The Underdog Triumphs

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Goodbye May

I have a love/hate relationship with the month of May. Every year it's a month of challenges and transitions. Winter ends, in Chicago Spring is too short--if it exists at all. And like the flowers that bloom, new chapters begin.

So readers, the time has come to take my Italian adventure and make my dream come true. I joke that maybe I won't return. Maybe I'll stay and find a new life. Who knows what can happen, and that is the most exciting part of life's little journeys.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hits and Chicks

My dad and stepmother called that they were still 10 minutes away from the restaurant. I decided to be brave and take a seat at the bar. I ordered my Pino Grigio minding my own business when I noticed a lady standing beside me. (Now is a good time to preface saying that restaurant is between a hotel and theatre where my stepmother joked that you had to be over 70 and wearing a Jewish star to be admitted.)

I innocently glanced up at the tall, chubby lady wearing funky glasses. She smiled at me, stuck out her hand and said, "Hi, I'm Rachel." Unenthusiastic to shake a strangers hand, I dimly smiled and said, "Susie."

"So, where are you in town from?"

"Oh, I live near by...Just waiting for my parents for dinner."

"Oh. Meeting your parents huh. Well I'm just getting ice for my juice," magically producing a mini-can of Dole pineapple juice.

Holding back laughter. "Oh, well, that's good."

"Yep, just trying to get my daily vitamins!"

I nod.

"Well, it was nice to meet you Susie. Have a good night, see you around."

God I hope not. Did I just get hit on? It strangely felt like it. I just about downed the rest of my glass wondering if my natural makeup and bohemian clothes make me look like a lesbian. Then I came to my senses asking myself, what does a lesbian even look like? This afternoon I was watching an old episode of Seinfeld and a reporter thought Jerry and George were gay companions. They kept freaking out about it once it was printed in the paper, but then always added the comment, "not that that's a bad thing!" So, maybe getting hit on by a lesbian is not a bad thing, it was kinda flattering.

We sat at a table by the window. I watched some older gentleman leave the restaurant and light their cigarettes when I noticed one of the old guys is holding a wooden hitter box. For those who may not know, it's a wooden box that holds a hollow metal cigarette, basically, you put your weed in there. I watched as they stopped outside the window in front of the planter. I told my dad to watch as the guy set his cigarette on the side of the planter, lit the metal cig, then quickly switched back to the real cig. Now, I've done this in public before, years ago, in college. We'd do it in bars, or in beer gardens surrounded by people near my own age who were probably doing the same thing. But these guys were like older than my father, I'd guess between 65-70. I quipped that if I had to go watch a play in that theatre I'd probably have to get stoned too.

My dad then questioned, "how do you know what that is." I answered, "Because I used to have one dad, you know, for when I used to smoke pot recreationaly." "What does that mean?" "I don't know, it was a word mom came up with to describe my once in a while partaking." Silence. "But remember dad, you never caught me on the back porch with _______, that was one of your other children."

I love that in situations like this, sometimes its easier to blame a sibling for something they once did. Refresh the old mans memory to make myself like the innocent child who never got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I guess that's one of the great reasons we have siblings.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Future Thoughts

A wise voice simply once said to me, “Susie, stop trying to get people to like you.” I don’t even remember what the discussion was about—I imagine I was retelling a story about what happened that day at work, or how a friend, family member, or fellowman “disapproved” of me in some way which left a shitty feeling because someone displayed feelings of not liking me. I remember feeling ashamed hearing that statement because I never realized other people noticed that specific one, of my many, great flaws. I also had always prided myself on being a nonconformist who didn’t care whether people liked me or not. But there it was, said, out in the open, a statement floating there that must be explored.

Stop trying to get people to like you.

I often hear that voice in my head reciting that provocative statement. I remember emailing the wise voice and admitting I had been ashamed of the realization. I wrote that I never considered myself approval seeking before and I was bothered that it was brought to the surface. I spent a lot of time pondering my approval seeking behavior. In my eyes, it was subtle, never overtly trying to get people to like me by doing such idiotic things as bringing arm loads of doughnuts to the office on a daily basis or something to that over-the-top sort. But opinions did matter. And of course, being human, they sometimes still do. But I no longer feel shame because I’m more cognizant of my thoughts and the unhealthy behavior that may ensue. And why should I be ashamed of my flaws? I realize they make me who I am, and honestly, that’s really not that bad.

I am a human being filled with love, compassion, integrity, respect, honesty, and dignity, yet I make mistakes, big and small, and that’s okay, because I need to learn from them in order to prosper in the future.

Looking towards the future is my new focus. If people don’t like me-—I’m okay with that. What other people think doesn’t ultimately matter in my life. Life is what I choose to make of it, how I choose to live it, and only I can control thoughts about how I feel about myself. I refuse to be a prisoner.

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will be blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Running on 6 hours of sleep

I stayed up until 12:30 last night watching Grey's Anatomy season finale--I need to discuss.

First, I have to honestly say that acting chops were busted out in the 2- (or was it 3?) hour finale. I absolutely love Christina's turn for the human and George's scene in the hall with Meredith. That one resonated with me the most--his speech about knowing she didn't love him and that he'd rather have one night with her than nothing at all. George reminds me of me--the constant longing for something that was never yours complete with unreciprocated feelings, yet the want to experience someone is so strong that your blinded by reality. (Wow, I need a shot of tehina after that self-analysis).

Now on to Meredith and McDreamy, I have to say I'm a little McBored.

I'd rather watch an episode of Doc the dog--whose death got a cheap tear from my eye.

Denny and Izzie-also got a cheap tear from my eye, although I wonder when they really fell in love? Did I miss it?

Callie-I wonder if she was ever a GLOW girl (Goregeous Lady or Wrestling, anyone (besides Ben and Carla) remember that early 80's mania?)

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chugging Tehina

If I wrote for The Onion, I would probably elobrate and embelish what happend at around 9:30 last night at Pita Inn.

Me: Tziv, 2 O'clock, Kenny Rogers is taking shots of tehina.

Tziv looks at me like I'm nuts.

Me: I'm serious, that guy over there is drinking a cup of tehina!

Tziv starts laughing.

Me: Hurry! Hurry! He's doing it again. You have got to look! Look now! Look now!

Tziv's face is turing red with laughter. "Susie, I can't look now. It's too obvious."

Me: I can't beleive Kenny Rogers is taking shots of tehina. That's so gross!

Tziv is still laughing as Kenny Rogers and friend get up and leave.

Me: Look at his plate. (There are five clear mini-cups stacked up on his plate.)

Tziv: Holy shit!

Maybe you just had to be there.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"You're a Fool"

Found in this mornings Chicago Tribune:

`The T stands for talking'

Published May 3, 2006

NEW YORK -- If Dr. Phil can dispense advice, why not Mr.T?

The TV Land network announced Tuesday that it will start "I Pity the Fool," a series where "The A-Team" star travels across the country dispensing inspiration and advice.

"The T stands for talking," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm going to talk it up. It's what I've been doing all my life."

The series starts in October. He'll offer help to people struggling with personal or professional problems.

"My show ain't no `Dr. Phil,' with people sitting around crying," he said. "You're a fool--that's what's wrong with you. You're a fool if you don't take my advice."