Thanks for visiting. We aren't actively blogging here anymore. Please visit us on our new site.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dreaming of April...

An odd thing is happening outside my office window right now: it's raining and raining hard. That's not odd, it's just that it's February, when we typically get loads of snow and ice. Instead, I'm hearing thunder! While I didn't enjoy getting caught without an umbrella earlier today, I wouldn't be a true Midwesterner if an unexpected thunderstorm didn't make me wistful for Spring.

And speaking of things that make me wistful for Spring, my co-worker David Ayala just passed my door on his way to his dinner break. David and I talk baseball several times a week - a lesson for every Chicagoan out there, since David is solidly black and white and South Side, while I'm blue-all-over North Side. We talk, we laugh, we make our little digs now and then, but we respect each other's ball clubs, I'll tell you that. Tonight David called out, "Hey, did the Cubs win today?" My week has been so stressful, I forgot about Spring training, forgot that my Cubs had a chance to have a go-round with those pesky Dodgers who made us look foolish last October. Awesome - we won this time.

Do we look foolish now
, caring about things as trivial as baseball and the Academy Awards when the global economic situation grows more fearsome every day? After the Oscar broadcast, the media was flooded with photos and critiques of every attendee's gown or tuxedo, when we were promised a "scaled-down," more meaningful show. Hmmm. I saw a news article today, raking actress Gwyneth Paltrow over the coals for her new Web site, The site offers her glowing, girlish suggestions on everything from the best places to eat in Paris to "fashion...the fun frivolity that can really cheer a girl up." Does the world need Gwyneth's GOOP right now? I can tell you I'd be hard-pressed to afford all but a few of her recommendations, so, well, it's GOOP to me! (Her Web site also needs some serious work - it is the slowest-loading site I've encountered in years.)

But do we need this kind of mindless escape when times are troubled? Do we need a little baseball, a little awards show glamour, just to ease the anxiety?

What do you think? Is GOOP a good thing or just plain goopy? Are the Cubs and Sox a bunch of overpaid bums or all-American boys on our field of dreams? In the midst of all this winter, how long will it really take for spring arrive again? Post your comments here and share with me your thoughts about sports, celebrities and fashion - do they help us or hinder us during difficult days?


  1. On the surface this seemed like such an easy question to answer, but the more I thought about it, the more conflicted my answer became.I was talking with a co-worker earlier today about the fact that the only type of movies we have any interest in seeing right now are comedies because we want to escape the heaviness on the news and in the papers. Yet, those movies generally cost a lot to make and the stars earn millions of dollars per film (which I have always found ridiculous). I also love to watch sports, but every time that I hear an athlete negotiating a deal for more money, that results in sums upward of $30M over a 2 year period, I get really irritated.

    Yet these "stars" are just being paid what we have allowed them for years to feel is their value. Right now, they are the ones entertaining me. They are the ones giving me that escape from the stress that the current economy is causing me. So, for now, I'm going to continue to appreciate my "escape artists" and save my irritation for the CEOs who rather than working to ease my worries, are reaping the benefits of large payouts while the everyday man struggles to make ends meet.

  2. Well said. We do all need mindless escapes. I mean if we can quantify that in one bundle, 'midless escape' *in* itself is a HUGE economic stimulus. The economy it generates is more than all AUTO industry put together.
    Imagine a world where we only talk sense and rationale stuff. Would it be worth it?
    So, Oscars good. Baseball good. NFL.. very good.

  3. Absolutely. We need crazy, mindless, frivolous diversions. More now than ever. Yesterday I went with friends, family and co-workers to a Chicago Wolves game and had a great time. The games are loud(I bring my ear plugs) I know practically nothing about the rules of the game, the seats and the aisles are impossibly narrow, and the parking and junk food costs almost as much as the ticket, oh, and the weather was cold and snowy. So why did I enjoy it so much? Well, first I was with good people, then there were some crazy fights between teams that had everyone on their feet yelling(no one got hurt but they did get penalties), the team mascot "Skates" threw souvenir t-shirts into the crowd, our group all got free hockey pucks, and kids and adults jumped all over the place to see their faces on the monitors. (The Wolves also won 2 to 1 against the Quad City Flames) So yes, times may be tough, and money may be tight, but sometimes it pays to escape and just have a little (or a lot) of fun.


Please feel free to post your comments and thoughts. We love to hear from you.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.