I watched them duck into the door of the Skylark, look at the Cash Only sign and turn around and leave. I couple hours later they were back. The guy asked if his girl could use the bathroom and I said, “Sure.”

“She’s not from here. She’s from Canada and I wanted to show her this place, but I forgot you were cash only,” he told me, while waiting for her to return. I pointed out the ATM a couple feet away but he complained about the service fees. “We went to Simone’s instead. It was like everybody I know stopped by. It was alright but the karaoke over there got a little hectic after awhile. I’ll have to bring her back here next time. The tater tots are on point!” then, with no transition whatsoever, “Have you heard of the EM engine? Particles bounce back and forth against each other and no propellent is needed. NASA’s got it and it’s getting peer reviewed now. Isn’t that something?” His eyes were beaming and his smile overtook most of his face. His girl came back just then and they walked out into the night. 

Thursday I took the Metra out to Downers Grove to see Neko Case and her band play at the Tivoli Theatre. 

I got there early so I could have lunch with my friend Kelly, who sings with the group. 

Neko joined us as well and we ate a fancy French ham-and-cheese sandwich and olives in the hotel’s lobby. 

I felt lucky to be able to be a fly on the wall as they got ready for showtime. Then I doodled through half the concert.

A week or so ago I bought a device to digitize my old cassette tapes. I’ve been lugging a crate of them from apartment to apartment for years. Now there are wobbly towers of them all over the room as I sort through which ones I want to record. I never kept a journal growing up, so these cassettes, with their hand-written labels, form a sort of diary. The most recent is at least twenty years old at this point. It’s been kind of a disorienting process to dig through them. I wrote about two music-related books recently, both written by friends. Tim Kinsella’s All Over and Over in Volume 1 Brooklyn and Alina Simone’s Madonnaland in the Chicago Reader.