That Was The Week That Was. Do you remember that from the 60s? I think it was a British TV show. Anyway, last week was quite the week. Non-stop Michael Jackson, Palin and so on. I kept the TV time to a minimum to avoid all the craziness and any time the “P” name gets mentioned my blood pressure sky-rockets. It seems to me that whatever Michael Jackson was in addition to being a talented entertainer, he was a troubled and sad man who became an oddity. With all the press coverage elsewhere, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have fallen off the radar screen. Seems the press isn’t so great on multi-tasking.

I’m upbeat about what I accomplished last week, but I also had disappointing news. A recruiter told me that a client had decided to interview two other people he had put forth for a position and not me. When I asked why, he said they each had a smidgen (and that is his word) more experience in a few areas than I had. Immediately I felt that the world was conspiring against me. Oh, woe is me! But in the same thought it struck me that perhaps the world is conspiring FOR me, and something better lies ahead. How’s that for Pollyanna thinking? Oh, and that reminds me that there’s a new study out that maybe negative thinking isn’t all that bad, especially when you need to lie and be self-delusional to be positive about some things.

Even though I’m currently not employed, I still look forward to weekends, and this one was filled with favorite summer activities. Friday evening was a beautiful night for a picnic and concert in the park. On Saturday, we went to an outdoor farmers market for the first time this season. There were only about 1/3 of the normal vendors from past years participating on this beautiful day in a prime location. I wonder, is it the economy or the fact that the city has added so many farmers markets and that the vendors are stretched too thin? Generally the market is a photographer’s dream: colorful flowers, babies, dogs, people, fruits and vegetables and white tents. DSCF1851But this time it seemed a little sad and paltry. Since we usually over buy and can’t eat all the fresh produce before it goes bad, my husband has taken to calling the vegetable bin in the fridge, the rotter. So my mission was limited to finding fresh basil. I find the smell of basil to be indescribably heavenly. We grabbed four bunches, and later ate basil leaves on French bread with cheese and tomatoes, and I made the rest into pesto.

After lunch we headed over to the pool on the athletic club rooftop, a mecca for people watching. Are all females under 35-years old beautiful these days? Or is it just the perspective of my age when I marvel over their unlined skin, undimpled thighs and lithe bodies? More power to them, I say. The only thing that I find EXTREMELY annoying is the cell phone talk. We once sunned near a gal who talked non-stop about the ins and outs (and I use those words deliberately) of her dating life at loud volume for an hour. Unfortunately I see a lot of this everywhere. Why do people think other people need to listen to them talk? Vanity? Stupidity? Entitlement? Obviously this is a pet peeve. I say, text instead of talk!

A lot of people, many of my friends included, think that Navy Pier is a cheesy tourist trap. Taken in small doses, it actually is a fun and low-budget outing for us. From our place, we walked the nearly two miles through the city to the Pier. It was a hot night with a tinge of breeze. Holding hands, walking through the city’s vibrant nightlife areas, somehow makes us feel very close and happy to be alive. Once on the Pier, we headed for the Beer Garden where there was a DSCF1867live band and, once again, prime people watching: families, couples of all ages, bachelorette parties and the chatter of foreign languages. The piece de resistance for me on Navy Pier is the fireworks choreographed to music. When I die, I want to be sent up in fireworks. I once thought this was an original idea, but going out with a boom actually is a business now.

Today we went for our Sunday run along the lake—my legs felt like lead, and took a stroll through the perennial gardens and water lily pond in Lincoln Park where we encountered turtles sunning and a cormarant waiting to pounce on unsuspecting fish. We both agreed that the lake and parks are what make this city so livable for us.

One more thing, do you know this poem by Shel Silverstein?
I will not play tug o’ war.
I’d rather play hug o’ war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.Where the Sidewalk Ends

I read Silverstein’s book of poetry, Where the Sidewalk Ends, to my children when they were small. Tomorrow night, there’s a “SHELebration” at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion that I’m hoping to see. When I heard about this, I remembered the poem and how it always made us smile to read it with real tickles and cuddles thrown in. I hope it makes you smile too as you start the new week.