Carson’s

My brother Brian and I will most likely be the last generation of our family to work at Carson’s.

A few weeks ago, their owners Bon Ton announced that they are closing down all their stores permanently, including Carson’s.

We both were third generation of our family to work at the well-known Chicagoland department store. While I worked in the Men’s Department, first in Accessories and Dress Shirts, then in Slacks and Dockers — no snide remarks, I heard them enough when I worked there and would say, “I work in Men’s Slacks and Dockers” — and my brother worked in stock distribution, of the three generations of Facks who worked at Carson’s, our Dad had reached the highest out of all of us: furniture buyer.

The first job I ever knew Dad had was working for Carson’s on State Street in downtown Chicago. At the time I didn’t appreciate it, but the wrought iron facade of the Louis Sullivan building was an architectural masterpiece, both of early high-rises and of city architecture, of which Chicago reigns as Queen (if not King).
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I Don’t Wanna Grow Up…

Toys R Us from 70s Commercial
I think anyone raised in America around my age knows how to complete that jingle.

(For those of you not in the know, you finish it with, “I’m a Toys R Us kid.”)

It seems to be the end of an era. The toy store that was a major destination for American kids (in at least the 70s and 80s) is closing its doors.
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Every Now and Then, You Come to Mind

There’s a Sheryl Crow duet with Sting where she sings the lyric, “Every now and then, you come to mind.” It’s a sad song, a song about lovers who once knew one another and now no longer talk or see one another.

The song speaks to the core of me. A common theme throughout my life is that I don’t let go of things easily for whatever reason. My counselor told me last session that I am a compassionate person. My mother tells me I care very deeply. Other people will tell you I am a humanist, or I am emotional, or I am giving. I guess these all are true.

It swings me back to The Man I Loved. Late last year, I did the whole “Lot’s Wife” thing and turned back. One night, a horrible dream came to me where he was very upset and crying like his world was caving in on him. The dream was one of those very vivid dreams, which, in my life, has always meant there is a message or I need to do something. In this case, I sat on it all day and arrived at the conclusion he was in pain. It was his soul reaching out for help.
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The B Word

There seems to be a love affair with the B word in New Zealand education: bullying.

There’s no denying that bullying occurs. That would be like denying breathing keeps us alive. But the use of the word disturbs me in the fact that, from what I have encountered in my professional life, the B word is thrown around a bit too freely and a bit too quickly at things that are not usually bullying.
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7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Memorials at the CTV site, where 115 people died in the building’s collapse on 22 February 2011. Credit: Joseph Johnson/Stuff

Today is an anniversary date in my life that I could live without.

Actually, it’s so bad that the other day Noel asked me, “Isn’t the anniversary of Grandpa’s passing about this time of year,” the day after that anniversary, and I felt guilty about forgetting that. (My Grandpa passed away on 19 February 2004.)

Last year, I spoke about feeling stuck, like 22 February 2011 is a fixed-point in my timeline, and, like a black hole, the rest of my life slowly spins around it, stuck in its gravity.
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Not Recognizing Myself in Dreams

I’ve written about the familiarity in dreams, the missing of what was once there with someone else but amplified so there was a sense of longing and desire in recovering what was lost. This has been an ongoing dream state in my mind over the last several years, even stronger after the quakes, during which we lost so much: not only physically but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Since my depersonalization diagnosis, a more disturbing dream state has emerged: not recognizing myself. On very rare occasions, this is quite literal. I’ll look into a mirror and not recognize the person gazing back. It’s not me — something isn’t quite right about my face.
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