BREAKING NEWS: Disney Continues to Find a Way to Remain Magical

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Just saying.

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Nearly Finished Time Machine For Sale

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If I could afford such an illustrious machine where would I go?

Would I go back and just experience life, or would I change things?
To Paris in the 20s to hang with the expat crowd and soak up their genius? Maybe kick Gertrude Stein in the shins?
Into the future and hope we’ve finally become a healthier country that also has hover boards?
Or to 2008 and not buy that wedding dress?
Where would you go, and would you change anything?
Oh Southport Corridor, what will you think of next.

City of Scoundrels, done and done.

City of ScoundrelsAfter reading, standing up holding on with one elbow as the train to and from the internship rattled and swayed, for a good while I finally finished my latest literary acquirement. City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago. Done and done.

It was fantastic in that I learned a lot about Chicago history. Things I knew became clearer. Gary Krist did some serious research when he crafted this completely non-fiction book by sifting through and unbelievable amount of information and seamlessly weaving a single narrative that is clear and interesting.

Lantern Slide of Burnham's concept for MIchigan Ave.

Lantern Slide of Burnham’s concept for MIchigan Ave.

I’m pretty much impressed. Was it Joyce? No. It was an easy read to be sure, but partially easy because of how to story is told. Chronologically, and with the unique perspective of looking back at something and accepting it as part of why we are who we are today. It’s dirty and corrupt, but who didn’t know that about this town anyway. Mayor Thompson, a man many consider to be one of, if not the worst mayor in Chicago history, is responsible for the lawlessness and corruption just as he is for much of the city’s beautiful Burnham vision coming to life.

I would recommend it if you are into real history told in a fiction format. The book includes the author’s notes, bibliography, and index, which I think is incredible in and of itself.

If all of our history was so easy to access, would we be a different people?

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.” ― Daniel Burnham

“Chicago ain’t no Sunday School.” –“Bathhouse John” Coughlin

John-Choi_SK_Chicago-Skyline

 

Where Is Your Support System Today?

I remember the days where if you got a blister it just meant you were getting tougher, or it was natural to just wrap up that twisted or sprained ankle and try again. When I landed on my head, neck, or back because of a misstep or a slip, I walked it off. No tears. No big deal. Just move forward. When I was 12 and I broke my wrist doing beam drills, I finished my crunches and cool down before I got in the car and told my mom that we should stop at the hospital on the way home. Did I stop pushing myself? No, I did everything I was doing before, just one handed.

I was a gymnast. A hard-core, gym before and after school, chalk smeared on my face and legs, focused, competitive gymnast. There was nothing else so important to me, and no feasible life beyond the doors of that building full of equipment and drive. I didn’t see it as work or exercise, it was training and I loved it.

that's me in the green

that’s me in the green

It really didn’t matter your social status at school or life at home, we all came from different places, were different ages, but as teammates were were also best friends. The common ground was a vault runway and spring floor. I will always consider those girls some of the most important people in my life no matter the distance between us. If you’re reading, I love you guys so much.

So why is this at all important? Honestly, I’m just trying to figure out when I became a fragile little wimp. Maybe I’m exaggerating, I’m not totally wimpy, (I actually have an incredibly high pain tolerance) but I definitely cry more about dumb crap.

A few months ago, before we realized my rib was broken and acupuncture was supposed to be my pain management (and hydrocodone, don’t judge), my acupuncturist said something to me. After asking me about my animal expertise and how that applies to her cat with IBS, she wanted to know where all my stress goes at the end of the day. I told her about my family being far away, my job generally being no human contact, my limited friends here in Chicago, and minimal contact with the ones at home. Then she pointed out something that I never saw as a problem until lately.

“So you really have no support system at all.”

I was a little offended, but I didn’t need to ask what she meant. However, I was high on prescription drugs from my doctor, so it has taken a moment to sink in.

Nationals in Florida

Nationals in Florida (second from left)

I know I’m not the only one who has realized this at some point or another. Are we really alone? No, not really. There are always people somewhere. Maybe the problem is that we have a hard time trusting that new people are going to get our weirdness or where we came from the way the old one inherently did. I have a hard time with trusting people, and for good reason. So how does one develop a decent support system… or any system at all instead of claiming emotional self sufficiency and ignoring the downside of being a hermit?

Any thoughts?

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
― Albert Camus

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
William Shakespeare

love and questions,