Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If You're Anything Like Me...

Bookmark and Share

If you're anything like me... Your motto in life is "Don't be a Duck Face!"

If you're like me, you refrain from divulging your true self because you don't want to be misunderstood. And, if you abstain from real communication due to an irrational fear of being compared to "Duck Face"- than you're exactly like me!

The Quintessential Duck Face Speech

Duck Face? Who is Duck Face? 
No, not the duck face all the 13-30 year olds make these days when taking selfies. I mean the crazy ex-girlfriend from Four Weddings And A Funeral - you remember Duck Face?! She was the one who popped up everywhere bragging about her awesome new life her to her ex, Hugh Grant. Then she broke down and said something passive aggressive - or usually worse. 

Every time I feel the urge to give an ex-boyfriend advice on a lifestyle choice, I remind myself of Duck Face. And immediately pull myself together. The scene above is my favorite of them all. The quintessential Duck Face ex-boyfriend speech. 

Duck Face tells Hugh Grant's character that she's been talking to a bunch of people about his life choices and that "everyone agrees..." How many times has someone said that to you? "You know Leyla, I've taken a quick poll and 'we' are all a bit concerned about you." The old strength-in-numbers tactic, oft used to diminish someone's self-esteem to the point where they just might give into your pathetic demands. 

Don't be a Duck Face
You remember what happens to Duck Face in the movie, right? It's not good, in fact, it's terrible. It almost makes you LIKE Duck Face... but it's a great reminder why NOT to be a Duck Face! 

Duck Face at the alter - Four Weddings And a Funeral
Duck Face's Wedding Day
Four Weddings And A Funeral

If You're Anything Like Me...
You're more like Fiona. You may not get the guy, but you look fantastic and you're cool as shit. Oh, and, you're a bit of an asshole.... because you're the one who coined your best friend's ex-girlfriend Duck Face! Wait, you must be awesome! 

Fiona floppy hat cigarette Four Weddings
Fiona and Charles
Four Weddings And A Funeral

And sometimes you disguise yourself behind a veil of sarcasm because words aren't easy.... and feelings are even harder. Oh, Fiona! All these years of therapy and you're still standing there with your back against the wall.

Fiona professes her love to Charles - Four Weddings and a Funeral
 Fiona professes her love to Charles
Four Weddings And A Funeral

Follow me all over the place! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Why Morrissey Matters and Other Riot Fest Ponderings

Bookmark and Share

Morrissey is all over the social medias. The post-Riot Fest meat is murder fallout has everyone's panties in a bunch but they should be talking about his message not his method. 

I can sum up my feelings about Moz in one simple statement - Morrissey puts his money where his mouth is. And for that, and so many other reasons, I am thankful that I grew up with Morrissey and not (insert any modern-day pop artist's name here). 

The Smiths - Shakespeare's Sister
My first Smith's album was a 12"
Photo courtesy of

You may disagree with what Morrissey stands for, but imagine if everyone with voice stood up for something they believed in vs. flaunting their new butt job. I will take one million Morrissey's over one Kim K! 

It all started innocently enough 
Before I get into it, I want to give you some background. I was a curious and resourceful child. I listened to the college radio station in Chicago, WLUW, and from time-to-time, I would call-into the station to win records. Afterwards, my mom would drive me to Roger's Park (where the record store was located) and I would sift through records for a while until I found one that spoke to me.

Back then you didn't have internet radio (or even the internet), you didn't even have listening stations. You simply went into a record store and started thumbing through the records that were located with the other records of the genre you liked. And you would talk to the record store workers, get a feel for their likes / dislikes, and then you'd have to trust their judgment and make the purchase - cold, blind, without ever hearing a note. 

I picked up this record because I liked the name - "Shakespeare's Sister" (it became the name of a band later on and I bought their record too). I also liked the image of the strong female in boots. The words "Barbarism Begins At Home" most certainly resonated. Then there was the hauntingly beautiful face of the front man, Morrissey. I was sold. 

The story I relay, and the image you see above, is how I got into The Smiths. I won a gift certificate to a record store near Loyola University and picked out this random 12" record - The Smiths Shakespeare's Sister. I was a kid who stumbled upon a lucky find in a record store and 30 years later I'm still talking about it. 

Let's talk about Riot Fest and Morrissey 
Many at Riot Fest was a little surprised with Morrissey's "antics", except the people who were actually there to see Morrissey. The place was FLYING with Morrissey rumors all day. Rumors about his bus and crew, rumors that he made the all of security change their shirts because he hates the color blue, and the NO MEAT after 7PM, that one really did it. And when he was late... the Twitter went a little nutso!  

Yeah, the guy eating a turkey leg is "clearly" the winner. He got 48 likes on his tweet AND a turkey leg. 

I was quite torn on Saturday night because I love Social Distortion and I love Morrissey -- they're more alike than you might think. I've seen them both play about a half a dozen times, maybe more, but Morrissey is a legend. I am fairly confident Mike Ness takes no offense to this statement. I watched about 15 minutes of Social D before working my way to the front of whatever Riot Fest stage name Morrissey was on.

Here's what some of you probably don't know about Morrissey...
  • Morrissey has been playing / touring with the same band for a while 
  • Morrissey is usually on stage for about 45 minutes (the whole show is about 1:15 mins) 
  • Morrissey loves the stage and he gives it his all - each and every single time
  • Morrissey is very respectful of his audience and always grateful for their attendance 
  • And... yes, Morrissey is EXTREMELY political and has always been this way

Plus, he played my song! You're The One For Me Fatty was the song my college boyfriend dedicated to me... and it still makes me laugh. 

What Morrissey means to me - a lesson in conviction
It's really simple. I am grateful for Morrissey's angst-filled-riddles because without them, I may have turned out ordinary. What if I had stumbled into the record store that day and picked up a Taylor Swift album? God forgive me for even saying that.

I am not an Irish-born vegan, I don't hate the royals, I am not an animal activist, I don't even know what Morrissey is talking about 1/2 the time.... But I am thankful that he, and many of the artists of his time, have chosen and continue to choose to write songs about what they believe in. AND live up to it.

I may not hold the same values as Morrissey, but maybe his dedication to his beliefs helped shape the way I hold onto my own? And for that, I love Morrissey.

No meat from 8PM to 10PM - or whatever it was. Well... it sure got you talking, didn't it?

If nothing else, he is a PR machine.

Here is a post from when I saw Morrissey in 2009 (for my birthday). 

Friday, September 9, 2016

But Thy Eternal Summer Shall Not Fade...

Bookmark and Share

My eternal summer... is slowly fading

Summer's lease is indeed too short. The strong winds have shaken and now it's time to wander in it's shade. 

Shall I compare Thee to a Summer's Day?
Shakespeare in the park
On a summer's day

Sorry for the poetic gibberish

I was trying to make the words make sense the way they do in my head. Sometimes it isn't easy to make sense. I stumbled onto this rock while sitting in the park. The poem "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day" (Sonnet 18), by William Shakespeare, is engraved into the rock and I've read it a dozen times, maybe more.

I sit in the park early in the morning. I do my best to simply sit and appreciate the park, and the sun, and summer. This is the spot where I work on seeing through my third-eye.

Each time I visited, the poem spoke to me. And each time it said something slightly different. I don't know exactly what the poem means, I haven't looked it up, but it makes me feel content.

Sunset on Lake Michigan
Sunset on a warm September evening in Chicago
Let's sit here for a while and enjoy each other's silence

This is how summer feels

If you know me well, you know that I walk - a lot! I've always walked a lot but this summer has been exceptional. I've averaged about 8 miles per day (or about 18,000 steps) since mid-late June. This is a FAR CRY from last year.

Last year I barely moved. I was in terrible pain and needed 16 weeks of physical therapy to treat a pinched nerve in my neck. They believe the pinch nerve was caused from a sedentary lifestyle - a.k.a. that cube life! 

I guess when you go through a scare like that, you change. My change was simple. I chose not to live like that anymore. I chose to enjoy my summer days as much, and as long, as I could.

Warm Summer Evening
 Enveloped by the warmth of late summer in the evening
Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk - I love it here

Take a walk with me and see my Eternal Summer

My summer doesn't start in June and it doesn't end in September, it's eternal. This is my summer, in no particular order. Here we go.

Fred, the bird
 Me and this little guy were just sitting back 
Watching the world go by

Foggy Morning on Lake Michigan
You can't predict what you'll see in the mornings
But you can be fairly certain that you'll see something you didn't see the day before 

Early morning walks on the lakefront path
 Early mornings on the lakefront trail

My not-so-secret spot

My path is almost always the same. I think I already mentioned this. I walk north for about 30 minutes, until I reach this point. Here I sit and stretch. I also think. I turn off my music and listen to the squeaks or the birds screaming - they don't sing, they scream, it's kind of weird. I love it here.

Summer Evenings by the lake in Chicago
 Evening walk from Hollywood beach back home to the Gold Coast
These two have the right idea! 

Girls of Summer
I loved this moment so much
Because nothing says summer so much as this

In my mind's eye 

This summer has been amazing. So, so, so amazing. The best summer I've had since I was a kid. And summer always reminds me of being little. Back when we played outside like 70-80 hours a week -- almost as much as I was working last year! 

We had such a beautiful summer in Chicago. In my mind's eye, I run through the grassy fields in the park, just like I did as a kid. But summer is not over. I still have a few weeks and I may run through that grassy field just yet. 

North Avenue Beach Chicago Skyline View
Facing south from North Avenue Beach
When I can't paddle board, standing here is the next best thing

Chicago Riverwalk and Skyline
Whereas my mornings ground me and start my day
My evening walks set me free from the responsibilities of the day

Nature Boardwalk Honeycomb Thingy
 This is one of my favorites but I never saw this view again
Because the Nature Boardwalk is living and breathing, it changes all the time

Nature Path in Lincoln Park
 Toto, where not in Chicago anymore
Back in late June when the Nature Boardwalk was fully blooming

Wednesday Night Fireworks in Chicago
I loved this moment
But summer's lease hath all too short a date... and now its over

Chicago Lakefront Trail in summer
Early evening on the lakefront trail in mid-August 
Deep blue skies for days

Hollywood Beach Boys
Boys being boys 
As the sun sets on Hollywood Beach

summer skyline in Streeterville
So picturesque that it looks fake
Streeterville, my least favorite neighborhood, on a beautiful summer's night

north avenue geese
Sunrise on the lakefront trail
End of August in Chicago - just before the geese left us

But Thy Eternal Summer
But Thy Eternal Summer shall not fade.... 
Until next year, my lovely

I don't know what it means but I love it

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see
So long lives this, and gives life to thee.