Monday, September 07, 2009

September Fitness Challenge

Day 7. My legs are delightfully achy. 35 minutes of cardio followed by leg curls and leg presses will do that. Did more than a dozen reps on my new love, the fixed lateral. Gulped 12 oz. of water during the workout, too. I do feel better when I hydrate. (Old dog, new trick!) I rewarded myself with a brownie and yet am still within my 1890 calorie limit. Think it's because I resisted the temptation to stop at Five Guys on the way home. (Bows deeply.)

Tribute to Nailah Franklin

I never knew this young woman, but her story touched me deeply back in September 2007 and I haven't forgotten her. When she was first reported missing, her friends and family leaped into action. Her mom and sisters were on TV, making sure her name and face and Impala were known to everyone. Nailah had worked at a competitive ad agency, Leo Burnett, and her former coworkers were out in force, handing out "Have You Seen Me" flyers to people like me as we boarded the el trains.

When her body was found a few days later, I was so sad for those who loved her. Nailah Franklin must have been a very special woman to have engendered such love, respect and loyalty from those whose lives she touched.

The Chicago Tribune recently (August 17) ran a story updating us on the case. I'm not including a link because the story necessarily mentions the suspect in her murder case. I am not a newspaper, I don't have to be fair or balanced or complete in my reporting. I want to shine the spotlight exclusively on this special woman. I owe much to Dawn Turner Trice's column, but if you want to read it yourself, you'll have to find it yourself.

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 because she believed a sales job would help give her greater control over her finances and career.

She loved "all things Oprah."

She loved clothes and had a terrific sense of fashion.

Her mother told the Tribune that she wondered why Nailah "always seemed to be in such a hurry to live life. I think her spirit knew she had such a short time on this Earth and she had to cram in as much living as possible."

An older sister remembers her "little baby voice that she never grew out of, but she was bold and spirited, headstrong and beautiful."

Her father recalls "an exceptionally smart woman" and says that not a day goes by that he doesn't miss her.

A younger sister smiles when she remembers CD/DVD collection because "it was such a reflection of her -- a combination of old school songs by Luther Vandross
and Tae Bo exercise DVDs."

Her youngest sister tried to follow Nailah to Urbana but she wasn't accepte
d. She treasures Nailah's words of encouragement as she applied to other schools. "When we learned she had died, I considered quitting the nursing program. But I remembered how much she believed in me and I thought it was important to keep going."

She volunteered at the Chicago Urban League.

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

She was just 28 when she died.

I watch so you don't have to

Telethon Update: There's an Ethel Merman impersonator singing a medley of Ethel's big hits. She doing a credible job, which is to say she's really annoying. (Ethel Merman is like Milton Berle -- I have no idea why these people become stars.) It occurs to me as she belts out "There's No Business like Show Business" that this may be the first time I've ever seen Ethel Merman impersonated by an actual woman. Go figure.

Remember, you can't mock the Telethon if you don't give to MDA. Here's that link again.

Monday Movie Meme

This week's movie topic is all about Work...

In honor of the Labor Day holiday here in the U.S. we thought we'd focus this week's topic on movies centered around work - finding a job, getting a job, loving a job, hating a job - you get the idea.

The Bumbles already included Baby Boom, the Diane Keaton movie that popped into my head first. So count this as me seconding their vote for that one. Now here are my other choices:

Broadcast News. Ah, Jane Craig! Holly Hunter personifies how heady the most socially accepted addiction can be -- the need to be "the go-to girl" at work. The exhilaration of pulling it off, right on deadline. The tearful and very private exhaustion. The dependency on a more-than-friends/less-than-lovers "office spouse." The purpose work gives your life. There's a lovely bit of dialog that I keep reminding myself is meant to be funny, but I struggle because it's been echoed in my own professional life countless times. BOSS: It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always be the smartest person in the room. JANE: No, it's awful.

What Women Want. Mel Gibson plays the creative director at a Chicago ad agency. Like me. So where are my two secretaries and expansive expensive account? While this movie contains little nuggets of truth, mostly I enjoy it for all it gets wrong. My favorite: a multi-media presentation for running shoes that takes your breath away. In real life, the computers wouldn't be compatible, or the plug would require an adapter that someone forgot to bring, or the sound wouldn't sync and no one from IT would be available ... No matter how big the account or how famous the client, I always insist on going retro: art boards!

The Best of Everything. An ancient (1950s) soap opera. When I first saw it, in junior high, I thought this is what the adult world would be like. Caroline (my favorite) starts out as a secretary at Fabian Publishing in (of course) Manhattan and eventually works her way up to editor with a wall office. Along the way she meets a suicidal, lovelorn struggling actress, a dumbass, lovelorn country girl, a barren, lovelorn career woman, assorted married men/pigs and a fantabulous, albeit alcoholic, sensitive hero who understands her. It's the kind of movie where women wear white gloves and hats to work and remove their clip-on earrings when they answer the phone. I love it, love it, love it.

To play along yourself, click here.