Chicago – May 1, 2019

72092659_6b207334e7

Bring the rain, indeed.  “Urbs in horto.” I have an elevated view to the west and see a haze of green begin to appear across the landscape. The uniform gray-tan of winter failed to reveal the amount of forest hiding in plain sight. We live in a place of seasons and humidity. Green things fill every space with soil and light. The geography supports rivers and flood plains. Good things begin with the rains of spring.

We see the results of balance and imbalance, don’t we? Yes, it snowed in April; no, the third ice-age did not begin.

I am convinced the little things each of us do, or refrain from doing as a habit, will make a difference in the long run. I now have re-usable water bottles instead of sacks of empties. Durable shopping bags are far better than plastic. Habits to change…conveniences I thought were real for some reason. The waste was just there. It has been the easiest thing in the world to embrace a solution.

We celebrate the rain.


Welcome to Chicago, Baseball Fans… – Tom DeMichael

cst_0519


The New Imperative – Joe Tortorici

1_UaqCQdo-F70N7vgRwBd0qw


STUDIO RAT …a frame of reference

STUDIO RAT LOGO 3


Looking In – Rainee Denham

little-girl-running-in-a-poppy-field-picture-id881787978


Frank Kulak and Fred Hampton: The City Chooses Justice – Mike Kerr

kulak


Radio’s New Wave – Brule Eagan

Radio Coffee_edited


 

Advertisements

Chicago – April 1, 2019

bee
“Soft Landing” – David Jewell

And so we turn the corner on a notable winter season. There were moments it seemed infinite…but we knew better, didn’t we? It was a time of change and new adaptations to the world.

One of the most significant subjects for thought is our environment as the condition of climate change is amplifying. I worry for my many friends up and down the west coast. Between uncontrollable wildfires and flooding, it’s hard to imagine the greater danger. These incidents happen with more regularity and intensity.

Here in the Midwest, our seasonal changes are commonly dramatic. Yet who ever heard of a “bomb cyclone?” Whatever you call the phenomenon, rural areas across the heartland are devastated, some will never see normality again in our lifetime.

My fantasy of retirement somewhere along the Gulf Coast is now tempered by the reality of a capricious hurricane season. The notion of a “season” has has morphed into “who knows when?” and their escalating power is frightening.

In spite of these concerns, spring is coming into view, literally and figuratively. We understand the issues and regardless of any political chicanery, the coming generation gives me hope for change. A part of the answer will be the accumulated small acts each of us make to improve our planet.

In the mean time, let’s get out for a walk! It will do us good.

Let’s also put the world’s nihilism aside and sit with a good book. The manifesto I repeat every month remains consistent: read! Read everything; read the good and bad news; read fiction and history; read the box scores! Encourage reading with your family and friends. Get away from the smart-phone and computer for a measured time every day and read. It is the greatest civilizing force humanity has ever known. It elevates us.

Many thanks to the talented eye of David Jewell for our banner image. May it be the first of many.

It’s a new month and the writers a Central Standard Time are here for you. We hope to start a conversation, listen to new ideas, and grow for the effort. We’re so glad you joined us.


I am proud to welcome Mike Kerr to the blog. Mike recently published his first novel, The Legman, and it riveted me to a chair from the opening chapter. Without spoilers, let me say it’s a story for every Chicagoan, and every reader that enjoys a mystery. You can find it at Amazon.

legman


40th Ward Run-off in Chicago – Roxane Assaf-Lynn

22181239_10214132377894151_8837967020420082043_o


Ruminations of a Reprobate Mind – Brule Eagan

Barbarino


All Good Things – John Zielinski

blackBackgroundRing


The Void – Michelle Jackson Jewell

Hands


Mike! – Mike Kerr

1986 NBA Playoffs:  Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics


An Actor’s Everest – Rainee Denham

Mount Ama Dablam within clouds, way to Everest base camp


Gaze Into the Crystal Baseball… – Tom DeMichael

cubs_sox0419


Rationalism – Joe Tortorici

ben_franklin


 

Chicago – February 1, 2019

intuitionacryliconcanvas
Intuition – Jerry Siegan

Welcome to the big chill! Despite any conditioning we Chicagoans may have for such weather, it never fails to test our resolve. We have been fortunate for the past few years with relatively mild winters. This was overdue. We endure.

While the political world, local and national, continues to assault us with hubris and marginal ethics, the real world of human interaction reminds us of the dividends when we leave good things in our wake. The scope of support for federal workers throughout the “shutdown” was magnificent and exemplary of the true American spirit. Furloughed individuals manned the bread-lines and food banks to serve those in need. Chef José Andrés showed us all what faith and courage looks like. There is ample hope for mankind after all.

Grab your coffee, have a seat and join us for a few moments of escape. This month we talk sports, food, art, media, global affairs, and much more. Interact with the writers, ask questions and debate issues. I am so pleased you are here.

February’s featured image is the work of local artist Jerry Siegan. Jerry represents the best example of our quest to discover hidden gems in the visual arts. Visit his page for more work and be amazed.


Central Standard Time is proud to support Marc Piane’s fundraiser for MS. Join us and see an end to this malady in our lifetime.

event-logo

Bike MS: Tour de Farms 2019


When All Sundays Were Super – Brule Eagan

Photo 2.jpg


An Artistic Intersection – Jerry Siegan

Inclusion acrylic ongessoboard.jpg


Chef Janet – Stuffed Shells

cc99b566ad16397ea98043f2d75f5c52.jpg


“Never” Is A Really Long Time – John Zielinski

Never.jpg


Cafe au Lait – Michelle Jackson Jewell

lovelettercover.jpg


When Do We Stop Listening – Steve Buschbacher

sadgirl.jpg


Going to the Head of the Class – Tom DeMichael

cst_0219.jpg


A Map of the Greater Antilles, Part 2 – Joe Tortorici

caribbean-sea-map.jpg


The Publisher’s Desk – This Is Not Theater

keys.jpg


 

Chicago – January 7, 2019

4596604753_2eac0e2944_b

Welcome the New Year! Renewal is a worthy theme.

From a personal perspective, I recently celebrated a milestone birthday. Something about the Obsessive/Compulsive personality makes much ado about round numbers and my 70th year stimulates both joy and angst. I will never be the child prodigy my mother hoped for. Still, I’m here and able to have a few moments of fun with my friends. It all worked out rather well. My daughter counsels “Own it, Dad.”

Retirement from the music business is a curious change. It has been an adult lifetime in the studio working with some of the best in the business. I’m grateful. Perhaps it’s time to be a critic! If Neil Tesser and Howard Reich are reading, I promise you will be a part of the greater dialog!

Most of all, let’s resolve to be a kinder to one another and enjoy every day. Get a walk in. Leave good things where we pass. This month’s gallery of writers does so with their usual aplomb. We are so happy you are here.


List-O-Mania – Brule Eagan

art-supplies-list


It’s the Top 10 Countdown! – John Zielinski

top10-2


Stage Fright – Michelle Jackson Jewell

tom & michelle tango (2)


A 2019 Challenge To Myself – Marc Piane

img_1925


Calm In The Chaos – Rainee Denham

From the porthole window of a vessel in a rough sea


Less Than Two Years To Go – Steve Buschbacher

january article picture


The Chill On The Infield – Tom DeMichael

veeck


The Publisher’s Desk – Joe Tortorici

keys

Chicago – November 1, 2018

EllenHarder CST NOV 18
Photo by Ellen Harder

My thanks to Ellen Harder for her cityscape photo. “Great view from my rooftop, simultaneously beautiful and ominous…” A magnificent capture by any measure.

Something tweaks the air. The cold weather is coming. In the Midwest we give it names, “Alberta Clipper” is a thing. The ebb and flow of the seasons in these latitudes is a blessing to all humanity. The freeze culls out the old and weak so the species stays strong. Push me on to Lake Michigan in a rowboat with no oars. Abandon me on the ice for the polar bears to eat.

The truth is my complaints are small. Retirement affords me limited direct engagement with the elements. I can remember waiting on the El platform under the radiator lights, the top of my head burning and my feet numb with cold.

Our shorter days promote “seasonal affective disorder,” a term that produces the acronym SAD. Dare I say dark humor? I find the opposite emotions at play. The big city is a different kind of light and never really dark. Whether you love or hate the classic holiday season, it is an explosion of artificial illumination, a good deal of it joyous by intent. It’s time to plan an after-dark visit to the center of the city.

It’s also a perfect time of year to read. Get comfortable with a hot beverage and exercise the brain, open new vistas, envision other thoughts. Central Standard Time is pleased to bring you one of the finest writing guilds on the internet. Join Steve Buschbacher, Tom DeMichael, Rainee Denham, Brule Eagan, Joseph Gardewin, Michelle Jackson Jewell, Marc Piane, John Zielinski, and yours truly, Joe Tortorici, at the round-table for conversation. The floor is open.


Please like and share your favorite articles. Comment to the writers, we love that. Be sure to visit the Central Standard Time and Contact pages.


It cannot be said enough…VOTE. If you are able, reach out and help others vote. We, the proletariat, are given the opportunity to shape the government. Let’s do it well.


Steve Buschbacher – Functioning On Blind Faith

dive bar_edited


Tom DeMichael – Where Did We Go Wrong?

cubs_sox1118


Rainee Denham – Get the Ball Rolling Or Not

og-image


Brule Eagan – A Giant Dies

PHOTO 1_edited.jpg


Chef Joseph Gardewin – Food #7

IMG_6342_edited.jpg


Michelle Jackson Jewell – Violation

Violation Image_edited.jpg


Chef Michelle Jackson Jewell – Food #8

Pumpkin Muffins


Marc Piane – Outside In – Connection

image1


John Zielinski – Fear Itself

Carlo Chiostri - bogeyman_edited.jpg


Joe Tortorici – A Map Of The Greater Antilles

cat2.jpg


The Publisher’s Desk – By Definition

il_570xn-357503796

Chicago – May 1, 2018

harold-washington-library-center
Harold Washington Library Center

Marc Piane and I shared some reading recently, The Stanger by Albert Camus. I read it long ago and he inspired me to re-visit this classic. We then communicated on a thread, joined by a handful of other “nerds” in our Facebook coterie. The core of conversation and reflections from the book were illuminating, as expected. It was a marvel how our virtual seminar of like-minded readers found a time and place to “talk” about what we had read.

49552

My manner of acquiring the book was also a statement of the modern world. Once the request was submitted to the Chicago Public Library website, within days I was notified by email. The “book” (it seems odd to call it that) was downloaded to my Kindle. At the end of the virtual checkout, it was returned without delay. How effortless the act of using the library has become. How fortunate we in Chicago are to have an amazing resource like our library system.

logo_library

This blog remains a strident proponent of the written word. Not just what you see here, but the mindset of expansive consumption of what you read. At various times throughout its existence, there could have been volumes of images, videos, and audio clips… but no. Central Standard Time is in this world for you to read, and be inspired to read more. No end of pride attends this effort.

Every part of our country, every municipality and county, has access to a library. Your inter-connected phone has the ability to borrow or buy books from all over the world. As we celebrated the life of Barbara Bush, be reminded of her signature advocacy, literacy. Literacy is the fuel of progress. So many of the world’s problems will be solved by a literate, informed populace. It’s vital to our survival.

Join us. Interact with the writers on these pages. Ask questions, state opinions, give argument… participate. It costs nothing and the dividends are priceless. Summer is here and I can think of no greater pleasure than being outdoors, relaxing with a good book.

We bring you another edition of contemporary essays for your pleasure.

books3


Rainee Denham – LEFT Isn’t a Four-letter Word

brain_06


John ZielinskiA Creature of Language

Untitled 2


Tom DeMichael Is That All There Is?

cst_0518


Steve Buschbacher –  What the Hell Happened?

young to old


Brule EaganConfessions Of A No-Talent

keyboard


Marc PianeBalance

Chapter 2 of Marc’s philosophical journey.

IMG_1317

Please support Marc’s upcoming fundraiser:

2016_BIKE_logo


Glenn EstryFood #7

Mushroom-Tart-1

Chef Glenn would like to introduce you to a friend:

rvr-farm RIVER VALLEY RANCH

“I can tell you that some of the best tasting vegetables I have ever had come from his farm. My annual spaghetti sauce making uses about 35 pounds of their San Marzano tomatoes. The best you can get this far from Italy.”

Chicago – March 17, 2018

Raft Man-web
Raft Man

The last vestiges of a winter chill will not deter our spring. Balmy temps and the “great outdoor escape” are around the corner. Hang in there.

One of the serendipitous coincidences when publishing a blog is discovery. I have known this talented woman for almost two decades and, once again, I’m awakened to the intellectual depth of my friend. Allow me to introduce Rainee Denham.

Rainee is the classic trifecta of a life in theater, a captivating voice, dancing graces, and the transcendent study of acting. Here she reveals a sophisticated level of communication through the written word. Visit her website (raineedenham.com) and be amazed.

Turn And Face The Strange is the first visit from Rainee. She will join us for the April edition of Central Standard Time with another compelling article.

Brule Eagan writes his annual homage to blarney in Up the Oirish!” 

Chef Geofredo DiMucci (that may be an alias!) treats us to Chicken Cacciatore in Food #6.

Part 2 of Constitutionally Speaking continues a series from The Publisher’s Desk. We examine the concept of Federalism.”

A new index of recipes from our crack team of culinary giants (!) now resides on the CONTACT page.


As always, I am so pleased you are here. Every month the contributors to this blog ask you to read. Reading is the muscle of knowledge and intellect, and fundamental to our future. Visit the enlightened creativity that graces these pages and note your opinion with the “Like” button. Better yet, send your opinions with a comment. We love to hear from you.

Making Meaning In Art: In the Studio of Gabriel Karagianis by Erin reeves Denk

All The News That’s Fit To Print? by Steve Buschbacher

The Most Trusted Man in America by John Zielinski

Quo Vadis, Mr. Murrow by Brule Eagan

Ahh, Spring by Tom DeMichael

Philosophy Meets Real Life by Marc Piane

Constitutionally Speaking by Joe Tortorici