screaming fans at the famous Cheap Trick at Budokan concert. I walked her out of my apartment where my upstairs neighbor, Miss Weregun, was outside shaking out a hand vacuum. Whatever was coming out of it kept blowing back in her face. She was swearing at it, saying things like “You fuck.”

She looked at me an Samira.

“Wipe that ass off your face,” she said.

I don’t  know who Miss Weregun directed that comment to, it probably could have been correct either way.

This was in June. Later that night I went to a festival on Division Street (“Do Division”). It’s one of those fests where they say it’s free, but there is a $5 donation. Samira was supposed to join me but I guess she had enough of me and didn’t show.

The best part about Do Division was the walk there down Damen Avenue, where out of someone’s apartment window I heard “A Boy with a Thorn In His Side” by The Smiths. It turned out to be a friend of a friend’s place, Monty. We sat on his porch and he told me about a story he was writing called “The Boyfriend Experience.”

I left for the fest and got my beer and stood near Pub Royale. A girl walked by and said she liked my Docs and gave me her number, so I took a pic of my Docs and texted it to her. She texted back, “don’t put your finger in the bad place.”

I also saw there the Indian girl I’d been dating until she broke up with me last month at the Breakroom Brewery on Montrose, which closed down a week later. Not surprised, as most of the beer I wanted to try they were out of and the ones they had I didn’t like. But I think Saraha jinxed it. She’s one of those attractive Indian girls with a British accent, so look for her in a TV series down the road. She walked by me with a handsome young Indian man. I smiled at her and raised my cup of beer in a toast. She didn’t flip me off, which was surprising because in my experience usually they do.

When I got back to my apartment after Do Division, Mrs. Weregun was standing outside smoking. I ignored her but she whispered to me as I walked by, asking if I “dabbed in dick.”

As I was walking into my apartment the Serbian Girl called me. Anka wanted me to take her to Star of Siam restaurant. Anka is a girl who kissed me in the church sacristy of our Catholic junior high school, featured in (“The Serbian Girl with Green Socks”). I ran into her a few weeks earlier at a cookout hosted by Chicago recluse author Clive Javanski. Always these mysterious foreign women at his parties. And girls from my past. It’s like Clive summons them from somewhere to mess with me. So we went to Siam and it was fun until I started choking on my Shu Mai. It was only our second date and I didn’t want Serbian Girl to think I was choking, so she thought I was just reacting to hot food. Later I told her I was actually choking. And she smiled and said she’d like to choke me in the bedroom while listening to music from John Hughes movies.

After Siam we decided to get a room at the nearby Dana Hotel. A little corner suite actually, with a great view and a separate bedroom, where Anka didn’t choke me, but during one of my wonderful leg massages, she asked me to slap her on the ass. Hard. So I did. Hesitantly. She wanted it harder. I was using my left hand, and since I’m right-handed, I thought I could have more force by switching sides, so I climbed over her. It still wasn’t good enough. She wanted it harder. She had on green underwear. First green socks and now green underwear. I continued slapping. I sucked at this. Eventually we fell asleep.

Anka had her car the previous night and I didn’t, so she was kind enough to drive me home. When we pulled up, Mrs. Weregun was standing outside, smoking. “You cock,” she said. I didn’t know if she was talking to the vacuum or me.

As I was walking toward my door, Anka yelled out at me. I turned and she tossed over her green underwear and drove off.

“I’m gonna be wearing that underwear tonight, Liffey,” Mrs. Weregun said.

“Oh no you’re not Mrs. Weregun.”

I walked into my apartment as she continued to smoke.

“Mother fucking cock,” she said.