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 18, 2014 4:09PM

The Hunt for a Higher Power

The Hunt for a Higher Power

Just like the Alcoholics Anonymous program that led to the formation of its sister groups, Al-Anon and Alateen involve the working of 12 steps that will guide participants along the path of recovery.

I’m all over Step 1: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol [a… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 12, 2014 2:39PM

My Friendly Valentine


My Friendly Valentine

There are two personal items on which I refuse to spend more than $15 – sunglasses and gloves. The reason is simple. I can’t be trusted to hang onto them. Case in point: today is February 12th and I have managed to lose four pairs of gloves and mittens/… Read full post »


While motherhood, especially the birthing part of the equation, was a life choice I ruled out long ago, that doesn’t mean I hate children. On the contrary, I love them. Little people, especially those 14 and under, tend to get me, as I do them. I can’t decide if my… Read full post »

JANUARY 31, 2014 12:38PM

Polar Vortextual Mood Swings


Polar Vortextual Mood Swings

“Yesterday, I stood outside waiting for the Chicago Avenue bus. I saw one approaching and my heart leapt. Then the bastard drove right by us, resulting in another 30 minutes of trying to withstand the wind. I just started crying. I am so sick of being cold.”

-&nRead full post »

JANUARY 16, 2014 12:49PM

Banishing Resentment

The theme of this week’s Al-Anon meeting was “Resentment.” It was examined and discussed from a variety of angles. But the larger lesson imparted was that holding onto it does no harm to anyone but thyself. As the great Nelson Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking po… Read full post »

JANUARY 3, 2014 2:29PM

Saying Yes to Less


So it’s a New Year and I’ve been nursing a broken heart for a month. It’s getting a little easier everyday to wake up alone and accept the fact that my ex-partner was, in many ways, not who I thought he was. I knew enough to be wary of the… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2013 4:26PM

A Season of Creative Destruction

A Season of Creative Destruction
Over the year-end holidays, as a society, we tend to take a break from things. The endless rat race of work, household chores, dinner, sleep and repeat is interspersed with welcome down time to focus on the important things. Broadcast television programs go on hiatus in deference to the absent/…

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DECEMBER 20, 2013 12:08PM

Al-Anon, Theater, Michael Jackson & Trivia


Al-Anon, Theater, Michael Jackson and Trivia

The experiences and diversions of which I availed myself this week, in an attempt to put back together the pieces of my shattered heart and move on with my life, were nothing if not diverse. As is the case with the dissolution of any toxic relationship, receding from crisis… Read full post »

This may seem like an odd post right on the heels of so much Thanksgiving happiness and gratitude, but life is full of twists and turns that way. I did not write this material as a blog post. I actually wrote and sent this to my now former flame earlier this… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 26, 2013 11:49AM

30 Days of Gratitude: 2013 Edition

Yes, I have seen this meme work its way across Facebook over the course of November. I thought about participating, but my brain is usually too stream-of-consciousness for that level of daily content commitment, and I refuse to violate my personal rule of one status update per day (any more than… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2013 12:46PM

Flotsam and Epsom

Flotsam and Epsom

Several months ago, when the burning, itching, growing blisters on my palms were diagnosed as chronic pompholyx eczema, I lapsed into a funk. I wasn’t ready to accept all the lifestyle changes I had to make, and what’s more, I needed some time to metaphorically stomp my feet… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 13, 2013 3:55PM

A Holiday Wish for Closure

“It’s no longer that I bitterly wish them ill for all they’ve done (or not done). Time, distance and therapy have resolved those feelings. It’s more that the longer they exist and go about their daily lives in unrepentant silence, the more impossible it is for me to absolve th… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 7, 2013 5:04PM

Life and Death and Language

Issues of life and death have been at the forefront of many recent personal musings. As a writer and former aspiring singer/actress with a flair for the dramatic, I’ve become more cognizant of the ease with which I throw around mortality idioms:

“This pompholyx eczema is killing me!&rdqu… Read full post »

OCTOBER 22, 2013 5:49PM

Sisters By Chance, Friends By Choice

Anyone even slightly acquainted with me knows I love my little sister. Before I migrated to Open Salon on May 5, 2010, we co-authored Which End is Up!? on the Google Blogspot platform. Jenny dragged me kicking and screaming into starting that bad boy when I had nary a professional writer’s/… Read full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2013 4:43PM

Manning the Transition

Manning the Transition

For lovers of the NFL, one of the big stories of the season so far is the resurgence of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The 37 year-old has simply been on fire, and in the course of a career filled with numerous triumphs and milestones, the athlete is poised to… Read full post »

OCTOBER 10, 2013 3:51PM

Unsolicited Arrogance


“Good advice is often annoying. Bad advice never is.”

-           French Proverb

I’m a huge fan of pithy, enigmatic quotes, but the Frenchies couldn’t be more wrong on this account. After weeks of sitting on the receivi… Read full post »

OCTOBER 2, 2013 12:38PM

Pain is Punny!

“Style, like sheer silk, too often hides eczema.”

-          Albert Camus

“Excuse me for just a sec, I've got eczema around my nubbins.”

-          Renée French, Micrographica

Ap… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 3:16PM

Running From Consumerism

Running From Consumerism

I tend to view myself as an independent thinker. I’ve been a target of mass marketing, commercialism and political ideology like everyone else. But historically, I’ve congratulated myself on the ability to understand exactly what I’m hearing and maintain my own truths agains/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 1:41PM

When Pigskins Fly

When Pigskins Fly

Although I am stereotypically “girly” with regard my personal grooming and hygiene, I’ve always been, by society’s standards, one of the boys. An inherently competitive nature yielded a natural gravitation toward traditionally male-dominated activities: sc… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 11:46AM

The “Ike Turner”


I have lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood along Chicago’s far North lakefront for nearly four years. In that time I have patronized a number of the vibrant community’s watering holes, theaters and restaurants. It’s hard to keep up with the rapidly gentrifying neighb… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2013 12:48PM

The Beehive State of Affairs

The Beehive State of Affairs

I didn’t enter the world allergic to bee stings. Time was, the pierce of an angry wasp’s lance didn’t accomplish much more than giving some pain and briefly slowing my tomboyish romps. However, through repeated encounters in a variety of strange venues (a sting on the inner… Read full post »

AUGUST 14, 2013 12:27PM

The Compliment Refugee

The Compliment Refugee

I was less inclined than usual last Saturday morning to put on my track shoes. A night of post-birthday revelry had left me tired and dehydrated. At the same time, wine and dessert-related bloat precluded the possibility of a lie-in. I enjoyed my 35th birthday immensely but days/… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2013 10:23AM

35 to Life

35 to Life


Well the moment has arrived. Today my friends, I turn 35 years old. Many single women in my position might be drinking heavily while mourning the loss of their prime childbearing years. Thankfully I’ve never valued my uterus that highly, or even thought about it much except as a… Read full post »

AUGUST 2, 2013 8:18PM

New Girl

New Girl 


This week, I’m pondering the implications of being the literal new girl at the office, as well as an evolving version of my personal self. No longer the serial monogamist in search of a romantic partnership to verify my lovability and human value, I have made a conscious de… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2013 7:21PM

The Liger

The Liger

I titled this post as such because, when I sat down to write it, I was under the mistaken impression that this animal, the offspring of a male lion and a tigress, was sterile, thus unable to mate. A quick web search revealed my error (thanks Wikipedia!) and

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