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, 2015 7:07PM

Rahm the Edible


Rahm the Edible

Almost exactly four years ago, I wrote a piece for the now-defunct online magazine RootSpeak entitled, Rahm the Inevitable. The column was published just before Chicago’s general Mayoral election that year, a time when Rahm Emanuel’s march to City Hall had the pre-ordained… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2015 5:43PM

Trolling with the Homies

This week I read Anne Thériault's piece for the website Vice, Let’s Call Female Online Harassment What It Really Is: Terrorism. Thériault, a frequent speaker and writer on issues surrounding sexual assault and violence against women, discussed her personal experience with the… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 6, 2015 11:39PM

About Women

“She’s got daddy issues.”
As defined by Urban Dictionary: "Whenever a female has a fucked up relationship with her father, or absence of a father figure during her childhood, it tends to spill into any adult relationship they embark on, usually to the chagrin of any… Read full post »

Last weekend, I reclined against the couch deep in pleasant reverie. Rhett, a gentleman I am newly dating, had stepped away to the restroom while I nursed a buzz influenced by several factors – the champagne glass in my hand and the adrenaline pump of early attraction among others. Though we&rs… Read full post »

DECEMBER 31, 2014 5:02PM

The Year After “Next Year”

In 2006, filmmaker Ouise Shapiro released the documentary, Wait 'Til Next Year: The Saga of the Chicago Cubs. describes the movie as follows:

“Using the frame of opening day, 2006, this documentary examines the Cubs' 100 years without a World Series title.”

The film is almost a… Read full post »

DECEMBER 24, 2014 5:21PM

Tindering My Dating Resignation

For most of 2014, I've lived in self-imposed romantic exile. What began as a logical recovery period from an early December 2013 breakup, became a determination to reroute the dark serial monogamy patterns that left me lurching from one co-dependent mistake to the next. 
Once I grew comfo… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 28, 2014 9:01PM

Holiday Conflict Resolution

Growing up in an unstable home, the holidays produced conflicting feelings. On the one hand, a special, universal break from the norm, the community bonding over rituals, was thoroughly enjoyable. All of the hoopla was neat, and no matter to what faith (or lack thereof) my friends and acquaintances a… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 16, 2014 6:46PM

The V(o/e)racity of Death

Early this week, a former colleague from the American Dental Association died suddenly. He went in his sleep after telling his wife in the evening that he didn't feel well. The cause of death has not been made public, but it's presumed to be some variation of heart attack/aneurysm/stroke. The arbitra… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 7, 2014 6:11PM

Leaving Carrie Bradshaw in Paris

When the iconic television show Sex and the City premiered on HBO in 1998, I’d just begun junior year as an undergrad English Lit student at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. At that point I’d been on campus long enough to regret the decision to enroll. The school was way… Read full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2014 5:38PM

Wedding #5

Vieques, Puerto Rico; Coralville, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Chicago, Illinois; Peoria, Illinois

At first glance, as the old Sesame Street tune goes, “One of these things is not like the others.” The freak entry in my 2014 wedding travel log is a sunny paradise full of clear waters, scenic c… Read full post »

OCTOBER 23, 2014 1:54PM

Uncle Yee and the Erhu


Uncle Yee and the Erhu

I paused before deciding to share this picture I took of Uncle Yee last Saturday. I remembered he’s not courting a low profile and the debate was superfluous. How do I know Uncle Yee enjoys attention? Just stop for a moment to listen to him play the erhu,… Read full post »

OCTOBER 17, 2014 2:56PM

Running Into Umbrellas

I gained almost 15 pounds this past summer, owing to two conflicting influences.

The first was sort of an existential, indulgent temper tantrum over the life changes dictated by my hands. Although the miracle of daily beet juice is controlling the pompholyx eczema to an amazing degree, some of… Read full post »

OCTOBER 9, 2014 6:21PM

Are We Still Ready for Some Football?


Are We Still Ready for Some Football?

It happens each time I pull out my Chicago Cubs-branded debit card to pay for a transaction, especially if traveling somewhere outside of Illinois. The look of disgust, a glance of pity, perhaps even an outright laugh from the bolder amongst them. I’ve come to regret havin… Read full post »

OCTOBER 5, 2014 9:15PM

Not Sari

I was in the middle of managing an NFL Sunday iPad media center when I came across the news item. The 21st Century's answer to the society pages, Facebook, unveiled the conclusion to a suspenseful mystery I wasn't necessarily looking to solve. For a split second, time and reality were suspended.… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 4:21PM

Alternate Endings

I had some time to kill while I waited for friends to come out of an Omnimax movie about butterflies. Even with the benefits of Bonine, my go-to motion sickness medication, the Omnimax experience (and other 3-D films) results in vertigo. So instead I puttered around a few other museum exhibits,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 4:45PM

37 Summers

37 Summers

Today, Labor Day 2014, marks the unofficial end of my 37th summer on the planet. I don't remember much about the first given that I was just a blob of drool and other bodily functions, having been born in early August. During the second, I was trying to get/… Read full post »
JULY 24, 2014 4:44PM

Nonlinear Equations


Nonlinear Equations

Several years ago, my therapist gave a name to the lifelong inability to express myself coherently in the midst of tense, impassioned conflict – “emotional flooding.” When pressured to engage with a loved one/nemesis (sadly, often one in the same during childhood) in… Read full post »

JULY 12, 2014 8:59AM

Life Itself

Life Itself
On May 2, 2009, legendary writer and film critic Roger Ebert published the essay, "Go Gentle Into That Good Night" on his blog, Roger's Journal. Almost four years later, the man of letters was dead at the age of 70, finally succumbing to a long bout with thyroid cancer./… Read full post »
JUNE 21, 2014 9:49AM

13 Cars

13 Cars 
2014 began in acute pain: a broken heart handed to me by a long-time lover with demons; disintegrating, burning hands from the effects of pompholyx eczema. It was unimaginable that either condition could be brought into remission. I was a metaphorical and literal open wound.

JUNE 8, 2014 8:31PM

Great Urban Racers

Great Urban Racers 
For the past decade, I've tried to entice certain members of the friend and family circle to audition for The Amazing Race with me. Repeated pleas were issued to those with whom I'd work best, with lesser (but still important) consideration given to teammates with the potential/… Read full post »
MAY 28, 2014 7:36AM

Just Beet It

Just Beet It 
I get a lot of my writing done these days in the wee hours of the morning, before most of the living world is awake. This in an incredible paradigm shift, surprising no one more than myself. Family members and former lovers can confirm that I am not,… Read full post »
MAY 25, 2014 7:49PM

On the Road Again

On the Road Again 
On election day 2012, I ran a yellow light in the rain at a six corner Chicago intersection where three busy streets converge. I got the business end of a giant SUV for the recklessness, not to mention the complete inability to enjoy Karl Rove's Fox News meltdown. I… Read full post »
MAY 9, 2014 7:11AM


During the summer of 1984, at six years old, I experienced a second life-changing event that would forever alter the course of my personal history. The first such moment arrived in August 1980 with the birth of my younger sister Jennifer, a gift that felt very much mine,… Read full post »
APRIL 22, 2014 12:40AM

Juice Cleansing; A Skeptic's Tale

I've written about my friendship with Jessica over the years. She one of my true life partners, a short list of special individuals that includes my younger sister Jennifer and a few others. Jessica and I were hardly immediate friends, but for the last 17 years, the distance of continents,… Read full post »
APRIL 17, 2014 11:35PM

My Heart's Devotion

My Heart's Devotion
I've never been able to envision myself as an old woman. And when one lacks imagination, it helps to have a little darkness and dry wit in your arsenal. My brew was particularly potent as a tween, 13 years old specifically - mature enough to understand that my family… Read full post »