Thursday, March 30, 2006

FedEx FedUp

It was 70 degrees today and the first warm day in Chicago just about always leaves me feeling like I accomplished very little during the colder months. Then I waste a day doing minor things and I end up sitting here feeling like the guy in the photo. Things will be better tomorrow, said the manic-depressive to his shadow on the wall. Wayne

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Woke Up This Morning...

Willy Sid was inclined to email me at about 6:00 this morning and told me he was able to download the Sopranos theme onto one of those newfangled iPod things. Now I can't get the song out of my head, either. I think of certain buildings seen in opening credits of television and cable shows, all of the taverns with Old Style ON TAP signs and ratty buildings in the opening credits of HILL STREET BLUES are long since decimated. All that is left standing is the original Maxwell Street Station House, the rest a regentrified mess. I emailed Sid my Gangster City photo taken at 23rd & Pulaski circa 1981 because it has a certain timlessness, and it might have been a neighborhood Uncle Junior might have driven by in the opening credits of a 1980s Sopranos. Woke up this morning, with a blue moon in my mind...Wayne

My cousin Denise the M. E.

Actually, she's the Medical Examiner in most of my stories set in Cook County. She has quite extensive medical knowledge, and my making her the county ME was a trade-off for her patiently answering my questions, an example being how long would it take someone to die after having a strychnine enema? She sent me an email asking why I didn't post an entry on her birthday...she was born the day my dad became a beat cop. Her family lived across from mine on Crystal Street in Humboldt Park, so there was a lot of stuff going on that March day in 1962. She lives back in Louisville now on a street named after a drink that is always my personal demon. At least when I am in Kentucky I have sense enough to buy a bottle, instead of sitting in an Omaha bar spending $66.00 on shots because the convention I was at was giving me the heebie-jeebies. And there you have it. Nite nite. Wayne

Monday, March 20, 2006

Long Thoughts

As a kid, that was the phrase used for the guy with the longest walk home. After everybody else split, one by one, the guy left walking, even if it was just half a block and down an alley, he was the one that had the long thoughts. No one else to talk to. One by one, a small bunch left the Red Lion, and it was just Marty Mundt and I with the wind blowing towards the lake. Across the street, the Biograph was lit up inside; it was gutted, but the exterior was a landmark. Marty mentioned needing to get up for work at 5:30 and I said that the train/bus ride would take me about 90 minutes. Marty commented on how I'd spent hundreds of hours on the el, and it is true, there are many times when I wish I could hop in a car and drive, someplace, anyplace. But that is not to be in my current incarnation. So while Marty had to concentrate on traffic and turn signals, I occasionally looked up from the book I was reading and looked out at my reflection in the blackness, and had my long thoughts. Good night. Wayne


I have a collection coming out by Annihilation Press before summer, and Greg Loudon will be doing the cover. I wrote the intro for his book CRUEL AND UNUSUAL, which aptly describes not only his illustrations, but also the image of me playing volleyball at his annual summer cookout. You can find his artwork at . I have posed for Greg a few times, once as an Aleister Crowley-type vampire and as a junkie on the nod and a junkie sharing his tainted needle with a cute blond with really big earrings for the AIDS AWARENESS trading card set. The illustration I have posted above is from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a prisoner with, well, AIDS. It was at that point in my life that I decided that putting on a few pounds probably wouldn't hurt. Nitey nite, Wayne

Saturday, March 18, 2006

55th and Fairfield

Not really a tongue-twister. On March 18, 1989, right about this time of the morning, I walked out of my doctor's office and was hit by a Dodge Daytona. For a long time, I really had troubles dealing with this particular anniversary, all the attendent memories that go with it, Tienamen Square and the Iditerod dog races, my recovery took me from winter through the end of hurricane season, it was Hugo that hit Florida bad that year. The one thing that holds true is that I still carry the constant thought of what I'd be reading and or writing when I took the unexpected dirt nap. Ironically, that day, I was reading Nelson Algren's NEVER COME MORNING and the last thing I had written was a check to my doctor. I'd leave you all by saying remember to look both ways, but that doesn't really matter. And, worse, everyone drives while talking on cell phones now. Your chattel, Wayne

Friday, March 17, 2006

Miami Bowl

This is the post I lost. The other day on the El someone mentioned that there was a big pile of mud at Archer & Pulaski. Just over a year ago, Marzano's (Miami) Bowl was torn down. Chris Turek lived near there and told me I could find some cool swag like bowling pins. I searched a bit, then pushed aside a flattened door and found an entrance to the basement. I jumped down and cracked my right knee so hard it echoed. I thought great: 1/no one knows that I am even here and 2/what if there were zombies in the darkness past the overturned file cabinets? I came up with three pins and a b&w photo of some 15 polyester posing double-chin wonders that was taken in April of 1977. I now have it hanging on my wall between Catherine Keener and Daredevil. I eventually found my way out, and was able to take a few photos. For a welcome change, no one representing the Homeland Security Act stopped me from photographing near the El or anywhere there was an American flag or a Mr. Submarine.

Maurice Broaddus and Yvonne Navarro

Another visitor to my site. A fine writer from Indianapolis area. I couldn't make it to his wedding, but sent him several bags of balloons with Catwoman on them. He forgot to use them but later blew them all up and had his wife pose in a very proper manner. Maurice and Sally seem to have costume parties just about every other week. Also, Yvonne Navarro is a beloved friend who now lives out in Arizona, where zombies would love it because of the heat. She had posted all kinds of things about me on her website years ago before I was plugged into this body snatching machine. Once, when she lived in Hanover Park, a ceiling fan leapt off the shelf and tried to attack me. There were witnesses.

I Screwed Up My Last Post

Even in a blog, the computer remains my nemesis. This will be on my tombstone, even though the grave will be empty. I will be stuffed and auctioned off every year and my remains shall, well, remain with the highest bidder. My post was going to be about the demise of Miami Bowl, and I was very close to finishing it when I got cute and thought I knew how to add a $#% link and BLAMMO the whole post was gone. So I have no real post here, but I can say that our winter weather is back just in time for St. Patrick's Day and the guy pictured is the closest I could get to finding a leprechaun on the downtown streets. Your chattel, Wayne

Friday, March 10, 2006

TessLass seems to enjoy sharing her fantastic photography on her site, so I thought I'd post a very weird image. Its not PhotoShop, just dork-o me taking a photo through a train window. I was trying to photograph the 16th Street Bridge, but by the time I snapped the photo, the train had moved...well, lert's say I was probably three stories over 19th Street by then. But hey, I got a wacky photo out of it, all with a disposable camera and my impeccably slow reflexes. Wayne

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I had dinner with Bill Breedlove up on North Avenue earlier. Weird area at night. I was walking back to the Damen bus stop and startled myself when I looked up and saw women riding exercise bicycles at head level in these prison-thin windows. Then it started hailing. While there is still snow on the curbside. So I just let hail bonk me in the head as I walked from window to window. There is lightning outside as I type this. I am attaching a photo of Bill and I at the Red Lion, pretending to be the hack writers that we truly are. Nitey nite. Wayne

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Chris Turek has his own crew. One is a cop who sends me crime scene photos from her cell phone. Another is Scott Kroll, who lamented not knowing about my blog. Well, he's officially notified. The photo is of Chris and Scott at the Red Lion, listening to me make a fool of myself reading some hideous story that was about 85% true. Scott is one of the few people I know who had a superhero name long before it was the "in" thing. Citizen Nick. It really says it all. One day, I'll make a post devoted to either my superhero names The Scarlet Corgi or Chemo-Puppy. Hasti Spumanti, Wayne

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Back to introducing all of my visitors to each other, though I thought that odd little truck photo would be of interest. Wait until I start posting photos of the meltdowns in the Loop. Tonight's guest is Chris Turek, who shared many a terror with me working at Chaos In Print at 49th & Harding. Being a comic shop, about 90% of the customers looked like The Simpson's Comic Book Guy, even the owner and several women. Chris split to Madison so he could celebrate his 30th birthday cleaning grease traps in a chili joint. But I owe this guy several times over for replacing my hard drive and/or modum and/or brain since the start of the century. I have learned a good use for discarded hard drives: photo frame paperweights. Your chattel, Wayne

Monday, March 06, 2006

What the heck kind of business is Pain Enterprises? And what are they doing driving a mini-tanker truck in the middle of downtown at lunch hour?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

While much of the United States is watching the Oscars, I'm in my lab listening to a radio commercial for Super Prostate Formula. Evidently, this will stop nighttime urination. Those last two words sound like an industrial/pop/punk band. At least, in MY universe, it sounds that way. I really need to find a decent station on Sunday night. I am going to continue adding the photos of my blogging buddies. Check out Larry Santoro, standing next to some guy we met at a convention who called himself "The Ed Wood of The 90s." Thing is, the photo was taken in 2004. So is this guy, what, the Bette Davis of the double-oughts? Either way, the guy's corpse could have been disposed of easily... Nite. Wayne

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Then there is Rachel Drummond, the person I'd want on my side if I ever had to do math. Her nickname of Tess Lass comes from our both being funny book geeks, and Tess is short for "tesselation," or the "fitting together of identical shapes," i.e., her smile and the sun or my face and my butt. Here is Rachel with Ed Bryant, back in Denver. I owe Ed my career because he keeps promoting my work in LOCUS, but I owe Rachel for my sanity. Rachel might want to send me a different photo; this one looks like a painting that could be part of THE DA VINCI CODE.

OK, OK. I have had the pleasure of knowing my little blog helpers for many years, since I had hair, in fact. So I think I should make introductions to those who continue to visit. Here's Sid in Old Tucson, the setting for our story "Cactus Rose." We also wrote a story "Skull Rainbow," which is set at the hotel where the second World Horror Convention was held, Nashville, 1991. We wrote part of the story there, as well. Sid lives in Tyler, Texas, and there is a bookstore there called Peapicker's Books. I likely do not have a fan base in East Texas because swear words are not allowed, nor can I mention a woman's vagi-gi.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rachel and Sid both helped me with this template/font mess. Why would ANYBODY think it's air traffic controllers or postal dudes who start hearing voices? I always hear voices, but trying to work around this "easy on the eye" stuff has my voices hearing THEIR OWN voices. I do have an entry for today, lest you all think I am just rambling. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and, without thinking, I went to the basement of St. Peter's in the Loop, jacket unzipped, wearing my really cool-o Frankenstein t-shirt. Now remember, as a polak raised by hillbillies, I was raised as a devout Roman Cat'lik. But the priest must have seen my shirt because the Franciscan dude thumbed the ashes across my forehead so hard that fragments went into my lower eyelid and onto my nose. On the plus side, I found that I have discernible sinus reaction to ashes that have been blessed. Also, this wasn't as bad as the time I wore my Daredevil t-shirt last summer as I walked down Fullerton Avenue searching for the underpass with the Salt Stain Virgin Mary. Old men on steps kept hissing El Diablo at me, I thought because my bald scalp was red from the sun. Talk to you invisible people on my same wavelength soon. And, Chris, hypertime be damned! Your chattel, Wayne