October 2nd, 2009


Prostitute in Chicago?

It's November 2006 -- where do you find a prostitute in Chicago? A streetwalker, the kind who'll do business in a back alley (although that might not be practical in Chicago in November, I've just realized). How much do they charge? What little jargon I know ranges from film noir on up -- what's currently used in Chicago?

Didn't even try to google this, I'm clueless -- if anybody finds what I'm looking for via Google, I'd love to know the keywords. The "prostitution" tag here's been helpful (thanks!) but I'm hoping for Chicago-specific info.
Girl with Owl

Disability Benefits From A University

Hello there! I'm preparing for this year's stab at NaNoWriMo, and I have a question. I checked Google, but most of what I found was about social security benefits, which I think is different--I'm looking into this, and might use depending on what information I get about this. But I can't really find anything dealing with this particular issue. I also asked my mom because she tried to get disability through her job, but her information only has limited application...she works retail.

If a professor at a present day New York university has to stop working due to illness, what kind of disability payments is he eligible for, if any? How long would they last? Said professor is tenured, I'm not sure what difference that makes but I figure I should mention it. The illnesses are many, this story is about a woman who can give people diseases with her mind, but one of the MAIN ones is cancer. Does it matter if the university is state-run (like a SUNY/CUNY) or private? Also, would he be totally ineligible if he receives some money from publications? (Maybe there's a maximum amount of outside income?) Does it matter if his wife has a part-time retail job?

Anyway, thank you for your help!

Mrs Letitia Sage - actress.

On 29th June 1785 British actress Mrs Letitia Ann Sage  became the first female aerialist, carried aloft in  Lunardi's hydrogen balloon from St George's Fields, London along with Mr George Biggin. The gondola was draped in swags, but the gate had a neat arrangement of lacing so that the watchers on the ground could see the people up in the air.

Mrs Sage was described as Junoesque, and  apparently weighed in at over 200 pounds. On the day she wore a very low cut silk dress, apparently to aid 'wind resistance'. (You can just picture it can't you?). Her fellow passenger was the dashing George Biggin, a young and wealthy Old Etonian.

Unfortunately the balloon was overloaded. (Afterwards Mrs Sage blamed herself because she hadn't told Lunardi her weight and he'd been too polite to ask). Lunardi seemed to have no qualms about stepping out and letting the apparently inexperienced Mr Biggin take to the air with Mrs Sage. Unfortunately in his haste to depart, Lunardi failed to do up the lacings of the gondola door. As the balloon sailed away over Picadilly The beautiful Mrs Sage was on all fours re-threading the lacings to close the door. Apparently the crowd assumed she had fainted pr possibly something far more exciting was going on between her and Mr Biggin.

The flight followed the line of the Thames westwards finally landing heavily in Harrow on the Hill where the balloon damaged a hedge and gouged a strip through the middle of an uncut hayfield, leaving the farmer ranting abuse and threats. The honour of the first female aeronaut was saved by the young gentlemen/boys of Harrow school who had a whip-round to pay off the farmer and then carried Mrs Sage bodily, in triumph, to the local pub.

I got the gist of all this from an item on a BBC Radio4 programme last year and made hurried notes, thinking to use it for a short story sometime. I've done some googling since and found out plenty about Lunardi and his balloon flights, including the fateful voyage of Mrs Sage and Mr Biggin, but I can find very little about Mrs Sage, herself, even though the radio item mentioned that she'd left a vivid account.

I've even looked her up on the 1871, 1881 and 1891 census return but the only Letitia Sages were too young or in the wrong place entirely and married to a blacksmith. Letitia could have been her stage name, of course.

Googling 'Mrs Sage actress' gets me a later (American) one who apparently had her servant slam the door in Andrew Carnegie's face. Googling 'Letitia Ann Sage' just gets me a lot of varied accounts of the balloon incident and a very brief entry that indicates she might at one time have been a humble theatre dresser. Wikipedia's British Stage Actors doesn't list her at all.

I would, however, like to find some information about the lady herself, what theatres she might have played at and what roles she might have taken. I've got some general theatre background for that period and can fudge it if necessary, but I'd like to know how old she was at the time of the balloon ride and what recent productions she might have had some success in (at which theatres).

Any help appreciated.

silly bitch

Hotels in Wichita, KS in the 1880s

Setting: 1880s Kansas. The stage has stopped for an overlay in Wichita and the female main character is seeking a place to have lunch, bathe, and change her clothing. She's fairly affluent and so would not choose one of the lower class hotels or saloons nor would she use the depot facilities, if they had them.

Search terms: hotels Wichita KS 1880s

I found a lot of links with modern travel information, one link on particular buildings, and the Wikipedia page which had only a small sliver of history and nothing about the layout of the town.

Links: Harvey Houses, Cowtown Museum, 1880 Wichita census (note that they do list several occupations as working in hotels, so I know there was at least one there), Historic Sites of Wichita, KS (there were four articles here, but if a hotel was mentioned I missed it), and Wichita, Kansas.

I also thumbed through Dee Brown's "The American West" but found no such references either.

I'm looking for the name of a decent hotel which would have been in operation during this time period.
i r smexy, amber!pic

ER nurse; responsibilities, training, title

Location: Massachussetts/East Coast, USA
Time Period: Now-ish

I have a character who works in a Massachusetts ER as a nurse, mostly evening and overnight shifts, and I have some specific questions regarding what his standing/responsibilities would be.

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Research done: My Google-Fu is sort of failing on this. I've Googled various combinations of nurse responsibilities/emergency room nursing/male nurses, and while I've found general information, I haven't found a whole lot of anecdotal or detailed information on the subject. The best I've come up with were one or two "day in the life" articles by female trauma nurses, and a blog by an ER nurse in California, so I have some idea, but I'd like some more anecdotal information specifically pertaining to male nurses if at all possible.

Thank you in advance! :D

Young Pioneers/Komsomol in the 1970s

Setting: Moscow, 1973-1979 or thereabouts (AU, but not in a way that's particularly relevant)

Searched for: Lots of Googling on the Young Pioneers and Moscow in the 70s, which led to some pretty useful results but didn't answer everything. Also, I have a friend who was in the organization, but in the Ukraine and a decade later.

Our protagonist joins the Young Pioneers in 1973 at the age of 10, and later is recruited into the Komsomol at 15. My questions are:

1. How regular were meetings? Would they have been very structured, or more of a drop-in type thing?

2. My aforementioned friend has awesome stories about shooting off AK-47s at summer camp. Was this a common experience? If so, how significant a role did military training play?

3. The character has a somewhat famous last name and is from a aristocratic family that fell on hard times before the Revolution. His family since then have been good little Soviet citizens; would he still be under an unusual amount of suspicion or otherwise given a hard time?