Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spa! Ah!

I'm here! Slept like a baby during the flight (not gin and tonic, Kwiz, but a few grams of Xanax). Spoke to my mom before I boarded and she's feeling much better, and breathing much better today. I'll check in with her again tomorrow, as I can sense she thinks I'm being "bossy." (Moi?)

The suite is more sumptuous than I'd imagined. The staff is generous and friendly (and my favorite waitress remembered me from last year). I am now prepared to pig out on healthy spa food, watch Idol, and prepare for a day of being buffed and massaged and exfoliated.

Thanks for thinking of me, Kwiz and Vivian and Sparkela. It's so nice to be so honest on this blog and get such support in return. I appreciate your kindnesses more than you know.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Today I settled all family business"

"I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."
"Take the gun. Leave the cannoli."
"I don't want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hands, alright?
"Look how they massacred my boy!"
"But then your daughter would lose a father, instead of gaining a husband."
"I always thought that when it was your time that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone ..."
"You have to answer for Santino."
"Tell Mike it was only business, I always liked him."
"That's your husband! That's your husband!"
"This one time I'll let you ask me about my affairs."

Whenever I watch The Godfather, it's interactive. There are few movies I've seen as often or know so well that I can recite so much of the dialog. I love being able to lose myself in a movie like this. Distracts me from my worries. Too much reality can make a Gal crazy.

Why does this happen before I go away?

Talked to my mom today. Her voice doesn't sound as raspy and her cough is over, but she has trouble catching her breath. She DID call the doctor (good girl!) and he prescribed antibiotics and painkillers for her. She has an appointment with him late tomorrow afternoon. He's been her doctor ever since she went into the hospital last year, so I trust that if it was life threatening, he would insist she go back to the hospital. Still, I am nervous about leaving her.

I am not happy about the smell in my bathroom. You would think that after all the bleach and scrubbing it would smell as antiseptically clean as an operating room. But it's got a faint musty smell, so I worry about those ancient pipes in the wall.

Naturally I'm going away tomorrow for relaxation and pampering and alone time. While battling not to worry about what I've left behind.

Geez, Gal! It's a spa, with champagne and caviar and massages and luxury skin care. It's NOT a punishment! I must calm down and get my mind right.

I really hate traveling anyway. I like vacationing, of course, it's getting from hither to yon that upsets me. This isn't helping.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

She's making me very nervous

My mom, that is. She swears that all she has is a cold. Yet last night she had the chills so bad that she slept wearing her winter coat under the covers. Her cough has left her voice raspy and she's weak. Yet she never took her own temperature and may, or may not, call the her doctor tomorrow.

She's over 70 and it was almost a year ago that she was sick enough with similar symptoms (cough, fatigue) that she ended up hospitalized with emphysema and pneumonia.

I will check on her again tomorrow, even though I can tell she's getting pissed at me for being so "bossy." ("Go to the doctor" … "Take your temperature" … "Can you take aspirin or Advil?") I don't want to go away on vacation at all if it appears she's going back into the hospital again.

This mother/daughter role reversal is a bitch.

I love my Sonic Scrubber

I've been scrubbing the grout between my bathroom tiles for two hours! I am a woman possessed by the smell of bleach and the hum of my Sonic Scrubber.

I know -- it's kind of at odds with the luxury of my upcoming spa visit.* But I like looking at the tiles, seeing them all white and clean, and saying, "I did that!"

*I'm leaving Tuesday AM.

This is what vacation mode looks like

Here's a photo of the very slippers I am wearing as I post this. Restoration Hardware refers to them as "a toasty treat for the feet." And so they are.

I've been up more than 2 hours and haven't really done a damn thing. Haven't even showered or fed the cats! (They have pretty much given up on me -- only Rey continues to remind me that we have a schedule around here and I'm not adhering to it.) Out the window all I see is wet and cold and snow, and it occurs to me that if I don't want to go outside today, I don't have to.

Vacation mode is a wicked and seductive beast!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Men of Law & Order

Hasn't Dick Wolf, producer of the Law & Order franchise, performed a valuable public service by bringing these gentlemen into our living rooms?

"Made it."

One of the shortest, yet most welcome emails I've ever received. My best friend and his family are finally home, safe and sound. Being snowed in at a lodge in the mountains -- it's been a spring break holiday his daughters will remember fondly forever. He was no doubt worried about unexpectedly missing three days of work, and I was frightened for his safety. But kids love snow!

The Gal at The Movies

Went to the movies today and saw Duplicity. Now I'm watching Annie Hall again for the first time in years. To borrow from Woody Allen as Alvy, "Boy, if life were only like this."

Duplicity was fun. Julia Roberts was effectively and surprisingly edgy and Clive Owen is complex and oh so attractive. There's something wonderful about watching gorgeous people fall in love. The magic of movies. "Boy, if life were only like this."

I can't believe Annie Hall is more than 30 years old. It holds up very well and is as heart-tugging as it is funny. Poignant about love, and poignant to watch because it was Woody-before-Soon-Yi. Perhaps I should do a post about separating the artist from his art but not this evening. I'm too happy watching Annie and Alvy attempt to cook a lobster.

Saturday 9 -- Inside the Actor's Studio

The host of the famous Bravo series, actor, professor and host James Lipton asks actors these 9 questions (among many others). Today we will ask you those questions!

1. What is your favorite word? "Deuteronomy." It's fun to say. (Go ahead. You know you want to.)

2. What is your least favorite word? "Affect." Or maybe it's "effect." You see the problem. That's why, in writing, I try to use "impact" instead.

3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? Water. Showers, baths, swimming pools, the sea ... I love them all.

4. What turns you off? Bullies. I hate bullies. Pick on somebody your own size, why don'tcha!

5. What is your favorite curse word? "Fuck." Really, it's all purpose and universally understood.

6. What sound or noise do you love? A cat's purr.

7. What sound or noise do you hate? Eww! The noise you hear when you're unfolding a new, flat moving box and the cardboard scrapes against itself as you insert tab "A" into tab "B." Ick! I've got goose bumps right now, just thinking of it. I may never move out of this condo, just to avoid that noise.

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Pet sitter. I like critters.

9. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome, my child!

To play along yourself, visit Saturday 9: Inside the Actors Studio.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yup. I believe this is true.

Even though I seldom, if ever, check my Facebook account.

You Are Facebook

You are social, outgoing, and excited to connect to your friends.

You are interested in your friends' lives, and you enjoy adding your opinion to the mix.

While you enjoy sharing online, you don't want everyone to know your business.

You value your privacy. Your life is an open book to those you know but not to strangers.

Dear John Update

Last month my dear old buddy, John, was embarking on an almost-romance that had DISASTER written all over it.

I won't go into the entire complicated mess again (since you can read the whole thing here), but I've been worried about him. For some reason, it's always been easier for John and me to make bad decisions when it comes to amour. That's why I was so happy to receive this email today, in response to my tentative question about him and the much-younger (and sleazier) Robbie:

"I haven't talked to him in several weeks. Perhaps he took my advice to go back to St. Louis and regroup. If he's gotten a job, he's not told me. Every time I think I'll call him I just ask myself, why?"

Atta boy!

More about "The Bradford Curse"

Even more trouble for the already-suffering-from-more-than-their-fair-share Bradfords of TV's Eight is Enough.

'Charles in Charge' Star Willie Aames Holds Garage Sale After Bankruptcy, Suicide Attempt

Friday, March 27, 2009

Following a dramatic suicide attempt last Thanksgiving, cash-strapped former "Eight is Enough" and "Charles in Charge" star Willie Aames is selling off his belongings in suburban Kansas City.

Dozens showed up Thursday at a garage sale at his Olathe home, where Aames made deals with bargain-hunters and signed autographs.

A production crew filmed the sale for a TV show.

Items on sale included antiques, artwork, a piano, deer head mounts and TV and movie memorabilia.

The 48-year-old Aames has fallen upon hard times. After he declared bankruptcy and had his car reposessed, he says his wife of 22 years left him.

Willie then moved out of their Kansas home and rented a room in Los Angeles. On Thanksgiving, overwhelmed by the losses, he tried to take his own life.

"I stole a bottle of Jack Daniel's from the guy I was renting the room from," Willie tells the magazine. "I'd been sober for 20 years when I took that first drink... It got so bad, I put a knife to my throat and cut myself in six places."

Vacationing with Geek Gal

Last year, when I went to the very spa I'm visiting next week, I brought a book about the Lincoln assassination. It was the book I happened to be reading and it didn't occur to me that it was at odds with my restive and rejuvenating surroundings until I got there.

This year, here's what's atop my TBR list:

Oxygen -- a novel about an anesthesiologist who makes an error during a routine surgery and "must explain the nightmarish operating room disaster and face the resulting malpractice suit." (A friend survived a harrowing anesthesia incident almost a year ago.)

Clara's War -- "The heart-stopping story of a young girl hiding from the Nazis ... from her years in an underground bunker with 17 other people." Could anything be further away from the luxury of a spa?

And I'm still reading The Kennedy Legacy. JFK is still in the White House, Bobby is Attorney General and Ted is preparing to run for Senate. Everything is rosey now, but in the remaining 200 pages I have two assassinations, Chappaquiddick, divorce, miscarriages, plane crashes and brain cancer to look forward to. Good times!

I'm really phenomenally geeky, aren't I? I'll have to bring Glamour and Allure with me, too. Just to make sure leaven the heavy subject matter with skincare and fashion advice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

About that movie quote

I mentioned in my TT that there's a movie I like to quote in meetings when I can't make up my mind. It's Chinatown. Evelyn Mulwray was Faye Dunaway and Jake Gittes was Jack Nicholson.

Evelyn: She's my daughter.
[Gittes slaps Evelyn]
Evelyn: She's my sister.
Evelyn: She's my daughter.
Evelyn: My sister, my daughter.
[More slaps]
Gittes: I want the truth!
Evelyn: She's my sister AND my daughter!

Please take care of him and his family

"Hi. I am stuck in the mountains. It has snowed 4 days straight. Hope we can drive back tomorrow."

So read the message I received from my best friend this afternoon. I thought he was in his home office, snowed in under a pile of work. Instead he was still in the mountains, where he and his wife and kids had been spending a long weekend with his parents and siblings. He was supposed to be back home yesterday afternoon and at his desk today. Didn't happen. Couldn't happen. Roads are closed and blizzard conditions are predicted to continue until tomorrow morning.

I bet his daughters are loving the adventure while their father is climbing the walls, wondering if there are ramifications to unexpectedly missing two extra days of work when things are so sensitive on his accounts.

I'm glad he's up there with his whole family. He's less likely to try anything reckless like driving impassable roads if he knows knowing he's responsible for his wife and daughters, and besides, his father would try to dissuade him.

My best friend is very important to me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #102 -- The Never Before Revealed Edition



Lisa, aka Snarky Pants, often credits me for helping her with her blog content. Today she is returning the favor. When you have posted as long, and as often, as I have, coming up with things you haven't already revealed about yourself can be a challenge. In my attempt to come up with 13 new Gal facts, I used her 100 Things About Me as my template. (Thanks, Snarkela.)

1. Had I been a boy, my name would have been Jack. Had my older sister been a boy, her name would have been Jack. If my baby sister had been a boy, she would have been named Jack. My dad really like the name Jack but alas, never got to use it on a son of his own.

2. I didn’t plan to be a writer. I was a secretary at Sears Corporate Headquarters and one of the established women executives (and there weren't many in those days) took me under her wing. "Doesn't it bother you that you're smarter than your boss?" She convinced me to take the catalog copywriter test, and I was on my way. I Googled her, and she's 83 now and lives in Boca Raton. That makes me happy.

3. The first boy I was going to marry was named Tommy. We were both in Kindergarten and watched Lassie together on Sunday evenings. We were going to have a big back yard and lots of dogs, all of whom would be kept on leashes so they wouldn’t face the dangers Lassie did each week. I was sad and confused when his family suddenly moved away, no notice, no forwarding address. It turns out his dad was arrested for dealing drugs, in cahoots with the local pharmacist, and Tommy and his mom went to live with her parents. In the dull, boring, white-bread suburb I grew up in, it was a major scandal. My mom didn’t tell me the truth about this until I was almost 30.

4. My uncle was in Viet Nam from 1964 to 1966. I was very worried about him when he was over there, because I watched the news coverage every evening. When he got home, safe and sound, I brought him to school for show and tell. I love him extra for that.

5. I thought my Kindergarten teacher was the most beautiful woman in the world. She kept her blonde hair in a knot atop her head and always wore lipstick.

6. My favorite color is blue. Paul McCartney’s favorite color is blue, too. Coincidence?

7. My favorite movie quote to work into conversation is, “My sister. My daughter. She's my sister and my daughter.” I even slap my own face from side to side as I use it to illustrate that I can't make up my mind. I enjoy seeing if anyone in the room gets it.

8. When I was little, my "babies" were plush toys. Dearest were my Lassie dog and a musical duck named Charlotte.

9. The best boss I ever had is now my theater buddy. I’m glad Barb is still in my life. She was, and remains, my biggest professional influence.

10. I wish I could whistle.

11. I sleep with the TV on.

12. I read William Goldman’s book Magic in one sitting. It's funnier and more shocking than the movie.

13. I wish I looked like Mariska Hargitay. (I don’t.)

To participate yourself,
or to look up more TT participants,

visit the new hub (thursday-13.com).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Find the writer

I actually enjoy being swamped this week. After all, I was so worried about being OUT of work that being HARD AT work is a relief. Plus it's fun to feel it pumping on all cylinders. And I'm off to my spa retreat next week, so it's not like I can get seriously burnt out.

Tuesday Tunes #16

It's time for recents ...

Name your most recent:

concert: Paul McCartney, his "Chaos & Creation" tour (2005)

song you listened to: "I Can Help" by Billy Swan. I was listening to the 70s playlist on my iPod. I'm glad it wasn't something more embarrassing, like Helen Reddy or Barry Manilow (shudder).

album you bought: Working on a Dream (Brooooooce)

artist you discovered: Marcia Ball (Love that bluesy piano)

song you downloaded: "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" by Johnny Rivers. My 70s playlist again.

To play along, click here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yahoo's 100 Movies ...

It was bound to happen one of these days

After all, I've been a professional writer for decades now. And today was the day the inevitable occurred. I finally ran out of words.

This morning we got a new project and we are scheduled to show my boss our efforts on Wednesday AM. But alas, I have no ideas.

Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Diddly-Squat.

I may have used all my words up over the weekend when I worked on the other project. Perhaps all I need is to replenish my word tank. Maybe if I busy myself with mindless tasks (like labeling a new file folder for the project), inspiration will strike ...

Manic Monday #23

Do you screen your phone calls? Yes. I feel it's more polite than hanging up on a telemarketer. (To paraphrase Horton Hears a Who, "people are people, no matter if they're telemarketers.") If I'm wrong and it really was a call I needed to take, they'll leave a message and I can call them back.

When was the last time you lost your temper? Last week a crazy man went off on me at the el platform. He called me the "c-word" and a "douchebag." I was very angry and upset, but was determined not to let him see that he got to me. So I responded, as evenly as I could, "I prefer twat." He kept raging at me. It was very upsetting. I realize I'll never know what set him off, I'll never see him again and I don't care what he thinks of me, but I hate when people like that burrow their ways into my life. Women on the el platform were very nice to me and said things like, "Your day will get better," and "Don't worry, he's just nuts."

When you're lost, do you ask for directions? Yes. I frequently don't understand the directions either because I have no sense of direction. But I try.

To play along yourself, click here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm working. Is she? (Updated)

It's a beautiful day outside. Sunny and 60º. My livingroom windows are open and I can hear the kids next door playing. I would love to be playing with my nephew, who came in second with his Yellow Submarine Pinewood Derby car. But no, I'm working, juggling a writing assignment and my laundry since 2:30.

Please don't view the above paragraph as a complaint, for it's not. My months-long fear of being laid off hasn't been entirely obliterated. In this economy, in my industry, too much work is far, far better than not having enough.

I'm grumpy because I'm worried about something I can't control. Is the art director also assigned to this project -- the weepy one who gives me agita -- also working on it this fine Sunday? I told her to. She promised she would. But that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

For her latest boyfriend broke up with her Thursday night. I found out about it when I got in on Friday morning. My boss told me. He told me to "do what it takes to get work out of her." He said he saw "hugs in my future." Yes, upon coming into the office on Friday morning, she unburdened herself to our boss. It was, in his words, "another knot in the noose."

Now my boss is not a hard-hearted man. But she has not been working to the best of her capabilities for nearly two years now. First it was tears because her husband was cheating on her, then it was tears because they got a divorce. Then it was hangovers and sleepy time as she got over her divorce by staying out late and acting like a 20-something when she's really just a breath away from 50. Now it's staring off into space and starting to cry unexpectedly because her boy toy "moved out." (It's important to note they weren't living together; they weren't that serious. All he had to take were a couple of shirts and his toothbrush.)

I gave her a pep talk on Friday. "Let's have this project done for Monday morning! Won't it be great to show everyone what you can do when your back is to the wall? Aren't you LUCKY that Chris won't be around to distract you?" Rah! Rah rah!

The due dates for this project are hard and fast. A new one is being kicked off tomorrow morning. It would be nice to know that she cares. The irony is that she really does like this job. Our agency is well known within the industry, and she is proud of having an office that overlooks Lake Michigan. It's the sense that she no longer has to prove herself, that somehow is entitled to it that I don't understand.

I suppose if we were really friends I should call her, check up on her, make sure she's okay emotionally and on track professionally. But she makes me too crazy. She has very passive-aggressive ways of letting me know that she doesn't really like me, or at least that she feels competitive, and I don't feeling like getting a dose of hurt feelings on top of this exasperation.

Oh well. Venting feels good but it's not getting my porttion of the project done, is it?

THIS JUST IN! It's Monday morning and she did work over the weekend. Yea! Sometimes it's spectacularly great to be wrong!

A barren spinster's reflection on matrimony

My best friend's sister-in-law (wife's sister) felt her husband slipping away. She was sure her man was too fond of his career and his grown-up toys (electronics, new car and a private plane) and ignoring her and their toddler son. So she told him she had a fling, that she slipped away for an overnighter, under the guise of a business trip, with a coworker from another city who was desperately attracted to her. She referred to her one-nighter as "Plan B." Her husband moved out and began dating. She is distraught because there was no "Plan B." She made the story up to make him jealous, to make him value her more because other men wanted her. She and her coworker did go away together on a business trip, but nothing went on between them. Her husband doesn't believe she made it up, and there is no hope for reconciliation.

These two are in their late 30s, college-educated, professionally successful, and complete dolts.

My oldest friend, a woman, was upset because her lover forgot they had plans for Sweetest Day. I recommended that she just tell him he hurt her feelings. How could he know she was hurt if she doesn't tell him? Another friend of hers -- a married woman in her 40s -- advised her to give him the silent treatment, to freeze him out until he begs her to tell him what he did wrong. I don't understand the effort that goes into the manipulation. I'm also reasonably sure that in my oldest friend's case, it would fail because he wouldn't notice "the silent treatment."

What's with these marriages? Tricking your man into believing you're wanted by other men, punishing him with the silent treatment?

When I hear these Lucy/Ricky tales, I am very glad to be a barren spinster. Because if this is what marriage is like, I don't want it. Oh, I love Lucy, but I remember that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz ultimately divorced in real life.

Three Dead Presidents

Look what I won in this week's Illinois State Lottery. Sure, I had to spend $2 to make $3, but that's a shitload better than my 401 (k) is doing. Perhaps I should put my faith in chance ...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Partying with the other half

My friend Kathleen has been involved with a challenging but fascinating man for quarter of a century. They have been married 20 years now, have two very good kids (a boy getting ready for college and a girl about to enter high school in the fall) and have weathered their ups and downs. The thing of it is, though, even when they have found their relationship frustrating, their mutual respect for one another (and, of course, love) has seen them through.

Over the last five years or so, her career has really taken off. She's made it to VP in an internationally known company and is making plenty of money. In exchange for that paycheck, she works very hard. His role these past few years has been to manage the household funds -- saving for their retirement and paying college tuition for two kids -- and cleaning his and other people's homes. Her husband prefers working independently so he cleans a couple houses each week -- his clients aren't at home and he can schedule his assignments so he's home by the time his kids get home. The extra money (about $12,000/year) helps, too.

This arrangement was originally his idea, and Kathleen went along with it because she believes that the best gift she can give her kids is happily married parents. She got her own basic optimism and security from growing up in a stable home, anchored by her parents' own strong marriage.

Only their arrangement doesn't seem to be working for him anymore. She's become more successful, with added responsibilities and a progressively bigger check, while he's stuck in a rut. He can do his houses almost on automatic pilot, and the kids are older and more independent now. He believes (and he may be right) that they primarily need their daddy now to ferry them to and from after school events and friends' homes.

He's more easily aggravated by day-to-day things, especially their dog. (Their very sweet-natured dog occasionally has an accident indoors, or sheds on furniture he's been told not to jump on ... the usual hassles that come with pet ownership.) He no longer has an independent network of friends, and his family all lives in England.

Kathleen has decided he's lonely. Kathleen has decided he needs to hang out with me.

And so last night the three of us went to a play by the neighborhood theater group. Kathleen knows the star from church, and most of the audience (except for her husband and me) were parishioners. Afterwards we went out for drinks at a popular local watering hole and I asked him what I thought was the obvious question -- How did a nice, devout Catholic girl and a cynical agnostic agree to raise their children in the Church? (His answer: It was more important to her than to him.) Then he told me a rather harrowing story about his childhood and how, when he was just 9, his dad died. This, and living in England during the most violent years of the English/IRA confrontations, colored his feelings about God and religion.

Kathleen looked at us so proudly as we compared/contrasted our views on faith (I'm way less conventional than she is, yet far more devout than he is).

He's awkward with small talk, and so am I. Since, through Kathleen and our infrequent meetings over the years, we already knew about one another's education and professional backgrounds, so we could dispense with that. We talked about matters of gravity, yet he was very amusing. We also talked about the Beatles and the upcoming local election.

I had a nice time with them. I know Kathleen was pleased that he and I chatted so animatedly and comfortably (being in one of my favorite bars, enjoying a flirtini, helps). I don't know that the three of us will make going out a regular event, but I wouldn't mind. I enjoyed it, she enjoyed it, but it's hard to tell definitively if he enjoyed it.

Saturday 9 -- Crank Up the Tunes

1. What is your favorite 50’s band? The Everly Brothers

2. What is your favorite 60’s band? The Beatles

3. What is your favorite 60’s record album? The Beatles' White Album

4. What is your favorite 70’s band? Wings

5. What is your favorite 70’s record album? Band on the Run (Wings)

6. What is your favorite 80’s band? Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

7. What is your favorite 80’s record album? The End of the Innocence (Don Henley)

8. What is your favorite 90’s band? Del Amitri

9. What is your favorite 90’s record album? Hatful of Rain (Del Amitri)

To play along yourself, visit: Saturday 9: Crank Up the Tunes

Friday, March 20, 2009

A meme to cleanse my mental palette

I've worked rather hard the last two days and am feeling kind of fried. So I have liberated this meme from Ms. Mo (she who loves hounds and her hubs) and am using it as mental sorbet.
  • Link to the person who tagged you (that would be Mo)
  • Post 7 things about yourself that people may not know
  • Tag 7 other people and link to them
  • Leave a comment for each of them on their blogs to let them know they’ve been tagged

1. I really only had one beer in my life before I turned 34. That was the year my dad died and before the wake, one of my friends took me out and ordered me a beer. For some reason I no longer hated the taste and have been drinking it ever since.

2. I have dated -- statistically speaking -- an inordinate number of parochial school Catholic boys. I suspect this means something, but I'm not sure what. It's not like I wear plaid skirts and knee socks.

3. My best friend recently described me as "optimistic, curious and sentimental." I think he's right, but I'm also reasonably sure not many people know it.

4. Even if given the opportunity, I would never want to meet Paul McCartney. I have loved him since I was 6 years old, and I don't see how he could possibly live up to 45 years of foreplay.

5. I feel very bad about the bat on the Space Shuttle Discovery. (I have far more compassion for him than that damn Octo Mom.)

6. I find it fascinating that Lou Dobbs can do an entire hour of talk TV without revealing his upper teeth.

7. Sometimes I think the fictional character most like me is Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) in Broadcast News. I can be so together professionally and so ... not together in my personal life.

(Stolen verbatim from Mo.) Now, I'm not gonna tag anybody for this one, cause...well, cause I don't feel like it - but, if you're here, readin' this...well then, consider yourself "tagged"...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When life imitates art

In Love, Actually, Liam Neeson plays a widower who is trying to rebuild his life and raise his stepson alone after the untimely death of his wife. Since I heard about Natasha Richardson's death, the movie keeps running through my head. So sad.

God, I love the Cubs!

"On May 3, the Cubs will retire No. 31 in honor of the two pitchers, one a Hall of Famer, the other a future Cooperstown resident." MLB.com

I grew up watching Fergie Jenkins pitch. Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I simply adore future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. They both wore #31 as Cubs. Now that both of these fabulous pitchers have retired, the Cubs are doing right by them and retiring the jersey #31.

While I miss Greg Maddux something fierce during this, the first spring training in decades that I haven't followed his progress, I do love the continuity this represents for me. Because my Grandma was a lifelong Cub fan, and her favorite player of all time, Ryne Sandberg, is one of just a handful of Cubs in team history to have his number retired. Whenever I see that white pennant with 23 printed on it flying over the park, I think of my Grandma and how she loved her Ryno. Now perhaps someday my nephew (now just 9) will take one of his kids to Wrigley Field and point to a white pennant bearing the #31 and tell his kid, "You know, my aunt really loved the Professor, Greg Maddux."