Midnight Run

Midnight Run

“She set it ahead half an hour so I’d never be late.”

It’s one of my favorite movies. Midnight Run. Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. I won’t try to explain it. You should just watch it.

I generally separate fiction from real life rather easily. It’s why I don’t cry during sad movies that someone made up because they want viewers to cry. It’s why I don’t geek out over Star Wars and comic-book movies. But even though I know Midnight Run is entirely fictitious, there’s a scene that’s been causing me some stress lately.

De Niro’s character has just left his ex-wife’s home after going there for help. They’re divorced, obviously, and she has remarried. I don’t know what the time period is from their separation to this scene, but after the visit, he talks about her with Grodin’s character over a roaring fire on a freight train. (Again, you just need to watch it.) Eventually, he shakes his head and says, somewhat defeated, “I keep thinking we’re gonna wind up together again. I don’t know why. I’m still waitin’ around…” He knows it’s beyond wishful thinking, but he just can’t help it.

I’m still waitin’ around too, Jack. I don’t know why. I don’t think she’s coming back either. How long has Jack Walsh been holding out this hope? How many mornings has he woken up, looked around, and realized he’s still alone, still without her? Because that’s what I do. I wake up, and I look around, and realize I’m not in the bed we just got, in the bedroom of the condo we just bought and painted. “I keep thinking we’re gonna wind up together again. I don’t know why. I’m still waitin’ around…” It’s only been 4 months for me; how long has it been for Jack?

For how long?

“Sometimes you just have to let go. Get yourself a new watch.”

I know, Duke. I know.



Tuesday, there’s a court hearing in Chicago that I won’t be attending.

It a prove-up hearing, where Jennifer and I show that we no longer want to be married to each other, and that neither of us accepts any responsibility for the other’s future. Of course, only half of that is true. Jennifer wants a divorce; I do not. So why am I not attending? Because it will do more harm to me than good.

Jennifer has done an excellent job of making sure I don’t have any false hope of our marriage being salvageable. If I thought there was the slightest chance she would change her mind if I pleaded with her before the court, I’d be there with bells on. There is none. She would have reached out to me by now if she was having a change of heart.

In lieu of appearing in court, I had to have the Marital Settlement Agreement signed and notarized, which I then mailed to her attorney. I hate this document. This feels like i have “approved” this divorce process. I don’t approve–in fact, in makes me cry just typing the words–but seeing Jennifer (we haven’t seen each other since January 6) again would only cause me more pain. It somehow took me until the past 2 weeks to realize that she doesn’t love me anymore. That’s the root of all this. SHE DOESN’T LOVE ME ANYMORE. And I can’t argue that. I can argue all the points she made back in January about why I’ve been a disappointing husband, but as Bonnie Raitt once said, I can’t make her love me.

That’s the reality of all this. She’s out of love, and sees no future for us together. I don’t need to see that in her eyes. I don’t need to tell her how much I still care about us, only to hear her say she doesn’t. I’ve reluctantly signed off on paperwork that allows this to happen; I don’t need to be there in person to witness it. So if any of you question why I wouldn’t attend the hearing and fight for my marriage, now you have an explanation. it just won’t help.

Sadly, tomorrow is the end.

The List

The following is a list of cities, in no particular order, I would move to, if I had employment already lined up:

  1. Sydney
  2. London
  3. Melbourne (Australia, though I’m sure the Florida one is lovely)
  4. Seattle (Tower cranes galore)
  5. Los Angeles
  6. San Diego (Mostly for the weather. La Jolla in particular)
  7. New York City (If I can make it there…well, you know…)
  8. Boston**
  9. Tokyo* (I’ve never been here; it’s the idea of Tokyo that I like)
  10. Singapore* (Like Tokyo, have never been)
  11. San Francisco (That job I have lined up would have to be VERY lucrative)
  12. Phoenix
  13. Toronto (So much construction going on here, I couldn’t resist the opportunity)
  14. Detroit** (This one surprises even me. It would be fun to be part of the comeback)
  15. Miami*** (Mostly the sunshine)
  16. Denver
  17. Pittsburgh (Reluctantly. I would have to live RIGHT downtown.)

If you don’t see your favorite city on this list, but you think it belongs, make me an offer.

  • Cities in bold are dream destinations
  • * Denotes cities I’ve never visited
  • ** Denotes cities I’ve been to, but haven’t really seen
  • *** Denotes an airport visit only



About the confidence I don’t have

One of the factors that led to my impending, heart-wrenching divorce is the part-time job I’ve been clinging to for more than 3 years. Why? Because working there, for a friend, was easier than looking for another job. It allowed me time to photograph construction sites, which I love doing. But certainly not a particularly ambitious achievement.

I love photographing construction. This is Essex on the Park, in the South Loop.

I wish I was ambitious. I wish I was a real go-getter. To me, that’s about confidence. Confidence I don’t have. Without a college education and degree, with gaps and irregularities in my work history, lots of doors never open. But admittedly, I didn’t even try knocking on them. I rejected my eligibility before I submitted my application. Because I have no confidence. Not so much about my abilities, work ethic, etc. But about my my abilities and work ethic as seen by others.

I want to stride into your office and tell you why I know I can do the job you need filled, despite what you might see on my resume and work history. I don’t have the confidence for that. I want to tell you how I’ve out-performed expectations in nearly every position I’ve accepted (I’d prefer not to talk about car sales.) But I don’t want the rejection. I don’t even want the thought of me leaving your office, and you explaining to a co-worker the audacity of an unqualified candidate trying to tell you I’m qualified. In reality, I should let you disqualify me anyway, if need be, instead of doing that to myself.

I know some remarkably ambitious people. I yearn for their confidence, but I also wish I had their credentials, experience, education, and pedigree. They have good reason to be bold; in my mind, I do not. I look at you and think “Sure, it’s easy to feel good about yourself and your chances. Look at what you’ve accomplished! Look at the decisions you’ve made!” That’s how I defeat myself on a daily basis.

I’ve held the same job for 3 and a half years now. That’s a good thing, and something I haven’t been able to boast in quite some time. Sure, it’s in retail, not a skilled position. But surely something I should leverage as a positive.

I have a huge decision to make. Stay in Chicago, where I might not have the earning potential to support myself. Or, head to the burbs where rent is cheaper, but I’d have to find a new job, and likely buy a car to get to and from work. Or, leave the Chicago area and seek a new challenge in another city. (This is an option I’m more than willing to choose, but only if I can line up a job before my arrival. I’ve done the cold job search. It can be soul-crushing, and I don’t want to try it again.)

I wish I had your confidence.

This long-neglected blog has become something of a diary. Posts are written but not published. This is the first entry I’ve felt the need to share.

14 better ways to speed up baseball than that moronic “Runner On Second” MLB idea

In case you hadn’t heard, Major League Baseball wants to test a new rule that would automatically place a runner on second base to start each inning, once a game is tied after nine innings, according to Yahoo Sports.

**Keep in mind here, if the game has gone to extra innings, the horse is pretty much out of the barn on shortening the game.

So, to shorten the amount of time we have to sit in the open air and smell the grass and hear the crack of the bat, here are 14 better ways to make baseball games go by faster. They make as much sense as putting a runner on second base to start an inning:

  1. Hit off a tee.
  2. If, when hitting off the tee, a batter swings and misses, his place in the lineup is eliminated for the rest of the game, and is instead an automatic out.
  3. If you insist on having pitchers — no tee — go to 2-1 counts. Two balls is a walk, one strike and you’re out. Or at least consider 3-2 instead.
  4. If a fan catches a foul ball in the air, the batter’s out.
  5. Those twin, parallel mounds in the bullpen? Utilize that technology on the field. Pitch to two hitters at once.
  6. Instead of 3 outs per inning, you get 5 outs every 2 innings. Follow me here. Every odd-numbered inning, the team at bat would have to decide, with 2 outs, whether to end the inning now, therefore allowing them 3 outs to use in the even-numbered inning that follows, or play on to the 3rd out, leaving them with just 2 outs to use next inning. So, if you’re first two batters make outs in the 3rd inning,  give up now, and save that third out for the 4th inning.
  7. Apparently Joe Torre is in favor of this fiasco. So make him pitch the 10th inning for the team that gave up the lead that resulted in extra frames.
  8. Show all commercials on the Jumbotron during the action, and eliminate breaks between innings.
  9. Bring back the bullpen cart. As a bullet train.
  10. Have relief pitchers be peanut vendors. They can warm up their arms throwing snacks, so they’re ready to pitch immediately upon being called onto the field.
  11. Use FaceTime for meetings on the mound, instead of waiting for 70-year-old managers to walk onto the field, then back to the dugout.
  12. Use only ambidextrous pitchers. Arm’s tired? Pitch with the other one.
  13. Put low ceilings over ball fields. As anyone who’s ever played squash will tell you, that really speeds up the game.
  14. If game time is 7:10, start at 7:00. Most fans don’t show up in time for first pitch anyway.


                                                        PLAY BALL!


I don’t want you to like it. I want you to read it.

I’ve said this before, but I’m saying it again.

Having a camera doesn’t make me a “photographer.”

Having a bat doesn’t make me a “baseball player.”

Having a blog doesn’t make me a “writer.”

Occasionally, I have a thought I wish someone else would hear. But since I don’t think out loud, I write things down. And if I like what I’ve written, I put it into blog form.

If I want more people to see that blog post, I share it on various platforms. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, all that.

I need to stop posting them on Facebook. I hate Facebook more and more each day. For the usual reasons. Too many food pictures, too many cat updates, too many political opinions. Also, no one pays attention to Facebook.

Let me explain.

I post something from my blog on Facebook. 8 people click the “LIKE” button. That’s cool. 8 people like my post. Now, I’ve gotten over the numbers, so as not to feel self-conscious that less than 6% of my Facebook friends liked my post. No, that doesn’t bother me.

Here’s what bothers me: my blogging platform let’s me track metrics. And it tells me that ONE view on my blog has come through Facebook. ONE. That likely means, of the 8 people who clicked “LIKE” on my post, only ONE of them actually clicked the link to my blog. Never mind how many actually read the post; only one person clicked the link.

The blog post I linked to on Facebook is content. It isn’t a selfie. It isn’t a status update. It isn’t a joke. It’s content. I didn’t post it so you would click “LIKE.” I posted it because I want you to read it. Granted, I want you to read it *and* like it, but reading it is the most important thing. If you don’t like it, that’s something I can live with.

Stop doing that. Seeing that you liked my post without reading it doesn’t do anything for me. It does nothing for anyone. (I have to assume that if you do that with my posts, you’re doing it for others’ posts as well.) Save your likes for recipes and your grandma’s health updates. Those deserve likes. Content deserves to be read, or ignored. One or the other. I’d rather you ignore my post, than “LIKE” it without reading it.