Five years and counting

Five years ago today, I announced on my blog that I was giving up drinking for good. I had only started this blog a few weeks before, and had written just ten posts beforehand. Once I typed out my intention to give up alcohol I knew that this blog–or at least some part of it–wouldContinue reading “Five years and counting”

It’s the thought that counts

My next door neighbors are good people. I think of them every time I hear some people on TV railing about “illegal immigration.” It seem like a bigoted, racist term directed at people that the speaker doesn’t know the first thing about. “If they speak Spanish and have brown skin, get them outta here.” It’sContinue reading “It’s the thought that counts”

The King no more

  It was thirty years ago that I had my first beer. And now, all these years later, I wish that it hadn’t happened. While I never really needed it, there was a time in my life that I wanted it, and spent whatever I had to in order to acquire it. It’s now beenContinue reading “The King no more”

Be the best you can

This morning brought an old favorite from Mellencamp on the radio. I’ve written about “Minutes to Memories” before, but hearing on a cold and rainy morning in Chicago made me scream out the lyrics as loud as I could. The line that really hit home for me is “You are young and you are theContinue reading “Be the best you can”

Four years and a lifetime ago

I remember it well, that New Year’s day in 2010, when Northwestern played the Auburn Tigers in the Outback Bowl. It was the first bowl game of the day, and I was ready for it with a mountain of alcohol. It was rare for me to start drinking before noon, but this was a bigContinue reading “Four years and a lifetime ago”

If ever I want to start drinking again…

…I’ll just watch this instead. It ought to do the trick. Is there any way that something like this happens without alcohol being involved? I sure hope not. And the gif version of this (shown below) is pretty interesting, because it cuts out all of the post-crash commentary. That by itself is a good reasonContinue reading “If ever I want to start drinking again…”

…and odd months

Last year I went to see my older daughter onstage in Romeo and Juliet. I was taken in by the story, in a way that I never had been before. There are so many phrases and expressions that we use every day, and yet Shakespeare first put the words together, in a way that soundsContinue reading “…and odd months”

The day my life changed

Twenty five years ago today, my life changed forever. The Cubs had announced that they would play the first night game ever in Wrigley Field on Monday, August 8, 1988. It was going to be an event, and I wanted to be a part of it. I had put myself in position by spending theContinue reading “The day my life changed”

With all my thanks to Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert died today, and as a Chicagoan of 25 years’ standing, that affects me a great deal. I watched his television show with Gene Siskel for many years, but it wasn’t until after Siskel had passed away, and the show went on with someone else, that I realized what made that show work. EbertContinue reading “With all my thanks to Roger Ebert”

Drinking, from XXI to XLIV

It’s Super Bowl Sunday today, and once again I have no interest in the game or who wins it. The NFL hasn’t mattered to me in twenty years and yet, with the Super Bowl being the event that it is, I wouldn’t dare miss it, either. From the first Super Bowl of my college years,Continue reading “Drinking, from XXI to XLIV”

Something I once enjoyed

By 1984, the year that this baseball card came out, I had moved away from my boyhood interest in baseball cards. I had moved away from baseball toward videogames in the early 80s, and by the middle of the decade I had shifted to drinking beer instead. Of course I was 21 and fully legalContinue reading “Something I once enjoyed”

The radio is enough

The BCS title game is about to kick off in Miami, and I’m hoping for a competitive game. But the truth is, I won’t be watching it. My cable package doesn’t include ESPN, so I can’t watch it at home. I would feel strange nursing a Diet Coke in a bar, since I’ve committed myselfContinue reading “The radio is enough”

The old beer game

To follow up on the last post that I wrote, this is an example of what has replaced the old TORCO sign across from Wrigley Field. For all I know, it’s still up there today, and has been there since the season ended in early October. There’s no reason to change it now, since thereContinue reading “The old beer game”

Here’s what President Romney would do

The Obama campaign, with a week to go before the election, came out with a very effective piece that tackles Willard M. Romney’s claim that he never raised taxes when he was the governor of Massachusetts. At the end of the piece, there is an opportunity to download the entire list of increased fees duringContinue reading “Here’s what President Romney would do”

Everybody understands the impromptu

The title for this post comes from a Jimmy Buffett song called “Everybody’s Got a Cousin in Miami” from his Fruitcakes album, from some time in the 1990s┬ábefore he started opening restaurants and selling beer. If a person can become a brand, Jimmy Buffett’s is about as interesting as it gets. So this song wasContinue reading “Everybody understands the impromptu”

Ali Baba and the 40 thieves

I remember what goofy fun the first Beastie Boys album, Licensed to Ill, was when it first appeared in 1987. It wasn’t their first record, but it was the first time that I, a college kid in Chicago, had ever heard of them. And one of the songs from that album, Rhymin’ and Stealin‘, had,Continue reading “Ali Baba and the 40 thieves”

All we are is dust in the wind

One of the coolest and most unanticipated things about writing this blog is the sense of engagement it offers with the things that I’ve written about. And this is most evident with songs that I’ve heard, or seen videos for, all my life. I once wrote about the alternate lyrics for Steve Miller’s “Jet Airliner“,Continue reading “All we are is dust in the wind”

A change for the better

Friday night in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The local drive-in theater had switched its weekly double feature to two movies that I had no interest in seeing. That’s really not so hard to do, anymore. I begged off from the drive-in outing that my wife and other relations were planning, and, as a result, I had theContinue reading “A change for the better”

Someday we’ll go all the way

Being a Cubs fan is very hard. No, baseball is not life and death, and so I won’t pretend that people don’t have it a lot worse than I do. I’m fortunate, in many ways, with how my life has turned out. And yet…. Imagine waiting for something your whole life. Then imagine the senseContinue reading “Someday we’ll go all the way”

Then and now

After taking my little one to skating practice this morning, lacing up her skates and listening to the details from a sleepover party last night, I went out to the car and found a penny in the parking lot. As I have written about before in this space, I picked it up and looked atContinue reading “Then and now”

A big change over the past year

Last fall I went out of town for a few days on a business trip. And one of the things I typically do on the road is go to dinner with some colleagues. For the last night of the trip, I hit Yelp! and started looking for a brewpub. For me, the actual food typeContinue reading “A big change over the past year”

#Cubs are now 34 losses away from the historic #DoubleTriple

The Cubs gave me a week off from doing this by winning seven games in a row, which gave me time to reflect on more important things than losing baseball teams. It may have also saved Jim Hendry’s job for next season. We shall see. But with the loss today, I’m back to the journeyContinue reading “#Cubs are now 34 losses away from the historic #DoubleTriple”

Life, Death, Alcohol and New Jersey

I met up with a friend recently when I was visiting New York. It was the day after Clarence Clemons had died, and since my friend lives in New Jersey I offered him my condolences. He told me that if you don’t live in New Jersey, you can’t appreciate how much Springsteen and his bandContinue reading “Life, Death, Alcohol and New Jersey”