Hamburger Security

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Late one night, after I told her about the extinction of large, defenseless sea cows, on both of America’s coasts, by the hands of human beings, Effie put on a song I had never heard before, “Dying on the Vine,” by John Cale. The fragments of sentences have been rearranged, William Burroughs-style. When John Cale sings, “I was living my life like a Hollywood, but I was dying on the vine,” he is only making sense to folks who know of the street corner in Los Angeles.

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“I’ve been chasing ghosts and I don’t like it. I wish someone would show me where to draw the line. I’d lay down my sword if you would take it. And tell everyone back home I’m doing fine.”

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As I ride my bike to work on these fall days, I have been listening to a lot of tracks from the Gloaming, by Radiohead, an album inspired by fear of future and feelings of powerlessness. To create the album’s cover art, artist Stanley Donwood made lists of words and phrases drawn from roadside advertising in Los Angeles. In bottom right corner, are the words from the title of this post.

Yellow Leaves

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4 years ago, I took a photo of Etta by a tree, across from Wicker Park. The sidewalk was covered in golden leaves.

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Effie gets 5 gold stars for supporting her sister this weekend.

Chicago Architecture

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Chris said that the more we understand the design that surrounds us, the better it all gets. Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world, as measured by floorspace, until being surpassed by the Pentagon.

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It got cold on the boat as we approached the Chicago Harbor Lock: I gave Effie my sweatshirt. There was sister to sister snuggling.

The Cruise

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On Sunday, Effie, Etta and I walked over the Grand Ave bridge to the Doughnut Vault. We got some doughnut holes at the vault, for the cruise.

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For the first time, I got on a boat in the Chicago River. We took the architectural tour on Chicago’s First Lady, run by the non-profit Chicago Architectural Foundation.

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Surprisingly, the docent who lead the 90 minute tour was an acquaintance of Etta. Chris, from nearby RR#1, an apothecary turned gift shop that carries Etta’s jewelry. He was a great bearded guide.

Cecilia

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Etta and Lucia’s friend Cecilia held a party to showcase Etta’s jewelry. Effie flew in from Colorado to be there. It was a great night and I know Etta was feeling the love.

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I did what I could to help and made it for the last half hour after work. I pet two ancient cats named Boo and Rolo. And then I got a hamburger.

Don Chapo

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The past week at work left me feeling exhausted, a combination of mental wear and tear following dramatic interpersonal conflict leading to peer mediation, negative numbers and negativity from my bosses higher up.

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Fortunately the Xoco chefs, cooks and servers are all people I really care about, my concrete substructure. These photos were taken 4 years apart, and we’re all still here.

Partial Eclipse

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The sun was partially eclipsed on a weird day: I ran outside to take a photo of the colors.

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At the restaurant we had Chicago’s hungry hound, Top Chef Duels winner Chef Big Ceej and the charismatic lead of Perspectiva Nacional, Armando Guzman.

Concrete Substructure

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Etta set up a concrete studio in the apartment, and has used new techniques to create solid bases for the birch trees and more. The bottom line is that we are never getting our security deposit back.

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Sometimes I take comfort in relics of the past: for example, The Lord’s flannel drug rug.

Grand Burger

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I had a falling out with my hairstylist at Barbara&Barbara over being late. I was 13 minutes late, but had called to say I would be 7 minutes late. Before I could check in the receptionist had to straighten out a hairy-eared hamburger deliveryman whose sack was one short. The stylist refused to cut my hair. I walked out saying I would never be back.

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It wasn’t enough to leave the hair cuttery: I needed a clean break from all of Logan Square and its unpleasant aroma of unprofessionalism. We drove to brunch on the South Side. At Nightwood, we sat by an outdoor fireplace, in the October sun, and I ordered a hamburger of my own. The food runner positioned it in front of me with the words, “Here is your grand burger.”

Cheddar Cheese Swirls

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Andrea brought Etta some ice cream from an underground Chicago baker who goes by the name, “Lil Bit.” Apple cookie with cheddar cheese swirls.

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David wore his famous hamburger sweatshirt to work, without giving me the heads up to wear my matching hotdog teeshirt. At least I had some old mustard on my pants.

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