melissa isaacson

  • Sleep problems and other disorders

    A lot of people have been asking me why I have fallen off the blog map.
    OK, maybe three people have asked but they have been rather persistent. I guess that award-winner on the splendor of Twinkies and other Hostess products two months ago was not enough for you people.
    It’s not that I don’t love writing about mostly nothing. There is nothing more freeing for a reporter than to abandon all sense of responsibility and any hint of relevance when she sits down at her computer.
    I guess this must be what people get out of tweeting and if I could hiccup in 35 words or less, I might like it. But I mean, really. How could I possibly do justice to the Ho-Ho with those limitations?
    So I will now confide in you the real reason I have not blogged much lately.
    I’m too tired.

  • Hostess is the Mostest

    My friend Jerry always comes through for me when I have a raging case of blogger’s block. Like today, for example, he didn’t even know he was helping me when he e-mailed to tell me, in a way only he could, that finding my blog again, after my sabbatical-length break, was like eating a Suzy Q years after stopping cold turkey.I took this as the supreme compliment that it was intended to be, mostly because I too used to worship at the Hostess temple.My mother would be somewhat embarrassed, I think, if she was alive to read this, as I imagine most mothers who were in their maternal prime in the 50s and 60s would be. And my husband’s mother and grandmother would be absolutely horrified as I don’t believe either ever allowed store-bought sweets into their homes (which explains a few things about Rick).My brothers, however, tell me that my mother had no problem bringing Twinkies into our house, though she herself was never actually seen eating one (or any meal, for that matter) and I can’t imagine she ever did sneak a bite as she possessed a much more sophisticated sweet tooth.In fact, my mother can be credited with elevating the Twinkie to somewhat higher standards by freezing them, a precursor, we think, to freezing Milky Ways and Three Muskateers, the thought being that anything tastes better and is more fun to eat when it is cold and also involves the risk of breaking a tooth.Twinkies, as I remember all Hostess products, were best consumed right after school, when a giant sugar rush was necessary and a nice companion to anything on TV from Clutch Cargo to Leave it to Beaver reruns to Gilligan’s Island to Dark Shadows. My husband Rick, a mere baby born two years after me in 1963, watched reruns of “Get Smart” and thought they were original episodes. My brothers, White Sox fans by birth, would even watch the last few innings of a Cubs game accompanied by a Twinkie and a milk chaser.Of course, the best Hostess product ever made was the Hostess cupcake. Even if you didn’t care for devil’s food, like me, the frosting-like cap on top, peeled off and placed to the side to be savored and saved for later, was well worth getting through the rest.But the real delicacy of all Hostess products has always been the vanilla crème center. No one, to my knowledge, including the brightest scientific minds in the country, has ever determined the exact makeup of the vanilla crème and it really misses the point to even wonder about it.My friend Bari is the only known person to actually hate what she called the gooshz in the middle and so, whenever possible, she would let me have it, never an easy proposition. In my mother’s brilliant freezing technique, you would peel away the sponge cake and be left with a vanilla cremesicle.

  • Tiger’s sorry statement

    I’m not pretending I’m not curious about what Tiger Woods will say in his big press conference, Friday. A statement of this magnitude, after all, needed to be announced two days in advance and I’m guessing that wasn’t done to make sure they had enough time to get extra bagels and coffee. So, yes, I’ll want to hear it.

  • My new friend

    Went for a massage today. I like to say that, kind of casually, as if it’s part of my weekly routine. Not that it wouldn’t be a part of my weekly routine if I had a little more disposable income and had not inherited my mother’s guilt complex.Whenever my mother tasted something or experienced something or was given something really extraordinary, she’d say, “That’s too good,” suggesting she was not deserving of anything as decadent as a piece of Godiva chocolate.That’s how I feel about massages.They are just too good.I went today because I have been more stiff and sore than usual and because my husband was starting to pressure me about using the gift card to a local spa he gave me two Mother Day’s ago. Rick hates gift cards.

  • 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.