Take-Offs and Landings

I ran into a friend who the other night I haven’t seen for some time. We were catching up on things, trading notes on each other’s lives and whatnot, and he asked me why I wasn’t writing anymore.

“Just haven’t seen anything on your site lately,” he explained. “Figured maybe you gave it up.”

Eu contraire mon frere, quite the opposite, and a whole lot more. Anyone checking in here regularly may have seen mention of the Birdland story I wrote, and with that please allow me to announce the sooner-than-expected grand opening of The 35th Street Review, with yours truly at the helm and a great roster of contributors lined up in the near future. It’s like a baseball blog with extra ambition, or a magazine with less quality control, depending on your point of view.

Is that all? No, of course not. The Chicago Tribune asked me some very important questions about my work over at South Side Baseball, the new Secret and Whisper album rocks harder than it should, and we can be poets. . . just for one day.

On top of all that, at least one more big news item should rear its high word-count head soon, but I’ll save mention of that until it happens. Until then, thank you as usual for reading.

– AMR

E-6

One of the best parts of a career in freelance writing is the constant exposure to new places, ideas, and people. Every assignment presents a new opportunity to learn and a new world to explore, and every day is a new story waiting to be told.

Then again, one of the other best parts of said career is the opportunity to revisit some old favorites with a newfound critical eye and a wider audience. And a bigger mouth.

SSB was named one of “Chicago’s Best Blogs” (White Sox category, naturally) by the Chicago Tribune.

– The 2008 baseball season is underway, and it’s going to be a rough one for Sox players and fans alike.

– But it could be worse: at least we’re not rooting for the Royals.

– The new Counting Crows album is pretty good, as is the new Nine Inch Nails instrumental quasi-album.

– If you’ve ever wondered exactly how a person can inflict temporary psychosis upon themselves, the answer may lie in a box of records somewhere.

Finally, a story about perseverance. In 2004, when I was slightly less of a nobody than I am now, I sent a submission in to one of my favorite magazines in the world. They very quietly rejected it, but I held on and earlier this year found a new outlet that may have had a use for it. And lo and behold, I will become a published poet for the first and possibly last time in the spring issue of the Seattle-based Commonline Project. Far out, man. Far out indeed.

Last Call for Hooligans and Barflies

It is with great a little some an as-yet-unknown sadness that I must inform some of you of the death of Reservoir magazine. I know a lot of people enjoyed reading it, and despite all the things I hated about the managing editor job, it was ultimately a very rewarding experience being the man at the top for a little while. We did some fine work there, and any now-former co-conspirators from that endeavor should be proud of what you accomplished. For those just dying to check it out, I’ve uploaded and cleaned up some of the better works I did in the last year and half of Reservoir‘s life:

– In honor of the upcoming holiday, a few words on hypothetically offensive sports mascots.
– In honor of the rapidly-approaching dawn of baseball, last year’s White Sox preview which, if you change a few phrases, could actually be this year’s preview as well.
– In honor of the best show on television reaching its end, a small treatise on The Wire.
– All kinds of oldies but goodies at the bottom of this page.

Elsewhere:

– Strip clubs and Texas’ approach to them are both stupid.
– A dumpy ballpark by another name is still a dumpy ballpark.
Music is neat.
Metal rules, except when it doesn’t.
– Buckethead is still totally incomprehensible after all these years.
– Sensitivos can make good music, too.

And those of you prone to hanging out in freaky Chicago indie bookstores should keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming issue of Ghost Factory featuring a contribution from yours truly.

The website traffic reports suggest that a lot of you are tuning in to my little outpost regularly. I am honored to occupy a small part of your day, and I am doing my best to deliver something worth your time. Thank you as always for reading.

– AR

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