Thursday, July 24, 2014

Politics and sex and religion

I live in one of the most progressive villages in a very blue state. That's why I was surprised by what I overheard at lunch yesterday.

I took Wednesday off because, well, I could. I treated myself to an uberfilling lunch and a cocktail at Flattop Grill. The tables are very close together, and I couldn't help but listen to the conversation at the next table. I wasn't intentionally eavesdropping -- my current read is a thriller and I'm rather into it -- but the gentleman was almost literally speaking into my ear.

At first I was amused. A man of about 35, he was lecturing his much-younger male friend (20?) about "the ladies." After two marriages, he's decided not try matrimony again, instead settling into "serial monogamy." Then he started in on gay marriage.

He called it, "a perversion." It's taught by his church and The Bible that it's "a perversion." He asked his younger friend how it's different than necrophilia. I was going to chime in that the difference is consent, but the younger man did well on his own. The younger man said civil rights are everyone's struggle. He wasn't articulate, but he was passionate.

I wanted to quote the book of Matthew to the "ladies man" -- "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery" -- and according to my understanding of that verse, he's living against God's rule. I wanted to tell him that some of hold the separation between church and state very dear. But the younger man was doing fine all by himself. And besides, he's entitled to his toxic, ugly opinion. I was just shocked to hear it espoused so openly in my liberal little hamlet.

On a separate, but related, note: Our Meet Up moderator, Will, is a gay Republican. I didn't think such creatures exist, but they do. He even "liked" Laura Ingraham on Facebook! Go figure.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July Journal Challenge

Day 22 -- What makes you laugh

"The Boys." That's how I think of Stewart and Colbert. When something big happens during the day, I say to myself, "I wonder what The Boys will have to say about that!" Their humor is smart but silly and politically based and I love them because they are, at heart, anarchists. They speak truth to power every night, four nights a week. They are following in the most glorious tradition of American humor. Somewhere, Groucho Marx is smiling.

 Day 23 -- Abstract

I'm afraid I don't get abstract art. And I'm afraid I can't come up with anything else for this prompt.

Monday, July 21, 2014

 Day 21 -- Your favorite story

A grandmother is planning a trip to the beach with her baby grandson. She buys him a hat to protect his little face and a shovel and pail for play in the sand. She picks up the beloved toddler and they have a wonderful time. And then a tragedy occurs: a tidal wave sweeps him away into the depths of the ocean.


Grandma immediately bows to her knees in the sand and prays to God for the return of her grandson.  "Please, Lord! I have always been a good person and a loving Grandmother. Please return my grandson to me."


Just as she finishes her prayer, a huge wave crashes back on the beach, returning the baby, his shovel and his pail in hand, to his Grandmother's side.


She looks at her grandson, then looks back at the sky and yells, "He had a hat!"

Ah, humans! We always want more, don't we?

Once again, you're bugging me, Bud

I like Barack Obama. I respect Barack Obama. I'm proud of being from the state that gave the rest of you Barack Obama (and that feisty Southside girl, Michelle).

But Barack Obama works for us. And, just as I had a performance review last week, I want to have a sitdown with my President and tell him that when it comes to the Border Crisis, I'm rating him, "Needs Improvement."

This is exactly how I felt during the BP Oil Spill. Just as George W. Bush needed to go to New Orleans after Katrina to show he cared, Barack Obama needs to go to the border. He has to set an example for the rest of us, and show the rest of the world, that the United States of America treats children with compassion. Pope Francis spoke out all the way from the Vatican. Barack Obama needs to do that much and more.

Because he is the responsible, elected officer of this goverment.

Don't tell me he doesn't "do theater." Bullshit. He always has. Whoever is reading this has not been to Springfield, IL, as many times as I have. Barack Obama announced his candidacy, and then introduced Joe Biden as his running mate, in an area where he never spent much time, and that's not especially photogenic or especially accommodating for 21th century media -- because it's preserved as it was when Abraham Lincoln walked there.

He appeared "between two ferms" to promote his namesake legislation.

Instead of going to the border, he was played pool with Hickenlooper and his staff sent out social media #thebearisloose missives aimed at showing us he's a regular guy, just like us. Rather than showing me you like beer, Mr. President, I'd prefer you show you're just like me by showing me you ache for those refugee kids and denounce the xenophobia on display.

I don't think I agree with the Administration on drones. I don't think I accept that Gitmo is still operating as it did when he took office. But I also know there's much about these situations I don't understand.

This I get. And I don't like it.

My President is my leader. So lead.

Joe Klein, hardly a Foxhole, wrote an effecting op ed in the July 17 issue of Time. He compared Obama 2014 with the Kennedy I grew up on, the Kennedy I actually remember, Bobby. In 1968 -- Bobby's all-too-brief shining moment -- the nation was aching, too. Civil rights and Vietnam, anyone? But Bobby didn't avoid speaking to our better angels, he "went there." He dove in. In Klein's words:

Kennedy never gave the impression that politics was distasteful, beneath him, as Obama too frequently does. Kennedy was all about passion; Obama seems all about decorum.

Barack Obama can do that. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, he's not an inherently shy man. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, he's not saddled with a thin, nasal voice. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, who relied on poetry, Barack Obama has the gift of original, soaring rhetoric. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, ambition for the nation's highest office came naturally to Barack Obama.

Well, Mr. Obama, now you're our President. Inspire me. Soothe me. Show me your heart. Here's an example. A man forcing his audience to question "what kind of nation we are." The piece of paper he's playing with? A campaign speech that was never delivered. Instead, he spoke from his heart.

We need leadership from you, Mr. President. Go to the Border. Give us greatness.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Summer Meme

Favorite summer flower: Gerbera daisy

Flavor of ice cream: Mint chocolate chip ice cream

Mode of transportation: Train

Music: Sir Paul

Food: Barbecue

Favorite game to play: Farmville 2

Earliest childhood summer memory: Going to Kerry's Custard for ice cream. It was just up the street from our home, but going with just my friends (no adults!) gave me a heady sense of freedom.

Favorite Drink: Coke

Favorite Snack: Ice cream

Place to read: Anywhere!

Most annoying: Rudeness. People are friendlier in cold weather, and more short-tempered when it gets hot.
How I handle the heat: I don't. If it's over 80º, I hide indoors.

Pet Peeve: Space hogs. If you didn't pay for two seats on the train, you shouldn't take two seats on the train. Your backpack shouldn't be riding in comfort if it means someone else has to stand.

All-time favorite bathing suit: One piece, because I burn so easily. With a skirt, because I don't feel like dealing with a bikini wax. (You'll never lose if you bet on me being lazy.)

Best Time of Day: Around 7:00 PM

Most romantic: Watching fireworks

Summer movie: So far this year, Begin Again.

July Journal Challenge

 Day 20 -- A Daydream You Had
… and continue to have. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Ring of Fire

1) Recorded by Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire" was written by his wife, June Carter. Johnny's daughter Roseanne says it's about "the transformative power of their love." What's your favorite love song? "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you. Remember I'll always be true ..." The Beatles with Sir Paul singing lead on "All My Loving."

2) Though more than 50 years old, this song is still popular today. Country Music Television named it one of the best and most requested of all time. Are you a country music fan? Not really.

3) This recording features mariachi horns, inspired by Mexican folk music. Have you ever been to Mexico? No

4) Cash's birth certificate said, "J. R. Cash," and "J.R." is what his parents always called him. When he enlisted in the Air Force, Uncle Sam refused to let him simply go by initials, so he chose the name "John." If you could choose a different name for yourself, what would it be? I think I'd be a good Julie. It fits me.

5) Cash and his first wife, Vivian, had their first date at a roller skating rink. Tell us about one of your first dates. I was in a relationship with a former coworker. We'd seen each other 5 days a week for more than a year. After he was let go, we went out, got drunk and ... um ... acted on our mutual attraction. He used to tease me about what a great first date I was.

6) Cash died in September, 2003, four months after he lost his second wife, and love of his life, June. The cause of death given was complications from diabetes, but his children believe he died of a broken heart. Do you think that's possible? I think perhaps after losing June he gave up, and giving up can kill you.

7) Cash was known as "The Man in Black." What color do you wear most often? Blue, as in denim.

8) There's a Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville. What's the last museum you visited? I keep intending to visit the Chicago Cultural Center. It's nearby and free and there's always something interesting going on there. And even if the exhibitions don't turn me on, there's always the ceiling. It's always inspiring to gaze up at that Tiffany glass dome.

9) A stretch of Tennessee Highway 31E is known as "Johnny Cash Parkway." What street in your town is named for a famous person? There are expressways named after Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, but every town has those, right? So instead I'll go with Cermak Road, named for the Mayor of Chicago who literally took a bullet for FDR in the 1930s. Some horrible person actually tried to assassinate Franklin Roosevelt but hit Mayor Cermak instead. Anton Cermak was born in the Czech Republic and gave voice to Chicago's immigrant population. If it wasn't for the road, I don't think he'd be remembered today at all, which is sad.

Atta girl!

Feeling very virtuous about yesterday's trip to the dermatologist.

First of all, I made it. I simply forgot and didn't go at all in 2012. The result was the discovery and removal of two suspicious moles in 2013. My doctor emphasized that I'm fair skinned, at risk, and have to take this seriously. His message got through to me.

Secondly, he complimented my complexion. Considering that this is what he does, it felt like quite a compliment! I mean, let's face it: if I'm out there looking for a job again, it won't help to look 56. He praised my skincare regimen, which most importantly includes sunscreen, and says I'm good until next year. Even the problem I've had in the past with congested oil glands (resulting in small flesh colored bumps on my upper cheek and temple) have abated somewhat and nothing has to be removed. YEA!

Our office has summer hours and I like using my Friday afternoons off for errands like this. My dermatologist's office is in a neighborhood I have a strange affinity for. It's not very attractive, really, at the intersection of two extremely busy streets. Except for the massive old Sears store, the buildings are all one story and nondescript ... kind of like a strip mall. But it's a nice mix of little restaurants and pizza places and a family-owned Italian bakery that's been in the same spot for more than 50 years.

July Journal Challenge

 Day 19 -- The weather today

So hello, Gorgeous!

Today will be sunny and 82º. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Who is this about?

I love my niece very much. More than that, I admire her. She's talented and tough and virtually impervious to peer pressure.

She's also only 21. She's stumbling as she finds her way, as we all did/do as we grow up. She's very unhappy in her relationship with her first real boyfriend but can't figure out whether to go or stay with him. If she stays, is she settling? If she goes, is she hurting him unnecessarily? And how will it feel to be alone again? If she were to ask me, I'd tell her to cut bait. (Of course, that could be why she hasn't asked me.)

One trait many women in my family share* is a fear of the dentist. As the date of my niece's impending oral surgery (wisdom teeth) approached, she blurted out to her mother/my sister, "That why I have to stay with him. If we break up, who will take care of me after the dentist?"

My sister was furious. "I'm her mother! How could she forget me? Of course I would drive up there to take her to and from the dentist! I'd sleep on the floor next to her bed as she recuperated! How could she forget about me like that?"

As always when my kid sister is concerned, the situation automatically becomes about her. To her, this wasn't my niece being so frightened she couldn't think straight. To her, it was her daughter dissing her.

I realize we're each the star of our own story, but my kid sister takes it to the extreme. On top of being unhappy with her love life and scared about the dentist, my niece got to tangle with her mother.

I must remember not to fall into this trap myself. My best friend hasn't been sharing much about his internal life with me. All he does is report the day's activities, as though reciting an itinerary. I've been hurt and insulted that he no longer feels he can confide in me. Instead perhaps I should remember that, since he lost his job, he feels emasculated and no longer in control of his own life. Just as my niece's problems are not about my sister, his problems are not about me.

*Except me. Doesn't bother me at all.

July Journal Challenge

Day 17 -- I'm Really Good at …
My job.

I got my annual* review this week and the results were "Needs Improvement" because I didn't/couldn't complete a project that didn't materialize (Bossman noted that on the form), an "Exceeds Expectations" for my online work and an "Excellent" for the successful and profitable ongoing project that lands solely on my shoulders.

It was very satisfying to hear.

Now all I need is money. I know I'm still making 11% less the guy I sit beside. He's a good writer -- dependable and knowledgeable. BUT the project I got an "Excellent" on accounts for more than half of my client's revenue for that division and well more than half of my agency's billings for my team. I'm a pudgy little middle-aged cash register ... for everyone but me.

I told my boss I was concerned that new employees with my same job title, those just entering the building through the revolving door, are probably making more than I am after 10 years. He told me how he's in the same boat, how hard it is to find good agency jobs at our age ... basically, that it sucks to be me.

I don't accept that. I told him I realize that he doesn't control the purse strings, but I'd like to talk to the person who does. "Who's that?" I asked. "Who knows the salary range for each job title?" He gave me the name of one of our HR reps, but told me first he'd mention my plight to the Chicago office president. I told him I appreciate that, but if nothing materializes by Labor Day, I'm talking to Human Resources.

If I don't ask, I won't get. And I've been at this agency for a decade and this will be the first time I've gone to HR for anything.

Day 18 -- Best Book Ever

For me, it's Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards. She wrote with breathtaking candor about loss and
grief. At times, during the scorching passages about how she struggled after the loss of her son, I had to put the down. It was too much, too revelatory, too raw.

And yet her message was ultimately life affirming: Sharing your fears and your pain doesn't make you weak, it makes you strong.

I took it to heart. I have successfully flirted with not always the strong one, for asking for help and hugs when they are needed, or at least accepting them when they are offered.

Elizabeth Edwards made a difference in my life with this book. I hope that where she is now, she knows how much she mattered to women like me who she never even met. 

*Only it wasn't annual. It's been more than two years.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Gal and Her Twizzlers

Part of going to the movies is getting movie food. To qualify, it has to be overpriced, have no nutritional value whatsoever, and be something I would only consume while in a movie theater.

Over time it's been Snocaps, then Goobers, then popcorn, and now Twizzlers. I can't tell you what's behind the change. Sometimes I surprise myself when I get to the counter and ask for [Insert Movie Food Here].

So for now, Twizzlers is my movie food of choice, and I consumed it while watching two very different movies.

First I saw Begin Again. Mark Ruffalo, an actor I almost always like, plays a very gifted but very troubled husband/father/music producer. After a day that finds him at his lowest in all three areas, he literally stumbles into a New York club and hears a very reluctant Keira Knightly onstage. Her character plays a songwriter who has just had her heart broken and is getting ready to give up on both love and New York and is ready to return home to England. He believes she's an original, a talent who can resuscitate his career, and he convinces her to put her travel plans on hold for a short while. They record an album together, and each soul heals in the process.

It's a sweet little movie. Very unconventional. Ruffalo's domestic situation is messier than is usually portrayed on screen, and the resolution surprised me. Keira sings, while Adam Levin and CeeLo Green act, but none of it feels like stunt casting. If you're curious, here's Keira singing my favorite song from the soundtrack, "Like a Fool." Her voice is rather thin, but her performance is unforced and sincere. (And I love the lyrics.)

Then I went to see a special, free preview of And So It Goes. This movie is as predictable and star driven as Begin Again is intimate and unique. Diane Keaton plays ... well ... Diane Keaton. A sweet, neurotic, perpetually flustered sweetheart of a woman who is widowed after decades of wonderful marriage. Michael Douglas plays … well … Michael Douglas. He's grumpy and selfish and money driven. If you can't predict every plot twist in And So It Goes before it happens, you've never seen a romantic comedy or read any chick-lit.

Still, there were things I liked about it. Both Keaton and Douglas are frankly their age. Not every actor of their generation is willing to let the wrinkles show. Both Keaton and Douglas are pros; you sit in your theater seat knowing you're in the hands of two accomplished film stars who are much better than their material. And Keaton sings. She's a better singer than Keira Knightly. Here's a clip of her as a crooning Annie Hall.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July Journal Challenge

Day 14 -- Dream Job

In my next chapter, I'd either like to be a pet sitter or a Wrigley Field usher. 

I get along with dogs and especially cats. I'd love to wander around town all afternoon, petting and walking and watering and playing.

And then, of course, there's the allure of The Friendly Confines. I'd be an usher for free in exchange for admission to the park. 

We'll see which I'm doing a decade from now.

Day 15 -- Inspiration 

I've told this story before on this humble blog, and guess what! I'm telling it again!

These two photos take turns on my desktop, revolving from one into the other, telling the story of the day in the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis that provides just one example why I admire her so.

These photos were taken the same afternoon, moments apart, in autumn, 1971. The photographer who took the first shot and appears in the second shot is Ron Galella. He hounded Jackie on a daily basis, dressing up as Santa Claus to shoot her while shopping at Christmastime, hiding in coat racks for photos of her dining and sometimes even smoking (gasp!) with friends, chasing her in a speed boat while she water skied, following her into movie theaters, etc. When her children were young they still had Secret Service protection and she would ask the agents to, "Please smash his camera," and usually they would. It got so bad that in 1972, just months after this incident, she actually took him to court and got a restraining order. I often wonder what would have happened if Princess Diana had been as ballsy as JBKO; perhaps she'd still be with us.

Anyway, Jackie was running a quick errand, crossing Fifth Avenue in front of her apartment building, when Galella sidled up near her and called her name. She reflexively turned and smiled. When she saw who it was, and that this time he had an accomplice with a camera, she simply slipped the dark glasses on (thereby making the subsequent photos he shot worth a little less), kept her face impassive and kept going.

She hated Galella. He was a stalker and he frightened and enraged her. Yet look at her control. Sure, she could have lost her temper with him (Marlon Brando literally punched his teeth out), but that would have given Galella a front-page shot he could have retired on. So she just withdrew into herself and kept going.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have a difficult time with my temper, which often hurts no one else as much as it does me.

I hope if I gaze at her long enough and remember the story, some of it will rub off on me. "Remember, Gal, just put on your sunglasses and keep going."

Day 16 -- Home

It's a mess. I shouldn't be blogging, I should be straightening out the mass of paperwork that covers my dining room table and, thanks to the help of Reynaldo and Connie (who is learning some bad habits from Rey), has spilled onto the floor.

He's not MY captain

If you read this blog even casually, you know I'm a Cub fan. Or, as we Northside Faithful like to say, I bleed Cubbie Blue.

Therefore, I don't give a flying fuck about Derek Jeter.

The Cubs seldom play the Yankees. I cannot remember anything Jeter has ever done, either with his bat or glove, while facing The Cubs. I don't dislike the man. He has impressive numbers and I'm sure he's always been very good to his mother. But he quite literally means nothing to me.

Yet this morning I am positively assaulted with information about Jeter's performance in last night's All-Star game. I know he spoke to his teammates before the game and shook their hands when he left the field. I know he got an extra base hit. I know quite a splash was made by his girlfriend, who looks young enough to be his daughter.


New Yorkers, we're not all New Yorkers. Enjoy your iconic team. Honor your franchise player. But please, try to remember that there's a whole country west of the Hudson and we really don't care.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July Journal Challenge


Day 13 -- Nature
 "Nature" can be defined as, "a result of inborn or inherent qualities." That's the meaning I'm going with as I write to this prompt.

Do any of us see ourselves accurately? Probably not. But I think there are certain things about my nature -- those inherent qualities -- that I can identify and that I think most people who know me will agree with.

The Gal Herself is … 

•  facile. Things I get, I grasp quickly. Sometimes I appear smarter than I am because I can be such a fast study.

•  loyal. I am a good friend, and I've had my friends for a very long time.

•  dreamy. Day-to-day life often seems dreary and disappointing. That's why I've always found it easy to send my mind away to happy place, why I often find fantasy preferable to reality.

•  tough. I'm as strong as I need to be. It's a quality I admire in others. Especially other women. Yes, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a peerless style icon and Barbra Streisand is an actress and singer of rare gifts. But I'm drawn to them both because of their steel. As another one of my heroines, Scarlett O'Hara, is described in Gone With the Wind, these women "take their fences cleanly, like a good hunter." So do I. When a fence needs to be gotten over, I take it cleanly.

•  clumsy. I am the most graceless person you'll ever meet. No, really. I'm forever finding fresh bruises and cuts yet I can't remember how I got them. That's how often I bump into things.

•  lazy. When I was in high school, one of my teachers complained to my mother that I was "impossible to motivate." I'm still impossible to motivate. I resist doing anything I don't really feel like doing.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: One Thing ..... 

that makes you smile: My big old tomcat, Joey. He is a most loving soul.

that makes you cry: "See ya, Katie." "See ya, Hubbell."

that you love to do on the weekends: Going to the movies.
that you do for only yourself: Going to the movies. (I like going to the movies.)

that you have in your underwear drawer that's NOT underwear: Nothing. Answering this made me happy. I think of myself as unorganized and sloppy, and yet my bras and panties and spanx are highly organized.

that you do before going to sleep: Watch TV or read

that you do within the first 15 minutes after waking: Visit the bathroom, she said delicately

that's in your purse: my Epipen. I'm allergic to bee sting.

that you actually LIKE to clean: Hmmmm ... hmmm .... thinking, but coming up empty

that you DETEST cleaning: LAUNDRY! I feel like I spend half my life on it and I resent every moment.

that other people would find odd about you: That I don't drive. I swear if I told people I keep human heads in my freezer, they wouldn't look at me as oddly.

that you would buy if I handed you a $100 bill: A gift card for my niece. Her graduation is coming up and I'm worried I won't have anything nice for her.

that you feel you HAVE to do before you die: I dunno. I'm not very "bucket listy." Maybe satiate my incurable thirst for Farmville 2.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

He STILL really loves pizza

Yesterday afternoon my nephew and I went to The Taste of Chicago for the second year in a row. I think he had a good time.

Like last year, he concentrated on pizza. He compared and contrasted slices from two different vendors and then returned to his favorite for a third slice. He also had fudge and an Oreo Smoosh from Eli's (that's cheesecake topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce). I tried to get him to try something new -- specifically Mac-and-Cheetos, pasta shells in cheese sauce covered by Cheetos. But he rejected the new dish because of "the green stuff." Yes, they sprinkled scallions on top and it was enough to turn him off. He is a purist.

I'm more adventuresome. I had peach cobbler (my old favorite), a crab cake, a chocolate covered banana and (new this year) an enormous barbecued turkey leg. The latter was so big that I had a turkey sandwich for lunch this afternoon.

We had beautiful weather (sunny and about 80º) and I really enjoyed talking to him. My nephew is an interesting kid. Very smart. Rather geeky. His favorite topics of conversation were Brazil's meltdown in the World Cup and anti-jokes (jokes which are deliberately not funny). His favorite anti-joke: A horse walked into a bar. Several patrons left because they spotted the potential danger in the situation.

He's 14 now. I wonder how much longer he'll actually look forward to spending a summer afternoon with his old auntie.

July Journaling Challenge

Day 12 -- Grateful

Oh, I'm grateful for a lot. I'll just go with what's top of mind today:

I'm grateful that I am able to get/receive love and affection from animals. It's a gift I inherited from my mom. I understand dogs and cats so well, and I get so much enjoyment from my relationship with my furry friends.

This morning I took Connie to her first visit to her new vet. In addition to feline viral rhinotracheitis -- an incurable infection that means she will always be plagued with excessive and often icky eye secretions -- he discovered that two of her teeny, tiny front teeth are gone. Connie belonged to a hoarder, a woman who had at least six cats in a small apartment, and probably spent her kitten/early adult period eating a cheap and inappropriate diet.

I am grateful that I was able to rescue her, and that from now on she will get the care she deserves -- a nutritious diet and medication for her eyes. (Note I said "deserves," not "wants;" she really hates the eye drops.) I am grateful that doing this comes to naturally to me and that I get such pleasure from it. Cats bring a bit of nature indoors, and I learn so much from having them around.

Saturday 9 -- Already Gone

1) Eagles lead singer Glenn Frey proclaims that he's "feeling strong." How would you describe yourself this fine Saturday? I'm fine. I'm just really annoyed by the angry red zit on my chin. HOW MUCH LONGER WILL I HAVE TO DEAL WITH ZITS?

2) The song begins with a rumor: "I heard some people talking just the other other day ..." Have you heard anything juicy/interesting lately? Please share! My nephew shared with me that his mom (my kid sister) wants to her family to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary in California and that they'll stay with (gulp) our older sister. Our older sister is a stone bitch. This is not going to go well. I'm glad I'm just sitting in the stands, munching on popcorn and watching this one. I'm not in this family drama.

3) When "Already Gone" was popular, the news was dominated by Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. What do you consider today's top news story? Castro and Rizzo representing my Cubs on the All Star squad.

4) In the 1970s, Eagles Glenn Frey and Don Henley were at the center of a social circle of very creative people, including singer Linda Ronstadt, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne and actor-comedian Steve Martin. How do you express your creativity? I write. I'm a writer by trade.
5) Even though they broke up in 1980, the Eagles are currently on a reunion tour, and after knowing each other more than 40 years, Frey and Henley still consider each other friends. What quality to do you value most in a friendship?  Can you make me laugh? Will you be there for me? In exchange, I promise I'll make you laugh and I'll always be there for you.

6) Are there any mirrors in the room you're in right now?  No. Which is fine because of the aforementioned zit.

7) What's the last beverage you drank with ice?   I don't remember exactly but I'm sure it was Coke.

8) Whole, skim, 2%, half-and-half, almond or soy ... what kind of milk is in your refrigerator right now?  2%

9) Sam likes to mix sliced almonds into her salad. What do you think makes a good salad?   Raisins. I like that unexpected touch of sweet amid all the vegetables.


July Journaling Challenge

Day 11 -- Favorite Outfit

Cardigan or jacket over a tee and a pair of dark wash jeans. I wish I could wear shoes like this model's, but alas, my high heeled days are behind me.

I love this because it's comfortable and appropriate everywhere. I wear something like this to church, to the theater and to meetings, if the client is visiting us. (I'll swap out black slacks if I'm going to a funeral, wedding or onsite to my client's offices.)