Contemplating The U.S. Navel

Me, Chicago, Hollywood and The Federal Government

Becky Sarwate

Becky Sarwate
Chicago, Illinois, USA
December 31
Communications Manager
Insurance Brokerage
I am about as liberal as they come, and please don't expect to change me, though I do sometimes sneak up on you with a surprise (pro-death penalty, for instance). Although gainfully employed as a full-time Marketing Manager, I keep my toes in the freelance pool as a journalist, theater critic, blogger and proud President of the Illinois Woman's Press Association. To read my work on this page is to find vignettes about Chicago, Hollywood, my own turbulent life, and of course, my number one passion: local and national politics.


Becky Sarwate's Links
AUGUST 9, 2012 1:06PM

Desert Rose


Desert Rose

I am not a botanist. I possess the opposite of a green thumb. I can kill the most resilient of houseplants like cacti and bamboo while meaning them no harm. This woman just doesn't speak their language.

I am also the proud resident of a concrete jungle. On a… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2012 5:17PM

Vaudeville and Ramen Noodles



I have legitimate stressors. For the past two months, my hair has been falling out and I've been suffering intermittent migraines with attacks of vomiting that seem impervious to mitigation. My symptoms defy logic, appearing at random times of day, regardless of whether I have e… Read full post »



 During the 2008 Presidential race, then-candidate Obama showed his competitors how to leverage the Internet and a variety of social media platforms to reinvigorate the notion of a grassroots campaign for the 21st Century. It was largely upon the shoulders of individuals wh… Read full post »

JULY 17, 2012 4:10PM

The Reflex

"Every little thing the reflex does
Leaves you answered with a question mark"

    - Duran Duran

On Sunday evening, my boyfriend and I were walking back from a quick dinner at the local Wendy's franchise. It was t-minus two hours until the Season 5 premiere of Breaking BRead full post »

JULY 10, 2012 12:47PM

Scenes from a City Run

Scenes from a City Run 

Act I: The First Half Mile

Toddler Boy: (Holding onto his mother's hand as he drunk-walks wistfully in front a public park like only the young can do.) "Mommy, why is she running?

Patient, Smiling Mother: "For exercise."

Boy: "But why?"

Mother: "Because adults don't move as much as…

Read full post »



I am a nearly 34 year-old woman with the finely developed humor sensibilities of a 13 year-old boy. Give me your bodily function jokes, your politically incorrect puns and a dash of gallows guffaw and I am a happy camper. Throughout the years I have counted such animated… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 26, 2012 11:14AM

Bald Insecurity



Boyfriend/Hairdresser 8 weeks ago: "Come on! It's always something with you. I can't see anything!"

Sister 4 weeks ago: "Is it because you dye your hair too often?"

New Boyfriend/Hairdresser 3 weeks ago: "Ok, now I see what you're talking about."

A woman historically known for her… Read full post »

JUNE 12, 2012 5:04PM

An Ode to Cancer: One Year Later

You came to my door
When I was getting divorced.
You couldn't have picked a messier time.

I walked around in a daze
Feeling crazed,
Because even after she said the words I felt fine.

Surgery was scheduled,
Estranged spouses bedeviled,
Unable to work together.

Recovery alone
In my studio home.
Thought I'd be "th… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2012 12:57PM

The Wrong Way


Wrong Way

True confession: I am not the most useful person. I hate to cook and have never excelled at it anyway. Please don't ask me to fix or assemble anything. It's like I have hands made of stone. I ride my bike upwards of 75 miles a week… Read full post »

MAY 29, 2012 4:12PM

Motown Meltdown



I want to talk about something in a politically non-partisan way. It's true I am a liberal Democrat by stripe and spend part of my freelance writing life as a hard blue columnist for a popular left website. But I am a human, a woman and an American… Read full post »

MAY 24, 2012 9:29PM

Stranger in the House

I haven't ventured this deep into a steady's territory since January 2007 when I met my now ex-husband Eddie's parents on a visit from Mumbai. I fared alright at the time but that was five years ago. I know it's rote and passe to write in such pedestrian terms but I… Read full post »

MAY 15, 2012 10:21PM

Mother's Day 2012

"Give me a blog topic," she commanded as she prepared one of her standard bachelorette "dinners" - a packet of creamy chicken flavored ramen noodles and some defrosted, pre-cooked cocktail shrimp. No cocktail sauce and the meal eaten over the sink because he wasn't there to sit with her.

"When?" he as… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 8, 2012 10:19PM

General Election Announcements a Study in Contrast


President Barack Obama, who frequently appears battered and weary at the tail end of a bruising first term, came to Virginia this past Saturday in a vigorous mood. The POTUS chose the swing state he won in 2008 to formally launch his drive for re-election, casting the 2012 race as…

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MAY 1, 2012 10:41PM

And when I talk about therapy...



 And when I talk about therapy, I know what people think
That it only makes you selfish and in love with your shrink
But oh how I loved everybody else
When I finally got to talk so much about myself

    - Dar Williams, "What Do You Hear in These Sounds"

Though I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 24, 2012 4:54PM

America's Health Care System is Still Broken Part II



I will keep writing about this because I am one of the lucky ones. I will keep screaming about the system's inherent abusiveness because I can and I must - for all those who are sicker, less financially solvent and don't have a forum in which their voices… Read full post »

APRIL 17, 2012 5:04PM

Braking Bad



"That's impossible." Thus the notion was summarily dismissed by the Vice-President of the company which employs me full-time.

My good friend and direct report, a kid who's gotten to know me rather well in recent months, turned to me and asked, "The theoretical just became a must,… Read full post »

APRIL 10, 2012 10:19PM

Spring Awakening

When I became aware that I walking down the street holding his hand with a naked wrist and no concept of time, and I didn't even care to look for a bank clock, I knew I was changing.

When a white blonde-headed little moppet about the age of 7 stuck her head… Read full post »

MARCH 26, 2012 12:28PM

Losing Time



Nearly a week ago, I lost my watch. The prevailing theory is that I left it in one of the cubbyholes in the room where kickboxing class is held at the gym. At the time and for several days afterward, the property misplacement was devastating in ways that had…

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MARCH 20, 2012 5:39PM

In Memory Of Aai

I looked for a photo in my personal archives that I could share with anyone who stops by to read this post, but unfortunately the prints in the wedding album from December 2007 are all that I have. Today I experienced a loss which dredges up so many difficult,  conflicting emotions.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 13, 2012 8:58PM

Romney: GOP Indifference Toward the Middle Class Personified



 Last week Republican primary co-front runner Mitt Romney demonstrated once again that neither he, nor his increasingly radical political party give a fig about the quality of life of America's middle class. Multiple media outlets reported Romney's compassionately conservat… Read full post »

MARCH 6, 2012 10:07PM

We Need to Talk About Jordan


Mean Jordan

 Rumor has it that Tilda Swinton was shafted during the recently concluded 2011 motion picture awards season. Critics and fans heaped praise upon the ginger actress' performance in the film We Need to Talk About Kevin, which featured Swinton in the role of Eva, mother of Ke… Read full post »

MARCH 4, 2012 7:25PM

Influential Influenza



 Amongst all the talk of suddenly rising gas prices, the latest PR flameout from Rush Limbaugh and the ongoing farce otherwise known as the Republican Presidential primaries, there is a smaller, more personal issue garnering far less media attention - the last gasps (an app… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2012 10:13PM

Kick Me Baby

 "Kickboxing. Sport of the future."

- Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything (1989)

Kick Me Baby

Lloyd Dobler, John Cusack's iconic character from the classic film of the 1980s was the first good guy on whom I had a crush. Otherwise, it's always been bad boys for… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 13, 2012 11:20PM

Unexpected Valentines

At 33.5 years of age, I have lived long enough to know that both tragedy and spiritual uplift often come from the most unlikely places. One of the supremely terrible and wonderful features of human life is that we can plan all we want, but never quite know what to expect.… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2012 9:58PM

Super Rituals

super bowl party

As I get older, I am starting to realize that social and cultural rituals for which I used to think I was too evolved are beginning to adopt personal meaning.

I am not speaking of the big markers of the annual societal calendar, like the November/December holiday season. I/…

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