The Underdog Triumphs

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I was upset last week for the "what could have been," there was a fire in my apartment building. I was awoken at 1:30 am by a fire alarm and a fireman screaming in the hallway to get out. The fire was contained to one apartment, and everyone was fine.

A few days later, the hurricane has destroyed New Orleans. I see the pictures on the news, read the stories in the paper, my heart just plunges and my eyes fill with tears for these people who have lost literally everything.

When traumatic disasters happen to other people, I am always reminded on how lucky I am. It's a feeling that makes me feel torn because I feel lucky because of other peoples misery. There is something wrong with that. So I give to charity because I want to help, but also to overcome my feelings of guilt. There is something wrong with that too.

I have no idea how it feels but am devastated for them. I feel helpless and wish I could do more than just send a check to a relief organization where I just hope that a good fraction of what I send actually helps provide for the victims. Right now people are looting looking for food and water, America's Second Harvest claims that 100% of proceeds given will go to Hurricane Katrina. Guess I have to believe them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Growing Pains

Yesterday I had to work at a Middle Eastern festival representing the cultural institution where I work full-time. There I ran into my best friend from high school/college yesterday. We caught up and talked about what were doing now--each of us trying to sound more together than I'm sure we really are. I kept thinking about the past and the way she use to make me feel--I could feel my heart grow cold, as it does when I'm around people I don't particularly like.

I've been disappointed so many times in my life, that I sadly have little faith in people these days. I've learned that sometimes we just have to say goodbye. But saying goodbye is hard. Especially when we still the love the other person but are forced to let go. Sometimes friendships and other relationships aren't meant to be. We learn from each other, hopefully walk away with a few intangible things and move on. On paper it seems easy, but in reality if was a real, truly connected relationship--deep down, a part of ourselves go missing.

Every time I drive down Sheridan Road, I look forward to seeing what is written on the Leona's sign. Yesterday it said, "don't cut what can be untied." I repeated it a few times in my head, my mind continued to review the statement over and over the rest of the night. What happens if can't be untied? Then you cut it? How many knots are in it? What if you want to untie it, but the other person wants to cut it?

I decided I liked that little proverb because it resurged my hope in that things can work themselves out if both ends decide to work together and untangle the mess before the shears are dug out. There is a strange sense of comfort in that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I have become (un)comfortably numb

The dentist told me it was okay to rinse now. I leaned over and grabbed the dixie cup filled with mouth wash--I attempted to sip and swish as it all dribbled out the left side of my mouth. I laughed and said I couldn't, then she said, "oh the muscles are probably not working yet."

Everyone hates the dentist. It's not their fault really that we take such bad care of our teeth. I haven't had to have in a filling done in almost 10 years, so I guess today it was my turn. I had a mini-anxiety attack in the cab on the way to the office. Then I went numb. Then there were drill sounds. That is what gets me, I hate that sound, it's like fingernails on a chalk board. I think that sound alone will prevent me from eating anything with sugar for a long, long time.

In the elevator after my appointment I went to put on lip gloss. I tried to rub my lips together as one often does after putting anything on their lips. My bottom lip slid up under my top front teeth. I noticed in the mirror reflection my top lip not moving. My lips look stretched out and turn down at the corners.

I got home from work an hour early and not knowing what to do with myself I decided to wait out the numbness and take a walk by the lake. I found myself trying to whistle along to the Zero 7 CD. Once again, the lips fool me again as the bottom one juts out as the top stays in place.

I'll be happy when the numbness wears off...even though it was kinda funny while it lasted.

Special thanks to Mr. 007 who told me that today is the Gutte's Birthday...still wishing that comeback. I'm raising the glass of water that I have to tilt my head all the way back to sip, and wishing you a happy one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Someone wrote me an email today that totally made me feel guilty about something; truth is I forgot to mention my grandfather died from the cancer I am doing a charity run/walk for. I was tired, and needed to get the letter out as the date is growing closer--I'm not good at asking for money, even if it is for a good cause. And I don't know how, but I forgot. I wrote a bad letter. I made a mistake. I make a mistake (or four) everyday.

Someone told me I beat myself up too much about things. Today that person supported me and told me how proud they are of me.

Someone who had known me for a long time reminded me recently that I've crossed a lot of shit off my "Self-Improvement-To-Do list," and I should give myself a break.

Another someone bought me big, baby blue Underdog T-shirt and today I got to thank him for it(he had to call me...But...)

I met two other someone's for dinner tonight and it was fun.

My dad always told me to focus more on the positive then the negative. I have to remind myself that while some "someone's" let me down or make me feel bad, other, more positive "someone's" are there to pick me up. And that makes life good.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cactus Flower

I decided to take the afternoon/early evening to feel sorry for myself. I decided to fuck it-I need to feel it to get through it. I've felt this disappointment before--I've grieved the loss of the fantasy before--Studs Turkel wrote a book called Hope Dies Last, I read it because I liked the title. That's kinda my philosophy--I've always had my hope...but does it die? I don't know because mine has never fully died. I've tried to kill it, but it won't die. I mean aspects of hope have--or better yet things we once hope for we eventually get over--but it's the duration of "eventually" time that makes it feel like our bed is a cactus we are forced to lie upon.

William H. Macy's character in the movie Magnolia repeats over and over in one scene I have love to give. All of a sudden I felt I was in his characters shoes. I've wanted to shout that at people before too. Sometimes you can't fix a broken person. It's not that they are beyond repair, but they don't want to hire you as their handyman...they want say, Jesus to fix them. And one thing I'm not, is Jesus.

Ironic how the song Far Away by Carole King just came on.

You're far away
doesn't anyone stay in one place anymore?
it would be so fine to see your face at my door
it doesn't help to know
your so far away

So after laying in bed for an hour feeling lonely and sorry for myself, I decided to get out of bed and practice unhealthy habits for tonight only. So I put on Carole King, dug up the secret stash, am slamming down a trashy wine cooler, and made Cocoa Krispie treats. I'm letting myself feel this tonight only...then it's time to move on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

4 Blogs in 1

I keep emailing myself things I want to blog about--but other stresses have taken course the past few days, and now I think I'm fighting an impending Summer cold, so I'm condensing 4 blogs into 1 and ditching my morning workout.

How I love the Ira Glass, let me count the ways--well except for this one little thing--he's taking This American Life to Showtime...and I'm in the camp of Will His Voice Carry?

Blogs Can Bite, a pondering phrase for all of us much is too much? What topics are taboo? I have had someone ask me not to blog about something...we have a constitutional right...but we also have liability and relationships at stake. Something to ponder.

These are some cool photos by a Chicago photographer Nick Campbell, he's no Diane Arbus, but he captures that raw element of humanity that makes us stare at the photos for a few extra moments.

For those of us who love the reality show America's Next Top Model, this is an interview not to be missed with the Janice Dickinson. She disses Tyra, the contests, fellow models and puts the word fun back in dysfunctional. Gotta kinda love her after reading it.

There, 15 minutes and 4 blogs in 1.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

G-d's little Wink

It didn't start out like any other morning. I woke at 7, skipped the gym, got seats on both "L's" I take to get to work. Usual hustle around my desk covered with papers perched in the hallway. It went downhill before lunch when I remembered I forgot to move my car to the other side of the street due to weekly street cleaning. Then I went out for lunch and ingested some bad thai food, and made my stomach worse by breaking my own cardinal rule--don't drink the office coffee. (By the way, where does that cardinal rule expression come from anyway?) Then I had a marketing meeting and a goodbye party with kosher chocolate cake for a girl who's leaving the museum to go to grad school. Then the message on the cell phone that my dad wants me to go condo shopping with him on Saturday which prompted a discussion with my boss about responsibility and how I was stressed out enough trying to decide whether or not I am going to do the Masters in Nonprofit Management program at the cultural institution where I work. Basically everyone says "It's a free master's degree, you're an idiot not to do it." But it was a helpful discussion and I was feeling a bit better until the crisis in the Design department, preceded by the crisis in the Development Department which makes me just want to yell at everyone and ask JUST BECAUSE I SIT IN THE HALLWAY DOESN'T MEAN I'M LITERALLY YOUR FUCKING HALLMONITOR, DO YOUR OWN DAMN WORK, I'M BUSY ENOUGH IN MY DEPARTMENT AND I'M NOT DOING IT FOR YOU, AGAIN YOU FUCKING, SPOILED, LITTLE JAP. By the way, that has to do with Development Department girls, not my vegan guys in the design department--I like them--it's all our fault that an ad due in 15 minutes slipped through the cracks--only after my boss and the head of design sparred at each other for 10 minutes did I realize I had fibed about the actual due date, which is Friday--good thing I do that, right?

So it was a rough one, but both "L" trains came in decent time, and I checked the car to retrieve an impending ticket but didn't find one. And a UPS delivery notice was surprisingly stuck to mailbox, delivery attempt from Story People--someone--and I think I know who--because it has to be one of 2 people who I recently discussed these with--must have bought me one. And I smiled, because even though I yet to see it, it's nice to be thought of.

So I took a long evening walk and thanked G-d for sending me a little wink...even bad beginnings turn into happy endings.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Germans Love the Gutte

A friend joked today that I may have found my soulmate--his name is Dietmar Eichelberger, he's a German Art Collector who has put his Steve Guttenberg memorabilla on display in a show called Das Gutte: Celebrating the Life of Steve Guttenberg.

Who would of thought an American girl like me, and a German man like Dietmar would have such a unique love in common.

It's refreshing to know that a German is capable of holding a Jew like the Gutte in such high esteem. Now let's all salute our arms the ole German way and chant, DAS GUTTE!

Thanks Fizz for making my afternoon full of big "tee hee's."