Her journal posts
May 30, 2009
So I elected to stay home tonight, having gone out the past few
nights. In addition, there is a huge, drunken brawl in my
neighborhood known as Mayfest going on right now, and I just can't
handle the crowd. Too many stumbling drunk people.
I live right on a busy street around the corner from the whole
affair, and I can't help but notice that everyone driving by seems
to be blasting songs that used to be popular. To wit, the first car
came by blasting Kris Kross' "Jump," followed almost immediately by
a car that was blasting Soul Asylum's "Misery." If that weren't
enough, another car came by playing "Block Rockin' Beats" by The
Chemical Brothers, followed by a car playing Kid Rock's "Cowboy."
What the hell? This is truly the day for 90s throwbacks. I'm not
knocking it, mind you, I just find it strange.
May 27, 2009
So as I walk though the streets at night, and stand out on by back
porch, and carry on in my nightly routine, I can't help but notice
that a lot of people seem to drive while drunk in Chicago. Now, I'm
only speculating here, but the screeching of tires, random
swerving, driving too slow or too fast...all of these things
suggest drunk driving to me. I know people who drive after they've
had more than a few. In a city that has so much public
transportation and plenty of cabs, I don't get why people choose to
do that. I'm moving to Texas in two weeks. It's a state where
everyone drives everywhere. I've been to L.A. numerous times; it's
a place where everyone has to drive, and a lot of people drive
drunk. In face, it's the worst drunk driving place I've ever been
to in this country, hands down. I wonder what it's going to be like
May 27, 2009
I don't know how much things have changed since I was in high
school, but I'm thinking of this topic today after seeing a few
prime time news pieces on adolescent obesity and after re-watching
Morgan Spurlock's "Supersize Me."
When I was in high school, the food choices engendered truly weird
eating habits on my part. We had so much fast food in the cafeteria
(nachos, french fries, hamburgers, pizza, snack cakes, candy, soda)
that I felt like I either had to bring food (which I sometimes did)
or just buy weird meals made up of the best possible choices. At
first I tried to be sensible, bring my own lunch, enjoy my sandwich
or yogurt or whatever I could scrounge up. But let's face it, when
you have to be at school at 7:15 am and you barely get five hours
of sleep a night, the last thing you want to do in the morning is
make lunch. So I ate weird lunches. My standard was a bagel and a
mealy apple (the only kind available). Or sometimes I would have a
granola bar and milk, and a nasty iceberg lettuce salad (again, the
only kind available). Eventually, I just started spending my lunch
in the library reading. There was no point in struggling through a
thronging hoard of kids just to get lousy crap. From what I see on
the news, things aren't any better now than when I was in school.
SO my question is, what the hell are we feeding our kids? Why do
schools keep contracting out to fast food businesses? And why isn't
someone doing something about it?
May 25, 2009
When will Illinois legalize gay marriage? If Iowa can do it, so can
we, for crying out loud. As far as I'm concerned, banning same sex
marriage is flat out unconstitutional. We have gotten so far away
from separation of Church and State in this country, it's not even
funny. Under Bush, we came closer to a monarchy than we've been
since, well, 1775. We had a guy in the White House who basically
believed that he had been appointed by God and then attempted to
wield unlimited power in the face of the checks and balances set up
by our forefathers. And although I voted for Obama and I love him,
he's not exactly making an effort in the direction of same-sex
marriage (which, in my opinion, should be a basic, unalienable
right). To be against same-sex marriage is, in my opinion, a
religious standpoint, not a political one. If we truly have a
separation of Church and State in this country, why are we so
caught up in declaring it illegal? If people want to be against it
due to religion, that's their right. But should their religious
views influence public policy? I say no way. I am single, but if I
were in a committed relationship and the government told me I could
not marry the person I loved, I would be livid. In fact, it brings
tears to my eyes just to think about being in that position. Why
are we punishing a sizable segment of our population in this
country? It's insane, pure and simple.
May 24, 2009
We go through our lives accumulating stuff. At the end of our
lives, we leave stuff behind. Some of us are lucky enough to have
someone to clear that stuff away, or save it, or sell it. Someday
I'll do it for my parents, just as they did it for their parents.
One of my favorite things in the whole world is a hollowed out book
that belonged to my grandfather. I never met him as he died before
I was born, so I like to look at it and think about what he was
like. I'm guessing that it was purchased in Houston in 1963, as it
contains two books of matches stamped with that year. I love that
thing. And in looking around my small home, I realize that, despite
my best efforts to avoid having too many things, I have a number of
objects that are precious that remind me of where I have been; a
mask I bought in Venice, a rug I bought in Israel, books bought in
college, ceramics that friends made for me. And even though I know
that these things do not make me who I am, I would still never part
with them. Five years ago, the house I was living in burned down
and I lost a lot of my belongings. It was unbelievably freeing,
actually, and I was able to move to Chicago with only two suitcases
and hope for a new start in my life. But as I look around my
apartment now and I have the choice of whether or not to keep
certain things, I realize that I'm more sentimental than I used to
be. I can no longer simply pack a suitcase and leave the rest of my
life behind. As long as I don't end up like Citizen Kane, I think
I'll be okay.
May 23, 2009
I have a simple rule in my house, which is that I don't drink beer
until lunchtime (or, more specifically, after noon). It's an
arbitrary rule, and I don't usually drink beer with lunch, but
today I am. I am having leftovers from a dinner I made Thursday
night (roast pork loin, glazed carrots, braised celery, yummy all
around) and having a beer with it. It's delicious. A good lunch.
When I was in Germany a few years back I was amazed to see that
people drink beer with their breakfasts sometimes. Basically, in
Germany, they start selling beer at eight in the morning. I'm sure
this is true in other countries as well (by the looks of things
from when I was in Prague, people start before 8am). For me, this
is just too early. I would never get anything done. But as I said,
it's an arbitrary rule set up to best benefit the parties involved.
I got a lesson on selecting "morning beers" when I was in Munich.
"Kein, das nicht gut ist. Es ist f�r den Morgen zu schwer." Or
something like that. But I like beer in the day. It is a good
selection. I can't drink wine during the day, as it tends to give
me a headache for some strange reason. So no wine in the day. And
definitely no liquor. For me, cocktails are for the cocktail hour.
And of all the places I've been in my life, I don't think I've ever
seen anyone enjoying a morning scotch. Maybe I need to keep
May 20, 2009
I am an avid fan of Star Trek, both original and Next Generation
(and also Voyager and, to a certain extent, Deep Space Nine).
Because of my age, Next Generation holds a special place in my
heart (I wanted to be Dr. Crusher soooo badly) but I also truly
love the original (funny, I wanted to be Bones, too. Maybe I missed
a calling as a doctor). I just saw the new Star Trek film, and
while I entered with trepidation, I am happy to say it is
excellent! The casting, the pacing, the special effects, the
plot--everything was perfect. I was immediately sucked in and I did
not end up comparing it endlessly to the original while I was
watching it, which is a real test of merit. Also, how awesome is it
that Simon Pegg was Scottie? I bet he begged for that part. I was
also super happy with Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. I thought I
would hate him, but I loved him. He had all the swagger and bravado
of Shatner. And they even make a reference to Sulu's mad fencing
skills. Go see it!
May 20, 2009
I took my sister to Topolobampo last night, and we had a rocking
good time. If you haven't had the chance to go to Rick Bayless'
Mexican fine dining restaurant, I urge you to go. It is definitely
worth the money. She ordered duck two ways (pan-roasted breast and
barbacoa of leg) with black barley and pickled red onion, and I had
slow-cooked pork with roasted tomatoes, smoked peppers and a crispy
medallion of braised pig head. It was incredible. Even better, they
comped our desserts, which left me a little wiggle room to order a
glass of twenty-year-old tawny port. The port was a little sweeter
than I prefer, but it went very well with the chocolate caramel
tartlet I ordered. The only downside was the table next to us,
which featured a pair of drunk goons saying things like "All chicks
are crazy," and "women get so bitchy once they hit a certain age,"
etc. etc. Not exactly what you want as background chatter when you
are having a nice dinner out with your sister. But the service was
exceptional, everything was timed perfectly, the Rioja was well
matched (selected skillfully by my learned sis) and everything was
pretty much perfect. I don't do fancy places too often (who can
afford it?) but I am glad we went.
May 13, 2009
So I got an interesting recommendation for an exercise this week:
try not to smile so much. That might sound stupid, but it's an
interesting thing. I urge you all to give it a try. The idea is one
of feminist origins, and basically the concept addresses women's
tendency to smile compulsively as a way to appease others and be
peace keepers. Now, anyone who knows me knows I'm a smiler. I smile
all the freakin' time, sometimes when I'm not even happy--I just
don't know what else to do with my face. So the idea isn't to
repress feelings of happiness but to catch one's self and try not
to smile unless we mean it. Don't "put on a happy face" if you're
not happy. So that's what I've been trying to do. And it's weird.
My whole face feels different.
May 12, 2009
It's 5AM, and I am awake after staying out too late (again) and
having a lovely time, and the dawn is playing games on my blinds.
The lavender light is bizarre. It looks like someone's playing a
trick on me. I peeked out the window and everything is bathed in
shades of salmon and lilac. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but
I don't see the dawn that often. Consider me gobsmacked.