2011 Top 20 Grouches vs. Top 20 Purrs

Top 20 Grouches

  • Losing my director-level position and being unemployed for the first time in 20 years in a dismal job market
  • My sister Janet losing her glamorous Hollywood job 6 weeks after me
  • Jeff’s scary February car accident on an icy treacherous stretch of road in Long Grove
  • My July 4 ER visit caused by art-related X-ACTO knife blade slip and resulting ugly scar
  • Far-right politicians pulling out all the stops to sabotage Obama – hurting all Americans
  • Mom suffering needlessly years after a botched appendectomy
  • Incessant and overblown media coverage of Tim Tebow
  • Kim Kardashian and her clan
  • Mom falling while on vacation in NYC and suffering a nasty head wound
  • Samantha incurring a permanent facial scar at the hands of an incompetent oral surgeon
  • Wall Street Volatility – making investing wisely a total crap shoot
  • Grossly overpaid CEOs, athletes, and celebrities
  • North Koreans’ brainwashed adoration of a monster dictator upon his sudden death
  • Nancy Grace
  • June 23 ComEd power outage affecting our humble abode for 17 hours
  • People who text and talk on cell phones while driving – especially on the highway
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Rained-out August garage sale after months of preparation – never again
  • Financial worries caused by loss of income and health insurance
  • The annoying Ozzie Guillén – adiós in 2011

Top 20 Purrs

  • Pepper’s snuggles and unconditional love
  • Jeff walking away uninjured from his terrifying car accident
  • A lot of free time to play tennis and exercise
  • Photographing and painting my site specific works
  • Legions of oppressed people in the Middle East overthrowing horrific regimes
  • Leisure time to hang out downtown with Samantha
  • Detoxing after losing my incredibly stressful, office politics-ridden job
  • Discovering the superb Breaking Bad and devouring 3 seasons of episodes within a month
  • Humility learned from being unemployed
  • Amanda Knox being freed in October after 4 years of imprisonment in Perugia
  • The magic of movies including Hugo, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Drive
  • Watching Dark Shadows and enjoying all the bloopers therein
  • Reading Just Kids by Patti Smith and rediscovering her music
  • Concerts at Millennium Park
  • Steve Martin & Martin Short in a Very Stupid Conversation at the Chicago Theatre on June 19 – free tickets courtesy of Janet
  • Attending the UNIF Tabletop Show at McCormick Place and getting freebies galore
  • Exploring garage sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores for hidden treasures
  • The chance to promote and garner media coverage for the stellar Journal of Neurosurgery and work with their great staff
  • My dad still vital and working at age 88


I thought of a few more purrs that merit mentioning – making 2011 more purrfect than grouchy, despite everything:

  • The remarkable determination and spirit of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly
  • The opportunity to attend a traditional Indian wedding of a wonderful couple
  • A jaunt to San Francisco in September, albeit for a job that didn’t pan out

New Year’s Resolution – to make 2012 even more purrfect than 2011. Cheers to your health and happiness!



  1. Enjoyed rummaging through your site Betsy.

    I like a lot of your likes, plus I also really enjoy Steve Martin who is touring again with a Bluegrass band. AND his movies like Shopgirl and a couple other small books he has written, “stupid useless drivel” something like that was hilarious laugh out loud on a plane.
    Best wishes for 2013.

    • Thank you, Gerry, for taking the time to read my articles and leave comments. I appreciate your feedback and hope you will return on a regular basis.

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