Saturday, September 19, 2020



1. A person I’m glad to have in my life. My shrink. I went back into therapy in February, when I was wrestling with how deeply my friend Henry hurt me. (Henry is recovering from a traumatic brain injury and I know his behavior is going to be erratic. However understanding that intellectually and dealing with emotionally are two different things.) ANYWAY, during this pandemic I've been similarly struggling. I get anxious and I worry that I'm no longer able to keep anything in perspective. She's been a very valuable, objective sounding board for me.


2. Something I find comfort in. The crack of the bat. I really love baseball.

3. My favorite part of the morning.
Feeding the cats. Seeing them healthy, happy and content is a good way to start the day.

4. My favorite memory. The final out of the 2016 World Series. CUBS WIN!

5. An accomplishment I’m proud of. I won a Clio. In my industry, it's a big deal.

6. An opportunity I’m grateful for.
Every day is an opportunity I'm grateful for.

7. My favorite song (and why).
This one always lifts my spirit. BTW, Monday is the 21st of September.

8. A future event I’m excited about.
Seeing Joe Biden take the oath of office.

9. My favorite area in my home.
My bathroom. I love soaking in the tub.

10. Something beautiful I saw today.
Blue skies and green lawns.

11. My guilty pleasure.
The most fabulous bad movie EVER. I love every wretched moment.

12. Something I love about a family member. My niece's commitment to her cat, Annabelle. She adopted Annabelle as four years ago. Suddenly the cat has developed some very unsavory behavioral problems. My niece and her fiance have been ferrying this cat to and from the vet for months now and trying everything anyone suggests. The only time she bristles is when it's suggested they just "get rid of Annabelle." The way my niece looks at it, Annabelle is giving her and her future husband a good exercise in how they deal, as a couple, with adversity. I'm very proud of her.

13. A compliment that made me feel good.
Al from my classic movie group thinks every one of my insights is brilliant and repeats them on the group's web page.

14. The item I treasure the most.
There's a ceramic trolley car that belonged to my favorite grandfather. He kept his cufflinks, tie clasps and licorice throat lozenges in there. When I was a little girl, it fascinated me, and he'd take it off his dresser and let me examine it. After my grandparents died, and their house was being prepared for sale, my mom slipped over there and rescued it for me. I love it because of it reminds me of Grandpa, and because my mother so thoughtfully retrieved it for me.

15. My favorite part about nature.
My cats. It's like having a little nature in here with me.

16. A book I loved reading.
These are the two that are currently beside by bed. I don't know why, but as The Trump Show spins faster and further out of control, I find terrific comfort in the pages of big picture books, looking at icons doing beautiful, graceful things.

17. A freedom I’m grateful for. My First Amendment right to dissent.

18. My favorite part of the evening.

19. One good thing that happened today.
I'm answering this on Saturday, and I had a nice, chatty conversation with my friend Joanna. It was good to reconnect.

20. How I show gratitude for my friends.
I make myself available.




How to describe this week?

 How about memorable? 

The good.  

•  I aced a presentation. My internal agency team was, per usual, skeptical about my abilities and my work product. But my client was happy and impressed. 

•  Even better, a client at the same company -- one I worked with in years gone by -- specifically requested my help on something. If this continues, my internal agency team will have no choice but to get out of my way and let me work.

•  The Cubs Alec Mills pitched a no-hitter!

The bad. 

Oh, dear Lord, how to start?

• A shooting on the WIU campus, in the very dorm where my nephew was studying! He's fine, but it was terrifying for all of us. What on earth would possess a college student to bring a gun to his dorm room in the first place?

•  My oldest friend suddenly had surgery on her bladder. She's had an infection for three years that hasn't responded to treatment. They finally isolated the problem months ago but were slow to act on it. The reasons were logistical and financial, and since she's on Medicare/Medicaid she really doesn't have much say in the matter. All of a sudden on Tuesday, they told her to show up at the hospital on Wednesday! I don't like the sound of any of this. But then, she did need the surgery if she's ever to feel relief and I guess it went well. I got lots of really loopy texts from my doped up friend.

•  My friend John is "feeling rundown." No fever, but no energy, either. He's a 65-year-old diabetic who battles congenital heart disease, so naturally I'm worried. Also, he's been frequenting his favorite bar regularly. He assures me it's safe because they have given him his own "socially distanced covid corner table." I want to yell, "There's a fucking pandemic! Watch TV and drink at home!" But I nag John too much as it is, so I'm trying mightily to keep my mouth shut about this. He texted me last night but he didn't mention his health, which I guess is a good sign. He just wanted to commiserate because ...

•  Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. In February 2016, when Justice Scalia died, Republicans said it was too close to the November Presidential election for Obama to nominate a successor. In September 2020, the same Republicans are saying Trump should name RBG's successor, even though we're having a Presidential election in less than 60 days. They not only deny science, they disregard calendars. They are ... what's the word I want? ... oh, yeah! They are assholes.

•  Then there's this: One of my neighbors knocked on my door last night to let me know there was water seeping into the laundry room. I went down there with her and damn, she was right. Water was also flooding out of the boiler room next door. Now what? I reported it as an emergency and both the electrician and the plumber came over. It seems the boiler's "automatic feed water valve" broke. I have no idea what that means, other than WATER! Here's a photo I took for the management company (they seem to feel this could be the result of negligence on the electrician's part when he fired up the boiler, and they want evidence).

I have a ton of work to do this weekend, but I'm not touching it until tomorrow. I need a day to rest and recharge.

This one hurts

"I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks."

You've all heard the story: at the beginning of her career, the brilliant Ruth Bader Ginsburg had trouble finding employment because she was a woman with a child. When she interviewed, men didn't see a graduate of Cornell and Columbia or the first woman to be on two major law reviews (Columbia and Harvard). They saw a woman with a child. 

She went on to argue six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court. If you're reading this, and you're a woman with a career, you got a leg up from RBG. 

I also loved her love story. Her husband, Martin, was a successful tax attorney and endlessly proud of his more prominent wife -- unusual for a bride and groom who got hitched in the 1950s. And she was devoted to him. While they were both law students, shortly after the birth of their first child, he became ill with testicular cancer. She attended both his classes and hers and typed his papers for him, all the while caring for their new little girl. She did this because she loved him and because they were partners, ultimately married 56 years. They remind me of a real-life Jo and Professor Bhaer. Just writing this makes me misty.

Farewell, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thank you. For all of it.