Friday, January 30, 2009

My End or Yours?


Jen of All Trades:

Moments ago (as I was writing this), the Illinois Senate unanimously voted to remove sitting Governor Rod Blagojevich from office. I watched live as each senator cast their vote. Now, I hate the damn guy. I think he is as crooked as a politician...err...wait...

Anyway, as I watched the votes roll in, one dude really pissed me off. I wish I knew who it was, but as he said his "yes" he gestured the thumbs down sign. Was that really necessary? These are our elected officials conducting official SERIOUS business in our state's capital and he is doing playground hand gestures? Isn't that for the rest of us to perform as we watch in our livingrooms (radio studios) with our popcorn (hot tea) watching the circus unfold? You know, those of us not wearing suits representing the people of this already embarassed state. We look so much better than everyone else now, don't we?

The votes are cast in the way I felt they should have been. But I have never been the kind to want to kick a man when he's down. Blago put himself there at the bottom and he will have to live with the consequences for the rest of his life. And now, state senator-whose-name-I-don't-know, so will you. You will forever in my mind be the guy who shamed himself by acting like a child when this state made unfortunate history.

Becky Boop: It was both necessary and appropriate

If as Jen says, the people in Springfield are “elected officials conducting official SERIOUS business in our state's capital,” then I think Blago most of all missed that memo. How else to explain the one man media blitz conducted by our now former Governor in recent weeks? A man who ought to have been worried about the future of his political career, his upcoming criminal defense, and putting food on the table for his painfully embarrassed children (wife Patti recently lost her job as a fundraiser as well), instead went about the “serious” business of painting himself as a political martyr, displaying the unmitigated gall to compare himself to Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi without cracking a smile.

Am I alone in noting that Blago relished this whole ordeal and the circus of it? Eliot Spitzer, the other disgraced Governor of 2008 (we’ll leave Palin alone for now) couldn’t wait for it all to go away, but Blago courted attention and shock value every step. I don’t think he cared about being Governor (as those tapes themselves clearly suggest – being “stuck” and all). He really envisioned himself as some sort of media darling, a newfangled Harvey Milk political martyr. Minutes after his formal dismissal by the legislature, he was planning his next press conference - already tasting that book deal, eventual screenplay and speaking tours (hopefully wearing stylish accessory ankle monitor). The guy obviously loves opportunism and riches, and he might not be wrong that ironically, getting thrown out of office is his ultimate ticket to fame and fortune. He doesn’t care a fig about the people of Illinois or anyone else. He took every chance this week to add more theatrics to his “legacy” This makes me hate him more than I do for the crimes he probably committed. I have never seen such a bald faced user in my life.

So as for this unnamed Senator who gave Blago the thumbs down? If this man is truly the elected voice of his district, I can only hazard a guess that his gesture, if considered immature for the advanced workings of the Illinois State Senate (I will purposely pause for laughter here), is nonetheless reflective of the group opinion of his constituents. In another words, Blago was lucky not to receive a gesture of the more obscene kind from those who decided his ultimate fate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back, but not better than ever

So illness has taken over mi casa, as Boop mentioned. The last three weeks have been an extreme dose of germ sharing. Now Rosebud's caretakers are falling to the wicked virus. But, thankfully, Rosebud has turned a corner and is back to begging for new episodes of Barney and Jack's Big Music Show. Which brings me to my thought for the day: TV is NOT detrimental to kids in any dose.

My almost 20-month old has learned to sing and dance and even has picked up quite a bit of vocab from watching these children's programs. If you listen to the experts, they say to limit to an hour OR LESS (!!!!!!) per day. But let's keep it real, shall we? It takes me at least an hour to take care of myself during the day (shower, get ready, nourish my own body with food and drink) and that requires someone else to occupy my daughter's attention. I don't know about you, but I cannot afford a nanny to do said entertaining, so Barney is the lucky man for the job.

What's worse: her laughing and dancing when the "Elmo's World" jingle comes on OR her climbing up and down the stairs in boredom? The latter is an accident waiting to happen, the former a cute photo op.

Let me be clear. I read to her everyday, we chase each other around the house, we have conversations, we play games. But she watches her fair share of tv too, experts be damned. It makes her happy and she learn things! You HAVE to balance it with human interaction, as I have described. Obviously. I am not an idiot. But I am a working mom being pulled in many directions and it helps to have Barney on my side.

Happy Thoughts

Upon reading the insightful comments of new reader jimmypasta (yes, since this is my blog, I do sometimes forget in my wallowing that all of us are feeling some sort of pain), and reflecting for the last couple of days, I have decided to place a moratorium on pity parties. It occurred to me that if I can't find something else to talk about besides how much things obviously suck, I am in for a long and unbearable quarter (year?). So anyway, enough of that and let's talk about what's going right. These little joys may be hard to spot, but they are out there.

  • On a personal note, my baby niece appears to be on the mend, and I expect that Jen will bring her unique voice back to this page very shortly. It may sound trite, but I should stop for a moment and remember to be thankful for my friends, family and health. Too often we (I) take this for granted.

  • Kudos to my good friend Wayne, one of few people I know who is actually receiving a deserved promotion in this time of constant layoff. There is no one worthier.

  • Our pets: these critters know not from recession and hardship. Each time I clean up my 15 year-old cat, Snuggy's, latest pile of gluttonous vomit, or I break up a scuffle between he and his 5 year-old brother, Jordan, I am thankful that not all routines are affected by the downturn in the economy.

  • I am going to Atlanta overnight on business this coming Monday. Temperatures will be in the mid-50s and sunny while I am there. Considering that Chicago hasn't seen anything above 18 degrees in more than a week, this escape is clearly a cause for celebration.

What kinds of things are you thankful for today?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Worst Week Ever?

Jen and I promised a weekly point/counterpoint feature for our readers, "My End or Yours?" It was with 100% good faith that we made the commitment to deliver the piece every Friday. However, it has become clear that 2009 is slated to be a most unpredictable year, rarely in the positive sense.

On Jen's side (I am speaking for her since she has more important business to address), her littlest munchkin has contracted Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Thankfully, it appears the baby, with any luck, will not contract pneumonia or worse, but I'd appreciate the good wishes and prayers of you fine people anyhow.

On my side, where to start? Insomnia, an odd falling out with my personal trainer, a husband who continues to be beaten by a stagnant job market, a nearly untenable office environment at my own job. And then folks, the icing on the cake...

I dosed myself with Nyquil last night in an effort to achieve something more than four hours of sleep. Miraculously, this finally worked, where wine, sleeping pills and sex had failed me earlier. Now perhaps my body had simply hit the wall, but I am choosing to view the good people at Vick's as angels of mercy. I was zonked out from 10:00 PM until 8:00 AM this morning. I woke up, finally feeling refreshed. It is brutally cold in Chicago, but the sun is shining and I was ready to embrace the day.

I had a 9:00 AM appointment with my new personal trainer (the former one is dead to me - another story for another time), and made my way to our car to make the short drive to the gym. The last thought I remember having before my mind went blank is" "Damn it Eddie! Why did you have to park in such deep snow?" As it turned out, this question was superfluous. Why, you may ask? Because I can't very well drive anywhere without a full set of tires can I? I worked my way toward the driver side door only to notice a broken jack burrowed beneath a thick layer of ice at my feet. My eyes continued to move Southward and this is when I noticed the rear tire was gone. For some reason, I stared dumbly for what felt like hours before my mind was able to process that I had been vandalized.

Now readers, I live right in the middle of an affluent City neighborhood, on a street that is simultaneously well lit, well traveled and well patroled by the Federales (that is the cops for you you non-Spanish speakers). Before I could realize the emotional fallout of this violation, I adopted a thoroughly scientific approach to sussing it out. How could someone jack up my car, steal a tire and simply walk away unnoticed? Acquaintances of mine have since theorized that the broken jack left behind, as well as the fact that I continue to have three good tires, suggests a crime interrupted. Normally I am empathetic to those who have had their work disrupted, but in this case I am counting my blessings.

My favorite part (I say this with obvious sarcasm) of having your car vandalized is that you are the one who has to make all the phone calls and fork over the $500 deductable. The cretin who committed this act dropped our car, as it appears, rather hard on the ground as they made their getaway, and it's more than possible the axle, or some other part of the vehicle, has sustained damage. I guess I'll know more on Monday when the State Farm adjuster comes to have a look. As I have alluded, my husband is presently out of work and this is just one more thing to deal with that wasn't needed.

My insurance agent says that in times of depression, crimes such as these become more prevalent. He says he is getting 3-5 calls a day from people who suddenly find themselvs without tires. Really? What about Americans coming together in times of crisis? Must we all go Lord of the Flies on each other?

The reason I have put a question mark beside the title of my post is that I am loathe to say the worst is over. It seems that when I make these assumptions, the Karma Genie pops up out his hiding place to remind me that things can, and will be worse yet. Case in point: I have a meeting with the tax man later today.

Is anyone else having a hideous week like Jen and I? Lie to me people. Tell me that things are going to get better. I typically thrive on brutal truth, but for the moment, reality is just a bit too rough for my stomach.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inaugural Musings

Undoubtedly, yesterday was a majestic day in America. After eight long years of war, divisive politics, religious agendas applied to the public sphere, economic crises, torture, Katrina, and a backward "War on Terror," it was refreshing to almost a suprising degree to realize the Bush years were truly over. America is back, better than ever, with Captain Obama at the helm. But aside from the more obvious chatter about what the day meant for African Americans in particular, critiques of Michelle Obama's fashion choices, and who did or did not gum up the oath of office, I noticed a few tidbits that our readers may have blinked and missed. These little moments reflect the lighter side of the day, the details that we may forget in time as we recall what January 20, 2009 meant to us. So here, for your reading pleasure, are some of these vignettes:

  • For those of you, like me, who regularly view CNN and have long believed that Anderson Cooper (or "AC" as the kids like to call him) was the resident rock star, think again. AC was relegated to flunky status next to the domineering Wolf Blitzer. Welcome to "The Situation Room" bitch!

  • Could Joe Biden be any happier to be Vice-President? So many of us are cynical when it comes to politicans and the way they view their offices: little more than a post that legalizes theft and other criminal behavior. How invigorating to see Biden with the enthusiam of a child standing in front of a stack of presents on Christmas morning. Way to go Joe!

  • Obama is clearly the most gracious man on the planet, thanking W for his "years of service" during his speech and such. But did anyone notice that Bush seemed to slink down a little further in his seat each time Obama drew a distinction between the dogma that has driven the last eight years, and our new President's vision for the next four? I always assumed that Bush was either unaware or unconcerned with his status as a personified wrecking ball, but perhaps he is more in tune than we thought.

  • Cheney injured his back and spent the day in a wheelchair pushed by his slave, er wife, Lynne. Fine, there is a warm spot in hell with my name on it, but I couldn't stop laughing at the irony. Mr. Big Shot leaving the White House in much the same condition as his policies have left America: crippled, weak and pathetic looking.

  • There was Roland Burris, seated right behind Obama, smiling almost as wide as Biden. At least Blago has made someone happy.

  • Who the heck was sporting that sweet red pimp hat about three chairs behind Obama?

  • I'll say it if no one else will. Aretha Franklin is a legend, but her "My Country 'Tis of Thee" roundly sucked. That bow hat was something fierce though. Work it!

  • The media was wild with news of the collapse of Senators Byrd and Kennedy at the luncheon following the swearing in. Kennedy, praise God, appears to be fine. But um, Robert Byrd just left to go to his office. Can't a 91 year-old leave a room without someone proclaiming his imminent death? This proves that the members of Congress are no better than a gossipy sewing circle. Oddly, I find this comforting.

  • All that fuss and hoopla, anger and excitement and Rev. Rick Warren gives the most lame and boring invocation ever. Where's Jeremiah Wright when you need him?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I don't want to say too much on the inauguration, as I hope this historic day will prove to do the talking for me. I just want to say that I was home watching it with a sick Rosebud and I was overwhelmed when Obama walked out. I couldn't help but tear up with the hope of a better day. I just hugged Rosebud and said "Things are going to get better." I wish KK had been there to see my emotion. She feels for me when I cry, and I think she really would have grasped the significance of today if she were there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I guess Boop and I like confrontation...

because I got into a scuffle of a totally different kind this weekend; me vs. an eight year-old.

You may be thinking that an eight year-old is probably not so much of an equal match for this late twenty-something, but let me clarify that I was a mother lion defending my cub. You see, we were at a children's museum patiently waiting our turn to push our faces into a bunch of pegs and see what we looked like on the other side. This rude shorty did not know the meaning of sharing and apparantly neither did her bit#@ of a mother. So, when rude shorty went to see her shape on the other side for the seemingly one thousandth time, I told KK to go ahead and take her turn.

Rude Shorty came back to the other side, saw KK, and tried to shove her out of the way - OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!! - Yes, she did. I politely (or perhaps not, my memory conveniently seems to be a bit fuzzy on that one) grabbed R.S's swinging arm and said "No, we are taking our turn now. You had plenty of turns." Pretty calm reaction considering I wanted to tackle her the ground and teach her some manners. Course, all I would have taught her is to punch and scratch when you feel threatened.

Anyway, I am no longer surprised when I see a lack of manners from parents, but I also saw a lack of concern from R.S's mom when she didn't seem to care that this Lion put her paws on her little R.S. Cub. My sympathy for R.S. having a poor mother figure quickly faded, though, when I saw how much fun KK was having with the pegs. Afterall, this is the society of "me me me". And she's just as pretty as a group of pegs as she is in the flesh. AND we took two or three turns, then let the next group move in. That's how it works.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When KJs Don't Do Their Jobs

Taking a break from politics for a moment, which I admit, occupies way too much of my free time and brain power, allow me to vent Andy Rooney-style for a moment against a phenomenon that threatens to overtake one of the few mindlessly enjoyable and affordable outings left to us in these rough economic times. Yes my friends, I refer to karaoke night at the neighborhood pub, sabotaged by a karaoke DJ who gets drunk (I mean this in both the literal and figurative senses) with power.

The night started promisingly enough. I met my friends Gary, Chad, Ed and Romana, along with some of Ed's pals to celebrate Ed's attainment of a new job. Clearly with a job market this hobbled, anyone finding employment has every right to call for a night of drunken celebration, accompanied of course with song. We all sipped cocktails, and the crowd was thick and enthusiastic. After a few drinks, Gary gave our table its first taste of the limelight with a rousing rendition of "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls, complete with a sultry finale of spoken flirting. As the great Paula Abdul might have said, Gary made it his own and the night was on. My husband chipped in a typical Eddie Bon Jovi showstopping performance of "Always." Another gal at our table did Dolly Parton proud with "9 to 5." Even I added what I thought was a warm-up lark: my own rendition of "It's Not Over" by Daughtry. Hey, one has to keep the repertoire from becoming stale, and think outside the box.

Our group sang along with everyone else's songs, liquored up and feeling fine. We booed (Ok, I did that) when someone made what I considered to be a poor song choice, for example say, anything by Mary Chapin Carpenter. But we also whooped it up when someone either had actual talent, or performed a song so fabulous in nature, like the short gentleman who Rick Rolled us, that singing ability mattered not. And then....

Nothing. For nearly 3 sad hours we sat waiting for our table's rotation to begin again. Though the place was crowded, any good karaoke DJ knows that you must intermingle the incoming would be singers with those who have been there all night, drinking, tipping and raring with liquid courage to display their talents. Not so, Mr. I Am Short, Bald, Powerless and Unnoticed In My Day Job, Therefore I Must Lord It Over The Whitetrash Crowd At Freaking Gio's On A Saturday Night. He kept putting all the newbies at the front of the line, and even went so far as to assemble an ill-advised string of duets, before promising to get us back to our second songs by 1:00 AM. Now those of you who regularly karoke get what I am about to say. When you have been sitting on a bar stool drinking since 9:30, had your first adrenaline rush with your warm-up piece at 10:15, and have continued to booze and shout for the next two hours, you are angry, hoarse and exhausted by the time 1:00 AM rolls around. Worse, the energy of your friends has flagged as well, lending the whole evening a decidedly depressed feeling.

Well I decided this was unfair. We had all been so high. Pleas to the by now totally inebriated KJ went unheeded. I will not, repeat, will not give a performance that is beneath the expectation and deserving of my audience. So, before Eddie could treat the crowd to the much-anticipated "Livin' on a Prayer" and before I could debut my Taylor Swift (I will not tell you gentle readers which chart topper of the teen's I was set to perform. I leave you in suspense for another time!), Eddie and I united in walking out of Gio's in a grand huff. We are seriously holding a grudge this time, and may yet decide to find another drinking establishment that respects our celebrity status. While we mull it over, Mr. KJ better not think he is getting any more friendly waves from me on the Metra (yes, ironic and odd to see your KJ as a normal commuter). Nope, no siree.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The accidental text and other quick notes

I am exhausted after yet another long week of doing... not much of anything, so I will just give you a few quick notes before the weekend.

  • Have you ever accidentally texted the wrong person? I hope I am not the only one. BUT....have you ever accidentally texted "How's it going lovebug?" to another man who isn't your husband AND has his own radio show? Didn't think so. I am just waiting for that one to come back and publicly haunt me...

  • As if Facebook is not enough ammo to help you waste your time, here is a link to the most addictive game EVAH! I have titled myself the "Bubble Master". I am ready to begin comparing scores to prove my title is deserved. I have pictures.

  • I am loving the fact that even the "green-est" of people are praying for global warming right now. The heater in my house can't keep up. Its set at 72 but has yet to surpass 68 degrees. It was 63 in my house this morning. YOWZAHS!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My End or Yours?

This is the first of our weekly installment of "My End or Yours", a point/counterpoint-style discussion. You are welcome to choose sides if you would like. We two sisters thrive on competition. This week's point was choosen by Boop.

Topic: Obama's Main Street Bailout: Will it Accomplish More than the Wall Street Bailout?

Becky Boop: No

Before our three blog followers begin bombarding me with hate mail, questioning my love of this country and the policies of our President-elect, allow me to make a few clarifications:

1. I am as pro-Obama as it is humanly possible to be. I virulently supported him throughout the 2008 Presidential campaign, literally attempting to convert everyone I knew to the cause of "change." I have alluded in other posts to my presence at the Grant Park Rally on November 5, 2008 and I wish I had the coffers of Oprah Winfrey so I could fly out and join the inauguration party this coming week. Obama is a mere man, but has more potential to do good for this nation than I can process without letting out an enthusiastic "Woo! (like a drunken Lincoln Park sorority girl at a John Barleycorn bachelorette party).

2. I was as dead set against the Wall Street bailout as I am against the Main Street one, perhaps even more so. My fears were that there would be no oversight/accountability, and my discomfort with the idea of the U.S. government intervening in a free market, whether it succeeds or fails. Worst of all, I suspected that all this dumping of money into the economy (which does have to repaid one day somehow!), would not even change anything. Typically, I love to be right. In this case, I am just sorry.

So anyway, why do I oppose the very first item of business that the man I worked so hard to elect wants to accomplish? Well that's complicated, but I like lists, so to reduce it to the simplest of terms, let me break it down:

1. I would have preferred a Main Street, rather than Wall Street bailout in the first place. I never understood Bush and Congressional thinking that it was more critical to keep AIG and other nonhuman entities afloat, rather than helping normal everyday tax payers stay in their homes, their jobs and keep food on the table. But since that was not the agenda of a "Business First" Congress, 750 billion dollars later, I realize that despite what Hank Paulson may want us to believe, there is no currency printing press hidden in the back of the Treasury Dept. building. We just can't afford this.

2. I am cool with the "New Deal"-esque infrastructure improvements. I have spent many a stoned and drunken night wandering the streets of our American cities, hungry, tired and paranoid, waiting for one of the decrepit highway overpasses to bring an abrupt end to my dissipated life. I also think of those poor folks in Minnesota, driving home from work one afternoon only to find themselves submerged in a river and waiting for the National Guard. This is long overdue. However, I take huge, huge issue with the 300 billion "stimulus" that is slated to be paid out to American families this year. This is a bone thrown at the GOP to secure their support. I know Obama has to play the game and make compromises where he must, but 300 billion amounts to $500 per taxpaying adult in the U.S. What good will that money do you in this economy? How far does a onetime payment of $500 go to a family where one or more parent is unemployed and /or the home is in foreclosure? Wouldn't you rather have a job say, or maybe healthcare that doesn't require you to file bankruptcy in the event that you have the nerve to get sick? This is a disingenuous inclusion in the package and Americans will see through it. Take that 300 billion out, spare the bloated deficit any more fat, and invest in something real.

3. And most critically, what if, like the first bailout, it just doesn't work? Then what? We are still screwed and now we really have a deficit problem (like we didn't before).

I am of the opinion that the system is failing because it's corrupt, inefficient and outdated. I know Americans are hurting, and believe me, I feel the fallout in my own personal and professional life. But we can't keep throwing good money after bad, propping up a structure that just may need to fall so it can figure out how to pick itself back up again. This is my take anyway, but my esteemed sister and our readers may feel otherwise. Call me a member of the laissez faire side of this issue. I am not against progress, but as Obama himself once said, playing politics with money we don't have is not change, "that's more of the same."

Jen of All Trades: Yes

Its hard to disagree with some of the points Boop has made. The first round of economic stimulus checks that went out didn't do a damn bit of good to boost the economyas far as I have heard. It did, however, help me to replace the roof on my house. I don't know what other people did with their cash or what they plan to do with this load. But people need hope, and lots of it.

Right now:

People are HOPING to be able to pay their mortgage and not lose their house.

People are HOPING to feed their family of three/four/five-plus people every day until they can find a new job to replace the one this economy stole from them.

People are HOPING they don't have to hold an E-Bay auction in order to pay mounting medical bills because of poor or no healthcare coverage.

If this money can bring hope to fruition for someone, then how can we say its no good at all? These "hopes" are necessities, not luxuries. These are the things honest, hard working people should just have as the fruits of their labor, not hope for. The way things are rolling right now, that is just simply not the case.

Even in a "good" economy, we had a tremendous national debt. I certainly don't claim to be an economist or any other smart math-type person. I don't know if the hole ever gets so deep it doesn't matter if we dig a couple billion dollars deeper. I just don't know. But I DO know that no one else seems to have the perfect answer. We have to keep trying. This is a crisis the like of which this generation has never seen. The best ideas are formed from throwing the proverbial noodles against the wall and seeing which ones stick.

It's Official: God hates Chicago

I am reminded of the words of Minnie Driver's character, Benny, from Circle of Friends, a cute Irish film from the 1990s. Now I am paraphrasing here because it's been awhile since I last saw the picture. Her character, an overweight but lovable girl, comments on the unlikelihood of finding love with her longtime crush, a svelte hunk played by Chris O'Donnell. Through her tears, Benny castigates herself for self-delusion, the belief that her fella could ever return her adoration. In one pivotal moment, she reflects that it is in fact not better to have loved than lost. She says (and again, I paraphrase), "It's like being marched up to the top of a mountain, shown all the beauty that can't be yours, and then promptly marching back down."

These words come to mind as I consider the present state of affairs in my beloved hometown of Chicago. Am I dreaming that on an unseasonably warm November 5, 2008 evening, Chicago displayed itself at Grant Park, for all the world to see, as a beautiful City, a beacon of hope and change - "Yes we can" and all that good stuff? I stood on my tiptoes, wearing nothing heavier than a sweatshirt, part of the largest multi-ethnic and multi-cultural crowd I have ever witnessed. We were united in hope, in celebration, in the belief that Chicago was ready to assume its place on the universal stage as a place of forward thinking. Ah what a difference a mere two months can make.

Fast forward to January 15, 2009. Its is colder than the North Pole outside, and Mother Nature shows no sign of lifting her curse. It is -9 F, even before factoring in the wind chill. However the frostiness of the weather pales in comparison to the economic and political stagnation experienced by our denizens. Layoffs are coming in left and right, from all sectors of the corporate world, at all levels of seniority. It seems each day brings the news of a good friend, loved one or family member that is taking their spot on the bread line. We all hope that Obama's ascension to the throne on January 20th will bring some sort of relief. Hope may foster a lot of things, but it doesn't keep you warm or fill your belly as you lay awake at night wondering what in the world can go wrong next?

And any good discussion of Chicago's current state cannot overlook the manic depression of our politics. From the mania of Obama's historic victory to the hopelessness following the wrecking ball that is Blago. For those of us, me for certain, who celebrated along with Oprah, the corner turned by historically corrupt Illinois politics, there can be no crueller punishment than watching 'the hairball" (aptly named by my good friend Tim) gleefully engage in his governatorial game of cat and mouse, at a local as well as national level. We have done corruption many times before in my own lifetime (ah Carol Moseley Braun, we hardly knew ye!), and yet, the most jaded among us have yet to pick our jaws off the floor.

I reach out to our still-developing readership to ask you to throw me a lifeline. Any chance we can conjure some spell to persuade God, or whichever powers-that-be, to please stop raining humiliation and misery upon Chi-town? November 5th, with the warmth of the air and the pride of success, cannot be an illusion after all, can it? Will we, my fellow Chicagoans, ever be warm (lieterally and metaphorically) again?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sex and the City vs. The Suburbs

First I'd like to thank my dear younger sister for letting me in on this action. I don't know about all that "smart one" stuff since she is the one who got something off the ground that I have only talked ad nauseum about doing myself. I may have the Master's in English Lit., but sometimes we overeducated end up being the most stagnant. Anyway, I know Jen mentioned that we were going to do a weekly point/counterpoint on Fridays, and it occurred to me that, best friends though we are, we are a living example of opposites.

I titled this post as such because as my sister brings the mayhem of a suburban wife and mother to life, I will attempt to balance that view with my own urban perspective. I am married but childless, living mostly for myself and my husband, having my way over my favorite playground - the City of Chicago. As of this past August, I also officially became a "woman of a certain age," making my own misadventures at happy hours, office parties and the gym all the more akin to the stories of Carrie and the gals. The hope is that no matter which side of the fence you sit (mine for personal, as well as logisitical reasons, is bound to be more scandalous), you will find something with which to identify.

New Addition!

No, you nutheads, I am not pregnant. I know I am packing a few extra pounds, but that is left over from my last baby. 19 months ago. No excuse. Must do something about that....

I am happy to announce that my sister, Becky Boop, will be a co-contibutor to the blog. Why you ask? One, because she is "the smart one" and will add intellectual value (ha!) to this blog. But mainly because action follows Boop too and she is an amazingly witty writer. So I am using her to improve my image. Story of our lives. Each Friday you can look forward to a sister debate titled "My end or yours". It could get catty ugly, so brace yourself. THE STORM IS COMING!!

The "Idol" experience .

I have been watching American Idol from the beginning. I'm starting to get a little tired of the BS, so I was on the fence as to watching this season or not. Coincidentally, the day season 8 premiered (yesterday), I found out that one of my good radio friends was let go because her station flipped and she was replaced by the syndicated Ryan Seacrest. What better reason to check out of Idol Land did I need!? But the Idol machine sucked me in. Plus, I talk about it on the air, so I need to really know what I am talking about. I know. I am a total sell out.

A few years back, I was given the opportunity to work as a Production Assitant on one leg of the American Idol audtion tour (the Carrie Underwood year, and YES she was at the city I was working on!) I remember signing something saying that if I gave away Idol's deep dark secrets that I would have to forfeit my first born child, walk on hot coals, listen to Paula Abdul prognosticate on the future of America, and other torturous acts. BUT that does not stop me from telling you what anyone who ever auditioned would find out if they waited in the LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG lines.

Day 1: Thousands of Idol hopefuls who have slept in tents overnight wake up only to wait, wait some more, then wait a little more. All of them eager and all of them annoying as hell. On the show they tell you "5 gazillion people are stading in line in St. Louis in the hopes of becoming the next....(dramatic pause) AMERICAN IDOL!". But really, those gazillion people include the annoying hopefull's momma, cousin, BFF, boyfriend, uncle.....not everyone is actually auditioning. They usher everyone into the arena, give them a seat number, settle them all down, then tell them to come back tomorrow ready to sing. Really. That's it. 8-10

hours of filing in just to be told that.

Day 2: Potential Idols return with one buddy. No more gazillions filling the Edward Jones Dome. The singing begins as the masses break up into 8 (I think) streams rapidly approaching a table with one producer and one production assistant (me). How I got that job is another topic altogether. They come to the table in groups of threes and get about 5 seconds to impress in one way or the other (we all know not everyone gets by on their vocal ability). They either get their wristband cut (by me) and sent home or they move on to day 3. Those that are especially atrocious are built up to be rock stars and move on too.

Day 3: I was not a part of this day as my services were no longer needed, but on this day hopefulls sing for one of the two executive producers. They are the ones who decided who goes on to the big three (now four) and get their shot at 15 minutes. On, you guessed it.....

Day 4 or 5: This is FINALLY the day the hopefulls sing for the big judges. Again, I was not there on that day, but man do I wish I were!

So, while it looks on TV to be one long day of singing, it is in fact 4-5 grueling days of hurry up and wait. They package all of that into one neat little hour and move on to the next city. Oh, the magic of television.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mini stories

Thank you Facebook friends for expressing interesting in reading what I have to say. There is a slight fear of friends reading out of obligation and therefore using to lull themselves to sleep because they find it utterly boring. DON'T TELL ME IF YOU DO THIS!! Honesty is not always the best policy!

Here are a few stories to start off:

I WORSHIP my iPhone. So tell me why I was so careless as to put it in my back pocket and then go to the bathroom? It was like slow motion watching my pink princess float to the bottom of the porceline one. I fished it out right away and went online to research what to do. The search may as well have just said YOU ARE SCREWED! But I must also have that horseshoe up my a$$ that I talk about others having because its FINE now! Should have played the lottery that day....

I am a celebrity gossip whore. I don't care who makes fun of me. Its kind of part of my job duty to know what's going on in the world, pop culture is high in priority. So when I heard THE Perez Hilton was doing a book singing and talk at my local Borders....I went of course! I took my sister along. As I was nearly decapitated by a cameraman (and told him as much) he decided I would be a good interview. So they asked me and my sis some questions about why we love Perez. Could be on an episode of "Primetime Chicago" soon....
When we finally got to the front of the line, I told Perez we had been there so F-ing long we had to get food.....he didn't appreciate the comment. Imagine me pissing off Perez! Ironic, no?

Who knows what will happen tomorrow. But it could end up in a blog near you.....

The Premier!

I have pondered starting a blog for a while now. I am one of those people who seem to have action following them everywhere. People are constantly saying "You should write that down and save it for a book one day!" Come on, who has time to write a book? NOT ME! I have two kids (three if you count my husband!), two cats, a house and a job (sort of. I'll explain that one later). And besides, it's much quicker to write a blog...

Now you may be wondering, what kind of stories does a Chicago Suburb mom of two have? Dirty diapers, problems scrubbing the kitchen floor? Well, stick around and you will find out. Way more interesting than that. Juicy nugget: how about the time my flip flop crapped out on me downtown and the toe began to bleed with excessive force. I walked into a Jimmy Johns for a band aid, only to have the hot sandwhich boy whip out a latex glove, snap it on his hand and tell me he's becoming a doc?? See what I mean?

The point of this blog is to serve as an outlet for me to share my wacko stories which span from kids to celebrity encounters and everything in between. I hope you will have similar ones to share back. This whole thing could morph into something completely different. Who knows? Stick around and we will find out together.