Saturday, January 02, 2016

Sunday Stealing

A nice, short little meme to start 2016.

A bad habit I'm going to break: Hmmm ... Nothing comes to mind. Not that I don't have any bad habits. I just haven't resolved to break any.

A new skill I'd like to learn: Maybe to be more tech savvy. I feel like the world is getting away from me in that regard.

A person I'd like to be more like: As always, my all-time idol, JBKO. She walked her own path and never explained, she never complained and somehow made a very painful life look effortless and graceful. She made strength look feminine. Hell yes, I aspire to be more like her.

A good deed I'm going to do: I'm going to find a good book or maybe some articles about Sen. Gene McCarthy for my nephew. He's a sophomore and so into Bernie Sanders. He's acing his history class, but his high school curriculum is all about ancient history. I think he would be fascinated by the parallels between 1968 and 2016, especially McCarthy and his unexpected army of young supporters. Encouraging his interest and faith in government is my good deed.

A place I'd like to visit: There are so many places I'd like to revisit: Colonial Williamsburg, Memphis, Boston ... If I'm not roped into another trip to Los Angeles this spring, I'm going to hit one of those destinations.

A book I'd like to read: Sinatra: The Chairman. It's the second part of the epic biography by James Kaplan. I loved volume one and gave myself this 992 page tome for Christmas this year. Can't wait to dive into it.

A letter I'm going to write: Let's emphasize the word "write." I'm going to do better about handwriting my correspondence. My cousin Rose has mentioned that I'm the only one who ever, ever writes to her and that receiving my letters means a lot to her. I could actually write to my friend in the Keys, too. My niece gave me notecards for Christmas, and I'm going to put them to good use.

A new food I'd like to try: I had macaroni and cheese with lobster last week and loved it. So now I am longing to try more and different seafood/pasta combos.

I'm going to do better at: Organizing my life! Sometimes I think I'm the most scattered woman on the face of the planet.

Getting ready for goodbye

 PBS Prime has been running Downton Abbey again from the beginning, and I've been watching, transfixed. It's the run-up to tomorrow's final season premiere. Sniffle, sniffle. I'm sad to see the Crawley saga come to an end.

It's been another day wasted, though. I went out for breakfast and tried eating a real meal. (So far, so good.) Then I watched some Downton, took a nap, did laundry, watched more Downton ... I believe I'd feel better about my life if I did something to clean this place up. And commiserating with Lady Mary isn't helping me accomplish that.

Saturday 9

Sleigh Ride

1) Have you ever ridden in a sleigh? No. We have a horse drawn carriage here in my neighborhood early every December to inaugurate the Christmas season (OK, it's probably to drum up holiday sales for the local businesses) and I always mean to take a ride in that. But ... As we Cub fans like to say, "Maybe next year."

Don't judge me
2) This recording is from Harry Connick Jr's best-selling CD, When My Heart Finds Christmas. This year, did you add any new holiday songs to your personal collection? No. I recently realized that I never got around to adding the Michael Buble Christmas CD to my playlist, and I bought it in 2013. So no new music for this gal until I organize what I've got.

3) Harry was born and raised in New Orleans, a city that seldom sees snow. Have you had enough snow to shovel so far this winter? Yes. Twice this week. The first was Monday, and it came down fast in sheets of slush. I like snow and cold, but this was too much even for me. Then on Wednesday morning, Mother Nature redeemed herself with big, white fluffy flakes.

4) Speaking of weather, Harry hosted a mini-series on The Weather Channel called 100 Biggest Weather Moments. Do you frequently check The Weather Channel? Not that often. I only care about the weather right here, and right now. They always seem to be talking about stuff like the upcoming impact of El Nino on the Bahamas later in the week.

5) Harry's mother was a very impressive woman -- a lawyer, judge and Louisiana Supreme Court justice. Tell us about someone in your family of whom you're very proud. My late uncle built an orphanage in Viet Nam. What began as a local family sheltering homeless kids in their house ended up looking like a school, with a classroom and a room of bunkbeds. It bothered him that so many of the children had been fathered, and abandoned, by American servicemen, so he did something about it. (In between trips to the jungle where he was shot at.) 

It's a long story, but he was drafted illegally back in 1964. Yet he went, did his duty and then some. Early in the 2000s, Parkinson's Disease robbed him of his independence. Since it was likely exacerbated by exposure to Agent Orange in Nam, it would have been nice if the VA had been of more (ANY!) help. I'll always be very angry by how he was treated. 

There are a couple of die hard Obama haters who play Saturday 9 every week and it might interest them to know that it was the George W. Bush era VA that let my uncle down. So please stop acting like these issues began with Iraq/Afghanistan and Obama. I have an ache in my heart that knows better. It's an institutional, systemic problem and our veterans deserve better than crazy partisan gridlock.

 6)  Happy New Year! Now that Christmas is over, are you done with holiday music and decorations? Or are you sad to see the holidays end? I'm sad to see it end.

7) The New Year's Eve fireworks celebration in Sydney, Australia is famous for coordinating pyrotechnics and music. Have you ever welcomed the New Year in another country? No. This year I didn't even welcome it here. I've had terrible tummy trouble all week and I didn't trust myself to not drink or overindulge at midnight.

8) Do you have any New Year's Resolutions for 2016? Not officially. I did such a bad job on last year's that now I feel bad ... and it's hard to get motivated when you feel like a failure. So I'm going to try to just face forward and do better in 2016.

The times of my life
9) Looking back on 2015, what surprised you? All the office drama! The departure of the Chocolate-Covered Spider, Long Tall Sally's short and tumultuous reign, my showdown with Christine the Mole, The Big Project ... Don't let anyone ever tell you that Mad Men wasn't realistic. Folks, to me it looked like a documentary series.