Skip to main content

30 Days of Thanks: Illinois

My 5th day of gratitude was a derailed slightly by the delightful news out of our state capitol that marriage equality is finally going to become a reality. Thus, today, I give thanks for my birth state, the place I call home -- Illinois.

30 Days of Thanks, Day 5: Illinois

The Land of Lincoln has been my home for (gosh) nearly four decades. It was where I was born. It may be where I die. It's what I know. The midwestern sensibilities, the changing of the seasons, the hot summers and harsh winters, the good people of all ages and political stripes and, last but not least, it's great location. We're situated either on the western fringe of the eastern U.S., or the eastern fringe of the midwest, take your pick. From where I live, it's a fairly quick drive to three major cities. Can't beat it.

Does Illinois have problems? Yes, indeed it does. It's losing too many businesses. It has woefully underfunded its pension system for state workers. Taxes are mounting. Too many of its top-level politicians are serving time behind bars instead of serving terms of office. One could say that, on a financial level, our outlook is bleak. I despair sometimes at how the state will right itself. Many have left for what they consider to be greener pastures. I sincerely wish them well, and hope they are happy.

For me, it's not so easy. I'm rather fond of this dysfunctional state. While some may think (and perhaps rightfully so) that Illinois doesn't value its business climate as much as it should, I do think that it values its people very much. That much was obvious today when the state legislature passed its marriage equality bill. It was a long time coming, but I knew that a majority of our good legislators -- Democrat and Republican -- had it in them.

Feeling welcomed by the state you live in is important. It can't be adequately expressed in words. It's something you feel, and I feel at home in Illinois. I feel welcome. But, yeah... about the budget. That needs work. A hell of a lot of work. I'm thankful for you today, Illinois, and proud. Now... keep me that way.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.