The Underdog Triumphs

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character...The turkey is, in comparison, a much more respectable bird, and wihtal a true original native of America...He is, though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse emblem for that, a bird of courage, and would not hestitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards.

Benjamin Franklin, letter of January 26, 1784.

To my friends, family and strangers--far and near, I am thankful for all of you for being in my life. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Thought

A thought:
We miss so much here, so very much and for so long now: I miss it to, just as you do. I'm not talking of outward things, for we are looked after in that way, no, I mean the inward things. Like you, I long for freedom and fresh air, but I believe now that we have ample compensation for our privations. I realized this quite suddenly when I sat in front of the window this morning. I mean inward compensation.

When I looked outside right into the depth of Nature and God, then I was happy, really happy. And Peter, so long as I have that happiness here, the joy in nature, health and a lot more besides, all the while one has that, one can always recapture happiness.

Riches can all be lost, that happiness in you own heart can only be veiled, and it will still bring you happiness again, as long as you live. As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within, and that you will still find happiness.

Anne Frank
February 23, 1944

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Ira Gets Married

When I walked into the office last Monday morning Betsy said she had some bad news for me and brought me the ripped out page from Time Out Chicago. It was an article about the 10th anniversary of my favorite NPR program This American Life. And there it was amongst the list of why host Ira Glass has a had a busy a year--three little words--"He got married."

Ira Glass isn't suppose to get married! Not when he's in negotiations to come to my cultural institution and help open an exhibition about nostalgic Jewish vacation spots and do a live taping of TAL! He's the last single, celebrity, intelligent, funny and Jewish guy on my list!

I love his commentary with Django Reinhert-esqe music playing in the back. His giggle. His storytelling. I love that he started this radio documentary show featuring stories about ordinary people and places. I love the sweetness and feeling of nostalgia I get while listening. Ira Glass's voice is like a big hug or a cup of cocoa--it's warm and fills me up in a way that is hard to explain in words.

Oh well. Can't really mourn what you never had anyway. Good for Ira. I'm a little bitter, but I'm a TAL fan for life.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It's Here

A shock to the system as it first slaps my face. A bitter feeling arouses as my shoulders tense up and arch forward as I fight my way against the wind.

I wish I were a bear so I could hibernate only to awake when Spring is in the air.

I feel myself starting to think about my winter hibernation as I wait--teeth chattering--on the "L" platform or walking to work, blocks from the lake. I dream of home and my down comforter. I think about the soup recipes I will try and debate with myself about renewing my Netflix membership. I remind myself to search for my long johns, and curse myself that I haven't yet bought a big comfy couch.

I always think I will never unnecessarily leave the house. But every year is the same--it just takes some adjusting to. Soon we'll all be commenting that it's warm out--when it's 40 degrees.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pity Party

Right now, I should be in San Francisco smoking a J with my bro gearing up to go to the Rolling Stones concert.

Instead I'm here in the Windy City, drinking decaf, procrastinating finishing my paper for Tuesdays class thinking about how life rarely turns out the way you think it does.

I was having a discussion with a friend recently about just that. Maybe because I ended up having a miserable college experience that I used to daydream about how life would be after graduation and I moved back to Chicago. I fantasized about having a fabulous job, wardrobe, apartment, and boyfriend. Tons of friends to call to brunch and meet for evening cocktails.

Instead the only job I could find was a secretarial position and I ended up having to stay with my dad and stepmom for a year and a half. I worked as a secretary for 3 years. There are only aged, fading clothes in the closet. My apartment is less than fabulous. Boyfriend has yet to even make a cameo.

How much more can I do to help myself change my life?

In the past year I gained new employment, finally not a secretary. I joined a gym, bookclub, went on dates, started a Master's program...but there are still holes. Still hopes I'm waiting for to fill them. But how much longer will it take until I feel I have this fabulous life I've been waiting for?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Hard to be a Woman: Part Deux

Lately, women in their mid-40's (maybe even 50's), are telling me I should either "spend 10 minutes a day doing my make-up" or "accentuate your features with a little rouge." I don't wear makeup on a regular, daily basis. It's hard enough to put on my eye liner sober at 7 pm on a Saturday night, let alone sleepily at 7 am. I'm lucky if I remembered to throw my burts bees lip balm in my work bag.

Truth is, I do get a tad more attention when I'm rockin' blush and colored lip gloss. But the attention is not enough to enough to get me motivated to wear it daily. Maybe because I only attract freaks...maybe it's lack of confidence...or maybe I just don't like goop on my face for 14 hours a day.

At the gym this morning I was watching Tyra Banks' talk show. She was asking the audience if they ever thought about celebrities when they were having sex. Of course one man stood up and said, "you, Tyra." She lifted up her dress to reveal her girdle, or in this day and age I think they call them affectionately "Spanxx." She retorted, "You gonna fantasize about this! About the cellulite on my booty!"

You gotta love a model who is not ashamed to embrace herself as she is, like the rest of us, cellulite and all.

As for me, I think I'll keep going sans makeup because I'm usually more comfortable with out it.