Friday, December 28, 2012

Saturday 9

Posted 24 hours early because I'm on the road this weekend

1) This week's song is the tale of an accidental holiday encounter between former lovers. (Hear it here.) They sit in her car and spend hours catching up, then she gives him a chaste kiss and they never see one another again. Is there a past love who still has a special spot in your heart, despite the years or the miles since your relationship? Yes. 20 years ago I was in love with a very nice man -- it just didn't work out. I found out that over time, life has dealt him some tough blows. The woman who gave him a daughter refused to marry him, his father died, he married and the son he wanted so badly was born with autism, he and his wife divorced, his mother died ... I learned earlier this year that he has become very involved with his church and appears happy, which makes me happy. I loved him then, I love him still, and am glad he has found joy in his life.
2) This week's song includes a play on the traditional Scottish song, "Auld Lang Syne." Have you ever visited Scotland? No. 

3) Mother Winters has long told Sam that if she has a glass of water for every glass of champagne she drinks on New Year's Eve, she'll feel better on New Year's Day. Do you have a favorite hangover prevention tip or cure? Don't drink. 
4) Do you like champagne? In small doses. I'm more a mixed drink gal myself
6) This year at midnight, Crazy Sam will kiss the nose of her puppy, Chico. Will you be kissing anyone when the clock strikes 12? I'll be among friends, so I'm sure someone will peck my cheek.
6) The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was the runaway publishing phenomenon of 2012. It was so successful that the publisher, Random House, was able to give its employees massive bonuses this year. Have you read it? Nope.
7) Year-end is a time for newspapers, magazines and websites to run lists. According to, Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games is the at the of the year's "Most Desirable Woman" list. People magazine has declared Channing Tatum "The Sexiest Man Alive -- 2012." Do either of these two set your pulse racing? If not, who is your celebrity crush? I'm old. My TV Boyfriend is 1986's Sexiest Man Alive.

8) Pasadena, California, is known for hosting the traditional Rose Parade. It begins at 8:00 AM on January 1, so the people who watch it live must be there very early. Does the thought of getting up and dressed to sit in the California sun, bright and early on New Year's morning appeal, to you? No. I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of early mornings or parades.

9) Sometimes aches and pains that aren't serious can still really hurt. For example, Sam just dropped a can of tomato paste on her foot and the little red mark it left is making her crazy! Are you suffering through a bump or bruise or cut right now?
I burned the roof of my mouth. It made me nuts for about a week!

Happy New Year, Everyone!
Special shout outs everyone in the blogosphere who left me messages and sent good thoughts my way 
this holiday season. 
Very much appreciated!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Almost ready to go

I hate traveling. Especially to Key West, because I have to change planes to get there. I have compensated by completely overpacking. It gives me an illusion of control to believe I am now prepared for just about every eventuality.

Oh well, soon I'll be down south among my friends and that will make me feel better.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012



I read 26 books in 2012. Here are the 13 that I enjoyed the best, in order of my affection for them. All my major reading food groups are represented -- fiction, biography and mystery. The descriptions are from Barnes and Noble.

1) Never Let Me Go. Ishiguro. (novel, 2005) "A devastating novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric."

2) Capone. Bergreen.  (biography, 1996) "Delving beyond the Capone mythology. Bergreen finds a paradox: a coldblooded killer, thief, pimp, and racketeer who was also a devoted son and father; a self-styled Robin Hood who rose to the top of organized crime. Capone is a masterful portrait of an extraordinary time and of the one man who reigned supreme over it all, Al Capone."

3) Mona Lisa in Camelot. Davis.  (non-fiction, 2008) "In December 1962 Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa set sail from Paris to New York for what was arguably the riskiest art exhibition ever mounted. The fragile icon traveled like a head of state, with armed guards and military surveillance, in a temperature-controlled vault. Masterminding the entire show was First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. For eighty-eight charmed days, “Lisa Fever” swept the nation as nearly two million Americans attended exhibits in Washington, D.C. and New York. It was the greatest outpouring of appreciation for a single work of art in American history and the beginning of our nation’s love affair with the arts."

4) I Remember Nothing. Ephron. (memoir, 2011) "Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy."
5) Mrs. Kennedy and Me. Hill. (memoir, 2012) "An enthralling, tragic, and intensely private portrayal of the captivating first lady from a man who knew her like no one else. When Secret Service agent Clint Hill was initially assigned to guard First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, he envisioned tea parties and gray-haired matrons. But as soon as he met her, he was swept up in the whirlwind of her beauty, her grace, her intelligence, her coy humor, her magnificent composure, and her extraordinary spirit. For four years, Clint was by Jackie’s side—through the early days of JFK’s presidency; the birth of sons John and Patrick and Patrick’s sudden death; Kennedy-family holidays; her intriguing meeting with Aristotle Onassis; and the president’s assassination and the dark days that followed. Filled with unforgettable details, startling revelations, and sparkling, intimate moments, this is the once-in-a-lifetime story of a man doing the most exciting job in the world, with a woman all the world loved, and the haunting tragedy that ended it all too soon."

6) Robert B. Parker's Lullaby. Adkins. (mystery, 2012) "When fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan asks Spenser to look into her mother’s murder, he’s not convinced by her claim that the wrong man was convicted. Mattie is street-smart, wise beyond her years, and now left to care for her younger siblings and an alcoholic grandmother in a dilapidated apartment in South Boston. But her need for closure and her determination to make things right hits Spenser where he lives. As Spenser becomes more involved, he thinks that Mattie may be onto something after all. And he’s going to need the help of his friend Hawk to find peace for Mattie—a job that’s more dangerous than he ever thought."
7) Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Sounes. (biography, 2010) "The first exhaustive biography of the legendary musician; it tells Sir Paul’s whole life story, from childhood to present day, from working-class Liverpool beginnings to the cultural phenomenon that was The Beatles to his many solo incarnations. Fab is the definitive portrait of McCartney, a man of contradictions and a consummate musician far more ruthless, ambitious, and moody than his relaxed public image implies. Based on original research and more than two hundred new interviews, Fab also reveals for the first time the full story of his two marriages, romances, family feuds, phenomenal wealth, and complex relationships with his fellow ex-Beatles."

8) The Spellman Files. Lutz. (mystery, 2007) "Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors — but the upshot is she's good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman."

9) A Royal Duty. Burell. (memoir, 2003) "Now comes the long awaited book, A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell, the man in whom Diana the Princess of Wales confided on matters big and small. Paul, one of the Queen's personal footmen, met Diana during one of her first visits to Balmoral Castle. And while it may have been fate that brought them together, they shared a strong bond that endured to the end of her life. Burrell became Diana's confidant and his unique perspective casts new light on the Princess of Wales and the events that would shape her life and the lives of those around her."

10) Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. Matthews. (biography, 2012) "Jack Kennedy said the reason people read biography is to answer that basic question. What was he like, this man whose own wife called him 'that elusive, unforgettable man'? In this New York Times bestselling biography, Chris Matthews answers that question with the verve of a novelist. As Matthews writes: 'I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.'"

11) Bone Bed. Cornwell. (mystery, 2012) "A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age. When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel."
12) Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America. Biskind. (biography, 2010) "In this compulsively readable and constantly surprising book, Peter Biskind writes the most intimate, revealing, and balanced biography ever of Hollywood legend Warren Beatty. Famously a playboy, Beatty has also been one of the most ambitious and successful stars in Hollywood. Several Beatty films have passed the test of time, from Bonnie and Clyde to Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Reds (for which he won the best director Oscar), Bugsy, and Bulworth. Few filmgoers realize that along with Orson Welles, Beatty is the only person ever nominated for four Academy Awards for a single film—and unlike Welles, Beatty did it twice, with Heaven Can Wait and Reds."

13) Belong to Me. de Los Santos. (novel, 2011) "Everyone has secrets. Some we keep to protect ourselves, others to protect those we love.A devoted city dweller, Cornelia Brown surprised herself when she was gripped by the sudden desire to head for an idyllic suburb. Though she knows she's made the right move, she approaches her new life with trepidation and struggles to forge friendships. Cornelia's mettle is quickly tested by judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt, the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she would find in suburbia. A saving grace soon appears in the form of Lake, and Cornelia develops an instant bond with this warm yet elusive woman. As their individual stories unfold, the women become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal, love and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined, and that ultimately teaches them what it means for one human being to belong to another."

For more about the Thursday 13,
or to play along yourself, click here.

My considered opinion

Elf's Ed Asner is one of my favorite movie Santas. He has just the right mix of gravitas, wisdom and warmth. And, unlike Mr. Grant, I'm sure Santa doesn't drink and yell at people.

I want Wednesday

I want to be better disciplined! Of all the things I planned to do today, the only one I accomplished was getting to the dry cleaner! C'mon, Gal! There's relaxation and then there's sloth, and I think we know which category I'm sliding deeper into each day.

The artist vs. his art

As no less an expert on these things than Bruce Springsteen once told me, "You should pay attention to the art, not the artist." I know that the two are indeed separate. And yet, I'm always surprised when I respond to one of Mel Gibson's performances.

Ransom is on as I write this. It's a well-crafted piece of entertainment with two very good performances at its core: one by Gary Sinise as the kidnapper and the other from frantic father Mel Gibson. Mel is by turns vulnerable, angry, frightened, remorseful, proud, defiant, desperate ... Gibson has the showier part but he is still authentic.

If I was dropped onto Earth from another planet, I'd even find him attractive.

But then there's "I'm glad John Lennon is dead," and "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and "sugar tits" and threatening to kill the mother of his youngest child and homophobia. The rage inside this man is mighty and toxic.

Mel Gibson is an actor and a talented one. He has a compelling screen presence. His appalling personal life doesn't diminish the quality of his work, just my enjoyment of it. Every time I see him, the "fourth wall" crumbles and I'm reminded of the George Burns quote, "The secret of acting is sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

Merry Christmas to me

My gift to myself was to rid myself of some of the clutter that's running rampant again. I shredded a ton of no longer necessary paper, enough to fill (a very light) garbage bag. It took an hour!

Next up -- the magazines. I see another trip to the recycling bin in my future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Bright lights and glorious things"

That quote is from my minister's Christmas Eve homily. He looked very tired, possibly because the candlelight service is his third of the day. Because he brightened when he delivered this homily, it made me listen a bit more closely.

One of our long-time congregants is in a hospice this Christmas. We all know he's not going coming home. Our minister asked him where his thoughts wander to this holiday season, which may be his last. At first the old gentleman joked, "The men's room." Meaning he misses doing the little things on his own. But then he said he looked forward to, "Bright lights and glorious things." This holiday season, and beyond … when he gets to enjoy the afterlife.

If we keep our hearts open, if we shepherd the love that comes our way, we, too, can look forward to "bright lights and glorious things."  

That's what I wish for all of us in 2013 and beyond -- "bright lights and glorious things."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas under the el tracks

Miller's Pub is a Chicago tradition, open since 1935. Every governor (even the incarcerated ones) has dined there. So have Marilyn and Frank. When John Lithgow was in town performing The Sweet Smell of Success, he was an apres show regular.

And today, my friend Mindy and her husband, John and I met there to celebrate the holiday. While I have done my due diligence and kept up with all both of them, Mindy and John haven't seen each other in nearly 25 years!

I appreciate the laughter and the good times. I am also giving myself a little pat on the back for being the hub that brought us together again. I will watch the DVD Mindy gave me (HBO's Girls) and she and her husband seemed to really appreciate the personalized frame designed for photos of their sons on their piano. (John is unemployed so he wasn't involved in the gift exchange, and that's cool.)

I know Mindy and I will get together next year at Christmastime. We always do. I hope next year the boys will join us again, too.

Well, that wasn't so bad

Last evening, on the 23rd, I celebrated "Unofficial Christmas Eve" with my sister's family. It meant a lot to my nephew that we eat at 4:00 and then open gifts, just as we have done at my late mother's house. My present from him was a gift bag filled with little things he chose, and paid for, himself: gingerbread marshmallows*, state-of-the-art litter pan liners (yes, really!) and these little handwarmers that he figures I'll need this winter while waiting for the train. He put a lot of thought into it and I appreciate it.

Then we all played this word game (Buzz It, I think) and laughed a lot. It wasn't the best Christmas Eve, but it was fine. All because my 13-year-old nephew really has the Christmas spirit.

Yes, I missed my mom. And I missed my niece, too. She just didn't feel up to facing the holidays and Chicagoland without my mother. So her boyfriend's family invited her family to join their celebration in Michigan. I understand why I wasn't invited -- his family has never met my niece's immediate family, much less her extended one, and it would have been inappropriate. Besides, my kid sister and I annoy each other too much for that trip to have gone well.

So in all, last night was as good as it was going to be. And that made me happy. For this Christmas is about new traditions, about what we have, not what we lost, and about being in the moment. My nephew had the right attitude.

*All I ever ask for is gingerbread cookies, and no one ever bakes them for me. It's become a running gag.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sunday Stealing

 Sunday Stealing: The Mixed Bag Meme

1. How many songs are in your library? Thousands. And there's still space available on my iPod for more.

2. Do you like Christmas music? Love it!

3. What magazines do you have subscriptions to? Allure. Time. Newsweek (for now at least). Glamour. People. US.


4. What is your favorite scent? Right now, Spiced Vanilla by The Body Shop.


5. Do you give money to charity? Yes, and I'm proud and happy to do it.


6. What is your theme song? I don't believe I have one.

7. What's in your wallet? Tons of stuff, little of which is actual money.
8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? Professionally, I'm deliberative. Personally, I'm more impulsive.
9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? I miss my best friend.

10. Do you have a good body-image? No. I'm a big, fat moo-cow.

11. How are you spending your holidays? A mix of friends and family. I'm looking forward to it.
12. What have you been seriously addicted to lately? Caffeine and Farmville.

13. Tell us a secret? No.


14. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head? Because of Question #13 --

15. What’s your favorite item of clothing? My blue jeans. All of them.

16. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? Yes.

17. Is Santa real? Before I answer, are there any little kids around?

18. What should you be doing right now? Ha! Folding my laundry!


I have the driest skin in North America

Really. If they gave an award for itchiness, I bet I'd win.

I have two humidifiers going -- one in the living room and one in my bedroom. Hopefully they will help. Otherwise you'll know me when you see me. I'll be the woman rubbing back and forth against the wall.

Saturday 9


1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas? We always went to see Santa at the local Chas. A. Stevens department store. I didn't especially enjoy it, but I understood that it was important to give the Big Guy my request.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there? Nice. Because I'm usually a good person, and when I'm not it's not due to lack of effort.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest? The Ann Taintor tote bag (shown) that went to my oldest friend in Beverly Hills, 2000 miles away. She opened her present already and really liked it.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? I got myself a really nice pair of sunglasses. I hope I don't leave them on the el.

5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie? Die Hard. And yes, it so IS a holiday movie! John McClane is only at the Nakatomi Building for his wife's company Christmas party.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day? Nope.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? Nope.

8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather? I just bought myself a bottle of Bailey's to make the season bright.

9. What will you remember most about 2012? It was the year my mom died.

But I certainly don't want that to be my last Saturday 9 statement before the holiday. So instead -- 

Friday, December 21, 2012


This week's challenge: Using exactly 33 words, compose a pithy summary of your feelings about the holidays.

This Christmas is new. The old ways are gone and that’s sad, not bad. For our family traditions were familiar, not happy. In their place are friends and their astonishing love and support.



Dream sweet dreams for you, dream sweet dreams for me

This post is in memory of Ben Wheeler. I never met him, but I feel like I knew him, and he has touched my heart.

He was 6 years old and he died one week ago today at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

He was a Scout and "he loved The Beatles, lighthouses and the number 7 train to Sunnyside, Queens."

I'm posting this Beatles song for little Ben.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



When I was a little girl, there was almost always something Barbie related under our tree. And so, for this last TT before Christmas, I focus on her. Much of the biographical material comes from Mattel press releases, a long-ago series of Random House childrens books and now fashion comic books.

1) Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.

2) Even though the Barbie best seller at Toys R Us this Christmas is her elaborate Malibu Dreamhouse, she was born and raised in Wisconsin.

3) Her siblings are kid sister Skipper and twins Todd and Stacy.

4) She was introduced to the public in 1959 as a "teenage fashion model."

5) Her mad success in the fashion industry is evidenced by the willingness of top designers to create clothes just for her. Over the years, Mattel has marketed Barbie clothes by such luminaries as Vera Wang and Diane Von Furstenberg.

6) Her younger cousin, Francie Fairchild, followed her into modeling in 1965. Francie was not as "well endowed" as Barbie, but my friends and I all agreed Francie had prettier eyes. 

7) She is mysterious about her love life. I happen to know that in the mid 1960s (at least at my house) she had a secret romance with Beatle Paul McCartney that included many picnics, trips to the zoo and drives in her pink convertible with teal upholstery. Yet the only relationship she ever publicly acknowledged is with high school sweetheart, Ken Carson.  

8) In 1965, well before Sally Ride, she became America's first female in space when "Miss Astronaut Barbie" was introduced. I imagine that when she went back into the sky years later as "Stewardess Barbie," being a flight attendant seemed very tame in comparison.

9) She has also been a NASCAR driver, a nightclub chanteuse (my personal favorite), and a doctor. 

10) A decorated veteran, "Army Barbie" earned the rank of Sergeant when she served as a medic in Desert Storm in 1992.
11) Despite Barbie's uncanny ability to succeed at all these professions, no one is quite sure what Ken does for a living. This probably caused tension between them and could explain why they never married.

12)  Strangely enough, though she and Ken never actually made it all the way down the aisle, Barbie had many bridal gowns designed for her. That's her 1965 "Wedding Day Set" at the top of the page. Francie and Skipper are her bridesmaids.

13) Barbie's figure is the subject of much debate. She is estimated to be 5'9 and 36-18-33. Being this top heavy, with feet permanently molded for high heels, would make it difficult for the average woman to keep her balance. Yet Barbie is imminently graceful.

PLEASE NOTE: Hot Wheels were not introduced until I was too old to care, but I did love my Tonka truck. Some of us girls cannot be pigeon-holed or defined by our toys! 

For more about the Thursday 13,
or to play along yourself, click here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holidailies -- Day 18

Today's prompt: Write a 'holiday card' letter - the sort that recaps the year. Say what you want to say instead of what you might send to relatives.

Well, I'm not going to do that exactly. But what I really want to say is that -- with the highly notable exceptions of my Aunt Jo and Cousin Rose --  my relatives mean less and less to me. The ones who have provided me with comfort since my mother died in September have been my friends (real live and cyber). Developing new traditions with them has been what brings me joy this holiday season. I'm not sure how that sentiment would play in a card, though.

Could I interest you in a tie?

Had drinks last night with my friend, Ed. He is now working retail -- men's shirts and ties, first floor at Macy's. And he seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

Which is good, because Ed's life has been more difficult than just about anyone I can imagine. In 2008, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and there were harrowing complications to his surgery. Then he lost his job, one that he truly loved, working for a film institute. Then in 2011, his only child was diagnosed with leukemia on the eve of her wedding and almost died.

Both he and his daughter are in remission (yea!) and his wife works regularly as an editor. So while finances are tight and it's been a blow to his pride to not find a new job as approaches (or maybe he already hit) 60, he's had the freedom to try some unconventional things in an attempt to bring in new income. For example, he's appeared live on stage as an extra for the Lyric Opera and will have non-speaking roles for the TV show Chicago Fire.

And he's working part-time selling ties at Macy's, where he's met some interesting people and has some very good stories. And he gets 10% off all Macy's merchandise and brings home about $100/week after taxes.

My best friend -- unemployed since August 1 -- has been dabbling in catering, a career he's been dreaming about. My friend in Key West, a college professor a few years ago, is now at the local newspaper, designing classified, and he's very happy, too (though, like Ed, he misses his old salary).

I hope that all these men that I love have highly enjoyable second acts.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Need a Little Christmas

This is one of my favorite carols this year -- not only for its rich Jerry Herman melody but for its context. It's from the venerable Broadway musical, Mame. Our eccentric heroine has just lost all her money but gained a ward, her nephew, Patrick. To cheer herself and her family, she summons up Christmas. If you listen carefully, you'll hear Lucy croak lyrics that don't normally make the covers in your Christmas carol rotation:

"For I've grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
I need a little Christmas now."

After what happened in CT last week, that describes me rather perfectly. And I need a little Christmas.

According to Broadway lore, Angela Lansbury completely nailed the role, winning a Tony and becoming the stuff of legend for her rapport with costar Bea Arthur (also a Tony winner). While Arthur got to reprise her role for the big screen, as you can see Angela Lansbury got replaced by a bigger star. It's unfortunate because, though Lucy was undoubtedly talented and (to borrow a phrase) I love her, she completely sucked as Mame. So Angela Lansbury's Mame, like Julie Andrews' Eliza Doolittle, is lost to us.

But that doesn't diminish how much I enjoy this song. Take it away, Mame!

Baby's First Bond

I just saw my very first James Bond movie: Skyfall. It was gritty and exciting, when I thought Bond movies were silly and campy and sexist. And David Craig is so cool and yummy. I may have to watch more Bonds.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Stealing: The Deleted Meme 

Who is your favorite artist (Any field.):  
Sir Paul McCartney. And if that answer surprises you, you don't come here often.

Describe yourself:  
A pudgy middle-aged woman. Short, light brown hair. Dimples. Green eyes.

How do you feel today:  
A little bruised but really, none the worse for wear.

Describe the area where you currently live. 
 Chicago is the best, most livable city I've ever experienced. Great architecture, theater and, of course, The Cubs. You should come here!

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
In less than two weeks I'll be in Key West with dear friends. That's where my mind drifts these days.

Your favorite form of transportation:

Your best friend is:
The man I originally refer to on this blog as, "My Best Friend." He's a wise man and a good dad.

You and your best friends are:
I don't understand this. We are "best friends."

What's the weather like:
Too warm and rainy. As someone once sang, "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas ..."

Favorite time of day:

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:

What is life to you:
"Tell me what is life without your love? Tell me who am I without you by my side?" If Bud is reading this, he's smiling.

Your relationship:
Again, I don't quite understand the question.

Your fear:
Being in a plane crash

What is the best advice you have to give:
Increase your fiber intake

Thought for the Day:
Increase your fiber intake

How would you categorize your soul's present condition:
I'm good with God

Me fall down, go boom ... again

Almost a year ago I took a nasty spill that hurt both my pride and my knee. Last evening the same thing happened. The rain left the neighboring blacktop driveway so slick that I lost my footing and down I went. HARD! I landed on my hip and elbow. And even though I didn't hit my cranium on anything, I could hear the impact disturbingly loud inside my head.

There's a middle eastern couple who lives in that building. I see them all the time. They very kindly came to my rescue. However, they speak almost no English. I extended my arm, asking them to take the full canvas grocery bag that hung there so I could get up slowly, unfettered. He completely misunderstood and yanked me up by my arm rather roughly. She kept trying to wipe my pant leg clean. It's funny now. Last night it hurt. Still, they were trying to be kind and helpful and I appreciated it.

Hours and hours went by and I still had a headache. I was a little nauseous, too. Was it a concussion? Even watching Sir Paul on SNL didn't distract me!

I called my oldest friend -- she who has worked in doctors' offices for decades and has had every malady imaginable* herself -- and asked her what she thought I should do. We agreed I should give it till morning and then, if it's no better, go to the ER.

Then I got dressed and went to the ER anyway. It's up the street, after all, and I have insurance. Why not be safe? After two hours and a CT scan, I got a clean bill of health and was home. I woke up this morning and the headache is still there, but it's slight and I know it's nothing serious.

Being in the ER was humbling. I heard a baby crying so loudly and consistently I thought it was a doll. In the next cubicle (I was in #3) were two siblings and their elderly dad. He was dehydrated from fever and (I think) vomiting. The daughter was arguing rather petulantly with the doctor about how her father was being treated, while the son just wished his sister would let the doctor do her job. As I was being discharged I heard a man moaning and groaning rhythmically. I was very grateful to just have an owie. I slept wonderfully last night.

I wonder how much this episode will cost me ... $500 perhaps? Oh well, my head is worth it.

*I'm not kidding. She's battling MRSA now!

A little in love

I'm watching The Shop Around the Corner (1940) with Margaret Sullivan and … sigh … James Stewart. I grew up believing he was stammering old man, a fixture on Johnny Carson's couch. But then I discovered his films of the late 1930s and 1940s and was enchanted. An authentic, sensitive, quintessentially American man. His persona took on darker hues as he grew older and made riskier movies (the Hitchcock films and Anatomy of a Murder). He was good then, too. But for me, this represents The Golden Age of Jimmy Stewart.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holidailies -- Day 15

Today's prompt: Share your mad crafting skills.

That would be nearly impossible, since I don't have any. However, last year for Christmas, I did make my foodie-best friend the world's most AWESOME cookies. My pride in these was immense, since I'm not much of a cook.* Unfortunately, since he's unemployed this year and can't get himself to Chicago, we won't be seeing one another this holiday season and I miss him something awful.

*Massive understatement.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Christmas Carols

1) What's the first holiday song that comes to mind? "Have a holly, jolly Christmas! It's the best time of the year ..."

2) Are you sending cards (either by postal service or email) this year? If so, have they gone out yet? Yes. I always try to get them mailed on December 1. I like the thought of brightening people's mailboxes.
3) Can you see any holiday decorations from where you're answering these questions? Just the cards I've received and placed on the coffee table.

4) Do you wrap gifts in paper or take the gift bag route? Paper

5) The holidays are an important fundraising time for charities. Here's an opportunity to do a shameless plug for your favorite. What organization or cause do you wish got more support at the holidays, and all year around? I'm a big fan of Feeding America, and other food pantries. It's so sad to think of families going without, especially on Christmas.

6) Andy Williams was famous for his family holiday specials. What TV family would most like to spend Christmas with? Kate and Allie. I like how "family" was expanded to include best friends. This holiday season, my friends are morphing into my family and I appreciate them all enormously.

7) The holidays are a big time for travel. Where did you go on your first airplane flight? From O'Hare to Ft. Lauderdale. I was 16, accompanying my cousin to visit her dad/my uncle for a couple weeks.

8)  Does the weather have an impact on your mood? I wish it would snow. That would help me feel a bit more "Christmasy."

9) Snack time! You're about to make yourself your favorite sandwich. What ingredients do you need? Hmmm .... Ham and cheese on wheat. Light mayo. Maybe a little relish. Or lettuce. I'm not picky.