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25 October 2016

For Cubs fans past and present


 I have been an emotional wreck since Saturday afternoon.

After we got done with our daughter's soccer match (for the record they lost) I focused on game 6 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS). My Cubbies were heading into the do or die game in a few hours. And yes, while I know there was a game 7, I knew that momentum is on the victors side. If the Cubs somehow lost, I can imagine the Dodgers steamrolling us in game 7 and thus crushing all of Cubs Nation once again. Nerves overcame me. Anxiety was all I could feel. Nausea replaced any appetite. My husband landed last minute tickets and I immediately regretted it. Despite the historical nature and "once in a lifetime" nature of the game, I started to say, "I don't want to go. I can't go." I had the same feeling, times 10, that I get just before the Superman roller coaster starts. I told our daughter, "If they lose, you'll have to carry me home." I knew I would not be able to handle being there to watch our dreams evaporate.

My husband, our daughter, and I got on the Red Line and headed to Wrigley Field. My husband asked many times if I was ok. Apparently anxiety stole the remnants of my summer tan to leave a ghost. I swallowed and said, "I'm ok," in an attempt to convince myself.

But once we got into view of the Friendly Confines its magic started to set in. This was my happy place, despite being there for far too many losses. This is the one place I definitely want my ashes spread. We walked around to look at the merchandise, but committed to not buying anything until "this is all over." Not after we win, but when it is over. No jinxing allowed. I did take a photo of the Eamus Catuli sign because I knew it would change no matter what.


Now we are safe inside one of the holiest places to me. Our rally towel in hand, my scorecard purchased, and a peek at batting practice. Kudos to the crew who picked the music. It's all perfect. As the game moves along and I'm keeping score, watching us take out the Dodgers 1-2-3 each inning, the feeling starts to build. This might happen!

Then the life flashbacks start to happen. Am I dying? Nope, the Cubs are merely inching closer to winning. The entire game I wished my dad was with me. He's the reason I am a Cubs fan. Many summer days were spent watching games on TV. Many days of school were spent ditching to head east to Wrigley Field. Ironically the Dodgers were one of our fave teams to go watch as I was a kid during FernandoMania. When we would sign guest books on vacation he'd add, "Go Cubs!" But he moved to North Carolina almost 20 years ago and there wasn't time or money to get him to the park in time.

I also thought of my mom who died 13 years ago. The long-suffering spouse to a Cubs fan who had daughters who grew up as Cubs fans. She eventually learned to love the Cubbies and enjoy coming out to the park with us...as long as it wasn't an icy Opening Day. How she would have enjoyed watching us lose our mind over this season.

The next morning I walked out to our alley and ran into the woman who lives behind us. "The Cubs won last night!" she reported. I told her I knew, we were there. "We finally had enough angels to make it happen." Her husband who died a few years ago was a huge Cubs fan. I couldn't bring myself to say, "Frank would have loved it." I can barely type it! I remember my husband & I talking to him shortly before he died about maybe, maybe the Cubs would win before he passes. Alas. Then I thought of a friend whose dad recently died. Then I was drowning in ghosts of Cubs fans before me. Thinking of those of us who were carrying our lost dads, grandmas, and best friends into the stadium or sitting with us on the couch.

For most of us, we cried on Saturday night because we never believed we would live long enough to hear the words, "The Cubs are going to the World Series!" But we also cried for those who did not.

Go Cubs!


22 October 2016

Clean Air Moms Action

Every year it gets worse. As we move from hot & humid days to cool & crisp air that tiny bit of allergy-induced asthma I have gets worse. My dependency on an inhaler grows.

From past allergy tests, I know most of what I am allergic to is Mother Earth. Her glorious trees and flowers make my life hard and clog up my nasal passages. But I also know from experience that air action days make high pollen days seem like a picnic. What makes me feel worse about those days is that for my health I need to stay in air-conditioned spaces. Even if AC is part of the bigger problem!

That is why I consider the health of our environment is an important issue for me. Despite it not receiving the needed attention during the presidential or vice-presidential debates, our environment is a national issue...even a national security issue!

I really don't understand why such an important issue and one that should be one we can all rally around wasn't truly addressed. I know that Trump has tweeted that climate change is a hoax and that many in the GOP do not believe the science, but even more so why it should be addressed.


That is why when Clean Air Moms Action asked for people to write about why air pollution is an important issue for the upcoming election I said, "HELL YES!" They are traveling the country with a documentary film crew capturing the stories of parents who are fighting daily to protect their children’s health effects of exposure to oil & gas productions, high-tide flood waters, and ground water contamination from coal ash waste sites.

Clean air is an issue that is wrapped up in other issues. Normally we talk about it as a side issue to energy or climate change, but really it should be THE ISSUE. Then we break it down into trade, health care, economy, immigration, etc. Let's flip the conversation! 

No matter who wins the election, we have a lot of work to do to clean up our environment. So make sure you get out there and vote!

Join me in pledging to vote on November 8th (or earlier!)





This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action.
All opinions are, of course, my own
.

17 October 2016

A GIF recap of Cubs - Dodgers Game 2

The Cubbies lost game two and instead of moping, I bring you my recap of the game in Steven Universe GIFs:

We started the game off with three up, three down. We felt good then, right?

via GIPHY

And then the Dodgers hit a homerun. I wasn't going to let it get to me too much:

via GIPHY

Joy at the Cubbies solid defense getting us out of a jam:

via GIPHY

When Zobrist caught that ball!

via GIPHY

More joy after Javy made a genius call to let a hit ball drop so we can get out of an inning:

via GIPHY

Trying to will my Cubbies to find their mojo, juju, whatever magic they used to win over 100 games this season:

via GIPHY


Mad at the ump and frustrated at our lack of hits:

via GIPHY


And then we lost...

via GIPHY

Now off to LA and game three. Good luck, Cubbies! Go get 'em!!

via GIPHY

16 October 2016

Here’s to Planned Parenthood #100YearsStrong


100 years today Margaret Sanger opened her first birth control clinic in New York. It was soon shut down because 100 years ago birth control was outright illegal. While Sanger is fraught with complications due to her strategy to partner with wealthy eugenicists to bankroll the development of the bitch control pill and other aspects of the birth control movement, her work lead to the founding of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is where myself as well as many friends first sought out reproductive healthcare. It is where the protagonist in Judy Blume’s Forever heads to when she decides she is ready to have sex with her high school sweetheart. They have always been a target of conservative forces who wish to reduce women’s access to healthcare. From being painted as abortion mills to targeting communities of color, Planned Parenthood has had to fight for its existence from day one.

As an 18-year-old I was lucky to have plenty of Planned Parenthood clinics to choose from when I needed reproductive healthcare. Alas, too many parts of the USA have only one Planned Parenthood for too wide of geographic area.

Planned Parenthood as a brand is good for the entire reproductive health care movement in terms of knowledge. Being able to be name dropped in a timeless novel is important to young people identifying where they can obtain services without having to ask their parents. On her 13th birthday, our health care provider gave my daughter more privacy on our account. Now she can make her own appointments, but I can’t see how the system can give her total privacy since we do have health insurance and get statements. That said, I am glad that our health care provider gives young people a sense of autonomy. But that is why Planned Parenthood and other clinics are so important – privacy.

After college I volunteered at one of the Planned Parenthood clinics. I checked in patients, filed records, and other things required as the first face people saw. I will never forget a young woman, probably in college, who was frantic about her privacy, “My mom will never know, right? Even if she calls?” That said, I saw young women escorted to the clinic with their mothers as well.

In 100 years, Planned Parenthood has offered the women and men of the USA the opportunity to access confidential healthcare. From birth control, abortions, mammograms, and STI testing, Planned Parenthood has done a lot for us. I’m conflicted on what to wish them for the next 100. Ideally women wouldn’t need a separate healthcare clinic for pregnancy terminations or low-income women need to seek out free mammograms outside of their regular healthcare team. But until we get to that day, long-live Planned Parenthood and their kick ass services.

13 October 2016

The Mystery of Boy's Clothing

While I'm the mom of a girl, I wasn't shy to shop for her in the baby boy's clothing section or later as a toddler. The boy's section has non-glitterized clothing, solid colors, and superheroes. One of my daughter's favorite pajama sets was a Superman one with a cape. You can't find that in the girl's section.

Recently an 8-year-old girl made this discovery and her mom made a video of her disgust. Not only did she realize that boy's clothing has stronger language on them, but girl's clothing has some pretty dumb messages.
Daisy begins her spectacular rant by gesturing at the girl’s shirts. She says, “Well, the girl’s clothes say “hey,” “beautiful,” “I feel fabulous”.” She then points out the shirts in the boy’s section. “The boys — “desert adventure awaits,” “think outside the box,” “hero.””  

And then there are times when boy's clothing have messages that are disgusting and insulting to girls. Forever 21 sold boy's clothing with messages about only dating models before a backlash forced Forever 21 to pull them. In recent years we have seen the GAP market boy's clothing as smart and intellectual, while girl's clothing gets the cute treatment.

The divide between boy's and girl's clothing has become an issue not because of what we print on them, but as we become more open to kids blurring the gender clothing divide. Much is still speculated about Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Does Shiloh go by John? Is Shiloh transgender? Or does Shiloh just really like to dress up in suits?!

I think too many people see girls wearing suits as a rejection of femininity, but I've seen some deliciously feminine suits for women! In fact, the best suits for girls and women are fit to our bodies. And flip for boys who want a little glitter on their dump trucks. 

I forecast in the near future seeing children's clothing no longer labeled boy's or girl's, but rather we'll sort them by attribute: color, glitter, nature, superheroes, etc. This will allow for a parent to shop for a green tulle skirt to go with the Incredible Hulk tee. Or maybe some cargo shorts to with a sparkling Wonder Woman tee? And who cares which gender is wearing either of those outfits!



“This post is a partnership with Nakturnal."

07 October 2016

EVENT: Fantasy Island For Dummies (too near, too near)

I received information on what looks like a fun show in Chicago. I hope to make it there before it closes. If you get there first, let me know what you think.

THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE presents

The world premiere of

Fantasy Island For Dummies
(too near, too near)

Written by Ruth Margraff
Directed by Kate Hendrickson

Cast: Holly Thomas-Cerney, Casey Chapman, Skye Fort, John Kahara, Lyndsay Rose Kane, Emily Lotspeich, Chris Popio, Bob Wilson

Opens: Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 8PM Saturday
Closes: November 5, 2016 at 8PM

Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM

Admission: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays; $25 on Saturdays, Special two-for-one admission on Fridays

Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase tix online www.trapdoortheatre.com

What: Fantasy Island for Dummies (low cut daydream too near, too near) is a new music-theatre work inspired by an episode of the iconic television series about the pleasures and perils of wish fulfillment. Devised in a collaborative exploration with Trap Door Theater actors, the piece is written by Ruth Margraff and directed by Kate Hendrickson, with original music composed by Pink Velvet. A 1980 “Fantasy Island” episode about a ventriloquist and her devious dummy inspires a voyage into suppressed identities, ancient Babylonian sex goddesses, and a “perfect wife” struggling with her defiant side.

06 October 2016

FLASH GIVEAWAY - Together Conference TONIGHT

Together, an event for women is coming to Chicago at the Rosemont Theatre - TODAY - Thursday 10/6. Created by Jennifer Rudolph Walsh (head of WME’s literary division and the woman behind Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah’s book tours), Together will feature real women sharing their true and vulnerable stories. The amazing women at the helm of Together’s Chicago event include Glennon Doyle Melton, Seane Corn, Valarie Kaur, Chicago native Dr. Jacqui Lewis, and special celebrity guest Sophia Bush.

While most conferences limit space and come with a substantial price tag, Together is inviting thousands of women to attend, with tickets starting as low as $25. Together wants women in Chicago from all generations and backgrounds to come experience this joyous night of storytelling, laughter and community.

BUT....If you can get out to Rosemont TODAY and want to bring a girlfriend or sister, I have TEN pairs of tickets to giveaway by 4 PM.

Just comment with your email address and they are yours!

05 October 2016

Review: Insecure

http://www.hbo.com/insecure

 
Issa Rae gained wide recognition through an honest look at life in her YouTube series, “The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl.” This weekend Rae’s HBO series Insecure debuts and you really shouldn't miss it.

Insecure introduces us to Issa Dee as a late-20s single woman in a dead-end relationship and possibly dead-end job. But it is the awkwardness of Issa’s human interactions that are the star of the show. From her half-assed way of breaking up with her utterly unromantic boyfriend to her spectacular fail at a new guy, Issa is living up to the show’s name. Issa's bestie, Molly, who appears to have it all together, doesn't. It's their friendship that will carry this show through the exploration of being modern-day Black women.

The scene that best exhibits the brilliance of Insecure's writing team and the promise of the show is when Issa and her coworkers are brainstorming at the nonprofit. Despite being a nonprofit that works with youth of color Issa is the only visibly person of color on the staff. And the rest of the staff’s view of what will help youth of color will seem all too real for those of us who have been "the only" in a room. I truly believe that if this scene offends you, you have some issues to address. If you get this scene and laugh, you get it. You get why the white savior complex is a real issue and that good intentions are not good enough. You get why it is wrong to serve a population yet have almost no one from that population on your staff.

A photo posted by Veronica (@veronicaeye) on


I was lucky enough to attend the Chicago premiere showing. This means that I got to hear hoots and hollers when the best scenes occurred. This show is funny has hell, people. If you have HBO or HBO Go, make time to watch.

Insecure premieres
Saturday, October 9th
10:30 PM Eastern



The half-hour comedy series Insecure, starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Lisa Joyce, looks at the friendship, experiences and tribulations of two black women. Created and executive produced by Issa Rae, this eight-episode series is also executive produced by Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Beck, Jonathan Berry, and Larry Wilmore as a consultant.



Disclaimer: I was invited by HBO to attend the premiere. Outside of apps and a free beer, I received no compensation for this review.

Disclaimer

This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.

What I'm Currently Reading

I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces


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