No Blaise: Sentence Struggles

October 22nd, 2014

I bet you’re all sick of hearing about my obstacles of becoming a functioning graduate school. Unfortunately, if this is the case, you’re going to have to find something else to do with this Wednesday afternoon cause it’s hard out here for a pimp (26 year old white girl).

That being said, you’re already reading so why stop now? Misery loves company.

My first paper of graduate school is due today and while writing it last night, procrastinators unite, I realized just how hard it is for me to put a real sentence together. Sure, I write for this blog every Wednesday and occasionally there are full sentences, but the divide between snarky blog posts and graduate school papers that have to be written with your entire brain on and put into APA format, is quite large.

Step number one was wrapping my head around APA format for citing the paper, which I can say with 50% certainty I did not do correctly. Step two was not considering the creation of a title page a victory and worthy of an hour long break. Step three was stopping binge eating gummy beards. Step four was writing at least one sentence that made sense.

This paper was a shorter “reflection” paper which meant I got to add some thoughts of my own, which we all know I love to do. This meant I was almost able to convince myself I’d be able to write it today at work, but thankfully a little bit of me is an adult and vetoed that idea.

I decided that I was going to use the “word vomit, then edit” writing technique. I happened to leave out the self-edit part of this process and pretty much just word vomited onto three pages, and then a reference page, and sent it to Anika at about 12:30 last night.

I am waiting for her to look at it and send me a response with something along the lines of, “Did you have a stroke while writing this?”

Luckily, this lovely little paper has gotten my brain all nice and warmed up for the research paper I am going to be writing this weekend while out of town.

Rather than sacrifice my social life, I’ve decided to attempt to both have friends and be a good student. So far, this has meant drinking wine on Friday nights and getting up at 7am on Saturdays to do work before dog obedience class, and more often than not falling asleep sitting up while trying to do work on a couch at work as the boys sleep.

I may be going about grad school the wrong way..


Leave a comment

Benny Jay: Ali & Frazier by William Greaves

October 21st, 2014

A few months back, I read an obituary about William Greaves, a filmaker who died at the age of 87.

Of all his movies, the one that caught my eye was Ali, the Fighter. As the title suggests, it’s a documentary about the great Muhammad Ali.

Naturally, I had to order it up on Netflix.

What a treasure. If there are any fight fans out there, I urge you to watch it.

The film’s as much a tribute to Joe Frazier–Ali’s greatest fight foe–as it is to Ali.

This goes back to the early 1970s, right after Ali had been banned from boxing for refusing to be inducted into the Army.

He was trying to win back his heavyweight title, which Frazier had “won,” during the time Ali had been in boxing exile. So to speak.


William Greaves with Steve Buscemi…


On March 8, 1971, they met at Madison Square Garden–two undefeated heavyweight champs–for what was billed as the Fight of the Century.

In the first half of the documentary, we see a lot of Ali, hilariously talking shit about Frazier.

Who just isn’t witty enough to keep up.

But once we get to the fight–which takes up about 45 minutes–well, let’s just say Joe Frazier puts on a world-class athletic performance.

I mean, the man was relentless–from the opening bell to the closing–15 rounds later.

Trying to use his longer reach, Ali launched one booming blow after another. And still, Frazier advanced.

He hit Ali again and again and again with brutal blows to the chest, neck and head.

How Ali sustained this beating–much less, went on to fight for another ten years–I’ll never know.


It was a brutal fight…


Greaves not only captures the violence of the fight, but draws back at crucial moments to show the audience. Mostly white people, including all sorts of celebrities: Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Woody Allen, etc.

So the film’s also about rich white people watching two black guys beat the living shit out of each other.

You might call it a parable about, oh–everything.

At the climatic moment in the final round, Frazier stunned Ali with a vicious left hook. Knocked him to the ground. Give Ali credit for getting up to finish the fight.

For the record, Frazier won this bout. But Ali won their next two.

The power of Frazier’s left hook stayed with me long after the movie had ended. I was still thinking about it a day or two later when I bumped into my neighbor, Sam the firefighter.

One of the wisest men I know.

Of course, I told Sam all about the fight. And how horrible it is that Ali and Frazier pretty much had their brains beaten out.

And Sam said–look on the bright side. Those epic bouts gave Ali a platform to crusade against war and racism.

I guess he took what he got and made the best of it. Just like Joe Frazier and William Greaves.


Letter From Milo: Yo, Mama

October 20th, 2014

We’re a one car household with three drivers in the family. My wife, the lovely Mrs. Milo, monopolizes the car. She’s a realtor and a Pilates instructor, and she’s always running off to show properties or teach classes.

When my wife is not using the car, my youngest daughter has dibs on it. She’s a student at a local university. She needs the car for the same reasons that all young kids need cars, reasons that I’d rather not know about.

The only time I really need the car is when I want to visit my 89-year-old, Alzheimer’s afflicted mother at her assisted living facility in Munster, Indiana, about an hour’s drive from our home in Ravenswood.

I don’t see my mother as often as I’d like. The only times I can visit her are on weekends, but weekends are also the times when my wife needs the car most. Negotiations for use of the car can be tricky.

This past Saturday, I said, “Honey, is there any chance I can use the car today? I haven’t seen Mom in a while and I’m starting to feel guilty about it.”

The lovely Mrs. Milo whipped out her appointment book. “This morning is out. I’m teaching at nine and ten. Then I’ve got two showings in Lincoln Square and one in Wicker Park.”

“How about this afternoon?”

“I’ve got another showing at two, then, I teach again at three.”

“Ah, shit.”

“Wait, wait, I can ride my bike to my three o’clock so you can have the car for three hours, from 2:30 to 5:30. But you have to be back by 5:30 because I’ve got two more showings at six and seven.”

“Great! An hour to drive there, an hour with Mom, and an hour to drive back.”

My wife got home at 2:30 and I was on the road a couple of minutes later. Traffic was light and I pulled into the assisted living facility’s parking lot, on schedule, a little less than an hour later.

Visiting my mother is always a bittersweet experience. I love spending time with her, but hate seeing the damage that Alzheimer’s has done. She had once been a strong, independent and intelligent woman. Now, she is a frail, addled, bewildered and unpredictable old lady. I never know how she’ll react when she sees me.

Mom didn’t answer her door when I knocked, and she didn’t answer her phone when I called from my cell. I went to the front desk and asked the attendant if she knew of my mother’s whereabouts. I was informed that she was in the recreation room, playing Bingo.

Mom was sitting at a card table with three other ladies, concentrating on her Bingo card, when I tapped on her shoulder. She looked up at me with a puzzled expression, then, broke into a smile when recognition set in.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“I just came to visit you.”

“That’s nice, but I’m playing Bingo now. Come back when the game is over.”

“Sure, Mom, no problem.”

I asked the lady running the Bingo game how much longer the game would last. She said, “We just started. It’ll be a couple of hours.”

I hung around for about five minutes, watching my mother play Bingo. Then I went out to the parking lot, got in the car, and drove back to Chicago.

Leave a comment

Matt Farmer: Rahm’s Ebola Cameras

October 19th, 2014

The people wanted more tweets from Chairman Matt, so here they are…


Mayoral aide dismisses poll showing Rahm is less popular than rush-hour traffic on I-290; notes Rahm still has higher favorables than Ebola.

Mayor Emanuel to announce locations for city’s first 35 Ebola cameras.

DEVELOPING: Alderman Burke to ask City Council to require O’Hare passengers to store their Ebola viruses in 3-ounce travel containers.

Now that it’s back in the game, will @CSTeditorials endorse Michael Ferro to deliver the 1st annual Carhartt Lecture at Payton College Prep?

Pharaoh Ferro to @CSTeditorials: So let it be written, so let it be done.

Rauner to raise $1 million for his campaign by attending his $1 million-a-bag brown bag lunch event wherever he opts to eat lunch tomorrow.

Rauner admits it was a mistake to release tax returns but no schedules; now says Saturday schedule includes dove hunting and Harley riding.

A CIA official said a woman calling herself “Nursing Home Resident 27″ released a video today in which she claims to endorse Bruce Rauner.

Unmoved by the #chicagofirefestival, Bruce Rauner asks Arne to secure a spot for his daughter in a 2015 reenactment of the 1968 D.C. riots.

Ed Burke is livid that UNO got $98 million in taxpayer funds — correction — that the #chicagofirefestival got $350,000 in taxpayer funds.

Mayor Emanuel touts “on-track numbers” for #ChicagoFireFestival, saying 23% of the floating structures are now expected to ignite by 2018.

DEVELOPING: Rahm Emanuel to announce that the #ChicagoFireFestival will be “repurposed as a wall-to-wall I.B. festival” in 2015.

Rahm/Redmoon to recreate Arne’s 2007 turnaround of Marshall H.S., after which Marshall rose from ashes to be turned around again in 2010.

Mayor Emanuel surprises Dyett High School students with personal appearance to announce his new “One Online Gym Class, One Chicago” program.

Kim Jong-un now says he’ll run Sunday’s @chimarathon and plans to target the unofficial 1:27 time Kim Jong-il posted in Boston back in 1997.

How does the drone-happy winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize explain his award to his two daughters, who surely know a lot about Malala?

Or maybe I spoke with @arneduncan about @davemckinney123 and called Michael Ferro about getting my kid into Walter Payton College Prep?


Editor’s Note: Matt‘s last post for The Third City was On Rauner

Leave a comment

Rolando: Billy the Kid

October 18th, 2014

There’s this kid that works in our ER, a fellow tech, for the sake of anonymity, let’s call him Billy.

Now he’s not quite a kid–he’s of the legal drinking age and he‘s over six feet, 200 pounds–but I call him kid cause he looks like he’s 12.

Anyway, he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Great with the patients, great with the staff and he always has a positive and upbeat attitude.

I’ve known him for over two years and I’ve never seen him angry or even remotely upset.

The kid wouldn’t hurt a fly….

Gentle giant….

Sweet as a baby panda bear wrapped in velvet….

Alright, maybe that last one is taking it too far, but you get the idea.

But recently, I saw a side of our old boy Billy that, quite frankly, scared the shit out of me.

The first incident happened about a month ago.

I was in a patient’s room setting them up on our heart monitor when I heard the sound of things crashing and people running.

I poked my head out of the room to see Billy and three of our security officers in hot pursuit of a psych patient that was making a break for our ambulance doors.

Wanting a piece of the action, I joined in. By the time I got outside, Billy and the officers had the woman and were bringing her down to the ground.

But during the struggle, Billy was screaming out in an almost drill sergeant-like voice: “GET DOWN. GET ON THE GROUND. GET DOWN NOW!!!”
Now, I couldn’t see him screaming it, but I heard him. But it was so unlike Billy that I couldn’t quite believe that it was him.

It was almost like a scene in the tv show, “Cops.” You know, when the cops go chasing a suspect through backyards and over fences and then catch him and wrestle him to the ground, all while screaming “don‘t resist,” but in their hearts they hope he resists so they can beat the shit out of him.

That’s what it looked like.

And for a second I thought, “Holy shit, Billy is a bad ass.”

But I brushed it off. That must have been one of the security officers screaming like that. Billy didn’t have that in him.

But about two weeks ago I got confirmation that Billy is, indeed, a bad ass.

Similar situation….

A psych patient was brought in by the police department. He started to get all jumpy with us. Got it into his head that he’s going to have a go with myself, Billy and three security officers.

So we all grabbed him. He started going nuts on us, swinging and fighting. So we used more force and pinned him to the cart.

That’s when it happened.

Billy, his face red and with the look of a madman, started screaming at the guy at the top of his lungs: “STOP FIGHTING. GET DOWN. LAY BACK. GET DOWN!!!!!!!”

Shit, for a second, I got so scared that I nearly got down and laid on floor. Anything to make him stop screaming like that.

The kid was serious. He wasn’t having any bullshit. And at that moment, he went from Billy the Kid to Billy the Bad Ass.

Leave a comment
« Click here for Older Entries |
    • Archives