Sunday, January 19, 2020

And what did you do today?

I took a bath and shaved my legs!

Then I got dressed and took out the trash. I didn't cheat and use the chute. I went all the way down to the dumpster.

I walked all the way around to the front of the building (!) and picked up my mail.

I came back up and washed down my George Foreman grill.

I changed my sheets and towels.

I sorted my laundry (whites, darks and colors).

I put on fresh pajamas and got back into bed.

When you're sick, this feels like a productive day!

Maybe this flurry of activity means I'm on the mend.

A bright spot

I've felt crappy all week, and that has colored my outlook. I shouldn't let that happen. Nothing is ever all bad, and there's always something to be happy about.

This week, it was dinner with John. We met at Infield's, the little sports-themed bar in the basement of Macy's.* We had a lovely time.

I approached it with some trepidation. I've been having a terrible time getting hold of John since Thanksgiving! He refuses to do Facebook, seldom checks his email, can't access his voicemail, and is spotty about responding to texts. If my text doesn't fortuitously reach him at the moment he's looking at his phone, it can go unread for days (forever?).

I told him as sternly as possible that this is a shitty practice. He is 64, with heart disease and diabetes. He's been hospitalized for both. How do I know he's OK?

He apologized. It turns out that much his self-imposed isolation comes from the blues. Garden variety depression. I'm not making light of it, but I'm relieved because it's something I can understand.

John was laid off in September. His severance was up in mid-October, and now he's collecting unemployment. He's getting by, but barely. He knows that he has to seriously begin looking for work, but he doesn't know what he wants to/can do. Since January 6 -- the day everyone at his old office returned to work -- he's felt aimless and adrift.

I told him I'd help in anyway I can. I invited him to enjoy my gift card to Tao with me, and that made him happy. We laughed a lot. I enjoyed my burger -- really, if you're ever at Infield's, get the plain, old, no-frills burger; it's very good. I was home and back in bed by 9:15 PM. (Hey! Don't judge me! I'm sick!)

*The name was once a pun. This Macy's was originally Marshall Field's flagship store. So "Infield's" meant not only baseball diamond, but also "In Field's."

Saturday, January 18, 2020

I. Am. Sick. Dammit!

Today I got calls from both Reg and Henry. Reg didn't get through, but Henry did. He was tearful, angry, depressed, and miserable.

About New Year's Eve, where he was alone in the hospital. About his wedding and class rings, which he lost when he was airlifted to the hospital back in October 2018. He insists they were stolen by a hospital worker.

I don't know what triggered all this. I couldn't get him to tell me. He sounded tired and drunk and was completely unreasonable. As near as I can tell, he saw his GP today, and that doctor recommended a psychologist. I don't know why this would rattle him so.

I told him I'd been in therapy. I told him I thought this was positive. (I actually said "Yea!") I told him a shrink could help him be strong, independent and happy. That's my mantra with Henry: strong, independent and happy.

New Year's Eve ... the rings ... New Year's Eve ... the rings ... over and over.

Now it's nearly 7:00 on Saturday evening and I'm still in my nightshirt because I am sick. I have been sick all week. I am achy. I am tired. I am coughing. I can't breathe. I don't want to hear about New Year's Eve (18 days ago) and the fucking rings (more than a year). Henry can be very selfish.

I don't believe Henry is serious about suicide, but I am not a doctor. I am not a shrink. Henry is in Key West. I am in Chicago. It's not like I can just get in an Uber and check on him.

I have called Reg, who is asleep because he has to be at work at 4:00 AM. I have called Patrick, who is staying with them. I believe he's on a date and isn't answering.

I don't want to involve the police for a wellness check. I worry what the legal ramifications would be of that. Would they try to take Henry away?

I wish Reg or Patrick would call me back.

I am sick. I am trying to be empathetic, I am working at remembering that everyone is doing the best he can, but I am sick.

Saturday 9

Miss Independent (2003)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The song begins with Kelly describing a woman who is "independent" and "self-sufficient." Are you feeling especially independent and self-sufficient this morning? Or is there a particular task on your to-do list that you wish you had help with?  My home is such a mess. I wish Marie Kondo would come by and help me get organized.

2) Kelly especially enjoys that this song was a hit, because she had to argue with the record company to even include it on her album. Tell us about a time you're glad fought to get your way. There have been creative projects at work that I believe came out better because I dug my heels in.
3) The video depicts a very lively party that spills from the house to the pool area. What's the last party you attended? Was it held indoors, outdoors, or did the revelers enjoy themselves both inside and outside? It was Christmas night. We began in my friends' living room, and then two of us peeled off and continued our celebration with pizza at an outdoor bar near the ocean. (It was Key West, where my holidays are festive, if not conventional.)

4)The partiers are playing with "silly string." Have you ever indulged in a "silly string" battle? Nope.

5) Kelly Clarkson has a new daytime talk show. Who hosted the last entertainment talk show (as opposed to news) that you watched? Johnny Carson. I was just flipping through channels and stumbled upon an episode of The Tonight Show from 1981. This is why I'm reluctant to "cut the cord" and give up cable. I'm forever accidentally landing on shows that I didn't know I had access to. (PS Most of his monologue was about Ronald Reagan. It's a myth that Johnny wasn't political.)

6) Kelly Clarkson told a foodie website that one of her favorite foods is sushi (especially California rolls). She said she's surprised how fond she is of it, since as a kid, sushi is a food she wouldn't even try. Tell us about something you had to be convinced to try, or do, that you were surprised to find you enjoyed. Spinach artichoke dip.

7) In 2003, when "Miss Independent" was released, Microsoft and Sony were furiously competing for gamers' attention. Do you own Playstation or Xbox, neither or both? Nope

8) Also in 2003, the best-selling cookbook was The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. It features foolproof recipes for old favorites like waffles, pancakes, flat breads and crackers. When you look for a new recipe, are you searching for an easier/better way to make something familiar, or are you more likely looking to try something new? I don't cook.

9) Random question: Which has gotten you in more trouble -- love or money? To be honest, I have no talent for handling either.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Back to bed

I don't have much of a cough. I'm not too congested. To borrow from Zuzu, I don't have a smidge of temperature. And yet I'm soooo achy and exhausted! All I want to do is stay in bed. Which is where I'm going now.

Nighty night!

This is our president

This is how the most powerful man in the free world chooses to use social media.

This is the message he wants to communicate.

This is the retweet of a bigot.

I pray our fellow citizens vote their consciences this November.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday Stealing

Book Mama as a wee one
Food meme Stolen from Book Mama, who stole it from Jenefur.  

Book Mama was important to me. She was all passion and love. We lost her suddenly in June and I miss her still. To read more about this truly wonderful woman, click here.


04. CORN MUFFIN or ENGLISH MUFFIN? Oooh! Depends on my mood.
05. PANCAKES or FRENCH TOAST? Though I do enjoy French Toast on occasion.
07. RICE or PASTA?

08. CAKE or PIE? What cake? Which pie?

10. HOT DOGS or HAMBURGERS? Except at the ball park, of course.



14. LEMONADE or ICED TEA? But only if the lemonade is all natural. Artificial flavors give me a headache. Literally. They trigger my migraines.









25. BLACK OLIVES or GREEN OLIVES? I won't eat either, and you can't make me.
26. ONION or GARLIC? I won't eat either, and you can't make me. 











I knew it was a bad idea at the time

It was raining like crazy Friday night. So much came down so fast that the sewers were having trouble handling it and streets that were dry when I went into my movie group meetup at 6:45 were flooded by the time I left around 9:00. I didn't want to deal with the expressways in such weather, so instead of taking an Uber home, I had the driver take me to the train station. Better to get home via the rails than the roads.

I had about 20 minutes to spare before the train, I hadn't eaten since lunch, and so I checked out the food court. McDonald's had a line, but Arby's was beckoning me. I haven't had a beef 'n' cheddar in forever! Look how tasty the menu photo looks! And it was delicious. But as I enjoyed it -- and I did -- I wondered, "Why don't I eat these more often? Is there a reason?"

I woke up slowly on Saturday, unable to shake the sluggishness. I had no appetite, but I did endure a sudden and blissfully brief episode of something you don't want to read about. I did my grocery shopping but that's it. I just napped some more.

A wasted day. UGH!

So beef 'n' cheddar, while I love you, I must remember to admire you from afar. (I think it's the modified ranch dressing they use that makes it taste good, but disturbs me so.)

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saturday 9

Sultans of Swing (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The song begins by mentioning how it feels to shiver on a rainy night. As you answer these questions, is it chilly ... or rainy ... or dark? It's rainy. Apparently we are destined to receive an almost biblical amount of precipitation this weekend. At least it will be varied -- rain, sleet, snow ...

2) The lyrics describe a bar at closing time, when the owner announces, "Goodnight, now, it's time to go home." Can you recall a time when you lingered until you closed the joint? My birthday party in November. Mindy, John and I stayed at the tavern until last call ... of course, they close at 9:15, so it's not that impressive. Now I do recall the night, a couple springs ago, when Joanna and I stayed at the tapas restaurant for hours and hours and hours -- even after the band went home. That was epic. (And, as I recall, we weren't even drinking. Just blabbing and blabbing.)

3) This song was written years before it was recorded, back in the days before Dire Straits was a success. Composer/lead singer/lead guitarist Mark Knopfler recalls that, when he was working on "Sultans of Swing," he was worried about paying his gas bill. Is anything troubling you this Saturday? Of course. Trump is still President. On a much lighter note, I am happy to report that Bank of America finally cashed my credit card payment. I mailed it without a statement, just a note with my account information, back on December 19. I wanted to take care of it before I went on Christmas vacation so I wouldn't forget. It was beginning to bother me that after three weeks it still hadn't cleared. (OK, it wasn't beginning to bother me. I was obsessing.) Anyway, it cleared, my account has been credited, and I can move on.

4) When this song was popular, Sam often played it on the jukebox because, well, who doesn't like Dire Straits? 40 years later, both that  jukebox and the bar it was in are gone. Have you recently been in a restaurant or bar that has a jukebox? Yes. The Billy Goat Tavern has a jukebox. I don't play it if the bar denizens are watching a game, but they have one and it works.


5) In 1978, the year "Sultans of Swing" topped the charts, Garfield first appeared in newspapers all around the United States. Over the years, it was revealed that the cartoon cat loved lasagna and hated raisins. What's a food you love? What's one that you hate? I love lasagna, too, Garfield. And steak, pizza and ice cream. I don't like raw tomatoes or anything with too much spice or pepper.

6) One of People magazine's top-selling issues of 1978 featured Carrie Fisher and Darth Vader on the cover. The article celebrated the theatrical re-release of Star Wars and announced that the cast was on board for a sequel. How many Star Wars movies have you seen? Just the first. I recall it was too noisy and bright to sleep through. I really don't like sci-fi.

7) The most popular movie of 1978 was Grease. What's your favorite song from the Grease soundtrack? Summer Nights. (Tell me more, tell me more ...)

8) In 1978, Yves St. Laurent made fashion news by putting his female runway models in menswear-inspired suits, complete with neckties and pocket squares. Do you know how to tie a windsor knot? Can you fold a handkerchief into a pocket square? Nope.

9) Random question: You're visiting a friend. He graciously offers you the use of his super-expensive, brand-new luxury sedan for the duration of your stay. Do you take him up on it? Or do you rent a car instead? I don't drive, so if the car doesn't come with driver, I'll stick with cabs and ubers. 


A happy night of lust, betrayal, mayhem and murder

Last night was our first movie meet-up of the new year. It was well attended, despite what felt like a positively biblical amount of rain. I was so happy for our moderator, Will. He works hard on his pre/post movie presentations. And he found us a new venue -- the recital hall of piano showroom. At first blush it seemed like an odd choice for showing classic movies, but really it worked well. The acoustics are awesome, there's ample seating, the bathrooms are pristine and the room is downright elegant (blond wood floors, exposed brick walls).  Even better, it's still in approximately the same neighborhood as our old meeting spot, which is important to Will because he lives in that community and wants to bring incremental foot traffic and attention to that part of town.

The movie itself was just OK. This surprised me, because Criss Cross (1949) is much lauded among film noir aficionados. My TV boyfriend, TCM's Eddie Muller, is a huge fan. I found too many niggling plot holes. But it looked good on the big screen, Yvonne DeCarlo was a revelation (who knew Lily Munster could be so amoral?) and the crowd loved it.

And Betty annoyed me. Betty always annoys me, especially when Joanna isn't there to diffuse our encounters. Betty grabs me and pulls me into her photos ... and with Betty, it seems every moment must be photographed. She asks me again and again about this year's TCM Film Festival and then says, "Oh yeah, you can't afford it this year. That's OK." Gee, is it OK with you, Betty? Really? That means the world to me! (I have to work on my annoyance level, as she seems to sincerely love these movies, enjoy the Meet Ups and even like me. It wouldn't kill me to be nicer.)

A load of whites and half a sock drawer

In my ongoing quest to do MORE toward my goals of being healthier, more financially responsible and more organized, I'm committed to make better use of my evenings.

Crashing on the sofa after work is not productive. Seductive, yes. We have "open seating" at the office, and sitting out in the open, feeling piteously exposed for 40 hours/week, exhausts me. Literally exhausts me. I fell into a ridiculously bad habit of falling asleep in front of the TV, then waking up at 2:30 or 3:00 AM. Not a productive way to live my life.

So Thursday night, I took on my underwear. I bleached my whites and sorted through my my colored socks. I rid myself of several pairs of black trouser socks that are so tight and uncomfortable they feel like compression stockings! And yet I never tossed them before. I'd just waste time putting them on, find they didn't fit, putting them back and grabbing another pair. (Silly Gal!)

Wednesday, January 08, 2020


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?
Cary Grant by Marc Elliott.The most suave, elegant leading man Hollywood ever produced, Cary Grant's career is even more impressive when viewed in context. 

His parents were ridiculously mismatched -- Dad was a hard drinking ladies' man, Mom was pious and parsimonious. By the time he was 9, both of his parents were gone. Dad left to start a new family and Mom "disappeared." Consequently, Cary Grant suffered a lifelong fear of abandonment and poverty that no amount of success could assuage. Yet he exuded such confidence, such self sufficiency that Ian Fleming used him as the model for James Bond in his 007 novels.

I am enjoying this biography, but it makes me sad that he endured all he did and chapter after chapter, I find myself wanting to give him a hug.

  2. What did you recently finish reading? A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny.  CC de Poitiers is a very unlikable murder victim. Of course, even the odious deserve justice. Much of the tension of this engaging mystery comes from the fact that most of the suspects are more sympathetic and worthy than CC. You don't want to find that any of them did it.

I unexpectedly slipped this book in ahead of Cary because I wanted to read a book set at Christmas over Christmas. It was a good choice. The author uses the holiday to add emotional dimension but she's never mawkish.  

3.  What will you read next? Both the bio and the mystery have been rather serious, so I'm in the mood for chick lit. Meg Cabot is a tried-and-true practitioner of the genre, so I'll reach for No Judgments.

Who's a good girl? Me!

Tuesday I worked out and brown bagged it! OK, actually I Elvis-bagged it, using the plastic bag from a souvenir shop at Graceland for my lunch. But still.

One of my coworkers joined my gym and while we can't work out together -- my back limits what I can do class-wise -- we agreed we can hold one another accountable through 2020. I feel good about all this.

And so I forgive myself for being a lazy slug Tuesday night. I have to remember, my OneWord is More. Every day, I just have to do something more toward my financial, fitness and organizational goals. Today I did something for two of the three. That's good enough.

Fitful sleep

I had a disturbing nightmare Monday night, that left me upset when I awoke on Tuesday. It won't sound terrifying in the retelling, but really, it caused me much anxiety.

I was away from home, and I had to keep my cat Reynaldo with me. For some reason, I was unable to use his carrier. I had to keep him in my arms. As I went from place to place, trying to get home, he wriggled in my arms. I was terrified that he was going to get away. He was going to get lost, or hit by a car, and it was going to be all my fault.

I checked out a dream analysis site, and it seems that Reynaldo was a proxy for Henry. Protecting a cat or kitten in peril could "represent a desire to help someone get on the right path in life." Makes sense. I had a long, and exhausting, call with Henry Monday evening. All he wanted to talk about was his most recent hospital stay. He was proud of how he fought with the nurses and the attending physician in Miami. He was furious at his local physician for not being immediately available to him upon his return to Key West. Oh! How Henry was going to yell at him during his next appointment on Wednesday!

I kept repeating that all I want is for him to be strong, healthy and independent. Why can't he just cooperate with those who care for him? Why can't he participate in his own treatment, instead of fighting it? I told him I wished he would just get out of my dear Henry's way so Henry could get better!

I might as well have been speaking Swahili.

I fell asleep feeling frustrated and sad and dreamed of Reynaldo.

Reg insists that the traumatic brain injury has left Henry is frightened and childlike. I must keep that in mind. Perhaps aggression is Henry's way of keeping the demons at bay. But he should listen to me about getting out of his own way. The drinking ... the resisting the medical professionals ... this is not going to advance his recovery.

And he is going to get better. Even with the seizures, he's better than he was a year ago. And a year from today, Henry will be better yet. I know it.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Tuesday 4

Around the House

Thanks to Annie for picking up the mantle.

1. Do you have pets ? What kind of pets do you have? Photos?
I have two cats. Crafty old Reynaldo and affectionate little Connie.

Don't let Rey's pacific demeanor fool you

Whenever I can't find the remote, I look under Connie

2. Do you have a weekly menu you plan out? Would you share it with us, or perhaps a short list of meals you make often? It gives other people ideas! Not really a "meal plan." But I'm defrosting some pork chops right now. They will be my main dish throughout this week.

3.Where do you do your grocery shopping? Do you like that store or do you go to others to fill in the gaps? Target has the widest selection and most convenient hours. I also like Trader Joe's.

4.  What kind of house do you live in or is it an apartment. Describe it. What changes would you make to it if you could? I live in a 2BR/1BA condo. I need to replace my living room windows.

More Sunday than Saturday

That's all I'm asking of myself: More today than yesterday. Sunday, while watching the Golden Globes, I went through my travel sized toiletries. I had a lot of duplicates and more than a few expired products. I did some winnowing and promised myself to pack more carefully next time (so that I don't buy even more toothpaste and hairspray, like I did in Key West).

Will this one act banish my life of clutter? No, of course not. But I'm a little better off as a result of it. A lot of "a little better off's" is bound to add up.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Sunday Stealing

The Queen's Meme. All hail the Queen!

1. January usually has ample amounts of snowfall in parts of the world. Did you ever make snow cream as a kid? Nope.

2. January is one of the months with 31 days. What are you going to do with that extra day? It's a Friday and payday, so I'll pay bills and worry about money.

3.  What is your favorite magazine? Allure.
If you live to be 99 years old, what would you like your life to be like in that last decade? I would like to be relaxed and peaceful. (I'd like to be relaxed and peaceful now, too!)

The great world of Wikipedia tells me that scientists claim 99% of all documented species are extinct. Which remaining species in the 1% category would you really like to see extinct.  And which species in the 99% category would you like to bring back? I don't want to see any species extinct. Circle of life. I'd like to bring back The Barbary Lion. This gentleman was hunted out of existence in the 1960s. There are a few left in zoos. Which is why, when people bitch and moan about zoos, I ignore them. Who wants to live in a world where he doesn't exist at all?

6. On January 14, 1986 motorists were required for the first time to wear seat belts? Do you always buckle up? Why or why not?  In the front seat, yes. In the back, no. Because I forget. I know I should. She might be alive today if she'd worn her seat belt.


7. Why did the cow jump over the moon? Bored

9. Have you said anything in the last 24 hours that you regret? No

10. Have you ever written anything on your blog that you wish you could take back? No. I left a comment on a blog that I regretted, because a friend saw it. This is why I've gone to lengths to stay anonymous. I don't want to pull punches, but on the other hand, I don't want to hurt anyone, either.

11. Are you the blabber or the blabbee? Tell us your most embarrassing blabbermouth moment. I'm an awful blabber. I've often said things without realizing the person I'm talking about is standing behind me.

12. How important is a cell phone in your life? More than I'd like.
A "cuisine" is typically influenced by and named after geographical regions and cultures. Pretend your blog is a country. What is the name of your cuisine? Galtopian global cuisine. I kinda like the sound of that. Maybe I should commission a cookbook.

14. You are the Blog Paparazzi! Which blogger's real photograph are you most interested in getting? That crazy lady who went off on Bev and notified the police over Sunday Stealing. Remember her? I'd like to see her face so I could be sure to cross the street if she were ever in my vicinity. 

15. Are you always on time or just a tad late? Always more than a tad late. Except for trains and planes. Then I'm early.

16. Can you think of a time when you were late for something and it was REALLY a big deal? I was 15 minutes late to a client meeting. I was supposed to be 30 minutes early, but the train got stuck in the snow. My coworker was furious, but my client was very nice. I kept apologizing, and she grabbed my elbow, looked me in the eye, and said, "Gal, you're safe." Next time I see her, I should remind her how much that kindness meant to me.

17. If you were on your way to work and had five minutes to get there, would you stop in the road to rescue a crossing turtle? Of course. And then I would call and explain. This is an instance when cell phones are a good and helpful thing.

When you are having a really good day, what usually makes it good? Knowing I did good in some way. Or if my hair looks nice. (I'm shallow.)

19.  What is the most annoying Christmas song? "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." You know, I didn't hear it in 2019. Yea!

20. You are Snow White. Which dwarf is your favorite and why? Dopey is so dear.


Lunch with my nephew

He's still home from WIU. He picked me up at the salon where I was getting my hair done, and together we walked around the corner to his favorite diner for lunch.

I asked Tony, the guy who does my hair, to be sure to ask my nephew about school. He's not only on scholarship, he is earning credits so rapidly he may graduate a semester early. My nephew is quieter than his older sister, whose career success and upcoming nuptials seem to dominate all conversation. But that doesn't mean his accomplishments are less than. Tony has known my family for decades, and I appreciated him taking the moment to allow my nephew to glory in his collegiate accomplishments.

Then my nephew had his usual: two slices of pizza, an order of fries, and a vanilla shake. I would not be surprised to learn that he had a couple grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots for dinner. I was once renown within the clan for the worst diet. He has assumed that mantle.

He's eager for Christmas break to end because then he can get back to Elizabeth Warren's campaign. Remembering my own Clinton/Kerry/Obama days, I admit I'm jealous. He's assumed that mantle, too.

Should I call?

Henry got home from the hospital Friday afternoon. His friend, Phyllis,* drove up to Miami to get him. I guess his condition could not be that enduringly serious, or that would not have released him to her instead of Reg, his husband.

I got all this from brief texts from Patrick, an old friend of Reg's who is staying with them.  I haven't heard from Henry or Reg directly now in a week.

I know I could call. The worst that would happen is that no one picks up.

No, wait. That's not the worst that could happen.

Henry could be super angry at Reg and tell me how he wants a divorce. Those are unpleasant conversations because 1) it's just Henry's rage and vulnerability talking; he doesn't mean it and 2) even if I thought he meant it, Henry can't support or care for himself independently of Reg, so it's a moot point. Or Henry could be mad at me over some imagined slight. It happens. He can't help it and I understand that. But it's depleting to listen to his anger.

Or I could say the wrong thing to Reg and get the back of his hand. Either over the phone or on social media. An old friend of Henry's ran into Reg and expressed shock at Reg's latest hospitalization, saying, "I just talked to him and he was fine yesterday!" Reg tore into him on Facebook, asking how he could be so self absorbed as to see Henry was not "fine" and wondering why the fuck people don't read up on traumatic brain injury and understand that Henry's condition will continue to change in the blink of an eye. I know Reg is tired, guilty and overwhelmed and it manifests itself in anger. I've recommended therapy to him repeatedly, telling him no one expects him to handle all this without help. He says he knows, and then he doesn't follow up ... and then lacerates the well meaning.

So to be honest, I'm afraid of them both.

Every time the phone rings, I want it to be one of them ... and I don't.

*I cannot stand Phyllis. She drinks and tokes way too much. She and Henry were at her house, enjoying their wine, the night he got on his bike and pedaled into a van. I will bet you any money that, on Friday's long drive home to Key West, they stopped for drinks.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Keep Me Warm (2014)

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

Here's our first Saturday 9 of 2020!

1) Are you feeling warm and cozy as you answer these questions? Yes. It's very comfortable in here just now.

2) This time of year is important to college football fans. Are you watching/have you watched any of the Bowl games this year? Nope.

3) Crazy Sam's been cold/flu free so far this winter and credits the Echinacea she takes every morning. Her brother insists she's wasting her money. Do you take any herbal supplements? Nope.

4) In the video for this song, Erin Bowman is singing in front of lights and ornaments. Are you sorry to see the decorations slowly disappear? Or do you think they should all come down right away? I'd like them to come down sooner rather than later. They often look sad, dirty and much the worse for wear as the season wears on.
Carson's closed for good in 2018

5) She sings about socks, a scarf and a sweater. Tell us about your favorite sweater. It's light blue and long sleeved. Very casual, it has a string tie at the neck to give it a little character. From my late, lamented favorite store, Carson's. It cost about $8 at an after-Christmas sale years ago. Still, it makes me happy.

6) Erin credits her 8th grade choir teacher for believing in her and giving her a solo. That helped give her the confidence to go into performing professionally. When you were in 8th grade, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Kinda sorta. At that point, I didn't know that "advertising copywriters" existed. But I knew I'd write somehow.

7) This song has been used in commercials for McDonald's and Turner Classic Movies. What commercial have you seen recently? Was it on TV or online? This one. "But why?" cracks me up.

8) In 2014, when this song was first released, we lost both Joan Rivers and Robin Williams. What comedian always makes you laugh? Stephen Colbert.

9) Random question -- There are two performers in the trapeze act: the one who flies through the air and the one who catches the flier. Which would you rather be? The flier.