First lines, 2011
The last time I ran a "first lines meme" here was in 2007, and since I so enjoyed that self-indulgence then and it's very slow at the office this week, I thought I'd run it again. Below are the first lines from my first blog post of each month of 2011. The skinny: Royko and drinking, novel writing update, indie rock, local publisher, bad poetry, Summer of Classics, photography and Chicago history, politics, obsessing over a single phrase from a 100+ year old novel, Maurice Sendak, saving an architectural relic, Joliet history and my tenuous connection to it. Yes, that covers most of my obsessions, though admittedly I don't really think about Sendak that often.
January: Mike Royko, "How To Ease That Hangover" (2.7mb download)
February: Hüsker Dü did the job last evening, and I eked out three or four pages of line edits.
March: The iPod shuffle-played the following for my walk from train to office...
April: Chicago-centric publisher Lake Claremont Press is running a sale on its stock of returned books.
May: For the same reason that I once avidly watched such cringeworthy TV fare as The A-Team, The Tim Conway Show and Quincy, I can't help but appreciate the sheer awfulness of the poem "Abbottabad".
June: "The business of the poet and the novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things." -Thomas Hardy
July: I was pleased to recently see the first photo, shown above, at Shorpy.com.
August: The really mind-boggling thing about the budget mess is that the debate could be this acrimonious without any of the final proposals including even a tiny increase in taxes.
September: I have a new post up at the Contrary Magazine blog, about a single phrase from Jude the Obscure.
October: The Guardian has a great profile of Maurice Sendak.
November: The rapidly-expanding electronics chain H.H. Gregg reportedly plans to buy and demolish the former Michael Brand Brewery complex at 2500 N. Elston, for a new store location.
December: Here's an interesting historical piece in the Joliet Herald-News about the old Porter Brewery, including a column by the late John Whiteside on the Feds' attempted crackdown during Prohibition.