Saturday, October 25, 2008

And the hits just keep on coming!

Last week I learned that my condo association assessments will be going up in 2009. In today's mail I received a lovely announcement from my mortgage company -- not only is my monthly payment going up, I owe them about $750 as my local property taxes have risen dramatically and my escrow account must keep pace. Now -- when I believe I'm on the verge of being let go -- I don't need this news.

It's enough to make an ol' gal afraid to check her mailbox!

Nailah Franklin Update -- Suspect will act as his own lawyer

In September, 2007, a promising young pharmaceutical sales rep was kidnapped and murdered. Her name was Nailah Franklin, shown here. I never knew her, but I was impressed and touched by the way her family and friends rallied and made sure she wasn't just another "missing black woman" statistic. This 28-year-old woman was clearly loved by many.

Yesterday, the suspect in her murder, a former boyfriend, told the court that he was going to represent himself. This 31-year-old says he cannot afford his own lawyer, and doesn't want a public defender because it would take too long to have one assigned and for that PD to be brought up to speed on his case. He wants a speedy trial because he maintains his innocence.

I will use his name here and publicly apologize if he is, indeed, found innocent. But for now, I want to devote this space to the young lady whose life was lost.

Nailah Franklin was one of 5 daughters.

She graduated first from Homewood Flossmoor High School and then the University of Illinois.

She spent 5 years at the prestigious ad agency, Leo Burnett.

She moved to Eli Lilly in 2006.

She loved "all things Oprah."

She volunteered at the Chicago Urban League.

She was eulogized as "not a star, but a superstar."

May she rest in peace.

Saturday 9 -- The Best of What's Around

1. What's the best new website you've found?
eBags. I love it! It's easy to navigate and the merchandise changes often and there's always something terrific available at a great price.

2. What's the best movie you've seen?
My all-time favorite movie changes from time to time. Right now, I'd answer Bonnie & Clyde. I appreciate the subtext about how we have a hard time separating fame from infamy. I love how instantly, unpredictably it veers from comedy to tragedy -- because often that's how life is. 40 years after its release, it's easy to see the influence it's had on other movies (esp. The Godfather). And I looove the clothes.

3. What's the best quote you know?
"What man has done, man can do."

4. What's the best book you've read?
JFK: Reckless Youth by Nigel Hamilton. It's my favorite biography of my favorite President, and it centers it on his early years. It reminds me that no matter how terrific a life looks from the outside, you have no idea how it feels on the inside.

5. What's the best thing someone's done for you?
I'm fortunate to have a lot of great and helpful people in my life, but this is the first example that pops into head. I really love my cat, Joey. He's such an open, loving soul and being around him lifts my spirits. My friend's little boy (now he's a high school senior!) accompanied me to the animal shelter and he's the one who zeroed in on Joe.

6. What's the best thing about your job?
The benefits! If I end up getting laid off, I will really miss the very affordable, high-quality health and dental insurance.

7. What’s the best CD you own?
The Beatles' White Album. We can quibble about whether there are better CDs out there, but this is the most varied and has some truly exquisite moments.

8. What’s the best new TV show you watch?
Mad Men. I have such a crush on Don Draper. As one who works in advertising, I'm often surprised by how well they nail the world I work in.

9. What’s the best car you’ve owned?
This is easy because I've only ever owned one: An ancient Chevy Impala. To be honest, it was a rusty piece of shit. But it was also the best car I've owned.

To play along yourself, click here.