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Hellllloooo . . . ?

Anyone still out there?Re-entering cyberspace, I think, might be more challenging than entering it the first time. Technically though, I never really left, going from the  Chicago Tribune to my blog, which kept me sane after being laid off from the Tribune, to ESPNChicago.com, which saved me.

I began my blog in the weepy hours after being pushed out by the Tribune last April and kept writing as I stopped crying and started to see the hope and humor again, through my first months with ESPN. And then I stopped.I still do not know exactly why I stopped. But I am flattered by the handful of you not including those directly related to me, who noticed. I hope you find me again. And though I can’t promise anything, I hope not to take a three-and-half month break again.

For a while, I know I felt that if I was not doing something productive every waking hour that I was a slug and would never be gainfully employed again. Then, when I was gainfully employed again, I discovered the utter sense of comfort I got from taking a few hours off and not feeling guilty.At about that time, I also re-discovered our couch in the family room and how much I loved it – and the furry purple blanket my daughter Amanda brought home a few years ago as one of the truly great bat mitzvah giveaways. And then I remembered why my husband rarely rents movies as I drifted off to sleep each night, a deep, almost drugged-like state in which I could hear myself snoring but I could not do a thing about it.

It also was then that I couldn’t imagine how I would ever find the time and energy to write a blog again.But I did miss it.  Like an old friend who you stop calling for no particular reason, then a few weeks turn into months and you reach that uncomfortable stage when you’re almost afraid to call, not remembering who called last and if it’s your fault so much time has passed, I am hoping that as I do start again, I will find that my friend(s) are still there for me.Writing columns again on a regular basis for ESPN has been a joy I thought I might never experience again. I do it now with a light-heartedness, even for the heavy subjects, I have not had in a very long time. Maybe it’s because I am no longer under strict space or time restrictions. Maybe it’s just because it’s a terrific positive atmosphere. Or maybe it’s because no one really writes to me anymore.There is no e-mail address at the bottom of my columns and I have made no effort to correct that. While I have always loved hearing from readers, even critical responses, the advent of blogs and the increase in Internet traffic has lent itself to people who can spontaneously reply from their desks – or dark caves, as the case may be  – anonymously, of course, and with spewings of racism, sexism and just general hatred that I really grew tired of reading.I just figured I’d cut down on that a little and it seems to have worked and I feel much better. In fact, e-mails like the one I got this morning in response to my [U.S. Olympic speedskater] Shani Davis column calling me a “barren lesbian freak” hardly ever happen anymore. So things are great.But I do love hearing from people who read my blogs, particularly since they seem only to be nice, normal, literate people who would never think of calling a writer a “barren, lesbian freak” even if somehow that was an appropriate response.The other thing is that I find I am talking to myself much too much without a blog, particularly in the shower when I am a literary savant, every story flowing through my brain with just the right touches of humor. Of course, by the blow-drying stage, I’ve lost it. But where else but here can I talk about Amanda’s turnabout dance (I called it the “Sadie Hawkins dance” recently and she looked at me as if I was wearing a bonnet and hoop skirt), my continued eating problems (I bought a Valentine’s Day cookie cake as if we were having a party – we’re not. Cake is now gone), my 11-year-old son suddenly caring how his hair looks (I can cry), the new Superdawg grand opening (like a drive-thru bar mitzvah), and many funny facets of my life that have been lost forever in this three-and-a-half-month black hole.So I’ll be back, promise.  

 
 

21 Comments

  1. Laurie

    So glad to hear from you, Missy. Haven’t seen you at the Y either so I figured you were busy at the new job. Would love to hear how the NU thing turned out. You know where to find me — every Monday and Friday at 9 am!

  2. Allen

    nice to see you in my in box again!

  3. YES, YES, YES – your ramblings were missed! Welcome back to the anonymous land of cyber rambling. Missed your blog, missed the super bowl party at Shirley’s — where is life going these days? (By the way, I called it a Sadie Hawkins dance too. The look that I got was less about hoop skirts and more about being from the middle ages! Anyway, keep writing, Dave and I both really enjoy your emails.

  4. hevan

    so glad to see you back. I would check your blog site weekly figuring that my subscription was screwed up. Alas, no. But, I did find you on espn and thought maybe you got busy. What ever. I have read you on the sports pages for years and found you to be insightful yet sensitive to the things that make athletes real people. You could give praise with gentle touch and criticism without being personal. Your blog was more of the personal musings of a good writer. Please, don’t give it up again.

  5. Sue

    I’m glad you’re back.

  6. Carrie

    Welcome back, Melissa! It was always nice to read your blog. And thank you for inspiring me to start my own blog. OK,I haven’t started it yet, but as soon as I have a name for it, I will. I talk to myself far too much about my work (college counseling) and figure I should find an outlet for that too. : )
    Carrie

  7. Margery

    Welcome back. Yes I did miss you and don’t know how to find your columns on the net. No comment re. the female columnist (brain dead)who is in the Trib now. Oopps, I didn’t say that. Best of everything to you.

  8. Nancy

    Great to have you “blogging” again.

  9. J W

    Missy:
    Great to hear from you again. You are still the best sportswriter in the city of Chicago.
    J W

  10. Raymond

    Melissa,

    Thank you for coming back, for overcoming a lethargy worse than death, for striking a victory for life. I am a nobody. You will never know me. I was informed of your blog by a friend and so came to appreciate your writing. Thank you. May grace and joy attend your every word.

  11. Yvette

    I am so glad you have returned! I missed your blog so much. It seemed to always touch my heart and make me smile. I tried desperately to find you and even responded to your ESPN column about Bulls/Lakers game by commenting on blog in response to your column about Walter Peyton. I was crazed and didn’t know where to contact you. As you said, no e-mail anywhere on ESPN column. Now I only want to know how to subscribe to ESPNChicago.com so I will not miss any of your columns. I would search it every so often but never on the days you had written something…so after awhile, I must admit…unless my son forwarded it to me…I didn’t read you. I am not very computer savvy! So….I am glad you are back…don’t leave again…even if you say…. Hi and I’m busy but will be in touch and most important…give us info about how to subscribe to ESPNChicago…I am glad work is going well…Trib made a huge mistake…I don’t even read Sports section anymore because you aren’t there!!!!!

  12. Frank

    Melissa – So good to read and hear from you again. Figured you were very busy with family, ESPN, and just everyday life. Wondered about you, but I read your articles each time in ESPN Chicago. All excellent. They had a space to comment which I wanted to do (ESPN) but to subscribe to get in to comments I did not want to put my credit card on line. Guess a little fearful of identity theft. Still great to know your OK. Tribune only OK now and then not the same since you left. You deserve a little rest after the past year. Pain and hurt from Trib is over and better things have come from it.
    Look forward to more at ESPN and don’t worry about the critical ones. They don’t get the whole picture sometime.
    So Good hearing from you.

    Take care,

    Frank

  13. Don

    Hi Melissa,

    Welcome back. You were missed. Are you ready for another baseball season? Any predictons? Cubs? Sox? Les Grobstein will speak at the North Shore Senior Center in a couple of months.

    All the best,

    Don 

  14. Marcy

    Welcome back. I realize now that I’ve missed your writing! I look forward to your continued observations.

  15. Indeed, hello yourself.

  16. Bob

    Melissa,

    Right after the Tribune so foolishly let you go, I immediately thought that you should be working for The Wall Street Journal, if not nationally, then locally.

    They definitely have a big interest in sports and have some great columnists, but they could always use someone of your caliber.

    I’m serious – you should get in touch with them.

  17. Bob

    I just noticed the phrase in your blog entry about talking to yourself.

    I do that too, and my response to people who notice is “I always talk to myself when I want to have an intelligent conversation.”

  18. I was wondering where you were!!!! If you are at all interested in landlord/tenant matters in Chicago, that is my area of concentration as a lawyer. AND, that has led me to many predatory lending practices that there are just NOT enough prosecutorial agencies personnel, such as the States Attorney, to deal with the “bad guys”.

    Welcome back!

    Paul

  19. Pat

    Missed your thoughts about life, work, family, writing, sports, and everything in-between. Funny thing…I am “struggling” in starting my book. Your comment on having storylines in the shower is SO RIGHT. And then by styling-time, it’s gone, down the drain, so to speak! How do we keep the momentum? A helmet, heavy conditioner? Best to you! Glad you’re back. Enjoy Superdawg!

  20. Linda

    Melissa, I’ve checked your blog every day, hoping you’d write in it again. I’m thrilled to learn of your ESPN position. Please take it as a compliment that I didn’t know, as I am not really interested in sports–i just like your writing! A lot.

  21. Victoria

    Melissa, you were most definitely MISSED! I always looked forward to the “new entry at Melissa Isaacson” e-mails that signaled a funny new tidbit from you – on sports, on life, whatever – and I always knew it was something that would touch me in some way. When I stopped getting them, I just figured you’d lost interest in doing them and I was saddened by that (see, you got to me again!).

    But this morning, when I finally checked my home e-mail and saw three new-article e-mails from you, I was elated to know that you were BACK, especially after I read the “Helllooo . . . ?” post!

    So welcome back – we DID miss you! And J W is right, by the way . . . ;-) Thanks for letting us all hear from you – as I think I told you once when you first started your blog – “keep ‘em comin’!”

    Victoria

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