for those who are in or around sane

Friday, February 24

update on my duff

so I did get off my duff this week. On wednesday I went to the )danny’s reading series in bucktown with some pals, and really enjoyed myself. they showcased a recent anthology published by sarabande. the poets were good, but one was especially stand-out. her name is robyn schiff and I highly recommend her.

last night brought me to a fundraiser for 826 Chicago – a nonprofit tutoring program. it was a night for wine and dumpling tasting. yes, dumplings. it was faboo!! first off, all of the wine featured was under $15/bottle, and what qualifies as “dumpling” really baffled me. there were the standards – pirogies and egg rolls. then there was a vietnamese version of a dumpling, which is a bun stuffed with something yummy (in this case it was bbq pork). There was also an indian version which was sort of a cross between egg roll and pirogue w/ spicy goodness and a tamarind sauce on top. i met some great peeps and had an all-around great time.

it’s worth it to get off your duff when you get an invitation. tonite though, i admit, i’m seriously excited to bake bread, make soup and watch gratuitous amounts of 6 feet under before passing out on the couch. sometimes, you just need it. ;o)

Friday, February 17

slow down/speed up

i have a bit of a problem. there is too much to do in this city that i get overwhelmed and end up sitting on my couch eating Pirate's Booty and watching Alias re-runs.

help me.

visit me.

make me enjoy all the museums, theater performances, readings, restaurants, libraries, schools, car shows, sporting events etc etc to infinity!

part of the problem is that i'm listening to chicago public radio for 2 hours of my day, and i get to hear about all the cool things happening in the city. there is a lot of fabulous stuff here. so, the other day, after i tortured myself by listening to all the upcoming weekend events, i decided to stop off at the lake on my way home.

i am one of the lucky commuters who gets to enjoy the lake from start of LSD to finish. it has a certain pull to it. when i get close enough to see the waves, i get giddy, and the urge to turn off and wander the beaches increases... so on this day in question, i gave in to the urge. it was narry 32 with a sharp wind and 20 min till sundown (well, city "darkness" time) and a half mile walk from where i parked the car. there were 1 or 2 other souls out there, bundled up, walking or biking.

so i sat on the edge, froze my ass off, and just smiled at the waves - giggled when they make a huge splash, wished they were bigger. and it settled my soul for a while. but still, please, come visit me! :o)

Tuesday, February 14

dark chocolate, pinot noir

valentine’s day has always been a fun day for me. since I came late into the dating game, one might assume that I’m embittered or over-compensatory. But, thanks to my family, I think of vday w/ fond memories of colorful family meals.

mom would always make spaghetti (I still think her homemade sauce is the best!) and meatballs, a salad with something red in it (radishes, strawberries, cranberries – it changed very year) and she always remembered to put a few drops of red food coloring in our milk (my sister only willingly consumed milk w/ dinner twice a year – vday and st patty’s day, aka “pink milk” and “green milk” days). when we arrived at the table for supper, the good plates were out, the good glasses were out (goblets for everyone!) and each of us had a special treat at our seats.

mom would put various types of chocolate hearts on the plates (for dessert, of course) and arrange conversation hearts in funny sentences. Dad would have put long stem roses by our plates (we got 1 each, mom got 3). We’d say grace and then dig in, all the while dad attempting to educate us about the holiday, me teasing my sis about who gave her vday cards this year and mom enjoying her special champagne.

I’ve always wanted to share this “feel good” holiday with other people. When I was a teenager, I was baffled that other people hated the holiday. Now, I find that my friends hate for the holiday has grown into full-fledged loathing for the greeting card, pressurized, gloomy feburary cult celebration. What’s funny is that no one really knows who or what st. val is.

So tonite, tonite… I will sip on red wine, nibble on chocolate and watch gilmore girls & scrubs with my bff while our men are away. Long distance kisses and late night text messages are all the romantic love I’ll be able to have on this day. I admit, I’m wistful about it. I really do wish I could treat h to the same meal my mom always prepared, to share with him that same feeling of specialness (heh, I’d eat most of the chocolate, he’d drink most of the wine…). But I’m still going to enjoy the phone call I’ll get from him and the warm feeling of being loved.

happy valentines day!

Saturday, February 4

what charlie said...

One of my immediate members deals with depression. For the most part, it has been life-long and triggered by unfortunate events happening to self or loved ones. I have recognized this in him for a very long time. But what I didn’t know was how to deal with it, and how to help him and myself.

What I’ve learned over the past few years is that you can really only help yourself. You can offer help to others. You can force help. You can be silent. Or use any other tactic, but nothing is guaranteed unless the person wants to help him or herself.

The one thing this man does not want to hear is that his depression is hurting me in a very real way. That in turn, I struggle with depression and anxiety. This is because: 1. I worry about the people I love and, 2. his actions directly affect my life.

And the easy way to deal with this would be to just let go of him. To turn him out of my life. For me to start over and not look back.

But, after my own therapy and help, after the mire I swam through to get myself out of my own depression, I cannot do this. so, I am left with 2 contradicting feelings. One of peace and knowledge that this man is just one person: human and flawed, beautiful and loving; a worthwhile gift from God. The other… that if he doesn’t get help, or follow-through with help, I have the fear that I will surely be pummeled again.

The saddest part is that I know quite a few people who suffer from depression. That all of them are dealing or not dealing with it in their own ways. That there is no right answer. Every new case I hear of in my family or friend group hits me harder. Its hard to be a happy person when the people around you are so sad. One of the most tragically true quotes I’ve ever read is in the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky: “We accept the love we think we deserve”.

Friday, February 3


last night, i did not watch amelie. instead, i talked about the merits of baking your own bread, a segue from discussing lo's entry on cancer (click her blog on the right if you wanna see it, i'm too lazy to link today) and discussing the miraculous low-calorie beverages of whiskey, scotch and wine and discussing Salmon Rushdie and then trying in vain to call h back again when his phone finally gave out completely. good thing he got a new one today. anyway, by the time i hung up for the last time, i had polished off the better part of a bottle of wine and it was 11:20pm. so i hauled my drunk arse to the bedroom and promptly fell asleep. i will watch Amelie as soon as i can. meaning, i have to allott for the superbowl, saturday meanderings and of course, friday night snow traffic and shenanegans. wish me luck.

Thursday, February 2

a toast to the familiar

tonite, i'm going to go home, work out, eat a meatloaf sammich for supper, sit down with some cheap red wine and watch Amelie. i rarely ever have cravings to watch movies that i own (and i own precious few) but last night i hung out w/ an old friend who i took french classes with in high school, and she mentioned the movie at some point in the night. ever since, whether it be the ambiant coffee house we enjoyed together or the fact that she was a french major in college and i'm jealous, i need to watch Amelie for the umteenth time. yay!