I am sorry, dear blog, that I have neglected you. I have a feeling it is a combination of summer interfering with my downtime and me feeling completely unmotivated (read: intimidated) to write at length about anything when I do have the time. Well, here's what's been up with me:
I had surgery on Friday. My first surgery, in fact (yay?). While I was terrified, it was a relatively minor deal and much less painful than I thought it would be. Now I have stitches, which get removed on Monday. If anyone needs a plastic surgeon (don't worry, I didn't get anything fun like a new nose) in Chicago, I now know a great one. His assistants are lovely as well. One of them has a daughter named Alissa Marie (my middle name is Marie, in case you didn't know). She is 30 (I'm almost 29). I'm sure she is an absolutely lovely, gorgeous, intelligent, and well-rounded person, though I may be biased.
Pitchfork is this weekend. In 2008, I had the dreaded boot (walking cast) to hobble around in, and it looks like 2009 is the year of the stitches in my head (I'd take stitches over the boot any day, for the record). Hopefully all will be well again in time for Lolla, though. Truth be told, Lolla is much more important to me again this year, despite the rather lackluster lineups associated with both festivals. I'm excited about Depeche Mode...aaaand...um...hmm...
While I'm still sort of on the subject of medical problems, I'd like to say something about the proposed healthcare reform bill. Don't worry, I won't delve too deeply into it on here, because I don't think any kind of social networking site is necessarily the right forum for serious political discourse. I did, however, have a lengthy conversation last night with my boyfriend about the issue. I don't mean to label him, but I think it needs to be said that he is a Republican because as a Democrat, we have differing opinions on the matter and yet were able to have a civilized chat about it and not piss each other off too much in the process. That's where so much of it goes wrong in my opinion...once you throw broad-reaching insults like "crazy Democrats" into the mix, you are most likely eliminating the possibility of having a rational discussion. One party gets defensive, and it devolves from there into partisan blahbityblah.
The topic of healthcare insurance is near and dear to my heart, since I had none between the ages of 18 and 28. Luckily, I didn't have a medical crisis. I fractured my leg last year about two months before my coverage kicked in, so I walked around on it for those two months and then got it fixed. It got me thinking, though...what if it had been something that couldn't wait two months? What if something worse had happened when I was just 18? I thought I was invincible, but truth is, I was just stupid and lucky. Millions of people know what it's like to worry every day about their health and wonder how they're going to afford care if they need it. It is the MOST important issue in our country. Period. And something needs to be done.
Maybe...just maybe, before you start calculating how much it will cost you as an individual, you should take a moment and think about what it might mean to someone else to have a sense of security that they've never had and that many of us take for granted.
I know many don't agree with the President's plan. I don't know enough of the specifics of it to dissect it with any degree of accuracy, but I do believe that this administration's goal of healthcare reform is grounded in good intentions. The idea is to get more people on cheaper plans and to force the large healthcare conglomerates that are overcharging to rethink and retool their rates. I don't know if this outcome is entirely possible, or if it will truly cost those who are currently on plans through their employers thousands of extra dollars each year. I do know, however, that something needs to happen. This is a scary time when a lot of Americans are out of work and out of insurance. Not everyone will be as lucky as I was, and it gets me choked up to just think about it. What I'm trying to say, as simply as I can think to say it, is that this is a serious issue that can not and should not be overly summarized, simplified, and made to seem black and white. You are not going to change anyone's mind in 140 characters or less, nor should you try to. The plan is not all bad and it is not all good. The sooner people realize this, the faster we may see a more agreeable compromise.
And now onto something much less depressing and much more enjoyable!
Two videos you must see:
1) I mentioned The Boxer Rebellion a while back. In fact, I put together a whole post on why you should love them, or at least give them a chance. Well, I checked out their website again today to see what was new and found out a few things. First off, they are releasing physical copies of their newest album in a few countries, but not the U.S...yet. Next, it seems they are playing shows in Toronto and New York City, but not Chicago...yet. Finally, they have a newish video up which perfectly showcases why I adore them as much as I do...they are just so good live. Give it a little listen, will ya? What can it hurt?
2) Aziz Ansari is one of the comic geniuses behind Human Giant. He is a regular on Parks & Recreation. He was responsible for one of the funniest scenes in Observe & Report. And now, he's making mocumentary-type promos for the forthcoming film, Funny People (which really truly honestly looks to be very very funny, people). He is Raaaaaaaandy...a character that almost too blatantly serves as a critique on the "comedy" of Dane Cook and others like him (all style, no substance, as they say).
Moving right along, the Sears Tower is changing its name to Willis Tower tomorrow, so on the way home I thought I'd stop by and say goodbye to the old name. Problem is, there's nothing to say goodbye to! There is no sign of the word "Sears" anywhere around the building anymore. All signage has been replaced, with the new logo up, but fully covered in anticipation of the big reveal tomorrow. If I were a tourist, I think I would be mighty confused. I have a feeling it will perplex quite a few who have no idea that the change is even happening. I plan to go back and explore the new, terrifyingly-named addition to the 103rd floor Skydeck, "The Ledge," in a few weeks, assuming Dan is game when he's in town for Lolla. I feel much better about doing touristy things when I am with an actual tourist, you see.
I've seen a few films:
1) Transformers 2 - just as dreadful as everyone said it was
2) The Hangover - just as hilarious as everyone said it was
3) Bruno - funny, in a Curb Your Enthusiasm kind of way, where the humor comes from the cringey moments that you can see coming, but hope you're wrong about
4) Ice Age 3D - pretty much the same as the other two, but it's in 3-motherflippin-D, yo!
Well, I think it's time to call it a night. Political rants drain me. ;)