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

A CHI.P.A. at Byway Brewing

Posted on February 4, 2017

During breaks between working on the “The Dodgy” book, it’s great to tackle writer’s block and other book-related planning by visiting Chicagoland breweries. Recently it was Hammond, Indiana’s Byway Brewing. I can’t recommend enough a pint of their Chicago-named beer, CHI.P.A. There’s also a hotel right next door if you want to get your love on. 

Anyway, a new blog post/essay is coming soon and I’m going to pick up the interview series soon. Cheers.


December at a Chicago Dive Bar

Posted on December 23, 2016



Last weekend Chicago was greeted with a winter blast. I attended a holiday party in Bucktown. Due to the lack of debauchery myself and a few friends headed over to Bob Inn in Logan Square (some say it’s in “West Bucktown”). Across the street from the legendary Fireside Bowl.

I’m not a Bob Inn expert. I’ve been there about a dozen times over the last few years. It’s been featured in some of my writings. But it’s an elegant dive bar. And dive bars like this add to the atmosphere when they decorate for the holidays. It’s a good place for some entertaining asides. Once I met a cute punky girl there named Chloe who had silver and green hair and told me she had an antidote for “bad ass.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant but I brought her a can of Half Acre Daisy Cutter anyway.

It seems as if the bar’s old timers sit on the north end of the bar, while young punks and hooligans and other tattooed youth are on the south end and at the pool table. The last few times I’ve been there I’ve seen a different cute brunette girl with black-framed glasses. Sometimes they’re sitting at the leather booth on the east wall facing the bar. It’s a good booth. A good place to sit next to girls like Chloe and whisper cerebral and visceral things in her ear.

Bob Inn is also where I talked about Christmas music with reclusive author Clive Javanski and Aidan (also bandmates in “UK Grief”). And Mosquito, who is this time of year is literally a walking ugly Christmas sweater.

“Merry Christmas Will Do” is still one of my favorite holiday tunes. You can’t download it anywhere. It is available on some compilation CD “Yuletunes.”

I don’t have anything that plays CDs.

It’s a pretty simple power pop gem with the great line, “You don’t have to say you love me, I know that that’s not true. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas will do.”

At Bob Inn that night I ran into a Wendi. We had a little fling about a year ago. If Anne Hathaway had a slightly less attractive younger sister, that would describe Wendi.

After a few beers I said the first part of the Material Issue song to her.

“You don’t have to say you love me, I know that it’s not true.” 

Before I could finish she walked away, gave me the finger and said “Merry Christmas will fucking do.”








Liffey at Murphy’s Bleachers

Posted on November 24, 2016

I took a break from writing and drinking on the Saturday after the Cubs won the World Series to visit Murphy’s Bleachers, across from Wrigley Field, where I did a little writing and some drinking. Here’s a few pics from that day. More Dodgy stuff coming soon.