Street Smart Chicago

Dime Stories: Some Etiquette Tips from Tony

Dime Stories No Comments »
Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

There is a fancy-schmancy health club to which some very prominent Chicagoans belong. It is full of upscale lawyers, doctors, business-types, and famous athletes. It offers yoga, swimming, tennis, racquetball, squash—yes, Old Chap, squash—handball, boxing, Pilates (whatever the fuck that is) and spinning, which as far as I can tell means riding a stationary bike real fast to a really shitty disco soundtrack while  some very fit goof yells at you from his bike. In other words, this place is the goods. It also has all manner of  treadmills, elliptical machines and a weight room.

I only use the pool. I get in the slow lanes with the stroke victims, non-swimmers, fat guys and people who’ve just had heart attacks. I’m overweight, but I’m not like Orca-fat, and my goal is not to get fit or buff. My goal is to not fucking die.

Many of my friends there make full use of the place. Their workout is complex and varied: a half hour of cardio on the bike or the treadmill, fifteen minutes on the elliptical machine, a spin class (Really? Somebody has to TEACH you how to peddle a stationary bike?) and then thirty minutes of laps in the pool. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It’s Compensation Week. If you have in the past suffered from injustice, it’s an excellent time to go in quest of restitution. If you have been deprived of the  beauty you need to thrive, now is the time to get filled up. Wherever your life has been out of balance, you have the power to create more harmony. Don’t be shy about seeking redress. Ask people to make amends. Pursue restorations. But don’t, under any circumstances, lust for revenge. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Freedom is the most important kind of joy you can seek right now. It’s also the most important subject to study and think about, as well as the most important skill to hone. I advise you to make sure that freedom is flowing through your brain and welling up in your heart and spiraling through your loins. Write synonyms for “freedom” on your arm with a felt-tip pen: liberation, emancipation, independence, leeway, spaciousness, carte blanche, self-determination, dispensation. Here’s one more tip: Connect yourself with people who love and cultivate the same type of freedom you do. Read the rest of this entry »

Linework: Fang

Linework No Comments »

By Grant Reynolds. Edited by Ivan Brunetti and Aaron Renier. (Click on image to enlarge.)
FANGcolor_WEB1

Dime Stories: Tony World

Dime Stories No Comments »
Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

When kids are in high school, doodles usually adorn every surface of their textbooks—at least they did on mine. I loved scribbling on the back of my tablet, or in the margins of my history book, or just on looseleaf and in notebooks. Anything was better than listening to the teacher and taking notes on whatever useless drivel they were going on about. I could be drawing anything: hotrods, planes, Rat Fink, giant dicks, monsters, birds, tits, monkey heads and always band logos and comics—a character named “Bong-Man” and word balloons containing thoughtful utterances like “Shimmy-Shimmy beat my meat,” “Transistor Sister” and “Maggot-Brain.”

I had a lot on my mind.

What I’ve most enjoyed about making my “Lunch Drawings” is just how much they remind me of those drawings I made trying to escape the mind-numbing dog-shit they tried to teach me in school. With very few exceptions, my teachers talked like rolls of toilet paper. One bloodless, colorless factoid after the next, until I had annihilation fantasies about blowing up my high school. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” Milan Kundera says that the brain has “a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.” In the coming days, it will be especially important for you to tap into this power spot in your own grey matter, Aries. You need to activate and stir up the feelings of enchantment that are stored there. Doing so will make you fully alert and available for the new delights that will be swirling in your vicinity. The operative principle is like attracts like. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By  Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I have coined a new word just for your horoscope this week. It’s “zex,” short for “zen sex.” Zex is a kind of sex in which your mind is at rest, empty of all thoughts. You breathe slowly and calmly, move slowly and calmly, grunt and moan slowly and calmly. You are completely detached from the sensual pleasure you are experiencing. You have no goals other than the intention to be free of all goals. Zex is the ONLY variety of sex I recommend for you right now, Aries. APRIL FOOL! I lied. Zex may be fine to practice at any other time, but not these days. The style of sex you need most is exuberant, unbridled, expansive, and even zany. Read the rest of this entry »

Linework: Demons

Linework No Comments »

By Ines Vuckovic. Edited by Ivan Brunetti and Aaron Renier. (Click on image to enlarge.)

vuckovicdemonscomic

Dime Stories: Hooray for Pedro!

Dime Stories 1 Comment »

By Tony Fitzpatrick

Pedro Vélez

Pedro Vélez

I don’t often pay any attention to the Whitney Biennial—to me it has always been like prom night in the art world. It also seemed hopelessly stacked in favor of New York  artists and my friends used to refer to it as the “New York Biennial.” When I read that two of the curators, this year would be Chicagoans, I was a little interested but not much. Both Anthony Elms and Michelle Grabner are eminently qualified choices and wound up doing a great job but at first—again  it is at the other end of the pool for me—I’m in a different art world. In fact, it’s debatable whether I’m really in at all anymore, but this is a different story.

What is edifying to me was a view of the list. For the first time that I can ever remember, the list of artists for the Whitney Biennial actually seemed like a survey of American art. It felt democratic and everyone was represented—in particular, Chicagoans, and not the usual suspects. It does my heart good to see Dawoud Bey in this show. For years he has made a dignified, relentless and ever more fascinating body of work. He has also been a mentor, confidant and luminous example of what is possible for an artist in Chicago. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology No Comments »

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet,” says Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron. “You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time.” That’s sound advice for you, Aries. You are almost ready to plant the metaphorical seeds that you will be cultivating in the coming months. Having faith should be a key element in your plans for them. You’ve got to find a way to shut down any tendencies you might have to be an impatient control freak. Your job is simply to give your seeds a good start and provide them with the persistent follow-up care they will need. Read the rest of this entry »