I take pride in my lead sentences as I try, for the most part, to avoid the "Dear Diary" cliches that fall upon most journals- on- or off-line. Still, that doesn't mean that I can come up with a killer lead on a moments notice. It takes some patience.
I'm finding this in the two weeks that I've been posting on Chicagoist. I'm still gathering my bearings over there, but Rachelle Bowden, Erin Johnson, and the rest of the crew (totally unrelated: remember when "Gilligan's Island" was filmed in black and white and the theme songs lyrics went, 'The movie star/and the rest"? That's what that last sentence reminds me.) have been very supportive.
Still, in the upcoming weeks I and the other food contributors will be posting more than usual and, while I'm getting more comfortable with posting, it is a bit daunting. I don't want to overstep my boundaries. But that's what we live for as writers. We long to answer the call when we're needed.
The Chicagoist gig will also help me get out of the bad habit of failing to meet deadlines. That I'm writing about neighborhood eateries on the South Side of the city and utilizing my knowledge of beer, wine, and spirits is a bonus. I'm interested in the subject matter, feel that I can put the South Side in a better light than just "Hyde Park and everything else", and the folks at Chicagoist like the way I write.
Now contrast that with this this interview I did a couple months back with jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany. It was an underwhelming interview. I went through the motions asking Mr. Mahogany questions he'd probably heard numerous times that same day. I just couldn't bring myself to submit the interview. I still might, but writing about jazz doesn't hold the interest in me that it used to. I've had my fill of the avant garde and improv scenes, and the assignments I get from editors for music-related sites and periodicals are all smooth jazz. A subcategory of jazz that I consider safe music for people who want to think they're lovers of jazz. Frankly, I wasn't enthused by the record Mr. Mahogany was supposed to promote in the interview. And I can't bring myself to submit somethign I don't believe in wholeheartedly.
Pod People Of The World UNITE!!!
I went to Taste of Randolph Street Friday night with Michelle. She was all geeked to see Cowboy Mouth (which I likened to a likeable Barenaked Ladies) but the crowd really ruined it for me. We were surrounded on all sides by women who were way too young to be worrying about wrinkles or any sagging body parts and the striped shirt clad pinheads who date them, all ignoring the drummer's call for them to "give him some rhythm." Resultingly, Michelle and I got into a game of counting the number of women with botox treatments (identifiable by their Jennifer Wilbanks-style wide-eyed stares) and collagen lip injections (recognizable by oversized lips shaped in a long-term paralytic frown I like to call "trout pout"). We salvaged the trip to River North Hell at Randolph Wine Center where, over Chimay and a wonderful Hendrick's Gin martini, we enjoyed an amazing crab meat and artichoke dip.
Did I mention that I'm excited to be writing about food for Chicagoist?