Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Moon River (1962)

1) This song is featured in a Dove candy bar commercial. What's your favorite way to enjoy chocolate (cookie, candy bar, ice cream, hot cocoa, etc.)? As a movie fan, that commercial really annoys me because it uses the music from one Audrey Hepburn movie (Breakfast at Tiffany's) with the setting from another (Roman Holiday). Sloppy, sloppy. Now that I have the rant out of the way, I'd like some ice cream with chocolate syrup, please.

2) It was originally written for the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Where's the best place to eat breakfast in your neighborhood? Delia's.

3) Were you able to see the moon last night? I didn't look.

4) When Andy Williams' show was first telecast in color, viewers commented on how very blue his eyes were. What's the first thing you notice about a person? If we're talking about members of the opposite sex, it has to be hair. My two earliest crushes were Little Joe from Bonanza and Sir Paul. Two fabulous heads of hair.

5) The Andy Williams Show gave the Osmond Brothers their first national exposure. When younger sister Marie joined the act, she made her debut on his show, as well. Let's say you have just been bumped up to first-class for a three hour flight. Which Osmond would you prefer as your seatmate, Donny or Marie? Since I'm a little bit rock'n'roll, I'll choose Donny. Also, he still has very nice hair.

6) Even though Andy was a millionaire many times over, he was still careful with money, once saying he would never pay more than $50 for a haircut. This leaves Sam shaking her head, because she spares no expense when it comes to her hair. What's something you splurge on? My pedi. Which reminds me, I need to make an appointment at the salon.

7) Andy's Moon River Theater still draws tourists to Branson, MO. Have you ever been to the Ozarks? Once, in the late 80s, before it became an entertainment mecca.

8) Andy had a discerning eye for Native American art. His collection of Navajo rugs was sold at auction for nearly $1,000,000. Have you ever bid on an auction? I'm on eBay often.

9) Andy told an interviewer that his earliest memory was hiding from a storm in the cellar of his family's Iowa home. What's your earliest memory? I was a toddler. I pressed my hand flat on the leather ottoman and tried to raise myself. Just a flash, just that little moment, is all I remember.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Before and After

Cute Handyman was here today.

I am happy.

Once again he came in under estimate. That makes me happy, too.

No. Just no.

We had a condo association meeting last night. Everyone but me had complaints and was very angry about something.

Especially my downstairs neighbor Sally. She moved into Crazy Old Neighbor's unit a few years ago. In her 40s, she's deaf and slightly disabled due to a stroke. Earlier last week, when I was picking up my mail, she asked me if I'd sit with her at the meeting and type so that she could see what's being said. I said "sure." Why not? I type for a living. I'm very fast, and it seemed like a nice, neighborly thing to do.

So I'm sitting with Sally, my fingers flying over the keyboard, writing things like, "Kelli wants to know why the building isn't FHA approved anymore" and "Jackie wants to know if the security cameras are working."

Mr. B., an elderly condo owner with a huge sense of entitlement, is on the condo board. He has responsibility for things like the annual budget, establishing priorities for repairs, dealing with the insurance company, etc. He rolled in without a single piece of paper. Nothing to write on, no notes from the last meeting. Just his old self.

As the other owners were getting angrier and angrier at him and the management company for everything that's wrong, he had nothing to say. Neither did Jennifer, the other board member in attendance. (The third board member, Angela, didn't even show up.)

Twice, during the meeting, when someone asked Mr. B. if the board was going to issue minutes of this meeting to all the (angry) condo owners, he indicated that I would do it since I was taking it all down.

"No," I said. Twice. "I'm doing this as a favor to Sally so she understands what's being said. This isn't for anyone but Sally."

The third time when he indicated that I would publish my "Sally notes" to the group, I said, "NO! I'm running out of ways to say it: NO!"

Mr. B. looked all faux hurt, but I ain't buying. I'm a condo owner, not a board member. He's supposed to be looking out for us, serving us, not the other way around. Secondly, I'm not his administrative assistant and it's insulting that he thinks because of his age he can boss me around.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I adored him

If I had a bucket list, hanging around with Ben Bradlee, was has died at 93, would be on it.

World War II veteran (Guadalcanal, no less), legendary ladies man, President's running buddy, Presidential nemesis, Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Washington Post, father of four (including a special needs son), mentor to the two best-known newspaper reporters on the planet, gifted memoirist and raconteur … the list goes on. He was simply one of the coolest, most accomplished guys ever. He even bought, restored and lived in Grey Gardens!

If you're a movie fan, you know him as the Jason Robards character in All The President's Men.

Some of my favorite Bradlee quotes:

"We're about to accuse Haldeman, who only happens to be the second most important man in this country, of conducting a criminal conspiracy from inside the White House. It would be nice if we were right."

"I didn't hire him because nothing clanks when he walks."

Dictating a letter to his secretary: "Is 'dickhead' one word or two?"

RIP, Mr. Bradlee. How I wish I'd known you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Damn you for being so cute!

There's an adorable little girl -- I'd guess her to be about 7 -- at my el stop each evening. She and her mother are selling wretched Otis Spunkmeyer cookies (packaged for vending machines, not fundraising) for $2 each.

This kid looks like my niece did at that age. Very serious, a little pudgy, less than perfect teeth, oozing sincerity.

I hate paying $2 for what I could buy for $1. I hate Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. I even hate their name.* Most of all, I hate that a little girl has to go out to work on a busy street corner with her mom after school.

I've only given in to those serious, bespectacled brown eyes once. So far. But let's face it, she's going to get more money out of me.

*Spunkmeyer? Really?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing  

Ok let’s talk travel, do you like to travel? OK, let's get literal here. No, I do not like to travel. I do enjoy being on vacation, but I find getting from hither to yon stressful.

Where have you been? Decades ago I went to France, Switzerland and Germany. More recently I've been to ... Albuquerque, Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, Hot Springs, Williamsburg, Tampa, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Memphis and Key West. Enjoyed them all and would return to any of them in a heartbeat. (Except maybe LA. If my oldest friend didn't live there, I don't think I'd go back.)

Next place you want to go? I'm going back to Vegas next month for my birthday and am really looking forward to it.

What is something you MUST take with you when you travel? Xanax. I can't fly if I'm not at least a wee bit medicated.

How do you like to travel? (mode of transportation) For short trips, I like Amtrak. It's inexpensive and leisurely and gives you unique glimpses into small towns.

With someone, or alone? Depends

Do you dance in your car when there are other people with you? Since I don't drive, I'm never alone in the car. Therefore, if I dance ...

If you're quiet what does it mean? That I have nothing to say. Usually nothing more.

Favorite scent?  Cinnamon

Favorite store? Carson's. Maybe it's Bergner's or Bon Ton in your part of the world.

Say you wanted coffee.. what kind is your favorite?  I'm sorry, but I cannot stand the smell or taste of coffee. Please get it away from me.

Favorite kind of pizza? Gooey cheese and sausage.

Do you get embarrassed easily? Yes

Do you mind people asking you personal questions? Depends on the person and the question

You have a tank of gas, $50, and the day off… what do you do? Waste a lot of time trying to figure out what the fuck I'm going to do with the gas since I don't have a car.

Favorite tv show? NCIS

Song you turn the volume up all the way to listen to? 

Something you keep in your car? My imaginary friends

 Highlight of your day? Doing a furry head count and seeing that all three of my cats are fine

 Something you do everyday that you wish you didn’t have to do? Pencil in my eyebrows. They are getting sparse as I age and I really don't like it.

 Do you mind if people just show up at your house unannounced? Yes, DEAR GOD, YES!

What do you do when you disagree with someone? Argue

Do you enjoy rain? It was rainy all day today and I didn't mind (except I lost another umbrella). Being out in a downpour though, I find that exhausting.

Letters that cross in the mail

Got another letter from Cousin Rose today (Saturday). She sounded much happier because the problem with her parathyroid can be treated with meds.

She wrote this in response to the postcard I sent her last weekend from Los Angeles, so her letter and the one I wrote her this past week crossed in the mail. This makes the letter she likely received from me today superfluous, because I'm asking questions about her health that she already answered.

Still, I'm glad I sent my most recent letter because I scrawled the sentence, "Keep me in the loop because I love you, you know." I should say that to her more often. She is a good, if exasperating, person who has always been there for me, for as long as I can remember.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The Power of Love (1985)

1) In this song, Huey explains that you don't need a credit card to find love. What's the last thing you charged? I got my niece a restaurant gift certificate for her birthday. I know how broke she is these days and she really needs money, but I think she needs a break from her day-to-day grind of classes and work, too. So I got her a pair of fun earrings and the gift card and I'll tell her to put on the earrings, go to dinner with her boyfriend, and celebrate! Why not? It's free.

2) This song was written for Back to the Future. At the beginning of the movie, hero Marty McFly traveled around town on his skateboard. Are you good on a skateboard? I have never even tried because no one is less coordinated than me. Really. To borrow from Sheldon (BBT), "My mother had me tested."

3) Huey sings lead and his backup group is The News. Was the most recent news you heard bad or good? Mixed. Renovations have begun on Wrigley Field. On the one hand, I appreciate that my beloved park badly needs an upgrade (which might bring the Cubs some good joo-joo). But the photos are sad.

From Before It's News

4) Huey's mother, Maria, was born in Poland. Who is the first member of your family to be born in the US of A? On my dad's side, his older brother. On my mom's side, I don't really know.

5) Brainy Huey got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. Did you take the SAT? How did you do? I'm sorry but I don't remember exactly. Which leads me to believe I didn't do so well.

6) This song also hit #1 in Australia, where anzac biscuits are popular. To make them (the recipe is here) you need coconut. Do you have any coconut in your home right now? Nope. But now I want some.

7) Thinking of dessert, would you rather have cookies, cake, pie, ice cream or frozen yogurt? Yes, please.

8) We're definitely into autumn now. What will you remember most about Summer 2014? I began my bathroom renovation.

9) Tell us your superhero name, as determined by the color of your shirt and an item directly to your right. For example, Sam fights crime as The Gold Kleenex Box!   The White Tennis Ball. (That's not going to strike terror in any dark hearts, is it?)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cue Stevie Wonder

"Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?"

This is my upcoming new sink, The AquaSource Model LL0302W. The thing I love best about it (other than that it's new and white not pink, like my current horrible, old water-stained sink) is that it's so narrow. I have a very tiny bathroom and it will be nice to have it not be dwarfed by fixtures too big for the room.

Next Friday is NEW SINK DAY!

Annoyed at my annoyance

I know my Cousin Rose loves me. That's why I hate how annoyed I get with her. I got a letter from her on Tuesday and I still haven't responded because the tone was so unpleasant.

It's not personal. She's not grumpy with me. Rose is just grumpy. But it makes hearing from her and writing to her so not fun.

I think part of the problem is that her divorce several years ago broke her heart. She hasn't been the same since. As Henry Bushkin wrote of Johnny Carson after his divorce, Rose has "an overall harshness, an impatient tolerance that wasn't there before."

Then there are her health problems. She's looking at surgery for her parathyroid. Now I know I shouldn't wish surgery on anyone, but I've been reading about this and maybe it will help. The symptoms of this condition include "headaches, fatigue and depression." If this (comparatively) minor surgery helps her feel better, well, then that would be great.

Because, as I keep reminding myself, as hard as it can be to be around her sometimes, it must be a million times harder to be her.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'm baaack

It feels like forever since I've blogged! I hope I can get down everything that happened while I was gone.

Wednesday was my last day at work before vacation. I was very happy to get away. I was doing what I could to pitch in on a big project, going above and beyond, and yet I felt my boss was still favoring "the boys," Phil and Kevin. A breather might be good for me and my boss.

Thursday I packed up and flew out to L.A. I still hate flying and four hours is one long-ass trip. Add to that the lingering FAA issues and panic over ebola and O'Hare is just a very stressful place. Plus I was worried about leaving my Joe. My big ol' gray tom seemed better, but he is feline senior citizen so his health is always a concern.

When I got to the hotel -- the LAX Marriott -- I was thrilled by the room. It wasn't big, it wasn't new, but it was comfortable and clean and had a private patio that afforded me a view of palm trees! How cool is that!

My friend unexpectedly dozed off after work and so I had Thursday night and Friday morning to myself. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The History Channel had a special about the Kennedys that included footage I hadn't seen, plus I'm reading The Patriarch about Joseph Kennedy, so it was geekapalooza.

Friday when my friend arrived we got in the pool and caught up. She joked about how since we were seeing each other in October (LA) and November (Las Vegas for my birthday) she wanted me to commit to coming out west in December and January, too. We did laugh a lot and I'm glad that she was so happy to see me. But come November it will be four years since she's been out there. She needs to make friends out there. I refuse to believe -- as she insists -- that the problem is people in SoCal just aren't friendly.

I'm also unhappy to report that she's smoking again. Sigh. She's overweight and already suffered a heart attack back when she was just 40. What the fuck is she doing?

Then we started Festing. I was out there for the Los Angeles Fest for Beatle Fans. We saw Bob Eubanks (host of The Newlywed Game), who was the promoter who brought the Lads to Los Angeles for the legendary Hollywood Bowl concerts. We heard from Julia Baird, John's half sister, a very classy witness to Lennon's legendary life. And Peter Asher! What a career he's had. As a teen, he was Paul's roomie and the first one to hear Lennon/McCartney sing "I Want to Hold Your Hand." (On the piano.) Then he was half of the pop duo Peter and Gordon, with fascinating tales of the British Invasion. Then he became a producer, who literally discovered James Taylor and made all those famous records with Linda Ronstadt. It was a privilege to hear him discuss his life and very exciting times.

Monday was spent in the air. I do so hate flying. I got home rather uneventfully and was pleased to find three happy, healthy cats. It's beyond words, how relieved I was to have Joey meet me at the door. Connie was wildly enthusiastic to see me, and to get fresh food and water. Rey, my own personal Tasmanian Devil, was surprisingly subdued. He didn't warm up to me until this afternoon. Is it possible he was pissed at me?

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Happy Joey

It was only for a few minutes, but big old Joey thoroughly enjoyed a bout of rough housing with little Connie. I was so relieved. It's good to see him enjoying himself and even a little physical exertion means he has to be feeling better.

I'm traveling this week and I'm less worried about leaving a happy Joey.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Two clean floors

I devoted part of today to my bathroom and kitchen floors. Both were filthy. I also did all the dishes in the sink and scrubbed the bathtub.

I think I must be the world's worst housekeeper.

Sunday Stealing

Random 20 

1. Have you had an argument with anyone recently? If so, do you still have issues with that person?  Nothing springs to mind, which makes me happy.

2. Are you talking to anyone while filling this in? How about texting/chatting on Facebook? I'm watching This Week with George Stephanopolous as I respond. Does that count?

3. Have you done something recently that helped someone else, in any way? One of my coworkers had a plant die on her. It was never going to last -- it had been planted into a vase with no drainage instead of a pot. Anyway, I swiped the vase and put a few carnations in it. It made her very happy.

4. Who was the last person to pay you a compliment? That coworker. She told me I remind her of the heroine of her favorite movie, Amelie, a girl who tries to make the world better by bringing happiness to others. Could there be a higher compliment?

 5. Is there anything that’s happened in the past month, that you wish you could go back in time and change? I wasted money by buying the wrong light bulbs and then compounded the problem by tossing the receipt away before I could return them. I hate when I do stupid shit like that.

 6. What colour is your purse/wallet? Reddish brown.

 7. What’s the closest item to you that’s black? The handle of the cat comb on the coffee table.

 8. Think about what you looked like 5 years ago. How did you look different, compared to the way you look now? I changed my hair.

 9. Before Facebook became popular, did you use any other social networking site, like Bebo or Myspace?  No

10. Has someone of the opposite sex ever sung to you? If so, how did you respond to it? You mean serenaded? No.

 11. When did you last hug someone of the opposite sex? Last Sunday

 12. Have you ever seen the film “Casablanca”? Did you like it? Very much

 13. Do you have a relative whose name begins with ‘L’? Tell me about him/her. Can't think of anyone

 14. Are you a secretive person? I can be

 15. When did you last eat? I was eating an apple when I began this meme

 16. If you were going to buy a present for a special person, what would you generally choose? It depends on the person

 17. If I’m going to buy you a box of chocolates, which kind should I definitely NOT get? Those icky cherry-filled chocolates

 18. Is there something you generally always ask for help with? Printing. I think I have to ask IT to upgrade my Adobe.

 19. If you had to give up your phone or your computer, which would it be? Phone

 20. Has anyone called you gorgeous/beautiful today? No, and no one is likely to, either.

That was intense

I saw Gone Girl yesterday. Wow.

I haven't read the book, so I can't comment as to how faithful it was, or which was better. But I will say that what I saw on screen took me on a wild ride. The plot had twists I didn't see coming, the pacing maintained the tension, and the performances were multi-layered and compelling.

As one who watched the Lacey Petersen/Casey Anthony/Jodi Arias trial obsessively, I loved the wise and funny way Nancy Grace was handled. As my friend John once told me, "she is to news as wrestling is to sports."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Rubber Ducky (1970)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is sung by Muppet Ernie. Who's your favorite Muppet?
Abby Cadabby. She's a very young fairy who has a lot to learn and a lot of enthusiasm for learning. Just looking at her makes me happy.

2) Ernie became famous on PBS's Sesame Street. What public television shows do you watch? Downton Abbey and a local news show called Chicago Tonight. I enjoyed the series on The Roosevelts, too.

3) When you were a little kid, what was your favorite TV show? Clutch Cargo, Mr. Peabody, Rocky and Bullwinkle

4) On Sesame Street, Ernie frequently teases his best friend Bert by stealing his nose. Do you enjoy practical jokes? No

5) Sesame Street creators developed carefree Ernie and serious Bert to show children that different types of people can be good friends. Think about your closest friend. Tell us how you two differ. The friend I most recently spent time with is John, so I'll compare/contrast us. He's tall, I'm short. Male/female. Black/white. He's a partier and I'm more stay-at-home.

6) Bert and Ernie share a basement apartment on Sesame Street. Tell us about the basement of the building you're in right now. We don't have a basement here. I wish we did. Tornados are a reality here in the Midwest.

7) Ernie and Bert were created by Jim Henson. In addition to being an accomplished puppeteer, Mr. Henson was also a talented cartoonist. Can you draw?  Nope

8) Jim Henson made his first puppets himself using felt, foam rubber, string and rods -- all items that can be purchased at an arts and crafts store. When is the last time you shopped in an arts and crafts store? I can't recall. I'm not very crafty, I'm afraid.

9) When is the last time you took a bath (as opposed to a shower)? Earlier this week when I shaved my legs. I can't do it in the shower.

Friday, October 03, 2014

I think the worst is behind us

Joey has not had another diarrhea incident since Sunday night/Monday morning. He's enthusiastic about food and sitting beside me right now, purring happily, so I think my old boycat is going to be OK. Thanks to everyone who sent along good wishes.

Now if I can only get some good joo joo going for my futon cover. I cleaned it myself as soon as I discovered it and that took care of the stain, but the smell! I'm trying a "fabric refresher" formulated for pet odors. I hope it works where the Febreze did not. I don't want to risk laundering the cover again, for fear it will shrink, so if it's not smelling any better next week, I'll take it to the dry cleaner.

Ow, ow, ow!

I worked out three times this week, once with my trainer (aka "The Doe-Eyed Sadist"). While I admit to some soreness, it's the kind of hurt that indicates progress, not damage. I feel stronger and more fit, even though I don't believe I've lost any weight. (I am allergic to scales.)

My balance has improved, too.

I am feeling proud of myself right now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My poor Joe

Some time between 11:00 PM Sunday night and 7:00 AM Monday morning, my old tomcat Joey had a sudden attack of diarrhea on my futon.

He's a good boy. He would never miss the box intentionally. It must have hit him very suddenly.

Yes, it was a drag to have to haul my futon cover down to the laundry room first thing Monday morning. No, I don't have the stink completely out and yes, it's creeping me out. (Note to self: Let's see if those Febreeze commercials are telling the truth about pet odors.)

But most of all I'm worried about him. He's very old. He's still social and affectionate, and as recently as Sunday I saw him playing with Reynaldo (albeit only for a few minutes), so I don't think he's in any pain.

But he's dying. Fading away. I know it. I see it. If he has diarrhea again, or exhibits any signs of discomfort, I'll bundle him and haul him to the vet.

But we're back to this again: Am I doing it for myself or am I doing it for Joey? He's approximately 18 years old. That would be 87 in human years. He hates going outside -- the street sounds and smells terrify him.

But I love him. I love reaching out and touching him, feeling his purr and curly paws against me. I love his gentle soul. I don't want to lose him.

But I don't want him to hurt. Ever. I see that as my job, to keep his life as safe and comfortable as possible.

I hate this.

We still give a damn

Sunday my friend John and I went to see Gone with the Wind, enhanced and on the big screen again
to celebrate its 75th anniversary. We had a great time.

I saw this movie for the first time when I was still in high school, released in theaters for the 35th anniversary. It was the 70s. The audience back then thought Scarlett O'Hara rocked. She was a feminist's feminist.

Then in 1989, for the 50th anniversary, I saw it in the theater again. By then the word "bitch" was being bandied about to describe Katie Scarlett.

In 2014, the prevailing audience sentiment seemed to be that Scarlett was selfish and silly.

I find this fascinating, since the movie doesn't change, but this country -- and our perception of women's roles -- continues to.

I'm still the 70s gal. I still think Scarlett is a tough, brilliant but blind heroine who somehow keeps her family safe and fed in the worst times despite facing unimaginable hardships. I love Miss Melly, too. She's the woman I wish I was. Just as tough as Scarlett, but always in touch with her better self.

And then there's the racial aspect. GWTW is filled with happy darkies serving benign slave owners. The Ku Klux Klan is referred to as a "political party." It's pretty odios. My friend John is black. He was one of 4 people of color in the theater Sunday.

When I saw the movie in the 1970s, there were no African Americans in the theater. But that didn't surprise me because the neighborhood my family lived in was lily white. Every movie I saw, I saw with an all-white audience. In 1989, the theater was all-white, too, and I was aware of it because the neighborhood where I chose to live when I left home is racially diverse.

John said he wanted to see it Sunday because 1) it was an event, 2) because the Civil War happened, 3) the attitudes of the country in the 1930s when the film was made happened, too and 4) it's always good to spend a Sunday afternoon with me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Ask Away! 

1. What is your zodiac sign? Oh, dear. This is not an easy question for me to answer. I was born at the stroke of midnight, which for legal purposes does not exist. So my mother had her choice between November 21 and November 22 for my birthday. She chose the 22nd. So I'm on the cusp of a cusp. I've had one astrologer tell me definitively that I'm Scorpio, another that I'm Sagittarius. So I kinda give up.

2. What is your favorite color?
Blue. Specifically Pantone 294, which is Cubbie blue. 

3. What’s your lucky number?

4. What talents do you have?
I write well, I'm a good public speaker, and I can wiggle my ears.

5. Are you psychic in any way?
Not really.

6. Favorite song?
It changes. Lately I've been listening to a lot of 70s pop, specifically Boz Scaggs.

7. How many pillows do you sleep with? Two

8. What position do you usually sleep in?
Face down or on my left side

9. Have you ever tried archery?
Yes. It's the sport I was best at back in my high school days.

10. What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep?
20 hours

11. Do you have any scars?

12. Have you ever had a secret admirer? Yes

13. Can you do any other accents other than your own? No

14. Are you a good judge of character? Yes

15. Can you curl your tongue? Yes

16. Are you a clean or messy person?

That's me on the right
 17. How long does it take for you to get ready? Where are we going?

18. Do you have much of an ego? Yes

19. Do you talk to yourself?

20. Do you sing to yourself?
I'm tone deaf, so it's better that way.

21. Can you name all 50 states of America?
Yes. Is there a prize involved?

22. Have you ever been scuba diving?

23. What makes you nervous?

24. Do you correct people when they make mistakes?
Yes. I'm afraid I can be something of an ass.

25. Are you ticklish?

26. Have you ever been in a position of authority?

27. How many piercings do you have?

28. Can you roll your Rs?

29. How fast can you type?
Oh, God! I haven't been timed in a million years. I used to be very fast.

30. What are you allergic to? Bee sting and erthromycin

31. Do you keep a journal?
You're looking at it

32. Do you like your age?
I'd prefer to be 10 years younger

33. What makes you angry?

34. Were your ancestors royalty?
Not to my knowledge. I haven't gone any further back than my great grandparents, though.


That's not what I expected to discuss over lunch yesterday. Yet that's what my nephew wanted to talk about, and since we were celebrating his birthday, he got to choose.

Now a highschool freshman, his favorite subject is Western Civilization. He loves the teacher, loves the resources, loves the subject. Particularly Rome and Byzantium. When we changed the subject to Of Mice and Men, I was on firmer ground.

I love how much he loves learning, how he relishes that it's harder than 8th grade had been. I was also happy to hear that he still walks to school every day with Anna. He has known Anna since pre-school, his great-grandmother and Anna's grandmother were church friends. Old friendships are important, and I'm glad that he's maintaining his.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: A Day in the Life (1967)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) According to Rolling Stone, this is the greatest Beatle song of all. What's your favorite Beatle song?  It changes. Right now it's "She Loves You." The music is infectious bubblegum, but the lyrics are surprisingly sophisticated. It's a guy giving another guy relationship advice -- I can't think of another song with that premise. And "pride can hurt you, too," is a bit of wisdom I need to be reminded of.

2) "A Day in the Life" took 5 days to record. Looking back on the last five days, what did you accomplish? Not a lot. At work I came up with some content for a series of radio PSAs my client is considering. At home I played around with ideas for this year's Nanowrimo. (November is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth.)

3) This song is the highlight of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, the first album released after the Beatles gave up touring. Critics predicted that, when they abandoned live concerts, their creativity would wane. Obviously this wasn't the case. When has someone underestimated you? I was in a very long, not healthy, relationship. My boyfriend was sure I'd never walk away. He was wrong.

4) The song says our hero "woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head." How is your hair right now? Are you prepared to go out and face the world? It's kind of a mess right now, as I've yet to take my shower. I'm not washing it this morning, though, since I'm going to the salon at noon and I'll leave the shampooing and conditioning to the pros.

5) The lyrics tell us he had to hurry to catch the bus to work. When is the last time you rode public transportation? Yesterday. To and from work. Like every workday.

6) "A Day in the Life" was a true Lennon-McCartney collaboration. Conventional wisdom is that Paul is easy going while John was edgy. Is your temperament more Lennon or McCartney? Much as I adore Sir Paul, I think my personality is more Lennon.

7) "A Day in the Life" came out five years after the Beatles replaced their drummer. Taking over for Pete Best was undoubtedly the biggest break of Ringo Starr's career. Tell us about a time when fortune smiled on you. When I interviewed for my first writing job -- for which I was completely unqualified -- the creative director reviewed my resume and saw we'd gone to the same high school. This caused her to give me a bit more consideration than my experience (which was negligible) deserved.

8) It would be hard to overestimate the Beatles' impact on popular culture. Their story and music have inspired a Broadway musical, a Las Vegas show, two movies and, according to Amazon, 900+ books. What's the most recent biography you read? Currently I'm reading The Patriarch, a massive biography of Joseph P. Kennedy (JFK's very colorful dad).

9) The Beatles are an ongoing boon to England's tourism industry. Fans from all over the world visit Liverpool each year to see where the Beatles grew up and got their start. If you won a trip to England, tell us what you'd like to see. Like Pussy Cat in the nursery rhyme, I'd go to London to look at the Queen. And, like any Beatle fan worth her salt, I'd cross Abbey Road.

Even this All American family couldn't resist