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Musings on 2009

2009 was a hard year. It was full of change.

“People are always saying that change is a good thing. All they are really saying is something you didn’t want to happen at all, is happening.” – Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail (1998). I turned on the tv to this movie and this exact quote  as I started writing this post, so I had to include it.

It was my second year in Ohio, which saw the separation and divorce of my parents. So we have all been muddling through, finding strength we didn’t know we had and learning a new way to live as a family. The road has not been smooth and it’s not over. We have a lot healing to do, the forging of new pathways and connections with each other and others.

But this year was also about more than “Le Divorce.” I traveled, saw friends, and got more into chocolate making finding my own flavors and blends. I also got to spend loads of time with my nephews and take them on day trips. They are my continual delight and joy.

Here’s a brief rundown of the year:

Feb – Went to Chicago to visit my favorite cousin, Jojo. We did a whirlwind tour of Chicago including a trip to Millenium Park to see designs by Frank Gehry. My favorite part was all of the time we got to spend talking. He is more like a brother than a cousin. I adore him!

Mar – Returned to CA for two weeks to gain sanity, perspective and a time to be with my support system, the friends that are my family. I went to all my favorite places and saw all of my favorite people. It was amazingly wonderful.

Apr – Started a podcast with my brother called The Mike and Marti Show. ( Our change to spend time together, discuss our issues and explore topics like spirituality, the church, family, purpose, and anything else we find interesting with acerbic wit.

May – Finally saw Grease on the big screen and in my pajamas.

June – My second summer with my nephews

July – Discovered my favorite Aunt has cancer and saw her exhibit true strength, character, integrity and perseverance.

Dec – Had a wonderful 35th birthday!

I look forward to 2010 with expectation and wonder, hoping for the best!


Quick Trip to Chicago

Needing to get away from family drama I escaped for the weekend to Chicago. It was also a great chance to visit my cousin Joey. We haven’t gotten to spend significant amounts of time together in years. So this was the perfect opportunity.

Besides, I love Chicago. It is one of my favorite cities. It is sophisticated without snobbery. The people are wonderful. There is wonderful architecture, great restaurants and a fantastic nightlife.

Since I was in desperate need of a change of scenery I really didn’t care what we did. I just wanted to hang out, have fun and forget about my life for a minute.

Continental Airlines wasn’t really helping with that endeavor. The flight from Cleveland to Chicago, which is only an hour was delayed for five hours. Yes, count them, five. It would have been faster for me to drive to Chicago. We were supposed to arrive at 7:30 p.m. instead I got in at 12:30 a.m. Then Joey and I stayed up talking until 4:30 a.m. It was great but we got a very late start on Friday.

After a yummy breakfast we headed into the city. It was so cold that we decided to do drive-by siteseeing. I’ve been to Chicago several times so I was cool with this. Honestly, we were so busy gabbing that I didn’t really pay much attention to anything. However, on one of the backstreets we found an amazing view of the city. So we drove through this deserted construction site and saw that there were two cars already back there. Joey pointed out that they were probably having an affair. I wanted to take a picture but he reminded me that we were in mafia town, so probably not a good idea.

We then ventured towards Oz Park, took some silly pics and went off to meet his friends for drinks at Side Track, the premier video gay bar in Chicago, so they said. We ended our night at a severely greasy spoon called Melrose.

Saturday we still didn’t make it out very early, but thats ok cause we’re off to see grandma. It was great to be with her. Sometimes no one gives you love, encouragement, and support like grandma. She surprised us by having our favorite meal – her traditional soup and brownies. It was hard to say goodbye to her but we had tickets to Jersey Boys and had to get back to the city. Jersey Boys is so much fun. I forgot how many great songs the Four Seasons have. We had another great night capped at Miller’s Pub, right by the theatre. It had a great vibe.

On my last day in Chicago I did the one thing I really wanted to do, visit Millenium Park, designed by my favorite architect, Frank Gehry. The park is spectacular and the view of the city is too. I highly recommend a visit, just go when its above 10 degrees. I’ve heard tale of the lake effect but until you experience the wind humming off the water to slice you in two, you have no idea. Brunch was at Ann Sather’s in Andersonville which was delicious. It is also a cute little neighborhood full of fun stores. I’d love to go back there and explore some more.

Sadly, it was time to go home. I had a delightful, wonderful time with some of my favorite people. We had a blast. It was just what I needed. Next time I think I’ll visit when its a bit warmer.