Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh N-Oprah

Okay, disclaimer I totally didn't watch the show where she outed her half-sister who had been given up for adoption. I did watch a long thing on it that was broadcast on the ABC nightly news with Diane Sawyer, but it RILED me up.

The sister has known Oprah was her half sister for 3-4 years, and in that time she did not ask for money, she did not sell her story to the tabloids, she did nothing but live her quiet little working two jobs kind of life.

Last fall, she did finally connect with Oprah. Oprah revealed her on TV which I understand, I mean if I were her I would want to get out in front of a story like this at all costs. Oprah having her sister on her show is not my issue. That is fine on its surface.

What riled me up, is that part of the televised program (bits that WERE aired on the nightly national news which I did see) involved Oprah's sister confronting Oprah's mother that gave the sister up for adoption. WHAT? Oprah, this woman was thoroughly respectful of your feelings saying on your show, "I think family business should be dealt with in the family" (or something close to that, quoting from memory here). And then you reward this woman's tact and sensitivity by airing an emotional and uncomfortable confrontation with her birth mother on national television. Nice. Way to repay that woman and her tact. Or are poor people's tact and sensitivity for sale? Or were your ratings worth more than your family?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Being good

I think it is natural to like things more when you are good at them. Like when I was growing up, I loved playing the board games I was good at and hated playing HORSE with my sister because I was so bad at it. Not surprisingly, she loved playing HORSE and hated and often refused to play the board games with me.

I half think I picked my major and slowly trained myself into laziness by picking things I was good at to do because when you are good at something either you don't have to work very hard at them OR the work goes easy and quickly.

I was bad at my job for a long time and so I hated it. I have been better at my job lately, and on the days when I do something really well, I love my job for at least a couple of hours or even a whole day. Until things get hard. I mean clearly, what I like is being good. Not necessarily the job. And I think that makes me lazy because there could be lots of things that I start out bad at that I could be good at, but they take a lot of hard and probably unfun work.

I don't have like an answer or a solution to this. I think I just need to keep reminding myself about this.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flabby Dabby Doo

I was just noticing the other night (when I went to the movies with friends) that I hardly ever walk anymore. I mean in part this is because it is the lovely and clement Chicago winter (because nothing says walking like below freezing temperature meets 10-15 mph winds). But I used to walk a lot. Even in the frozen times.

Going to the movies from work I ended up walking a bit, and then a few days before that there had been some sort of disaster/clusterfuck on the trains that I knew was going to result in packed cars, fighting to get on a train, and probably watching a few go by before I got that far. I decided my short trip on the train (4 stops, close together downtown ones) was not worth that, and I had other options. Above ground it was snowing fluffy lake effect snow during rush hour and had been snowing all day, so the bus seemed like an equally terrible and slow plan.

Then I thought "Eff it!" I was warmly bundled in my LL Bean down jacket that goes to my calves, a super long scarf, long johns under my jeans, winter socks under my winter boots, cozy sweater under the coat, firmly attached hood with fake fur snow ruff, and I could do this thing. It was about a mile and three quarter walk home, but if it was snowing in Chicago it was probably only a little below freezing instead of in the teens or lower, so let's get it done.

So I walked home. I strategically took a way that went past stores and starbucks and other places it would be totally cool to duck in and warm up if necessary, but it wasn't really necessary although I did make a stop off at a place I had been DYING to try. It has been open about a month and is called Grahamwich and is by chef Graham Elliot of Top Chef Masters and Master Chef fame and also President Obama's birthday dinner 2010 (as well as Heather and Sam Valentines Day dinner 2010, heather bday dinner 2009 and 2010) restaurant Graham Elliot.

Grahamwich is a sandwich shop with kind of spendy sandwiches (they are all $10 a pop), but I wanted to try it. It has had lines out the door and running out of food problems because it just opened, it was wildly anticipated, and was a foodie dream. So I hadn't gotten there yet. But this snowy night, there was NO ONE inside and the employees literally gestured me in. I got Sam the sandwich that sounds like Thanksgiving (turkey confit, sweet potato, sage mayo) and the taste I had TASTED like Thanksgiving, and I got the grilled cheese (white cheddar, cheese curds, tomato JAM, and proscuitto). It was awesome! Super super awesome best grilled cheese of my life.

Anyway, this post was about walking and not a restaurant review. Anyway, would never have eaten there if I hadn't walked home. On the way to the movies I noticed things that had changed since the last time I had been in that patch of downtown, and I reflected on how much more I used to walk. Yes, it does suck to walk in the rain or the scary bad cold, so I probably won't start walking then, BUT I have decided it won't be a bad thing if I start walking more. Staying on the bus or the train and walking the same path to and from home sort of limit what I am exposed to, so I am going to walk more. All I have to do is dress appropriately for the Chicago weather and I am golden.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

2010 in review

I was thinking about resolutions and the past year lately and I wanted to put it down here.

First, 2010 was an INCREDIBLE year for me. It started out pretty bad with my fiancée still living life as an active alcoholic, BUT on the wonderful front he is ending the year having plunged into treatment and loved it and he has 9 months sober. I also welcomed a new niece I like to call the "tiny niece" who is red headed and adorable and wonderful and the joy of my whole family. I took a great workshop from the wonderful Tim Miller, I finished 4 quilts (but I kept only 3, I need to keep more of them next year), I saw some great solo performance (from Tim, Mike Daisey and friends here in town). I deepened a friendship, I took part in the family program at Hazelden, I took a billion (well less) trips all over the country to spend time with family often for weddings, and I volunteered at the zoo. My life at the end of 2010 was full of joy in ways that seemed impossible to me at the top of it, and for that I am so grateful.

For 2011 this is the resolution agenda:
1) Let the baggage go and the water flow under the bridge
2) Monthly date with the fiancée at the Jazz Showcase (and maybe with Flaco's Tacos before
3) Instead of just watching tv (or playing vid games while watching tv), be sure to work on projects while sitting in front of the tv
4) Do a better job grooming my cat (or fight the hairball monster as it were)
5) Use my art institute membership more

All these are both healthy and doable and a couple of them are good for more than just me.