Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Attention must be paid"

As the city rejoices in the Cubs, there's also a very different story soaking up a lot of airtime and ink -- the disappearance and death of Nailah Franklin. This beautiful young pharmaceutical company exec was deeply loved, and her family and friends demanded that she not just become another "missing black woman" statistic. On both a large societal level, and an intimate and deeply personal level, Nailah Franklin's story struck a nerve and that line from Death of a Salesman keeps running through my head. For the full nine days that she was missing, the people who loved Ms. Franklin made sure attention was paid to her case.

Her family appeared in front of every newscamera they could, reminding us of what Nailah looked like and what model car she'd been driving. Friday evening, as I boarded the el, I was one of many commuters stopped by meticulously groomed young women who rather forcefully pressed flyers about Nailah into our hands, begging us to be on the lookout for their friend. (I wasn't surprised to learn that Nailah had once worked at nearby Leo Burnett; these gals had that enthusiastic, not-yet-burnt-out ad agency account exec air to them.) I got home to learn from a local newscast that Nailah's body had been identified. Even as her friends were recruiting volunteers to search for her, she was dead.

It's so sad, yet there's something positive and life-affirming about how people of different ages and races came together to search for and pray for Nailah Franklin.

This woman must have been very special. And, since attention must be paid, here are details about her life that go beyond the tragic circumstances of her death:

Nailah Franklin was one of 5 daughters. She graduated from Homewood Flossmoor High School and went on to the University of Illinois.
Her sisters, with whom she was very close,
held out hope until the very end
that their sister was alive, saying,
"her spirited and strong personality would help her endure."

She was just 28.

Unconscious Mutterings #12

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Crook :: Cop
2. Career :: Going OK, I guess
3. Freckles :: Nose
4. Scramble :: Carnival ride
5. Mistake :: Error
6. Telephone :: "Oh, telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight"
(ELO song)
7. Thank you :: "You're welcome"
8. Obstruction :: Construction (as in Chicago's torn-up highways)
9. 24/7 :: Around the clock
10. SciFi :: Star Trek

For more information, or to play along yourself, visit Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Not as exciting as the Cubs, but exciting all the same

Meet my new sofa. I ordered it from Crate and Barrel. Alas, it won't be here for about 8 or 9 weeks.

The style is Troy, and the color is "seafoam." It's an apartment sized sofa, but it still feels sturdy and substantial, like a real piece of furniture. I went to Wickes, Room and Board, Bloomingdale's and even Macy's, but ended up back at Crate and Barrel. Everything else I saw cost too much or just wasn't quite right. Still, I'm glad I comparison shopped. Reinforces that I made the right decision.

Savoring it

Friday, September 28, 2007

What more needs to be said?

The late Steve Goodman ("The City of New Orleans") is the emblematic Cubs fan. So tonight, when my head hits the pillow with the Cubs as the NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL CHAMPIONS, I leave you with the words of anthem he wrote …

Baseball season's underway

Well you better get ready for a brand new day

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

They're singing ...

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

They got the power, they got the speed

To be the best in the National League

Well this is the year and the Cubs are real

So come on down to Wrigley Field.

We're singing now ...

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

Baseball time is here again

You can catch it all on WGN

So stamp your feet and clap your hands

Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans.

You're singing now ...

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

The Magic Number Is 2

Which means any combination of Cubs wins/Brewers losses that equals 2 gives us the Division Championship.

Just to make this the most fantastically dramatic season end ever, guess who is pitching against the Brewers tonight. Go ahead. Guess.

Yes, my beloved future Hall of Famer, the ninth winningest pitcher in the history of the game, Greg Maddux. C'mon, Professor! Repay my long-term, unconditional love for you by kicking a little Brewer butt tonight and bringing your former team one game closer to The Promised Land.

The Gal Herself does the Middle Name Meme

I've done the Middle Name Meme with my real name. But Nancy tagged me so I'll do it again, this time with my nom de blog. Which would make my middle name "Gal."

First, the rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players - You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

G = Garrulous. Isn't that a much nicer word than "blabby?"

A = Allergies. I have a couple: certain chemicals (like those used in paint thinner and to treat carpets) and bee stings.

L = Last Chance Saloon.
A novel by Marion Keyes, I just finished it today.

Because I've played before, I'm not tagging anyone this time. But if you choose to play, let me know so I can check out your response.

Friday's Feast #17

How are you today? OK. If this slight headache would go away, I'd be fine.

Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis. Grey's Anatomy, L&O: SVU, and Today

What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced? About a month ago we had a tornado warning in The Loop. Between the skyscrapers and the proximity to Lake Michigan, that rarely happens. I work in one of the city's tallest buildings and we were all herded into the hallway and stairwells, away from windows. It was scary because it happens so seldom.

Main Course
If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be? England.

What do you usually wear to sleep? A long nightshirt.

For more information, or to serve up your own feast, visit

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #35 -- Mommy & Me

The Gal Herself
& Her Mom
Are Alike

My mother never worked after marrying her first serious boyfriend, my dad. She was very content as a homemaker and a mother. She loves gardening, drinks coffee by the gallon, doesn’t travel, hates going to the movies, and reads perhaps one book a year. So on the face of it, we have very little in common.

Yet as I grow older, I find more and more similarities between us. Nature? Nurture? Genetics? Who knows? But every time I find another commonality, it surprises me. And, since in addition to loving my mom I also like her, being alike doesn’t make me unhappy.

1. Talking on the phone. We’re both natural-born blabbers. Fortunately we have each other to blab to.

2. Blurting. We’re both very blunt. There’s no malice. We just think we’re stating the obvious, and we’re both surprised when we find this isn’t the case.

3. Cats. We’re both feline aficionados, and every detail of their furry lives fascinates us. We have been known to discuss hairballs and litter preferences ad nauseum.

4. Gift shopping all year around. If I see something in December that would be perfect for a friend’s June birthday, I pick it up in December. I might not think of it again, or it might not be available, come June. She’s the same way. In mid-July, one of our marathon phone calls was interrupted because she had to sign for my birthday gift, which had just arrived via UPS. My birthday is in November.

5. Willfulness. Our styles are very different. She’s more gracious and stealth (OK, manipulative), while instead of being passive-aggressive, I'm just aggressive-aggressive. But no matter how you slice it, generally we get our own way. We recognize this about one another, which is why we seldom clash. (As in, "She's just gonna do what she wants anyway, so what's the point?")

6. Bargain hunting. I learned my coupon clipping/comparison shopping skills from her. Whenever I give her a gift, she’s pleased and proud if I can tell her I got it on sale. I have taken to telling her, “They practically paid me to take it out of the store!”

7. Photo-album phobia. We both have stacks of pix tucked away here and there, not organized in any way. This one is weird, because both of my sisters are very into scrap booking. Somehow that talent escaped Mom and me.

8. We both order our eggs over easy. Note I said “order” because …

9. Neither of us cooks unless absolutely forced to.

10. We both prefer Thousand Island dressing.

11. JBKO. We both revere Jackie Kennedy. When the exhibit of her clothes arrived at The Field Museum in Chicago, I was thrilled to go with my mom on the opening day. It was her Mother’s Day present.

12. Neither of us wears hats. In any weather.

13. Our handwriting has become almost identical.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1.Special K-Toni catalogs her impressive life skills

2. Nicole Austin is packing up and heading to San Fran

3. Malcolm has an exceptionally cool TT about an exceptionally cool (and timeless) movie star

4. yh tells us which movies she could watch and rewatch again and again

5. Nicholas offers an unconventional reading list, where all the books have numerals in their titles

6. impworks vents about cold calls (and who can blame him)

7. Chelle tells us all about a very important young man: her nephew, Jared

8. Behold the Tinkerbell Collection!

9. Thomma Lyn does a little self exploration

10. Jenny McB displays her brand loyalty

11. Lori answers the question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

12. Buck Naked Politics takes us back to the bad old days of Iran-Contra

13. Works for Mom lets us know what her other half is doing while she's blogging

14. Susan gives us 13 reasons to stop by her blog, even on days that aren't Thursday!

15. No Nonsense Girl shares 13 reasons why she's nervous about her job interview -- stop by and voice your support!

16. Gattina shares her wisdom about men

17. Grace muses on life in 2007

18. Bermudabluez brightens our days with colorful Halloween crafts

19. Xakara is in love with 13 other wordly literary heroes

20. Mom not Mum has a musical TT from 1973

21. Harlekwin takes us on a tour of Crater Lake (and she even has a Crater Lake-appropriate banner)

22. Vixen gives us 13 very persuasive reasons why we must visit her 365 day project

23. Nancy researched and found 13 rather unfortunate, but real, names

24. Joy Is My Goal has a highly visual TT about hands

25. DoubleDeckerBusGuy has a year's worth of TT

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heads & Tails #5

Today's theme is PETS

I have been blessed by the company of some really phenomenal, loving cats. A turtle named Bobby Jo, too, but the cats have really been the stars. Rather than just toss a spotlight on one, I'm going to walk down memory lane and list them all. Except for the last three, they are all waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge, and I look forward to seeing them happy, healthy and whole again.

BIG TOM -- a pure white tomcat who, after his untimely death at age 4, became known as "Big Tom" because of the arrival of …

TOMMY -- a smaller white tomcat with a black ear and black tail and my best friend when I lived at home

SNOOZER -- a calico who was one of the most curious, chattiest cats ever

TROUBLE -- an all-black cat, kinda dumb, but very even tempered

ANNIE -- an enormous gray and white long-hair who held everyone but me in disdain

WILMA -- a skinny calico, completely crazy, completely friendly and terrifically patient with me as I gave her a thyroid pill each morning

ALLISON -- The most affectionate cat I've ever had. You could wake Allie out of a sound sleep by scooping her into your arms and she'd still purr, even as she checked who was holding her through half-closed eyes

TARA -- a valiant soul. Tara bore the scars, both physical and emotional, of abuse when I got her. Considering how she'd been treated, the dignity with which she carried herself was enormously touching. Helping her learn to trust humans again, and giving her a peaceful life through the end of her days, is one of my proudest achievements.

BILLY -- Big, big hearted, melancholy and quite beautiful. Along with Tommy and Wilma, he was an all-time favorite and still a little hard to talk about.

JOEY -- As gentle as he is enormous

CHARLOTTE -- My girly-girl, she not only is always grooming, she loves to sit on the toilet seat and chat while I'm putting on my make up each morning

REYNALDO -- A whirling dervish with a huge appetite for life

For more information, or to play Heads and Tails yourself, go to Skittles Place.

One of those little things that mean a lot

I've been trying to remain cheerful. I have much to be thankful for: THE CUBS (!), my niece and nephew, my job, my friends … However I am confronted by a health problem and it's true -- that does cast a shadow over everything else.

I am fat. I am getting fatter by the minute. I may be fatter now than I was when I began this post. And it's not fair. While I've been eating better and working out more vigorously, I'm also taking an anti-depressant. Until my results of my bloodwork come back we can't be sure, but my doctor is reasonably sure that's what's causing the problem.

So at first glance, I have my choice of being miserable or being as a big as a house. I know it's really more complicated than that, but until we get the bloodwork back, that's the information I have.

Yesterday I took a vacation day and I kind of unraveled. No Cubs baseball to bolster my spirits, I went in search of new bath towels. It was really hot yesterday and I hate hot weather. It's SEPTEMBER, for pity's sake! Why is it still so hot? I went to two stores and could not find what I wanted (pink towels with a darker accent color). I'm fat. I have a mosquito bite that is driving me crazy. My body hates me. The Brewers won. And I can't even find towels. All the stores had were solids. Pale pink. Deep pink. Bright pink. But all solids!

My best friend made the mistake of asking, "how are you?" I told him.

He started to piss me off with achingly reasonable talk of other medications and other options. BFD. The bloodwork won't be back for a week, and in the meantime there's still no baseball, it's still too hot, my arm still itches so bad I want to chew it off, I'm still fat, and I STILL CAN'T FIND NEW BATH TOWELS. (I admit this willful, encompassing anger over things I can't change just may be one of the less attractive aspects of my personality.) He wisely abandoned this topic.

Within the half hour I got an email with 11 attachments. He sent me photos from Dillard's, Pottery Barn and Bed Bath & Beyond's websites, pictures of towels that fit my description. The Dillard's towels by Tommy Hilfiger were even on sale!

Then I was happy. He knew that at that moment all I needed was to be left alone to recharge and to do something nice for myself. I may still have been fat and itchy and hot, but I was also understood. There's tremendous comfort in that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Isn't this fabulous?

My first Manic Monday

Mo and Kwizgiver do this meme, so I decided to dive in and give it a go:

Manic Monday for September 24, 2007

You’ve won $100,000 – but have to give it all away. To which charity or institution would you donate it? Just one? There are so many important groups that need help! If I can only choose one, I'd send it to American Humane, dedicated to protecting children and animals.

What do you think is the most soothing sound? A cat's purr.

Does time heal all wounds? Yes, eventually it does. But that doesn't mean the wound won't leave a bitchin' scab and then an ugly scar.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Middle Name Meme

I was tagged for this meme by Mo, whose answers were very thoughtful. I did this before, but I was pretty flip. So I'm going to try again, with a little more effort behind my responses.

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
5. Don’t forget to link back to the person that tagged you in the beginning

A = Audio. Since the 1980s, I have seldom left home without my headphones. It started with the Walkman but now I'm on my second iPod. Music, baseball games, audiobooks … I've taken them all in via portable stereo. I dated a guy once who assailed my audio addiction, saying that it was inherently anti-social of me to reject to the sounds and stimuli of the world around me. Perhaps. But I like to think of it as multi-tasking.

N=Novels. These two are currently atop my TBR pile: Lovely Bones (Sebold) and Crimson Joy (a Spenser mystery). As with most of my life, my reading veers back and forth between serious and fun.

N=News. I'm a news junkie. MSNBC, CNN, PBS, the Chicago Tribune … they all get my attention every day. I look at Time and Newsweek each week. I used to get US News & World Report, too, but I found it hard to get to it. After all, I've got US and People, too. I just hate the idea that anything at all of interest might go on without my knowledge. I think I enjoy reading about Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole's tawdry life/death because it gives me some relief from the war and the healthcare crisis and the Jena 6 and …

If you wish to share a little of yourself based on your middle name, let me know so I can come by and check your answers.

Unconscious Mutterings #11

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Singles :: Bar
  2. Blaze :: Wildfire
  3. Sandwich :: Mayo
  4. Outside :: Sunny
  5. Gooey :: Cheese (pizza topping)
  6. Industry :: Marketing
  7. Exclusive ::
  8. Warranty :: Dumped in my top drawer
  9. Magical :: Mystery Tour
  10. Heels :: Flats
For more information, or to play along yourself, visit Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I can't wait to give it to him

My nephew, a second grader, enjoys watching the Cubs with me. This gives me a thrill beyond all because I remember watching the Cubs with my dad and grandparents, all of whom were gone before my nephew was born. I love that I'm keeping them alive by passing the Cubs torch to a new generation.

For luck I have been wearing my official 2003 NL Central Champs shirt a lot lately. My nephew clearly covets the shirt. So today I bought him an official MLB Cubs shirt all his own. Now that the season is coming to a close and another division championship is once again within our grasp, I want him to have his own lucky shirt.

He is soooo gonna love it!

Friday, September 21, 2007

It was a wild one!

When I left the room to change my bed linens, the Cubs were up 4-1. By the time I smoothed out my top sheet, the score was tied! The final score was 13 to 8. It was a slugfest, with Ramirez getting 6 RBIs all by himself. I was happy to see Kerry Wood strike out two. It would be great to have him contribute in the post-season. Yes, I'm daring to dream.

I had kind of a a rough day off today. It's never fun to go to the doctor and while nothing out of the ordinary is wrong, I'm reminded of something JFK was fond of saying in private, "Old age is a shipwreck." Since I've outlived him, I shouldn't be surprised that I'm wrestling with age-related maladies like weight gain and high cholesterol.

But nothing makes me feel young again like a good Cub game. Hey, hey, holy mackerel, no doubt about it -- The Cubs are on their way. Thanks, guys!

Friday's Feast #16

What is your favorite type of art?
I love colorful, representational pieces. Thomas McKnight is my favorite artist.

When was the last time you got a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner)? Who paid for it? Last month, at work we got free burgers in celebration of the anniversary of the Big Mac. (Our client, McDonald's, paid for it.)

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how emotional are you? 17

Main Course
Approximately how long do you spend each day responding to emails? Wow! I've never thought about this! Probably an hour.

To what temperature do you usually set your home’s thermostat? My thermostat is purely decorative, but I've got the AC set at 75º.

For more information, or to serve up your own feast, visit Friday's Feast.

He never fails to disappoint, does he?

"He" would be my President, George W. Bush. I am a patriotic American. I believe in our Constitution and am continuously amazed by the document's flexibility and wisdom. I want George W. Bush to do well because if he succeeds, my country benefits.

Yesterday, he sunk to a new low and I'm so angry and upset and disillusioned I could puke.

I'm talking about his press conference yesterday, when he took off on the Move-On ad slamming General Petraeus. Now please know that I do not support Move-On nor that ad. No soldier deserves that treatment.

That ad was as dirty a trick as what the Bush Campaign did to war hero John Kerry with those hideous Swiftboat ads. Or what the Bushies did when they likened Max Cleland (who lost both legs and an arm in VietNam) to Bin Laden. Or when they smeared John McCain by implying that his time in VietNam had left him mentally unstable. No soldier deserves that treatment.

It's measurably worse, though, when that treatment comes at the hands of a man elected by his party and his nation than it does when it comes from Yesterday's hypocrisy was so thick that it's painful and infuriating.

My President lied to us about why we're at war in Iraq. Never mind that if we had waited to go in until after our efforts in Afghanistan were a success, and if he had said that Iraq (like Darfur) was the victim of a cruel, genocidal regime, I would have supported our effort wholeheartedly. Instead he had to exploit our fears after 9/11 by tying Saddam to Bin Laden. Cynical and dishonest.

Abu Gharib. Pat Tillman. Katrina. Mocking Karla Tucker. This man is MY President. It hurts when his Administration behaves this way.

It shouldn't continue to hurt me. It should just be what I expect from this man.

But if he is incapable of being heroic, couldn't he at least be decent?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Big 4-0

I was over at Kwizgiver's, and this meme followed me home. I decided to keep it as my own.

1. You're in the hospital, who comes to visit you? My oldest friend. She was there last time (the only time) I was in the hospital. She brought my mom then, and probably would again this time.

2. If alcohol were banned, what would your reaction be? I'd mourn my cosmos and my -ini's.

3. Your CD collection is repossessed. What's your reaction? Embarrassed that the repo company knows I actually bought Bobby Sherman's Greatest Hits.

4. Do you believe world peace is possible? No. But that's no reason not to work toward the goal

5. I'm a genie. Name your wish. Enough $$ to not have to worry about money for the rest of my life (exactly the same as Kwizgiver's)

6. Name one thing about the opposite sex that automatically turns you off? Hate language (racial, homophobic, sexist slurs are all included)

7. Name one thing about the opposite sex that automatically turns you on? Really good hair

8. What are you obsessive about? The first-place Chicago Cubs

9. Leather Face is in the kitchen … Resulting in the end of the Texas Chainsaw saga and the demise of Leather Face! I go into the kitchen so seldom that he dies of boredom.

10. Do people underestimate you? I don't think so.

11. When you're in a bad mood, what will always put you in a better mood? Listening to Paul McCartney

12. What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of the year? Organize my den

13. Do you believe minimum wage should be raised? Yes

14. Do you have any really crazy relatives? Oh, goodness, yes

15. Pretend you're 15 deep in beers. Describe what you would be doing? Hunched over the sink

16. Does everyone in your life know the real you? My best friend

17. Last thing you said about a guy/girl? I told a coworker I thought that since her ex-husband was sexually inadequate, she's probably better off without him. (I didn't know what else to say.)

18. What is the most ridiculous fear you have? Squirrels or clowns. They're both pretty ridiculous

19. Do you know anyone in prison? No

20. When is the last time you ate Peanut butter and jelly? Don't remember

21. When did you last have a home cooked meal? See above

22. Have you ever gotten naked at a party? No

23. Name who you miss. My best friend

24. Are you named after a grandparent? No

25. Who loves you? I'm lucky. I have a loving network of friends. And I still have my mom. She loves me.

26. Do you throw up gang signs? I do not like to throw up anything (Kwizgiver's original answer, but I love it)

27. Have you ever broken a rib? No

28. Last song you heard? "Badlands" by Bruce Springsteen

29. What was the last thing you ate? Pot pie

30. How do you feel RIGHT now? Drowsy

31. Have you driven anywhere today? No. I don't have a car

32. What's your hair like? Think Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music

33.Would you ever work for the border patrol? If it was the only job I could get. But I must admit, it's not a big dream of mine.

34. Who's car were you in last? Kathleen's

35. Where did u go? A meeting of her church youth group. I'm considering joining them this coming summer when they travel to Appalachia to repair/rebuild houses in depressed areas

36. Have you ever been in an interracial relationship? No

37. Is your birthday on a holiday? This year my birthday happens to land square on Thanksgiving

38. Do you have any friends or family in the war right now? No

39. Are you a vegetarian? No

40. Do you worry about global warming? Yes. I fear this story isn't going to have a happy ending for Polar Bears

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you participate, let me know so I can compare answers

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #34 -- Musical Flashback to the 1980s

Thirteen Songs
Partied to in the 1980s

Ah, the 1980s! This was the decade when I broke out of the dull, white bread cocoon I grew up in and learned how to really party … including booze and coke and dumping Mr. Right so I could sleep with Mr. Wrong. And I did it all to a great soundtrack.

This Old Gal is no longer a Wild Child. I’ve grown up and calmed down, which is a good thing since I have additional responsibility, more common sense and less stamina these days. But here are 13 of the songs that are on my iPod because they evoke powerful memories of the days when I could actually carry off big shoulder pads, leggings and impossibly high heels.

1. You May Be Right – Billy Joel. “You may be right, I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for. Turn out the light. Don’t try to save me.”

2. Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield. “You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute. I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot.”

3. Head Over Heels – Go-Go’s. “Head over heels, where should I go? Can’t stop myself, out of control.”

4. The End of the Innocence – Don Henley. “I know a place where we can go to wash away their sin. We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by and the tall grass wave in the wind.”

5. Call Me – Blondie. “Cover me with kisses, baby, cover me with love. Roll me in designer sheets, I’ll never get enough.”

6. Miss Me Blind – Culture Club. “I say you’ll miss me, and you always do. I say you’ll miss me, now would I lie to you?”

7. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran. “I’m on the hunt, I’m after you. Mouth is alive, juices like wine. And I’m hungry like the wolf.”

8. Missing You – John Waite. “There’s a storm that’s raging through my frozen heart tonight. But I ain’t missing you at all.”

9. One Thing Leads to Another – Fixx. “Do what they say, say what they mean. One thing leads to another. You told me something wrong, you know I listen too long.”

10. Rock this Town – Stray Cats. “We’re gonna rock this town, rock it inside out. Rock this town, make ’em scream and shout.”

11. Everybody (Wants to Rule the World) – Tears for Fears. “Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure. Nothing ever lasts forever. Everybody wants to rule the world.”

12. Somebody’s Baby – Jackson Browne. “She’s probably somebody’s only light, gonna shine tonight. Yeah, she’s probably somebody’s baby tonight.”

13. Little Red Corvette – Prince. “Move over, baby, give me the keys. I want to try to tame your little red love machine.”

LATE REVISION: I just kinda threw these up Wednesday afternoon and made more than one typo. Sheesh! My apologies to the composers.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Go with Nicholas on another excursion into the world of socks (if you dare!)

2. It's time to start the music, it's time to light the lights, it's time to get things started at Country Dawn's Muppet TT

3. Nap Warden shares her favorite board games

4. Malcolm tells us which stars were game show contestants back in the day

5. You're gonna be jealous of Impworks' plans or his time off

6. Visit Jenny McB to find out the difference between this 'n' that, 13 x over

7. Sandee's quotes are sure to make you smile

8. No Nonsense Girl takes us through a patch of bad times, the kind we can all relate to

9. Lori has an uncompromising, brand-name TT

10. What Works for Us is an interactive TT, so go place your vote

11. Wylie's TT is hot

12. Nicole updates us on her literary agenda

13. Emmyrose tells us what our bosses REALLY mean in our performance reviews

14. Janet shares her photography

15. Bradley Egel celebrates Sammy's first birthday

16. Bucknaked Politics takes on censorship this week

17. Xakara is grateful for these 13 things

18. Cecily R shares some funny real-life quotes

19. If Siani ran the world, houseflies and 12 other things would be in trouble

20. Head Gaggler addresses the sleep deprived

21. Ann teaches us to speak Southern

22. LA Day shows us some gorgeous examples of the male form

23. Carrie Lofty has an exceptional pop music TT devoted to the Police

24. Joy T's TT is random but fun to read

25. Mama Pajama has 13 adorable children's books

26. Amy tells us all about a subject she's the undisputed expert on

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

A Gift from Kwizgiver

Doesn't that sound friendlier than, "Stolen from Kwizgiver?"

Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. Thousand Island or French

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Parky's Hot Dogs

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A. Brasserie Jo

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. 15% to 20%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A. Eggs

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. Double cheese, or sausage

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A: Strawberry jam is my most favoritest

Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A: CDs covers from music I purchased on iTunes

Q. How many televisions are in your house/apartment?
A: 2

Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right-handed. Pathetically, emphatically right-handed.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. Yes. And that's as much as you want to know.

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. About 5 years

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A. 24-can pack of Coke

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. No

Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. Absolutely not

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. I'd change my last name … to Clooney

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Green

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. Not as an adult. As a child I had a fondness for chewing on the erasers on the end of my pencils and more than once, one went down

Q. Have you ever saved someone's life
A. No

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. No

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. Sure. But tongues would cost you more

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000
A. No. (Didn't I see this on an ancient episode of the Twilight Zone with Steve McQueen?)

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. For $50,000, y'all would never see another musing again!

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A: Oh come now, who would ask me?

Q: Friend you talked to on the phone?
A: Kathleen

Q: Last person who called you?
A. Kathleen (same conversation)

Q: Person you hugged?
A: Don't recall

Q: Number(s)?
A: 7

Q: Season
A: Fall

Q: Missing someone?
A: Yes

Q: Mood?
A: Bored, anxious

Q: Listening to?
A: Coco, by Colbie Caillat (my favorite new CD)

Q: Watching?
A. Nothing right now (I'm at work)

Q: Worrying about?
A: My lunatic sisters (see previous post)


Q: First place you went this morning?
A: Bathroom

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A: Watch the Cubs at 7:05

Q: What's the last movie you saw?
A: Bourne Ultimatum

Q: Do you smile often?
A: Yes. Not always sincerely.e

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A: Not really.

This isn't a tagging kinda meme, but if you participate, let me know so I can check your answers.

Who are these people?

That's how I often feel about my sisters. One older, one younger, different from one another, sure as shit different from me … and both incredibly annoying. I wonder how we all slid from the same womb.

My older sister is highly competitive. She has to be the best. "Good enough" is not good enough. She never understood that Sunday School story about not having to blow out someone else's candle to have yours burn brighter. She believes in stomping out other candles just to make sure hers is the brightest. Fortunately God made her the prettiest. That has sustained her through some of life's rough spots.

UNfortunately, her world is filled with mere mortals. People who not only don't reach her high standards, they don't appreciate her fabulousness. Right now the most unforgivably mortal person in her life is her 18-year-old daughter. The poor kid has never been good enough and, consequently, has never been trusted to make her own decisions about anything. Her teen years have been turbulent, filled with passive-aggressive rage. She became a cutter and attempted suicide twice. Last week, my sister came home to find her daughter's room completely empty. Clothes, meds, phone, ipod … all gone. My niece texted her mother more than once, letting everyone know that she's safe and that she's crashing with friends, including their names in one of her messages. I don't consider this running away. Maybe running for her life, but not running away.

I cannot express how angry all this has made my older sister. A less-than-perfect daughter was sooooo not in her plan! A daughter who rejects the life my sister wants for her is soooo not acceptable! So she has done the only thing a crazy drama junkie could do: she has hired a private detective to track down my niece and bring her home.

I predict this will be the easiest case her detective has ever had. They know who she is living with and they have the license plate of the car she's driving. Doesn't require Hercule Poirot, does it?

I resent how much this is worrying my mother, who loves her grandchildren very much.

My baby sister has quite the sense of entitlement. Her husband lost his job in July. Here it is, mid-September, and he hasn't found another job yet. There are those out there (like me) who feel that perhaps my sister should work. She is able-bodied and both of her children are in school.

Excuse me? What could she possibly do? She has no college degree. She can't be an advertising writer (like me) or a CPA (like our older sister). Does the world expect her to work at the mall or something? Well, yes.

Things are getting fiscally rather dire in their household. She has reacted to it the only way the baby of the family, used to having things done for her, could: they let their expensive COBRA elapse so that neither she, nor her husband, nor her children have any health insurance. Why do they need that, anyway? After all, they have me, my mother and our uncle to come through as reliably as ATMs.

I not only resent how much this worries my mother, who is terrified that the kids are going to get sick or that they will become another mortgage foreclosure statistic, I resent it on my own behalf. I helped out with back-to-school supplies and clothes for the kids, but until my baby sister gets a job, my wallet is staying shut this time. I have my own retirement and security to consider.

All this is weighing very heavily on me. While my sisters infuriate and annoy me, I worry about their children. Kids don't choose the breaks they get. And I hate the toll it's taking on my mom. It's not fair.

It's also confusing. I work very hard to not be a victim. To be responsible. To put others first when the situation calls for it. These are choices I've made. I'm just as selfish, just as lazy, as they next person. It takes effort to be the woman I want to be.

I look at my sisters and ask, "Who ARE these people?" I simply don't understand them. Nor, I suppose, they me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oh, she of little faith!

From today's Sun Times: For the second consecutive game, the Cubs won despite stranding runners all night long, this time rallying from two runs back in the ninth inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 at Wrigley Field.

And I switched channels in the 8th because the team looked lethargic and I didn't want to see them lose. Turns out I was the loser. Look at the fun I missed! Here are my pinstriped heroes congratulating Mark DeRosa for batting in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th.

This season has been just sooooo fantastic!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy to be wrong

One of my all-time favorite running buddies is a guy I met 10 years ago, when he was in his mid-20s and new to Chicago. Warm, generous and very sweet, I liked him instantly. I mentored him at work and became his de facto big sister. He had quite the checkered history with girls. His gentle and genuine personality was at odds with his muscular, all-boy appearance, and I don't think many of those he dated realized how sensitive he could be. I remember many nights of drinking beer, looking at the stars, and listening to him ask how this or that "she" could have hurt him so.

So last year at about this time, when he announced he had met "The One" and he wanted to marry her, I was initially skeptical. He did, after all, have a tendency to fall a bit too hard, and it wouldn't have surprised me if she wasn't as serious as he was.

Then I met her. And hated her on the spot.

It was at a party. She obviously found all of our conversations boring and stared off into the middle distance, cig in one hand, cosmo in the other. I tried to draw her into the conversation by asking if she had a photo of her 5th grade son (previous marriage). My friend adored the kid and I wanted to see who I'd heard so much about. She seemed perplexed by my question and said "no." Now, really! What mom doesn't have at least one picture of her kid?

I chewed the inside of my mouth in frustration but murmured supportive things as a big, beautiful rock was purchased … as a proposal was meticulously planned and finally delivered in New York's Central Park … as a house was purchased in the far western suburbs … and as the three of them (my friend, his fiancee and her son) all moved in. I took cold comfort in the fact that at least a date hadn't been set yet.

This woman clearly was not as into my dear friend as he was in love with her, and wasn't it just making me nuts. All the concessions that needed to be made as they approached the altar were being made by him, and I didn't like that one bit.

The last week, just we three met for drinks. To be honest, if I'd known he had invited her, I would have tried to slip out of it. Now I'm so glad I didn't.


She wasn't bored by our conversation at the party, she simply didn't know how to jump in. She has no interest in sports, which we discuss a lot. Since English is her second language, a lot of slang goes right over her head. She not only likes my friend*, she loves her son. She just knew that neither I nor the other women at the party had kids and she didn't want to be one of "those moms" who bore people with photos and tales of their children. She's sounded genuinely, affectionately amazed by his growth spurt and how much food he can suddenly shove in during the space of a single day. It was nice to see this softer, warmer side of her.

I'm sooooooooo glad that she's not the too-cool ice queen I thought she was, after jumping to that first, unkind conclusion. (Shame on me.)

*Though I still don't know what they have in common beyond their affection for her boy. They really don't interact very much, and that concerns me. However, he is 35 now and I have to let him grow up sometime, huh?

Sad, sad, sad

This much is not in dispute: OJ Simpson and four other men went into a Las Vegas hotel room and walked out with memorabilia. Some of it was related to the Juice, some to Joe Montana and some to as yet unnamed baseball players.

Simpson maintains, though, that this was not a "robbery." He insists he wasn't aware that anyone in his party was armed. He only went to the room to get what had originally been stolen from him, most notably the suit he was wearing when pronounced "not guilty" of the murders of his children's mother (as those children slept upstairs) and a young waiter he'd never even met before. This incident in Las Vegas was a business deal gone wrong, according to Simpson. No big deal. It does strain credulity, though, that it took 5 men and 2 guns to simply, peacefully retrieve a suit.

This football hero's life has become trashy, tawdry and pathetic. Once a Heisman winner and a 3-time NFL player of the year, he now is just ridiculous.

I hope that this goes away before Simpson can selfishly exploit and exacerbate the racial divide in the country. I fear I'm wrong.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a difference a year makes

Last year at this time, as a horrific Cubs season slowly creaked to a close, we fans comforted ourselves with a game of "if only." Most particularly, "if only Wood and Prior had been healthy …"

No such wistful musings this year. Now the great debate is different. We can only have two catchers on the post-season roster. Which two?

• Henry Blanco, last year's mainstay, who is slowing regaining his skills after dealing with a herniated disk in his neck.
• Jason Kendall, who has made the transition from the AL to the NL and has become a real asset.
• Geovany Soto, just recalled from Iowa (and making Lou proud of that decision).

I'm pulling for Kendall and Soto, but Blanco is a terrific guy, too. What a great problem is this to have!

Unconscious Mutterings #10

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Rita :: Moreno
  2. Comedy :: Drama
  3. Polar :: Bear
  4. Idiots :: Rude people
  5. Perception :: vs. Reality
  6. Infected :: Cut
  7. Fake :: Phony
  8. Relating :: Connecting
  9. Distraction :: What occupies me instead of what I SHOULD be doing
  10. Gamble :: Risk
For more information, or to play yourself, visit Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


My cats have special dietary needs, and an unbreakable habit of sampling from one another's bowls. My vet recommended a premium catfood that's healthy for all three of them. This means, though, that they have to eat the same thing every day, twice a day. To stave off boredom, they each get a dollop of canned Friskies on top of their kibble.

The can in rotation right now is a new flavor for them -- Gourmet Grill. All three of them hate it. Hate. It. Even Joey, my sweet ol' fatcat who never misses a meal. He sniffs it sadly, walks away, and then comes back hours later to nibble at it unenthusiastically. Charlotte takes a mouthful from her bowl, disdains it, and then pushes Rey away from his bowl, hoping he has something better. He moves to Charlotte's bowl and tries unsuccessfully to bury it in the linoleum tile. This is the only Friskies flavor they respond to negatively.

My cats are different ages and, since they were all shelter rescues, had different kittenhoods. With their diverse backgrounds, they couldn't all have exactly the same taste, so I figured that they couldn't ALL hate it on the basis of taste alone, and so there must be something wrong with the can. I popped open a new can of Gourmet Grill and guess what. They still hate it.

I believe they are communicating with one another. I suspect Charlotte is the ringleader, because she's the most particular, and has convinced the others to support her in her quest to banish Gourmet Grill. Or perhaps it's Rey, who, out of boredom, thinks it would be fun to mess with The Biped. I know Joey is innocent. He's neither clever nor crafty, and way too sweet.

As we work through this Gourmet Grill crisis, I am reminded again that they outnumber me, and clearly believe they allow me to live here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday's Feast #15

When was the last time you visited a hospital?

April, for my mammogram.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how ambitious are you?
Used to be an 8. But once I achieved everything I was working toward, I found myself very disappointed with "success." So now I'd say 6.

Make a sentence using the letters of a body part. (Example: (mouth) My other ukelele tings healthily.)
Let's eat gelatin.

Main Course
If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?
An annual giving club called "Doing Our Part." Every member has a year to contribute or raise $500. If you could just cut a check, terrific. We'll put it in the bank and let it earn interest. If you don't happen to have $500 sitting around, and many of us of don't, than you and other program members could sponsor a raffle, have a bake sale, etc.

Then each year, we would decide as a team what charity would receive our funds. I like this idea because we would be working together and coordinating our efforts to help others. If my club had 5 members, we'd be able to donate at least $2,500 to a favorite cause each Christmas, which would be a lovely way to celebrate the holiday. (I haven't done this yet because I know it's more complicated than it looks. I believe that there are tax forms and other legalities and I want to learn how to dot the i's and cross the t's. But I'm going to do it someday!)

What color is the carpet/flooring in your home?
Different in each room. But, since I should be asleep and not blogging, I'll say blue, for my bedroom.

For more information, or to serve up your own feast, visit

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #33 -- The "I Can Dream about You" Edition

The Gal Herself
Fantasizes about on a Regular Basis

This TT was inspired by Cupcake, whose blog has on occasion mentioned the stellar line-up of hotties populating her fantasies. She has them broken down into categories: Spiritual Fiance, Former Future Husbands, Boyfriends and Ex-boyfriends. (To protect their privacy, I won’t include their names.)

Lest Cupcake think she’s the only one who has a motel for a mind, here are 13 of the men who hang out in my head.

1. Paul McCartney. Rosebud lips, perfectly straight nose and oh, those deep brown eyes! I have loved my romantic troubadour since I was in first grade and see no reason to stop. This is, without a doubt, the most successful relationship I have ever had. I attribute this to the fact that he doesn’t know I’m alive. Therefore, I can’t piss him off or wear him down, as I have men I’ve known in my boring other existence, aka “real life.”

2. Hugh Grant. Perhaps I simply have a weakness for Brits with too much hair, but I don’t see how any woman can gaze upon him and not swoon. His sense of humor helps. The man just cracks me up. I love his response in Two Weeks’ Notice, when Sandra Bullock tells him he’s the most selfish human being on the planet. “Well, that’s just silly. Have you met everybody on the planet?”

3. Bruce Springsteen. Soul of a poet and a body by Nautilus. What else could a girl want? Oh yeah, he knows how to sling a guitar, and wears his heart on his sleeve. Not one of those wimpy entertainers who won’t come out one way or the other on issues of the day for fear of offending the audience, The Boss understands that he articulates what his audience wants to say, yearns to say, about what really matters. And, at a time when even marginal performers compete to charge the highest ticket prices, The Boss is beginning another tour where the top ticket price is less than $100.

4. George Clooney. Put Bruce Springsteen and Hugh Grant into a blender and you get George Clooney. Politically active, politically correct, artistically daring, charming, funny, and unbearably hot in a tux.

5. Bruce Willis. There’s something sexy about a man who is this comfortable in his own skin. Whether he’s in an expensive suit, exasperating Cybill Shepard, or in a torn t-shirt, tormenting bad guys in the Die Hard series, or in a Bears jersey at the Super Bowl, enduring his ex-wife’s vapid new husband for the sake of his daughters, he’s always unselfconsciously self-assured and masculine.

6. Johnny Depp. So beautiful and so talented, he always seems to be having fun, whether he’s playing Captain Jack Sparrow or Ed Wood. I can’t wait to see him as Sweeny Todd. His joy is quirky and infectious (and, OK, a little creepy).

7. Colin Firth. Oh, these kids today! Swooning over Matthew MacFadyen from the 2005 Pride & Prejudice, as if he was the “real” Mr. Darcy! Come now, we all know there’s only one “real” Darcy, whether imagined by Jane Austin or Helen Fielding. After all, Colin’s Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones movies is just as sexy … and sweet … and sensitive. A 14k dream guy.

8. Denzel Washington. Yes, he’s beautiful, but I enjoy listening to him almost as much as I love looking at him. He has a very mellow, seductive voice. Even when it’s raised in anger, his hypnotic voice draws you in rather than scaring you away.

9. Chris Meloni. My TV boyfriend. Elliott on L&O: SVU is just soooo hot. It helps that he and Olivia are in love but don’t know it. That makes his intensity just that much more poignant and romantic.

10. Richard Gere. It’s a cliché, I know, but this man is like a fine wine that gets better with time. I found him so much more attractive in Unfaithful and Shall We Dance than he ever was in American Gigolo or An Officer and a Gentleman. Maybe it’s the white hair.

11. Greg Maddux. Future Hall of Famer, 9th winningest pitcher in the history of the game, and the #1 baseball player in my heart. There’s nothing that spectacular about his appearance, but that’s exactly the point. It’s no surprise that Michael Jordan or Tom Brady are exceptional athletes. They have the good looks, grace and fabulous physiques of exceptional athletes. Greg Maddux looks like an overgrown, slightly doughy, real-life Precious Moments figurine. Yet once he takes the mound, The Professor becomes one of the smartest, most controlled pitchers to ever toss a ball. He’s not good because of God-given gifts, he’s GREAT because of his single-minded determination and his love of the game. It’s his will to prevail that makes him so hot.

12. Robert Redford, aka Roy Hobbs, the #2 baseball player in my heart. Also known as Sundance. Gorgeous, smart and tantalizingly aloof. No matter who he’s playing, there’s always something about that man that’s just a little remote. Forever the treasure that’s just out of reach.

13. Charlie Rose. He speaks to my inner geek. In my wealthy Manhattanite fantasy, Charlie and I spend lazy Sunday mornings in bed, sharing mimosas, strawberries and the New York Times, making love over and over, but stopping every now and again to discuss foreign affairs, the new Broadway season, and the impact of the Internet on campaign fundraising. We turn down brunch with Nora Ephron and Nicholas Pileggi because we just can’t bear to let our people into our own private world just now. But we will manage to get out of bed and dress to meet Anderson Cooper for dinner. We love him! (My Charlie Rose fantasy only includes Sunday. Even in my dreams, he and I don't have the stamina to behave this way more than once a week.)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Friday's Child compiled a TT that will amaze you. (Look for the one about turtles.)
2. Meloni-loving Tina doesn't seem to have a TT this week, but she's a compassionate sports fan so you should check out what she has to say about the injured Bills player
3. Thomma Lyn has an ambitious, goal-driven TT
4. Even though Tink had the nerve to diss Sir Paul, I encourage you to visit her TT
5. What works for us has a TT that'll make you smile about being old
6. Nicholas takes us on a one-word tour of his bookshelf
7. PJ takes an imaginative look at some hard-to-see characters
8. Nicole Austin shows us the spookier side of the graveyard shift at the hospital
9. No Nonsense Girl, who also wants my TV boyfriend, shows us around her desk
10. Jenny McB answers the really tough ones
11. When she's not drooling over Johnny Depp, Lori explains Murphy's OTHER Laws
12. Janet covers off on a topic she's the definitive expert on
13. Nap Warden knows her baby stuff and shares her knowledge.
14. yh quotes the Blackadder
15. Kendra gives us tips to use in the produce section
16. Kate Davies is very happy, and here's why
17. Damozel gives us an easy primer on the Watergate scandal
18. Xakara introduces some songs she wishes got more airplay
19. WAHM helps us turn crafts into cash
20. Mr. Duck shares his favorite delicious-but-bad-for-you recipes
21. Starchy takes us along when she eavesdrops
22. Annie's TT is a TV quiz
23. Morgan walks us through her busy day
24. Erin's TT is all about … Erin!
25. Amy delivers a tough-love refresher course on how to tell he's just not that into you
26. Mo shares the lowdown on honey
27. Nicole displays discerning taste when she lists her 13 favorite Beatle songs
28. Capt. Lifecruiser fills us in on the upcoming blog makeover
29. The Diva has a great little video about "chubby justice" and an equally entertaining, Smith-centered TT
30. Why not see the USA with Denise?
31. Double Decker Bus Guy speaks for all of us in his TT rant
32. Jackie has a list of thirteen celebrities she'd sleep with (a terrific idea for a TT, don't you think?)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Cubs are making me fat

It's true! During this exciting, closerthanthis Cubs-Astros game, I've eaten a Lean Cuisine (chicken carbonara), a salad and a bowl of Great Grains breakfast cereal. Oh! And 4 fingernails and now I'm gnawing on a cuticle. The Brewers won earlier this evening, so this game is essential if the Cubs are to retain a fraction of first place. If that's not worth gorging myself over, what is? (At least everything I've shoved into my mouth thus far has been nutrition-rich, at least compared to the Hershey's with Almonds I suddenly crave.)

Thinking of all things yummy, this is Ryan Theriot, the Cub infielder who, in terms of appearance, is the quintessence of an MLB player. (Oh, go ahead. Insert your own dirty joke here. We're in the 11th inning, I don't care.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Observing it in my own way

That anniversary is upon us again. It stirs so many emotions and the pain, fear, rage and sorrow are still so raw that I don't feel like blogging about it yet. Maybe in another 6 years.

Instead I'm going to do another commercial for Operation Showbox. This wonderful organization has the ambitous goal of one shoebox for every soldier. The boxes contain personal care items, snacks, playing cards, postcards, etc. -- little things that make their lives better and remind them that there's a grateful nation supporting them.

I'm observing today by sending an envelope filled with baby wipes, Q-tips, and condiment packages (to liven up those bland MREs). It feels like the very least I can do for a soldier who volunteered to go into battle on my behalf.

Regardless of what the reality is/was, most of the troops who enlisted were motivated to do so because of what happened on this day 6 years ago. Regardless of how I feel about this war, I honor that motivation and their service today.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Never boring

This is the Bruce Willis who greets me every morning. This RS cover has graced a bulletin board in every office of every job I've had since 1986. It's a fabulous, all-purpose smirk -- no matter what I'm thinking, Bruce seems to be channeling my inner brat.

I fell madly in love with him when he was the infantile and ineffable David Addison on Moonlighting. Charismatic and different from every TV actor who had gone before, he moved effortlessly from physical comedy to verbal jousting to derring do to romance, sometimes all within the same episode. For me, his most memorable moments are as Petruchio, a swain so cool even his horse wore Raybans, and when he delivers that impossible monologue about the man with the mole on his nose: "Did I happen to mention, did I bother to disclose, that this man that we're seeking has a mole on his nose? I'm not sure of his clothes or anything else, except he's Chinese, a big clue by itself." (I've got the DVD.)

Then I thrilled to his iconic film role in Die Hard. A New York fish out of water, he has to save his estranged wife and her company at Christmas in LA. He was an action hero with no superhuman abilities but a lot of attitude. I still love the dialog -- "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..." "Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister," and, of course, "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf**ker."

While they are his signature roles, there's so much more to Bruce Willis than John McClane and David Addison. If you get a chance, give these films a look. While not all the movies are successful, Bruce Willis is always interesting to watch. He plays a diverse group of men -- some cold, some ugly, some sweet, some wounded, some heroic … and some that don't even smirk.

In Country. The offbeat, remote and emotionally scarred VietNam veteran who still bothers to wake up each morning because he's raising a teenage niece that he loves.

Mortal Thoughts. A cold, feral, blue-collar brute -- a daringly unlovable choice for a newly-minted screen hero.

Death Becomes Her. The milquetoast doctor/cuckold/moral compass.

Pulp Fiction. He plays a boxer on the take and maintains his credibility in even the most incredible situations … and delivers one of my favorite lines in film history, "Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead."

Nobody's Fool. Smalltown titan who hopes his bravado camouflages his terror of his own mortality.

The Sixth Sense. The sensitive shrink with a gift for reaching troubled young patients. And I think we can agree that Haley Joel Osment plays a kid with troubles.

The Kid. A professionally successful but personally desolate 40-year-old who helps, and is helped by, a very special little boy.

Lucky Number Slevin. A deft hitman who is so much more than we think.

16 Blocks. A weary, alcoholic cop who has almost forgotten why he took the job … almost. He quietly, efficiently and unexpectedly does the right thing, surprising himself as much as he surprises us.

Unconscious Mutterings #10

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Dork :: Dweeb
  2. Refurbished :: Electronics
  3. Basket :: Case
  4. Mousse :: Chocolate
  5. Studio :: Inside the Actor's …
  6. 8 ball :: Magic
  7. Masking tape :: Painting
  8. Love :: Sigh
  9. Wilder :: Gene
  10. Lindsey :: Bionic Woman/Sleep Number Bed
For more information, or to play yourself, visit Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday Special #8

~Online Preferences~

1. Favorite Computer Cruising Time? Any time before midnight. Late at night I don't find much that's new.

2. Favorite Time To Write Your Blog Entry? Morning.

3. Favorite Internet Service Provider? I don't know who we have at work, but it's very fast (almost instant) and I love that.

4. Favorite Email Service? AOL. First of all, I can access it anywhere, no problem. Secondly, I like hearing that iconic voice say, "You've got mail."

For more information, or to hop on board yourself, visit The Saturday Special.

Friday, September 07, 2007


As a woman. As an American. And most of all, as a Christian.

Yesterday Tucker Carlson, the conservative talk show host, referenced a long-ago interview he did with then-Governor Bush regarding the execution of Karla Tucker. I couldn't believe I heard him correctly, so I looked it up. Here's how it was covered in The National Review (so don't go saying I'm not being "fair" or "balanced"):

In the week before [Karla Faye Tucker's] execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask.

Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them," he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' "

"What was her answer?" I wonder.

"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."

The ugliness of a sitting governor mocking a prisoner's plea to spare her life horrified Carlson, especially after he looked up the transcript of Karla Faye Tucker's appearance on Larry King Live and discovered that nowhere did it show the prisoner asking Bush to stay the execution.

Let's not forget that 1999 was also the year that, during the Republican Presidential Debates, Bush insisted that Jesus Christ was the "political philosopher or thinker" that he identified with most because, as Bush claimed, "He changed my heart."

I wonder how arrogant, how callous, an asshole Bush was before his heart got changed. I wonder if I'll ever be in 100% agreement with Tucker Carlson again.

I think part of why I'm so GWB-weary is that when you look over all this stuff (and there are literally tons of muck to wade through), Bill Clinton's sex lie looks almost quaint. Ah, the good old days …