I’ve come down with spring fever. OK, given that it was 80+ degrees yesterday, muggy, and that we seem to be skipping the spring thing altogether so far here in Chicago, spring fever might be a stretch. But I’ve got the symptoms: Day dreaming, distracted, don’t much want to focus on anything. So today’s MwM will be a slumgullion of sorts. What’s a slumgullion? Well, growing up, I’d wander into the kitchen to bug my mom about dinner. “What’re you cooking?” I’d ask, as she stood over a big skillet that was still over my head.”
“Slumgullion,” she’d say. Slumgullion was code for a one-off potpourri of what she had in the fridge. And so here’s the blog version.
- You may recall my “Reform This!” post about the state of education from a few weeks back. Well, a brave School principal penned an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times bemoaning Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s—and the Chicago Public School (CPS) administration’s—poor stewardship of the Chicago schools. It’s a great piece, it confirms that MBA types who don’t know a thing about classrooms are taking decision-making away from those who do. It’s a very well written, thoughtful piece, I hope you’ll read it. (Thanks to Beachwood Reporter for calling it out.)
- Yesterday was Mother’s Day, when we celebrate the mothers who are with us, and—I think I can speak for others—we remember and we grieve about the mothers who are gone. I lost mine in 1992, 15 months after my father died on Labor Day, 1991. It’s still kind of hard to believe it’s been that long. Certainly, I feel different than I did say, the moment I heard the news. Or the week after or the month after. But I don’t miss them any less. Sometimes it’s even more. This grieving and bereavement thing doesn’t come with any training, and there’s no one timetable for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s part of the deal. Dealing with that part of the deal is easier for having company, and for hearing from others about their experience—and here’s a fantastic piece on the subject in The New Yorker called Nobody’s Son. It’s not rosy. But it’s honest, and somehow I felt better for reading it. Hope you do, too.
- All year this year, the Chicago Cubs are celebrating the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field (originally called Weegham Field, until chewing gum magnate Phil Wrigley bought it). It’s seen a lot of history, but here in Chicago, sometimes we confuse the history of a team for the history of a building. And, in my view, the North Side club can’t hold a candle to the South Side’s history. The Sox’s history is more colorful, it’s richer and quirkier. You’ve got Charles Comiskey and the Black Sox and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Minnie Minoso. Bill Veeck—twice. Disco Demolition. Short pants. Exploding scoreboards. Harry Caray singing at the stretch (yeah, it started on the South Side). And Frank Thomas (who’s headed to the Hall of Fame this year), just to name a few highlights. Luckily, the New York Times (hello Chicago beat writers) has a good national baseball writer who takes notice of White Sox history. And Tyler Kepner’s produced two gems this year.One piece looks at what some of the members of the 2003 White Sox thought about drug testing—and their scheme to get it implemented way back then. To his credit, another NY Times reporter–Murry Chass–was on it in real time. Another Kepner piece looked back at the longest (by time) baseball game in history. The White Sox played the Brewers, and the game actually took two days to play. Tom Seaver won that game, and another—on the same day. Great story.
- I was 11 years old back in 1968 when Apollo 8 brought humans to orbit the moon for the first time ever. I still remember it. And I’ll put the moon launches up against any technological achievement since. I mean, pay at the pump is great. And sure, my iPhone has more computing power than Apollo 8’s space capsule did. But those missions went to the freakin’ moon, dammit. And it was us. All of us Americans, doing something fantastic. That beats the daylights out of texting, flat-panel TVs, and Xbox.But I digress. Our dear friend Benita shared this fantastic video about that mission, replete with simulations synced with still photos and audio of the astronauts who were stunned when they became the first humans to witness an “earthrise.” Thanks Benita.
- Finally, on the health front. Here’s some news…you might be able to use. Or not. I’ll present this link, as I squirm in my chair, without further comment.