Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tying Up Loose Ends

There are only two more days in June, and Taste of Chicago has ramped up the caloric factor once again. 4th of July celebrations are imminent. Youths make the annual pilgrimage to Indiana to buy that which is verboten in Illinois, "Fireworks." The sky is a solid blue, not a cloud in sight. The water below is a lovely shade of summertime blue and is dotted with the white of sailboats, powerboats, and small white caps. The wind is out of the Northwest and the temperature is 79 degrees in Streeterville.

I have no overarching theme for the day, other than a few loose ends to tie up for the month of June in 2009. Number one on my list is the body of water across the street from my perch on the 14th floor. If you drive down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, it's the one bounded on the south by that spit of land holding the Chicago Water Treatment Facility and Navy Pier and Lake Point Tower. On the west side is, well, Lake Shore Drive and Streeterville. On the east and north sides are concrete breakwaters. Thus a little artificial bay has been created where boaters like to gather and party and in the mornings and afternoons during the regular work week a lone water skier likes to practice his moves. For lack of a better name, I began referring to this body of water as Streeterville Bay. Now I have found out that the boaters actually have a name for this body of water and it isn't Streeterville Bay. Its' "The Playpen." It's the place where Chicagoans wealthy enough (or in some cases, have daddies wealthy enough) to afford a hobby that is valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, come to float and play. My judgement? In the summertime this name may be apt. I live here year-round. "The Playpen" is only apt for that short period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The rest of the year it may as well be Streeterville Bay. Why? Because I said so. Enough said?

Next item. Last week I mentioned that I really don't care about the sexual peccadillos of politicians and that there are way too many more important things going on in the world to worry about than a guy who can't keep his pants up. Well, it turns out that Mr. Moral Right politician from South Carolina, Governor Mark Sanford, used public money to pay for his trip to Argentina to hang out with his Argentine love. That I do care about. It seems that Mr. Sanford actually turned down federal stimulus money to provide jobs for South Carolinians who have been hit hard by the current recession. He claimed the federal government's cash infusions to the states were fiscally irresponsible. All the while he was using state funds to fly to South America to have an extra-marital affair. This goes beyond hypocrisy to honest to god real fiscal irresponsiblity and if I may say so, "impeachable offenses." Throw the bum out, and while you're at it, send him a bill for the private travels at taxpayer expense, and enocourage his wife to sue him for enough child support and alimony to make him hurt the way his constituents are. Enough said?

The other big news thing last week had to do with celebrity deaths. It was very sad that Ed McMahon died, but he was old and had been in deteriorating health for some time. It is very sad that Farrah Fawcett died, but it was common knowledge that she had cancer and had also been in deteriorating health for some time. I acknowledge these as did the newspapers, TV stations, internet news sources, radio stations, etc, etc, etc. The one I'm getting really sick of, though, is Michael Jackson. He was cute, as a kid. He was talented. He hit his stride about the time "Thriller" was released. Then he just got weirder and weirder. Can we cease rehashing this? OK so he was only 50 years old. The guy who yells at people while promoting OxiClean on TV was only 50 and he died too. Will we be hearing about the tragedy that was his death for the next two weeks? I think not, and I'd really like us to move beyond Michael Jackson mania. Want to obsess about a tragic death? A nine year old girl in Chicago was shot to death by gangbangers because her father was a gangbanger and they were shooting at him and they were really bad shots. That's a social issue. That's important. Enough said?

That's about it for the day. July is upon us anon. Wimbledon is in the final rounds. The Tour de France begins shortly. The Cubs are still playing .500 ball. I am still attempting to write a novel about a police detective named Ed VanDyke. I still run 20-25 miles per week. Babs still plays tennis several times per week and we eat outdoors a lot. It must be summer. TV is in reruns. The movie theaters are full of summer blockbusters aimed at teenagers. Go outside and experience life. Come inside every now and again and check to see what views are apparent from the 14th floor. Enjoy.

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