Archive for November, 2010

One of the jobs of poetry is to make the unbearable bearable, not by falsehood, but by clear, precise confrontation. – Richard Wilbur

The Paris Review

about 1 hour ago via web – Retweeted by 61 people – parisreview

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Ever since you mentioned the Atlantic to me, I’ve been yearning for my grandparents’ old house at 8th and the ocean in Beach Haven.  There are photos of it somewhere in my facebook albums.
My Dan-Dan built it the year after my birth.  He was a construction man, worked on the Art Museum and the PSFS building, so he knew about engineering stresses and he knew about storms.  When everybody was building their vacation homes on 20-foot pilings im the sand, he specified 30-footers.  The house stood in the great March storm of the early 60s, when there was not a matchstick left of the one next door.  I saw its roof on Google Earth last year.
This has got me going.  I can smell the creosoted pilings, left uncovered on the rough first floor.  And the curious blend of sea air and paste wax pulverized by sandy little feet running up and down the pine steps.  And always the lap of the tide going in or out, mostly reassuring, but raging up to the dunes in rough weather.
Thanks for the memory.  Along with Santa Fe, Delaware County, downtown Chicago, and Homer, Alaska, the Jersey shore has always been one of my favorite places.
Especially ocean swimming in November and March, with a hot fire, lobster, and sake afterwards and the place filled with friends.



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Newly elected President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, head of a county whose population is larger than that of 29 states.

So I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t know who she was, either.


From Wikipedia:

Toni Reed Preckwinkle (born March 17, 1947) is the Cook County Board President-elect and an alderman in the Chicago City Council representing Chicago‘s 4th ward in Cook CountyIllinois, United States. She was elected on November 2, 2010, as president of the Cook County Board. Preckwinkle first sought office in 1983 and was defeated twice before securing election in 1991 and subsequently being re-elected as alderman four times.

Preckwinkle has been an occasional critic of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. In her first four terms in office she emerged as the council’s prominent defender of affordable housing. Among other issues, she is known for her sponsorship of living wage ordinances, her expressed concerns regarding the costs and benefits of the city’s Olympic bid, and her strong stance againstpolice brutality and excessive force.

From Today’s Chicago Woman:

Big girls don’t cry, Chicago style

Rebecca Sive on 11.05.10 at 10:03 AM

(Silly boy) told my girl we had to break up(Silly boy) hoped that she would call my bluff
(Silly boy) then she said to my surprise
Big girls don’t cry?

Right out of the gate Tuesday night, Cook County Board President-elect Toni Preckwinkle, when asked about repealing the Cook County sales tax, said it would be done “by the end of the first term.”

Girl, am I loving this.

Think about it: President-elect Preckwinkle (that sure rolls off the tongue mighty nice, doesn’t it?) took the most high profile Cook County issue (see Wednesday’s only Chicago Sun-Times editorial) and not only laid out a clear process for how she will approach the issue–advisedly, in the face of the County’s hundreds of millions of dollars’ budget deficit–but she stated, in summing up, that, lest anyone think otherwise, she would be President [of the Cook County Board] for a while. I repeat: “by the end of the first term.”


Hey: A 60-plus, progressive African-American woman.

Hey: It was just the luck of the draw that she won this race.

I don’t think so.

This is one determined woman. This is one big girl who didn’t cry, ever.

Listen-up: As President-elect Preckwinkle pointed out in her victory speech Tuesday night, when she started down this path, “almost two years ago,” she was a long shot. But, no more. In fact, hers was the shot (just) heard round the world, the world of Chicago politics, that is. [And, after all, what other world is there to most of us political junkies who call Chicago home.]

I was invited to a dinner party this week to discuss ways to get more women elected to office in Illinois. Guests mentioned included Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose future intentions may be clearer shortly, notwithstanding just being re-elected the state’s Attorney General.  [Mayor of the third largest municipality in the United States.]

President Preckwinkle and Mayor Madigan: It’s enough to make this big girl cry.

Cry tears of joy.


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