Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I'm only kidding a little bit here. Karen Silkwood is a martyr to whistle-blowing, and I feel a certain kinship to her. Of course my life is far less dramatic and there are far fewer consequences. While she narc-ed about dangerous conditions at the nuclear power plant where she worked and may well have been murdered for her pains, I threw a spotlight on how dysfunctional this creative department is and, for my pains, have been ignored by my boss.
Completely. He has not said a single word to me this week. Though, in fairness, he did wave on Monday.
I don't know if he's mad because my coworkers came to my defense last Friday when I wasn't in, or if he's upset because he has something of a crush on my most difficult coworker and he had to have an uncomfortable conversation with her, or because he's emotionally checked out of here and just hopes if he avoids me, we'll never have to discuss this again.
Or maybe it means I'm being let go soon.
I just have to hang on with all ten fingertips until Friday at 5:30. Then I'm on vacation. A spa getaway is definitely in order.
And soon baseball starts. Cubs baseball makes everything look better.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
What NOT To Do when you’re…..
1. On a first date. Sleep with him.
2. Intoxicated. Call your ex and tell him you forgive him because he's the one great love of your life. Trust me on this.
3. In the shower. Dance
4. At your ex’s wedding. Attend
5. In jail. Amuse the authorities with your snappy answers to stupid questions.
6. Being stalked. Be embarrassed and keep it to yourself. Share with everyone you know! The more people you have watching out for you, the better.
7. Stuck to an igloo. Lick the wall.
8. In sewing class Lick the bobbin.
9. Asleep in a helium balloon Trust the Wizard to steer.
10. At a birthday party for twins Show up with one gift
11. On a nude beach Show up without sunscreen
12. At the opera Show up at all. ICK!
13. you’re falling in love Think that he'd be perfect "if only." No one is perfect, and it's not fair to expect anyone to change.
14. Low on gasoline in a bad part of town Forget your cell phone
16. On fire Forget the lyrics to the old Scout song, "Clothes on fire? Here's your goal. First stop, then drop and roll."
17. Lost at the mall Neglect to consider it an adventure
18. At a single’s dance Act married. (Unless you are married, you Jesse James/Tiger Woods scumbag, you!)
19. Riding a bike on the Jersey Turnpike Forget the lyrics to the Scout song, "When riding a bike, please be smart. Safety first right from the start. Wear a helmet on your head. Make sure it fits, that's what I said."
21. Being robbed at gunpoint Amuse the robbers with your snappy answers to stupid questions.
22. Kissing Slobber. If I wanted to kiss a St. Bernard, I would.
23. Paying the hotel cashier Sign for it without at least trying to talk them out of the pay-per-view movie.
24. Buying lingerie Wear it without washing it thoroughly first. Really. I know it's gross, but it's not uncommon for department stores to put unclean, returned lingerie right back on the sales floor.
25. In Queen Mimi's dungeon Forget to bribe Homer. He's the Power Behind the Throne, you know
As I look around this condo, which looks as though I'm just waiting for the A&E Hoarders crew to knock at the door, I am even more enthusiastic about where I'll be sleeping one week from tonight. So spartan, so clutter free ...
Monday, March 29, 2010
First, my most-difficult coworker came by my office and acted like nothing had ever happened.
Secondly, my boss passed my office twice today, waved once, and that was it.
Two of my coworkers came by and told me how much they support me, which was really nice. They also mentioned that my boss sat down with each of them on Friday and asked them what they thought of the situation and suggested ways that he might rectify it. Which makes my boss never mentioning it to me even weirder.
Had lunch with a former coworker and am delighted by how happy she is. Her 9-month-old baby is a delight, cute as can be and soooo close to talking. Her husband is having a hard time sticking to the "we're not a couple anymore, we're now a family of three" budget but where he went way over was in how much he spent on Valentine's Day. How romantic is that? And she began a new job recently, and her new boss is very generous in allowing her flex time. Since she's such a great girl, finding her this happy makes me happy.
And Steve, the dispatcher who took my reservations for rides to and from Newport News airport when I'm on vacation next week, flirted with me. Thank you, Steve.
Thelma and Louise. A great chick flick, a great road trip flick, a great "sidekick" flick. I guess this makes it a great flick, huh?
The Untouchables. Elliott Ness was lucky to have a sidekick like Malone, the seasoned Irish cop who knew "the Chicago way."
The Sting. Top of mind because I just saw it Friday afternoon. I also picked it because whereas Butch & the Kid were equals, there was more of a pupil/teacher relationship in this movie, with Redford as the sidekick. I suppose you could argue that he was too old to play Johnny Hooker, but then, why argue with any opportunity to see the two coolest guys in the universe on screen together?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
My nephew, age 10, enjoys creating artwork. His penmanship is ... well, shoddy. He admits it and is frustrated that adults keep harping on it when all he has to do to get around it is use the keyboard. I'm neither his teacher nor his mother so I'm not prepared to address that. After all, I'm the aunt and we're supposed to have fun together.
I, on the other hand, have never been able to draw for shit.
So when we got together today to create "paper Easter eggs" for my uncle, we teamed up and we split the task -- he was the pictures and I was the words.
First he drew eggs -- three or four per page. Then we talked about our uncle. Since both my nephew and my uncle enjoy looking at coins, examining them for details, he decorated one page of eggs in gold and silver and then I lettered, "Coins are cool." Some eggs were colored to match the fur of his cat, and of my uncle's cat. Both my nephew and my uncle like turtles so there was a turtle egg. You get the idea.
The envelope containing our paper Easter eggs is sealed and I'll drop it in the mailbox tomorrow. So while we won't be with my uncle this Sunday, he'll know he's been in our thoughts.
1. How far away is the last person you kissed? I don't know where he is these days.
2. Has someone ever told you they would be with you forever? Not in those exact words, but I have discussed marriage a time or two.
3. Last person you were in a car with? My extremely difficult coworker. She was actually OK that day. Guess her meds were calibrated correctly.
4. Any plans for tomorrow? I'm going to the office and starting the workweek.
5. How long does it take for you to take a shower? Ten minutes to half an hour. Depends on my mood.
6. Best friend or close friends? Many of my friends have made guest appearances on this blog. My Best Friend (see yesterday's), My Oldest Friend, John, Kathy (see yesterday's post), Kathleen, Barb …
7. Is tomorrow going to be a good day? Hope it will, won't be surprised if it's not, though.
8. Did you kiss anyone Friday? No
9. Ever thrown up in public? Yes. I can think of four different incidents over the last 30 years. I had food poisoning for one. I have no additional comment on the other three.
10. What's on your mind RIGHT NOW? Does Sarah Palin like the Tea Party Movement because she's the youngest and prettiest at their rallies? (I'm watching the Today Show.)
11. Who was the last person you talked to? My mom.
12. What is the WORST subject they teach at school? It's been so long since I've been in school, I have no comment.
13. Have you seen anyone lately that you don't get along with? Not since Thursday. I have to hope this situation will have cooled off and improved before I show up for work tomorrow.
14. What is your favourite colour top to wear? Blue
15. Have you ever been in a car accident? Nothing serious.
16. What's the closest thing to you that's green? The sofa under my ass.
17. Where would you like to be right now? The spa at Colonial Williamsburg
18. Write down some lyrics to the song you're listening to? I don't understand why do I stress a man, when there are so many better things at hand ...
19. How many dogs do you have? None
20. Is anything bugging you right now? I do have cats, and one of them is bugging me. He feels his breakfast is more important than this meme.
21. Is life going right for you now? Fuck, no! My uncle is deteriorating, my job is in peril, which is making my coworkers crazy. But it's spring, the time of Resurrection, and baseball, and my vacation. So I just have to hang on and get through the week.
22. Is there someone you care about more than yourself? There is someone I put first.
23. What made you laugh today? No one yet, but the day is young!
24. What was the last movie you watched? The Hurt Locker
25. Whats the last conversation you had about? My niece and nephew
26. What were you doing at 7:00 this morning? Starting this meme
27. Do you like your hair long or short? Short
28. Do you want to see somebody right now? Yes.
29. Do you like the rain? Sometimes.
30. Did you have a valentine this year? Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
31. The last person you kissed needs you at 3 am, would you go? No
32. Would you honestly say you'd risk your life for someone else? No
33. Honestly, if you could go back 1 month and change something would you? I would be more serious about working out.
34. How do you feel about boys smoking? No one should smoke at all, but especially not anywhere near me.
35. Could you see yourself with someone forever? I wish I did.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Today's horoscope is relevant to my life right now. It's difficult today to hold on to your recent optimism, but this need not be a source of concern. It's healthy to consider more realistic scenarios and integrate them into your plans to increase your chances for success. But don't be self-indulgent and allow your current worries to grow into self-doubt. It's crucial to maintain your critical thinking, even while dreaming of all the future possibilities just around the corner. Tarot.com
1. Outside of your romantic life, do you currently have a best friend? Yes. He's the one I refer to often on this blog as, creatively enough, "my best friend." He likes all those intense, geeky aspects of my personality that make everyone else cringe. He's having his own issues these days. This song could be him ... and now he's in his mid-4os.
2. Regarding your future, what is the best thing you could hope for? To remain healthy enough to be independent until my last day. My grandma died at 88, in her own home and in her own bed, after dozing off with a library book (Louis L'Amour) open on her chest and her glasses on her nose. I'd like that to be my future. (Though I'd prefer a mystery to a western.)
3. Have you ever helped out a friend with basic needs, like rent or food? If yes. what did you do? I discovered my friend Kathy was so broke that she took a second job delivering pizzas at night, which I didn't think was safe. So I gave her $500 to tide her over. Of course, Kathy being Kathy, she took an extra shift behind the wheel to pay me back faster!
4. If they re-instituted the draft (for both genders and you were of age) would you go, or would find some way out of it? I'd like to think I'd go because I truly admire soldiers, cops and firefighters. I don't know that I would, though.
5. Tell us one thing you wish you hadn't let yourself do. One thing? ONE THING? God, it seems like there's one thing every day! Like yesterday, I let myself skip my workout and I wish I hadn't.
6. Tell us about the last time you bragged. When I told my mom how I spoke my mind at work on Thursday. I was quite proud of myself.
7. What area are you wisest in? Other people's lives. I'm a savant, able to solve everyone's problems but my own.
8. Tell us about something that happened that at the time made you "full of yourself." There are times when I'm presenting to the client, I can feel they're with me. And I think to myself, "Gawd, Gal, you ARE good at this!"
9. Has there ever been a time that you wanted to try something in the bedroom, but were afraid to ask? Yes.
Friday, March 26, 2010
But listening to Rove try to square the circle between his likely/possibly gay father's lifestyle and his own exploitation and politicization of gay marriage made me want to puke. It sounds just as insincere and cynical coming from his own lips as it did when I considered his motives from a distance.
So I turned it off a few minutes in.
I'm enjoying my "stolen" day off with the two coolest guys in the world, Newman and Redford. It's still early in The Sting, Newman hasn't appeared yet, so I'm concentrating on Redford. It's not painful duty. Redford at age 37 is a very nearly perfect specimen.
His Johnny Hooker is immature, impatient, and wily. What I never noticed before is how well his movements -- walk, hand gestures, cocky jut of the jaw -- match the character. I think I have spent so much time enchanted by him as a movie star that I neglected to notice he's an actor.
I was tagged by Boliyou
* Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
* Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
* Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
* Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
* Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
* Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.
I'm giving virtual baskets to certain special someones -- EVERYONE WHO SEES THIS! C'mon, it's legit and for a very good cause.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
After a very long, very unpleasant meeting yesterday -- literally hours of finger pointing -- I was wrung out and exhausted. One of my coworkers, previously mentioned in this blog for her insistence on being adversarial, continued the meeting, one-on-one, again today.
Now I know I only have 10 days until vacation. I know I may have an even shorter tenure at this agency, if the rumors of a "bloodbath" are accurate. But I cannot take this from her another moment. It isn't professional. It's isn't fair. It's not right.
So I went to my boss' office and told him I was not coming in tomorrow. And that when I come in on Monday, she better understand that this particular conversation between us is over. If she continues to beat this dead horse with me, I am going to her boss.
He asked me for details. He spoke to another member of the creative team who has been a witness of all this, and then told me to go home. He'd see me Monday.
I feel good. I feel like myself again. I stood up for myself and refused to be a victim.
But I also feel wicked, naughty. I have never done anything like this before. Should I feel guilty if I enjoy this free long weekend?
Good advice, for sure, unless you really wouldn't be enjoying today anyway
Today was a rough, rough day at work. I am sad about my uncle. My best friend is incommunicado, luxuriating in the 79º warmth of this Acapulco night (I checked).
I am weary in mind and spirit. Yet it's 4:15 AM and I can't sleep. I just wish I could sleep -- and sleep non-stop for the next 11 days. Then I could wake up and find myself heading to Colonial Williamsburg and monitoring how the Cubs are doing on their first game of the season.
But tomorrow I have to go back to the office and be professional, even as though around me aren't.
So tomorrow I'll spend the day asking myself, "What would Jackie do?"And I know the answer. JBKO would just put on her sunglasses and keep going.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Lay offs, I mean.
You have no idea how unpleasant the atmosphere here is. We actually were in meetings from 10:00 to 12:00, discussing how much we suck and blaming one another.* If I didn't need the unemployment stipend, I'd quit. But I do so I can't.
I just hope they can me before my vacation, so I'll get paid for it.
And I hope they call Clooney in to do it. I'd give him my key card any time.
*Oftentimes me. I won't belabor the point, except to say that since I helped clean up the mess, I am assumed to have made it. It's as though you stumble upon a dead body, call the police, and they arrest you for being near the deceased when they arrive.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The lawyer representing the State of IL says that the action was initiated by "an institution," but beyond that, we'll never know who is behind this. It's not my cousin, my uncle's only child, and I'm relieved. But my cousin told the court she won't now, and never will, become his guardian. It must have been excruciatingly painful for both father and daughter.
I don't judge this. While my uncle was very good to me, he was not often a good father. He found himself with a wife and a baby when he was still a teenager, and I think he resented my cousin for being a responsibility when he would have rather been free. He really didn't begin paying consistent attention to his daughter until about 10 years ago, when her sons were babies. In fairness, a few years ago she tried to convince my uncle to move closer to her and her family, but instead he chose to live closer to the gambling boat, with disastrous results. So today was awful for her.
But worse for my uncle, who literally fell in the gutter in front of the court house.
President Kennedy once said, after spending a few hours with his stricken father, "Old age is a shipwreck."
Selfishly, I am hurting, too. I am slowly realizing that not only has my uncle's body failed him, his mind has, too. Instead of being the renegade force of nature I've known my whole life, he has become a tearful, frightened child.
I'm gonna miss him.
"This is a big fucking deal."
-- A jazzed up Joe Biden to Barack Obama at the signing of the historic health care reform bill. The veep introduced the president to the excited crowd at the White House and leaned in to congratulate him -- without remembering that the microphone was live.
* * * *
UPDATE: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs weighed in on his Twitter page, declaring: "And yes Mr. Vice President, you're right..."
I have Parkinson's Disease in my family, and the attitude of these "rough 'n ready" anti-HCR, Americans for Prosperity guys offends me. Chris Mathews articulates this better than I ever could: "You have a health care plan for the healthy."
You folks in Americans for Prosperity, be grateful you're healthy enough to stand and yell, and don't denigrate those who can't.
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Monday, March 22, 2010
And darling, you can share it all with me ...
This morning, as I rode the train to work, I had my iPod on shuffle and James Taylor's version of that song came drifting through my headphones. An unexpected memory popped into my head:
An old boyfriend and I, in the old-fashioned tub from my old apartment. This same song was on my shower radio while we were messing around. I remember being cold because it took longer to fill the tub than he was willing to wait. I also remember being amused that he was so excited about doing it in the tub. I mean, it's hardly exotic. Made me wonder how repressed my predecessors had been, but I liked feeling like a wanton enchantress.
That relationship wasn't successful, but it had its sweet moment, duly noted, and then I returned to my morning paper and reading about new Cubs' pitcher Carlos Silva.
I got off the train and headed through the lobby of my office building -- an 80+ story beheamoth that's clearly visible on the skyline and from planes overhead -- I saw him.
He lives in Michigan now, but he must have been back in Chicago, and in my office building, on business. I saw him in the Italian coffee shop, staring at the menu board. It was him alright. He always took his coffee very seriously. Plus he has a distinctive profile with a sharp nose and I remembered the bald spot he was so embarrassed about.
I didn't say anything to him because 1) I feel fat and 2) we never had that much in common when we were dressed, so what would we talk about now and 3) I was running really late.
At this time I will be in the air, flying to Newport News airport for my Colonial Williamsburg vacation.
Creature of habit that I am, this is my annual spa trip -- that time in spring when I traditionally renew and rejuvenate by going off by myself for pampering, relaxation and reflection. I've never been to this particular resort before, but I already have my treatments planned.
• Colonial sweet bath. An 18th-century ritual of bathing in a mingling of herbs, flowers, and essence of lemon.
• Williamsburg massage. A personalized blend of aromatic oils is used in this popular Swedish massage to relax, nourish, and balance the body.
• Custom facial. Gentle deep cleansing, exfoliation, and toning is followed by a relaxing face, neck, and shoulder massage with botanical serums.
• Virginia Springs ritual.* Conditioning mud, aromatherapy salts, and our signature lotion.
• Colonial pedicure. Almond Butter products created exclusively for The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. Nail shaping and polish included.
• Hot stone massage. Using smooth, warmed stones, this deeply soothing massage relaxes tight muscles and your entire being. Stone massage therapy dates back 5,000 years. It was believed that placing hot stones in a cloth and arranging them along the body’s energy centers would encourage healing.
* I also get a Virginia Springs kit to take home, as well use of the fitness center and pool when I'm there.
Oh well, now that I have indulged in a dreamy interlude into the future, it's back to the present -- and the life-on-the-razor's-edge world of credit card marketing. After all, I need to earn shekels to pay for my trip!
A Republican congressman from Texas on Monday admitted he shouted “baby killer” from the House floor as Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., defended his change of position on health care legislation on Sunday. But Rep. Randy Neugebauer said that his remark was a comment on the bill itself and not directed at the Michigan lawmaker.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Share movie scenes involving sex that raised your eyebrows or made you roll your eyes, linking back here.
Here are the scenes I remember most vividly. Interestingly, we only see the couples get right down to it in the first two. So I guess it's true that the imagination is an erogenous zone.
Against All Odds. Just take a look at them now. Down-on-his luck former football player Jeff Bridges is hired to track down Rachel Ward. When he finds her, they ... um ... "click." Oh, boy, do they ever "click." The sex scenes are oh-so hot and they're the most authentically emotional moments in a movie where everyone has an agenda and no one is as they seem.
No Way Out. Kevin Costner shows Sean Young how to enjoy a limo ride. Of course, thinking of Costner makes me think of ...
Bull Durham. The sexiest monologue in movie history, delivered by Kevin Costner: "Well, I believe in the soul … I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days." All I can add is Susan Sarandon's, "Oh, my." And, of course, sexy baseball heroes make me think of ...
The Natural. Man as sex object, so gorgeous and remote it's almost unbearable. Kim Bassinger tries and tries to make Redford love her. But not even showing up at his bedside wearing nothing but her mink coat excites him as much as sending a fastball sailing square across the plate.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
TEN TO START.
1. Are you single? Yes
2. Are you happy? Right now, at this very moment, yes
3. Are you bored? No
4. Are you naked? No. But I have been and will be again.
5. Are you a blonde? No.
6. Are you moody? Yes
7. Are you a lover/hater? Gotta give me a little more context before I can answer
8. Are you hot/cold? No. Like Goldilocks, I'm just right.
9. Are you Irish? 12% of me is
10. Are you Asian? No
1. Name: It's a state secret
2. Nicknames: The Gal Herself
3. Birth mark: No, but I have many moles, if that helps.
4. Hair color: Dirty blonde
5. Natural hair color: Dirty blonde
6. Eye color: Green
7. Height: 5'2
8. Facebook Mood: Since I can't recall the last time I logged on, I can't recall what it says my mood is
9. Favorite color: Blue
10. One Place to Visit: Sorry, but I don't understand the question
TEN THINGS ABOUT YOUR LOVE LIFE.
1. Do you believe in love at first sight? No
2. Do you believe in soul mates? Yes
4. Have you ever been hurt emotionally? Yes
5. Have you ever broken someone’s heart? Not intentionally
6. Have you ever been cheated on? Yes
7. Have you ever liked someone and not told them? Yes
8. Are you afraid of commitment? Yes
9. Who was the last person you hugged? My mom
10. Who was the last person you kissed? His voice sounded like Robert Downey, Jr.'s.
TEN THIS OR THAT.
1. Love or lust? I'd rather not choose, since they're more fun together
3. Cats or dogs? I have cats but I like dogs, too
4. A few best friends or many regular friends? A few best friends
5. Television or internet? If I had to choose ... cannot choose ... my brain would explode and my heart would break
6. Chinese Or Indian? Chinese
7. Wild night out or romantic night in? Romantic night in
8. Money or Happiness? Happiness. I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.
9. Night or day? Day, I guess.
10. MSN or phone? MSN
TEN HAVE YOU EVER.
1. Been caught sneaking out? Yes. Though I'm more often caught sneaking in (very late)
2. Been skinny dipping? No
3. Stolen? No
4. Bungee jumped? No
5. Lied to someone you liked? Yes
6. Finished an entire jaw breaker? Yes
8. Wanted an ex bf/gf back? Yes
9. Cried because you lost a pet? Yes
10. Wanted to disappear? Yes
TEN PREFERENCES IN A PARTNER.
1. Smile or eyes? Eyes
2. Light or dark hair? Dark
3. Hugs or kisses? As with the earlier lust question, I enjoy them in tandem
4. Shorter or taller? Taller. Since I'm just 5'2, I'm afraid anyone shorter would be a child, and that would be creepy.
5. Intelligence or attraction? Intelligence is attractive
6. Romantic or spontaneous? Romantic
7. Funny or serious? Funny
8. Older or Younger? Doesn't matter
9. Outgoing or quiet? Depends
10. Sweet or Bad Ass? Sweet
TEN HAVE YOU’S.
1. Ever performed in front of a large crowd? Yes
2. Ever done drugs? Yes, but it was just coke, and back then, no one thought of coke as a drug
3. Ever been pregnant? No
5. Ever been on a cheer leading team? No
6. Ever been on a dance team? No
7. Ever been on a sports team? Yes
8. Ever been in a drama play/production? No, but I have been in a rap video
9. Ever owned a BMW, Mercedes Benz, Escalade, Hummer or Bentley? No
10. Ever been in a rap video? Hey! Whadday know?
1. Last phone call you made: My mom
2. Last person you hung out with: My neighbor from the end of the hall
4. Last time you worked: I did laundry today, and that feels like work
5. Last person you tackled: I don't think I have tackled my first person yet
6. Last person you IM’d: Gawd, it was years ago
8. Last person(s) you went to the movies with: Kathleen
9. Last thing you missed: My best friend
10. Last thing you ate: Ham & Cheese Hot Pocket
I'm an unabashed Kennedy Girl. The Kennedy Brothers have been the single biggest influence on my politics and my view of the role government should play in the lives of its citizens. So I'm not exaggerating when I say I have been hearing/reading about health care reform for decades, and I have sincerely believed it's been necessary for that long, as well.
After decades, I can't believe it's finally almost here!
They're in Washington this weekend in spirit. I'm sure of it.
Friday, March 19, 2010
1. How vain are you about how you look? I'm vain about my looks. Just not happy with them.
2. When you were little what was your favorite TV show? That Girl
3. If someone was going to make a movie or TV show about your life, who would play you and why? Carrie Fisher, because we look a bit alike and we share a sensibility.
4. Who is your favorite Major League Baseball team? How about your favorite player? If you don't know the answer to this, you don't visit this blog often. My favorite team: the Chicago Cubs. My favorite Cub: my beloved future Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux.
5. What is your favorite baseball-related movie? The Natural.
6. What is one lesson you have learned in the past year? The Lads from Liverpool were right: "Pride can hurt you, too." Sometimes it's kinder, and it feels better, to just let some things that loved ones do slide.
7. Tell us about one of your childhood memories. My grandpa wore v-necked t-shirts. When I was little and would crawl into his lap for a hug, I remember feeling his chest hair against my cheek. He smelled of cigars and licorice-flavored throat lozenges. Grandpa gave the best hugs.
8. How do you handle sticky situations? Do you have a method? If so, what is it? Oh, I have a method. I tend to screw sticky situations up very badly.
9. Do you think people talk about you behind your back? Yes. My kid sister thinks I'm an unreasonable bitch.
Now our Monarch commands us to, "make a wish list of things you want to accomplish or do before you ....um....well....die." And so, as an obedient subject, I did.
1) Get my condo just the way I want it. New wall tile and sink in the bathroom, new cabinets and floor in the kitchen, exposed brick and new floor in the dining room, new curtains and new carpet and fresh paint everywhere else. This project takes more money, time and organizational skill than I currently possess but someday ... My best friend suggests it might be easier to just move. I suspect that I would soon be thinking the same about my new place, wherever it might be: "If only I had a nicer sink ..." So I might as well do it here.
2) See the Cubs play a World Series game within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. Of course, I need a little help accomplishing this. Guys? Are you reading this? Give an old gal a break and come through for me!
3) Exhaust my TBR. You know that phrase, "so many books, so little time?" I live it. And it's not just the books. I have tons of untouched magazines, too. I would love to have enough leisure time, concentration and discipline to just plough through. (I hope I don't sound too much like old Henry Bemis.)
4) Organize my photos. My kid sister is big into scrap booking. I'm big into throwing photos into a pile under the windowsill. I realize this is not the best way to preserve memories.
5) Look as good as I can. I realize I'll never be confused with Jennifer Aniston. But if I lose weight and get my varicose veins repaired and refresh my wardrobe, I'd be a better looking, more confident gal. For some reason, I keep getting into my own way on this one.
Oh yeah, and I'd like to cure disease, remedy hunger and help others.
To play along, visit The Queen here. And let me know if your ultimate list was as selfish as mine.
Yesterday I took the train downstate for a client meeting. My seatmate was a college freshman who was just too cute to be real!
Originally from the small town in downstate Illinois where my client is headquartered, he is going to school in Minnesota. On spring break, he took the Amtrak from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Chicago, where he spent the night and celebrated St. Patrick's Day, and now he was headed home to see his family.
He began chatting with me because I'm reading Game Change and I still have an Obama button on my jacket. First we talked a bit about the book, and the Prez, and Illinois politics. Then he told me a bit about his girlfriend, still in Minnesota -- he misses her sooo much and sent her photos of the view flying by our window (mostly backyards, empty fields and leafless trees) so she could see what he was seeing. He told me about St. Patrick's Day in Chicago -- he was scandalized that Chicago cops were drinking while in uniform!
I wanted to shrinkwrap him so he could stay this innocent about the world, this optimistic about the country, this much in love, and this nice forever! Whoever his mom and dad are, they should be very proud.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This morning I walked to work behind a mom and daughter. In one hand, Mom held a Hello, Kitty backpack. In the other hand she held her little girl's fingers. They were in deep discussion about something. It touched me to see the rapt attention they were paying to one another, and how seriously Mom seemed to take her daughter's input.
The little girl -- about 5, I guess -- caught sight of me and kept stealing glances of me in the store windows we three were passing. I think she was scandalized because I was drinking Coke for breakfast. And she should be. Shame on me!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I felt good. Just as I thought my day was turning around, I was cruelly felled by disease. Yes, I am suffering from voracious ravenousitis. I know the symptoms:
• My fourth meal of the day isn't enough
• Cheese, carbs and salt are all that I can think of
• If I must, I'll get dressed and go off in search of Cheez-Its
Fortunately I have the name of a specialist who successfully treats this malady:
Monday, March 15, 2010
When I woke up again, I felt better. I credit my three feline physicians.
It's not a remotely sexy or romantic movie, yet it led to the date where I knew he cared about me. We went to see a matinee of JFK. It was clear and sunny when we went into the theater, but that's a very long movie and the sky was cloudy and threatening when we left.
En route to the parking lot, the sky opened and dumped a ton of water on us. We ducked into the nearest bar, ordered a pair of Sam Adams', and started talking about the movie. And talking. And talking.
As one who has read Death of a President more than once, I was very prepared to discuss how factually inaccurate the Oliver Stone epic is. The gentleman I was with was my match in terms of geekiness and he argued that the film didn't have to be accurate, it was cinematically solid. We argued the artist's responsibility to the truth -- moving from bottles to pitcher and from pretzels to sandwiches. The bar began to fill up and I realized I was very underdressed compared to the rest of the clientele. In the ladies room I saw the toll the rain had taken on me. My hair was frizzed out and my eye makeup had washed away. I was mortified to realize I'd been sitting there with him for hours looking like this!
When I got headed back to the table, I saw two -- two -- predatory pretty young things actually leaning on our table for my date's benefit. Naturally I was miserable.
"Too strident. Too old. Too plain. Too geeky. Too serious." That's how I was bemoaning my date performance on the way back tot he table. I was quite sure the girls making time with my guy could somehow get through an evening without using phrases like, "Warren Commission" and "book depository."
When I got back to the table, all he said to his new friends was, "Excuse me," as he pulled out my chair for me and continued the conversation just where we left it. My internal monolog switched to, "He likes me! He likes me! He likes me!"
It's cold to see it written out, portraying my once-dynamic, wealthy uncle as incompetent. But he has run through $2 million in two years, most of it at the gambling boat. And while he gave up his handguns long ago, he still has rifles. So I understand that what she is trying to do is for the best.
But what of Bennie, the gray/white striped cat he dotes on? I was going to offer to take Bennie. I'm good with critters and besides, it would be nice to offer to do something for him now, when he has no money, so I can repay the kindnesses he has done for me without him suspecting my motives. But my mom and I talked about it, and it may be best for her to take Bennie, if need be. She has more room and her heart is still store over the loss of her Lucy.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Maybe it's because last night we set the clocks forward, but today I've been beat all day.
Went home to visit my mom and play with my nephew. En route I stopped at CVS to pick up some picture frames. My intention was to give my mom a framed photo of my award-winning niece that I ordered from her local paper. After all, how better to cheer up a grandma than with a framed 8x10 of her granddaughter? I also bought a bottle of vodka and a can of peas (69¢) for the food pantry. On the way out I was intercepted by a Girl Scout who only had peanut butter sandwich cookies left. Since her troop was from my old school, how could I refuse?
I was so happy. I was wearing my official Cubs jacket. I was listening to my favorite Amy Winehouse song on my iPod. The sun was shining. I had a bag full of good deeds.
Then, like the clutz I am, I tripped in the street. My foot got caught in a pot hole and POW. Down I went, landing on the vodka, picture frames, peas and Girl Scout cookies. My initial thought was, "My jacket! My iPod!" Once I confirmed my tunes and my Cubbie blue were OK, I realized I hurt and much had been busted. The vodka bottle seemed severed. The Girl Scout cookies were now booze soaked. I was too eager to get to my mom's and take stock of my wounds to notice that I'd also busted the frame. Thank God the 69¢ can of peas was OK!
This is the second spill I've taken over the last 7 months. When I fell last year while carrying my microwave, it was on rain-slicked streets. It was today, too. I was just so distracted by the sun and the spring I forgot about yesterday's rain and the pools of melted snow and the impact it has the streets, I simply wasn't watching where I was going. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!
It cheered up my mom to see me anyway. My nephew got to show off his pinewood derby racer -- and his two awards (one for craftsmanship, one for concept), thank you very much. My niece even stopped by for a minute and I was able to embarrass her by fussing over her photos.
I took my nephew for a walk, to buy more vodka, to enjoy a little pizza, and to talk alone for a moment because he was with my mom on the day she put her cat to sleep. He's only 10 and can be very sensitive, so I wanted to make sure he was at peace with all that went on. I also told him what a comfort he was to Grandma.
Now I'm home. And I'm beat. No laundry for me tonight, maybe not this week. I didn't hem any of my new slacks, either. Bad gal. Lazy gal. Tired old gal.
I'm watching the season premiere Celebrity Apprentice as I post this. Our former governor is like the blood blister I now have on my thumb -- creepy but fascinating. Then I think I'm going to sleep.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
1. What were doing 10 years ago? Negotiating an extension on my lease so I could stay there while I condo-hunted.
2. Five snacks that you enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world. Thin mint cookies. Peanut butter sandwich cookies. (Damn those Girl Scouts and their cookie sales!) Cheese crackers. Hot tamales candy. Hershey w/almond bars.
3. Five things you would do if you were a billionaire: 1) Buy a condo in the city with doorman and a view of the Lake; 2) Adopt more cats; 3) Hire a car and driver; 4) Support charities that assist kids and critters; 5) Reassure Sir Paul that I don't want his money
4. Three of your habits: 1) Watching marathons on the USA Network -- SVU, Psych, NCIS, I'm there; 2) Procrastination, which explains why I'm memeing and not doing laundry; 3) Reading the Tribune during my morning commute.
5. Five jobs that you've have had: Babysitter, receptionist, copywriter, associate creative director, and creative director (which is not unlike being a babysitter).
6. Five places that you've lived: I've only ever lived in two towns. Sorry.
7. Five things that you did yesterday: Donated clothes to Goodwill; Drank beer for the first time in a while and realized I missed it; Listened to Steely Dan for the first time in ages, too; Started a new assignment.
8. Five people you would want to get to know more about: 1) Abigail Adams, 2) George Clooney, 3) Rahm Emanuel, 4) the man who has been hired to be my boss' boss' boss but we haven't met him yet, 5) Don Draper (can't wait for the new season!)
9. Abortion: for or against it? No one is FOR abortion. I am pro-choice.
10. Do you think the world would fail with a female president? No. Germany has one right now and the world is still spinning on its axis.
11. Do you believe in the death penalty? No.
12. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already? I don't care.
13. Are you for or against premarital sex? Yes, seeing as I'm not married and therefore have no hope of postmarital sex.
14. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized? Yes.
15. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA? Yes. The current system is a mess. We should either relax the laws or figure out how to enforce them.
16. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen? No. We don't need more drunk drivers on the roads, and I fear that's what would we'd get.
17. Should the war in Iraq be called off? This is a silly question. No, I don't think a ref should blow a whistle and just call it off.
18. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree? No. I am pro-choice in this, too.
19. Do you believe in spanking your children? Well, since they're imaginary I don't think it would hurt them.
20. Do you worry that others will judge you from reading some of your answers? I don't care about this, either. Sorry, but there's something about this meme that just makes me pissy. Can't wait to see what Bud does with it!
The day started with a trip to the dentist for my annual cleaning and x-rays. Who among us doesn't enjoy having that pick stuck in our gums? But at least I expected that. The exciting new twist was the cavity that somehow developed under a decades-old porcelain crown. Near the front. Where it's visible. So I have to get it repaired ... to the tune of approximately $660.
I shouldn't complain. That's the worst-case scenario estimate and besides, without insurance it would be $1,270. But the whole situation makes me nervous because:
1) I have to get it done in a timely manner, because I may lose my job, which means I may not have good dental insurance much longer, and …
2) It's got to be done in an esthetically appealing way because I may be interviewing again, and I'm a 50-something in a young person's industry. Objectively speaking, I think I look 45. I'd never lie about my age, but I don't encourage anyone to do the math while they're looking at my rez. A smile with bad teeth can age you.
I know, I know … with this new bill it's probably irresponsible to go off on my spa holiday. But I'm taking the $700 from my existing I'm-paying-down-my-credit-cards fund and putting it aside for my brand-new gotta-get-teeth-fixed fund. This has been a rough year so far, and I'm not expecting it to get tons better. So I'm going to Williamsburg. The alone time could just recharge my battery and give me the new insights my life is crying out for. I'm getting my tooth fixed the first Saturday I'm back.
So this was state of my mind when I went off to The Carson's Goodwill Sale. I got three pairs of slacks, a dress-it-up cardigan and a fully-lined gray blazer. That's 5 pieces/3 outifits suitable for client meetings and interviews. Suggested retail price: $255. Courtesy of Carson's discounts and my Goodwill coupons: $130.11. I am now bowing deeply, acknowledging the applause that are undoubtedly coming my way. I also used one of the coupons to buy my oldest friend body lotion in the Vera Wang scent she enjoys so much. It cost more than I wanted to spend, but it never goes on sale and at least with the coupon I was able to save $7.50. We don't exchange gifts again for months, but again, I might not be employed by then and I don't want that to spoil our celebration.
I'm sick of thinking about money! And going from dentist to department store to drug store ("Your prescriptions are ready for pickup") and from bus to train back to bus in all this cold drizzle takes a lot out of a gal.
On a happier note, I heard from my best friend again yesterday. He now checks in with me, via email, every Friday. Yesterday he was amusing, and even if our contact is still superficial at least it's more comfortable and consistent. I do know he cares what's going on in my life and, while I don't know what's really going on in his life, he'll tell me when he thinks the time is right. That's enough for me.
Friday, March 12, 2010
1. Are you the type of person who jumps into new ventures or do you prefer baby steps? Both. I think of it like bowling: It's baby steps until my toes touch the line, and then I'm all in.
2. Who do you feel believes in you the most? The answer depends on whether the situation is personal or professional.
3. When was the last time you were on a stage? Junior high school.
4. Tell us about the worst boss you ever had. It's a toss up. The first insisted every one of her office supplies (right down to post-it notes and paperclips) be pink and told me that she believed we reacted strongly to one another because because we were adversaries in a past life and if we didn't resolve it this time around we were destined to clash for all eternity. The second one did no work whatsoever and actually slept through client meetings ... in front of the client.
5. If the NCAA Men's or Women's Final Four basketball tournament was played in your hometown arena or within easy driving distance from where you live, would you try to attend one of the three games? No. I'm sorry because it sounds almost unAmerican, but I don't give a crap about the NCAA.
6. Of all the clothes you own, what do you feel most comfortable wearing, and why? Jeans. Because they're jeans.
7. On what television show—either past or present—would you like to make to make a guest appearance, and what role would you play? Here Come the Brides. I'd like to be one of the lasses from New Bedford who travels to Bridal Veil Mountain.
8. St. Patrick's Day is on Wednesday March 17th. Do you celebrate and wear green? Drink Green Beer? Ignore it? I will wear green and will most likely toast the day with an alcoholic beverage.
9. If a leprechaun told you that you could have any amount of money from his pot of gold but it had to be a specified amount for a specified item, how much would you ask for and what would it be for? $2,191. That would pay for a trip to Key West over New Year's, staying in a hotel right there on Duval. Please let the leprechaun know it will only cost more the closer we get to the holidays, so we should act now.
The Carson's* Goodwill Sale! Every item of clothing or textiles (I think this means towels, throw rugs, etc.) you bring to Carson's gets you a coupon for 20% that's good until 3/24. That's all there is to it. Really, it's that simple.
Almost everything in the store is included in the Goodwill Sale -- EVEN COSMETICS!!!!! Which means I can replenish my supply of Clinique Eye Repairwear.
So I get to save, and I get to help Goodwill, which is one of my favorite charities.
Today I participated in a Michigan Avenue event to publicize the sale. A Goodwill truck was parked at Michigan and Illinois and I dropped off three blouses. In return the PR representative peeled off multiple coupons. I whispered that she'd handed me waaaay more than the 3 I deserved in exchange for my 3 blouses, but she told me to "enjoy them." And so I shall!
*aka Bergner's or The Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale
Thursday, March 11, 2010
But then, as I watched Lilly waiting for the results, she just looked kinda smug, like there was no way she wasn't coming back next week, no way she wasn't better than this Katie kid. And suddenly I didn't like her, regardless of her terrific performances, so I was glad Katie made it to the next round.
But now that Lilly has been sent home, I'm sure I will miss her.
And I think I take American Idol entirely too seriously.
Her beloved cat, Lucy, died this week. My mom had to have her put to sleep. The tubby old calico was suffering from massive kidney failure.
The timing of this is cruel, because she's already dealing with the painful decline of her baby brother, my uncle. He's being dragged into court later this month to prove he's not an incompetent invalid, and I think we're resigned to the fact that he won't be able to prove any such thing.
Or maybe it's not cruel. Perhaps the double whammy makes both situations somehow easier to take. Maybe dealing with the sudden passing of lovable old Lucy distracts her from the pain of watching her kid brother unravel so publicly. Or maybe knowing she should be worrying about my uncle keeps her from dwelling on the loss of her feline friend, the one who always raced to accompany her down the hall to her bedroom and bathroom ("the other end of the house," as we kids used to refer to my parents' rooms when we still lived at home).
Do you have to be a pet lover to appreciate how suddenly lonely an everyday thing like a walk down the hall becomes when you're used to having a furry companion at your side?
1) I arrived at the office on time today. 9:00. And discovered nothing of import goes on here before 9:45 anyway.
2) The coin apparatus on the vending machine in the ladies' room is broken and consequently tampons are free. Sure. NOW it happens, when I no longer use tampons. This makes me feel a little sad.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
First he resigned because he kinda had cancer. Now, maybe not.
Then he resigned because Rahm Emmanuel "bothered him" in the shower. "I am showering, naked as a jaybird," Massa claimed earlier this week, "and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped round his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't going to vote for the president's budget. Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?"
Now it looks like a sexual harassment scandal may have been behind his resignation. Although, as Dana Milbank reports, Massa says it's all being taken out of context.
“Now they’re saying I groped a male staffer,” he volunteered. “Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.”
I hope that, for his next big birthday when he turns 55, now-former Rep. Massa celebrates with an invitation-only cruise with entertainment provided by the reunited Village People. We know he loves the sea and is proud of his service. That's why, when Larry King asked Massa if he was gay, his response was, "Ask my wife. Ask my friends. Ask the 10,000 sailors I served with in the Navy."