Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Thursday Thirteen #359

13 jobs for graduating seniors. It's graduation season! Four-year college is so expensive that it won't be an option for everyone in the Class of 2024. Some may choose to work part-time while attending community college or vocational school, others will be embarking on their careers. Here are 13 popular jobs for high school grads.

Please note: the median salaries shown represent the middle point of all salaries for workers in this category. It's not the starting salary.

1. Flight attendant. In addition to a high school diploma, some airlines require experience working in customer service. (See #12) Median salary: $63,760.

2. Hearing aid specialist. A fast-growing field. They administer hearing tests, take impressions of patient's ears, and modify the hearing aids. New hires receive on-the-job training. Median salary: $59,020.

3. Bus driver. New hires get on-the-job training. Generally, a driver needs to have a commercial drivers license and be 18 years of age, though some states require drivers be 21. Median salary: $50,890. 

4. Administrative assistant. Providing clerical support. Good computer skills required. Median salary: $47,100.

5. Community health worker. They tend to be the ones who take temperatures, check blood pressure and often do simple blood tests before you receive a vaccination, donate blood, etc. New hires receive on-the-job training. Median salary: $46,190.

6. Landscaper. Maintaining lawns, gardens and parks; often transitioning to snow removal in winter. Median salary: $45,000.

7. Maintenance and repair. AKA handyman. Some states require on-the-job training and licensing. Median salary: $44,980.

8. Construction worker. Such a vast category I can't even begin to pin it down. Median salary: $40,750

9. Delivery truck driver. For local grocery stores, florists, furniture stores, etc. New hires get on-the-job training. Median salary: $40,410.

10. Pharmacy tech. They help pharmacists fill prescriptions and answer basic customer questions about medications. Median salary: $37,790.

11. Opticians. These are the people who help you choose your frames, make sure they fit, and dispense your contact lenses. Some states require training and a passing exam grade. Median salary: $39,610.

12. Customer service representative. The cheerful people you talk to when you dial an 800#. Median salary: $39,600.

13. Retail sales. Manning the register and maintaining the sales floor of your favorite store. Median salary: $33,000.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.



Tuesday, May 14, 2024


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

PS I no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout. I've recently read the new-to-me Robert Goldsborough Nero Wolfe books and enjoyed them. I believe they stay close to the mood and style set by series creator Rex Stout, but to be sure, I'm re-reading one of the oldies. I chose this one because I remember nothing about it. Does that mean that I read this series more for the characters and ambience, or that this entry is not very good? Soon we'll see.

Rachel Bruner is a wealthy widow who channels the resources left her by her husband into political activism. She thinks her efforts to change the world have made her some important, well-connected enemies, and she wants someone independent to 1) confirm her suspicions and 2) if true, get them to cease and desist. Since there has never been anyone, ever, more independent than the famous Nero Wolfe, he seems an excellent choice.

2. What did you recently finish reading? My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand. At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you. Throughout her book, Streisand repeats that Goethe quote time and again. She believes it, and insists the universe has come through for her time and again. After reading her 900+ page autobiography, I don't agree. This woman runs like she has a motor inside of her. She's made her breaks and, to borrow from another uniquely American artist, she did it her way.

I cannot be objective about this book. This woman has meant so much to me for so long it's incalculable. She even showed up, like the cavalry, and performed here in concert when I was depressed after my mother died. Because I'm so invested in her, I was rattled when I disagreed with her. Example: I cannot stand her version of A Star Is Born and she blathers on and on about it as if it were one of her great movies (Funny Girl, The Way We Were, What's Up Doc?). I was amused/disappointed in her when she seemed so tin-eared. Example: She wrote about how intimidated she was when she attended her first Directors Guild of America affair and no one approached her. She summoned her courage/initiative and went up to Jack Nicholson and started a conversation. She asked if he preferred acting to directing, confessed she couldn't recall his response, but went on to say all he wanted to do was talk about himself. Um ... Babs? It's not good form to complain about someone being self focused in the middle of your 900+ page examination of yourself. It doesn't help that you can't remember what he said, anyway (because it wasn't about you?). GIRL, PLEASE! Didn't your editor suggest you cut this?

But she's never boring. Her need to be understood is touching and compelling. The way she's kept the same loved ones around her, every step of the way, is admirable. Her passion to do her best -- whether as artist or citizen -- is inspiring. I loved learning how some of my favorite movies and recordings came to be. The book's happy ending, complete with a second marriage, delighted me.

And there's this: she's still here to tell her own story. Garland was dead at 47. Whitney Houston was dead at 48. Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin were 27. Let's celebrate that Babs is 80. A survivor. My queen.

3. What will you read next? I don't know. But it looks like this year I may not reach my Goodreads goal of 35 books because I've devoted myself to two behemoths. Hollywood: The Oral History was over 750 pages and My Name Is Barbra is over 990 pages. While I appreciate both of them, they did exhaust me.


Monday, May 13, 2024

Teaser Tuesday

Here's how to play.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout. Inspector Cramer, Manhattan homicide, simply cannot believe what our narrator (and my fantasy boyfriend), Archie Goodwin, has gotten himself into.

I’m not surprised at Wolfe. With his ego, there’s no one and nothing he wouldn’t take on if you paid him. But, I’m surprised at you. You know damn well the FBI can’t be bucked. Not even by the White House. And you’re hopping around pecking at people’s scabs. You’re asking for it and you’ll get it. You’re off your hinges.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Sunday Stealing

Happy Mother's Day from Sunday Stealing

1.    Write about the best decision you ever made. How did you make it? Was it reasoning or gut instinct? Probably the good decision that's had the greatest impact was, when I was a secretary, to take the test to become a Sears catalog copywriter. I had no training to be a writer. But I passed -- apparently I was on the bubble but received the benefit of the doubt by one of my prospective bosses -- and it opened the door to my 43-year career, introduced me to forever friends, gave me access to retirement savings and good insurance coverage. How did I make it? With a hand at the small of my back, pushing me. Celeste was one of Sears first female marketing executives. She saw something in me and literally put the test in my hand. I've tried to pay it forward, like she did.

This is how I got my start

2.    What ONE thing would you change about your life? How would your life be different? I wish I was as focused and motivated domestically as I've always been professionally. I'd have a Martha-Stewart-worthy home.

3.    What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Why was it hard for you? What did you learn? Accepting what I can't change. I can be quite willful. Learning that I can't have the impact/influence I wish to on the lives of those I love has been hard. I try to remind myself of a Bible verse: "We are the clay, you are the potter, we are the work of your hand." So my friends are the clay, God is the potter, and I really have no place in the equation, do I? (BUT I WANT TO!)

4.    What is your greatest hope for your future? What steps can you take to make it happen? Right now, I'm ramping up to do my part as a citizen in the November election. I believe Joe Biden is our nation's greatest hope for the future.

5.    If you can time travel, what will you tell your teenage self? It's not you, it's them. You're just fine as you are.

6.    Write about the most glorious moment in your life so far.

My dad watched or listened to every Cub game he could. My favorite grandmother did, too, and loved Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg. My icky grandma complained endlessly (calling Cubs announcer Jack Brickhouse "Brickhead"), but she watched. My favorite uncle read the Cubs magazine Vineline every month. Yet I'm the one who got to see this moment in 2016. I got to celebrate the first Cubs World Series win in 108 years. In my heart, I shared it with them. It was truly glorious.

7.    What did you struggle most with today? Grief. For all practical purposes, I lost my friend Henry forever in December when his brain surgery didn't bring us the wished-for results and now he is in a Ft. Lauderdale nursing home, convinced it's Puerto Rico ca. 1990. He no longer has any idea who I am or what we meant to each other. Then, in April, I lost my best friend of 40 years, John, who died after a stroke and heart attack combo platter. I loved these men and they loved me. They were closer to me than my blood relatives. I have moments every day when I'm fine, and then it's like a flip suddenly switches and I am most definitely not fine. I am a strong woman, but that is a lot of loss to sustain in less than six months.

8.    What made you happy today? My Connie Cat is curled up next to me as I answer these questions. I never want to take the love of my cats for granted. Her affection and trust are such a gift. (Roy Hobbs, too!)

9.    What did you dislike most about growing up? It's Mother's Day, and I'd rather not dwell on this.

10.    Write about 3 activities you love the most and why you love them. I love to read, watch movies, and cuddle my cats. I love them because they bring joy to my life every day.

11.    What has been your best trip so far? This was the view from our Christmas lunch in 2021. It was my last Key West Christmas with Henry and so it has a special place in my heart.

12.    Write a list of 3 things (physical or personality-wise) you love about yourself, and why they make you unique. I am funny, I am smart, and I have aged well. 

13.    Discuss 3 things you wish others knew about you. I only have one: I think sometimes my friends think I'm tougher than I am. Right now I am suffering -- Of course I am! I've lost two brothers in less than six months! -- but I'm not sure those close to me get it. Just because I sound fine when you happen to call doesn't mean I am fine. I could use a little more attention/compassion. I realize, though, that it's easier for me to write about this here than it is to ask for help in real life, and that's on me.

14.    Write about your top 3 personal strengths. I can take what life hands me, I find the humor in most things, every day I try to live in a way that would please God.

15.    Is social media a blessing or a curse? It depends upon how we use it. Which is true of most things in life.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

A saga 32 years in the making

Back in 1992, I was between jobs. The company I worked for had gone out of business and I had some money in that employer's 401(k). I don't remember the details, but since they filed for bankruptcy I wasn't crazy about leaving my money in that 401(k). I took that money (about $6,000) and rolled it over into an annuity with a company called Kemper. Over the decades my contract changed hands, sold first to Zurich, but that didn't matter to me. I just wanted that $6,000 to grow tax-deferred at 3.15% guaranteed until I retired.

My boyfriend was against this move, saying my money could earn more in mutual fund. He was undoubtedly right about that. But I wanted to put that specific chunk somewhere that could not/would not -- under any circumstances -- lose money. During these past decades, the stock market has risen and fallen many times. I've watched the bulk of my retirement savings go up and down accordingly, and the dips have caused me stress. It gave me a certain measure of comfort to watch that $6,000 chug along, slowly but safely, at 3.15% no matter what.

Well, we're more than 20 years into a new millennium. My boyfriend is long gone, Zurich sold my policy, I'm retired, and my annuity is now worth more than $16,000. And I want it. I'm over 65, so there are no tax or withdrawal penalties.  I figured this would be easy. 

I figured wrong.

My contract begins with a letter. This indicates that it was opened long ago and oh so far away. This dictates and complicates how I can close the account and get my money.

According to my contract, I have to fill out a specific form. Which is not available online. I requested this form by phone during the last week of March. I was told it would take 5 business days.

The form never arrived. Now we're in April. I called and requested another form.

It finally arrived. It was four pages long! I called and asked for help in filling it out. Customer service could not have been nicer. I asked where I could send it electronically.

I can't. I also can't get the funds direct deposited. My contract begins with a letter, you see.

So I returned the forms via USPS certified mail. It took more than a week to be delivered.

Now it will take a week for the form to be processed and a paper check to be mailed to me. 

Let's say that happens in a timely manner and I deposit the check right away. Even after state and local are withdrawn, the check will be for more than $10,000, which means the bank policy is to hold it for 2 business days until it clears.

So the process that began in the last week in March likely won't be done until the last week in May. And that's if everything goes through without a hitch.

I am not happy about this, but being unhappy does make me feel rather bratty. My policy begins with a letter because it was opened during the George H. W. Bush Administration. This is the way the world was 32 years ago. We requested forms by phone and they were mailed to us. We returned the forms by mail. We received checks in the mail. None of this seemed unreasonable in 1992 because we weren't used to emailing, downloading and direct deposit.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm counting on that money this summer.


Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Friday, May 10, 2024

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: (God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You (1998)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

Probably worth less than $50
1) In this song, a boy celebrates the life of love he's received from his mother, saying it's more precious than any diamond or pearl. Do you have a piece of jewelry that means a great deal to you? Yes, but it's not worth anything to anyone but me. It's a chain with a replica coin, made from silver recovered from the Atocha, a ship that went down off Key West back in 1622. My favorite uncle loved to collect coins and completely nerded out over the ones brought up from the deep in the 1980s. After he died, my friend Henry took me to a Key West gift shop that specializes in Atocha souvenirs and I always wore this in his honor. Now Henry is virtually gone to me, too, so I think of both men whenever I put it on.

2) NSYNC licensed their name and likenesses for use on a variety of products, and their official key ring was a big seller. Tell us about your key ring. It's just a ring, no decoration, that holds my three house keys and the key to my mailbox.

3) NSYNC's lead singer, Justin Timberlake, is now a parent himself with two sons. He enjoys sitting on the floor so they can play Legos together. Today Lego sets for adults and adult coloring books are popular. As a grown up, do you enjoy coloring books or Legos? Nope.
4) In 1998, when this song was popular, Seinfeld ended its 9-season run. Were you a fan? Blech! Ick! Poo! NO! I genuinely hate that show.
5) This week's song was chosen in honor of Mother's Day. Some mothers will find themselves treated to breakfast in bed this weekend. Is that a luxury you would appreciate, or would you worry about spilling food on the sheets? I'd most certainly make a mess of it. Here's my room service breakfast from my trip to Hollywood last month. They offered to serve it to me in bed but I preferred it by the window, so I could look out at the TCL Chinese Theater. That's not only where many of the films were shown for the TCM Classic Film Festival, it's the theater that has the movie stars' hand/footprints in the forecourt. Remember when Lucy and Ethel stole John Wayne's footprints? (Forget Seinfeld. I Love Lucy is a funny show!)

6) Garrett's Popcorn offers a special tin for Mother's Day (the "O" in MOM is a daisy). When did you most recently have popcorn? I don't even recall. I worry about what those husks would do to my ongoing dental work.
7) Florists see a spike in sales for Mother's Day, too. Would you rather receive a plant or a bouquet of flowers? A bouquet. Definitely.

8) Crazy Sam's own mother is big on couponing, while Sam thinks coupons simply aren't worth the effort. Are you more like mother or daughter? When a store like Walgreen's gives me a coupon, I always return to redeem it. But I don't look for them or clip them.

9) Sam is celebrating Mother's Day with her mother's favorite, Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or chocolate with almonds? Chocolate with almonds.



Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Thursday Thirteen #358

13 facts/observations from Barbra Streisand's autobiography.
It took 25 days to finish My Name Is Barbra. Her book is a best-seller, capping off a career brimming with success.
Do I recommend it? Oh hell, I don't know. I'm a superfan, so I came to it with distinct bias in her favor. On the other hand, there are times I didn't like her very much, and that surprised me. I think it's because she's meant so much to me for so long, I was disappointed when she wasn't who I wanted her to be.
But over the last 25 days, I was never bored by her. I understand her better, and at 81 -- after six decades of stardom -- she's a woman who still desperately wants to be understood, so that's important. 

Without further ado, here's my ridiculously high-level overview of My Name Is Barbra.

1. Good goobies, it's long! 992 pages in hardcover, nearly 49 hours on audio (read by the author).

2. We have something in common. We both suffer from tinnitus. Hers is a constant clicking. Mine is a forever whoosh, like I always have a shell to my ear.

3. She hates royal blue. How can anyone hate blue? It's the most glorious color ever! It reminds Babs of the uniform she had to wear as a little girl when she was sent away to a much-hated health camp in the Catskills. (If she were to read this, I imagine she would prefer I use this color for highlights. IYKYK.)

4. She loves to eat. This is a great book for when you're hungry but don't know what you want to eat. Babs loves food and describes her favorites with gusto. Everything from Campbell's tomato soup to Oreos (but just the cookie, not the center) to grits with cheese to cha siu bao. She remembers who served her what and appears to have never had a bad meal in more than 80 years.

5. Elliott Gould seems adorable. Streisand's first love and first husband, the father of her child. He seems colorful, idiosyncratic, sweet and supportive.

6. Apparently Pierre Trudeau wasn't so great in bed. As well as being powerful and brilliant, The Prime Minister of Canada was a very romantic man. Yet Barbra -- admittedly lonely after her divorce  -- didn't allow the relationship to go to the next level because something was missing. She and Pierre remained friends for the rest of her life.

7. Jon Peters must have been great in bed. There's no other explanation for why she kept him in her life and her career as long as she did. He went from styling her wig to co-producing her movies and albums. What he actually contributed to her films and music is debatable, but its unquestionable that he picked fights (often physical) with coworkers, friends and strangers and helped himself to Barbra's money and her land.

8. She won't say "I love you" if she doesn't mean it. Not even to a hunk like Ryan O'Neal or Don Johnson, two old boyfriends who seemed to throw the phrase around more casually than she does.

9. She and husband James Brolin inspired an Aerosmith song. What? You never mention Streisand and Stephen Tyler in the same breath? In 1996, when her love affair with James Brolin first began, she recalled that one night in bed he said he didn't want to fall asleep. When she asked why, he said, "Because I'll miss you." Songwriter Diane Warren heard the story and it inspired Aerosmith's hit, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."  Don't want to close my eyes, don't want to fall asleep, because I'd miss you, baby, and I don't want to miss a thing. 

10. It amuses me that Christian Conservatives despise her so. Here is a woman who has seriously studied her Jewish faith and lets it guide her life. Who waited 25 years between marriages because she takes the institution so seriously. Who seldom uses vulgarity, and never takes the Lord's name in vain. Who generously supports causes championing women's health, children's education and the environment. Yet they demonize her and blindly support Donald Trump, who has five children by three different wives, misused money raised for sick children, joked about grabbing women "by the pussy" and is currently on trial regarding hush money to a porn star. Really, you can't make this shit up. (Unlike Barbra, I am fluent in vulgarity.) Is it antisemitism? Are they just pathetically triggered by opposing points of view? Is it because there isn't an equally successful Conservative performer, and they're jealous of her fundraising ability? To quote another Barbra superfan, Linda Richman of SNL's Coffee Talk, "talk among yourselves."

11. My two heroines knew one another! In the mid-1980s, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis tried to convince Barbra Streisand to write her memoirs. They chatted over tea at Barbra's NYC apartment. At the time, Barbra (then in her 40s) thought she was too young to look back, but Jackie's words about how the process of writing would be as rewarding for her (Barbra) as her readers always stayed with her. Barbra was impressed by Jackie, and she doesn't impress easy. Years later, Barbra was about to go onstage when she learned Jackie died. She was so emotional she felt she had to tell her audience the news.

12. She makes friends carefully and keeps them forever. She worked with, laughed with and dined with Marvin Hamlisch beginning in 1963, when he was was a teenaged rehearsal pianist, continuing until his death in 2012. Her best friend seems to have been Cis Corman. Cis was a 32-year-old mother of four when she took an acting class alongside 16-year-old Barbara (still with three a's) and they bonded instantly. Cis was married to a psychiatrist, and they became her surrogate parents. When Barbra became a star, Cis became her collaborator and casting director. She died in 2020. As one who recently lost two of my closest friends after decades of devotion, my heart breaks for Barbra. Some things are universal.

13. She would rather have control than cash. In negotiations, whether for her singing or acting or directing, she consistently accepts a lower a salary in exchange for more power behind the scenes. I kinda sorta get it, since she's a perfectionist. On the other hand, I'm lazier than she is. When I was a writer, I longed for more control, but since retiring from advertising, I'm content working at the card shop, where I just play my role behind the register and then go home. 

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Teaser Tuesday

Here's how to play.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand. Page 510, on her boyfriend Jon Peters.

Jon grabbed him by his necktie so hard that the guy's shirt ripped down the back. (Must have been an expensive shirt. The guy sued Jon and settled for $7,000.) I was upset. Why did Jon have to overreact like that?

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Sunday Stealing


1. Who is your best friend and why? What do you like to do together? This is hard, because John just died on April 12. He was my best friend for more than 40 years because he accepted me exactly as I am. We were opposites in every way: He was a tall, black gay man, while I'm a short, straight white woman. I love how generous he was in sharing his life experiences with me and he taught me a great deal. He thought I was funny. I was more comfortable with him than I am with my family. We enjoyed just being together, blabbing. I will never not miss him.

2. What is your town like? What are your favorite places to go? My neighborhood is very diverse, progressive, and activist. For example, we volunteered to accept migrants sent up here by Texas Gov. Abbott, and right now the community bank is collecting sanitary products for the women. I love that! It's a great place to shop and dine out. There's more than 15 restaurants within walking distance of me representing a variety of different cuisines.The local movie theater has six screens. We have a community theater company. Our public library is three stories tall and so popular it has an underground parking garage. We support 38 houses of worship. I love it here and can't imagine living anywhere else.

3. What is your favorite meal? Where and when do you eat it? I am a meat and potatoes kinda gal. Literally. I had a cheeseburger and fries for dinner Saturday. I got it to-go and ate it on the sofa while watching the Cubs beat the Brewers. BLISS!

4. What is your job like? What do you like about it? We sell cards, wrapping paper and gifts. It's a lovely, happy place to work. With Mother's Day next Sunday, I imagine we'll be pretty busy this week, but our customers are uniformly positive and patient. I only work 4 to 8 hours/week, which suits me fine.

5. What is your favorite place to go on vacation? I love the TCM Classic Film Festival! Four days with other movie nerds, I was totally in my element. Bouncing up and down Hollywood Blvd. between six theaters, I saw 12 films, a mix of old favorites and new-to-me discoveries. It's like camp for cinephiles. I can't wait to do it again next year!

6. What country would you like to visit one day? England, I suppose. But I really don't have any burning desire to travel overseas. I'd rather see America.

7. What bores you the most? Football and/or soccer.

8. What are you looking forward to this summer? Go, Cubs, Go!

9. What is your favorite film? The Way We Were.

10. Do you sing in the shower? Every morning.

11. What is the best gift you’ve ever received? As an adult, I'd say it was the padded hangers from my mom. She was so happy when she gave them to me! She saw them on HSN and was so cute as she explained to me how the shoulders of my cardigans will never again be pointy. I could tell she enjoyed taking care of me again.

12. Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors? Depends on what I'm doing

13. When was the last time you cried, and why? See #1. I really loved him.

14. What do you keep in your bag or handbag? I carry a very big purse. Odds are if you need it, I've got it in there.

15. Can you play a musical instrument? No.


Photo by coco tafoya on Unsplash


Photo by coco tafoya on Unsplash

Friday, May 03, 2024

Saturday 9

 Saturday 9: Rocket Man (1972)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) In this song, Elton John tells us he's taking off for outerspace at 9:00 AM. What will you be doing at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning? I'm doing this Friday night, so I predict that at 9:00 Saturday morning I'll still be in my pjs, catching up with other Sat 9-ers, tending my Farmville crops, and reassuring the cats that I have not forgotten them and will, indeed, get their breakfast.
These two want breakfast
2) He sings that even though he uses it for his astronaut job, he doesn't understand science. Was science one of your better classes in school? No. BTW, I was right in thinking I wouldn't need it as an adult. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so pathetic at math, but science? Never.
3) Lyricist Bernie Taupin recalls writing the first verse of "Rocket Man" while stuck in traffic as he tried to make his way to his parents' home. Have you recently been stuck in traffic? If yes, where were you headed? March 2023, when I was eager to get to the veterinary hospital to pick up my Connie Cat, who'd had surgery. It took well over an hour to go 13 miles. The Uber driver inadvisedly took the Eisenhower Expressway and we were trapped in a caravan amid big rigs. I had to call the hospital and ask them to stay open so I could get my girl. A different driver took us home, and I asked him to avoid the expressway. He was like, "Duh! Of course. Who wouldn't on a Friday?" Apparently on the way over I got the only rideshare driver who didn't know that.

4) Thinking of cars ... Nigel Olsson, who plays drums and sings back-up on "Rocket Man," is a self-proclaimed "race car fanatic." What hobby are you passionate about? Go, Cubs, Go!

5) Davey Johnstone, who plays guitar on "Rocket Man," recently posted on Facebook that he was thrilled to meet Joni Mitchell. Are you on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Pinterest? Tik Tok? Facebook for friends and Twitter to talk baseball (but only baseball; the deplorables behave especially deplorably on Twitter). I've got Instagram and Pinterest, but I seldom use them. My oldest friend is trying to get me on Tumblr, but I don't see the point.

6) Elton John once played charades with Bob Dylan. But only once. Elton laughingly says he can't get over how "hopeless" Dylan was at the game. What's the last game you played? Did you win? I have been on fire playing canasta on Pogo.

7) In 1972, when this song was popular, Winnie the Pooh was on the cover the Sears Christmas Wish Book. That year, kids asked Santa for plush Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. Did you have many plush toys as a child? If yes, do you still have any of them? I still have my Lassie dog.
8) Also in 1972, TV cowboy Dan Blocker died. He played the middle brother, "Hoss," on Bonanza. Do you enjoy watching westerns? I used to love them, and always stop to watch when I happen upon one.

9) Random question: What inspires you? Doing good, or putting my faith on its feet. 

Thursday, May 02, 2024

I'm doing it, but I don't feel like it

I worked four hours on Monday, three hours today and I agreed to another three hour shift at the card shop tomorrow. That's a 10-hour workweek. Not exactly grueling, especially when you look back on the 50-hour weeks I once clocked.

But here's the thing: I don't want to do it.

I've become fundamentally lazy. I want to sleep in. I look forward to days when I have nothing I have to do.

But too many days like that aren't good for me. They lead to too much solitude, where I don't interact with other humans and tend to overthink everything. 

And I need the money. We don't yet have a dollar amount for the extensive repairs we have to make on this building. I want to prepare for the worst. Plus, my oldest friend wants to come in for the Fest for Beatle Fans in Chicago this August. I just put the hotel on my credit card, and she swears she's going to pay for part of it, but let's face it: she's not going to. She can't. She still owes me $100 from our trip to Las Vegas in 2014.

So I'm doing that extra shift tomorrow, even though I don't feel like it. I need to get over myself. There are worse ways to spend three hours than surrounded by Mother's Day cards, pretty wrapping paper and scented candles.


Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash