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
FEBRUARY 25, 2011 6:16PM

Spinning Plates




Ever since I started a full-time job a couple of weeks ago, I have been forced to do something I loathe: admit that sometimes, as much as I want to, it's impossible do it all. More specifically, I am referring to maintaining this blog, reading the work of… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2011 7:32AM

Farewell to the King


Well, I admit I was hoping for a runoff. I never liked the way Rahm Emanuel's win in yesterday's Chicago's mayoral election was accepted as a foregone conclusion almost from the moment he announced his candidacy. We have spent the last 22 years voting (or not) for a virtually… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2011 8:17PM

Don't Trust Anyone Over 30



The adorable little toddler on the right, with the precocious awareness of "serious" camera face that persists to this day, is my husband, Aditya (better known as "Adi" to his Indian mates, and "Eddie" to Western acquaintances who struggle with the unique long "a" sound of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 15, 2011 7:07AM

Hunt and Peck


Hunt and Peck


When I think about it, there's really no good excuse for my condition. I went through primary school in the 1980s, when American culture exploded in its contemplation of the personal computer's applications. There was no concept of the Internet when I entered kinderg… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 12, 2011 10:16AM

No, 'Dancing with the Stars,' Just No!

Please don't do this to me y'all. I have watched every episode of every season you have ever had. I have stuck with you through Tom Bergeron's multiple co-host changes (and sorry ladies, none of you can ad-lib your way out of a Smart car). I have suffered through Bristol Palin… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2011 11:27AM

Trending Now on Yahoo (9:30 AM CST)

I will confess that after purging myself emotionally with the last post, and trying to prepare for the start of a permanent full-time writing and editing job (remember those?) that kicks off Monday morning, I am feeling a little short on creativity. But thank goodness I can always take advantage of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 8, 2011 12:01PM

13 Going On 33

I felt stretched nerves pushing against my skin as Eddie and I searched for a parking spot on the familiar side street. Covered in a blanket of nearly 30 inches of snow, we had to be careful about where to leave our little Honda Civic if we wanted to depart without… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 3, 2011 9:58AM

Silver (Crazy Like a) Fox



Generally speaking, I have nothing but respect for Anderson Cooper, the superstar journalist and face of CNN's cable news network (no matter what Wolf Blitzer may think). Despite being sired by the Vanderbilt, money as old as it comes clan, despite being privileged and rugg… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2011 9:45AM

Stuck in the Blizzard With You

Did you hear the news? The Midwest has been hit with the worst snowstorm in a bazillion years!!! In truth, it's still pretty bad out there, but I think the phenomenon that sets this blizzard apart from the norm is the extremely high wind factor. Our power flickered briefly last night… Read full post »

I feel like this same drama plays out every five years or so since around 1986, when Mr. Sheen caught my young eye playing the "Bad Boy in the Police Station" flirting with an otherwise unfriendly Jeanie Bueller  in the great comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Little did I realize that/… Read full post »

JANUARY 27, 2011 7:46AM

A Drug Company With Integrity?

Is it me, or in our cynical, "me first and only" age, does this question appear oxymoronically improbable? Yet here we have an example of drug maker Hospira Inc. not only refusing to profit from the death of others, but ceasing production of the item under discussion just to be certain./… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2011 11:53AM

The Real State of the Union

Tonight’s much anticipated address by President Barack Obama, almost four weeks into the New Year, is a huge test for our Commander-in-Chief. However, unlike last year, the rub isn’t his ability to withstand peanut gallery heckling (House Republican Joseph Wilson’s famous “You… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 23, 2011 6:52PM

Bearly Watchable

"Somebody needs to tell the Bears this isn't a preseason game."


- Terry Bradshaw, NFL Fox Analyst, 3:30 PM today


At the risk of alienating my rabidly "Bear Down" family any further (please stop the bitter posts on my Facebook wall!), I must acknowledge the Bears miserable play in today's… Read full post »

JANUARY 20, 2011 12:18PM


I have had extra nocturnal time on my hands lately, so I started inventing new words. “Insomnity,” a combination of “insomnia” and “insanity,” pretty much conveys my physical and mental state. Feel free to use it.


It was a week ago that I wrote about finding/… Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2011 7:15AM

Ear Worm



After several thousand opportunities to view this commercial (most often during NFL football games - I wonder who Apple's target audience is?), I have altered my opinion of its theme song. It is purposefully catchy, so much so that I often find myself waking in the morning with i/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 13, 2011 9:18AM

Coming out of the Dark

It was around the time I found myself sitting in my sister's closet, sandwiched precariously between my brother-in-law's suits and casual clothes, willing my body to remain silent and still, that I realized I have been taking myself far too seriously of late.


From the floor below, I heard occa… Read full post »

JANUARY 11, 2011 2:05PM

Let's Everybody Calm Down



The image above is certainly incendiary isn't it? The nation is aflutter, once again, over an unconscionable act of violence that took place over the weekend. On an otherwise lovely Saturday in the parking lot of a Tuscon, Arizona strip mall, a lone gunman, 22 year-old Jare… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2011 3:04PM

Somewhere Between Slim and None


Bears stink

This weekend, the NFL Playoff series gets underway. Although I always enjoy a competitive, well-played match no which team is on the field, there is really only one club whose run I will follow. As a lifelong Chicago resident, I was born and raised to be a citizen of… Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2011 1:26PM

The Therapeutic Effects of Bar Trivia



It is no secret to anyone who checks in with my blog from time to time that I am going through a rough patch, to make a huge understatement. Long term unemployment and the psychological fuckery that goes along with the job hunt process, family troubles and insomnia have… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 4, 2011 2:21PM

Hope in 2011 for the Unemployed?


As a long-suffering member of the long-term unemployed community, I look for any sign that career fortunes are about to change, and grab on with the tenacity of a starving rat.… Read full post »

JANUARY 1, 2011 8:55PM

Dance It Out



Due to the toll insomnia has taken, I had more makeup on my face than RuPaul, and had to steer (mostly) away from the alcohol, to avoid the risk of falling asleep at the buffet table, but I made it. I rang in 2011, with my obviously very handsome… Read full post »

DECEMBER 31, 2010 7:56AM


This is going to be the most difficult post I have ever written. In fact I have been dreading this moment for several days. Not a word, excepting random, plaintive Facebook status updates, has escaped from my pen in a week's time. I am normally pretty prolific, but output of late… Read full post »

My friends, this is no attempt at satire. This is a straight-faced question posed to me yesterday afternoon during the course of what seems like the thousandth job interview since mid-October. The self-satisfied 27 year-old in an ill-fitting suit who formulated this query seemed very pleased with his… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 22, 2010 8:49AM

My Christmas Traditions


A few days ago, my Aunt Diane, a woman who has been like a mother to my sister and I, sought to clarify my positions on holiday celebrations. While she rejoices in the diversity of our extended family, she wanted to be sure that Jen and I were not… Read full post »

DECEMBER 18, 2010 1:43PM

The Lame Duck Shuffle

Whether I approve of the latest flurry of doings on Capitol Hill or not (usually not), the post-midterm election "lame duck session" has proved to be anything but.


From the will-they-or-won't-they suspense to ratifying the common sense START treaty, to the rise, fall and second rise of the Don'… Read full post »