Friday, July 19, 2013


How we are so progressive and so antiquated at the same time is beyond me.  And most of it stems in violence and morals.  Obama spoke on the Trayvon Martin case and it wasn't a moment too soon.  Last night I went to the wake of a 25 year old man gunned down on the streets of Chicago.  Sitting in his car.  Now, I have no idea what he was doing there, but it wasn't a good place to be nonetheless.  It occurred to me that I have only been to one other service for a young person and that was my lovely best friend Jenn.  Not a day goes by that I don't wish I had her to consult and laugh with and get yelled at by.  Dearest.  This young man was that to someone, too, his mother.  His mother is a dear woman, kind soul, and strong.  She is also a dear friend.  As I entered the chapel, an overwhelming sense of loss struck me.  I have not really cried at a funeral or wake in a very long time.  Jenn's cry came later because somehow without us trying to miss it, believe me, we were just late enough to miss the service and eulogies.  We drove 17 hours straight through-Chicago to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  I drove 17 hours straight through because I refused to be left to my own thoughts in the back seat.  I can cry at a commercial or an awards show really easily, but death is something I've known about my whole life and very seldom cry during a service.  I couldn't hold it together for my friend yesterday.  I'm usually much more composed in that setting, but it took me somewhere I've never been; and that was in the middle of Englewood, paying respects to someone I'd never met after he was killed on the streets and he was my friend's son.  I just wanted to keep hugging her.  Having said all of this.  Obama compared himself to Trayvon Martin.  I compare my friend and the loss of her son to any other parent who loses a child, old or young.  Beyond race, creed, sexual orientation, military affiliation, afflictions, hairstyles, clothing, cars, houses, lifestyles, decisions, parent should have to see their child pass before them.  For Jenn's husband and her mom I may have cried the most.  That's your girl.  She was your sunshine.  It broke my heart in so many places; I can't imagine the pain they felt.  I felt a similar pain for my friend when I saw her yesterday and I had no control over my tears for my friend, her husband and family.  No parent should have to bury their child, no matter what.  I feel for Trayvon Martin's parents on many levels and most of it comes from anger.  Anger because of ignorance on all sides.  A young boy lost his life- in both cases.  Perhaps they could have been prevented.  Both were in their cars.  Both should have moved along in their car.  No parent should have to lose their child to death.  

This week has been a roller coaster of emotion and it was all connected.  Sir Paul McCartney played Blackbird at his concert in Milwaukee this week and as much as I would like to share a more recent version of the song, I'm not really interested in sharing a crowd singing along.  It's distracting.  Sir Paul singing live in 1975.  Blackbird.

I did have a really hard time with the passing of Davy Jones of the Monkees.  He was a major influence on the Beatles, don't you know.  ;-)


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Moral Calamity

The last few (3 or so) years I have been on a board for a neighborhood community group. They have been in business since 1979. A month ago the president of the board stepped down and I was elected as the replacement. It is an organization that is about to go under (yay- with my name on it!). This organization is in the red and my full belief is that the Executive Director is the person to blame, but guess what, she stepped down on January 3 to pursue her degree to become a counselor. I believe in people and I certainly understand when we are met with challenges, but this organization has been tanking since she has been in the ED position and I am two steps away from filing a lawsuit claiming she should be responsible for the demise of the organization as she burned every bridge that was in place. Now, I have only been part of the organization for going on 4 years, but my impression has remained the same of this person - appearing at events for her publicity, little work, no creative vision, and relatively ignorant to keeping up with fundraising alternatives to grants. I found out last week how much we were paying her. Too much for her to do as little as she does/did. With this situation, my brain is really having a hard time with non-profits and charities. My brother-in-law (soon to be ex) has worked for the American Cancer Society and the Ocean Conservancy. He is an asshole. He's the guy that takes the investors and sponsors to play golf, go to titty bars, etc. He is the biggest douche-bag and when I found out that people like that work for organizations that are typically looked at as a bleeding heart org, or at least that's what I thought, I started really evaluating how I donate to those large charities/non-profits. I'm disgusted. I've never been so disgusted about what I looked at as operating for the greater good. I've always had a conservative view on the WIC, Welfare, Food Stamps, and Link programs and how people could use cash to pay for alcohol. Not that I have anything against alcohol (whole other discussion), but I would watch folks come in to the grocery store when I was a checker in college and would just be so disgusted that the kid would need a new jacket, but the parent would throw down $20, with her new manicure mind you, on alcohol and use WIC to get the food for the children. On some level I still believe in it because there are folks out there legitimately using the programs, but then you get a large portion just abusing the shit out of the government.

I am holding a steaming pile of poop with a $7,000 price tag on it for someone who was benefiting herself. One problem, it's just payroll taxes that we need to pay off, but it's difficult to raise money for that and even worse, inappropriate to apply for grants if that is all you are going to pay for. Another problem is, I'm the only one that thinks the ED was benefiting herself subsequently putting the organization in jeopardy. I have virtually no grounds to bring any lawsuit against her for being irresponsible, prejudice against Polish folk, and misappropriating funds as I feel the other board members will revolt because I'm a newbie. WTF do I know about the situation. I know what I know and I will say that of my skills intuition and judgement of character are two of my strongest.

One more thing. I have offered on several occasions to do fundraisers with conservation themed events. Why? Because those are the resources I bring to the table. When they asked me to be on the board, this is what I brought to the table. Repeatedly my ideas have been shot down, poo-pooed and skeptically listened to. They have missed 6 opportunities to raise money for the organization just in the past year. If you run a non-profit, wouldn't you want to be open to ANY and ALL legitimate opportunities for fundraising even if it's a small amount that may be raised?

To say the least, my New Year has not started with the greatest of situations. I am on blood pressure medicine at my age already, I don't need to die of a stroke because someone else' bills got transferred to my problem list.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Ozzie Guillen

Ozzie Guillen, the present coach for the Chicago White Sox, crossed in front of my man's car in Wicker Park this evening.  It was one of those things where I noticed him right away, but not for who he was, but what he was about to do.  My honey, Chris, and I were driving west on North Ave, well trying to anyway, and we had to stop for traffic already, so we let a couple jaywalk across from the Chase (bank).  There was a gentleman coming out of the Chase about 40 yards behind them and I was figuring since traffic was stopped he would attempt the same.  Glad Chris is as much of a conscientious driver as I am and saw the man.  He had some facial hair going on, but at a second look from 10 ft away it struck me like a wave of joy.  It's Ozzie Guillen.  I had so much to say.  I wanted to talk to him about yesterday's game since I was at the game (8.31.11), but there was no time.  I couldn't get my phone out fast enough to take a picture, so I decided to say something.  The window was already down and I said, "Good to see you, sir.  Love you, man."  He smiled and thanked me.  He smiled the whole time.  I hope it was a true smile and not a "fan smile", you know, the one they have until you're out of sight?   I sure handled myself better than I did with Harry Connick, Jr.  Most embarrassing moment of my life.  I don't love Ozzie as much as Harry, but equally respected.  I love the Chicago White Sox.  Thank you Brent Fox for introducing me to this team and helping me learn to love the game of baseball.  Other Dawg! !!

Frank Deford did a spot on NPR recently about the longevity of baseball season.  I have to say, with all due respect, I believe to each his own.  I love a long season especially if the Sox are in it all the way to the World Series.  Baseball is awesome. 
(little tiny Ozzie in the left hand corner leaning at the fence in the dugout)

I shared a smile with Ozzie Guillen today.  'Thank you' was what I did not get out of my mouth before you hurriedly went east and we went west on North.  You have a lovely smile, sir.  Let's get these boys to the World Series again!!  DOOOOOO iiiiiiiiittttt!!!!

Go Go White Sox!   

-If anyone reading this can prove Ozzie Guillen was in Wicker Park last night (9.1.11 -the White Sox were off which helped fuel the 'it has to be him' situation) please let me know.  I'd like to confirm my spastic reaction today.   

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bert and Ernie

Losing any loved one is heartbreaking and sometimes difficult to get over, but most overcome and move on positively. Each partner, kin, guardian should have a say in how to take care of their loved ones' personal effects. When the stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair taking with it 5 victims, Indiana did not see the lawsuits coming, but now the 7th victim has been claimed and there's a twist. A bit ago, a Facebook group was calling for Sesame Street to have Bert & Ernie get married. In my whole life before understanding LGBT lifestyles, I never once suspected Bert and Ernie of being gay. Even after learning of some perceptions of the roommates, I still could not picture the two of them doing it or better still, the thought never crossed my mind until just now. I'll support the decision by the Sesame Street reps by saying they are friends - great friends that have lived together too long to complicate it, but they are Muppets and yes, we're in a Team America mindset, but I don't want to even think about it. The uproar of folks pushing to get these guys married makes me sad thinking that the state of Indiana does not recognize civil unions especially LGBT civil unions no matter if they are legal in other states. A lesbian couple, who married recently in Hawaii, has had to bear the pain of losing their partner because of the stage collapse. Losing your life partner is a horrible tragedy hetero or otherwise and Indiana better figure out something fast or this tragedy is going to present more traffic than any facebook page. Well, maybe not facebook's page itself. I hope Indiana does the right thing.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field, Monday August 1, 2011.

I had reserved myself to the fact that I may never see a Beatle live in concert. That notion has been squashed and now I have no regret. John was always my favorite - always. I never really liked the "cute" one for early non-conformist reasons, but also I felt closer to Lennon even at age 12. I don't know that I would pass up a free ticket to see Ringo, but something tells me I won't have to make that decision. Love the George, too, but sadly, I'll just have to keep listening to the Concert for Bangladesh.

My buddy called me at work yesterday after we had not talked in over a month as we both have been busy. I thought she was just returning my call from Sunday, but little did we know that as we are talking, she receives an offer via text for 2 tickets to the show that night. can Yes come out of my mouth any faster? I abhore Wrigley as a clubhouse, but love baseball and for reasons of classic baseball, the field is just lovely and historic. I've now seen a few shows there, but they were not "great" because of the crowd. Last night was almost no different, but the concert meant more. Inevitably, I get to sit next to other "free" ticket recipients who clearly had no idea the legend they were witnessing as they talked through the whole first 1/2 of the show. Cell phone use and then just yelling over the concert. For fear of increasing their gab, I just plugged my ear with my middle finger hoping they would catch my passive aggressiveness, but after awhile a man behind them yelled, "Stop fucking talking!!". It was beautiful. Within 5 mins, they had left. A new couple sat down, two dudes, father and son, I'm guessing. This guy next to me proceeds to remove and replace his phone to and from his pocket literally every min or 2. Just leave the phone out you tard. I was just happy he didn't make a peep even though he almost poked my eye out twice for reaching in front of me to take a pic. What is wrong with people? Years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing a Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds show at the Landmark Theater in Richmond, Virginia. Great venue. Great duo. Shitty crowd. This was one of those "recorded" shows and the crowd knew it, which made them more obnoxious about shouting throughout the show just to get their voice on the recording. I kind of get it when people talk during songs they don't know, but last night, the crowd was actually talking during "Blackbird". How the fuck do you talk through "Blackbird"?!!! Are you fucking serious? So thankful I've not been given the right to carry a concealed weapon as I would be blogging from jail today. Paul is a fantastic performer. He was really fantastic. His band is a'ight, but nothing phenomenal or anything. I was a little shocked they played "Helter Skelter", but aside from the lame camera work, it was awesome. Hearing "Blackbird", "Hey Jude", and "A Day in the Life" live made my year. Too bad Paul had to wear a white shirt that would not allow my camera to take any kind of pic of him. He looked like a bright, glowing, rocking ghost. The pic is during "Live and Let Die". The pyrotechnics were unbelievably controlled and good.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


9 years ago today, I lost my best friend to cervical cancer. I remember feeling so much guilt that I did not spend more quality time with her while she was sick. The worst part of it, she would call to hear about my stuff, not think about hers. I couldn't get passed hers. After she passed I befriended a woman who had recently been diagnosed with Hogdkins Lymphoma. She and I became fast friends as she realized, most of her "friends" had deserted knowing she was sick. She handled chemo well on her own, but we spent almost every day together laughing, mocking, acting a fool, and enjoying it. She was a trouper just like Jenn, but in this case instead of losing the friend to death, I lost it to good health and ego. I no longer speak to either of them. One for death and one for being a douche. Cancer is a funny thing. It hits people differently, but it now hits everyone. It's not a closet disease anymore where you don't talk about it. It's talked about a lot. The topic comes up more now than 9/11. Today is a day of celebration, not complaining, so let me kick that out. My lady was a delightful, smart, beautiful, loving, and a silly individual. As a mutual buddy said, "Jenn is getting heaven ready for us". Jenn was a brilliant stage manager. She will have it so ready, it will make Martha Stewart look like Bin Laden's decorator.

Love you Jenn! You are greatly missed and so fondly remembered!