How to Chicago: Films of the Year

51. We consume many a movie en mi casa. At least a few a week. I peruse Rotten Tomatoes every few months and load up my Netflix queue with any movies rating over 80% and then await their arrival throughout the year.

Good movies make me reflect on my life. The really good ones actually change it, at least temporarily.

I challenge you not to squirm and immediately turn off sex scenes when watching movies with your children. If you have no issues with watching someone’s head be blown off next to your clones, you should be able to deal with the naked, human body as well. You can turn it into a parenting moment about respect for the opposite gender, safe sex etc. As the years pass the uncomfortableness will fade as will the taboo on sex and the naked human body.

Some 2017 films worth seeing:

Oklahoma City

Personal Shopper

Get Out

Beatriz at Dinner

The Big Sick

The Meyerowitz Stories

Wonder

A Ghost Story

The Founder

Great, old movie to watch again with your shorties . . . Dead Poets Society. It was a joy to watch again. I had forgotten the major theme in this gem is swimming against the current. I knew I liked it for some reason.

Best man movie to stream after wife falls asleep on the couch . . . Donald Cried.

Best Jessica Chastain movie . . . anything. Absolutely anything she graces us with.

How to Chicago: Albums of the Year

49. In general, I think 2017 was a down year for front to backs. Especially in comparison to the deluge of 2016 that brought Car Seat Headrest, Savages and John Doe’s The Westerner into my life, all of which I still listen to weekly.

Nevertheless there were a few worth mentioning. I dare you to listen to one of them all the way through more than once.

St. Vincent – Masseducation

Aimee Mann – Mental Illness

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

Run The Jewels – 3

The Regrettes – Feel your Feelings Fool!

Ed Sheeran – Just wanted to see if you read this far down. Fuck Ed Sheeran. Here’s a tip Ed. You don’t have to say yes every time somebody asks you to be on TV. It leads to something called overexposure. It’s OK to say no and leave a little mystery every now and again you hack.

The Cavities – This is a band I made up in my head. If I was 16 and starting a rock and roll band this is what I would call it. Your kids can use it if you ask me first.

Booger – Another one of those, but obviously it would have to be a punk band.

In memory of Walter Scott.

How to Chicago: The Dap

47. White men, allow me to hip you up a bit. Learn a dap. A dap is a series of rhythmic hand slaps, bumps and or clasps exchanged between two people as a greeting. Now you can say hello just like the pilgrims and Native Americans did 2000 years ago

Here’s the most common one that’s sure to liven up your day.

1. Start with the soul brother.

2. Immediately come in for a chest hug with hands still clasped. Totally up to you what you do with you left hand.

3. As you pull back from the gentle chest hug, transition your soul brother clasp into the stereotypical white guy shake. Only 1 shake please.

4. Disengage.

Now, you’re going to have to actually plan this handshake out ahead of time with your white friends.

Fortunately this city is a great melting pot. Most nonwhite ethnicities are already cool enough to pick up what you’re laying down with this dap.

You are going to be nervous the first few times that you’re going to flub it up. Practice with your kid before you unleash your lit self on the world.

Happy Thanksgiving.

How to Chicago: Snoring

46. Snoring. If anyone has ever told you that you snore, just know that person has very carefully weighed the pros and cons of letting you live.

It’s staggering the number of marriages disturbed by snoring. I personally believe that laying into your “loved” one for this unintentional occurrence is akin to complaining about them being diabetic or having ADHD or being left handed. Go easy. They’re not doing it on purpose. And I bet you snore as well from time to time, but your consort simply isn’t bothered by it like you are.

I’ve tried sleeping on my side, using a sound machine to drown it out, ear plugs worn by my wife, jaw straps to hold my mouth closed and various mouth guards.

Alas, we entered sleep divorce. Taking turns sleeping on the couch, in the basement, or in the attic. Anywhere that wasn’t together. ‘Twas, as they say in France, a bummer.

Persistence has paid off, however. I have found a solution. A mouth guard called the SnoreRx. It pulls your lower jaw forward and has greatly decreased the snore. It differs from other mouth guards in that the amount of lower jaw movement is adjustable making it more comfortable to sleep in. It takes some getting used to, but stay with and it may help.

https://www.snorerx.com/

We are happily bed married again.

How to Drive Chicago: Jumping the Line at a Stoplight

45.  Drive.  Jumping the line at a stoplight. If you live in the city you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. I’m not going to go into why one would pull this maneuver, but it comes in handy from time to time (or at every traffic light you come to if you’re S.R.)

Here’s the best technique: 

1. Hang back a few yards out of peripheral vision from the first car in line as you pull adjacent to it on it’s right so as to not raise his “not going to let you in front of me” antenna. 

2. Monitor the electronic countdown for the cross traffic crosswalk. When it hits 0 you know cross traffic is about to get their yellow.

3. Begin advancing during the cross traffic yellow. Your light is about to go green. You have already left yourself some extra runway. 

It’s near impossible for the lead car on your left to accelerate from a dead stop faster than you with your rolling start to keep you from merging in front of him. You’ll get so far out in front so quickly that it will eliminate their attempt to race you and keep you out. 

First car at the light….. let the jumper go. It doesn’t affect you. 

How to Chicago: Shows. Stand Your Ground

42. Stand your ground at intimate, crowded venues. Those shows where it’s so stuffed everyone’s shoulders are touching. People are moving all around you encroaching on your personal space. Stepping on your feet. Claustrophobia inspiring. The guy in front of you keeps swaying back putting his hairy melon in your face.

Standing your ground is quite effective. Simply increase your base of support by spreading your feet a bit. Put your shoe directly up against the hippie’s shoe whose bothering you the most. And don’t move it! I mean, not even a little. That subtle, tactile hint will repel your foe. In a moment or three they’ll move their hoof away from yours giving you more space.  I’ve never had a foot stepped on. You can do it in any direction. Of course, if you yourself like to sway and get lost in the tune have at it. I’m just getting old and crotchety.