Sunday, June 22, 2008

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

I was going to mention the White Sox in the title and illustrate this post with a broom, but that would be sooooo tacky. I'm so happy right now, I can be compassionate toward those tragic loser fans on the South Side. It's been a great weekend!

It's bugging me

My mom is doing well since her hospital stay, and I'm grateful. She swears up and down she hasn't had a cigarette in over a month. She is adhering to her med regimen -- remembering when to take her pills and when to use her inhaler. She's taking it easy but still becoming more active day by day, week by week. She felt strong enough to clean up her own backyard after one of our recent wicked thunderstorms (removing a branch so big it was really a hunk of tree) and I was so proud of her! Her doctor is so pleased with her recovery that he is giving her July off -- allowing her to skip next month's appointment and wait till August to see him again.

But here's the thing: She's getting vague. The first time I noticed it, I thought it was funny. She asked me something about my friend, John. SHE brought him up. I answered. She replied with an anecdote about my brother-in-law. I said, "You're right, that sounds just like John." She said, "John? John who?" I teased her about it and she laughed.

It happened again Friday. It was more subtle, and I didn't even mention it to her. But it did happen and it's been bothering me, little a pebble in my shoe. She told me something cute my older sister said. Only it wasn't my older sister. She was telling me a story about me.

She's getting old. She's over 70 and she endured a bout with pneumonia and is recovering slowly, but recovering all the same. Maybe this is to be expected as her body adjusts to all her meds. But I will remain vigilant. If it happens again between now and her August doctor visit, I'm going to insist she mention it to him.

Sunday Randomness

This week's questions are book related....

1. Who are your favorite authors? Non-fiction: Doris Kearns Goodwin; Fiction: Marian Keyes; Mystery: Sue Grafton or Robert Parker

2. What are your favorite books? JFK: Restless Youth, Gone with the Wind

3. What kind of books do you tend to read? Sci-fi, Romance, Mystery...etc...? Biography, chick-lit, mystery

4. Do you prefer to borrow books from the library or buy them? Buy them

5. Do you prefer hardcover or paperback? Hardcover

6. What was the last book you read? What are you reading now? Last book: Shopaholic and Baby. Currently: Abigail Adams. (They're both on my Shelfari shelf at right)

7. Do you read everyday? Yes. I read on the train, at the health club or over meals.

8. On average how many books do you read per year? From June 07 to June 08, I've read 21 books.

9. Do you belong to any book clubs? Nope.

10. Recommend a good book. Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers by Elizabeth Edwards. This book had a tremendous impact on me. Elizabeth Edwards faces grief, mourning and recovery head on. She spares nothing. Her unflinching honesty taught me many things, not the least of which is to graciously accept help from others when I need it.

To play along, or to check out other answers, click here.

"It's (snap) competition, Bay-buh!"

The TV Land modeling/reality show, She's Got the Look, had given me a freakazoid that I loved to hate, Paula. Striking and beautiful, she's also highly muscled and very tattooed. Oh, and she has virtually no hair. She had a memorable freakout last week, saying that she resented being judged on her appearance. OF COURSE YOU DO, Paula! You entered a modeling competition to show us your intellect. She also lied. She explained away her less than glam portraits by saying she was uncomfortable because she's never been photographed professionally before. Then how do we explain this portrait of "Whip Snap," her alter ego on the Sci-Fi Channel's "Who Wants to Be a Superhero? Sorry, but I don't believe it was snapped with a disposable camera picked up at CVS. And while I could describe her look in this shot as many things, "self conscious" is not one of them.

But this week, my heart went out to her. It was a runway competition and this poor woman could not walk in heels. Could not. She was so awkward, so frightened, so pathetic that I couldn't even bring myself to laugh at her. It was a relief when she was voted off.

So now I'm left with Chicago-girl Celeste as my show villain. More conventionally beautiful than Paula, she's graceful and has decades-ago modeling experience. She's positioning herself as the tough-as-nails, battle-hardened one to beat. When one of the women expressed sadness that her best "show buddy" had been eliminated last week, Celeste pooh-poohed it. "It's (snap) competition, Bay-buh!" And when the women had to reveal something about themselves no one knows, one talked about putting her modeling aspirations on hold for her kids … one talked about a miserable marriage … another was stabbed when she was in junior high … But it was Celeste who really opened up. Yes, she bravely ponied up with, "I play a mean saxophone." I wept.

I'm still pulling for Hope. She's real, she's funny, and she's short (like me). Best of all, I admire how willingly she throws herself into each challenge and changes her look. She's loves fashion and she's going for her dream, and it's fun to watch her.