Friday, November 28, 2008

Deck the Sales Associate

I just heard this story on NPR about a man being trampled to death at a Wal-Mart in Long Island...

By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.

Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.


I want to say, "What is the world coming to?", but really...I think it's clear that the world got itself into this abhorrent state awhile ago. "Shop til you drop!" (or til someone else does). This entire season is so off course and the masses/the majority/EVERYONE accepts it, embraces it and partakes. I have to wonder what Christians are thinking as they bust into stores at 4am to get MUST-HAVE deals while maxing out their credit cards all in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Does it occur to anyone that Jesus probably wouldn't be a fan of desperate, angry, consumptive, entitled shoppers?

Clearly not.

Wouldn't make more sense to actually give the gifts Christ really wanted us to give? Like love, generosity, and empathy? I know, go figure. I'm at this point in my life where the more I learn, the more disillusioned I become. What is going on here and why aren't more people REALLY disturbed?! My 8th grade teacher used to have a poster on her podium that said, "What's popular is not always right and what's right is not always popular." I still appreciate that basic sentiment, but it seems that a sentiment is all it is.

The warmth of my grandparents' home on Christmas eve, their small, tasteful tree, the smell of spinach casserole and honey baked ham, after dinner walks with Dad and Uncle Jimmie, and my grandma in her red-checkered apron are the memories of the Christmas season that have the most weight in my heart. Why is it that the most beloved Christmas films and stories end with sentiment that the "real message of Christmas" really is love, generosity, and hope, but our society seems to counteract that message more and more each year? I suppose that's just a well-intentioned sentiment too.

You'd think a story about a man being trampled to death by fat, greedy Americans at a store filled with cheap gifts made by exploited people in third world countries would be cause enough to make most folks question what has gotten into everyone...but if his dying body didn't stop the shoppers, why would the story stop anyone else?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dan Savage said something on his podcast today:

"Every relationship you are ever going to be in is going to fail..until one doesn't."

I find it to be realistically reassuring, don't you?

So, to all you fellow Parties of One- I pass along this adage. (I also pass it along to those of you who are in a relationship, holding out for something that you know ain't comin'!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Lately I've noticed that abbreviations (abbreevs?) are all the rage.

Well, I'm here to share one that's been working very well for me lately...
(Short for "typical")

Now, maybe some trendy scenester has already coined this term, but I'm hear to stake my claim as current "typs" representative in the Edgewater neighborhood (also known as Edubz).

"Typs" is used best when frustrated:
"UGH- that is SO typs!"
"Jeffrey left the seat up

It helps to roll your eyes at some point in the delivery. Also, please make sure to emphasize the "p" and the "s". Whoever you're talking to will really feel your displeasure with whatever typs behavior is currently frosting your cookies.

Spread the "typs", love the "typs", but don't be "typs"!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dumb it Down America!

The economy's in the crapper and we're spending at least $200 million every day on an unpopular war, so leave it to Good Morning America to deliver the real, nitty gritty, hard-hitting news to us...or not.

I rarely tune into GMA, but it happened to be on this morning as I got ready for work and I couldn't help but stand in cringing awe of this totally lame, consumeristic segment about the packaging on certain products. At first I thought they'd go into the environmental standpoint of uneccessary packaging, but silly me! They just want to talk about how tough it can be to open those testy little packages on Christmas morning!

"Good morning, America! Here's some useless information about consumer products to distract you from any real, troubling issues that might happen to cross your mind in between Dancing with the Stars and Gossip Girl!"

Oh, and please note "goofy" Diane Sawyer donning construction goggles.
Get out of there, Diane! Get out before you turn into a cartoon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Owners of the Country

Happy Friday!

"The owners of this country know the truth- it's called the 'American dream' because you have to be asleep to believe it.

- George Carlin

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sharing is Caring

Last night, Nate and I stumbled upon this Frontline episode on Lee Atwater. Which prompted him to turn to me at the end of it and say, "Don't you just love finding out things that make you feel completely stupid for not knowing them up until now?" Yes; it's a humbling experience. I knew vaguely who Atwater was (a mastermind behind the GOP in the 1980's) but I had no idea how far reaching his influence was (Karl Rove, anyone??). Anyway, his story is a fascinating one worth hearing.

If that wasn't enough information on the underbelly and sick and twisted world of politics, he then put on Wake Up Call- the New World Order documentary. It's completely absorbing (whether you choose to believe the information in it or not). It's free online if you click on that link I posted.

I share because I love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And Now That We Own It...

It's only been a week, so we can still do some victory dances, right?

Shake your booty (and wipe away some more victory tears) to

Prop H8

Propostion 8 = a huge step back.

I'm disheartened and disappointed in the citizens of California. Was it foolish of me to assume that it'd pass in such a left-leaning state?

Take some time and see what my favorite large-headed correspondent, Keith Olbermann had to say on this topic in his November 10th Special Comment.

And while we're on this topic, I highly recommend the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So. It's a must. You'll thank me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Was There


As I rode the 147 up Lake Shore, I made sure to remind myself to take it all in- take in this beautiful day in this beautiful city for this historic event. I have never been a part of something so big and so communal and SO positive. Everyone was talking to each other and bouncing around with excitement.

We got into the rally just in time to find our spot and watch the polls go up and up in our favor. We heard about Ohio in the line outside and we saw Virginia's results on the big screen...and then, without announcement or notice, up on the screen it said BARACK OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT.

I'm not exaggerating here- this was a top moment in my life.

From that point on it was cloud 9, pure bliss, "pinch me!". I was so surprised by the relief I felt. I expected to be ecstatic, but the relief was the primary initial feeling. FINALLY! These last eight years have been painful, stressful and incredibly discouraging. And these have been the years my generation has come into its own- we've had no choice but to be disillusioned and disheartened with our country. FINALLY- sweet, sweet relief!

It still hasn't full sunk in- the reality of it all. I can't even believe I get to say that I was there! To say I feel lucky is an understatement.

As we walked north up Michigan following THE speech, there was this feeling of community and love and (you guessed it...) hope. Every ten minutes or so a chant would start "YES-WE-CAN!" or "O-BA-MA". Totally thrilling- the best kind of celebration.

This measly blog doesn't do Tuesday night any justice. It was the real deal and I've promised myself to etch it in my memory. Here's hoping all the rest of you enjoyed the historic night as well! And to those of you that didn't...y'all just had eight years- There's a new sheriff in town.

Sign, sealed, delivered- he's ours :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Day In History

I am less than two hours away from hopping out of my cubicle and heading down to Grant Park. I am so excited I can hardly focus. I have that Christmas morning feeling…or the feeling I used to get when the Bulls went to the championship and NEVER lost. Remember that? They just HAD to win. And they did. Except…this is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.

A victory for Obama is a victory for all of us. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t have voted for him. It’s been a long road and he’s been steady at the wheel- keeping his eye on the prize. If the way he’s run his campaign is any indication as to what kind of administration he’ll run, we are in good hands.

There’s no denying the historical factor of all of this- we may be on the brink of electing our first black president. Such a victory. There’s no denying the hope that comes along with that. This is not a fix-all, but it is, in my opinion, progress.

Barack Hussein Obama is the American Dream. America is about diversity- whether it likes it or not…and an acceptance and an embrace of a mixed race leader feels so right to me. We are many parts. We are a diverse, complex nation. It seems so obvious that we have a leader that reflects who we are.

I am hoping against hope for a win tonight. I hope I can be there in Grant Park crying tears of joy (because I am a big, political SAP) and shakin’ it while I Barack ‘n roll!

Fingers crossed. Knock on wood. Hail Mary.