Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday 9

Hello


1) This video for this song begins with Adele and her flip phone. Is your cell phone a simple or a smart phone? It's a smartie. An LG Leon with a cracked screen. I kinda like the spiderweb effect.

2) As soon as her cell is fully charged, Sam disconnects the adapter from the outlet to save electricity. Are you careful about conserving energy? I'm a good little recycler, but I'm bad with electricity and dripping faucets.

3) Adele sings that she must have a called a thousand times but her former lover never picked up. Think about the last call you made. Did you get through? Did you leave a voice mail? Or did you just hang up? The last call I made was to check my home voicemail. Yes, I got through. I listened to a message from my optometrist. 

4) Adele brews a cup of tea in the video. How often do you drink tea? Year round? Only in winter? Never? Only when I'm chilled.


5) Adele told Glamour magazine she like two sugars in her tea. Do you watch your sugar intake? Not at all. Though I should.

6) This song is about reaching out to someone and extending an apology. When is the last time you said, "I'm sorry?" Friday to a guy at work. Only it wasn't an apology. He was telling me his girlfriend spent Thursday in the hospital having tests.


7) Adele was a heavy smoker who enjoyed the habit and didn't quit until 2015, after  doctors convinced her it contributed to her chronic throat problems. What's something you know you should do for your health? Eat less sugar and fat. Exercise more. Drink more water.

 
8) Even though she is one of the world's highest-earning entertainers, she recently had her credit card rejected while shopping at H and M. She admits she was "mortified." Have you ever experienced that moment at the counter when your card was rejected? Not in decades. 


9) Random question: When you were a kid, did you keep a neat or messy bedroom? It was messy then, just as it's messy now.



Friday, August 26, 2016

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 26

Look at my happy kitty
Friday's happiness: Sweet Pea! She's our neighborhood dog. Everyone loves her. A friendly little black ball of fluff.

I used to see her just about every morning on my way to the train, but she's been absent for weeks. I feared the worst. After all, she's 12 years old. Time has turned her muzzle white. She has such severe back problems that when the pavement is wet, her human has to carry her. 

But this evening I saw her! And even better, she saw me, pulling on her leash and waddling on over to give me kisses. 

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 25



Look at my happy kitty
Thursday's happiness: He's fine. Today I had lunch with one of the coworkers who was let go on June 30. I'm happy to report he's happy.

Of the three who were laid off, he's the one I worried about the most. He'd been with the agency for (gulp!) 22 years, which is an amazingly long time to go without interviewing. He has a speech impediment -- a stutter -- and that makes it uncomfortable to meet new people in high stress situations.

He doesn't yet have a job, but he seems happy and peaceful. His daughter -- who just began her senior year in high school -- had surgery for a sports injury in the spring and he was glad to be home with her this summer to oversee her rehab. He's ridden his bike every day and lost a little weight.

His family has money. His father and brothers are all in "the family business," a chain of high-profile car dealerships around Chicagoland. I know from previous conversations that he wanted to go his own way, defy expectations and become an art director. However, now that he's in his mid-50s, with a daughter ready to enter college, it might be time to see if there isn't anything he can do for the family firm. He's also looking at freelance work.

I realized today he's going to be OK. Not everyone in his situation is. It makes me happy.

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 24


Look at my happy kitty
Wednesday's happiness: Clean pajamas. OK, so this cold is miserable.

I got up this morning as I always do -- Reynaldo insists on breakfast -- and was just weary down into my bone marrow. I looked out at the gray and clouds and remembered that today was the all-agency picnic and the office would be closing at 12:30 anyway. So I called in, left an "I'm sick" message for my boss and my art director, and crawled back into bed.

And slept and slept until nearly 2:00! I wish I could say I felt 100% better, but I didn't. I felt icky and ooky. So I took a shower, scrubbed myself head to toe, and switched to a fresh nightshirt and clean undies. Yea!

Then I went back to bed for another round of sleeping. 

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 

WWW.WEDNESDAY

To participate, and to see how others responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? Book, Line and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay. This is book #3 in the "Library Lover's Mystery" series, but it's my first and so far, so good. I'm finding it slow going to start, but that could be because 1) I've got a cold and 2) this is my introduction to established characters and I'm having a little trouble keeping everyone straight.

The feeling I get from this is "cozy." Very Jessica Fletcher/Cabot Cove. Since the prolific author has also written "Cupcake Mysteries," I'm expecting this vibe to continue. (And I'm good with that. If I wanted graphic, I'd reach for the latest Cornwell/Scarpetta.)


2. What did you recently finish reading? Barbara Stanwyck by Al Diorio. I had a strong, negative reaction to this book, one I'm trying to shake so I can go back to enjoying Stanwyck's work.

The book itself isn't the problem, really, though it's superficial and highly apologetic, as if written from a series of press releases. But there's an audience for this sort of glossy biography and, since I knew so little about Stanwyck's personal life when I picked it up, it served as a decent primer about her life and put her work in some context.

It's one of the critical relationships in Stanwyck's life that has upset me. She was a dreadful mother. This woman who I knew first as warm and sacrificing Stella Dallas and then on TV as wise matriarch Victoria Barkley was cold and selfish with her own son.

Once she was ensconced in her second marriage to Robert Taylor, she sent the boy to military or boarding schools. Even though the institutions were nearby, he was never invited home for holidays and summers, instead staying with relatives or -- I'm not kidding -- employees. After her divorce from Taylor, she saw her son once to say goodbye to him before he was inducted into the service. It was an awkward lunch, and they never saw one another again.

What the hell? Stanwyck had a dreadful childhood herself, raised in foster homes and working full time at age 14. I suppose we could say that since she never had a mother, she didn't know how to be one. OK. I understand that, philosophically. But it doesn't excuse/alleviate the pain she inflicted on her son.

Yet this book tries to portray the mother-son breach as 50%/50%. No. The kid had no power in this relationship, at least not in those formative years when he was sent away. So I was appalled by Diorio's attitude. The awesome two-volume bio of Frank Sinatra by James Kaplan shows a good writer can be both clear-eyed and compassionate about his subject. Diorio was neither.


3.  What will you read next? I don't know.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 23

Look at my happy kitty
Tuesday's happiness: Oh, this Cub Team! I cannot believe how good these kids are.

•  The best record in baseball. Again. Still.

•  Kris Bryant is tied at the top of the league with 33 home runs.*

•  Jake Arrieta leads the league in wins.

•  Kyle Hendricks -- you know, the quiet one I always forget about when I count off the starters -- has the league's lowest ERA.

•  And Joe Maddon, of course, the is the coolest manager in the history of ... people.

I come from a long line of Cub fans. How I wish my father and grandma could see this team.

The only team in baseball over .600


Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 


*He hit #33 as I was writing this!

If there was an August Annoyance Challenge ...

Little stuff, really. Trying to keep it all in perspective ...

•  I have a cold. It hit me that I didn't feel well as I walked around on a perfectly lovely sunny summer Monday. All I want to do is sleep, and I think longingly about the days when I could breathe easily. (Yes, I'm a big baby.)

•  The credit card I've used a lot this summer was hacked, and now I'm without it. Chase says they should get a replacement to me this week. I'm glad they caught the suspicious activity and that I'm not responsible for the charges. But this is the third hack -- and the second card/bank -- and it's such a drag.  (I know, it happens to everyone sooner or later.)


Monday, August 22, 2016

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 22

Look at my happy kitty
Monday's happiness: That I can give. Crayola crayons and markers, Ticonderoga #2 pencils and folders in a variety of colors. I dropped them all in the collection box in the lobby of this office building. "Help Chicago Public Schools start the new year right," the sign said. And so I did.

It came to less than $10 -- everything was on sale at Walgreens -- but it did wonders for my heart.

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 21

Look at my happy kitty
Sunday's happiness: Today I saved 37%. I went to CVS with a trio of coupons and at checkout watched my bill go down ... and down ... and down. Yea, me!

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 

Sunday Stealing



1. Do you like blue cheese? No, but thank you for asking.

2. Have you ever smoked cigarettes? If yes, how did you quit? I've never smoked. Anything. Few notions creep me out more than taking smoke into my lungs and letting it out my nose, thereby polluting the air around me and leaving my hair all stinky.

3. Do you own a gun? How are your feelings about gun control/2nd amendment rights? I live in a city awash in guns. Firearms that come in from Indiana and Kentucky, two states with lax gun laws. I am sick about all the children caught in gang cross fire. It would seem to me that sportsmen and responsible gun owners would want this kind of violence to stop. Yet they do nothing. 

25 Chicagoans were shot in 14 hours yesterday. How do you think I feel about gun control? Do not even try to tell me that this mayhem would be curbed if "good guys had guns." EVERYONE already has guns! That's the problem! People who don't live here don't get it.

This 10-year-old boy was shot in front of his twin sister, 5 miles from my home. He is now fighting for his life. Perhaps he should have been armed? (PS I'm warning you -- gun control is a dearly held conviction of mine. If you don't agree, keep it to yourself. You have your own blog. Post it there. BTW, this is why I'm not visiting many other Sunday Stealings today.)

4. What is your favorite flavor of water or liquor flavors? I need a drink after question #3! My preferred liquor is vodka. 

5. Do you get nervous before a doctor visit? Why? Yes. Because I don't want to get bad news.

6. How do you like your hot dogs? Sliced and mixed with baked beans.

And this was taken in Key West! I love Key West.
7. Although it’s been asked a lot, tell us about a favorite movie that you haven’t shared before. Up Close and Personal (1996). It's a newsroom drama, loosely based on Jessica Savitch's life. I like the way it handles local vs. national news coverage. And I love the way their romance is handled. Sometimes we meet the perfect person at the wrong time.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? I have a lot of sugar in the morning -- a Coke and a glass of chocolate milk.

9. In a dating situation, have you ever misrepresented yourself to seem cooler or hipper? (Yes we know for most of you it was long ago…) I don't think so. I try to present the most gracious version of myself -- more Melanie Hamilton than Scarlett O'Hara. But that's not cooler or hipper, is it?

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Why? I wear a black diamond infinity ring on my right hand. I don't know why I love it, but I do.

11. Favorite hobby? Tell us about it so we understand it. I
love classic movies because this intrinsically American art form gives us a snapshot of who we are at any given moment. Just last month a group of us movie geeks were watching Butterfield 8 (1960). It's a glamorous, soapy Elizabeth Taylor vehicle, but one thing about it struck me as rather important. Her character is "the slut of all time" as a result of her abuse as a child. Yet the movie treats her sexual molestation as somehow her fault. We've come a long way in 55 years, haven't we? It's as cool to watch us evolve as a society as it is to watch the hairstyles.

12. Do you have A.D.D., or have you suspected it? No.

13. What’s a thing you dislike or would change about yourself? My chins. I have too many.

14. Middle name? Like it or not? It's fine. I don't use it often, so I don't care much.

15. Name three random thoughts you might have on this week: I don't understand the question. This past week or this coming week? I'll answer with random thoughts I'll probably have during coming week ...
1) Go, Cubs, go!
2) I don't think I want to go to the all-agency picnic.
3) Where did I leave my keys/phone?

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Tell us a bit about them. Coke, orange juice, water. I believe you're familiar with all three.

17. Current worry: Money.

18. Current annoyance: My cat Reynaldo keeps knocking stuff over in an attempt to hold my attention.

19. Favorite place to be in the summer? Give us a wee bit more than “the beach”. Watching the Cubs! Online from my desk at work, through headphones as I run my errands, on the sofa at home, from a stool in a bar, and soon, from within The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

20. How do you usually ring in the new year? If forced (how we’d do that without Judd coming to your house, if you even know who he was) to do something new, what would it be? I used to ring in the New Year with friends in Key West. Over the past few years, I've switched my travel plans from New Year's to Christmas, so my New Year's is up for grabs. Last year I watched Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper and enjoyed it thoroughly. In my fantasy, I'd like to get a hotel room at the Intercontinental in Times Square and watch the ball drop.

Isn't he lovely?
21. What have you done this summer that’s special? Pictures please. See Question 19. I am so in love with this Cub team. I don't think I'll ever forget them. Here's a picture of the league's top homer hitter, KRIS BRYANT.

22. Have you ever walked into a room with just shoes on? Why would anyone do that?