One of my all-time favorite episodes of the Simpson’s is about St. Patrick’s Day. The whole town of Springfield gets drunk and stupid. More so than usual. Everyone is stumbling, puking and fighting. Even the police. Especially the police. And all of them are wearing that dumbass shade of green. Only when Bart accidentally gets drunk does Springfield’s citizenry show any concern.
When it comes to drinking, St. Patrick’s Day rivals New Year’s Eve for “amateur night.” I’d argue that given my hometown, Chicago’s ‘proud’ Irish heritage March 17th is actually bigger and dumber than Dec 31st. We dye the river green!
For me, the mandatory drinking that the “holiday” requires is annoying. As is the mob scene. By 7 PM, North Clark Street resembles Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Rush Street is even worse.
Before you take me for a Puritan, you should know for many years alcohol was one of my best friends. We went to high school together. In college, I graduated from beer to vodka. Like playing “Quarters,” beer just seemed silly. Plus it took too long to get drunk. I took drinking far too seriously to be caught dead in some Irish bar on St. Patrick’s Day. Granted, I took drinking far too seriously period but that’s another story.
Anyway, I’m not a fan. That said here’s a clever piece of outdoor advertising from McDonald’s and Leo Burnett. Cheers!
If you want more than luck with your copy, hit me up. Skilled and sober, 24/7 https://steffanwork.wordpress.com/
Living the California Dream…
I took Friday off to do some prep work for my move to Mill Valley next month. I had to drive out and check on some work and pay a few contractors. It was a beautiful day and I made it back to the city in time for a mid afternoon run along the Embarcadero. Running along the bay, listening to my favorite music, it dawned on me how much I have taken to this new life. Gorgeous days, a great new job, and always a view: What’s not to like?
However, for much of my adult life I just assumed Chicago was going to be my home. I was born there. My kids were born there. I know that city like the back of my hand. I’d lived in just about every neighborhood in Chicago, as a renter and a homeowner. I worked in its most famous advertising agency, Leo Burnett for over 15 years. My last house, bought in 2005, was going to be the house I died in.
And then all that changed.
View of SF, from Tiburon…
Now San Francisco and Marin County are where the Postaer clan will call home. I moved out here first, in late February to begin my new gig at gyro (damn the small “g”). And I never looked back. The people, places and things of the 415 are my new everything. I am another in a long line of prospectors who moved west and struck gold.
What’s odd is I thought I’d miss Chicago more. I went to high school at Lane Tech, at the time the largest public high school in America. I grew up in the shadow of Wrigley Field. As a boy, I can recall waiting for players like Billy Williams and Don Kessinger to emerge from the ballpark into the parking lot. There they’d happily sign autographs before clambering into their Oldsmobiles and other decidedly average cars. Chicago was unpretentious, raucous and simple. I loved that town and it was in me, like hot dogs and cheese fries.
Giants 5 Cubs 0
And yet I don’t miss it. Not yet anyway. Not the clattering “L” trains, not the Cubbies, not even the glorious lakefront where I used to catch slews of Yellow Perch and clean and cook them for my family.
Now I’ve got the glimmering bay shining out beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. This is my new LSD (Lake Shore Drive) and I am tripping on it every day.
July 25, 2011
I was sitting on my front porch this weekend, at twilight, smoking a cheap cigar and listening to the cicadas and crickets rev up for the evening. It’s a strange racket they make, when you sit back and think about it. Whirring, clicking and even beeping, they sound… almost digital. It was as if the sun went down and all our devices crawled outside and… Oh my God, it’s Night of the Living Blackberries!
It hit me how similar insects look and sound to the myriad devices we all harbor: hard, shiny skins, black or translucent or wild in color. The aforementioned noises some of them make. The way they move: click, click, click. Shining intermittently, fireflies (actually beetles) remind me of my Blackberry… Or is it the other way around?
Not many people know this about me but when I was a boy I had a thing for insects. I collected butterflies and moths, raising them from caterpillars to adults. Waking up to a giant Cecropia Moth crawling up my bookshelf is a sight not soon forgotten. I kept a box of crickets on the back porch, much to our cat’s delight. For a time I even had a pet Black Widow spider, much to my mom’s horror. I named her Killer Queen.
The attraction was more than skin deep. I tore into books and movies about the insect kingdom. I must have read my Time Life book of Insects a million times. I learned about metamorphosis and exoskeletons and the differences between species and all their various idiosyncrasies. In college, I parlayed this knowledge into a minor in entomology. Needless to say, I probably know more about insects than any of you.
I know what you’re thinking: what a dork! Perhaps but I met my future wife showing her my collection of butterflies and moths.
And so I watch and listen to these amazing creatures, remembering a time before PC’s and smart phones, being a boy, an odd one at that, chasing fireflies and collecting moths by the porch light. And then my phone starts buzzing, like a June bug. Happy summer, everyone!