Saturday, May 31, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #23

I haven't muttered in ages! But tonight I'm jumping back in …

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

Gossipping :: Good clean fun
Misplaced :: Loyalty
Spaceship :: Jefferson
Ignore :: Look the other way
Bodily :: Function
Tweezers :: Tweezerman (my favorite brand)
Goodnight :: Tonight (An old Paul McCartney song)
Curls :: WavesFaucet :: Sink
Right :: Left

For more information, or to play along yourself, click here.

Admitting a problem is the first step to solving it

I am such a geek! I'm actually watching the DNC Rules Committee discuss the Michigan and Florida mess!

I started feeling better a little before noon, grabbed my headphones and listened to the Cubs game (we won, naturally) as I ran errands and got my 10,000 steps in.

But I'm home now. Perfectly content to stay on the couch and enjoy the opportunity to peer behind the curtain and see how my party really operates. A beer would make this Saturday pretty damn perfect. I've partied enough this week. I'm happy to indulge my powerful inner geek.

Go, Cubs, Go!

"Hey, Chicago, what do you say? Cubs are gonna win today!"

And, while we're within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, we do. We win in routs, we win in extra-inning squeakers, and yesterday, we came from behind to win. At one point my Boys in Blue were down 9-1, and yet, how does that final box score read?

CUBS WIN 10-9!

Too make it even more fabulously cool, among the hitting heroes were Edmonds, Blanco and Hoffpauir (who?). As Lou told it, ''What can I say? We took a few guys out to rest, and the replacements kept battling. I got excited on the bench … it was the loudest I've heard this place. It was almost deafening. It was our day.''

"Our day?" Hell, Lou! Why can't it be OUR YEAR?

Well, that was sure humbling

As I left the matinee of Sex and the City I slipped into yesterday -- taking advantage of the first Friday afternoon off that my agency gives us each summer -- I was feeling very positive about my life.

Yeah, I'm fat. And no, I can't spend money redecorating my home (no matter how much it needs it) while my job appears precarious.

But I was productive this week, getting what I'm confident will be well-received work done for my client. Went to the theater and saw a silly but delightfully dirty musical, Avenue Q. Before the show, we dined at a popular theater district menu and enjoyed a delicious meal off the prix fixe menu (I had steak diane, a martini and a sinful chocolate confection for dessert). The next night, I went to the movies and thoroughly enjoyed beer and a pork sandwich for less than $15 (with tip). I thought about the yin and yang of entertainment and dining available to me in Chicago, and how lucky I am to have friends to enjoy it all with.

Then at about 2:00 AM this morning … and that heavy meat and booze caught up with me because … well, let's just say my overnight hours were unpleasant. As if that wasn't uncool enough, as I was looking for Immodium AD in my medicine chest, I came upon a forlorn, unopened box of condoms that were (sniffle, snob) PAST THE EXPIRATION DATE!

Yes, I feel very sexy this morning.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT!

Sex and the City, of course. At more than 2 hours, it's a little long … and Stanford was given so little to do it was almost distracting to have him in the movie at all. But I love these characters and their stories so, it was great to see them again and in new situations.

The movie completely understands its own appeal. It's a celebration of romance and friendship. The romance of city life … the romance of self-actualization and an idealistic belief in life's possibilities … the romance of, well, love and finding The One. While my friends and I will never be as wealthy, nor as well-dressed, nor as well-laid as this quartet, we will always be there for one another. That friendship can motivate us to be better, kinder and more forgiving is a true and powerful idea, and one we don't see onscreen very often.

I would have guessed Miranda

Take this test!
Smart, driven, and the kind of girl that could be the star of any show, it's no surprise you lead the pack. Whether trying out a new hairstyle or mixing and matching your wardrobe, with a look and a lifestyle all your own, you're sure to inspire those around you. You're honest about what you want out of life — even when all you really want is the latest Balenciaga bag or a corner table in a hot new restaurant.

But your playful exterior doesn't fool everyone — deep inside you've got a lot on your mind and it shows. Standing by your friends, working hard, and always staying a step ahead (while, of course, doing it in Manolo Blahniks), isn't exactly easy. So now that everything else is in place, we couldn't help but wonder — is your next great romance right around the corner?

Sad in the City

I was sooo happy yesterday! At a few minutes before 5:00, a former coworker of mine (she's now at another agency) called and told me she scored a pair of free passes to the sneak preview of Sex and the City. Did I want to join her? Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

We had dinner and shared a pitcher of beer and gossiped a while, then I started looking about for our server so we could settle the check. The movie started at 8:00 and I wanted to be line by 7:00. I've been to many a free sneak preview at this very theater and know they overbook and that people are often turned away. It even says on the pass that having a ticket doesn't guarantee a seat.

She scoffed, saying that these passes were given to her by a VENDOR THROUGH WORK, whereas my passes were always just a free perk for being an Entertainment Weekly subscriber, so they HAD to be more exclusive. She had one last beer and we wandered over to the theater, in line by 7:30.

We were in the 8:00 show, alright. The 8:00 showing of Ironman. As soon as we got in line, the usher announced that the free sneak preview of Sex and the City was already full. (Sniffle, sniffle.)

Oh well, Ironman was very entertaining. (I have such a crush on Robert Downey, Jr.'s voice) I enjoyed dinner. And my former coworker remains one of the sweetest people ever. Naturally and effortlessly gorgeous, she is always quick to compliment. ("Your natural haircolor is so pretty! Why did you ever color it?") So in all, it was a nice evening.

But I WILL see Sex and the City before the weekend is over. I MUST!

PS As we left the theater last night at a little after 10:00, a group of girls were already in line, tickets in hand, for the midnight show. I believe that makes Sex and the City the chick-flick equivalent of Star Wars.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's Titled "Survey Addicts Anonymous"

So clearly Kwizgiver meant it for me!

Do you wear slippers? No

How many pictures are in your living room? 5

Do you wear a bra to bed at night? No

Do you ever watch Brady Bunch reruns? I have

Are you allergic to anything? Bee stings, morphine and erythromycin

When was the last time you called in sick? A week ago Friday (I was celebrating Mammogram Day)

Have you ever been in a car accident? No

What is your favorite snack food? It changes. Currently Cheez-It

Do you think you have a big butt? Everyone thinks I have a big butt

Would you like to look like your mom when you are her age? Sure

Have you ever seen a tornado? No

Do you think Barack Obama is sexy? No (It's the ears; besides, I think it would be ooky to be hot for the President)

If you won a million dollars, what would you buy first? Pay off my mortgage

What time is it right now? 4:59

Are you pregnant? No

Have you ever been pregnant? No

Do you like men who wear pink shirts and flip-flops? Together? At once? I'm reserving judgment till I see it

How many pairs of shoes do you own? 11 fewer than before I dropped those bags off Goodwill last Saturday

Do you think you are a hypocondriac? No

Do you own a dictionary? Yes

Where was the last place you went on vacation? Atlanta

Do you talk about your friends behind their back? Yes

Are you actually fat but are in complete denial about it? Yes

What color is your mouse pad? Don't use one

Does your kitchen have a theme? No

Do you like to mow the yard? I don't have a yard

Are you addicted to using Febreze? Addicted? No. Though I am a frequent/chronic user.

What is your ring size? 9

When was the last time you consumed alcohol? Last night

Do you know someone who gets food stamps? I don't think so

Do you have a basement in your home? No

Are you still in love with 1 of your exes? Yes. I don't stop loving people just because we've moved on.

Any big plans for the summer? No

What is your favorite comfort food? Pasta. Cheesey pasta

Do you prefer broccoli or asparagus? Asparagus

What color are your bedroom walls? Blue

Who do you live with? Joey, Charlotte and Rey

Which Star Wars movie is your favorite? I only saw the first one

How about Harry Potter? Never read the books, never saw the movies

What was the last movie you saw in theatres? I'm seeing SATC tonight!

Did you get the popcorn or the candy? Yes

What is the most romantic text in your inbox? I don't have any

Have you ever played miniature golf on a date? Yes

What's a phrase you overuse? Probably includes the word "fuck"

Where do you buy most of your shoes? I am very fair and spread the wealth

Do you always use good grammer? Usually

Do you have an accent or a speach impediment? I speak with broad, nasal a's and lisp slightly

What did you eat today? QP w/cheese

What do you do at work? Sell shit through the mail

Do you know the rules to any sports? Yes

Do you prefer to watch or play sports? Yes

What is your favorite kind of hat to wear? None

Do you pray? Of course

Who do you pray to? Jesus

What is the closest mountain to your house? I don't know

When is the next time you will move? When I'm drooling and ready to be institutionalized

Isn't there something better you could be doing right now? Yes

Is there anything good on TV? Always!

Does your significant other have a myspace? I don't have one

What is your dream marriage proposal? Hmmmm ... coming up blank here

What are your nicknames and who gave them to you? Most recent ones are from my friend, Chad.

How often do you wear jewelery? Daily

What size engine is in your vehicle? I don't have a vehicle

What do you need to do tomorrow? Groceries and/or laundry

Who do you hope never to see again? Like Beetlejuice, I believe it's better not to say his name

Which friend of yours lives the farthest away? My best friend

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #69 -- Just in time for summer reading! 13 REALLY popular authors


I love statistics. You can slice them and dice them a million ways until you come up with something new.

Take, for example, the New York Times Best-Seller List.

It exists to tell us which books are being purchased in the biggest numbers. But it can give us more than that. Which book sold the most? Which book sold a lot the longest? Or, as in today's TT, which is …

Authors who have had the most titles on
the New York Times Best-Seller List/Fiction

1. Stephen King (29 different books)

2. Danielle Steel (27)

3. James Patterson (23)

4. John Grishan (17)

5. Mary Higgins Clark (14)
5. Patricia Cornwell (14)

6. Tom Clancy (12)

7. Janet Evanovich (11)

8. Dean R. Koontz (10)

9. James Michener (9)

10. Sue Grafton (8)
10. Sidney Sheldon (8)
10. James Patterson (8)

11. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (7)
11. Robert Ludlum (7)
11. Daphne du Maurier (7)
11. John LeCarre (7)
11. J. K. Rowling (7)

12. Nora Roberts (6)

13. Michael Crichton (5)
13. Nicholas Sparks (5)

Thanks to Hawes for doing most of the heavy lifting for me.

Include your link in comments and I'll add you here:
1. Tink has a slideshow of the beautiful figurines in her home
2. Lost Hemisphere shares broken cards that nobody has broken yet
3. Hootin' Ani gives her topical take on the Domino Effect
4. Anthony North explains reality. Really!
5. Malcolm looks at books, too, but the non-fiction variety
6. Sue answers 13 questions
7. Michelle's TT includes a picture of David Cassidy looking dreamy
8. Chelle takes us back to the 1980s
9. Fishingaround has quite the TBR pile!
10. Gypsy Princess has a thrifty TT
11. Sandy shares a prayer
12. Janet's TT has a certain "flair"
13. Shaunesay talks books, too
14. Journeywoman has a movie TT, and I love movie TTs
15. Susan Helene Gottfried anticipates summer
16. Lori helps kickstart our social lives
17. Faith takes us around Fort Worth
18. Claudia's TT is delicious, and smells good, too
19. SJ Reidhead manages our expectations for her TT
20. Alice Audrey tempts us to read Suzie's House
21. Winter confronts evil
22. Gray Matters has done a LOT of work around the house!
23. Maribeth's TT has a decidedly orange cast to it this week
24. B Boys Mom has an ambitious to-do list
25. Adelle gives Canadians their props
26. Marcia's TT is outdoorsy
27. Mo's TT is devoted to "the hounds"
28. Debbie shares 13 quotes

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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Kathy (see entry below) DID call the animal shelter after all, and they will board her cats for as long as need be … all in exchange for volunteer work.

Ok, I can be an ass. I admit it. But the important thing is that her cats will be safe and well cared for, and Kathy has the time to think rationally and make the right decision for them long-term.

I'm downright giddy about this happy ending! I have a very difficult time NOT diving in and running the show when critters and kids are involved. We adults choose our paths, but critters and kids are like corks on the water, just bouncing wherever the waves take them. It's up to us to make sure they fare well. Kathy's inaction about her cats' safety and well-being was making me NUTS!

But it was temporary. She did call the shelter using my vet's name, and now all is right in the world.

When life imitates art ... or a classic sitcom rerun

I watched M*A*S*H last night. It was an episode where best friends Hawkeye and BJ got into a fight, said terrible things to and about each other, and ended up just as close as ever before the half hour came to a close. It hit home because it helped me confront and work through my guilt over my anger at my friend Kathy.

I heard from her a great deal this past weekend as I helped her (tried to help her) find a new home for her cats. My frustration mounted and mounted because she asked my advice and then didn't follow it. Her refrain as she works through this awful situation is, "through no fault of my own" and "I know it's not my fault."

Dammit! If it's not her fault, whose fault is it?

This is the fourth career she's tried, and failed at, in the 25 years we've known each other. She's cruising toward her second bankruptcy. She's simply not a businesswoman. My heart goes out to her -- at 61, she must know the rest of her life is not going to be as easy as she'd envisioned. I know the worry and regret must be eating away at her. I understand that it's to be expected that she will become increasingly undone as we approach June 6, the day she loses her apartment and has to move in with her daughter. (A daughter whose home is being foreclosed upon, as well.)

On the other hand, it's normal for me to get angry at her. She hands me a situation, asks me to fix it, and then refuses to listen to me. I spoke my vet, who told me that there's a local animal shelter that helps with hardship cases like Kathy's, providing "foster care" for her cats until she knows for sure where she'll be living. Her cats will be safe and together and in exchange, Kathy has to pay whatever she can -- presumably to reimburse the shelter for food, litter and any necessary medical care, but really to make sure she's serious about wanting them back. My vet even gave Kathy permission to use her name when contacting the animal shelter, even though they've never met. I thought this was very kind of my vet. I told Kathy about this and offered to pay up $300 for her cats myself.

She never called the shelter. Her notes are "scribbles" and hard to read … she keeps hoping her daughter's dog will get used to the cats … Etc., etc., etc. I have warned Kathy that as the weather gets warmer, shelter space becomes more and more precious because puppy/kitten season will be upon us, and she must call the shelter and see if they'll reserve a space. To no avail. And I bet that, around the 4th of July, "through no fault of her own," she will end up giving those cats away to complete strangers because her new apartment won't allow pets and all the shelters will be full up. It feels as though, once again, she's setting herself up for victimhood.

I know pointing this out to her would be cruel, and so I won't. But there's no harm in sharing my anger with my blog. Venting here helps me stay supportive to her when the situation calls for it. And, just like the soldiers of the 4077, my friends and I can clash but still care about each other.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Does he prefer Sir Paul or Dr. Paul?


Paul McCartney can now add one more honor to the numerous awards, accolades and the knighthood he has already received. The ex-Beatle on Monday was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.

In granting the honorary degree to McCartney — Sir Paul McCartney since he was knighted in 1996 — the university said no one compares with the legendary songwriter.

Yale said the 65-year-old McCartney awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock, roll, rhythm and blues.

A toast to a versatile artist

Sydney Pollack died today, reportedly of stomach cancer. He was 73. I loved his work.

He directed my all-time favorite movie, The Way We Were. His work behind the camera also included big hits like Tootsie and the Oscar-winning Out of Africa. For someone as rough and tough as Pollack seemed, he worked beautifully with actresses as formidable and diverse as Fonda and Streisand and Dunaway and Nicole Kidman.

If Sydney Pollack was involved, it was always a quality piece of work. Recount, the HBO movie about Florida in 2000 that just premiered this week, was produced by Pollack, as was Michael Clayton.

He was a compelling presence onscreen, too, playing Clooney's challenging and ethically-challenged boss in Michael Clayton and Will's warm and wonderful (but still flawed) dad on Will and Grace.

Even more impressive than his filmwork is the fact that Mr. Pollack is survived by his wife, Claire, whom he married in 1958. A half-century together. That's an almost impossible feat, even for couples who aren't in Hollywood.

My own Moment of Rememberance

At 3:00 at Wrigley Field -- and at all MLB parks -- a Moment of Remembrance was observed. It was a sweet and gentle reminder that today is about more than the beginning of summer and an opportunity for me to chill out on the sofa. I was especially moved by the sight of a quartet of young sailors, in uniform, at the ballpark and enjoying the game but obviously ready to go off to fight … and die. I was reminded of a later verse of "America, the Beautiful," and my Memorial Day prayer is for those who are responsible for sending our young people off to combat do so wisely:

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
Who more than self the country loved,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine.

The Memorial Day 4 day/4 bag challenge

My packrat tendencies overwhelm me at times. That's why, for this weekend, my best friend issued the following challenge: come up with 4 bags to donate to Goodwill -- 4 bags/4 days. I am proud to announce that I did it! I parted with 7 pairs of shoes, a new pair of slippers, 3 t-shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 sweaters, a purse, 2 eyeglass cases, 2 makeup pouches, a music box, a pair of umbrellas, 5 hardcover books and 4 paperbacks. C'mon, everybody, let's give this Gal a big "atta girl!"

Of course, this still doesn't address the various and sundry papers scattered about my dining room table, but 4 bags in 4 days (3 days, actually!) is still quite an accomplishment.

I also pampered myself with breakfast out and, even better, a massage right here in town. I deserved it because I was such a good girl, rising to the Memorial Day Challenge. Also she does a very nice job, paying extra attention to my palms and shoulders, adding reflexology to the basic Swedish massage.

Naturally there was Cubs baseball, too. But it's best not to dwell on that.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hi, I'm Old!

This coming week, Joe Namath -- one of the lions of my girlhood -- turns 65. Oh, how I loved him! It's hard to fathom how the rebel who outraged every adult I knew could possibly be a senior citizen.

Jake Gyllenhaal has been cast to play ol' Broadway Joe in an upcoming movie biography. I hope the movie is good. Joe Willie has had quite a life. He lent credibility to the AFL and single handedly turned the Super Bowl into an event. Yet I'm afraid if he's remembered at all, it's as the goofy drunk who hit on Suzy Kolber on national TV. That makes me sad.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home

After losing two extra-inning games in a row in Pittsburgh, my Cubs come home to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field to host the Dodgers and the Rockies. I'm looking forward to these games because the Rockies suck, and because our record at home this season is very, very good.

Gloriously awful!

I am watching Divorce His, Divorce Hers. This 1973 Taylor-Burton made-for-TV is garish and overwrought. This story of a disintegrating marriage takes place in Italy and Africa and England (both London and "in the country"). Liz is backcombed and bejeweled. Dick talks about "massive investments" in "international conglomerates."

"You cahn't leave us!"
"I must."
"You hate me don't you?"
"You'd like to believe that, wouldn't you?"
"Beat me, loathe me if you must, but please don't leave me!"

A small part of me is genuinely appalled. This is the couple who did Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Early in their relationship, they brought daring realism to the depiction of domestic warfare. How did they get here? How did they sink to this?

But the bigger part of me is fascinated. Look at that enormous red headband holding her fall in place! Is that THE diamond she's wearing? I wonder how she'd look without all that eyeshadow. Why … does he … speak like … THIS? These odd pauses make him sound like the Welsh Captain Kirk.

In short, I'm enjoying this immensely.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

With apologies to Maroon 5

"This game has taken its toll on me/We've left men on too many times before …"

Geez, we're in the 12th and it's still 4-4, Cubs and Pirates! Enough already! If St. Louis wasn't a mere game behind us, I wouldn't care how this contest ends.

But they are, so I must.

Friends and family update

So much has been going on with everyone around me! It's time to take stock and document where everyone is on this Saturday morning …

Mom is still on the mend. She's weak and often has the blues. The antibiotics gave her stomach trouble. So she was prescribed antidiarrheal meds that have given her a rash. Still, she's home. She's got her cats and her garden to comfort her. Her lunch buddy, Shirley, took her to her doctor's appointment this week. It wasn't the Olive Garden, their favorite haunt, but seeing her friend at the appointed day and time gave her a sense of normalcy. And nothing makes her happier than spending time with my niece and nephew, who can stop by after school.

My old boss is back at his desk. He worked two days this week, his first time at the office since 4/17. It's gone well, but, like my mom, he's still weak. The ugly fact of the matter is that he almost died, and his anger at those who (mis)treated him is palpable. I like the anger better than the depression it replaced. I'm also glad he's back to work. He really does love his job. We may get together next week.

Kathy told me rather forcefully that she does not want me riding "the worry train, too. There is enough of that in this neck of the woods." It was a wise and generous thing for her to say. I have been beating myself up because all I can afford to give her this summer is $300 to help with the boarding of her cats. Right now:
• I don't know how much financial help my mom will need
• I know my niece and nephew don't like thinking about it before this school year officially ends, but the expense of back-to-school will be upon us in just six paychecks
• I must get my finances in order in case I find myself unemployed this year
• I'm considering the wisdom of long-term care insurance, but it's not cheap.

So $300 is not as much as I'd like to contribute to Kathy's cause. But it's important to note that she didn't ask me for a single cent, and she's done her best to alleviate any and all guilt on my side.

My best friend seems to be making a real friendship in his new neighborhood. Oh, I know I'm the best friend he will ever have, and he's still as important to me as my next breath, and I miss him so, but we are in different cities. He needs a bromance, someone closer by who shares his interests, isn't related (every guy he's been socializing with has been an in-law), and is a man (so his wife will be more comfortable). Seems one of his neighbors not only knows of, but is a fan of, a Texas-based blues singer that my best friend adores. The two couples went to see her last night. It's my hope that he'll feel less isolated, less lonely, and more able to forge a new identity for himself.

I think that's all the news that's fit to print!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt

One of the most fascinating and most poignant "what might have been's" of my lifetime is, "What if Bobby had lived?" Would he have become President? If so, how many American soldiers would have come home from Viet Nam alive instead of in flag-draped coffins? As the standard-bearer of the Democratic party, how would this uber Catholic father of 11 have handled Roe v. Wade? What about the racial divide? Could he have continued to help heal it?

Today, in South Dakota, Hillary Clinton made a most unfortunate reference to Bobby Kennedy's 1968 campaign when making her argument about staying in the race: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

I take her at her word, that she was just thinking about how the primary contests in years gone by went on into the summer -- not that she wanted to hang in there, waiting in the wings, just in case the unspeakable happens again. Her almost immediate apology: "I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever." She is a candidate herself, the wife of a President, a woman who considered herself Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' friend. I simply don't believe she was using assassination as a bargaining chip to win delegates.

But oh, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- and I'll feel it again as we approach the 40th anniversary of Bobby's death -- some things leave deep and irreparable wounds.

I think she just lost her place on the ticket. I hope she comes to her senses, realizes and feels the full impact of her words, drops out of the campaign and goes home to Chappaqua for the month of June.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Aw ... Ain't love grand?

Derek and Meredith ... Chief and Mrs. Chief ... Hahn and Callie ... Dr. Bailey and her family ... George and Lexie ... Izzie and Karev ... the recuperating teen and his dream girl ...


Everyone at Seattle Grace is in love tonight, all the characters followed their hearts. It was a very satisfying Grey's Anatomy finale. I hope they all live happily ever after. I know they all can't, because then there wouldn't be any drama next season. But I think it was all terribly romantic and it makes for a glorious, idealistic fantasy.

The Perils of Living Among People

I live in a condo building that has a very diverse population. Black and white and Asian, married and single and shacking up, young children and teenagers, young adults and retirees. For the most part, I like being surrounded by a variety of people.

Except three of the retirees are wearing me out.

Walt lives at the end of my hall and derives entertainment from keeping an eye on me. This morning he knocked on my door, interrupting me as I got ready for work to complain about the car that is parked in my spot. It's red and beat up and looks "hot" to him. I told him I was renting to Brian on the third floor, that Brian paid cash in advance, and consequently Brian is aces with me. Still, Walt had to "get to the bottom of this." I got home this afternoon to find a note from Walt, explaining that Mr. Bryant on the third floor knows nothing about the red beater in my spot. Um ... that's because I said BRIAN, not Mr. BRYANT! And I checked out the car. Despite what Walt says, it's not like the one shown here. It's been in an accident, clearly, with a bashed in driver's side front and backseat doors. But it's not that bad! Yet I know this is going to turn into a "thing," because Walt has too much time on his hands.

Porch Potato: The man who wears Bermuda shorts no matter how cold it is outside used to steal my newspaper every damn morning. More than once I walked past him sitting on the porch, reading the paper with my name and apartment number scrawled across the front page. The only thing that got him to stop is the installation of security cameras!

Mr. B. is a sweet, benign old gentleman who tries to sell me Avon every time I see him. Sometimes he delivers orders, often he doesn't. Sometimes the orders are complete, often they aren't. I have taken to ducking when I catch sight of him.

They're sweet guys (OK, Porch Potato is a complete asshole) but so annoying! Maybe I would have been better suited by a nice little coach house in the middle of nowhere, with no neighbors.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #68 -- Playing with iTunes PlayCount


I admit two things about this week's TT:

(1) I stole this idea from Stephen King’s column in a back issue of Entertainment Weekly. He inspired me to go to my iTunes Library and view the songs not by artist, or genre or playlist, but by number of plays.

(2) I’m surprised by which songs had the biggest numbers. God, I’m such a sap! I have Aerosmith and Amy Winehouse on my iPod, really I do! But the numbers don’t lie, and these are the songs I listen to most regularly.

1. I Will. The Beatles White Album. Who knows how long I’ve loved you? I know I love you still. Shall I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to, I will.

2. More than You Know. Barbra Streisand. Funny Lady Soundtrack. More than you know, man of heart I love you so. Lately I find you’re on my mind more than you know.

3. The Right Thing to Do. Carly Simon. Best of Carly Simon. There’s nothing you can do to turn me away, Nothing anyone can say. You’re with me now and as long as you stay, loving you is the right thing to do.

4. This Could Take All Night. Amanda Marshall. Tin Cup Soundtrack. Baby, don’t be afraid, a little work won’t hurt your back. But just in case I’m wrong, you’ll be smiling when they pronounce you dead.

5. Didn’t I Blow Your Mind? The Delfonics. Top Hits of the 70s. I gave my heart and soul to you, Girl. Didn’t I do it, Baby? Didn’t I do it, Baby?

6. Real Love. Doobie Brothers. Rock on 1980. Well we’ve both lived long enough to know that we’d trade it all right now for just one moment of real love.

7. September. Earth, Wind and Fire. Do you remember the 21st of September? Love was changing the minds of pretenders while chasing the clouds away.

8. Smoke from a Distant Fire. John Townsend. The Road Leads Home. I know where you’re going to, I knew when you came home last night with your eyes all amist from the smoke of a distant fire.

9. This Love. Maroon 5. Pictures of Jane. This love is taking its toll on me. She said goodbye too many times before.

10. She Loves You. The Beatles. Past Masters, Vol. 1. Pride can hurt you, too. Apologize to her, because she loves you, and you know that can’t be bad. She loves you, and you know you should be glad.

11. Up the Ladder to the Roof. The Supremes. Come with me and we’ll run across the sky and illuminate the night.

12. Shameless. Garth Brooks. Roping the Wind. I’m shameless when it comes to loving you. I’ll do anything you ask me to. I’ll do anything at all.

13. Bell Bottom Blues. Eric Clapton. The Cream of Clapton. Give me one more day, please. I don’t want to fade away. In your heart I want to stay.

Now go view the songs on your iPod or MP3 player by play count,
check out your top 13 …
and let me know if the content surprises you, too.

Include your link in comments and I'll list you here:
1. Pjazzypar has a tribute to actress Jennifer Lewis (You do so know who she is!)
2. Mama Pajama (thriving at 30) invites us to play "Who's that Girl?"
3. Streaking Malcolm serves up a tasty pop culture dish of songs that premiered on one side of the Atlantic and then sailed across the sea
4. Hootin' Ani fills us in the history of Memorial Day
5. Anthony North takes a closer look at cults
6. Kay helps us pack for Africa
7. Nicole Austin takes us car shopping
8. Lost Hemisphere looks at who has come to her blog … and why
9. Hailey's Mommy's TT is highly visual and quite lovely
10. SJR anticipates Indy's return
11. Adelle has a peaceful TT
12. Sue takes us to Facebook
13. Janet shares 13 quotes
14. Sandy Carlson quotes Dylan Thomas
15. B Boys Mom has ambitious Memorial Day to-do list
16. Marcia takes us to Disney
17. Maribeth's TT takes flight
18. Clarence's TT takes place near the treetops
19. Lori throws a spotlight on the Queen of Soul
20. Crazy Daisy has a floral 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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Tonight is a big night for me: American Idol, Cubs vs. Houston, the Kentucky/Oregon primaries, news coverage of poor Ted Kennedy's condition, and my beloved future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux pitching at home in San Diego. Yet, now that I'm safely curled up on my sofa, I'm suddenly exhausted! Depleted. Like a helium balloon with a slow leak.

I think it's because I miss my best friend. I hear from every day, but lately they have just been short, silly emails. I want to talk to him. I believe that would make me feel better. Maybe tomorrow.

I've been tagged!

Lucy tagged me and I'm ready to play along …

Here are the rules:

1. Each player answers questions about themselves.

2. At the end of the post, tag 5 people by posting their names.

3.Go to their site/blog and leave a comment telling them they've been tagged. Invite them to your site/blog so they can read the tagged post.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you've completed your tagged post.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was in the middle of a fun relationship with a great guy. He was a good deal younger than I, so I knew nothing would come of it long-term. We were just in very different places in our lives. I wasn't in love with him, but I remember him fondly, and hope he feels the same way about me.

2. What are 5 things on your "To Do" list?
Finish filling the bag with "gently used items" for Goodwill
Take my coats to the dry cleaners
Make an appointment with my dermatologist for my annual checkup
Remember to recharge that damn cellphone! (It's not much use to anyone when the battery's dead, now is it?)
Pick up a roll of quarters so I can do a ton of laundry (Oh, joy!)

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy? (In no specific order)
Yoplait whipped yogurt (so far I haven't tried a flavor I didn't love)
Hershey bar with almonds
Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Teeny-tiny Tootsie Rolls

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
Get a credit card for my mom to use for groceries. I know how much she hates watching every penny.
Take my niece and nephew to Washington, DC, and introduce them to their nation's history
Pay off my mortgage
Finally renovate my bathroom and kitchen!
Hire a car and driver

5. Name some places where you've lived.
I don't get around much: Elgin, Brookfield and Oak Park -- all in the Chicagoland area.

6. Name some bad habits you have.
I hate throwing anything away
I hate putting anything away
I take too long, too hot showers and baths (I'm always afraid that, when I leave the bathroom with one towel around my bod and the other around my hair, I will be confronted by Al Gore, who will lecture me on my wasteful way with our resources)
I'm lazy
I spend money when I'm blue

7. Name some jobs you've had.
Babysitter (high school)
Receptionist at a real estate office
Secretary for Sears HQ (back when we were still called "secretaries")
Catalog copywriter
Associate creative director

8. Name those whom you are tagging.
Anyone with writer's block. These questions will get you thinking.

This just stinks

My friend Kathy has been having a rough time again, and I really hate it.

She's 61 and broke. Now she is unemployed again, too. She lost her new administrative job last week. (I don't know the details and I'm not asking, as she's feeling wounded and embarrassed.) This means no more health insurance. Gas is $4/gallon here already, and that's no help. She's disconnected her landline and ISP, using her cellphone and the computer at the public library.

This is not the time of life to find herself in this situation. It's going to be very difficult for her to ever retire, even if her health eventually demands it. We don't discuss this because I'm sure this has crossed her mind, too, so what's the point? But it is the 800-lb. gorilla in the room.

To make matters worse, her grown daughter has landed in quite the sinkhole, too. Her daughter is married with four kids, a big house, two cars and a truck. Well, scratch the truck -- it's been repossessed. The big house is slipping away, too, going into foreclosure.

So Kathy is moving in with her daughter's family, temporarily in the house, and then together into a rental somewhere. This means she has to find a new home for her two four-year-old tabbies. I think this is the saddest circumstance of all.

This situation must be handled carefully. Kathy is proud, embarrassed, and terrified. I am only helping as asked -- which involves finding a home for the cats. (I can't take them, though I considered it. 5 cats in a 2BR condo would simply be too much.)

Frankly, just handing her money isn't smart for either of us, or our friendship. She'd resent it, even if she didn't articulate it. Our relationship has been prickly at times over the years, and I must be sensitive to that. Also, I don't know how much financial help my mom is going to need, not to mention my niece and nephew. My sister and brother in law have been having money trouble and I want to be able to help them. And what of my own future? I feel it's like the oxygen on the airplane -- I have to secure my own mask first before I can help those who are depending on me.

So I worry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This takes some of the sting out of it

I've been ambivalent about my AARP membership. I mean, it seems like the first step on the long, lonely road to mah-jong and the early-bird dinner special, and this is not how I'm ready to see myself yet.

I just used my first AARP benefit, though, and I'm one happy camper. Or, more precisely, one happy traveler.

The Hibiscus Motel in Key West just confirmed my reservation at $260/night for 3 nights. Trust me, this is a GREAT deal because I'm traveling the last week in December. Many hotels in Key West demand a minimum 5-night stay that week. Others jack up the price inordinately because it's New Year's and, well, they can. I was afraid that, to get a good price, I'd have to settle for being stuck out by the airport or near Sears Town, but this motel is in Old Town, the good neighborhood for this gal, who likes to spend her Key West days shopping, people watching, and drinking margaritas.

So my red and white AARP card is about to move to my wallet. Not where anyone can see it, mind you, but it will be in there! (Mah-jong anyone?)

I'm not deleting it ever

Last week a customer service rep from The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center called to tell me the Lucy nightshirt I ordered had been returned to them because of a mistake in my address. She asked me to confirm the correct address, the shirt came, and I've been slipping into it ever since.

The coolest thing about this entire episode -- other than that the shirt itself, since the whites of Lucy's eyes are soooo bright I think they glow in the dark -- is that when the call came last week, Caller ID read: Lucille Ball (short for The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center). I love coming home, checking my messages and seeing that Lucy called me.

As silly impulse purchases go, this one has brought me a great deal of joy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Luv that Line

A game I liberated from Mo:

The Rules
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb (Internet Movie Database) and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Indicate when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. No Googling or IMDb-ing. (That would be cheating, and no fun!)

Ready to Play?

1. "What kind of pie?" THE WAY WE WERE

2. "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." THE GODFATHER

3. "Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing." TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

4. "I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!" BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

5. "Nine million terrorists and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister!" DIE HARD

6. "
You know, you can say it backwards, which is 'dociousaliexpiisticfagilcalirupes.'" MARY POPPINS

7. "Sometimes nothing can be a really cool hand." COOL HAND LUKE

8. "She's a drag. A well-known drag. We turn the sound down on her and say rude things." A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

9. "Pick me out a winner, Bobby." THE NATURAL

10. "Land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it's the only thing that lasts." GONE WITH THE WIND

BONUS QUESTION: One performer uttered two of these lines (in two different movies). Who is it? ROBERT REDFORD (#1 AND #9)

If you choose to play, let me know so I can come visit and see how I do with your quotes.

Not funny. Not funny at all, Gov. Huckabee.

I know Mike Huckabee professes to be a Christian and probably didn't mean this to sound as ugly and evil as it appears. But some things leave wounds so deep you cannot joke about them. Ever. Under any circumstances.

Huckabee jokes about gun aimed at Obama

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Hearing a loud noise and interrupting his speech, Huckabee said: "That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he — he dove for the floor."

In case you were wondering ...

This is what the team in FIRST PLACE TEAM in the NL Central Division calls "home." And as of today, the Cubs have the best "at home" record in the entire MLB.

They deserve a refund!

Yale ripped these two lovely old people off! They sent their eldest son to that school and, even after receiving what's reputed to be a "first-rate" Ivy League education, he graduated without being able to tell these words apart …

Appease: To yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles.
Negotiate: To deal or bargain with another or others, as in the preparation of a treaty or contract or in preliminaries to a business deal.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I didn't want today to EVER come

Today was most likely Greg Maddux' last start at Wrigley Field. He didn't do very well. That's OK. In a way it makes it easier to say goodbye.

To look at my beloved future Hall of Famer, you'd think he was the product of an unholy union between the Pillsbury Doughboy and the little girl from those "Love Is …" comics. He not only doesn't look like a terrific athlete, he doesn't look like an athlete at all. And yet he has accumulated 350 wins, more than 3000 strike outs and a roomful of Cy Young and Gold Glove Awards. It's been a privilege to watch him pitch.

He started with the Cubs 22 years ago, when he was barely out of his teens. Today may just have been his last start where his astounding career began. It's awesome and historic and sad. I am sooooo gonna miss him!

ROOKIE CARD CONTROVERSY -- I don't judge the mustache because it was the 80s and I was wearing huge shoulderpads and legwarmers. However, I do believe it's a rather ... um ... memorable look. When I look at the rookie card, I'm put in the mindset of Corona Beer and Jimmy Buffet and the song "Pencil Thin Mustache." Cupcake sees "porn star." Of course, it's possible we're both right.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #67 -- Best Movie Quotes


I believe it's time for a movie TT! Here are the top 13 quotes in cinema history, as proclaimed by the American Film Institute. Click here -- it's the AFI's actual web page and you can hear these iconic words spoken by the performers who made them famous.

13. OLIVER BARRETT IV (Ryan O'Neal): "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Love Story, 1970.

12. LT. COL. BILL KILGORE (Robert Duvall): "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." Apocalypse Now, 1979.

11. CAPTAIN (Strother Martin): "What we've got here is failure to communicate." Cool Hand Luke, 1967.

10. TRAVIS BICKLE (Robert DeNiro): "You talkin' to me?" Taxi Driver, 1976.

9. MARGO CHANNING (Bette Davis): "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." All About Eve, 1950.

8. HAN SOLO (Harrison Ford): "May the Force be with you." Star Wars, 1977.

7. NORMA DESMOND (Gloria Swanson): "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." Sunset Boulevard, 1950.

6. HARRY CALLAHAN (Clint Eastwood): "Go ahead, make my day." Sudden Impact, 1983.

5. RICK BLAINE (Humphrey Bogart): "Here's looking at you, kid." Casablanca, 1942.

4. DOROTHY GALE (Judy Garland): "Toto, I've (got) a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Wizard of Oz, 1939.

3. TERRY MALLOY (Marlon Brando): "You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." On the Waterfront, 1954.

2. VITO CORLEONE (Marlon Brando): "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." The Godfather, 1973.

1. RHETT BUTLER (Clark Gable): "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gone with the Wind, 1939.

The movie quote I use most often didn't even make the Top 100! I trot this old reliable out whenever I can't make up my mind. The Gal's Personal #1 is …
EVELYN MULWRAY (Faye Dunaway): "My sister, my daughter." Chinatown. 1974.

My second personal favorite slid in at #96 on the official AFI list …

LORETTA CASTORINI (Cher): "Snap out of it!" Moonstruck, 1987.

Are there any movie catchphrases that reappear in your conversations?

Leave your TT link in the comments and I'll list you here:
1. Chelle Y lists the great things about being a mom (and Chelle, the girl in Love Story said that line, too)
2. Tinkerbell goes down memory lane, by about 25 years.
3. Malcolm reintroduces us to our breakfast buddies
4. Anthony North takes us to Atlantis
5. Hailey's Mommy shares her husband's cap collection
6. Sue treats us to a little Q&A
7. Hootin Anni has an amusing verbal TT
8. So does Kay!
9. B Boys Mom shares ways to cut down our gas consumption
10. Claudia has a wise TT
11. Susan Helene Gottfried uses her TT to introduce Win a Book
12. Lucy celebrates Spring
13. Angela shares her knowlege of Japanese motorcyle gangs

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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Mom Is Home!

She was released from the hospital and on her way home, she picked up many bottles of prescription meds. Now seated comfortably on her sofa, she's surrounded by her cats, Lucy and Ethel, and is going through her 19 phone messages. She is very happy, and so am I.

Her WBC is not as low as her physicians would like, but it is lower. The smart money is on some low-grade yet tenacious bronchial infection, but no one is ready to commit 100% to that diagnosis. After running 3 days of tests, her team of doctors (infectious diseases, gastro intestinal, pulmonary and internal medicine) agree that this is a mystery that may never be solved definitively, and she just has to take better care of herself from here on.

She promises she will. I'm holding her to that.

Well, this was a first.

Yesterday I stood at the head of a conference room table and presented creative concepts I'd really never seen before.

I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off to be with my mom. When I left the office Tuesday night, MY creative concepts were written, but my manuscripts hadn't been turned into beautiful, full-color layouts by an art director yet. Plus there were 3 more concepts to be written by our other writer.

My boss really, really wanted me to present on Monday. Our client likes me, and I think fast on my feet. I said I'd be willing to do it, but I was nervous about reviewing the work. I offered to stop by the empty office Friday evening, but he told me it was OK, he would Fed Ex it to my mom's house in plenty of time for me to review it before I had to present Monday morning.

Someone made an error filling out the Fed Ex form, and instead of scheduling a Saturday AM delivery, they marked Monday 5/12, afternoon.

The presentation was Monday, 5/12, at 10:00!

So I reviewed it all in the car on the way to the client's business offices! A full 3/5ths of it was completely new to me. At the risk of sounding immodest, I'm amazed by how well I did. Especially when you consider the situation with my mom, which still weighs on me.

This is what I learned: if I have too much time to rehearse, I whip myself up, make myself nervous. While in the future I'd prefer to see the work before I head off to the client, this actually might have been better for me personally than if I'd had the whole weekend to prepare.

And I saw it all from the 8th row!

Big Z, Soriano lead way as Cubs roll to 15-6 at home

So how come they can't do this anywhere but cold, damp Wrigley Field? Fresh off sweeping the big, bad Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, the Cubs bullied the anemic San Diego Padres 12-3 on Monday night, proving once again that they can take the whup-up out of the can, even if they can't take the can on the road.

It was indeed cold and damp last night. But that's OK. I was wearing my official MLB Cubs long-sleeve t-shirt, my official Cubs #31 Maddux jersey, my Cubs windbreaker and (purchased at the park!) my new Cubs fleece sweatshirt! Yes, I looked like Ralphie's kid brother in A Christmas Story, the one who couldn't move his arms, but I was officially a fan.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is it just me, or ....

.... is there a certain sexual tension between Mary Poppins and Bert?

I love this movie! I'm so glad it's on this evening. While I enjoy it on its own merits, Mary Poppins holds a special place in my personal history. On a rainy afternoon more than 40 years ago, my parents took my sister and me to see it at the movie theater! The lights went down, the curtains parted, and the magic began. Movies have held me spellbound ever since.

Of a granddaughter and a grandmother

When she puts her mind to it, my niece can be a really spectacular kid. Yes, she wears too much kohl on her eyes. And she backtalks her parents something terrible. And she can be wound a little tight at times. But I think those are minor issues, completely standard for a high school freshman. Oh, she's caused us concern over more major issues, too, but today's not the day to contemplate those. Instead, today is the day she was confirmed in her community Lutheran church and I'm very proud of her.

Unlike other kids, her early girlhood didn't include being dragged to Sunday School against her will. For reasons all their own, my sister and brother-in-law decided against giving their kids any religious training at all. A little over three years ago, as she was entering adolescence, my niece insisted on learning more about God, on cultivating her spiritual side. She chose this church (where her late greatgrandmother had been a member) on her own and told her parents if they didn't take her to the services, she would ride there on her bike.

For three years' worth of Saturday mornings, she went to confirmation classes. Last year she (and her kid brother) were finally baptized. She did it all on her own and, amazingly enough, even after initially encountering resistance from her parents. And today, she was confirmed and can take her place as an adult in her church.

I left the Lutheran church more than a decade ago and have found my spiritual home at Unity Temple. That doesn't diminish my pride in her or her accomplishment. I believe that worship is a highly personal and individual affair. The important thing is that my niece is in touch with her spiritual side and has a fulfilling relationship with God. I am so proud of her.

So is my mother. She is still in the hospital and unable to attend this morning's special church service. But she is a proud and loving grandma. We compared notes on my niece: Was she nervous? Was she proud of herself? Did she enjoy the celebratory lunch afterward? We relived every moment. This, even though my niece had been to the hospital herself to see her grandma for Mother's Day.

My mom and my niece have a special bond that enriches them both, and that's worth celebrating on this special day.

I Love Him!

Last night, my beloved future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux burnished his Cooperstown creds, becoming the ninth pitcher in the history of the game to win 350 games. He needs only 5 more victories to be the winningest pitcher of the modern era (and to surpass Cheater McCheaty Pants Clemens).

Classy as always,* The Professor is quoted by as saying, "It was kind of cool. I don't want to make it out to be nothing, but it is May and we haven't been playing that good, and you just really want to win for the right reason and not necessarily for the wrong reason. We need to start winning as a team and hopefully tonight is the start of things to come."

This means he won't be pitching tomorrow night when I am in attendance at the Cubs-Padres game, but that's OK. I think the stress would be too much. (I've never cheered against the Cubs at all, much less while IN the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.) But, weather permitting, I will wear my Cubs 31 MADDUX jersey with pride. That's why I chose a photo of him in a Cub jersey for this post. I know fans in Atlanta will disagree with me, but to me, Greg Maddux will ALWAYS be a Cub.

* He is classy and softspoken with the press. He is known among teammates as a prankster, and a vulgar one at that. That's OK. I like the dichotomy. Greg Maddux reminds me of Otter, Tim Matheson's character in Animal House.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Where else?

Found this at Kwizgiver's, of course. But,if you'd like to play along, click here.

1. What is the first thing you notice about a person (that you are attracted to) when you meet them? Hair. I find myself wanting to touch his hair sooooo bad. Lips are nice, too. Remember that old Whitney Houston song? "When you talk, I just watch your mouth."

2. What has been your worst illness or injury? Depends on how you define "serious." I had fibroids that were probably a greater health hazard, but my heel spurs HURT SO BAD and were such a drag!

3. Have you ever had a secret crush and then told the person? If yes, how did it go? Yes. At first he said it wouldn't/couldn't be reciprocated and that hurt. But we soon had a relationship, and it was one of the best love affairs I've ever had. I hope I can be that brave again if the situation ever arises.

4. What was the last drink that you ordered at a pub or a bar? Cosmo

5. What car have you owned that was your favorite? I've only owned one car -- it was an old Chevy Impala.

6. What is your favorite holiday? My birthday (if it's not a holiday, it should be)

7. Have you ever had sex with someone that in retrospect was (and stayed) a stranger? I hate to sound Clintonian, but it depends on how you define "sex." If we mean intercourse, the answer is "no."

8. Who is your favorite female singer? Barbra Streisand

9. How often do you read the newspaper? Monday through Friday

Now it's time for kidney tests

I spent all day at my mom's house because I wanted to be there to welcome her when she finally came home. We were going to celebrate Mother's Day early.*

Between 9:00 and 6:30 I busied myself by watching the Cub game, sorting her mail for her, cleaning out her refrigerator and running to the corner store to replace the yogurt, milk and cottage cheese I had to dispose of.

Then I got the call: the results of her most recent bloodwork lead her doctors to believe she has kidney trouble. Because of the meds she's been taking and other reasons I don't quite follow, she can't have the kidney tests until Monday. So it's in her hospital room she's stuck until Monday. Maybe … unless …

Her doctors keep reassuring us it isn't so much that the kidney infection is dangerous, per se, it's that the pneumonia weakened her system. They want to know exactly what is wrong before she leaves the hospital.

I finally it comforting, though, that instead of worrying about her breathing or obsessing about her infection, my mom is desperately unhappy that she can't wash her hair. I firmly believe that caring about her appearance is a healthy sign.

*I got her a handcrafted birdhouse (or rather, a bird trailer, complete with little wheels) and a gift card to The Olive Garden. My mom's best friend, Shirley, has a birthday coming up and I wanted her to be able to celebrate with her gal pal at a restaurant by the mall.

OW! Who knew jalapeno peppers were DANGEROUS?

Look closely at these little bastards. Remember, they are EVIL! I just dropped a can on my right big toe and OH! It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!

Friday, May 09, 2008

I've been tagged!

Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

Thanks to Tina for the tag! Go over and read her answers and see if she and I share any common ground.

And the questions:

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

In the spring of 1998, I was consumed with redecorating fervor. I had just received a modest but much appreicated inheritance from my grandmother and bought new furniture. My favorite piece is still the armoire that graces my bedroom.

2) What are (were?) five things on your to-do list for today?

1. Pick up prescriptions (one at CVS, one at Walgreen's)

2. Get a universal remote for the TV in the bedroom, and learn how to program it

3. Stop by the vet for special cat food

4. Call the office and check in with my boss

5. Get my 10,000 steps in

3) What snacks do I enjoy?

I'm sticking with Tina's answers … Hershey's is my favorite. I love cookies and brownies, or ice cream. My salty snack of choice is Cheez-it's.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire?

Oh! This is fun! I'd get a bigger condo and decorate it exactly as I want it. (Fireplace, built in bookcases, big bathroom … I can dream like this forever!) I'd hire a car and driver. Regular massages and pedis would be scheduled. I'd put money aside for my niece and nephew's college educations. My mom would have her own Peapod grocery delivery account.

Then, like Tina, I'd start taking care of my friends. My best friend would go to cooking school and, perhaps, open his own restaurant. My oldest friend would hire a nanny/housekeeper.

Now I could concentrate on charitable giving. Domestic animals and children would be helped first. Since the weather is getting better, I like the idea of sending children's organizations to Great America, and museums, and the zoo. Homeless animals would get the shelter and medical care they deserve.

5) Three Bad Habits

My laziness, my pack rat tendencies, and my awfulizing.

6) 5 places I have lived

The house where I was born

The house I grew up in

My apartment

My condo

Sorry, that's all there is -- there ain't no more

7) 5 Jobs I've had

Receptionist at a real estate office, secretary at Sears HQ (back when we called secretaries), catalog copywriter, associate creative director, creative director

Five people I want to know more about…

You, and you, and you, and you and most of all, YOU! (I feel like Miss Elizabeth on Romper Room, who claimed she could see us through her magic mirror)