Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My heart is so full of love, it encompasses all Chicago baseball fans

The White Sox won their special tie-breaker game and are now officially in the play-offs. Good luck to them and their fans. (Did I really just say that?) They will need it, since Tampa is a scary-good team.

It's almost here!

Remember how you felt as evening approached and then night fell on December 24? How you KNEW it was impossible to think about anything else but the magic of Santa and Christmas Day?

That's how I feel right now. The NLDS begins tomorrow within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field!

This photo is from today's post-season rally at Daley Plaza. I skipped it because, well, I already have TONS o' spirit. But isn't it great to see all that Cubbie blue? I wanted to preserve that shot of the Picasso. Doesn't the cap complete her?

Isn't this going to be the BEST OCTOBER in the history of Octobers?

Go, Cubs, Go!

Tuesday Tunes #13

Word associations this week: Tell us the first, song, band/artist, album or anything music related that comes to mind when you see these words:

Space: 2001 (Also Sprach Zarathustra) -- and Elvis, of course
Party:
like it's 1999 (Prince)
Darkness:
on the Edge of Town (Bruce)
Reading:
"If You're Reading This" (Tim McGraw)
Touch: "Human Touch" (Springsteen again)
New:
"You Make Me Feel Brand New" (Stylistics)
Gone:
"Already Gone" (Eagles)
Jazz:
"All that Jazz" (from Chicago)
Song: "
The Song We Were Singing" (Paul McCartney)
Bag:
"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (James Brown)

To play along yourself, click here.

DAY 30 -- September Fitness Challenge

You may not be able to tell, but our jump-roper is not smiling. At the end of the September Fitness Challenge, I don't believe I have lost a frigging ounce, which could be because I only moved my exercyclist seven spots toward my ultimate goal (which is to be in noticeably better shape by December 1).

This makes me sad.

I will try to focus on the bright side. It's been a source of amusement to some of you commenters, but I am VERY PROUD of the fact that I have virtually eliminated candy from my diet. Throughout the entire month of September, my candy/bakery intake has been:

• One chocolate chip brownie
• One package of Twizzlers (which I had at the movies, and since I consider Twizzlers or Sno-caps a part of the film-going experience, I'm not sure I regret it)
• One scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream

I have a prodigious sweet tooth, and have instead been satisfying it with yogurt and fruit. That makes me happy. Therefore I will concentrate on that as my September Accomplishment, and try to stay on the wagon, as it were.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm a fan

I'm watching Laura Linney right now as Sean Penn's hard-as-nails wife in Mystic River. Hard to believe this is the same actress who was so majestic, so wise as Abigail Adams (right) on HBO … and so sweetly twitterpated over her coworker (below) in Love, Actually ... and so earnest and confused in You Can Count on Me … and so sleek and ambitious in Primal Fear.

It has just occurred to me that I don't think I've ever seen this versatile actress be anything but very good.

This just in: Cubbie Blue to prevail over Dodger Blue

It's all in place: the Phillies will play the Brewers and, in an all-blue matchup, the Cubs take on the Dodgers. I'm feeling strong and confident. Of course, it's more important that the Cubs feel strong and confident.

This series will be an emotional one for me, as there are Dodgers I feel genuine affection for: My beloved future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and Nomar Garciaparra, who was a Cub briefly. So, while naturally it's vitally important that the Cubs defeat the Dodgers, I don't want them to humiliate the Dodgers.

Unless of course, Joe Torre has the temerity, the insensitivity, the complete and utter lack of respect to not carry Greg Maddux on his play-off roster. There should be no dissing the 7th winningest pitcher in the history of the game. Should that happen, I hope my Cubs frigging annihilate the Dodgers.

Sunday Stealing #5


SundayStealing: The "More About Me Me Me" Meme

My favorite age: 35. It felt very attractive, very womanly.

My best friend(s): The one I have referred to on this blog as, creatively enough, My Best Friend.

My celebrity crush: Current -- Don Draper from Mad Men; Eternal -- Paul McCartney

My defining characteristic: I'm very verbal

My most evil moment: I regret something very mean that I once said to a lover, something I said just to hurt him -- I'm not even sure I meant it.

My favorite food: Beef

My grossest injury: Uterine fibroids. C'mon, who really wants to hear about 'em?

My biggest hatred: Adults who CHOOSE to be uninformed voters. The government is everyone's responsibility.

My most illegal activity: I'm really very dull in this area. I can't think of a one.

My need for justice: I hate bullies. If I can dive in and even the odds a little, I will.

My most knowledgeable field: Beatle lore. Or maybe movie trivia.

My life’s goal: To be content.

My mother’s influence: Love of animals

My nerdiest point: I love the database/demographic aspect of advertising. Really.

My oldest memory: Trying to stand up next to the red ottoman when I was a toddler. It's only a split second I can recall, but it's very clear.

My perfect date: A movie and dinner

My unanswered question: Why?

My random fact: I was born at the stroke of midnight between the 21 and 22. That makes me on the cusp of a cusp -- a fact that freaks astrologists out

My stupidest decision: To stay with Stevie as long as I did.

My favorite television show: Mad Men

My style of underwear: Hanes white cotton panties -- I accept no substitutes

My favorite vegetable: Corn

My weakest trait: My temper can make me impulsive

My X-men power: I'm depressingly normal

My strongest yearning: Love

My moment of Zen: Soaking in the tub, singing along with the oldies on my shower radio

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday 9: You've Got a Friend

1. Who is your best friend? A gentleman who appears often in this blog, referred to as My Best Friend.

2. How did you meet? At an agency where he already worked and I joined as a freelancer. He's an account executive, I'm a creative.

3. How long have you known each other? 4 1/2 years.

4. Have you traveled anywhere together? When we were still coworkers, we went on a few business trips together. When he was on an extended assignment in Los Angeles, I traveled out there and stayed a few days. We went to a Dodger game and had a terrific time.

5. Did you ever have a problem over a romantic interest that you shared? No, since he's a married straight guy and I'm a hetero woman.

6. Have you ever not liked your best friend’s choice of lovers? No. He's been married since I have known him, so we never will have this problem, either.

7. How long since you have seen your best friend? It's been months! It looked like he might be in next week, but alas, the meeting is being handled via conference call instead.

8. Do you remember each other on birthdays and holidays? Yes! He gave me my best birthday gift last year. He researched the best-selling book on the day I was born (The Scapegoat), the year's Oscar-winning movie (Bridge over the River Kwai), a print-out of the Time magazine cover from the week I was born, etc. It was thoughtful and creative.

9. What is the biggest fight that you have ever had? Oh golly! We have argued many times! It generally starts when one of us teases the other, and we go too far. We always make up, though. We seldom go more than a day or two without communicating.

To play along yourself, click here.

The Bluest Eyes in Heaven

I have said it before -- I thought Paul Newman was the coolest guy in the universe. I'm so sad to hear he died yesterday, and only hope his passing was peaceful. The coolest guy in the universe deserved no less.

He was an electrifying film presence. If you haven't seen Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid or Cool Hand Luke, get yourself to Blockbuster right now! It was more than his movies that made him so cool, though …

He was married to the same woman for half a century, a woman who is pretty damn cool herself, Ms. Joanne Woodward. He used his fame for good, whether he was marching with Dr. King in Washington or raising hundreds of millions of dollars for charity with his Newman's Own products.

I live next door to recipients of his good works. In addition to providing sliding scale daycare for my community, the building next door is home to anywhere from a dozen to twenty kids who are waiting for placement in foster care. I didn't realize how often these children are separated from their siblings, but when this sad situation came to the attention of Paul Newman's foundation, a happy tradition began. Each summer, the kids next door and their siblings (whether already placed in foster homes or living in another communal children's home here in Chicagoland) spend the day together at a nearby amusement park, courtesy of Newman's Own.

Paul Newman touched so many hearts, with his movies, with his dedication to social causes, with those blue eyes. I'm grateful for film, so that in a way he'll always be with us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

As I watch tonight's debate ...

... and as I listen to Obama and McCain go back and forth about which foreign leaders it's OK to meet with and which ones aren't, I think about a quote from John Kennedy's Inaugural Address:

"So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. "

Everyone knows that address for, "Ask not what your country can do for you ..." but it's filled with passages that sound as relevant today as they did more than 40 years ago.

"Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce."

'The trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, 'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation' - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."

He inspired us first to dream and then to act, and reminded us what makes America the greatest nation on earth. Reading voraciously about JFK has informed my politics and world view, and I'm proud to be his acolyte. Naturally this has led me to Barack Obama today.

P.S. My prayers are with the youngest Kennedy brother tonight. As I post this, Ted Kennedy is back home and resting comfortably.

Maybe love IS all you need

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Paul McCartney gave his first concert in Israel on Thursday before tens of thousands of cheering fans, 43 years after the Beatles were barred from singing there because of fears they could corrupt youngsters.

Security was tight at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv and media reports in Britain said an Islamist militant had threatened the ex-Beatle, while some Palestinians urged him to cancel his trip over Israel's occupation of the West Bank since 1967.

The 66-year-old ignored the demands, but delighted Palestinian fans during his visit to the region when he went to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, lit candles at the Church of the Nativity there and wished for peace for Palestinians.

McCartney opened the Tel Aviv gig with Beatles song "Hello Goodbye," and addressed the 40,000 fans in Hebrew and Arabic as well as English throughout the evening.

"Shalom Tel Aviv!" he said, using the Hebrew word for "peace" and "hello." The ex-Beatle also wished the crowd a happy new year in Hebrew ahead of Jewish celebrations next week and wished Muslims a good Ramadan, the month of fasting, in Arabic.

McCartney, who wore a dark suit over a pink shirt, dedicated Wings track "My Love" to Linda, his wife who died of cancer in 1998, and also paid tribute to late Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison.

Teenaged girls were reduced to tears and the crowd waved its arms in the air as the star performed some of his biggest hits during two hours of almost non-stop music.

Among the favorites were "Give Peace a Chance" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the closing number.

Top 5 on Friday


Top 5 songs that this image reminds you of:

1) It Had to Be You (Diane Keaton from Annie Hall -- if her audience ever really paid attention to her)

2) As Time Goes By

3) More Than You Know (Streisand, because early in her career she had a similar haircut)

4) Takin' a Chance on Love (Streisand again, see above)

5) Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)

To play along yourself, or to see how other bloggers answered, click here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

DAY 25 -- September Fitness Challenge

Haven't eaten much today. Haven't felt hungry at all. (Maybe doing a TT about candy bars cured me of my chocolate lust.) Anyway, what I have had today (two hard-boiled eggs, cheese, crackers and green grapes) was all nutritious. So even though I didn't work out, I am awarding myself the coveted jump rope again today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #87 -- 13 sweet pals I miss dearly


THIRTEEN SWEET
SNACKTIME FAVORITES
I’M SUFFERING WITHOUT


I miss you guys! Most of all at about 2:00 in the afternoon.

As part of my self-proclaimed September Fitness Month, I have tried to work out more, eat better, and live without candy altogether. It’s been harder than I thought it would be. While I have only fallen off the wagon once – and since it was while at the movies, I’m not sure it should count – I find that I constantly want to go to the vending machine and grab one of these economically priced, readily available, always dependable sugar fixes.

1) Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds
2) Butterfinger
3) Three Musketeers
4) Hershey’s Special Dark
5) York Peppermint Patties
6) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
7) Peanut M&M’s
8) Mary Janes
9) Bit o’ Honey
10) Tootsie Rolls
11) Sno-caps (but only at the movies)
12) Twizzlers (see above)
13) Starburst (original flavor only)


If you had to give up candy, which would you miss most? Include your answer in comments and I’ll add you here:

1. Kwizgiver can't "divorce herself from any yummies"
2. Poor Anthony North has had to give up all sweets!
3. Malcolm is a fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
4. Hootin' Ani would miss Butterfingers most of all
5. SJR prefers Godiva Truffles
6. Nicole Austin would "go crazy" without Dove Dark Chocolate
7. Jenny McB would miss jelly beans and Mike & Ike
8. Sandy's cravings depend on the day -- and she bounces between fruity and chocolatey
9. Shannon is a woman of definite taste -- CHOCOLATE
10. DK votes for dark chocolate
11. Megan is saving a candy bar for me
12. Yen is a dark chocolate lover
13. Likewise, Adelle would long for chocolate14. Meju would miss jelly beans
15. Lori is inclusive -- practically the whole list got her mouth watering
16. Journeywoman prefers Milky Ways or Life Saver Fruit Chews
17. Tammy keeps dark chocolate stashed away
18. Popping Bubbles is with me on Bit o' Honeys
19. Meg would miss Sour Patch Kids
20. Qtpies7 would AGONIZE over the loss of Hershey's Symphony Bars!
21. Yummy would miss Gummy Worms/Bears
22. Siteseer is a fan of peppermint patties.
23. Debbie goes for Peanut Butter Cups
24. Starrlight couldn't live without Twix




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!



A new meme! Wednesday Weirdness

Well, at least it's new to me. Here goes.

1. Would you rather join the Ghostbusters to hunt ghosts or join the Sesame Street bunch? Why? Oh, Sesame Street! I like Mr. Noodle, and Cookie Monster, and Dorothy the Goldfish.

2. What is the most you are willing to do to get out of a police officer giving you a ticket? Just give me the damn ticket and let me be on my way. (Of course, it should be noted I haven't driven since the Reagan Administration, which is why I'm not worried about having too many moving violations, watching my insurance rates go up, and maybe even losing my license.)

3. What popular movies do you find to be overrated? Brokeback Mountain!

4. What is in (and/or on) your bedside table? Two alarm clocks. Amazingly, I manage to be late for work every day anyway.

5. Have you ever had or fantasized about having sex with a boss before? Have you ever acted on that fantasy? Yes, my former boss Ed because when we worked together I sensed he found me attractive so I wondered what it would be like. And no.

6. If you had a personal assistant, what would you have them do? Take care of my mail, my photo albums, my insurance claims and tax stuff ... you know, the paper that seems to have taken over my home.

7. Have you ever faked static, loss of cell phone reception or anything else on the telephone line to get out of a conversation? No. But I did pretend my answering machine was broken (back in the days before voicemail) to get out of returning a call. Does that count?

To play along, or see how other bloggers responded, click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I almost died today


I can't stop thinking about it.

After I worked out at lunch today, I was on my way back to the office. The sidewalks were full. There were several of us waiting for the light on the corner. When the light changed to yellow, three or four of us started to cross. There were cars on the other side of the intersection, but there was no way they could even get to corner before the light changed. I was last, on the outside.

A cab driver hit the gas to beat the light and leaned on the horn to scare me out of his way. I stepped back and he swerved at the same time and so I am still able to write this. The cab was closer than arm's length when it sped in front of me.

At the time it didn't bother me. It really didn't. I kept going, picked up my lunch and went back to the office. Finished my day. Took the train home. Never skipped a beat. Never cried. Never even felt my heart race.

But I can't stop thinking about it. Considering the speed the cab travelled at, I'm sure I would have died at impact.

My mom and sister would have found this condo in a HIDEOUS mess. There's the vibrator in my armoire that I'm not crazy about them discovering. At least I don't have to worry about my cats -- my oldest friend agreed to care for them if something ever happens to me.

When something happens to me.

We're all going to die. Today is the first time I got a glimpse of my own. Being hit by a cab would not have been so bad. Sudden, maybe even painless.

But I know today I'm not ready to die. So tonight I said a prayer and thanked God for not taking me yet.

It's weird how capricious it all is.

DAY 23 -- September Fitness Challenge

I have been a bad gal lately, not maintaining my focus on health. But today I redeemed myself a bit -- 35 minutes on the stationery bike (all the treadmills were full), 16 reps on the tricep machine, 8 excruciating reps on the pec machine, and 16 leg lifts (each leg). I felt very healthy as I left the health club ...

And, ironically, almost got creamed by a cab that was running a yellow light. Isn't life funny?

Oh well, since I made it back alive, I get to eagerly move that excericon at the bottom of the page.

Because it's fun

Behold the official MLB locker room t-shirt as worn by the Division Champion Chicago Cubs. Got one for me, got one for my nephew. Wore mine to work yesterday, he wore his to school. I'd sleep in it, too, if only it was a little longer.

Isn't this season just so much fun?

Take 5 Tuesday

I don't think I've ever played this meme before ...

5 things that make you happy. My cats, talking to my mom, hanging with my niece and/or nephew, the Division Champion Chicago Cubs, talking to my best friend.

5 things you would do for a million dollars. Give up a kidney, buy lottery tickets, enter a sweepstakes, sing in public (which would be more painful for me than the kidney thing because I'm very embarrassed about my voice), give up my cable.

5 things you would do with a million dollars. Pay off and redecorate my home and then redo it every couple years, live it up on a luxury vacation to first Manhattan and then London, take care of my mom's bills for her, support as many homeless critters as I could, have my own car and driver.

5 things you do every morning. Shower, make-up, blow-dry my hair, feed the cats, brush my teeth.

5 things you do every evening. Read, go through my mail, yak (either online or on the phone), feed the cats again, crawl into bed (or crash on the couch).

Monday, September 22, 2008

They FEEL like necessities!

I have been on a shopping tear lately. If I remember properly, the three prescriptions I picked up on Friday came to about $70. I have no room to complain, since without my insurance they may have cost three times that. It's just ... another $70.

My DVD player broke and I got another one at Sears for just over $100. Buying this made me grumpy, but what was I to do?

On Sunday I bought jeans, a sweater, cologne and a purse. All were on sale and terrific deals, and I could argue that I needed the jeans and sweater and that they will become an integral part of my fall work wardrobe. The purse and cologne ... I just wanted them. This came to $170. That's good for all that I bought, but still, it's $170.

Then there were the Cubs 2008 Central Division Champion tshirts I bought for myself and my nephew. That was $50.

Today I went to The Body Shop for the Vitamin C capsules that contribute to my dewy complexion. I left with a two month supply, as well as bottle of bubble bath and the Shea Body Butter I simply cannot live without! The total for my lunchtime errand: $68.96. It sounds like a lot, but I saved $30.45 by redeeming my "points."

That's about $460 dollars from Friday to Monday. If I have many more weekends like this, I won't be able to afford my own life. None of it seemed extravagant, like when I have indulged in retail therapy as a quick fix for a bad mood. But in this economy, with the news the way it is, I have to look at these things more closely and try to be more disciplined and frugal.

(But it is such a sweet green 9 West satchel, and it was almost half price!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

DAY 21 -- September Fitness Challenge

Walked my full 10,000 steps, which entitles me to move the exericon at the bottom of the page. I also have resisted temptation mightily -- opting for Cheerios for breakfast instead of pancakes at the coffee shop. I have to act as cheerleader for myself here, as I bought jeans today and am sad and disgusted to report I'm still a size 14.

But, since I woke up to find it wasn't just a dream and the Cubs truly have clinched it, I was able to easily shake off the blues and stay focused.

Sunday Stealing #4

Sunday Stealing: The "All About Me" Meme

Complete each sentence.

I am: a Cubs fan!

I think: therefore, I am a Cubs fan.

I know: finishing this meme isn't the best use of my time right now, but I'm doing it anyway.

I have: many chores to do today.

I wish: that when I check my lottery numbers, I'll find I won.

I hate: it when I'm moody.

I miss: my best friend.

I fear: being poor and vulnerable when I'm old.

I hear: the air conditioner humming.

I smell: nice and clean because I just got out of the shower.

I crave: unprintable for a G-rated blog.

I search: using Google.

I wonder: what she's doing tonight. (An old pop song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.)

I regret: very little.

I love: my cats. They are so cute and content.

I ache: around my shoulders. I need a nice, deep tissue massage.

I am not: physically fit.

I believe: in God and country.

I dance: infrequently.

I sing: in the shower.

I cry: even less often than I dance.

I fight: fair.

I win: at Scrabble.

I lose: at Black Jack.

I never: drink coffee.

I always: use moisturizer.

I confuse: "effect" and "affect."

I listen: to the Oldies Station in the shower.

I can usually be found: at the keyboard.

I am scared: of flying. Or, more specifically, crashing.

I need: a new cable box so I can hook up my new DVD player!

I am happy about: the Cubs. (Go, Cubs, Go!)

I imagine: myself completely happy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This is the year!

The Cubs beat the Cards by one run, but it still counts and my Boys in Blue are the NL Central Champions for the second year in a row! I am emotional right now, thinking of my dad and grandmother in heaven who never got to see this in their Cub-loving lifetimes, so I'll let Eddie Vedder speak for me. If you're wandering about YouTube, check it out.


Someday We'll Go All the Way

by Eddie Vedder


Don't let anyone say that it's just a game.
For I've seen other teams and it's never the same.
When you're born in Chicago, you're blessed and you're healed,
The first time you walk into Wrigley Field.
Our heroes wear pinstripes, our heroes in blue,
Give us the chance to feel like heroes, too.
Whether we'll win and if we should lose, we know
Someday we'll go all the way.
Yeah, someday we'll go all the way.


We are one with the Cubs, with the Cubs we're in love.
Yeah, hold our heads high as the underdogs.
We are not fair-weather, but foul-weather fans.
Like brothers in arms, in the streets and the stands.
There's magic in the Ivy and the old scoreboard.
The same one I stared at as a kid keeping score.
In a world full of greed, I could never want more.
Someday we'll go all the way.
Yeah, someday we'll go all the way.

And here's to the men and the legends we've known.
Teaching us faith and giving us hope.
United we stand and united we'll fall
Down to our knees the day we win it all.
Yeah, Ernie Banks said, "Oh, let's play two".
Or did he mean two hundred years?
In this same ballpark, our diamond, our jewel.
The home of our joy and our tears.
Keeping traditions, and wishes made new,
The place where our grandfathers' fathers, they grew.
The spiritual feeling if I ever knew.
And if you ain't been, I am sorry for you.
And when the day comes for that last winning run, and I'm crying and covered in beer.
I look to the sky and know I was right today.
Someday we'll go all the way.
Yeah, someday we'll go all the way.

Saturday 9 -- Would you take them back

1. Think of all your exes. Would you take any of them back? My 90s guy -- I'd take him back. I think. I don't know. Maybe. He's my big WHAT IF.

2. What was the first car you drove? What happened to it? A Chevy Impala. I left it behind when I moved out, and my parents sold it to a neighbor boy.

3. What’s the longest amount of time you have driven a car non-stop? 4 hours maybe. If I have to pee, I INSIST we stop.

4. Have you ever been stood up on a date? If yes, when? No.

5. What TV network do you watch the most? MSNBC (I'm a news junkie).

6. Pick out a song you like that has special meaning to you. Share with us what song is it, and what’s the meaning to you. "Emotionally Yours" by Bob Dylan. A guy I was seeing told me how it popped into his mind because it summed up how he felt about me. I thought it that was soooo romantic and very sweet.

7. Who was your first celebrity crush on? My mom tells me that when I first saw Paul McCartney on The Ed Sullivan Show, I said, "He's so pretty it hurts to look." I was six at the time. I still feel that way about him now.

8. What is your favorite romantic comedy movie? Holiday, with Cary Grant and Kate Hepburn. Or Two Weeks Notice, with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock. I love those movies where WE know they're in love but THEY don't know they're in love.

9. It has been said, "First Loves Are Never Over." Is this true for you? No. It's very over.

To play along, or to see how other bloggers responded, click here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A bit of baseball history could be made

The regular season is just about over, so my beloved future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux won't have many more starts after tonight. If the rumors are true and he's really going to retire at the end of this season, this could be the last time he'll ever face San Francisco. Already one of the best pitchers in baseball history, he needs only one more regular-season victory to move past Roger (boo! hiss!) Clemens to be the 7th winningest pitcher ever.

So tonight is not just another game. I'm so nervous, you'd think I was watching the Cubs! (The Boys in Blue really kinda sucked today, losing 12-6. Cincinnati beat the Brewers, though, so the Cubs' Magic Number is 1.)

Day 19 -- September Fitness Challenge

An apple/blue cheese/blueberry salad, two hard-boiled eggs and yogurt with blueberries on the bottom.

That's protein, calcium, fiber, and vitamin C.

A filling and nutritious way to spend my time stuck here at my desk. I'm waiting to hear from Sears that I can pick up my new DVD player. It's just a few blocks away and I'm hoping I can rush over and get it before I'm missed.

Kwizgiver doesn't mind when I swipe these

Honest, she doesn't.

Ever fight in a church?

Only with the pastor

When was the last time someone said you were hot?
It's been ages. :(

When did you last lie with a straight face?
Yesterday

What is the most money you have spent on a gift?
$200

Ever taken pics you regret?
no

Would you rather live in the country, city, or suburbs?
City

Last time you were truly in love?
I'm always in love. The relationships just don't succeed.

Ever take money from a stranger?
no

Who is on your mind right now?
Lou Piniella

Do you think piercings are sexy?
not so much

Who did you last curse at?
Somebody on the el platform, but it was under my breath

Do you donate blood?
Yes

Are you religious?
Yes

Where did you graduate from?
Didn't

Do you like your job?
usually

What is you're heritage?
German/Irish

What is you're favorite kind of music?
Pop

Are you healthy or do you have medical problems?
I have some nagging, chronic health problems, but today I feel peachy

What was the last Youtube video you watched?
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Do you have any ridiculous fears?
Being in a plane crash

What is the most disgusting thing you have ever seen on the internet?
Someone being cut from a snake after being devoured alive. It might have been fake. I was too creeped out to look closely.

What should you be doing right now?
Working

What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
Purses

Do you regret doing anything over the last week?
no

If you could have any type superpower what would it be?
I'd be invisible

Who will be the next president of the United States?
I'm scared to predict

When did you last have a great kiss?
I don't remember exactly WHEN it was, but I remember who and where. Sigh

What was the last thing you purchased?
I ordered a DVD player and hope it will be available for pickup soon

What are your current goals?
Seeing the Cubs through to their second consecutive NL East Championship!

Ever see the 2 girls 1 cup video?
no

What so far is the single best moment of your life?
Hard to pick just one. The first one that pops into my head was when my then-boyfriend woke me up because he was holding me so close in his sleep. It was a very sweet moment

Do you watch the olympics?
No

What do you do to try and help the environment?
I'm a good recycler and I don't drive

What is your most favorite meal in the world?
Rib eye steak

What do you think of guys that wear pink shirts?
I don't care

What is your favorite breed of dog?
Shelter rescue

Is there a celebrity that you dont understand why they're famous?
Paris Hilton

Do you dislike any celebrities?
Scarlett Johanssen

What do you think of dating someone you meet on the internet?
I don't see myself doing it

Do you return purchases back to the store often?
No

Is there any TV shows you wish were still on the air?
thirtysomething -- though now it would have to be fiftysomething

What is your favorite smell?
Bacon frying

How do you feel about the cost of college tuition?
it's ridiculous

What hobby would people be suprised that you enjoy?
This blog -- only one person in my "real" life knows about it

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?
I've become more of a team player

Are there "friends" in your life that you wish werent in your life?
no

Is there any accent that you find sexy?
Brits

Do you prefer yellow or white gold?
White

Do you know what your birth flower is?
no

Would others say you are open minded?
Depends on the topic

Do you honestly consider yourself a good friend?
yes, very

Are you looking forward to anything that is happening in the next 24 hours?
Cubs beating St. Louis, Milwaukee losing to Cincy

Have you ever set up friends and they ended up together long term?
no

If you could have any person in the room with you right now who would it be?
My best friend

What were you doing right before you started this?
Trying to ignore this piece of work that is sitting here, staring at me, and making me feel guilty because I haven't finished it

Thursday, September 18, 2008

DAY 18 -- September Fitness Challenge

I couldn't work out today. But, instead of candy, I had first fruit salad and now yogurt. In the past ten days, I have had official "sweets" twice: Twizzlers at the movies and a sliver of chocolate brownie (with chocolate chips) on Tuesday. I have a sweet tooth, no two ways around it. But I'm trying to substitute a lot of empty sugary calories with fewer, nutrionally-laden calories. So far, I'm doing fine.

Oh, me of little faith!


How could I not believe that the Cubs would get 4 runs in the 9th to tie … that Kerry Wood would kick Brewer ass in extra innings … and that in the bottom of the 12th with two outs, D Lee would come through with an RBI single to center? Shame on me!

I believe we just saw what our skipper, Lou Piniella, would call, "A Cubbie Occurrence."

Magic Number: 2

Xanax, carnations and Paul

I am in a mood as I write this. That would be a BAD mood. Let's see now -- my DVD player is broken and replacing it is not an expenditure I planned for, I didn't get to work out today, but I do get to revise perfectly lovely copy that I don't think requires revision (but my boss does), my best friend is incommunicado because his clients are financial firms and they're freaking out and making all kinds of demands on him (which means I can't), and the Cubs are losing.

But I am determined to take control of my emotions and turn this day around. I popped a Xanax, I am listening to the always comforting Sir Paul McCartney (who right now is filling my office with "Silly Love Songs") and best of all, I got fresh flowers. 8 stems of very deep purple carnations. Get this: the florist gave them to me for FREE, a thank you for being such a regular client! It's not the $10 (though the $10 is good), it's the gesture that's so nice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #86 -- Funny Is as Funny Does


13 of TV's Funniest Ladies

Growing up, the TV characters who made me laugh most often were women, and women on sitcoms. (Carol Burnett had her moments, but for the most part, I didn’t even crack a smile.) It’s still that way today: It's sitcoms and their heroines that amuse me the most. So, in honor of this weekend's Emmy Awards, here are my favorite TV Funny Ladies, in the order that they occurred to me:

1) Lucy Riccardo. I Love Lucy. Vitameatavegamin. John Wayne’s footprints. The Friends of the Friendless. Lucy threw herself into everything with such abandon that her adventures make me laugh again and again and again.

2) Samantha Stevens. Bewitched. She always seemed so reasonable, even in the most ridiculous situations. Elizabeth Montgomery’s graceful yet complete and utter suspension of disbelief made the show work, and Sam made “We-ell …” an acceptable response to anything.

3) Laura Petrie. The Dick Van Dyke Show. I’ve always believed that Rob’s wife was funnier than WJM's Associate Producer. I think of her as the “pathological snoopy nose” who unfortunately opened an inflatable boat in her living room, or the thumbless wife of Rob’s walnut-filled nightmare, and I smile. And no one cried funnier than Laura. “Oh, Roo-ooob!”

4) Anne Marie. That Girl. I’ve been rewatching the show on DVD and discovered that Anne’s tender moments with “Donald” and “Daddy” are insincere, all watery eyes and whispery voice. But as lame as Marlo Thomas was back then as a dramatic actress, she was just as funny a comedienne. Whether trying to bowl with her toe or being all Method-y and learning how to act like a chicken (for a promotion at a chicken restaurant) by watching a chicken, she is so passionate about everything she does it’s funny. In that respect, she’s like Lucy. Anne Marie wants what she wants sooo intensely that she’ll do anything, and we’ll go along for the ride.

5) Carrie Bradshaw. Sex and the City. She makes me laugh at her predicaments and yet relate to them at the same time. My favorite Carrie moment is when she wordlessly, defiantly produces a yellow square from her purse, thereby proving to the policeman that he must cut her some slack because she was indeed dumped via Post-It Note.

6) Phoebe Buffay. Friends. Which do I love more? “Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, what are they feeding you?” or “He’s her lobster.”

7) Rachel Green. Friends. I love her clumsy awkward moments. Like when she drunkenly tells Ross’ answering machine that she no longer cares. “And that, my friend, is closure!” Or when she learns to do laundry. Or sings "Copacabana."

8) Grace Adler. Will and Grace. Maybe because I sound just like her when she sings “Free Man in Paris,” or maybe it’s her “I told you so” dance … I can’t decide.

9) Murphy Brown. No one was funnier going from hard ass to softie. Perhaps because no one worked harder to sublimate her her sweet side.

10) Charlene Webster. Designing Women. The sweet and guileless character never seemed to realize that everyone affectionately found her funny. My quintessential Charlene moment has her saying, with a completely straight face, “I love knowledge. In fact, I yearn for it.”

11) Lynette Scavo. Desperate Housewives. Show me Lynette, the ultimate businesswoman and tough-as-nails negotiator, being outdone by those kids of hers and I laugh every time. I think it's because it's a role reversal from all those "Dad brings home the bacon, but he's so clueless" sitcoms.

12) Lisa Douglas. Green Acres. You know, the one who gets “allergic smelling hay.” I love her joyous ability to just roll with it. While she never was able to master cooking in a peignoir, this not-so-dumb blonde managed to integrate herself into “Hootersville” in a way hubby Oliver never did.

13) OOPS! I don’t have a #13. List your favorite TV funny lady in the comments and I’ll add you both here:

1. Candy Minx agrees with me about Jean Smart (Charlene from Designing Women)
2. Sandy Carlson prefers the classics (1-4)
3. SJR would vote for Murphy Brown
4. Cheryl mentioned Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor on Bewitched
5. Michelle's favorite would be Grace Adler
6. Malcolm would include Dorothy Zbornak from Golden Girls
7. Nicholas' favorite is Liz Lemon from 30 Rock
8. Marcia wanted to BE Ann Marie
9. Lori would include Amanda Bynes from She's the Man
10. Adelle thought Elaine from Seinfeld was very funny
11. Nicole Austin also loves Lucy
12. Meju would add Sophia from Golden Girls
13. Joy Renee thinks #13 should be Sookie from The Gilmore Girls
14. Story Teller would add Gilda Radner
15. Brenda laughs at/with Rita from the George Lopez show
16. Lori would add Samantha Jones from Sex and the City
17. Vera Bear would add the third Friend, Monica Geller
18. Journeywoman thinks the 13th spot should go to Dharma of Dharma & Greg
19. Joyful Days would include Carol Burnett
20. Popping Bubbles makes Will & Grace's unforgettable Karen Walker #13
21. Emma Sanders loves Samantha on Bewitched, too
22. Denise does, too
23. Darla goes for the classics, 1-4


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!



DAY 17 -- September Fitness Challenge

32 minutes of cardio (20 treadmill, 12 bike). 12 reps on that tricep machine and 16 on the one for my glutes. I am fierce and powerful and will fiercely, powerfully scroll down and move my little excericon.

The best thing about today's workout was climbing the stairs from locker room to gym behind the most adorable hairy-legged guy with an Ireland soccer jersey and truly delightful glutes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Magic Number: 4


Kerry Wood gets the save against the Brewers. Is there anyone more exciting to watch in a clutch situation than Kerry Wood? I thought not.

Go, Cubs, Go!

DAY 16 -- September Fitness Challenge

So I didn't work out today. And maybe I did have a sliver of brownie (with chocolate chips) at the focus group I attended after work. BUT today wasn't a total loss.

At lunch today I had fruit salad for dessert, and for dinner I substituted yogurt for dessert. Instead of Coke, I had a V8 Vfusion. So I'm still awarding myself a jump rope. (I am, after all, the sole arbiter of such things here in Galtopia.)

No sister of mine

I admit that I, too, am fascinated by Sarah Palin. I'm fascinated by Paris Hilton, too, in that both women have become phenomena and yet have lives that bear no resemblance to the one I live.

Now I know that comparison isn't fair to Gov. Palin, since she has accomplished much in the career she has built, and Paris Hilton is, well, Paris Hilton. But the premise still works in that I find both women completely unrelatable.

Gov. Palin believes that I should be taxed less so I can hang on to more of my own money, since I know better how to spend it than the US Government does.

Gov. Palin opposes gun control because she believes that, as an adult American, I have a right to carry and use a weapon.

Yet Gov. Palin doesn't feel women should be left alone to make reproductive decisions about our own bodies (even in the instance of rape and incest).

I'm sorry, but I don't understand her reasoning and resent her conclusion. As a woman of faith, I resent the way she believes her relationship with her Lord is somehow so superior to mine that is should be legislated.

I sincerely hope that she is never in a position to appoint Supreme Court justices. I also sincerely hope that the press attention on her abates, now that Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch have turned the focus back to the economy.

A nice, round, MAGIC number

Any combination of 6 Cub wins and Brewer losses, and first place in the NL East belongs to the Chicago Cubs exclusively. How cool is it that we're about to embark on a homestand against none other than Milwaukee!

Have I mentioned lately which team it is that has the best record in the league?

I love Lou Pinella. He reminds me of Leo Durocher, the Cubs' manager when I was a little girl. Charismatic, old and alternately funny and grumpy. I don't mean that in a negative way. Not at all. Charismatic, old and alternately funny and grumpy is exactly what we need at the helm.

I discovered her a little late, but I'm glad I found her all the same

Dusty Springfield, that is. I grew up thinking of her as the blonde who sang "Son of a Preacher Man." Oh, and I loved her ultimate 1960s look. All teased hair and fake lashes. She and Michelle Phillips defined 1960s fashion for me. Really, that's all I knew of her.

After her death in 1999, I heard "Brand New Me" for the first time during a radio tribute and had to have it. I found it on a Greatest Hits cassette in the sale bin at Coconuts. Since then, I've been listening to her more and more. As I write this, I'm downloading Dusty in Memphis and am soooo loving it.

A friend gave me a Dusty biography and I may still have it around somewhere. But maybe all I need to know about her is in her music. She had such a terrific voice and used it in such an empathic way. There's longing and suffering and joy and wisdom in that voice.

Sights seen

My commutes to and from work Monday were ... memorable.

The el has become more and more crowded as the gas prices go up and people choose to leave their cars at home. This makes it hard for me to get a seat, and when I'm standing it's harder for me to read, so I'm left to pay attention to my fellow commuters. Again, today they were memorable.

This morning a HUGELY pregnant young woman squeezed on board an already crowded train. She looked so tired as she was starting her day. One of the healthy young men in the designated Priority Seats got up and let her sit, while others in in Priority Seats look away from the scene sheepishly.

This evening I saw a hooker in skinny jeans pick up a john in very baggy pants. It was hard for me not to see since she was seated, I was standing in front of her, and he was behind me. I wriggled out of the way so he could stand in front of her, which put his crotch about even with her face. She was eating a Tootsie Roll pop in a very Phoebe Cates/Fast Times in Ridgemont High kinda way and he stared at her soulfully. This went on for several stops. Finally she said, "next stop." The only words either of them spoke. The woman I was standing in front of rolled her eyes and I had such a difficult time stifling a laugh. I mean, it was the most completely ridiculous situation! As the train pulled away from the platform, I saw them talking. Negotiating the price, I guess. I suppose I always knew things like this happened, but I never witnessed it, up close (way too up close) and personal before. I was actually afraid that he was going to unzip right then and there. I'm no prude, but I'm still creeped out. It was so totally unsexy that I'm sorry I saw it. I felt like running away from the train, shrieking like Blanche Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde, "My eyes! My eyes!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't stop thinking about it

I have a neighbor that I really dislike. She's one of those people who always has a chip on her shoulder. She should squeeze ahead of you in line at the local post office or to use the dryer in the building laundry room because … well … she's her. She's always in a hurry, her time is always more valuable than yours, and she never says "hi," "thank you" or even, "screw you" because she's always on her cell.

I don't like the bitch very much.

But over the weekend I saw that her fledgling neighborhood business is shuttered, and there's a nice, big EVICTION NOTICE on the door. Her inventory is still neatly arranged on the shelves, so I assume she was hustled out in a hurry.

My first thought was, I hope the cops brought pepper spray when they came to evict that pit bull. Then I was ashamed of myself. It takes guts to open your business. It must have broken her heart to lose it. That, of course, assumes she has a heart. Let's try this: it must have broken her spirit to lose it. I have seen for myself that she has plenty of spirit!

There is some level where we are all the same. For she and I, you have dig way deep to find that level. But still, this was a terrible thing to have happen to anyone, even her. In my own tortured, I-still-hate-you way, I feel sorry for her.

DAY 15 -- SEPTEMBER FITNESS CHALLENGE

I'm eating yogurt with berries and no granola as I write this. I worked out -- 30 minutes of cardio, 12 leg lifts on each leg, and 20 reps on that machine that works the triceps. I got to move that little cyclist on the bottomof the page another notch, so I'm pretty satisfied with myself.

Manic Monday #18

What's worse, physical or mental cheating? Why? It depends on the man who is doing the cheating. I know it sounds like a cop-out answer, but it's not. I've known men for whom sex really was no big deal, and with one of them, the intimacy of genuine friendship would hurt me more. If the guy is more conventional about love and commitment, then the physical cheating would be worse.

Do you think men and women can be just friends? Why or why not? Oh, yes! I have many men friends, and if we're hot for each other, it would be news to us!

How do you feel about dating co-workers? While I acknowledge that it is most likely a very bad idea, I have found it irresistible.

To see how other bloggers responded, click here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

No Hitter!

The first Cub game in DAYS, and it was worth waiting for! Instead of playing in Houston (Ike), the Cubs and Astros took the field in a "neutral" spot, Milwaukee, aka Wrigley Field North. The bats woke up, and Carlos Zambrano pitched the first Cub no-hitter in decades. I love my Boys in Blue. Right now, I even love Zambrano.

DAY 14 -- September Fitness Challenge

Leg lifts on the floor in front of the TV (with my cat, Charlotte, keeping me company by doing the feline version -- trying to kick the stuffing out of a catnip mouse). From a culinary point of view, I rediscovered PB&J, and I enjoyed it. This is a low-fat way to get that protein I'm told I lack.

Sunday Stealing #3

Sunday Stealing: The Meme About Blogging



1. How long have you been blogging?
Since May 2006

2. Any advice to beginners? Nope

3. What are the good things blogging has brought to your life? It's a nice "bus man's holiday." I write for a living, but the subject matter and medium are dictated by my clients. (As it should be; they're paying for it). This way I get to write just to express myself. It's a great journal, wonderfully organized for me, and just waiting for me to chronicle my life. And it's been a terrific way to see how similar my life and feelings are to other women's, all across the country. There IS more that unites us than divides us!

4. What would you consider the pitfalls? I either have to figure out how to keep it anonymous (which is a drag) or pull my punches (which defeats the journal aspect). I've fallen somewhere closer to anonymity, but it's hard.

5. Tell us about your blog name. Ever think of changing it? If so, to what? Why? There weren't a lot of appropriate names available with "musing" in the title. There you go, that was my deep, creative process. It still works, so no, I haven't thought of changing it.

6. Knowing what you know now, was starting a blog a good thing for you? Why or why not? It was a good thing. It's comforting to have a place to deposit whatever is bugging me, making me happy, or that I'll want to remember years from now. It also helps me connect with others in a way that is, weirdly enough, often more "real" than my "real life," again, because of the anonymity.

7. How do you think blogging, bloggers, or the blogosphere has changed since you started? I get less spamming than I originally did a couple years ago (thank you, Blogspot). And I get fewer annoying commenters. I guess because I've learned that deleting them is more effective -- though infinitely less satisfying -- than responding.

8. Ultimately, what would you like your blog to accomplish for you or others? I'd like it to be an evolving chronicle of my life, and if it resonates with you, I'd like you to share.

Party like it's 1929

There goes Lehman Brothers … right after Freddie and Fannie and Bear Stearns. Are AIG, Merrill Lynch and Washington Mutual (the good people who hold my mortgage) next?

I have no idea what any of this means, but I know it's not good. I wish Barack Obama and John McCain would quit talking about lipstick and pigs and explain if these developments have any impact on their plans for the economy.

It's sooo frustrating! Four years ago it was a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage (hey! whatever happened with that, anyway?) and Swiftboating. Republicans are so good at this -- throwing a smoke bomb to distract us from what's really at stake -- and then the Democrats have to respond or it looks like the smears or silly "cultural warfare" stereotypes are true, and somehow frivolity rules the news cycle and no one talks about the real stuff, like Lehman Brothers and Freddie and Fannie and Bear Stearns.

Yes, they're ugly, but I love them

It's been raining -- and raining hard -- since Friday night. I am not in any way minimizing the horrors those on the Gulf Coast are suffering, but here it is mid-September, and Chicagoland is already setting records for monthly rainfall. Homeowners along the Chicago River have been evacuated, and that isn't standard practice. I'm in a fourth-floor condo, not a house with a basement, so I'm not as adversely affected as some. But I'm a little blue and feel almost trapped indoors.

It's times like these that I love my Crocs. To borrow from one of my favorite Marcia Ball songs, these shoes are "the right tools for the job." My far prettier denim/cork sandals are STILL soaked through from a run to my favorite coffee shop yesterday brunch. My Crocs? They then took me around town to my other errands, and are dry, comfortable and ready to go out into the rain again today.

I'm embarrassed by their looks, but I when I need them, I shamelessly turn to them. It's my fabulously dysfunctional rainy-day relationship.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I, on the other hand, like it

The Women has gotten some really brutal reviews. Yet I enjoyed it. Especially touching to me were Ryan's relationships with her best friend (Annete Benning) and her housekeeper (Cloris Leachman). Yes, Jada Pinkett's lesbian character seemed more like a plot device than a person. Yes, Ryan's transformation was a bit too neat. But you know what? It was fun all the same. The clothes were pretty (I loved Annette Benning's bag), and most of the performances were good. Hell, it was worth the price of admission just to watch Debra Messing's face while she was in labor. It was a fine enough way to escape a gloomy Saturday afternoon.

I'll be interested to see how The Women did at the box office. While the audience size was certainly respectable, I felt like one of the younger women there … and I'm 50. I wonder how big the middle-aged audience is.

Saturday 9 -- Whistle While You Work


We are talking about jobs today. Pick any job of your career. Tell us when and where it was. Then answer today's Saturday: 9.

1. Tell us which job your are telling us about, and when you had it. I am currently the Associate Creative Director and have been here since 2004.

2. Where do/did you work? Just off Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The location is one of the things I like best about this job.

3. Tell us about that boss. He's another thing I like about it. He's very low-key, which balances my more agitated work personality. And after his dog had hip surgery and couldn't use the stairs as he recovered, my boss slept downstairs with him. Gotta respect a man like that.

4. Do/Did you find your work creative? If yes, how? Well, it is in my title! I do enjoy concepting -- coming up with new ways to sell familiar products.

5. Tell us about your favorite co-worker. I met my best friend at this job. He always put our client first, which I admire. On a personal level, he's one of the few people who seems to accept me as I am. I don't meet people I'm this comfortable with often, and I miss him every day.

6. Tell us about the biggest jerk in that job. The freakazoid bitch who fired my best friend. I know there are tough business decisions made every day and I accept that. Hell, I've made quite a few myself. But this wasn't a business-based decision. She's not about doing what's best, she's about winning. Canning my best bud is just one decision she's made that I don't respect.
7. Where do/did you see yourself with this job in five years? This is advertising -- 5 years out is too far to predict! If I make it through 2008 without being canned, I see myself there through 2010.

8. Tell us about your commute. 45 minutes door-to-door on the el. I have more company on the train these days, with gas prices over $4.00/gal

9. What hours of the day do/did you work? I get there when I get there (at least for now -- I do expect my boss to lose patience with me one of these days) and I stay until 5:30 or ... I once worked until 4:00 in the morning. We live by schedules, and I am proud to report I always make my deadlines. Yes, there may be bruising and occasionally loss of life, but I make my deadlines!

To play along, or see how other bloggers responded, click here.

No More News for Me

The wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Ike is making me anxious. No one knows anything yet -- the ferocious storm is still battering Galveston and Houston and it's impossible to know what the damages may be. It's gray and rainy again here, too. It would be easy to get very blue today. So instead, I'm returning to the safe and familiar: That Girl!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Please think of Ike's most vulnerable potential victims

The Houston SPCA is ready to help strays and pets who find themselves lost, soaked, or injured as a result of Ike with a lost/found hotline and emergency foster care. To come to the aid of those with fur and feathers, they need everything from medical supplies to bottled water to rabbit pellets. And this costs money. Please click here and help with a donation.

I know I've been begging a lot lately … what with plugs for Windows of Hope to help hundreds of children left behind when the Twin Towers fell and the Louisiana SPCA as they prepared for Hurricane Gustav. But that's because giving can be such a great deal. In exchange for the few minutes you spend keystroking your credit card number in on a website, you'll get instant relief from the frustration you feel when you see such sad stories on the news or in the paper. AT LEAST YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING! That thought can really comfort you. Honest!

DAY 12 -- September Fitness Challenge

Not working out today because I simply don't feel like it. It's gray, it's rainy, and I have become quite attached to the contraband heater that's warming my feet.

So let's look at my nutritious lunch, instead: small cup of clam chowder (not great, I know, but it's got protein, at least) and grapes and, for dessert, blueberry yogurt. I have maintained my candy moratorium for another day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Magic Number is 11

A 1-run victory is still a victory, which means that the Boys in Blue will go off on their unscheduled two days off as winners.

Kerry Wood was the closer, and naturally, I called out words of encouragement to him via my TV. Somehow my big ol' tomcat Joey interpreted "C'mon, Kerry Wood" as "Squeeze your massive feline body up against mine and watch the end of the game with me." While I didn't invite him onto the sofa with me, Joey was gentle, comforting company for those last 3, nerve-wracking outs.