Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday 4

A Repeat ~ Just Wondering

1.   When was the last time you tried something new? Last week I took my coworker to lunch at a restaurant we'd never tried before. The soup was meh but the burger was fantastic! The onions were caramelized in beef fat. That may sound a little creepy to you, but it made a difference and enhanced the flavor.

2.   Who in your family do you compare yourself to? I think I'm most like my Aunt Joanne, in ways good and bad. We're both short. We're both opinionated. We both like to read and we're both loyal. I even have her fair skin and round face.

3.   What lesson in life did you learn the hard way? If you find yourself repeatedly getting the short end of the stick from someone, don't believe him when he says he didn't mean it. He did.

4.   What can you do today that you weren't able to do before? I just figured out how to use the cropping tool on my phone! Until recently, I had to download photos to improve them before posting them. I'm not the most tech savvy gal in the world, so this was a big deal.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sunday Stealing

From Pinterest

1. What don’t you share? On this blog? I don't share real names.

2. A reason to celebrate? It's Christmastime!

3. Describe where you are now. At my dining room table.

4. A dream that seems impossible. Winning the lottery.

5. Something you hope for. A winning lottery ticket.

6. A tradition that makes you feel at home. Singing with my shower radio.

7. The people who make your life better. My friends (because, technically speaking, my cats aren't people).

8. Someone you’d like to meet. Doris Kearns Goodwin. I'd love to talk Abe and Mary with her.

9. A silly thing you’d really like. I want an Anthony Rizzo Cubs jersey. I don't need it. I would only wear it once/twice a season. But I want it nevertheless.

10. A book from your childhood. Abe again.


11. Something you’re still not sure about. Whether impeachment is wise. Oh, I think Trump is guilty of bribery and with every passing day I'm more certain he's a blight on his office. But this is my third impeachment, and I've seen it have unintended consequences.

12. The best dessert to share with friends. Well, the last one I shared was a brownie with whipped cream. It was terrific, so I'll go with that.

13. A story that captures your imagination. I'll stay with Abe.

14. Memories beside a fireplace. My uncle was proud of his fireplace, so it made me happy to buy him fireplace related stuff for Christmas. He loved a good creosote sweeping log.

15. How do you spend a rainy day? I'd love spend it napping!


It was a stupid phone call

A serious topic, to be sure, but a stupid call. My friend Henry had a seizure at work and ended up in the ER on Tuesday or Wednesday. Friday night, he called me.

He was still rattled by the experience. He was also drunk, medicated and silly.

He gets seizures as a result of his traumatic brain injury. Which he still denies he has. He had a seizure this past week because he doesn't take his medication.

I asked him why. He said that, when he's at work and the alarm on his phone goes off, he refuses to stop what he's doing to swallow pills. He says it's "embarrassing."

I asked him if it isn't "embarrassing" to have coworkers break into the men's room and then see him loaded into an ambulance. He told me that I don't understand. He's right.

I changed the subject to my upcoming trip to see him. I told him I'd be happy to go to his new church for Christmas Eve service, and that I discovered I could walk to it from my hotel. I asked if he could get a ride.

"I'll drive myself. I can drive. I've been driving." He slurred this.

I told him that I would stay in Chicago rather than be responsible for a man who has seizures getting behind the wheel.

He changed the subject to Patrick, Reg's friend who will be coming to stay with them. He told me he thought Patrick was "creepy" and implied that he indulges in promiscuity because he was molested as a child. This is a rather dramatic accusation! Plus, Henry forgets that I not only was molested as a teen, I'm a rape survivor, so this is an uncomfortable subject for me.

I asked him what Patrick's rate of intercourse has to do with him. He said Patrick brings strange lovers into their home and Henry doesn't want to "wake up dead." This does not happen.

Fortunately, Henry said his medications were kicking in and he wanted to cut the call short. THANK GOD!

Nothing he said was true or legitimate. It's very hard for me not to shout at him.

But I know he's not himself. I know my Henry is in there, somewhere. I've seem more and more flashes of the old Henry as he struggles to recover.

I just need to hold on. To hang on. To realize he's doing the best he can.

But it's a white lie

I don't feel like going downtown today. I just don't. Apparently, other members of my movie group don't feel like it either.

For Will, our moderator, wants us all to meet at one of the multiplexes to see Meet Me in St. Louis on the big screen in celebration of the film's 75th anniversary. It's a good choice. After all, it's the movie where Judy Garland introduces "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Will thought sure I'd be there because, as he texted me, IT'S JUDY!

Garland is adorable in the movie and her musical numbers are stellar, but I'm not all that crazy about the movie. It's overlong. Plus, it's on TV all the time (I literally saw it yesterday on the Movies! network).

I want to chill today. I want to eat brunch at my favorite coffee shop. I want to finish my grocery shopping, get my laundry done and maybe take a stab at cleaning my bathroom. I want to talk to as few people as possible.

So I told Will I was too busy and too broke to join him. It seems he's going to have a very small turn out today. He offered to pay for my admission, "a late birthday present."

I'm going to wait a few hours and pretend I didn't see it till it was too late for me to get downtown. I will thank him profusely. And that will be sincere. His thoughtful and generous offer does mean a lot to me. 

But I'm telling a white lie to preserve my alone time.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The Champion (2018)

1) This song is about doing what it takes to win. What's the most recent competition you won? (Yes, online solitaire counts.) It was probably an online game of canasta. I'm pretty good, if I do say so myself.

2) The lyrics tell us to "go ahead and put your bets on me." Do you often play games of chance -- like the office football pool, or slot machines, or the lottery? I spend $2/week on the Illinois State Lottery. Then I fantasize for days about what I'd do with my winnings.

3) The video includes footage of young people competing in The Special Olympics. What's your favorite sport to watch? Is it the same sport you most enjoying playing? I love watching baseball. I'm no good at it, though.

4) This week's featured artist, Carrie Underwood, first came to America's attention when she won on American Idol. Prior to competing on that show, she'd never been on an airplane. How old were you when you took your first flight? 17.

5) Carrie loves horror and her favorite author is Stephen King. What book are you currently reading? Still Life by Louise Penny.

6) Carrie's duet partner on "The Champion" is rapper Ludacris. In addition to making music, he acts and has appeared in one Sam's favorite shows, Law & Order: SVU. What's your favorite "cop show?" Law & Order, either the original or SVU -- but only when Elliott was on.

Law & Order, with my favorite cast
Elliott and Liv on SVU

7) Ludacris is a distant cousin of comedian Richard Pryor. Have you studied your family's genealogy? Nah.

8) Soccer was a big deal in 2018, the year this song was released. According to Google, "FIFA World Cup" was the news story that generated the most internet searches. What's the last thing you "googled?" Law & Order, to get the photos.

9) Random question: You're battling the flu. The doctor advises you to stay in bed a full five days. As you begin feeling better (around Day 3), do you continue to follow doctor's orders? Or do you get up and start moving before you're supposed to? I'd get bored, move around too much, and then collapse back into bed. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2019


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? Still Life by Louise Penny. This is the first book in the Inspector Gamache series. I know I'm late to the Three Pines party. My blog buddy, Kwizgiver, is a massive fan and the staff at the local bookstore recommends it, too. So book #1 has made its way to my book bag.

Jane, school teacher/aspiring artist/longtime Three Pines resident, is found dead in the woods. Shot with an arrow! It's hunting season, so at first the authorities can't definitively classify it as a homicide. But you and I know it's murder.

So far I'm really enjoying the unique sense of place Ms. Penny has spun. The citizens are colorful and unique without being wacky or stereotypical. Three Pines feels like a very real place.

  2. What did you recently finish reading?  Becoming by Michelle Obama.This is a very candid post-White House memoir. I was surprised, and delighted, by what Michelle Obama chose to share. Even before Barack stepped onto the national stage, she struggled as she tried to balance her professional/personal lives. As a couple, they had trouble with fertility. Their relationship benefited from marriage counseling. Her openness on these important topics has/will undoubtedly help other women cope. Brava, Michelle!

It was also fascinating to watch her travel from the South Side to Pennsylvania Avenue. She isn't as diplomatic as her husband, not as careful or elegant in her speech. I missed his voice in some of these stories, as I wanted to hear his take on these same events. But this is her story, her chance to talk. As I was reading, I appreciated that this was history I was flipping through..
3.  What will you read next? Cary Grant by Marc Elliott. Unless I change my mind.

My boss is an old fart

Ok, that might not be the most elegant title for a post, but it's true! We got a project last week. A little one, in the scheme of things. But obviously very important to our client, Rick. It's important to Rick, so it's important to me. I like getting that check every two weeks!

My boss, on the other hand, has been making fun of it. It's stupid, it's poorly thought out, it's too small to move the needle of our client's business ...

Last week, on Tuesday morning, we agreed that I would do two creative concepts and he would do one. After all, he has nothing on his plate right now and is always complaining about that, too.

Tuesday afternoon, I brought it up again, telling him in broad strokes what I decided to do on my two (2) concepts. He said he "couldn't think about it" right now. He was taking Wednesday off to extend his Thanksgiving weekend an extra day and well, he'd do it Monday.

I worked on Wednesday and fleshed out my two concepts. They were on his desk Monday morning. I kept trying to talk to him about them, and the impact they would have on his -- which still needed to be done -- but he was busy. Writing personal checks. After all, our paychecks had been deposited over the weekend! Yes, my boss was openly doing this on company time.

We had a meeting about this project Monday afternoon. My boss sat in the corner and reminded us all how dumb it is, how poorly thought out it is, and that it's too small to have any real impact on our client's work. Yeah, that'll inspire the troops!

The art director, account executive and I got into a conversation/disagreement about how a regulation would impact the legal. The art director was very resistant to doing something I believed was legally mandatory. We both were trying to impress upon the account executive that we really needed to get this resolved.

My boss snapped to and announced, "You've been arguing about this for 40 hours!" and "We have more important things to worry about than this regulation!" He actually scolded us.

More important things to do than worry about a regulation? Like what? Complaining about how poorly thought out the project is, or how dumb it is, and how it's too small to make a difference?

Fortunately, he left after the meeting. A dentist's appointment. I was glad to see him go. I could no longer stand the sight of him.

Though he left Monday afternoon without doing his concept.

Sometimes I think maybe it's time for all of us to retire.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Sunday Stealing


1. Right now I'm _____. Watching Meet the Press.

2. _____ is my well known quirk. Being a rabid fan girl

3. Are you _____? kidding

4. _____ first, then _____! Measure/cut

5. That's why _____. I'm here

6. _____ is one of my favorite tv shows ever! The Dick Van Dyke Show

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ Um ... My answers are not weekend-y at all: starting my Christmas cards/going to work

8. If I could go anywhere on a road trip, I'd go to _____. the TCM Film Festival in April. (Unfortunately, I can't afford it this year.)

9. _____ is something I don't understand. Dismissing impeachment after all this evidence

10. Thanksgiving makes me think of _____ how grateful I am for my blessings.

11. _____ is the best way to relax! A nap

12. It looks like Autumn _____. is over

13. _____ is one of my favorite healthy snacks. A bowl of cereal

14. The smell of _____ makes me think of _____. licorice/Grandpa

15. When I am feeling lazy I _____. do this (fart around on the internet)

16. When I look to the left, I see ______________. my sofa

17. ___________ are the room(s) that have the best view in my home. The living room is

18. _________ was done dirt cheap! Dirty deeds were

19. __________ is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share. Jury duty

20. If you have any __________feel free to share it with me. chocolate


"I need my sister"

So began my Saturday night call with Henry. He resigned from the Sunday night poetry group because the woman who runs it "attacks" him and he can't take it anymore. Apparently they have been at cross purposes since summertime, and things came to a head this past week when she accused Henry of showing up for meetings drunk.

He claims he wasn't. He says it's all different medications he takes after his accident.

I know that, after church on Sunday, he and his friend Phyllis go to brunch and drink wine.

So I think they're both right.

He was very weepy, which is standard these days. But he is showing real improvement. He's empathetic again. That facet of his personality has been missing for the last year. Now he says he's sorry for what he's put me, Reg and Phyllis through. It's so good to hear.

I tell him apologies are not necessary, that I love him and I'll always be here. I tell him the facts and details of the accident are unimportant to me, that all I care about is having him alive and stronger every day.

That's not entirely true. I'm very happy to hear the "I'm sorry." Because he has. on occasion, been an asshole and it's a balm to hear he knows and regrets hurting my feelings.

And because, before the accident, Henry was the dearest, most generous man you'd ever want to meet. I've missed him!

In less than a month we will be together in Key West. That will be good for us both. I predict it will be a merrier Christmas than it was last year (and Christmas 2020 will be even better still).

In my happy place

I love to sit in a darkened theater, eat movie food* and contemplate murder. That's why I enjoyed Knives Out. It's everything I wanted The Good Liar to be. It's funny, fast-paced and twisty -- very twisty. It's SNL meets Agatha Christie. I'm only sorry that the plot made it impossible for Christopher Plummer and Danial Craig to have a scene together. That would have been great!

*Saturday, it was Raisinettes