Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am also very, very thankful that they finally caught Bri's killer. I am thankful for all of the people who put in thousands of hours of work, both the police and volunteers, and am thankful for the technology that made it possible to match his DNA. More than anything, I am thankful for the friend of his girlfriend who was suspicious enough to call in the tip to the police. I honestly cannot believe that they were able to find the man who terrorized our town within a year and before he struck again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Time to Give Thanks

I am thankful:

For my wonderful friends, who I can always rely upon for anything.
For my amazing family, though I wish we could all live closer.
That both my husband and I have found a profession that we love, are good at, and can get paid to do.
For our good health and general happiness (seriously, quite, quite thankful).
That both of us have much more job security than most (kids will always need teachers, and we are in high-needs areas).
That our families are in good health.
That everyone in our lives is moving on a forward path towards what they really want.
For Nutella.
To have the opportunity to live in one of the best places in America.
Last, but certainly not least, my beloved husband, who is more than I could ever have asked for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chicago, Chicago

I thought I had no concept of Chicago. I thought it was merely a placeholder on the flat face of the Midwest; a blank metropolis in the middle of the generic "American-ness" that is the supposed heartland of this nation. It held no allure for me; I did not feel the tug of curiosity that impels the traveler to fill in the details of place along with name.

Or so I thought.

Even upon landing in the dark of winter evening, as the low houses flashed past the windows of the taxi, even then I could feel the city's essence. Hard working neighborhoods, staunchly neat and unpretentious, neither city nor suburb, gave way to huge, hulking shadows of scattered high rises looming over unseen streets.

Unbidden, fully-formed myths of Chicago sprung to my mind from the depths where they had been fed for years by poetry, songs, and stories I didn't remember digesting. In the pizza shop, I saw a tall man in an impeccable coat whose immense breadth immediately called to mind Sandburg's "
City of the Big Shoulders":

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders

A small detail on a bridge reminded me that this was the home of the Prairie school of architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright and that gorgeous aesthetic I had loved in so many other places. And yet it seemed to be so at home here, in a way that I had not felt seeing the style elsewhere.

Everywhere, details sang out to me that this, this place I had never given a second thought was the home of poets, architects, writers who have inspired me and fed my artistic soul for years.


HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Filler time

I have several drafts started for posts talking about this amazing election, but I also have a paper due tomorrow and have written exactly one paragraph. So I decided to post this adorable video of a little girl singing the CU fight song. They played it at a game recently on the jumbotron and it was pretty awesome to hear the whole stadium singing with her. She has a great future as a cheerleader (in the original sense of the word).

Friday, November 07, 2008

Trying to process it all

I started this post last week, and I've decided I just need to post it:

I have started a couple posts about my reaction to the election this week, but I find I can hardly put it into words yet.

I still feel as though I am in a dream and am operating in some kind of alternate reality. Did this really happen? Am I just imagining all of this?

I really felt as though the very foundation of my world had shifted on Tuesday night. No longer did the old paradigm hold.

It feels like a movie; I now realize I had this same disconnection from a sense of reality when watching the attacks on 9/11. I simply could not believe it was happening, in the realest sense of the phrase. However, that felt like some awful disaster movie. This feels like the best feel-good, hopeful movie ever. And more indie or based-on-a-true-story than the cheesy, unbelievable Disney movie Palin would have been.

I mean, being raised as a die-hard Democrat over the past twenty years, I truly have no idea what it is like as a conscious adult to agree with the people in government, let alone have helped elect them. I keep wondering if Republicans felt this way when Bush won, either time. Was there rejoicing in the streets? Did they celebrate then end of the "reign of terror" of Democrats? Or maybe in retrospect, one can see that extramarital affairs just are quite on the same level as destroying the world economy, shredding the Bill of Rights, entangling us in an extended war in an area of the world that already hated us, etc. etc.

To sum up my feelings about the last time we got a new president, please read this frighteningly accurate article from the Onion from Bush the Second's inauguration:

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

You can safely say that my feelings

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Another first


This is the first time I've voted for a WINNING presidential candidate.

I am SO hopeful!!!!

A Day of Firsts

This is the first time I've really voted FOR a candidate, not just against one.

This is the first time I've understood what it means to run a positive campaign, not just a less-negative one.

This is the first time I've felt like a part of something bigger, something momentous, something historic.

This is the first time I feel hopeful, and the first time I understand what that feeling actually is.

This is the first time I've seen a politician actually act *presidential*.

This is the first time I have felt so, so proud to vote.

This is the first time I've felt like I've seen the potential future of this country and cried for joy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The unseen eye

I had a weird experience today that is becoming more and more common. A girl I had never met before was waiting in the hallway with me to speak to a professor. She looked and me and said, "I think I've observed you in the clinic downstairs." Since undergraduates in the program need to have a certain number of observation hours (25 in all), and since they can watch our sessions in the clinic on the first floor, this is not unheard of.

The weirdest part of it all is realizing how very many people have likely watched me in sessions that may or may not have gone well, and knowing that they now have some impression of me as a clinician, as well as knowing that I might have shaped their view of the field in some way. Frightening, since I'm by now means an expert at what I am doing and and still learning so much every day.

Then again, maybe I'm not nearly as well known in reality as in my head, and perhaps it's only a few people who have observed me. Either way, it's nice to get to meet some of those people who you never even knew were behind that one-way mirror.