Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baseball Allegiance

A small blurb in today's Tribune made me chuckle. I'm sharing it with you because, baseball and political allegiances aside, I think you'll laugh too. Many Cubs fans are up in arms about this recent statement:

"You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there," Obama said in an ESPN interview. "People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. South Side."

I don't think he's saying anything that people don't already know. Wrigley does have a reputation for being the biggest bar in America. In the full article, Derek Lee even agrees! Many people go to Cubs games, not for the game itself, but for the beer, the camaderie, the experience. I went to a Cubs game with a few friends a couple of years ago (free ticket, mind you.) I was with 2 self-proclaimed die-hard Cubs fans. However, neither person knew who was pitching or who was playing. What is die-hard about that? Or take this more recent example. During the second Cubs vs. Sox series (which I like to call "Turning the Table"), a "die-hard" Cubs fan worriedly asked me what had happened to Kerry Wood. She had no idea that he was the closer! When I expressed my incredulity to her, she said, "I'm a Cubs fan. You're a baseball fan." I firmly corrected her that I'm a White Sox fan and if I know that Kerry Wood is a closer, as a Cubs fan, she should know it too!

Die-hard is my cousins Jon and Adam who know Cubs history front and back and never miss a game if they can help it. Jon told me that if the Cubs make it to the World Series, he might need to leave the country because he will not be able to take the stress. Neither of us could even talk about the possibility of a Cubs vs. White Sox World Series! So yes, there are some real Cubs fans out there but that does not seem to be the reputation that the fans have as a whole.

The funnier part to me was the outrage people expressed towards Obama's statement. There are now 407 comments as I post this. How on earth can people let this affect who they would vote for???

A small sampling (spelling and grammatical errors intact):

notsofriendly: isn't that stereotyping??? to say all Cubs fans are drunken idiots who only are at the game to party? well, I'm insulted and this seems to be in direct 'violation' of the 'watch what you say' mentality this campaign season. and Derek, that wasn't too smart, speaking out against Cub fans...are you a Sox fan?

Gary: Obama has a right to be a sox fan but he insulted me and many others. He has helped me make up mind on who I will vote for.

Samantha: Obama's comments don't effect how I will vote, but it does make me wonder, maybe he should have consulted the facts before making this statement.

Phil: I am a Cubs fan, but the times I have been at Wrigley, it can feel like a 'Friends' convention.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Political backlash

Much has been said about Obama's recent remarks concerning abortion. It drives me crazy that abortion is still the litmus test for so many voters! Let's look at quality of life as a whole, people! It's not enough to tell someone, "Don't get an abortion," if you're not also going to do something to support the mother and child financially, emotionally, and spiritually. We need to give them the resources and support to make keeping the child a sustainable option. Honestly, unless things have changed since my fieldwork days at DuPage County's Family Planning and Prenatal programs, the resources just are not there. It's not enough to declare that you are pro-life unless you are doing something tangible to reduce the number of abortions. If you can say that you are making those efforts, I congratulate you. You are the exception to the rule. And if you don't agree, I would ask that you look at the pro-life leadership around you, in your community, the Senate, the White House- and see if they can say the same. Chances are they are more talk than action.

I don't agree with everything Steve Knight says but I love the questions he raises at the end and his points concerning criminalization. And for the record, I do believe that life begins at conception. I just also believe that it's time to look beyond pro-life and pro-choice. It's time to look at the issues of poverty, education, health, and yes, even the war (don't you love how the never-ending war eats up the entire budget?). They directly impact the number of abortions without a doubt. Frank Schaeffer, one of the pro-life movement's founders, says this all so much more eloquently.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jim's Bucket List

I've been doing great work with Jim and Jan, if I do say so myself. Jim and I watched The Bucket List together, leading to some great conversations and inspiring Jim to come up with his very own Bucket List. Jim has led an amazing life but there are still a few adventures left, among them is skydiving! Jim was happy to tell me this morning that we can cross one item off the list- trying caviar. A friend bought him a little jar of black caviar over the weekend. Jim asked me if I'd ever tried it. When I said that I hadn't, Jim asked Jan to bring it out . And so it was at 9:15 this morning, I tried caviar for the first time. I was trying to prepare myself because I am generally not a seafood-lover; however, I do love trying new kinds of food. My take? Caviar is very salty and yet quite enjoyable. I do indeed have expensive taste. I'll be sure to keep you updated as Jim completes more items on his Bucket List. Next week I will help him write his obituary and then we are going to record his memoirs. I can really tell that I'm making a difference here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A new matchmaker

Robert is a patient in his 60s with COPD. We've done a lot of hard work together as he faces the end of his life. He's struggled with anxiety and depression and just figuring out how to prepare himself and his family for his death. It's been a true honor to be a part of his journey. I see him every Monday, never quite knowing what we'll end up discussing. Robert is quite the charmer. The first time I met him he said he needed to put on sunglasses because he was blinded by my beauty! This past Monday he raved about my new haircut. Towards the end of the visit, he told me he hoped that I would find a man who would appreciate me- all out of left field. Apparently he wants to take Ruth's place...he added the caveat that he's going to need to meet and approve of whomever I decide to date/marry. I'm not sure how I inspire such a protective nature in my patients but it's sweet that they think I deserve the best. I can't argue with that!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Intimate White Sox Moments

Brooke's new boyfriend Dan scored us some awesome patio seats for last night's game. He works for US Cellular and got some extra tickets. This was the first time I met Dan. Clearly he thought that giving me free Sox tickets and free food and drinks (patio perks) would win me over. And clearly he is a smart guy! But I'm not so easily bought- although Dan is definitely a nice guy and a good person to know if you're a Sox fan. The patio is like the Garden of Eden of The Cell. Potato salad, fried chicken, ribs, plus the usual baseball food! We were able to sit right by the warning track and watch the players warm up. JD was literally 15 feet away from me. My camera has a horrible zoom so I don't have good player pictures to post, unless if you want to see Matasuzaka warming up for the Red Sox (the opposing team's bullpen is right next to the patio). Still, I was content to watch JD toss the ball around. He threw the ball over to Wise, then turned to look into the patio. He made direct eye contact with me. And then...he waved. At me!!! I was in heaven! Dan, Ricky, and Brooke will testify to my giddiness. Our seats in the stands were right behind JD so my happiness was made complete. Unfortunately, the game did not go so well. (Don't even get me started on Boone Logan!) But when Jermaine Dye waves at you, nothing much else matters for the night.

She bangs, she bangs

I thought after Donna's wedding was over, I'd be ready to chop off my hair. Instead, I decided to give bangs a try. I had no idea that this was a cultural phenomenon or that it would make me the most popular girl around. And now my coworkers have told me that with my new hairstyle, I will surely be married within the year. They are literally planning my reception. I'm not sure what to make of that but I am enjoying my new look!