Saturday, January 31, 2009

My serenade to Blago

No jogging in too-tight spandex. No front porch press conferences. No poetry recitations. No breaking into Spanish. It was fun while it lasted, but now it's over. I miss you, Buddy. Even more, I miss the $400 I donated to your first gubernatorial campaign.*

If Dusty Springfield were here, she'd sing:

I just don't know what to do with myself
Don't know just what to do with myself
I'm so used to doing everything with you
Planning everything for two
And now that were through

I just don't know what to do with my time
Im so lonesome for you it's a crime
Going to the movie only makes me sad
Parties make me feel as bad
When I'm not with you
I just don't know what to do …

*Oh, yes I did! I'm not proud of it, but confession is good for the soul.

Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a happy miracle

The California woman who gave birth to eight babies this week -- while "only" expecting seven -- already had six kids. She has no husband, and the kids have no father -- neither legally nor biologically. All 14 of these children resulted from in-vitro. I'll leave it to others to oooh and aah over this medical miracle. Her situation confuses, appalls and depresses me.

It took a team of 46 to deliver the octuplets. Who paid for it? This woman and her family have had their share of financial problems, having abandoned a home and filed for bankruptcy recently.

What clinic would implant embryos inside a woman who already has 6 kids, all under the age of 8? Wasn't her doctor concerned about whether the woman can provide care for all these children? With so many babies -- all of whom had low birth weights, which places them at risk for serious problems ranging from lung disease to stroke to cerebral palsy -- can she see that they all get proper medical attention over the long haul?

It's easy to say that she never should have had these kids. But she did. Whose responsibility is it to see that they have a healthy, safe future? Of course it is primarily it's up to her, but I cannot possibly be the only one who questions her judgment. These helpless babies didn't ask to be born, and now that they're here, can we as a society turn our backs on them?

My biggest question -- why didn't she just adopt? If she had a burning desire to be a mother, if she has the love to give, why not lavish it on a child who is already here and in the foster care system? I live next door to a children's home and right now can see two kids, both of whom I'll wager are under 10, giving one another rides through the snow in a neon green saucer. These two are already here, I can see their breath as they play and laugh. Why not give ONE of these youngsters a forever home, instead of bringing FOURTEEN more into the world?


Friday, January 30, 2009

The cutest men and the rudest women

You can find 'em both at my health club.

Today, as I was entering the locker room area, a delightful 30-something -- looking all casual and David Cookesque (is that a word, Lisa?) with his scruffy near-beard and disheveled hair and all-white shorts/t-shirt/earbuds ensemble -- held the door for me and I fell in, if not love, then Mary Kay LeTorneau lust. Then there was the very handsome shiny/sweaty man whose dreadlocks bounced merrily as he ran his laps around the track. Sigh.

But in the women's locker room, there are women who feel that it's more important for their water bottles, iPods and hairbrushes to sit on the bench than my ass. That really makes me nuts. Or the woman today who, rather than asking me to move my gym bag, leapt over it and scared the crap out of me. I mean, I'm untying my shoes and a gazelle passes before me! Worst of all is the skinny old woman who straddles the bench and eats hardboiled eggs -- right there where, if I'm lucky, my ass has been.

Do you think that, if I ask really nice, they'll let me dress with the boys?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where do they go? What happens to them?

Long ago I accepted the sad fact that I cannot help everyone who needs it. So I began concentrating my efforts for greater effect -- now it's a handful of charities get a check every month; I regularly take a bag of groceries to one food pantry, the one that's affiliated with my church; there's always a particular homeless person that I give change to. The thing of it is, every now and again "my" homeless guy disappears! Fortunately -- or unfortunately, I guess -- there always seems to be another to take his place.

Last Spring, it was the man by the newspaper vending machines. He was always happy, regardless of the weather. He seemed healthy enough, too, at least as well as I could tell. One day, though, he disappeared and I never saw him again. Perhaps the owners of the nail salon and Mexican carry-out place that he sat in front of asked him to move along.

More recently it's been the nearly-blind man sitting on the plastic milk crate outside of McDonald's. His health seemed far more fragile because of his oddly-spaced teeth and cloudy eyes. But he recognized me and thanked me for my spare change by saying, "Thank you. Your kindness will not be forgotten. Have a blessed day." One day I started over to him and discovered to my embarrassment that I had no change. "Don't worry. I still love you," he said. I believe he meant it. Yet this week, he's gone, too. I worry more about him. It's been so cold and he didn't seem very robust.

Today, huddled in the doorway beside where the nearly-blind man once sat, a new gentleman asked me for change so he could buy lunch. "Thank you," he said. "This is a help." His manners were so good that I have adopted him now.

But the happy man by the newspaper machines and the nearly-blind man who remembers my kindness ... Where did they go? What happened to them?

I don't think I want to know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Would Blogthings lie?

They're right, I don't believe it. But I like hearing it anyway.

You Are Cute!

Believe it or not, you are much more attractive than you realize.

You don't try too hard, and that's one of the cutest things about you.

You have a vibrant glow about you, and people are drawn to your energy.

You're not perfect, thank goodness. Your flaws are part of what's lovable about you.

And a modern-day Elliott Ness shall lead them

Here's another reason why I think the Blagojevich affair should drag on and on and humiliate all citizens of Illinois, just when we should be proud that we have a favorite son in the White House.

We ALL let this happen.

The bar for impeaching a governor here is pretty low. It's not quite as easy as the legislature saying, "I don't like the cut of your gib," but it's close. We have known for a while that our governor is, in the immortal words of Mayor Daley, "cuckoo." Why didn't our lawmakers do this earlier? Why didn't we voters demand they do it?

Because, thanks to Governors Ryan, Walker and Kerner, we all just kinda figured Blago would limp out of office and then be indicted. It's what usually happens here. No big deal. At least no one is dead, not that we know of yet (see post below).

It took the spotlight on Barack Obama, and the indignation of my straight-laced sweetie-pie, Patrick Fitzgerald, for us to see that it IS a big deal. We get the government we deserve. We've all been too lax, too cynical, for too long.

As Fitzgerald pointed out, we are the Land of Lincoln. And yet a convicted pal of Blagojevich's, William Cellini, bribed and bought his way into a painting in the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Really. Cellini appears in a portrait, commissioned by the Museum, that depicts Lincoln on the night he waits to hear of his re-election. Rumor has it Mrs. Cellini has a prominent spot in another Museum oil painting done by the same artist.

Next month is Lincoln's bicentennial. Dignitaries from all over the world will be in Springfield to honor Honest Abe. Many of them will be gazing upon the visage of a convicted felon who bribed his way into the museum. Skin-crawly, isn't it?

So I hope the country gets a good laugh out of Blago and Illinois for a good long time. We deserve it. And maybe now, finally, we'll say "enough!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You go, Blago!

I am watching my governor on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show. I missed him on Nightline, but I did catch him on Good Morning, America and The Today Show and (via You Tube) The View. He's so ballsy, so fabulously full of shit, that I am actually enjoying this. He's not guilty of corruption! He's been impeached because he got free mammograms for lower income women, discounted meds for my mom, and is trying to stop Sam Zell and Tribune Company from (gasp!) tearing down Wrigley Field. The Illinois Legislature is filled with Snidley Whiplashes who twirl their mustaches and laugh as they drive the White Knight out of office!

As an Illinois citizen, taxpayer and voter, I'm not horrified by this spectacle. I'm amused. Here's why:

Blagojevich is not THAT bad. At least not by Illinois standards. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you George Ryan. He's Blagojevich's immediate predecessor, and he's in prison right now. The worst of all the charges Ryan was convicted of involves selling big-rig drivers' licenses to unqualified truckers. One of those drivers hit Rev. Scott Willis' car and quite literally incinerated the Willis' six children. Think about that -- Scott and Janet Willis lost their entire family because George Ryan financed his campaign by selling truck licenses. This happened in 1994. But now think of it in a post-9/11 world. George Ryan could have sold one of those licenses to a terrorist -- a member of Al-Queda could have been on the expressways hauling hazardous materials. Consider that next time you're stuck on the highway behind a big rig with Illinois plates.

But wait! There's more! The first time Blagojevich ran, I voted for him because he wasn't Jim Ryan. No relation to the former governor, this Ryan was pretty icky, too. For in 1985, he basked in the praise and positive press he received for prosecuting and convicting a young man named Rolando Cruz and sending him to Death Row. The crime -- kidnapping, raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl -- was brutal and disgusting. The conviction was reversed and Cruz was retried … and found guilty yet again. Only one teeny-tiny problem: Rolando Cruz was innocent, and Jim Ryan knew it. At least he knew that another man, Brian Dugan, had confessed to the murder. Ryan's assistant attorney general resigned rather than try to block Cruz' appeal, as she was ordered to. The facts came out when Cruz was exonerated and he turned around and sued DuPage County for more than $1 million dollars, and won.

So how bad is goofy hair and a potty mouth, really? Oh, I know he's going to be removed from office. I bet he ends up in prison for at least a time, too. I'm sure he will deserve it. But bribery, extortion and stupidity aren't as bad as allowing an innocent man to rot on Death Row in exchange for statewide fame, nor to allow six children from one family to burn in their car because licensing unqualified truck drivers is profitable.

It's nothing personal, but you all annoy me

It looks like juice in this coffee cup, but I spiked it with cheap vodka. Because my all my coworkers are bugging me today.

I am not their mother. Were I to have a baby, it would be a tiny pink body that weighs between 6 to 8 lbs.; it would most emphatically NOT be a gaggle of fully-grown 35 to 50 year olds.

We began this project last Friday. I won't bore you with the details, but it's not bone crushingly difficult. My boss said back then he wanted to see something "mid-week." This morning, I pressed him as to when exactly he wanted to review our work in progress. This whole team -- hell, all of advertising -- is very deadline-driven and if we don't have a deadline, we tend to procrastinate. Including my boss. "Oh, how about 1:00 tomorrow?"

So I sent out an invitation to the team to attend an internal review with our boss at 1:30 tomorrow. I gave us an extra half hour.

Yet all day the art directors (including the one who exasperates me) have been complaining about being under the gun, and about all the questions they have that keep them from completing the task at hand. Let's see -- you've known about this since Friday, why didn't YOU manage YOUR time better? And don't just look at me pleadingly and with big eyes -- if YOU have questions, why are you asking ME? Go talk our boss your damn self! I've written the copy, I'm done and waiting for you!

My favorite comment -- "Boy, I wish I'd worked on this over the weekend." Hell, I wish you had, too. But what do you want me to do about it NOW? It's Tuesday afternoon!

I'm drinking vodka. I'm listening to Sir Paul. I'm blogging. Leave me alone!

Heads or Tails #22 -- Loud

Make any kind of post using "Loud" as your prompt. You can either use the word itself or post about something that IS loud.

My "loud" post is all about the family that starred in a PBS "reality show" (back then they were merely 'documentaries') more than 30 years ago. The Louds enjoyed instant, if short-lived, celebrity as An American Family.

Bill and Pat Loud lived in California with their 5 kids. They opened their upper-middle class home to filmmakers, who documented their every move and aired them over 12 episodes -- including when, at Pat's request, Bill moved out of the house, and when their son, Lance (second row, far right), came out of the closet.

My family was riveted by the show when it first aired. My parents were aghast by Lance, but I thought he was great. He was totally over the top and nelly, but I figured he had to be to get his uptight parents (we used words like "uptight" back then) to see and accept him as he was. I was sad to learn from Wikipedia that Lance died back in 2001 at the age of 50. Even though his life was relatively short, I hope it was happy.

To play Heads or Tails yourself, click here.

Tuesday Tunes #17

What music can cure whatever ails you, and why?

The most reliable individual day-brightener in this Gal's world is "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire. It's about nostalgia, so the lyrics are upbeat without being too heinously cheerful, and I just love the sound of it. Hearing this has been known to make me smile at my worst moments.

- Earth Wind & Fire Lyrics

A distant second is "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5, because it's evocative of something I undoubtedly wish I was doing (lolling around in post-coital bliss with a man I love) instead of ailing.

If I needed lots of curing, instead of a just a jolt of song, I'd turn to Sir Paul. Beatle Paul, Wings Paul, solo Macca … it's all good for what ails me. Paul McCartney has provided the soundtrack to my life, and there's always a good memory attached to his music.

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

In Praise of Chris Noth

You're looking at a durable TV star here. He clocked 147 episodes as Mike Logan on Law and Order and Law and Order: Criminal Intent, plus a L&O made-for-TV movie. Then there's his 41-episode stint as Big in Sex and the City, plus last summer's SATC movie.

I find him sexier as Detective Mike Logan. Which is odd because Big was always the often-idealized object of Carrie's affection. But over those 147 episodes, we saw glimpses into Mike Logan that made him even hotter than his tall-dark-handsome package. Irish-Catholic alter boy still battling demons, rough-and-tumble street kid turned dedicated cop. I loved the chemistry between Logan and Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), as two snotty, cynical, smart-ass cops who had seen too much and cracked wise to stay sane. Big may have had a better tailor, but Logan -- wrestling with his personal demons as he protects and defends the citizens of New York -- is more attractive and multi-dimensional.

I'm always happy when, like now, I can't sleep and am rewarded with an early 1990s rerun of Law and Order featuring Det. Logan. He makes a lovely last sight before I close my eyes and doze off again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A movie meme! I love movie memes!

What are your favorite movie musicals?

5) Summer Stock (1950) -- "Forget your troubles, c'mon, get happy!"

4) Mary Poppins (1964) -- "I love to laugh, loud and long and clear, I love to laugh so everybody can hear"

3) The Sound of Music (1965) -- "Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good"

2) Funny Girl (1968) -- "Whatever my man is, I am his forever more"

1) A Hard Day's Night (1964) -- "Tell me why you cried, and why you lied to me"

To play along, click here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Interview me

Kwizgiver was interviewed by one of her blog buddies, I thought I'd try it too!

Five questions from Kwizgiver
to The Gal Herself

1. There's a totally complete media blackout on all baseball coverage. How would you follow the Cubs? This was the easiest of the five. For after each game, an L or (most likely) W pennant flies above the scoreboard and it's easily seen from the el tracks. All I'd have to do is go a little (OK, more like an hour) out of my way to get the final result. And while I was in Wrigleyville, I'd probably get off the train and visit one of the many bars and talk to those who had been at the game. Buy a Cub fan a beer and it's not hard to get his opinion on the Boys in Blue.

2. President Obama would like you to be his advisor for... what? I'd like to be his special envoy to the Hillary Contingent: White women over 50 who make less than $50,000/year. Technically speaking I don't belong to this group, but I very easily could have if I didn't have luck and mentors early in my career. I understand them and their issues. Rahm! Are you out there, Rahm! Please pass this suggestion along to POTUS.

3. If you had to create and market a new holiday, what would it be like, how would it be celebrated, would there be decorations, (etc)? Beatles Day! Yes, I know they're British, but what the hell. It would be the first Monday in April, commemorating the week of April 4, 1964, when the Beatles held all five positions of Billboard's Top. Schoolchildren would hold Beatle assemblies, during which they would perform Beatle songs. TV stations would run A Hard Day's Night and Help! the same way we see It's A Wonderful Life and Rudolph every Christmas. It would customary to display the words, "All You Need Is Love" in windows and on doors. Children are told to be good or ELSE (meaning or else Yoko Ono will visit and terrify you in the night).

4. You have to be escorted to work by a mime, a marching band, or a color commentator... which would you prefer and why? My favorite question! A marching band. Mimes scare me, a color commentator would interrupt my ability to read the paper on the train. But a marching band! Ah! I'd not only get a seat on the el, I might get my own car!

5. What would you do if you were given a thousand dollars to perform random acts of kindness? This is such a fun fantasy! I'd take $500 and go grocery shopping -- picking up as many non-perishable "buy one, get one free" items as I could and then take my booty to the food pantry. I'd divvy up $400 among animal shelters, because they suffer mightily as the economy falters. I'd use the last $100 to buy McDonald's and Starbuck's gift cards and distribute them to the homeless I see downtown. It would give them the opportunity to go indoors and buy something warm -- but not liquor or cigarettes.

Want to play too? Here's how:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond with five questions chosen just for you. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday Stealing #17

Sunday Stealing: The Sassy Meme

1. If you could say anything you wanted to say to George Bush, what would you say? "Mr. President, I believe that when you get to Heaven, Jesus will slap you upside the head and say, 'How dare you blame ME for the invasion of Iraq!'"

2. If you had to be the mother of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan, who would you choose and why? Really? Do I HAVE to choose one? I'd rather shave my legs with a cheese grater. OK -- Britney. Why? Because you're making me.

3. You get to be Queen for a day. The kids are all taken care of, and you can spend as much money as you want. What do you do all day? While I'm being outfitted by a Personal Shopper at Macy's, a cleaning service will be scrubbing, vacuuming, polishing and shining throughout my condo.

4. Is there a song that brings tears to your eyes every time you hear it? If so, which one? "Save the Best for Last" by Vanessa Williams. Because it's how we felt at the beginning of our relationship, but not at all how we felt at the end, and that makes me unutterably sad.

5. A fairy taps you on the shoulder and tells you that you can either have a perfect face or a perfect body for the rest of your life. Which do you choose? Bod

6. If you could live any place in the world and money was no object, where would you live and why? Here. I'd just live better.

7. What is your biggest regret in life? I try not to regret anything because it's a waste.

8. If you could go back and visit one person in your life who is now dead, and ask one question, what would that question be and why would you ask it? I recently found out that, even though I understood he had been living Germany, my grandfather came to America on a boat that originated in Norway. Why? Did it stop in Germany? Did he run away to Norway so his parents couldn't find/stop him? What gives? (I know that' s more than one question, but I'd ask them in rapid succession so it still sounded like just one.)

9. If you had the choice to age forward (like we are now) or aging backwards (think Benjamin Buttons) which would you choose and why? Like we are now. Cuz.

10. What will the epitaph on your headstone say? Hopefully, as Wilbur said of Charlotte, "She was a good writer and a true friend."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pity the Wheelers of Revolutionary Road

I loved this movie, though I may never see it again. Which is unusual for me, since I often re-rewatch films so many times that I can recite chunks of dialog from the ones I love, especially love stories.*

But this one rocked me because I "got" April Wheeler so completely that I ached for her. The couple's fights rang so true they made me very sad. And the end hit me almost like a physical blow -- even though I saw it coming, I wasn't prepared for how terrible it would make me feel.

I wish the relationship they had with their kids had been fleshed out a little more. That would have helped explain the characters a bit more and added to the poignancy, but that's a small quibble with a movie that's very well acted and very well done.

If you go see Revolutionary Road expecting to see the stars reprise the doomed but perfect love Jack and Rose shared in Titanic, you will be disappointed. The Wheelers are, in their own way, just as doomed, but their love is complicated, messy and far from perfect.

*"I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Here's looking at you, kid."

Boys will be boys

For the first time in more than a year, I spent more than just a few minutes talking to one of my favorite people. He got married recently, and he's just now settling back into his old routine -- after the wedding, honeymoon, and holidays.

I completely adore my buddy. I met him more than a dozen years ago, when he first moved to Chicago from St. Louis, and liked him instantly. He had a lust for life … and girls, beer and sports -- exactly as I expected. He was (and is) also sweet, positive and genuine -- not at all what I expected from such a big, muscular kid. About 15 years my junior, I mentored him at work and was his confessor regarding adventures outside the office. It's been a joy to see the man he's become.

I could give you many examples of how thoughtful he is, but here's my favorite: About 5 years ago, I was hospitalized briefly for a painful but not serious malady of the feminine nature. After I was released, I had to stay in bed for a couple days. The pain meds messed up my vision and I couldn't read, I couldn't go online ... I was so bored! He called me from work and watched Cub games with me over the phone. That's my boy.

But this is also my boy -- he regaled me with tales of lap dances and strippers and hula girls at his Las Vegas bachelor party. He knows I'm not a prude and that I'll love him no matter what, but boy! I accept that this sort of thing goes on all the time and I'm not judging him, but it does startle me to hear.

He also told me how seriously he takes his role as stepfather to his bride's 7th grade son. He worries about classmates that have too much freedom and too little supervision after school. He told me how much more he appreciates his own parents today for the values they instilled in him, and how he hopes he can use their example as his lives up to his responsibility to his stepson.

I'm glad he's settled and happy. He's glad that now that his life is more routine again, we'll be able to see each other more often. I'm glad, too. I want to be around to watch this new chapter of his life unfold.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank you, Michelle

Michelle just began stopping by my musings recently and bestowed the "Lemonade" award on my humble blog. Let's see if she still enjoys reading it come spring, when this old gal's fancy turns to the Cubs. (By then it will be too late, Michelle. I have the award and I'm NOT giving it back!)

1) You must link back to the person you received the award from.
2) You have to nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award!

Lisa -- She who kicks ass and craves chicken pad thai
Kwizgiver -- Greater love hath no woman than she for memes and George Clooney
Mimi -- She rules the blogosphere from Bloggingham Palace with a firm but compassionate hand
Lulu -- Her posts are filled with humor and empathy
Silverneurotic -- She's great at capturing the moment as she gives us great little glimpses into her life
Malcolm -- Pop culture is his life!
No Nonsense Girl -- Cuz I miss her
Sandy -- Where beautiful words meet beautiful photos
Boliyou -- Whether it's books, or politics, or movies or memes (yes, that one was kinda weird after all), she knows her stuff
Storyteller -- Her blog is always such a comfortable, welcoming place to visit

Look what I got this morning from Mimi!

The glamorous Ms. Pencil Skirt bestowed this award on me. It classes up the joint, doesn't it?

According to the rules you must list your 5 addictions and pass it to 5 bloggers.

1. Classic Coke
2. American Idol
3. Blogging
4. Cable news
5. The Chicago Cubs (First game is April 6 in Houston)

I now bestow this award on these FABULOUS bloggers:

Cupcake -- who loves the Boss and Tom Brady
Book Mama -- who generously shares her thoughts, worries, and lovely family (including Ms. Snowbird) with the blogosphere
Mo -- who is funny, literate and a champion of critters
Jenny McB -- who has an eclectic blog that covers everything from politics and golf to cats and knitting
Bud Weiser -- who will probably insist the award is really a drawing of his close, personal friend Jill Hennessey

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I must never wear this blouse again

For I just caught sight of myself and I look like a fat pigeon. I think it's partly because it's a mock turtleneck and I look astonishingly neckless. I also think it's because I could stand to lose a pound or two (or twenty).

I am trying to stay dedicated to a healthier lifestyle. I did, indeed, work out today. However, if I am to maintain my enthusiasm for this venture, I have to avoid seeing my reflection the way it looks in this blouse. It's very tempting to say, "What the hell!" and grab a pair of Hostess chocolate cupcakes for comfort.

A Chicago Tradition Under Siege

It's customary for Chicagoans who have had to shovel their own cars free to reserve that on-the-street spot with a chair. (Or a baby stroller, a crate, a bucket of rocks, etc.) It's also against the law, as legally, street parking belongs to any and everyone. The law is seldom enforced, but that may be changing.

Ald. Dick Mell (ironically enough, the estranged father-in-law of Governor Blagojevich) has emailed his constituents that they must stop doing this. Only the city can reserve a parking space. He doesn't like junk in the streets, and shovelling a spot doesn't make it yours.

Huh? What? Of course it does!

I didn't realize that this was a uniquely Chicago custom, that snowy side streets in Minneapolis and Portland aren't dotted with lawn chairs, dining room chairs, the occasional ginormous imitation/unbreakable Oriental vase, etc. But I think it's fair. If you were out there at dawn to liberate your car, why shouldn't get to park there again when you get home in the evening?

I don't drive so my opinion has been instilled more by a sense of fairness than experience. I welcome the outsider's opinion. If you shovelled your own car free, do you think you deserve to claim that spot as your own?

One of us has changed

I used to love, LOVE this show! For years! Yet tonight I fell asleep on the sofa during tonight's episode. What gives?

Is it all the cast changes? Only Van Buren and McCoy can be considered series veterans. Can that be why it's just not gripping me anymore? I'm not sure, as this, the original L&O is the least character-driven of the franchise.

Since it's nearly 3:00 AM and I'm wide awake, I can contemplate this at length. AAARGH!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is this meme weird?

Kwizgiver, from whom I stole it, calls this The Weird Question Meme. I'll let you be the judge.

If you got trapped in an elevator with someone, who would you want it to be?
I was once trapped in an elevator with an elderly lady who couldn't stop talking about all of her friends in the hospital and all of their maladies. It was excruciating! "Her skin is like PA-PER!" So that's why I want to be trapped with someone who has healthy friends.

What is your favorite cereal? It changes. Currently the winner is Honey Bunches of Oats.

Do you own any cowboy boots? No

What is something you would never do in public? Cry

Have you ever had really strange dreams? My Magnum dream ranks pretty high. I'm trapped Thomas Magnum's Ferrari when it explodes and he has to save me. This dream annoys me for two reasons: 1) I don't find Tom Selleck attractive and don't even think of him very often; 2) the damn car is a convertible and how can I not be able to figure out how to escape on my own? I mean, isn't this akin to being trapped on an escalator?

Name a friend or loved one who has passed away. Grandpa. I think of him often these days.

What’s your earliest memory? In front of the picture window in the living room of what we all call "the old house." I'm using the red ottoman to steady myself as I try to stand up.

Have you ever broken a bone before, and if so, how? My clavicle, falling down a flight of stairs.

Have you ever stepped in dog poo? Yes

Ever bitten your toenails? I don't think I even could

Who is your all time hero? Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She was smart and tough and yet feminine and gracious.

What colors do you think mix well? Blue and black

What did you eat recently? McDonald's Filet o' Fish

What was your favorite cartoon movie as a child? Mary Poppins (Hey! It had cartoon penguins! The horse race was animated, too.)

What’s your favorite movie now? The Way We Were

Do you paint your toenails? I prefer to have someone else do it, if possible.

Is your computer a fast and awesome computer? The one at work, yes. The one at home, no.

What do you do, or want to do for a living? I'm an advertising writer. (For the time being, at least. Keep your fingers crossed for me.)

If one of your long lost exes called you and asked for you back, would you take them back? No. Well, maybe one of them ...

Have you ever been a heart-breaker? Yes. I hated it.

What’s your favorite instrument? Either piano or guitar--either one played well (Kwiz' answer, and it's a good one)

What is a country you want to visit badly before you die? Ireland, I suppose. But it's not a burning desire.

Have you made a bucket list? No

What things in history amuse you the most? The mistakes and flubs. Like Fort Jefferson in Florida. Everything that could go wrong in its construction did. It's still not done. The story is like a Monty Python skit.

Have you ever eaten lipstick? No

What are 3 accessories you have to be equipped with when you go out? My purse, my keys, my iPod

Have you ever licked a window before? No. (OK, maybe she's right and this is a weird meme.)

If someone dared you to run across a busy street for 1 thousand dollars, would you? Maybe ...

Would you kill someone for 9 million dollars? No

Who is your worst enemy right now and why? You know, I can't think of anyone right now. So I'll fall back on my old reliable: Steve Fucking Bartman

Have you ever been in a physical fight with anyone before? Fight? No. But I have had my ass kicked. I'm just no good at fighting back.

What brand of cell phone do you have, and which service provider? LG and AT&T

Do you wear slippers or socks? Slippers at home, socks with shoes

Do your feet stink? No

Have you ever picked your butt in public? I straightened out my panties, but that's it.

What is the strangest pet you’ve ever owned? A gray turtle named Bobby Jo. My mother and then-baby sister found it in the lake and I kept him in plastic turtle bowl on my desk. He used to climb on a rock and sun himself under my desk lamp.

Do you love life or hate it? Love it

Who is the hottest person in the entire universe, in your opinion? JON HAMM (aka DON DRAPER). I love that man.

What do you do every night before bed? Fantasize about JON HAMM (aka DON DRAPER). Or put dishes in the sink.

If you play along, let me know so I can compare our answers.

This is kinda true, I guess

What Your Handbag Says About You

You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.

You are a high maintenance person. You feel lost outside of your normal environment.

You are a very creative person. Your life tends to be a whirlwind, but you always seem to pull it together.

You are practical and down to earth. You tend to be a rather reserved and quiet person.

From the sublime to the ridiculous

On a day when the world was focused on Illinois' own Barack and Michelle Obama, another Illinois politician had a busy afternoon, as well.


Accused governor visits pretrial services office in federal courthouse

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

They make married love sexy

I know a lot of married couples. Some of them genuinely like each other and I like watching them interact. But few of them still seem as romantically in love as these two. They whisper and smile and kiss. I've enjoyed watching them swing and sway to "At Last" at these inaugural balls. Sigh.

My Grandpa would have loved this speech

Barack Obama spoke of the fair and honorable America my Grandpa left Germany for, and that he loved and believed in with a pure patriotism that was downright corny. I wish he could have heard the 44th President say:

"We understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

"For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth. For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

"Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction."

You know, I prefer to believe that, in Heaven, my Grandpa did hear this. And I just know he misted up.

As the Bush era grinds to a close ...

... amazingly enough the song that keeps running through my head is by (of all people) Barry Manilow. Go figure.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaugurals Rock!

Ok, most Inaugural Addresses are forgettable. But all the historians and speech writers I've heard today agreed on 3 that really stood out.

• One I know really well -- JFK's. "Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed," and "So my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

• One I am very familiar with -- Lincoln's second. "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

• One (FDR's first) I only heard snippets of until this evening, when C-Span ran the it in it's entirety. "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts," and "The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it."

Sleep well, President-Elect Obama. You'll need all your strength tomorrow, since all we expect from you is a combination of JFK's enthusiastic call to action, Lincoln's unifying sensitivity, and FDR's comforting optimism. I know it's too much to ask, and probably almost impossible to accomplish … but still, I hope you can pull it off. I am soooo enjoying the wave of hope we're all riding as we wait for you to take the oath of office.

Hey! What about Scooter?

With all the excitement and enthusiasm over the incoming President, it's easy to forget the current President. But as Bush 43's term grinds to an end, I'm wondering whatever happened to poor Scooter Libby. I figured that, since he fell on his sword for Darth Vader and Turd Blossom (Cheyney and Rove), he would be pardoned.

According to Newsweek, that's not going to happen.

I think that sucks.

I am not, never have been, a Bushie. Naturally I think Libby's actions were reprehensible. But he's served time and geez, where's the loyalty?

Random 10

10 songs that sum up your weekend...or were on your weekend playlist...and one picture that relates back.

I had my 1980s playlist on this weekend, including:

I Get Weak -- Belinda Carlisle
We Got the Beat -- Go Go's
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun -- Cyndi Lauper
Hungry Like the Wolf -- Duran Duran
The Power of Love -- Huey Lewis & the News
Jack and Diane -- John Mellencamp
Daddy's Back -- Kenny Loggins
Whenever I Call You "Friend" -- Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks
Someday, Someway -- Marshall Crenshaw
Everybody (Wants to Rule the World) -- Tears for Fears

To play along yourself, or to see how others responded, click here.

The perils of sleeping with the television on

Before I dozed off last night, I heard two things on cable news: (1) that the way Barack Obama brought the previously disenfranchised into the system is reminiscent of Bobby Kennedy and (2) the significance of Inauguration Day coming right after Dr. King's birthday.

I had a nightmare last night that I won't put into words. In addition to Barack Obama, it included my friend John and, of all people, Meredith Vieria.

It was so real that it took me a little time to reassure myself that it wasn't true.

I was an impressionable little girl in the 1960s and those assassinations are tattooed on my soul. I passionately want to believe that the country I live in today is no longer the country I grew up in. I believe that Obama's very election is proof of that. So my nightmare was simply the result of awakening the demons of my/our past.

Remind me to NEVER go to India

Not since Babel has a movie made life in a foreign land look soooo uninviting! Even though it left me feeling like a lottery winner because I was born into a middle-class family right here in the US of A, I still enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire. It delivered moments of genuine joy and glimpses of true love, and the narrative unfolds in a most original way, with compelling flashbacks that stem from an appearance on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Days later, I think of all that the very young Jamal went through to get the autograph of his favorite movie star, and I smile. The first time he kisses his dream girl ... it's so sweet. (Of course, it helps that Jamal looks like my adorable friend, who has been on my mind a lot these days.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sorry, not possible

This morning a rather poopy pundit appeared on MSNBC and said he thought that Obama was going a little overboard with all the Lincoln homages this week as he moves closer to his own inaugural.

Nuh-uh! No way! At times like this, we can't have too much Abe. After all, it was Lincoln who believed that "every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

"She's a good kid"

Spent a few hours with my niece and my mom today, and am reminded anew that Becky can be very thoughtful. She remembered that months ago I had casually expressed an interest in a Lennon DVD she had, so she brought it along today. She also wore a Hard Rock tshirt that I picked up for her years ago. These were considerate gestures made by a 16-year-old girl.

Yes, she can be petty. Her complaints about her kid brother revealed an immaturity and a rivalry that remind me that, despite her expansive vocabulary, her honor-roll report cards and sharp sense of humor, she's still just a kid.

But as my mom, her proud grandma, likes to say, "She's a good kid."

It seemed like a good idea this morning

Cabin fever has been getting to me. I'm not really an outdoorsy girl in that if I never went camping again, I would still consider mine a life well lived. But I like the sun and enjoy looking at the sky through the branches, and I've missed being outdoors. So today, when the mercury climbed to 20º, I decided to walk my 10,000 steps en route to my mom's, picking up the bus at the halfway point.

Oh … my … God … It was a very bad idea! It wasn't the temperature that made it gruesome, it was all those frozen, unshovelled walks. I felt like I was traversing a frozen tundra, and it took much, much longer than it usually does.

Oh well, it was a good workout, and it was nice to take in the sun and sky. The visit with my mom and niece was good, too. So it was a bad idea with some redeeming facets. (If only my feet weren't still so cold!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This was supposed to help. It didn't.

My art director/partner came by my office yesterday. I asked her to, actually, because I wanted her to get off the dime and finish a project we have been working on since before Christmas. Because it doesn't have a hard and fast due date yet, she's been content to let it sit so she can spend her days shopping online and texting her much-younger boyfriend. Because I believe layoffs are imminent, I'm not as content. I want it known that I care about my client, and she's not going to drag me down. I told her that.

She changed the subject. I'm taking Tuesday off as a vacation day. Since we have Dr. King's birthday off Monday, that gives me a four-day weekend. She wanted to know what my "big plans" are.

My "big plan" is to watch my Senator, Chicago's own Barack Obama, inaugurated. It's history. I can't be there in person, but I can watch it live from my living room. This is very, very important to me.

This bothers my art director. I should go out more. I should get a man. She's willing to help.

I told her not to give it another thought, as all the age appropriate men are married or gay. I meant this as levity, hoping to get her off the subject and out of my office.

I wasn't so lucky.

She went on to tell me that all I need is a makeover and I could score a younger man. I have nice enough skin to get someone younger, she tells me, and I have "a good personality." After all, I'm "very funny." All I need is the confidence that would come from the right clothes, makeup and hair. She is willing to help.

I don't know why she thinks this will cheer me up. I think I am rather honest in my self-assessment. It doesn't help to HEAR that all that's wrong with how I look.

She doesn't know me as well as she thinks she does, so she can't know how much not being pretty hurts. I'm not ugly, I don't scare dogs or children, I'm just not pretty. I know it, and it's always hurt. Because I'm smart and reasonably accomplished, it's not supposed to hurt, but it does.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead

Which old witch? The Freakazoid Bitch! She and I clashed nearly all the time, because she wasn't about doing the right thing, she simply wanted to win. She seemed to view almost every project as another opportunity to bring me to heel. I cannot tell you how ineffective that approach is with me (or most people, for that matter).

I knew last evening was her going away party. It was the coldest night of the year and I wasn't feeling well, but that's not why I didn't attend. I am very particular about who I drink with, and am too old to "go along to get along."

I didn't realize, though, that yesterday was her last day, as well! I got in today and her office is empty. No hug? No fond farewell after reliving all the good times we shared? No? Are you sure?

Thank God!

Timeless words of wisdom

"Marijuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb. So don't try and equate liquor to marijuana, mister, not with me. You may be able to sell that jazz to another pot head, but not to somebody who holds a sick kid's head while he vomits and wretches on a curbstone at 4AM. When his legs get enough starch in them to stand up so he can empty his pockets, you can bet he will have a stick or two of marijuana. And you can double your money he'll turn up a sugar cube or a cap or two. So don't con me with your mind expansion slop. I deal with kids here every day. I try to clean up the mess people like you make out of 'em. I'm the expert here, you're not."

So sayeth Sgt. Joe Friday, superstud of the LAPD in the mid-1960s. His show, Dragnet, included a rant like this in almost every episode. If you're not familiar with it, get yourself to YouTube and enjoy!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There's a price for keeping secrets ...

… and I don't want my little nephew to pay it.

The family is abuzz about a paper my third-grade nephew wrote. The topic was, "Something that bothers me." My nephew wrote about how his parents fight with his sister for "hours and hours," and that it gets so loud he goes down to the basement with his Gameboy and tries to ignore it.

My sister (his mother) saw it and was mortified. She asked him if he had to write about his sister and how they argue. "What?" he asked defiantly. "Do you want me to lie?"

The hand-wringing has gone from how he spilled their noisy, messy homelife to how "mouthy" he was in defending his composition. I don't understand what all the fuss is about because:

1) My niece, a sophomore in high school, does argue with her parents. About cellphone minutes, and time behind the wheel, and her aspirations. I don't see why this is especially scandalous. I bet the teacher has heard and seen worse.

2) My sister, the baby of the family, is very sharp tongued but doesn't realize it. So she doesn't recognize that, when the tone gets hostile or sarcastic, my niece is living what she's learned.

3) I think it TERRIFIC that my nephew is using his words to share what's going on inside. It's better than punching a wall or acting out in school. I wonder how much of this at-home stress, and keeping it to himself, contributes to those miserable headaches he suffers. If writing about it and telling his teacher what's going on at home helps, then I'm grateful for it.

I suppose that in the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I was on barbiturates in first grade for sleepwalking and chronic diarrhea. Yet I still got in trouble within the family for letting people know what went on behind closed doors at our house. Then, as now, keeping the family secrets was paramount, regardless of the cost.

Look who's here to keep me company!

I always love Lucy, but never more so than when I don't feel good. Here I am, on the sofa with my cat Charlotte at my side, watching Lucy try to reunite with Ricky. She missed the ship that's taking Ricky and the band to Europe and … well, you know Lucy. Hi jinks ensue. And I am content to just sit here and be amused by them.

Yeah, but I'm stubborn

It's after 1:00 AM and I'm up again, unable to sleep. I woke up with a headache and a stuffy nose. It's just a cold, no fever, but it's sapping my energy and mornings have been so tough for me.

Thursday promises to be a heinously cold day (the high is predicted to be -1º F). We're terrifyingly slow at work this week and I realize that if I slept in (provided I can go back to sleep!) my coworkers would somehow be able to muddle through without me.

And yet I really can't stand weather whining. It's January in Chicago -- historically our coldest month, when the average temperature is always below freezing. I really resist letting my agenda be altered by the thermometer, or a tenacious airborn virus that's set up a temporary residence inside this old gal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fave meme

Liberated from Kwizgiver

1. Political show:
Morning Joe on MSNBC. They always have a variety of opinions represented, and even when the guests disagree, they do it with civility and fun.

2. Picnic food: Potato chips.

3. Mixed drink: I spent my time in Key West enjoying pomegranitinis, and they were very good.

4. U.S. President: Of all time? Lincoln. FDR would be second. My lifetime? Kennedy. All three of them inspired us to rise to the occasion and try to be all we can be as a nation. I have high hopes for Obama (even though I'm old and cynical, I want to believe what we can do if we listen to "our better angels").

5. Kind of student to teach: I'm still learnng myself.

6. Hobby you do or wish you still did: I'd like to learn another language.

7. Sports commentator: Pat and Ron (Pat Hughes and Ron Santo, the Cubs radio team)

8. Sport to watch on TV: Cubs baseball

9. Animal to have as a pet: I'm a feline aficionado

10. Halloween costume you have worn: Harpo Marx

11. Kind of dessert: Right now I'd like a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie

12. Comic strip: I read Apartment 3G when I was in high school. Does it still exist?

13. Ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip

14. News source: I'm a news junkie. I read the Chicago Tribune every Mon-Fri, Time and Newsweek, and I watch MSNBC and CNN.

15. Vacation spot: Chateau Elan, a winery and spa in Atlanta. If I'm still employed, I want to go back this March. (That's a photo of the spa above)

16. Wine: Since I'm thinking of Chateau Elan, I'll go with their muscadine wines. Light and sweet and with a kick that creeps up on you.

17. Way to waste time instead of working: blogging, Pogo, email, watching TV (my answers are suspiciously like Kwizgiver's)

18. Reality show: American Idol, especially after the auditions. (This IS Kwizgiver's)

19. Children’s movie: Mary Poppins (Likewise, Kwiz and I are on the same page)

20. Celebrity you wish would retire: Madonna and her, "Oh, look! I'm outrageous" act. To paraphrase Cabaret, "You're about as shocking as an afterdinner mint."

It helps to remember

I still don't feel good, and I've only been sleeping fitfully, so I'm reminding myself of a Thursday 13 I wrote in May, 2007. It's all still true, and it's a nice salve for my sickly, pre-dawn soul.

Thirteen Things that Delight

Norman Maine referred to “little jabs of pleasure, like when a swordfish takes the hook.” I believe our lives are filled with those little jabs of pleasure … moments of joy that touch your heart a bit on even the saddest days. Here are 14 of mine (I included an honorable mention), listed in the order they occurred to me.

1. Chicago’s lakefront. The vastness of our great Great Lake never fails to take my breath away.

2. Oldies. Singing tunelessly along when a truly cheesy 70s song always gives me the giggles. I may not be able to remember where I left my checkbook, but I do know all the lyrics to “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”

3. Talking to my mom. We blab on the phone for about an hour every weekend. Every now and again it washes over me that we aren’t exclusively mother and daughter anymore; we’re also two women who like one another. I think that’s quite cool

4. My best friend’s name and number. I love coming around my desk to see the message light on alongside his number. Or opening my email to see his name there. Doesn’t matter what he has to say. I’m just glad he’s out there somewhere.

5. Pat and Ron. How to describe the Cubs radio team? As utterly charming, that’s how. I’d always rather listen to a game than watch because of them. Ron is Ron Santo, Cubs All-Star third baseman and one of the most idiosyncratic, and least objective, baseball broadcasters you’ll ever hear. More than once I’ve known a call hasn’t gone our way because I’ve heard Ronnie literally groan in my ear. He’s also one of the bravest, most positive characters around. He’s had so many health problems, and yet he always manages to sound upbeat (unless an outfielder loses one in the vines). Pat is Pat Hughes, the play-by-play man and the professional broadcaster in the booth. His pipes are spell binding and his wry sense of humor helps even the most broken-hearted Cub fan find something positive about any given game.

6. Paul McCartney. And I love him. Have since I was 6 years old. He’s provided the soundtrack of my life. From “All My Loving” to “Fine Line,” his familiar voice can always make me smile.

7. The sky. I love just looking out at the sky. From a cloudless light blue to a stormy gray to a starry black night. There’s a beauty and personality to its every form.

8. Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Hot chocolate. Hershey’s chocolate. Ghirardelli’s chocolate. Hostess cupcakes chocolate. It’s all good.

9. Going through my mail. There is always the possibility that I’ll find something exciting in there. Found money … a letter from my cousin … a magazine with McDreamy on the cover …

10. Really bad movies. Glen or Glenda. Valley of the Dolls. Change of Habit. Give me an unspeakably bad movie, a big glass of milk and a box of Nilla Vanilla Wafers and just watch my mood improve.

11. Really good movies. Casablanca. Citizen Kane. Gone with the Wind. It’s a cliché, but the classics really don’t ever go out of style, or even appear dated.

12. Going to the movies. I’m not talking about what I’m watching; I’m referring to the actual act of going to the show. You know, grabbing your popcorn or your Sno Caps and settling into your seat in a darkened theater. Beginning with the coming attractions, there’s a romance to it that I love.

13. Saving money. Rebate checks, coupons, airline miles, interest paid … The amount doesn’t matter. It’s the adventure of saving the money. It always leaves me feeling I’ve accomplished something.

Am I allowed an honorable mention? That would go to watching my cat Joey sleep. Not only does he look like he’s smiling, he moves a lot when in the throes of serious napping. My favorite nap position is kinda-sorta on his back, with his right rear leg sticking up. He manages to look positively ridiculous and completely adorable at the same time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Love Kara, hate The Bikini Girl

Kara DioGuardi is fun. Paula is her same, sweet sensitive and slightly off center self. Randy is a self-consciously hip parody of himself. Simon is smug and self-assured, but he showed flashes of humanity and compassion. I still can't figure out what Ryan brings to the party, but whatever. In short …


I already singled out the AI contestant that I love to hate. She's the tall tart who showed up for the audition in her bikini and offered to make out with Ryan if she won. Last year it was Danny Noriega, this year Bikini Girl is the one who is nowhere near as adorable as she thinks she is and I hope she goes home after Hollywood. (To be fair, though, her cellulite-free legs are completely amazing.)

Ya got to have friends ...

Over the last 24 hours, I've heard from or been touched by these friends.

My oldest friend sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers in a coffee mug. It's to thank me for the advice and support, even as I worry about my own professional future. While I don't expect such things, it's awfully nice to feel appreciated … and to have flowers greet me when I enter my office still feeling a little crappy from this cold.

My former boss and I had dinner last night. His life still sucks. Short version: he went into the hospital for "minor" surgery last spring and it went very wrong. He endured a long, slow, difficult 3-month recovery, was finally able to return to work, and then was laid off. (For the long version, click here.) BUT his mood is much improved. He still talks about his medical problems incessantly, but that's OK, because that's how he's working through it. (Besides, it's good to know I can still blush.) His good humor is back, and that's a testament to his spirit.

My adorable friend whose wife dumped him is on the mend, too. Strangely enough, finding out that she was having an affair while they were still married has made him feel better. There was no amount of counseling, nothing he could do, to keep his marriage afloat because, unbeknownst to him, she had already left him emotionally. So while on the one hand, he's not crazy about the other man hanging around his former house with his children, it has liberated him to start dating again. Her name is Kristin. God bless her for making my adorable friend so happy.

Lyrics | Bette Midler - Friends lyrics

Monday, January 12, 2009

I feel soooo virtuous

I worked out today! Even though it's cold and I'm still a little congested and weak as a kitten. I did 15 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the stationery bike, 16 reps on the chest press, and some leg lifts. I may be sickly, but I have my eyes on the prize. I WILL work out 13 times in January! (I've also been pretty good about avoiding candy.)

The Mimi Meme

1. Click on the blogs in your sidebar, follow list or blogroll
2. Find S
unday's post. (January 11)
3. Copy the FIRST SENTENCE, whatever it is. Exception: If it is a MEME, copy the ANSWER to the first question. If it is a picture or video with no caption, skip it.
4. Place the sentences chronologically in a story on your blog. Link the first WORD of the sentence back to the blog and list the blogs you used at the bottom of the meme.
5. Title your story using the first word of the first FIVE sentences.
6. Tag the bloggers you borrowed from! Copy these rules and link back to me.

Here's a little story I like to call, "Book Entering Millions Dear Have."

Book Boy finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. Entering the National Contortionists of America's Connecticut Regional Finals was brave. Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Dear George, where are ya? Have a baby. So, here I sit, Sunday evening at 10:55pm.

Book Mama -- So Now What?
WTIT: The Blog -- Sunday Stealing
Inside Mo's Mind -- I'm Manic for Monochrome
Kwizgiver -- Golden Globes are boring
Mimi Writes -- Sunday Stealing
Snarky Pants -- Countdown to the MC

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Umcka Cold Care has a new fan

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, which pissed me off. It's SUNDAY. I wanted to have fun today. After all, yesterday started with a trip to the dentist. Doesn't a gal deserve to have fun?

So I went to Whole Foods to see if there was anything I could take to help me feel better. I settled on Nature Way's Umcka Cold Care Soothing Hot Drink (lemon flavor). And I do feel better. I'm still a few quarts low on energy and I can't concentrate on anything very long, but my throat is less irritated.

If it wasn't for the fact that all I got to do today was three loads of wash and set up my new 20" Sylvania TV, I'd be completely happy. But as it is, I still kinda resent that my weekend was weakened by this cold.

She cracks me up

This is Stephanie Courtney, who plays Flo, the Progressive salesgirl on the car insurance commercials. She's always much funnier than her scripts. Next to Bill and Karolyn Slowski, the Comcast Turtles, Flo is my favorite faux spokesperson.

Sunday Stealing #16

Sunday Stealing: The Hardest Meme Ever

1. What is the bravest thing that you feel you've ever done physically? Four and a half years ago, I walked in on a rape in progress. It was after midnight in the stairwell of the train station. I sobered up very quickly, stood my ground, and very calmly dialed 911 on my cell. I was describing the perpetrator to police even as he ran away. I stayed with the victim as long as I could -- in addition to the injuries you'd expect, the rapist had dislocated her jaw and her face was swelling up. The police separated us, though, so that I wouldn't be compromised if I ever had to testify in court. It really never occurred to me that I could have been hurt until later, when the police were interviewing me.

2. What is the bravest thing that you feel you've ever done emotionally? Therapy. If it's to be a success, you have commit to it and be honest. About everything.

3. What one talent do you wish you had that you don't? I wish I could sing.

4. If you had that talent what would you be doing with it? Karaoke.

5. We all have our reasons for blogging but what would be your ultimate goal for your blog or as a blogger? Create an accurate online journal. I want to be able to read this in years to come and remember what this time of life was like.

6. What advice would you give a new blogger? Don't overanalyze. Just do it. WRITE.

7. Who are you three favorite blogs to visit (Yes, you can have ties and name more than three.) See the links at right.

8. You can trade lives with any one person for a month. Who would it be and why? A pet sitter. I have been wondering if that would be a good second career for me, after the writing thing comes to an end. Would I really enjoy it as much as I think I would?

9. There's a fire and your family is safe but you have the chance to save any one item from your house. What would it be and why? My cats -- unless I can get away with claiming them as family. Then I'd grab my purse.

10. You have the chance to go back in time and warn yourself before making a bad choice. What choice would it be and what would you tell yourself? Don't waste so much time on the man my oldest friend refers to as "the living piece of shit." I know that, wicked painful as that relationship was, it was necessary for me to go through. I just don't know that it was necessary for me to go through the same stuff again, and again and again. (I can be a slow learner.)