Sunday, August 30, 2015

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 30


Saturday's Happy Cone goes to JAKE ARRIETA! The man threw a no hitter. Nine innings with nary a hit. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I don't recall ever before watching a Cub no-hitter start-to-finish. Oh me, oh my, it is exciting! It occurred to me around the 5th inning that I might be watching history.

The man struck out the side in the 9th. Awesome.

What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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

Well, I'll Be ...

If I were a month, I’d be: May, the lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray.
 
If I were a day of the week, I’d be: Thursday
 
If I were a planet, I’d be: the moon. Yeah, I know it's a satellite. But still, I like the moon.
 
If I were a god or goddess, I’d be: Freyja. She was the Norse goddess in charge of your major life forces -- fertility, sex, war and currency -- and she rode around in a chariot pulled by giant gray cats.
 
If I were a sea animal, I’d be:  a sea horse
 
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be: lumpy
 
If I were a gemstone, I’d be: indestructible
 
If I were a flower, I’d be a: snapdragon
 
If I were a kind of weather, I’d be: clear and cool

If I were a color, I’d be: Pantone 294, which is Cubbie blue
 
If I were an emotion, I’d be:  confused
 
If I were a fruit, I’d be a: banana
 
If I were a sound, I’d be: a cat's purr

If I were an element, I’d be: rain, light rain
 
If I were a place, I’d be: the train station
 
If I were a taste, I’d be: barbecue sauce
 
If I were a scent, I’d be: cinnamon
 
If I were an object, I’d be a: pencil cup
 
If I were a body part, I’d be: the ball of the foot
 
If I were a song, I’d be: "All My Loving" by The Beatles
 
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be: comfy



August Happiness Challenge -- Day 29


Saturday's Happy Cone goes to my nephew. We had lunch together. He's growing into an interesting young man. Here he is, just a high school sophomore, and he's very enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders.  He asked me why I wasn't. I told him frankly that I don't believe Bernie can win But I didn't want to pee on his parade. So instead I told him my war stories, working on the Clinton, Kerry and Obama campaigns. He wanted to know exactly what I did. I told him how tedious volunteer campaign work can be, that the satisfaction comes from believing you're doing good, doing something that matters.

This is not how every sophomore wants to spend his Saturday afternoon. He's an interesting kid.


What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Viva la Vida

1) The song refers to the singing of choirs. Have you ever been in a choir or a vocal group? No. I'm utterly tone deaf.

2) Chris Martin sings of when he "ruled the world." If you were in charge and had infinite power, what would you change right away? I'd make hogging space a criminal offense. If you take up two seats on the train, but you only paid one fare, then you are stealing that second seat and should be arrested. The same goes for sloppy drivers who take up two parking spaces. You're going down!

3) Chris used to be married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow. USA Today, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph have all run articles about how Gwyneth seems to annoy so very many people. What celebrity gets on your nerves? That horrible Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond. Shrill, bossy and humorless, both on her TV shows and in her RWNJ tweets.

4) Coldplay's first big hit was, "Yellow." What color are you wearing right now? White

5) Sam remembers when she used to hear this song everywhere and can't believe that was 7 years ago! When is the last time you had a similar "my, how time flies!" moment? Every time I see my nephew. He's a sophomore in high school now, taller than me with such a deep voice. Yet it seems like just last week he was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. In reality, that was 7 years ago, too.

6) In 2008, when "Viva la Vida" was popular, John Grisham's latest legal thriller, The Appeal, was jumping off bookshelves. What have you read this summer? An okay mystery, a lovely and light biography of costume designer Edith Head, and now an exhausting biography, Being Nixon. I'm learning a lot about him and it's fascinating, but it's not an easy read. Complex and tragic. (I know, I know ... it's summer so I should be reading chick lit.)

7) Thinking of books: Let's say a biographer has taken the task of writing your biography. What would you title your life story? The Determined Heroine. I take this from my favorite Nora Ephron quote.


 

8) 2008 is also the year Paul Newman died of cancer. Name a Newman movie. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The film that will always define cool for me.


 
BTW, Mr. Newman was as good and decent offscreen as he was cool onscreen. After he died, I learned how much he helped a children's home right here, next door to where I live. The kids who live next door are in foster care, and the unfortunate reality is that the system separates siblings. Every summer, Newman's Own sent a bus to collect the kids next door and their brothers and sisters also in foster care so they could enjoy a day together at an amusement park. No charge. The only request was that the children's home not publicize it or use his name in their fundraising. I live next door, and didn't know this was happening until after he had passed. A class act.
 
 

9) Random question: Do you like garlic? Not especially.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 28


Today's Happy Cone goes to a new discovery. This is a very little thing. But then, it's been kind of a crummy day, and I take my joy where I find it.

I was stuck in the bathroom (she said euphemistically) so long that I couldn't get to the office before 10:30. Since we have Summer Fridays, where the office closes at 12:30, it was hardly worth it to go in. So I called in sick and went back to sleep. Finally, at about 2:30, I felt well enough to go out and face the world.

I walked to the vet to pick up the new prescription catfood now required by Reynaldo and old Joe. On the way back, I stopped at a new, independent grocery store. It replaced the mom'n'pop that had been there for 28 years. Under previous ownership, the prices were really low but the selection was disturbingly small and the shopping experience was unpleasant. The new owners brought in new freezers and added an island salad bar and a revamped meat/butcher department.

The prices went up, but I still managed to find a nice sale item (a box of mac'n'cheese, perfect for the food pantry, for just 69¢). I picked up favorite Brawny paper towels, with full sized sheets (!), a treasure I can't find anywhere else around here anymore. And it's always satisfying to support a small, independent business. (The new owners own another store in downtown Chicago, but two locations are hardly a chain.)


What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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 27


Today's Happy Cone goes to mlb.com. I was able to listen to Thursday's game right there, from my desk, when I was working. The outcome isn't what I would have wished, but that's not the point. I got to hear Pat Hughes, the delightful voice of the Cubs, through my headphones while I worked on The Big Project and it helped keep me sane.

Really, The Big Project is totally taking its toll. My stomach is a mess. My right eye twitches. It's a battle to keep my temper.

If there were more day games, and I could take advantage of mlb.com more often, I believe I'd be doing much better. I'm always happier when I have baseball, and Pat's voice is like a tonic to me.

What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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 26, 2015

The Ingrid Bergman Blogathon: When Ingrid Met Edith

By 1943, Edith Head was one of Hollywood's most prolific costume designers. She got where she was through energy, hard work, and her ability to forge personal relationships with the stars she dressed. She wanted them to relax and feel comfortable with her and with their clothes so they could concentrate on their performances, not their wardrobe. This approach had brought her much success with Mae West and (her favorite) Barbara Stanwyck. Now she was dressing Vera Zorina for Paramount's production of For Whom the Bell Tolls.


In 1943, Ingrid Bergman was Hollywood's It girl. Intermezzo, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and, of course, Casablanca had all been major hits. When Paramount execs decided that Zorina just wasn't believable as Maria, the influential and highly opinionated author of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, strongly suggested that Bergman take her place.

As was her practice, Edith began the process of dressing Ingrid by just talking to her. It was Bergman's idea that Maria wear men's clothes. Since Ingrid was a "big girl" by Hollywood standards -- size 14 -- it was easy to find appropriate clothes in the men's wardrobe department. The two women were very happy with their off-the-rack discoveries, as was their director, Sam Wood. But Bergman was under personal contract to David O. Selznick, and he was aghast to learn that his actress was being dressed in wardrobe that had been previously worn onscreen by cowboy extras. So much to Edith and Ingrid's amusement, new clothes were purchased and time and expense taken to tailor them for Ingrid. Then they were bleached and dyed to look old and worn.

In 1945, Edith and Ingrid were happy to be reunited for The Bells of St. Mary's. But Edith found the film frustrating because there was so little for her to do. Once again she was presented with a graceful and beautiful leading lady to dress, and her job consisted mostly of making sure the Catholic Church would approve Ingrid's habit.

It wasn't until 1946, and Notorious, that Edith got to dress Ingrid the way she wanted to. This assignment was a far cry from the menswear and ecclesiastic garb of their previous collaborations. Finally Edith got to put her leading lady in street clothes, evening clothes and even bedclothes. The director, Alfred Hitchcock, was known to be very particular about how his films looked, but on Notorious, he limited his wardrobe input to broad stroke requirements of color and function. (For example, "In this scene, her skirt must be dark and full enough to brush against the desk.") Beyond that, he gave Edith and Ingrid free reign. And what fun they had!

Early in Notorious we see Ingrid in a racy, bare midriff blouse. The stark contrast of the black and white horizontal stripes make her the most conspicuous woman in the room. This is the "real" Alicia, sensual and brazen. For the rest of the movie, the clothes we see Alicia wearing are her wardrobe as an undercover agent. Now she's demure and covered up. After all, a spy must blend in, not stand out.

Ingrid was taller and more muscular than most of the actresses Edith dressed throughout her long Hollywood career. Ingrid was so naturally beautiful,and moved so well, that she was better served by skillful tailoring than glamorous flourishes. Edith took great satisfaction in using restraint to make her leading lady look "marvelous."

After doing three films together in rapid succession, Edith and Ingrid wouldn't work together again for decades, until 1965 when they made The Yellow Rolls Royce. I have not seen this film, but in publicity stills it appears that Edith still believed "less is more" when dressing Ingrid.

Interestingly, in interviews Edith gave at the time and in her memoirs, it was Shirley MacLaine she mentioned in connection with The Yellow Rolls Royce, not Ingrid Bergman. Throughout her career, Edith tried to stay relevant by concentrating on the trendy girl, Hollywood's girl of the moment, and by that time,  Shirley was in the spotlight.

I could find nothing about a falling out between Ingrid and Edith and I suspect there wasn't one. For while Bergman may have had fun playing clothes horse in the Hitchcock movie, she was really more interested in the script and character motivation than to her wardrobe, so I don't think she minded when she was no longer the focus of Edith's attention.

Want to read more about Ingrid Bergman's wonderful career? Check out the other posts in the Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon.



August Happiness Challenge -- Day 26


Today's Happy Cone goes to my fur family. I had a rough day at work, especially at the end of the day. When I got home, I was greeted by three very hungry critters. I always enjoy meal times with them because enthusiastic eaters tend to be healthy felines.

After dinner (both mine and theirs), I curled up to watch the game. Each of the cats has taken a turn beside me. First Connie, whose style is to butt her head against my hand and then crawl into my lap for a cuddle. Then big old Joe rubbed up against the MacBook on my lap, just to make sure I was aware that he was aboard the futon, before curling up against the pillow. And now I'm being treated to the gentle vibration of Reynaldo's purr as he lays here patiently, knowing that every now and again I'll interrupt my typing to stroke his back.

I feel their love and I am happy.

What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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.

What if?

If only I had a sense of adventure, more money and more guts, I'd go for this job. I think working here would be spectacular!

Vice President, Marketing, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The newly created position of Vice President, Marketing will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and is responsible for developing and executing strategies to transform the Foundation’s marketing functions. This role will be key to the successful implementation of an ambitious Long Range Strategic Plan, revitalizing the Foundation’s marketing efforts, and preparing for the activities taking place in 2017 celebrating the Centennial of President Kennedy’s birth. He or she will work in close collaboration with the VP Communications and Digital Media, in coordinating content management and new marketing activities for the Foundation.

I like Boston! I know how to get to the Library on the MBTA!

Oh, well. I'm really not at all qualified and not-for-profits don't pay very well ... I hope whoever gets the position aces it.


August Happiness Challenge -- Day 25


Today's Happy Cone goes to sharing my team with America. Last night I had a rough commute. A man asked me for $15 to help him and his sister get home. I gave him a buck and he was all pissy. "I'd do better to steal," he sniffed. Then I ended up beside a man who kept dialing his mother and calling her a "fucking bitch." Not fun, not relaxing.

Then I got home and waited for the game. My guys are on a West Coast swing, so it
didn't come on until 9:00. It was worth waiting for. We beat the Giants 8 to 5. AND I found out that my heroes will be on the cover of the next SI. I'm glad America will get to know these guys. They really are great.

A while back a grumpy gus commented dismissively about baseball, responding to my rhapsodizing by saying she just "didn't get it." How sad for her! For watching America's pasttime, hearing the crack of the bat, watching the ball sail out of the park is so good for what ails me.


What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cubs win! Cubs win!


Kris Bryant, home run, bottom of the 9th. God, I love this team!

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 24


Today's Happy Cone goes to "Mr. Pigeon." I was back at work today after four long, glorious days off. I saw everything with fresh eyes, including the infusion of tourists enjoying The Loop.

For example, I saw a little boy of about 7 filled with awe about everything he took in as he and his family waited for a table outside in the sun, in view of the park. First he looked up at the tall buildings, jaw agape. Then his gaze returned to earth, where he was delighted to see a pigeon, scrounging around for crumbs. Most people ignore pigeons or regard them with disgust. But my little tow-headed tourist said, "Hey, Mr. Pigeon!"

So instead of bitching about the tourists, blocking the sidewalks and intersections as they stop to consult their maps or phones and (AARGH!) take selfies, I should remember that I'm watching people make memories and, perhaps, see something they've never encountered before. Viewed that way, their joy can be infectious.



What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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 23, 2015

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 23

Today's Happy Cone is for a mini-shower makeover. I can't afford to finish my bathroom this year. I haven't got enough saved (especially not with expensive dental work on the horizon), and the time that I was going to spend on/with Cute Handyman this summer went to The Big Project instead.

I try not to let this turn of events frustrate me.

So today I wandered back on over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and got new curtain rings and a new shower curtain liner. The fresh whiteness makes me happy.



What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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.

YES!




THIS is the kind of Christian I want to be.

There's nothing here that's anti-LGBT, or pro "Christian patriarchy," or about judging women who exercise their legal right to control their own bodies.

This reminds me that I should concentrate on improving my own heart, not slagging someone else's conduct, as I strive to live a Christian life.

It's funny, but I voted for Jimmy Carter in my first Presidential election because I was so blinded by anger over Ford's pardon of Nixon. Now of course I understand that Gerald Ford did the patriotic, compassionate, courageous thing and it cost him his career.

Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter may have been the two best candidates it was ever my privilege to choose between. I wish I had been mature enough to appreciate them in real time.


Sunday Stealing

-->
 Name a product you buy mostly because it has a cool package. Nothing anymore. But when SJP's original Lovely cologne was still readily available, I liked it as much for the bottle as the scent. Somehow, for a recent birthday, my oldest friend managed to track down a bottle. It's on my vanity and I love how it looks when the sunlight hits it.


What flavor cake do you like for your birthday? Chocolate

Have you ever been in love with someone much older or younger than you?  In love? No. But I did have a rather energetic intimate relationship with a guy 12 years younger than I. It was fun. We never took it seriously because he wanted children and I was already over 40, so we knew there was no future.

Have you ever had a job you loved? I've loved just about every job at times. I'm a writer, and when I'm writing I'm happy. When I'm revising and trying to decipher input from lawyers and proofreading ... that's when I'm no longer in love.

Have you ever been in a building that was on fire?  Yes. When I lived in my former apartment, my downstairs neighbor had a kitchen fire that filled the whole building with smoke.

 Are you in an argument with anyone right now?  No. Blissfully.

Would you change your hair color to something outrageous if you would get paid to? Sure. Are you making an offer?

Have you ever written a poem for someone?  Yes


What is a place you’ve vacationed at and would like to go back to?  Oh, so many! Lately I've been jonesing to return to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee ...


Do you eat samples at the grocery store?  Yes


What do you absolutely have to have to make your birthday feel special?  Nothing specific. Just a lot of attention.


What’s the last tourist area you visited? Millennium Park. According to TripAdvisor, it's the #2 place to visit in Chicago, and I'm lucky enough to work right across from it. The contrast of architecture and sculpture and greenery is so cool.


Where do you go out to eat for a special occasion? Chicago is a great city for foodies. Right now my favorite restaurant is 312.


When was the last time you went to a post office? On the 14th. I mailed a large box of donations to our troops via Operation Shoebox.


 Is there an item you are saving up to buy right now?  My dental work. (Sexy, huh?)


Are you psychic in any way?  Not really.


Do you prefer a laptop or desktop? Which are you on now?  I haven't been on anything but a laptop in so long ...


Have you ever received a gift and truly did not know what it was?  Nope.


What’s your homepage? Firefox/Google


Is there a thing you enjoy doing, but quit because you are not good at it? Singing




All things considered ...

... it wasn't so bad.

Saturday morning, I went to the dentist. I was finally getting around to having that chipped tooth repaired. I got the old-school gold crown back in the late 1980s and it gave way last April. It had hung in there for more than 25 years, so I can't complain, and there was no discomfort, so I considered myself lucky.

So does my dentist. He couldn't believe that I wasn't in excruciating pain. As he popped off the crown and cleaned around the rather massive hole (it was a molar), he was amazed I didn't require anesthetic and kept telling me how brave I was. I wasn't brave. I truly felt little if anything. He says the tooth isn't dead, but the nerves must have retracted. He needed to screw in a trio of tiny pins to add strength first to the temporary filling and then for the new crown. Now for that procedure, I requested and got Novocaine.

He did all this in less than an hour. His office is conveniently located and offers a pleasant view of the park. I believe him that he doesn't do any unnecessary procedures, and his techniques and equipment are more modern than those used at the dental office I'd been going to for decades.

I don't like him, though. He makes lots of jokes, presumably to put me at ease, but I don't enjoy them. And this is going to be expensive. We didn't talk about the cost because, what the hell, it has to be done and I have insurance. I wouldn't be surprised if this didn't end up costing me about $800, and I'd be lying if I said that didn't make me wince (perhaps more than the procedure).


August Happiness Challenge -- Day 22

Saturday's Happy Cone goes to my new Bissell Aeroswift 1009. It was the cheapest vacuum clearner at Bed, Bath and Beyond (even cheaper because I used one of those ubiquitous coupons they keep sending me), and yet it works very well. It's light, the cup is easy to clean, and it picked up enough fur for me to build a second Reynaldo.

I needed this vacuum because the cord on my ancient Dirt Devil upright was frayed and dangerous. That sucker is easily 12-15 years old, and the technology has progressed so much in that time. It was considered "lightweight" back in the day,
but now I'm dreading the hassle of hauling it down to the dumpster.

I'm also proud of myself for having actually used my new little Bissell Aeroswift 1009. Besides grocery shopping and laundry, I've done precious little that's productive over my extended weekend away from work and The Big Project.

What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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.

Guess who came from behind!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday 9

Hello, Dolly!

1) This song is about a woman returning to the town where she was happiest. How many towns have you lived in? Just two.

2) Crazy Sam played Ernestina in her high school production of Hello, Dolly! and still remembers one of her lines: "Hey, you with the big ears! What are you doing after the show?" Tell us something that you memorized for school that is still rattling around in your brain. "Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe." Jabberwocky. Quite possibly the most useless thing rattling around in this old head of mine.

3) This week's featured artist, Louis Armstrong, got his start entertaining diners on riverboat dinner cruises. Have you ever taken a dinner cruise? Christmastime, years and years ago. My friend in the Keys has a December 22 birthday. I was visiting him and we celebrated with a tasty dinner while watching the sunset into the Gulf of Mexico.

4) Armstrong took his nickname, "Satchmo," from "Satchel Mouth" -- a slang term for someone with a wide mouth, which Louis believed was his most distinguishing feature. What do you think people notice first about you? I've been told it's my very green eyes. I suspect it's my multiple chins.

5) In 1936, Louis became the first African American to get featured billing in a Hollywood movie. Have you seen any of this summer's big movies? Inside Out, Spy, Jurassic World, Trainwreck, Man from UNCLE. For what it's worth, I think this summer the ladies have it. Spy and Trainwreck were my favorites.

6) When "Hello, Dolly" composer Jerry was growing up, he was close to an aunt named Belle who encouraged his love of music. Tell us about one of your aunts or uncles. My Aunt Jo was my dad's baby sister and my godmother. She didn't move from the Chicago suburbs to the Tampa suburbs until she was nearly 40, but she considers herself as Southern as Dolly Parton. Her passions include country music, motorcycles and NASCAR!

7) Though famous for composing the scores of Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage Aux Folles, Jerry Herman can't read music. Can you? Nope

8) Now retired, Mr. Herman lives in Miami. This is Miami's "wet season," which lasts into October. When did it last rain where you are? Tuesday night it rained, as my old neighbor would have said, "like a sovunagun."

9) Random question: Have you suffered a sunburn this summer? Not yet. And hopefully I won't.
 

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 21


Friday's Happy Cone goes to  walk in the park. I can't believe it. Here it is the end of August and I strolled through one of our parks for the first time. Really, I hadn't been there since last fall! It was charming. Kids on bikes, moms with strollers, dogs on very long leashes ... everyone enjoying the lush green and the feathery tall reed grass.

What's that you say? What's the August Happiness Challenge?

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 chocolate cone. 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.