Monday, October 8, 2012


I've been sitting at the computer most of the day, doing some SEO work on the gardening web site. Actually, that's a lie. it was SEO work plus a side-trip to the Y to swim some laps and then Trader Joe's. 

But anyways. Winding down this evening, I had no plans to get back on the computer tonight. My plan was to vegetate, finish reading the Sunday paper and watch some Hawaii 5-0. Then I came across an article about Chicago Ideas Week. Its labs, panels, speakers with recognizable names (think Tom Brokaw, Colin Powell, David Gregory, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deepak Chopra, Elle Macpherson) and other events are meant to inspire, motivate, and even give attendees a glimpse at what makes things click behind the scenes. Sounds great, especially for only $15 per session, doesn't it? 

A column in Sunday's Chicago Tribune caught my eye:,0,1772869.column

And then I saw something that just sparked something. Not anger, just a bit of a sensitive nerve. That little nerve that's been there since I lost my hearing when I was 5. The one that I've worked hard to make less sensitive, but is still there -- and will always be there. It's just who I am, and I've made peace with it, but it doesn't mean I can't say, "Hey, you know what? Don't forget about me!"

I don't know how you use the word accessibility. I suppose for most people, they don't think twice about it. For me, it means -- will I be able to understand what's going on, or will I need an interpreter, or will I just have to nod and pretend I understand what's going on? Will the movie or be captioned or transcribed? There are so many "little things" in a deaf "(or any other handicapped/disabled) person's life that add up to big things. So when people begin throwing around the word "accessible," well, they need to back up their choice of words. 

My point? Two different quotes in the article used the word accessibility, and while I do realize they probably were trying to emphasize the "affordability" of the events, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Nowhere on the website did they indicate if any events would be interpreted or how requests could be made. 

"The tone, the structure of what we've done in terms of accessibility and price point, the programming, the inclusiveness -- there's nothing like this." -- Brad Keywell, co-founder and director of Groupon

"The long-term vision of Ideas Week is that we are this accessible platform that really anybody can plug into at a $15 price point." -- Chicago Ideas Week Executive Director Jessica Malkin

Hey, Chicago Ideas Week? Here's a great idea for a topic in 2013: accessibility and inclusiveness. There is a huge customer base that many industries are missing. I'm sure you would have no problem finding speakers. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vikings Fans in Illinois?

Skol! I'm a happy football fan. Even though I haven't lived in Minnesota for more than a decade, I'm still a diehard Vikings fan. And I feel like I'm the only one in Illinois sometimes! 

You cannot buy any Vikings gear in this state. Believe me, I've looked! I'm taking advantage of a Twitter promotion tonight & ordering a sweatshirt. There are also no other Vikings fans at the sports bars around here. It's a little intimidating to walk (alone!) into a sports bar full of people wearing Bears colors. The purple kind of sticks out. 

Today, I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Vikings-49ers game, which was at the same time as the Bears-Rams game. I've been to this spot a few times and never had any problem finding a place to sit at the bar. However, this time was different! I got there about 10 minutes before game time, and the bar island was packed. I ended up getting a table in the bar area and got a manager to switch the tv near me to the Vikings game. I was a happy camper. Especially when we won! 

The Vikings are 2-1 so far this season. And so are the Bears. I guess the Chicagoland-area sports bars will be packed for at least another week. Just look for the only girl wearing purple -- that'll be me! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

And I'm baaaack!

I've missed blogging. I'm not sure why I hit the Pause button. Maybe I just needed a break. Lots of things have changed in the last year, plus I've been waging a battle against the migraines and the fatigue that shows up in the aftermath. The last few months would have just been blogs about migraines, migraine medication, being tired & in pain, and general whining. Really. I checked out Tumblr but don't really like it. It's fun to check out a few people I follow on there, but it's not the platform for me. I may share things from there on here from time to time. 

Thanks to some new medication (hopefully...), I am starting to feel better and better all the time now. This week, I only had 1 morning where I felt horrible when I woke up. One out of 5 ain't bad! Plus, I had the most amazing massage experience on Thursday at the Aveda salon I've been going to. It was not just a great massage -- it was the whole experience. Softly lit rooms, Aveda aromatherapy, plush robes, a foot bath and deep moisturizer before the massage, and a waterfall/steam shower! I felt totally spoiled. And for once, every muscle in my body was relaxed. I can't wait for the next one. 

This evening wasn't quite as relaxing. I didn't really want to go to the gym and swim laps, but I want to build up my endurance and strength, so off I went. I will never get my college swimming body or speed back, but the water feels pretty good! I promised myself I could soak in the whirlpool after a 30- or 40-minute swim. 

Turns out there are several YMCA youth swim teams that practice weekday evenings. So the pool was packed with kids age 8 or 9 and up, and their parents. Lucky for me, the Y keeps one lane open for the unfortunate, clueless people who show up to swim laps during these practices. So I got my swim in and watched a little of the practice. That made me smile, as it brought back memories of when I was that age. 

But the cuteness didn't carry over into the locker room. My workout high was brought to a screeching halt when I found out the whirlpool was closed. Not temporarily. For-ev-er. I decided to just head home and settle for a long, hot shower. I somehow timed my time in the locker room to coincide with the completion of swim practice. No big deal, just change and leave. 

Except for the helicopter parents loitering in the locker room -- pecking away at their smartphones. Never mind that they just spent an hour doing that while their kids were in the pool. Never mind that it's common sense not to use them in a locker room and the Y has their no-cell policy posted on the doors. Call me a prude, but it made me genuinely uncomfortable! Camera phones make it way easy for the weirdos to snap photos or video. 

That's my rant for tonight! And now that I have my workout out of the way, I'm gonna get into my PJs and kick back with a Leinie's and watch an episode or two of Sons of Anarchy. I'm "only" on season 4 -- gotta catch up!