Friday, August 30, 2013

Saturday 9

Thanks to AuntieM4Cabs for recommending the Buffett theme

1) What will you be doing come Monday (Labor Day)? I have no plans beyond some chores and watching baseball. And this is just fine with me.

2) This song is about a performer who is "heading up to San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend show." When you think of San Francisco, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world!

3) As he sings, Buffett tells us he's wearing Hush Puppies casual shoes. What's on your feet as you answer these nine questions? I'm barefoot.

4) So many Jimmy Buffett songs take place on or around the water. When was the last time you were on a boat? It's been forever! I'm off to Tampa this November and I hope that my cousin and I will get a little time in, on the ocean, looking for dolphins.

5) Everyone knows Jimmy Buffett can write music, but he also has more than half a dozen books to his credit. What's the last book you read? Kinsey and Me, a series of short stories by Sue Grafton.

6) Jimmy's persona is that of a simple beach bum, but in
reality he's a conglomerate, with his own beverage company, more than a dozen restaurants and a couple hotels. He's so successful he has several homes, including a luxury mansion in the Hamptons! If you, like Buffett, could just take off and spend Labor Day weekend anywhere, where would you go?
Who would you take along? I'd go to Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, and I'd bring my oldest friend with me. She lives in Beverly Hills, but she doesn't feel very rooted or happy there. I think a weekend stay at this resort by the sea, virtually in her backyard, would make us both happy.
7) This weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore? Yes

8) Labor Day was introduced to celebrate the achievements of the American worker. Yet this Recession has taken its toll on many of us laborers. Sam's brother, a movie projectionist, hasn't worked full-time in his chosen profession in more than a year. Is anyone close to you struggling with unemployment or underemployment? (If so, they are in our thoughts this weekend, too.) Oh, yes. My oldest friend just lost her job in early August. My best friend has been out of work for a year now. My former boss has given up on marketing altogether and now sells ties part-time at Macy's. My friend John freelances, but hasn't scored even a single interview for a full time, salaried job with benefits and he's been looking for 14 months. It's a cold, scary world out there!

9) Onto something happier ... Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the new school year. When she was a kid, Samantha was crazy for her brand new box of 96 Crayola Crayons. It even had a sharpener in the back! What do you remember about preparing to go back to school? If you're a parent with schoolage kids, are they ready? I remember my mom taking my older sister and me to the mall to shop for school clothes. We got the majority of our wardrobe at Sears -- and I always pleaded (unsuccessfully) for a bag of the freshly popped popcorn sold by the exit -- and then we went to the other end of the mall for a couple of "nice" dresses or maybe a new coat at Marshall Field's.


2013 August Happiness Challenge -- Day 30

Today's happiness: Feeling connected. My grandmother, who died in 1997, was a major Cub fan who loved Ryne Sandberg. She proudly wore his #23 jersey on her annual trip to Wrigley Field -- a Mother's Day gift from my cousins. I have that jersey ... my cousin Ryan gave it to me recently.

Today Ryne Sandberg returned to Wrigley Field. He's older now. What hair he still has is gray. And he's wearing a red jersey befitting the manager of the Phillies, not Cubbie blue. But he's still the square-jawed hero Grandma loved.* He took a moment before the game to sign autographs for fans in the bleachers who displayed a massive #23 banner.

When I saw the crowd cheer him when he presented the lineup card to the umpire, I thought of how much my Grandma would love to applaud her "Ryno" one more time and I got a little misty. His new team beat his old team, and I bet she would have approved of that, too.

People who say that baseball is just a game, that the Cubs are just a team and Wrigley Field is just a ballpark just don't get it. Grandma got it, and I got it from her (and my dad). It is in Grandma's memory that I replace Augie the August Happiness Cat with her all-time #1 favorite Cub.

*She used to say he looked like the cartoon of Dick Tracy come to life.

But she's so pretty

I'm perplexed -- how can someone have it all and still be unhappy?

I have a coworker who is a beautiful girl. She really is. Good body, even better face. The men are none too subtle about inventing reasons to hang around with her. She dresses impeccably. Her husband is adorable and, since he's originally from New Zealand, he has the cutest accent. She has a good relationship with her parents. Her boss -- The Chocolate Covered Spider -- is on maternity leave, so she has an opportunity to show upper management what she can do on some high-profile projects. Earlier in the summer, that's exactly what she said she wanted.

So why isn't she happy?

She cuts corners because of the stress. She complains about the stress. She takes days off because of the stress.

She's always going for coffee "to vent" or sitting in one of the guest chairs at reception, looking sad and texting, texting, texting on her cell (presumably to her husband). This post is inspired by her confession that she keeps a "complaints" folder! What does she have to complain about?

Oh, but to be 30, beautiful and thin, with a great wardrobe, a cute husband and parents I enjoy going on vacation with! And to top it off, to have a golden opportunity to show my bosses just what I can do!

It's everything in me to not go up to her, slap her face and shout, a la Cher in Moonstruck, "Snap out of it!"

2013 August Happiness Challenge -- Day 29

Today's happiness: Amazon Vine. With this program, "Amazon invites its most trusted reviewers to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions." In other words, FREE STUFF! I have been a Vine Voice for years now, so I kinda take it for granted. I shouldn't. The book in my bag, the conditioner alongside my tub, and a Leagfrog keyboard I'm putting aside for the community Christmas toy drive are all mine, at no charge whatsoever. Not even shipping/handling. Once a month I get a listing of a variety of products to choose from, and I can take up to 3 -- as long as I keep reviewing them.

You can't "join" Vine, you have to be invited. As I understand it, I was chosen because I review everything I order from them and my reviews get a lot of "helpful" votes. I began writing the reviews to help me remember which book in any given mystery series I've read. I mean, the titles can be very similar! Then I began ordering CDs and jewelry and ... hell, Amazon sells everything now, and I reviewed.

So if you want to get in on the Vine freebies, start reviewing! You can review books you got from the library or the deodorant you bought at Walgreen's. It just has to be a product Amazon sells but not necessarily purchased from them. (I keep trying to get my friend Mindy to begin reviewing -- she's an avid reader and a good writer -- but she refuses to believe me that she can review her library books.) Once you meet their supersecret criteria, Amazon will invite you to be a Vine Voice.