Sunday, May 19, 2019

A tale of two blondes

This past week, we lost Doris Day. I have always adored her. In her way, she was as natural and affecting onscreen as Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift strived to be. She was also important as a pre-feminist feminist. She spoke her mind, she was spirited and always, always true to herself. When critics joke about her being the poster girl for virginity, they miss the point completely. The Doris Day heroine wasn't constitutionally opposed to giving up her cherry; she hated being lied to. It's isn't sex that she objects to, it's being maneuvered or tricked into bed.

Watch her again, with fresh eyes. Admire the ambition, independence and honesty in her performances. She was the quintessential All-American Girl, and her screen persona will make you feel good, and feel proud.

Peggy Lipton also died this week at 72. I grew up on her, too. Or, rather, Julie Barnes of The Mod Squad. That show was the center of my grade school Tuesday nights. Three kids ("one black, one white, one blonde") went undercover and fought crime.

I had handsome Pete's picture in my locker. He was the rich kid rebel, misunderstood by his Beverly Hills family. But Julie was the influential one in my group. The way she wore her hair. Her sweaters and fringe-trimmed purses. Her backstory was also important. She was a runaway. Something bad (sexual abuse?) was going on at home, so Julie did what it took to save herself and she ran. While she appeared vulnerable, and the boys were always very protective of her, we girls never doubted Julie could take care of herself. We just knew no one could take Julie Barnes down.

Also, her relationships with Pete and Linc were fascinating to us. Obviously, she couldn't have an affair with Linc. I mean, it was  primetime TV in the 1960s and interracial romance was simply not on the table. But what about handsome Pete? Julie had platonic friendships with men. This was a big deal at the time. It was liberating. You could relate to men without romance or the scary idea of sex seeping in to it. You go, girl!

Speaking of sex, Peggy had an on/off affair with Himself, Sir Paul McCartney, between 1964 and 1968. Meaning he called her whenever he was in Los Angeles and she came running. By all accounts, including his own, he treated her rather badly during their relationship and dumped her unceremoniously when he fell for Linda. I didn't know any of this at the time, since the Beatles had quite the squeaky-clean image in real time, but I admit it adds to her aura. She had her heart broken by The Cute One!

RIP, Girlfriend.

Sunday Stealing

This week, Sunday Stealing borrows from Unconscious Mutterings, one of the most venerable memes in the blogverse. If you enjoy Q/As like this, I recommend you visit there again some time.

I say ... and you think ... ?

    Hurry! :: up
    Dumb :: Dora
(she was the subject of many Gene Rayburn questions on the old Match Game)
    Fudge :: Sundae
    Sturdy :: Solid
    Printing :: Press
    Itch :: Scratch
    Creaks :: Floor
    Paste :: Cut
(as in "Cut and paste")
    Waste of time :: Kardashian
    Let down :: Lift up
    Cancellation :: Notice
    Suspect :: Defendant

    Fireplace :: Firewood
    Spring :: Fever
    Commute :: to Work
    Places :: People, Things
(you know, "People, Places and Things")
    Fraud :: Alert
    Adoption :: The best way to get a dog or cat
(Adopt, don't shop)
    Election :: Day
    Moving day :: New start


I suppose you want to pout now, too

 Everyone seems mad at me these days. Everyone seems on the verge of a tantrum. I'm trying to rise above it, but it's not easy. Let's face it: I'm not exactly the gold standard for tranquility myself.

Brian. He's the president of our condo board, I'm the secretary. He hasn't answered any of my emails in a month. Some of them were kind of a big deal -- like where are we in terms of selling our building. I mean, where we're all going to be living come Christmas is important. He caught me in our laundry room while I was folding and told me he's just been "too busy." For a month? Really, Brian? 

He asked me what questions I had. I've got a month's worth of questions and I'm supposed to just recount them off the top of my head? That's not fair. He asked me if I realized how busy he was, how many emails he gets. I don't really care. It's insulting to me, and all the other unit owners, that he just ignores our messages. Also, no one is busy around-the-clock for a full month. I've had relatives to visit in the hospital. I have a job that's not without deadlines and stress. I've been sick. I've even had all three at once. I've never let a month's worth of emails pile up.

Brian made a strange accusation -- that I just want people to like me. That's so not true. I don't much care if my neighbors like me at all. I do want them to feel as though they are heard and respected. This nuance seems lost on him.

After much arguing and scowling, he stormed off and went back upstairs. (I, after all, could not storm off. I still had sweaters to fold.) He has since been very friendly, and prompt!, in answering emails. So I shall try to move on. But that was more stress and more drama than I need.

Braverman. My neighbor at the end of the hall. He never attends condo association meetings. He never sends emails to the address set up for questions. But he has lots of strong opinions and waited until we were alone in the elevator to share them. After sharing pleasantries about one another's day, he started peppering me. Why? How? Then what? I gave him topline answers and he kept going. I told him this felt like an interrogation, when all I wanted to do was get to my front door. That if he wants to know about the running of the building, he should check the board meeting minutes on the website. This made him angry and he stormed off up the hall. Like it never occurred to him that a person may not wish to be ambushed with demands about "a ten year plan" for elevator renovation. 

There are pluses to being on the condo board. I like knowing what's going on and being able to improve things. (For example, a mass email is soon going to unit owners about more effective recycling.)

But I hate all the sturm und drang. I appreciate that where we live, and our living conditions, are important. But there are ways to work together. In this building, that doesn't seem to be a priority.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Saturday 9

Secret Love (1953)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

Rest in peace, Doris Day (1922-2019)
1) In this song Doris admits she's spoken to the stars, "the way dreamers often do." Do you often daydream? YES! It seems I'm seldom in the moment. I'm either reliving, anticipating, or fantasizing.

2) What's the last secret you kept? (It doesn't have to be romantic.) It's about my dear friend Henry. Seven months ago, he was in a terrible accident, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. He's getting better all the time, but recovery has been slow. His husband, Reg, has turned their GoFundMe page into an online journal, where he vents about how difficult their life has been since the accident. I hate knowing about Reg's writing. Because someday Henry is going to read it and feel so betrayed by the oversharing that's been done.

3) While "Secret Love" was one of Miss Day's best-selling records, and the song won an Oscar, she did not perform it at the Academy Awards Ceremony. She said she was just too nervous to sing it live before an international television audience and an auditorium full of entertainment professionals. When did you last suffer an attack of nerves? Friday morning, before I hit "send" on an email. Which was silly, because I write for a living. But this email was to my fellow condo unit owners, and I know how important the information would be.

4) Doris' well-publicized attack of Oscar stage fright was unexpected because she began her career as a band singer, performing before live audiences every night. But she reportedly did develop more phobias over the years, including a fear of flying. Is there anything that scares you now, as an adult, that didn't frighten you as a child? Airplane travel. I didn't develop my fear of flying until I was in my mid-30s.
5) Doris Day made 39 movies between 1948 and 1968. She said one of her favorite things about filmmaking was working with costume designers on her wardrobe. Do you enjoy shopping for clothes? Sure. In fact, I should be thinking about what I need for summer. Have you ever shopped at ThredUp? It's an online resale shop and I've picked up some cute things. I think of buying used as a form of recycling. (I've also sold items through their site, but I didn't think it was worth the effort. It's easier to just donate to Goodwill.)

6) Doris confessed that when she had to lose weight for a role, she gave up ice cream. If we checked your freezer, would we find any ice cream? Always.
7) In 1985 she hosted a cable show called Doris Day's Best Friends. She used the show as a platform to promote pet adoptions and animal welfare. Most of the guests were  celebrity friends who reportedly donated their salaries for appearing on the show to Doris' pet foundation. Did you more recently ask a friend for a favor, or perform a favor for a friend? I gave my boss $1. He was embarrassed to ask the guys at the sandwich shop to break a big bill for a cup of soda.

8) For more than 20 years, Doris co-owned the Cypress Inn in Carmel, CA. The Inn expects to continue on without her, and maintain the pet-friendly policies she introduced. Have you ever traveled with your dog or cat? No. I'd be too worried about my cat Reynaldo slipping out and getting lost far from home.

9) Random question: What's the last thing you complained about? Being on the condo board. I liked my neighbors better when I didn't know them so well.

Monday, May 13, 2019

She's engaged

On Sunday, my niece's boyfriend took her to their favorite park, dropped down to one knee, and became her fiance. Their wedding date is 10/10/20.

Now that gives me a lot of time to be sick about family dysfunction and how uncomfortable this event may be.

But instead, I'm going to think about what a gift her life has been. I remember her mother pregnant. I recall dancing on the night she was born -- I was a Clinton campaign worker and she was arrived on Election Day 1992. I remember her Lion King phase ("You be Simba and I'll be Nala"). Her Anastasia phase.

I remember her controversial Thanksgiving essay about why the holiday should be abolished. Even in grade school, she was a free thinker and a good little researcher. I was excited by how seriously she took American Girl dolls and stories, and then Harry Potter.

She's smart. She's tough. She's independent. Those qualities have not always made her life easy, but it's made her fascinating. 

Now she's getting married. I've seen her through her entire life to this point. I can't wait for the next chapter.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

Here's their site
In my mom's memory, I've made a contribution to this animal shelter. They introduced her to her cat, Ethel, who was her best friend for years.

After my mom died, I began getting her mail. I learned that she also supported The World Wildlife Fund and the NRDC.

Here's to you, Mommy! I miss you.

Sunday Stealing

Thought Provoking Questions

1. Do you own your things or do your things own you? They own me. I've got to return to Marie Kondo and take it more seriously.

2. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones? This terrifies me. I have a friend who is battling back from TBI. I'm not contemplating this anymore. Too upsetting.

3. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail? My boss is often more competitive than I'd like. I wish he felt that, if we both do well, we all do well. But I persevere. Because I'm paid to do a good jobl

4. What do you have that you cannot live without? TV. The other day, Comcast Xfinity had a power outage and I lost landline phone, internet and TV. It was the TV that I missed most.

5. When you close your eyes what do you see? Literally, my white computer screen. It disappeared after a moment, but I believe the white light of the screen stimulated my retina.

6. What sustains you on a daily basis? Love and positivity. And the Beatles and the Cubs.

7. What are your top five personal values? Compassion. That about covers it. In the age of Trump, where our President jokes about shooting immigrants crossing the southern border, I think we are more than a few quarts low.

8. Why must you love someone enough to let them go? Because Olivia Newton John said so. Oh, wait! That was if you love me, let me know. Never mind. Here's a video.


9. Do you ever celebrate the green lights? No.

10. What personal prisons have you built out of fears? I have a hard time distinguishing between compromise and capitulation in romantic relationships. It comes from spending a decade in an abusive relationship. Consequently, I am single. I'm not thinking about this anymore, either. Here's another look at Olivia's cute smocked dress.

11. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? Skydive

12. Why are you, you? Because everyone else was taken.

13. If you haven’t achieved it, yet what do you have to lose? Indeed!

14. What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life? I'll limit to the last three days: Popeye's, Immodium, saltines.

15. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?  Is it ever wrong to do the right thing? Yes

16. How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words? "The right to act without restraint." OK, I admit it: I got that from a government class somewhere along the way.

17. What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life? See #1.

18. If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask? "Oh, Mr. Lincoln, where do we go after Trump?"

19. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Working in an animal shelter. Like Ellie Mae Clampett, I am good with critters.



Saturday, May 11, 2019

Saturday 9

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

1) In this song, a son thanks his mother for helping him grow up strong and confident. Who is the last person you thanked? What did they do for you? The checker at Whole Foods.
2) Who was the last person to thank you for something? A coworker. I really delivered Friday, especially when you consider that I was playing hurt.

3) This is from the Backstreet Boys' album Millennium, recorded and released in 1999. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when 1999 turned into 2000? I don't recall doing anything special that night. I think I was too freaked out by Y2K rumors/conspiracies.

4) This song was written by Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell. Brian voiced himself on an episode of PBS' Arthur. Arthur has been described as an "animated anthropomorphic aardvark" -- which can be difficult to say. Do you easily get tongue tied? Only at the worst times.
5) The French word for "mother" is "mère." What other French words do you know? "Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble." 

6) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick's Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought? I sent a Mother's Day card to my aunt/godmother.
7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet? I really should.

8) Mother Winters used to scold Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she's still a bit of a slob. Do lean toward "neat" or "messy?"

That's me on the left
9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away her mother's favorite: Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds? Right now, I think I'm in the mood for dark chocolate.

Dear John

My old friend John is having health troubles. It's been at least a year since he's cared about food. He only eats before bed, usually a sandwich of some sort. Sometimes he'll have a snack during the day, but he doesn't get hungry and he doesn't enjoy eating.

He doesn't walk easily, having lost a toe to diabetes in 2016. But for the last two months, he's found any physical activity exhausting. Even folding laundry.

So he's finally going to do it: he's going to get the defibrillator his doctors first recommended a decade ago. OK, that's not quite accurate. 10 years ago, a different cardiologist wanted to implant a pacemaker. But that physician has retired and, I guess, technology and terminology have evolved in a decade. So now it's a defibrillator.

I'm glad and I'm mad. Glad that he's finally doing it. I love him and want him around for years to come! Mad that he waited, literally, 9 1/2 years. He's a decade older, a decade weaker, than when the procedure was first recommended.

Oh, well. I have slowly learned that I can't run everyone's lives for them, much as I would like to. All I can do is love and support him. And pray.

"Love that chicken from Popeye's"

Not so much.

Worked late Thursday night and treated myself to a two-piece chicken order to go. Some treat. I've been subsisting on Immodium, water and crackers for 36 hours.

Friday I worked from home and actually did get some stuff done: finished a pair of works in progress and handled calls. Buoyed by my productivity, I ran a couple of errands in the evening sun and felt OK.

I woke up this morning hopeful, but my gut cruelly dashed my hopes.

Lesson learned: When I'm at the train station food court, and Popeye's is the only fast food restaurant that doesn't have a line, there may be a reason.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

When good things happen to good people

Last night, at home in front of the faithful, Anthony Rizzo hit #200. To put this achievement in perspective, his is now #9 on the list of Cub home run hitters. Of all time. And he's only 29.* He's passed Hank Sauer (who played in the 1940s) to enter this elite club. If he stays healthy, 300 is certainly not out of the question.

If you read this blog often, it's no surprise that he's one of my favorite Cub players. One of my favorite people on the planet. In addition to the home runs, he grinds it out, day after day. He doesn't just hit them out of the park. He'll do whatever it takes to get on base or advance the runner -- even if it's the more thankless walk or hit-by-pitch (I'm looking at you, Javy!).

AND he's let the camera catch him cry in frustration. Or apologize to an umpire (I'm looking at you, Donald Trump!). His honesty in his emotions and his unfailing good sportsmanship make him an excellent role model.

Best of all, he's grateful. He lives my "One Word." Every day, all the time. A cancer survivor himself, he's used his birthday as a fundraiser at a local grocery store chain (donate $1 in his name to help fight pediatric cancer). His foundation built the new parents' waiting room at Lurie Childrens Hospital.  He regularly visits the little patients at Lurie, and his twitter feed is full of words of encouragement to the kids and their parents.

In 2017, Rizzo won the Roberto Clemente Award as the player who best represents major league baseball through philanthropy. He donated the prize to survivors of Hurricane Maria. Because Clemente was Puerto Rican and died bringing earthquake relief to his home.

Later this month, he's hosting his seventh annual cook off. Popular Chicago chefs will prepare the meal and Cub players will serve. It's already sold out. Last year, it raised more than $1 million to battle cancer.

I wrote this off the top of my head. I'm sure if I took the time to research Rizz' good works that I did Hank Sauer's stats, I'd find much, much more.

Anthony Rizzo, thank you for making me happy and proud to be a Chicagoan and a Cub fan.

*OK, 30 in August. It's a stat he doesn't seem too fond of.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Oh, Me of Little Faith!

I admit I was a little nervous about this series with the Cardinals. I mean, they're a good team. And what did the Cubs do? They swept their way into FIRST PLACE! (Kings of the hill, top of the heap.)

Sunday Stealing

    1. Name three things you love about yourself. I'm basically happy and optimistic (even and especially when the situation doesn't warrant it); I am good with animals; I try to do good.

    2. What’s the bravest thing you ever did?
    I interrupted a rape in progress, dialed 911 and stayed with the woman until the police arrived. Then the police took me for a ride in the car to see if the perpetrator was still in the neighborhood. We didn't find him, so I didn't have to confront him. But I would have.

    3. Talk about the craziest night of your life.
    The night I partied with Bruce Springsteen. If you want to read it, here's the link. (If you don't, well, that's OK, too. It's not like Bruce often retells the tale of the night he partied with me.)

    4. Name three things you want in life.
    Not to worry so much about money, to catch up on my reading, to feel good physically.
    5. Who’s your biggest celebrity crush? To borrow from Chuck Berry, I'm one of the good women who'd shed a tear for a brown-eyed handsome man.

    6. What’s your most common mistake?
    I'm indiscreet. My mouth gets me in trouble.

    7. Which three things would you save if there was a fire?
    My purse. It's filled with all kinds of stuff. (PS I don't consider my cats as "things," so they were not in my consideration set.)

    8. What’s your favorite sport?
    Cubs baseball.

    9. Talk about something good that recently happened to you.
    I loved the TCM Film Festival. Every day I got to hang around with literally thousands of people who love what I love ... old movies.

    10. Which fictional world would you want to live in if you could?
    It's not a fictional world, really (Concord did exist in the 19th century), but I'd love to hang out with the March Sisters of Little Women.

    11. What’s one thing you can never say no to?

    12. Talk about a childhood memory.
    My grandpa built a swing in the backyard, next to the garage. I loved that swing.

    13. Name five things you find attractive in others.
    I like people who are: Cub fans, pet lovers, kind, funny, able to live their faith without being sanctimonious (I have a minister, thank you).

    14. Are you good at making final decisions or do you easily change your mind?
    I am decisive

    15. Name three guilty pleasures of yours.
    Nilla Vanilla wafers, Elvis movies, big picture books and magazines about Diana and her boys. (Baby Sussex! Please get here! I can't wait to see you!)

It was like a movie!

Enjoying the moment of his life (Chicago Tribune)
Taylor Davis is in his third season as a Cub, but he still hasn't played in 20 major league games. I don't believe I've spoken his name. Until yesterday.

For on Saturday, he got his first-ever home run as a major leaguer. With the bases loaded. Against the Cardinals! That's a story worthy of Roy Hobbs in The Natural. To put that one big swing of the bat in perspective, Saturday morning, he'd batted in three runs over the course of his career. This morning, he has seven.
So let's take a moment to give Taylor Davis his due. He's 29 years old. Was drafted late (#49th round) by the Marlins, who promptly traded him to the Cubs. He played more than six seasons in the minors on teams like the Tennessee Smokies and the Iowa Cubs. He was called up to the majors in 2017, as the Cubs third catcher -- after All-Star Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini. If Victor hadn't broken his hand last month, Taylor Davis would have been riding the bench yesterday.

But Saturday, Taylor Davis got to start a game. Finally his name was penciled in on Joe Maddon's line up card. And he made the most of his day in the sun with a Grand Slam.

Here's to Taylor Davis, and all the other players who grind it out, game after game and season after season. Because they are ballplayers.

Roy Hobbs, I give you the last word.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Don't Envy Me (1963)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) What is it about you that you believe your friends and acquaintances envy? I often hear that I'm smart. Only I know that isn't quite true. I'm quick, which is different.

2) Do you have a friend or acquaintance that you envy? Joanna. She's so sophisticated and has such style.

3) This song was not a hit, even though it was written and produced by the supersuccessful team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Tell us about a project you had great confidence in at the beginning, but didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped. Growing out my hair. I wanted it long enough to pull back, or maybe wear in a topknot. Only I couldn't bear it in that in-between stage, so I hacked it off.

4) George Hamilton is better known as an actor. He is proud of his performance in the 1960 movie Light in the Piazza. He played an Italian who romances an American girl on holiday in Florence. Did you ever find love while vacationing? No.

5) George had a small part in Godfather III. How many of the Godfather movies have you seen? Have you read the book? Yes. I wonder how many people have actually read it. One of the snobbier cliches is that "the book is always better than the movie." The Godfather, while carefully and brilliantly plotted, is really not that well written. It's oversexed and sensational. The movies -- except maybe Godfather III -- are more elegant and expressed a deeper meaning to Puzo's work than Puzo himself conveyed.

6) He's gotten a lot of publicity over the years for his personal life, including his 1966 romance with First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson. At the time, she was living in the White House. Tell us about a memorable experience you had "meeting the parents." I was involved with a very nice, very smart man who had some rather serious commitment issues. One night, he confided to me about abuse at the hands of his dad. Everyone loved and admired his dad, and it made him reluctant to start his own family. If a fine, upstanding man like his father couldn't handle marriage/career/children without cracking under the stress, who could? I looked at it as, "Your dad was a psycho for doing that to you!" Well, shortly thereafter he introduced me to his dad. I had a very hard time warming up to this outwardly charming older gentleman, because I knew what had happened in the past. My boyfriend kept saying, "That was long ago!" But it wasn't long ago to me. I'd just heard about it.

7) George is also known for his year-round tan. Have you ever used a tanning bed? Or self tanner? I once bought a package of tans at a local salon. I wanted to be the color of Mailbu Barbie. With my genetic makeup, that's never going to happen.

8) In 1963, when this record was released, President
Kennedy made a historic trip to Ireland. Have you ever visited the land of your ancestors? Yes. I went to Berne, Germany, where I'm told my favorite grandpa once lived. Unfortunately, he was already dead by the time I made this trip, so I couldn't discuss it with him.

9) Random question -- The last of a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies just fell on your kitchen floor. Would you eat it? Yes. I'm the worst housekeeper ever, but I do love a good cookie. 

Tuesday, April 30, 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 

Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming. Kathleen ("Kick") was the second daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. She had a style and personality that naturally drew people to her. A close confidante of her brother Jack, she was sophisticated beyond her years and yet still very much the Boston convent girl.

When Joseph Kennedy was named ambassador to England, Kick took London by storm. Fleet Street deemed her "The Little American Girl," and published photos of her on society pages, attending embassy parties and doing charity work. Young aristocratic men flocked to her, and that's where the trouble starts.

For in the 1930s and 40s, Catholic girls were expected to marry Catholic boys. All the boys in Kick's London set were titled and Anglican. Wartime heightened passions, and she falls for England's most eligible bachelor, William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington. Or "Billy" as he was to Kick. It's a recipe for heartache.

This isn't Leaming's first book on the Kennedys. She brings a sure hand to the subject matter, inclusive but not sensational. She places her reader in London society and the Kennedy family at a very particular time. Even though I know the barebones of Kick's story, I am enjoying this book and learning from it.

2. What did you recently finish reading?  
I Am Not Ashamed by Barbara Payton. It's hard to imagine a life less similar to Kick Kennedy's. As the book opens, Barbara Payton was a 35-year-old prostitute, with hole in her smile where her front tooth used to be and a long scar across her stomach where a john knifed her. In the afterward, we learn she died at age 39.  

Barbara was a real woman, a tabloid staple in the 1950s. She was once a natural beauty who quickly found success in Hollywood. She put more effort into offscreen partying than onscreen performance, and consequently threw her career away.

Barbara didn't think about learning her craft, or being a mother to her seldom mentioned son. She concerned herself with clubs, furs and jewelry. Relationships for her were strictly transactional. For a book saturated with sex, there's very little passion and no joy on these pages.

Barbara was one of those people who excused her own bad behavior by saying, "At least I'm honest." Her road to an early grave was inexorable and excruciating. This book, while compulsively readable, was fascinating but not likeable. I'm not sorry I read it, but I don't recommend it.

3.  What will you read next?  
Maybe another biography? Or a mystery. My TBR pile is stacked dauntingly high with both.

April Prompt -- Day 30

"Your preferred method of communication" 

Phone calls. I like to blab. My niece, nephew and my friend John are all confirmed texters. I find that keyboard frustrating. I prefer to blab and blab.
For more about the April Challenge, click here.
Image courtesy of Youngkeit at

Monday, April 29, 2019

I was afraid of this

When I took Friday off as a sick day, when nothing was particularly wrong, I was worried that I would pay a karmic price for it. And I have.

My back aches. On the left. It's from the right that my spinal stenosis emanates, so this is something else. Dr. Google seems to indicate it's my old friend, the kidney stone. It makes sense, I suppose. I was guiltily aware during my trip to California -- 6 days, including travel -- that I wasn't "pushing water," as my GP suggests I do every day. It's just that between 4-hour flights and all those movies, I didn't want all the bathroom time that goes with "pushing water."

Oh well. I have two meetings today that I can't miss. And I don't know that staying home would make me feel any better, anyway. As I understand it from last year's battle, I just have to let it run its course. My friends at CVS just so happened to send me a coupon for $2 Extra Strength Execedrin.

I know it's silly to believe that I brought this upon myself with Friday's mental health day. But I think this might be a case of what Snarkypants lives by, a kind of pre-knowing. Perhaps on Friday, when I was consciously still feeling fine, my body was already sending almost imperceptible messages to my brain about the discomfort to come.

Image courtesy of Ambro at

April Prompt -- Day 29

"A happy moment" 

Looking into my Connie Cat's bright eyes.

She came from a hoarder situation and was in difficult shape when I adopted her. A young life of nothing but a bad diet and minimal care had taken its toll. Her gums were mushy and eyes were cloudy and light sensitive. She was afraid to be held.

It's taken some effort on the part of me and the vet, but her eyes are clear and her breath isn't as bad and her appetite is good. Best of all, she crawls into my arm and purrs and purrs. She loves to play with Reynaldo. I have given her a happy life. Whenever I consider that, I am happy.

For more about the April Challenge, click here.
Image courtesy of Youngkeit at

Sunday, April 28, 2019

April Prompt -- Day 28

"Where you want to be" 

The corner of Clark and Addison. Within the Friendly Confines of  Wrigley Field. Watching my Boys in Cubbie Blue!

For more about the April Challenge, click here.
Image courtesy of Youngkeit at