Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: 28 Question Meme

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. Was your dad named after anyone? He was given the same middle name, Carl, as his father.

2. What do you think is the minimal age to get married? 21. Seems crazy to be able to marry before you can buy booze.

3. What’s the longest time that you‘ve been involved with the same person? Sir Paul McCartney and I have been together for 47 years. Part of why we have lasted this long is that he has no idea I exist. Men who don't know me find me easier to get along with.

4. What actor/actress do you consider hot at the moment? Robert Downey, Jr.

5. What is you favorite album by a band? The White Album by The Beatles

6. What is your favorite album by an individual artist? It changes. Currently it's Dusty in Memphis by Dusty Springfield.

7. What is something that you‘d rather be a bit dirty? Sex

8. What was the last TV show that you watched? Royal Pains on the USA Network

9. How many people have you met from the blogosphere? Who are they? So far I haven't met any. But that doesn't mean I won't.

10. What's your philosophy on life? The Golden Rule works for me.

11. Do you think prescription drugs are over prescribed? Depends on your doctor.

12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest? Since I don't know you, keeping a secret would be very easy.

13. What is your favorite memory in the last year? I really enjoyed the three days I spent with my nephew, a mini-vacation in Springfield, learning about Abe Lincoln.

14. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Nancy Grace

15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you: I have no reflexes in my legs. Never have. You can hit my knee with that rubber hammer all the live-long day and nothing happens. No one told me about this when I was a kid because the doctor was afraid if I realized my leg was supposed to move, I'd move it.

16. You can have three wishes (for yourself, so forget all the 'world peace etc' malarky) - what are they? Does Mimi know you referred to "world peace" as "malarky?" First, I'd wish for my mom to have what she needs -- medically as well as financially. Then I'd like the time and the resources it would take to make my condo exactly as I'd like it. And I'd like to see into the future, to know how Kathleen's treatments will go.

17. Who would you want to get together with and make a cake? My best friend. He loves cooking and I'd like to see him in action.

18. Which country is your spiritual home? This one.

19. What is your big weakness? Laziness.

20. Do you think Judd Corizan is a good person? Yes. A good son and a good dad, too.

21. What was your best/favorite subject at school? English.

22. Describe your accent: Midwestern. I'm told I speak with flat, drawn-out a's.

23. If you could change anything about yourself, would you? My waist. I'd like it to be discernible again.

24. What do you wear to sleep? Nightshirts.

25. What is your favorite casual outfit to wear? Jeans and t-shirt.

26. Do you use cigarettes or alcohol? I use alcohol as I disinfectant. I drink booze. I have never smoked anything.

27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together? (If you have no idea, just say something crazy, it'll entertain me!) We don't know each other, and you're scaring me.

28. Rate the memes that you play generally. Use any scale or just in order. The Queen's Meme rates at the top, because she is my monarch. I like The Bumbles' Movie Meme, and Saturday 9, and this one, of course.

What was it I just saw?

I loved Inception. I don't like sci-fi/fantasies. I was bored by Star Wars and ignored Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and have never cared one way or the other about Star Trek. And yet I loved Inception.

It's about dreams and memories and mazes and gravity and obsessions and secrets. And it's all held together by Leonardo di Caprio.

Leo and I have spent a great deal of time together, ever since I first noticed him as the emotionally damaged teen in Marvin's Room. I don't think I've seen him give a bad performance, and this one is particularly tricky. In a goofy way he reminds me of -- this will sound crazy, but hear me out -- Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

We went along with Dorothy on a fantastic odyssey through a world we'd never imagined before. This world may or may not be real, and much of what we encounter is unbelievable, but because of her unflagging sincerity, because she believes it, we believe it.

Leo's Cobb is the same way. This is all very real, and desperately important, to him. And so it becomes real and important to us.

Even if I can't tell you what it is exactly I saw.

Indeed it is

One of the kids working at the local movie theater asked me, "Is that Jackie O on your shirt?" That made me happy since, because she died 16 years ago, he couldn't possibly have first-hand knowledge of her. I'm glad she lives on.

I am happy for them

Behold the parents of the bride, arriving at the rehearsal dinner. Say whatever you wish about The Clintons, but they have successfully steered their daughter into adulthood. So on the eve of Chelsea's wedding day, I toast them for a job well done, and done in the public eye, no less.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Bad Day

1. Is there anything that you tend to do to cheer up when you are having a bad day? In the summer, I watch the Cubs. Any other time, I turn to The Lads from Liverpool. Anything is better with baseball and the Beatles.

2.What’s the last card game you played, and with whom did you play? I truly don't remember.

3.What’s the last board game you played, and with whom did you play? Yahtzee, with my nephew. Though technically speaking, Yahtzee doesn't have a board ...

4.What’s the last computer game you played, and with whom did you play? Boggle, vs. whoever was in the room at

5.Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it? The Grand Canyon

6.Think of your favorite movie (or a movie you really like, if you can’t think of a favorite). Some people say that the reasons you love your favorite movie are related to what you value in romantic relationships. How is this true or untrue in your case? The Way We Were is the movie, and yes, it reflects what I value in romance, in that Katie is always true to herself. At the end of the movie, while Hubbell is subdued and just kinda pale, she is still vibrant, still enthusiastic, still fighting for what she believes in. I still believe that your soulmate will love you for that, and encourage you in that. Yes, I've had life experience to the contrary. But then, so did Katie!

7.What physical attributes do you find the most attractive? Good hair. My first great love was Paul McCartney and I think his mop-top marked me for life. Arms are good, too. And an ass you could bounce a dime off. Is it getting warm in here?

8.How many people live in your house? Tell us about them. They would be me. I live here. I am a pudgy middle-aged broad with a good heart.

9. Ever punch someone in the face? No! Ew!

Guns just make it easier

Nearly 30 kids have been gunned down on the streets of Chicago this year. 30 children dead, and many of their murderers were also under 21.

Kids killing kids.

Naturally I'm heartsick that the Supreme Court has chosen to strike down Chicago's gun law, which made it easier to police to try to stem the obscene tide of blood that neighborhoods are drowning in. But I know guns aren't the only problem.

The parents of Blair Holt have been making public appearances addressing Chicago's tragedy. And no one has more right than the Holts to discuss gun violence in this city. Anne Nance-Holt was a commander in the Chicago Fire Department and her husband, Officer Ronald Holt, was one of Chicago's finest when they lost their son in the Spring of 2007. An honor student, Blair was murdered on his way home from school, shot by a gangbanger who got on a public bus and opened fire. Blair pushed his classmate onto her seat, out of the line of fire. She sustained a gunshot to her foot and has recovered completely. Blair Holt's last words were, "Tell my mom and dad I love them."

Because of their life experience, I take the Holts' opinions on the culture of violence very seriously. They blame the parents even more than the economy, saying that the hopelessness that breeds violence comes from a generation that doesn't understand the consequences of their own actions, who haven't been taught to value life.

I am trying to make sense of this, and I return to a hideous statistic: 1 out of 6 Chicago schoolchildren has attended a dogfight. Violence as entertainment. Killing = Victory. Enhancing one's self-worth through brutalizing the weak.

Please consider supporting your favorite humane society and increasing the awareness of this problem. I believe it will help all of our souls, and it certainly can't hurt.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My prayers are with Sweet Lou

As his memorable tenure with the Cubs limps to an end, the usually fiery Lou Piniella seems even more subdued than usual. For tonight is his last game with the team for a while. After the last out, he's on his way to Tampa to attend the funeral of his 92-year-old uncle, Joe, and to check in on his 90-year-old mom, who has been ill.

He'll rejoin the Cubs in Milwaukee on Tuesday.

So he won't be around for the trade deadline, or to deal with restoring that douchebag Zambrano back into the bullpen.

Maybe it's just as well. I always believe family trumps job, but right now, in Lou's case, it's inarguable.

Summer in the City

Temperatures dropped to the mid-70s this afternoon, so I was able to comfortably wander about the city this afternoon. First, I headed over to a new spa for a discounted 90-minute hot stone massage. Than I walked leisurely to the el. Along the way, I noticed many of those cool Chicago street moments that I normally would hurry past … like street performers making balloon animals, performing magic tricks, playing kettle drums, and a trio painted silver from head-to-toe, pretending to be a robot bride, groom and minister. A little boy was posing with the wedding party and his mom was snapping his photo. He looked as though being part of this robot wedding was the proudest moment of his young life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Behold the object of my obsession

I now have a pimple in my eyebrow, in the very spot from which I plucked a wayward brow that clearly didn't want to go. I am fortunate in that it's not very visible, but I know it's there. Oh, yes, I do! Every time I move a muscle in my face I can feel it.

And it's making me cuh-ray-zee!


I'm proud of Sir Paul, my great love since I was 6 years old. I'm proud of my President, previously my Senator. And I completely enjoyed this program -- especially because less familiar McCartney songs like "That Would Be Something" and "For No One" got greater exposure and were performed beautifully. I know PBS rebroadcasts programs all the time, and if you get a chance to see it, by all means, do!

From EW:

Paul McCartney "In Performance at the White House": An all-star presidential rock show


Image Credit: Samantha Appleton/White House/PBS

“I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but never this,” Paul McCartney said on PBS tonight. “This” was traveling to the White House, which he did last month to accept the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. A properly all-star concert was convened to befit the occasion, and while bits and pieces of the event have leaked out on YouTube since then, tonight the whole thing (or most of it) aired as part of PBS’ “In Performance at the White House” series.

The show opened with some stirring words from President Obama. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly half a century since four lads from Liverpool landed on our shores and changed everything overnight,” he reflected. Then it was time for a cavalcade of stars old and young to pay homage to the voluminous back catalog that earned McCartney this honor.

High points were in abundance. Stevie Wonder’s super-tight “We Can Work It Out” featured a mean harmonica solo, while Elvis Costello’s faithfully jaunty “Penny Lane” boasted an even nicer piccolo trumpet solo. Emmylou Harris shone on an acoustic “For No One.” Dave Grohl wore the night’s biggest grin as he tore through “Band on the Run.” Jack White’s tender “Mother Nature’s Son”/”That Would Be Something” medley captured something of McCartney’s starry-eyed charm.

Intermixed with these were some…not quite as highs. I’m not sure anyone other than Sasha and Malia Obama needed to hear the Jonas Brothers’ competent if cutesy “Drive My Car.” (In fairness, McCartney and Wonder were visibly grooving during this performance.) Jerry Seinfeld’s random stand-up routine fell flat as he riffed from Beatles lyrics to stale “marriage, am I right?” shtick. Faith Hill’s “Long and Winding Road” was a bit schmaltzy for my taste.

McCartney himself was wonderful throughout, humble and jocular. Anyone who’s seen him in concert recently can tell you that he’s still all youthful energy at 68, even if his voice sounds a touch rough at the edges here and there. He had a grand old time with songs including “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “Michelle” (for the first lady in the audience), “Ebony & Ivory” with Wonder, “Eleanor Rigby,” and ”Let It Be,” as simply moving as ever. ”I don’t think there could be anything more special than for us to be performing here,” McCartney remarked, right before the all-inclusive “Hey Jude” singalong. “And we’re thinking of making it a regular thing. Lunchtimes, we could come around.” If only!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What childhood game am I?

I Am Hopscotch

You are easygoing and carefree. You like to play, but you don't really like to compete.

You prefer to cooperate with others. You like to work with people ... not against them!

You have a childlike innocence and optimism that is worth holding on to.

You find happiness easily. You can get pleasure from the smallest things.

Shame on me

I don't trust rich people. I believe in that quote, "behind every great fortune lies a great crime."

This has caused me to view my best friend's life in Boulder, surrounded by his wealthy relatives, with a jaundiced eye. I assume everyone in his crowd lives like John and Patsy Ramsey did -- a madcap whirl of society parties and beauty pageants.

I can be an ass.

He told me last night about his daughters' birthday parties. They are events, as so many kids' parties are today. For example, last month his elder girl invited her friends along for a limo ride to and from a fancy restaurant in celebration of her 13th birthday. But, instead of gifts, her guests were invited to bring money -- donations to her favorite charity, an organization that buys mosquito nets for African villagers.

His younger daughter, the ballerina, wants her party to benefit an animal shelter.

He's very proud of how enthusiastic they are about this, and he should be. He credits his older daughter's teacher for planting the idea, encouraging her students to make a charitable contribution in her name instead of end-of-the-schoolyear gifts.

I know how much I loved my gifts when I was a kid, and I'm not sure I would have forsaken them so willingly.

I am suitably chastened.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Look at me! I'm happy!

I'm off for dinner with my best friend! He's just in town overnight, and he wasn't sure the focus groups he was here to monitor would end at a reasonable hour.

But they did!

I need a nice, big, heaping spoonful of my bud.

The Queen's Meme -- The Song Lyrics Meme

Find a song that uses this word either in the title or lyrics. Give us the title or part of the lyric that fits and the artist. Then say a little something about the tune and why you chose it. Posting a YouTube video of the song would be great, but not required. Here we go:

1. want -- "I Want to Hold Your Hand" -- For me, all music begins with The Lads from Liverpool. As Kevin Kline said in The Big Chill, "There is no other music, not in my house."

2. hell -- "Live and Let Die" -- You gotta give the other fellow hell … I've seen Macca do this in concert so many times, I involuntarily squint when I think of it, trying to adjust to the laser light explosions that I expect to accompany it

3. smack -- "Tupelo Honey" -- Sail it around the seven oceans, drop it smack in the middle of the deep blue sea … I recently discovered a cover of this Van Morrison ballad by Dusty Springfield and it's lovely (even though she changes "smack" to "straight")

4. ugly -- "Make an Ugly Woman Your Wife" -- If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife … This used to be mandatory at wedding receptions

5. beast -- "Beauty and the Beast" -- Certain as the sun rising in the east ... Beauty and the Beast -- You know how you can go forever without thinking of a song and then suddenly it comes up again and again?

6. Romeo -- "Just Like Romeo and Juliet" -- Our love's gonna be written down in history, just like Romeo and Juliet -- I can imagine Potsie singing this at Al's

7. God -- "This One" -- The swan is gliding above the ocean, a god is riding upon his back ...
I love Sir Paul's voice on this

Stay out the dungeon by playing yourself. Click here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

He's not evil. He's just ... Reynaldo.

Yes, his bad behavior has been documented more than once on this blog. Yes, I suspect that he is the inspiration for those Allstate Mayhem commercials. And yet, I can't emphasize enough that my Rey-Rey is not a bad cat.

My 10-year-old nephew and I have discussed this at length and conclude that since he doesn't mean to be bad, he's not bad. We are convinced he doesn't think he's bad because he doesn't think, he just does.

And he's very affectionate, which makes him easier to endure when he's in active mode.

Movie Monday

This week's movie topic is all about Animation...
Share movies whose drawn, digitized or old school clay figures rock your world, linking back here at the Bumbles.

I never was a big fan of animated films when I was growing up. I preferred Mary Poppins and Thomasina to Bambi or Snow White.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself captivated by Beauty and the Beast. My niece was obsessed with Belle and made me watch it. I, too, thought Belle was a fabulous role model for little girls. Then there's Lumiere. As a big Law & Order fan, I found it amazing that my Lennie had been a legendary Broadway star, and here's one of his musical performances (Lumiere) preserved on film.

And last, I'm a sucker for a love story. And this is a lovely one. "Both a little scare
d, neither one prepared … ever just the same, ever a surprise …" See? I'm getting verklempt just thinking about it.

Clean Me

After I cleaned the mess a certain skinny cat made in my sandals (AARGH!), I went around and touched-up ALL the spots on the living room/hallway/bedroom carpets that had met with hairballs. I mean, after all, I had the paper towels and Woolite Rug Cleaner in my hand already, so why not?

Because I didn't feel like doing it. Sunday was the third game in the Cubs/Cards series (we came thisclose to a sweep!) and the premiere of Mad Men and my own tummy wasn't feeling so great. I had to make myself do this.

There are people who are neat by nature, and then there's me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It never gets old

Not for Rey. He still loves tormenting me as much as he did when we first met back in the fall of 2004.

Today he decided he had to eat at 3:00 and began terrorizing me. Singing. Knocking over picture frames. Spilling paperwork all over. Sneaking up behind me on the sofa where I was taking a nap, and eating my hair. He did this for two hours.

Then, at 5:00, I finally gave in and fed the cats. It was a little early for their dinner, but not that early. And Reynaldo was tiring me out.

He gulped down his kibble and then proceeded to vomit in my favorite, and most expensive, sandals. (If he has to vomit in my shoes, why not my Crocs? They're not only ugly, they're so easy to clean!)

Now he's relaxing and enjoying the early evening sun from his favorite spot on the living room floor. No wonder. He had an exhausting afternoon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Three

Cheers to all of us thieves!

45. Favorite color? Blue. Pantone 294, to be exact. Known as "Cubbie blue."

46. Have you ever slapped someone? No.

47. Is your hair curly? No, but it gets very wavy when it's humid.

48. What was the last CD you bought? Soulbook, by Rod Stewart. It's very good, exactly the kind of music Rod should have been doing these last few years.

49. Do looks matter? Yes.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? I don't know. Yes, it's a copout, noncommittal answer, but you're asking such a complicated question.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? No. My electrical bill is, due to the air conditioning, but my phone bills are manageable.

52. Do you like your life right now? Pretty much. There are things I'd change, but on the whole, I like my life.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? More often than not.

54. Can you handle the truth? More often than not

55. Do you have good vision? When I'm wearing my contacts or glasses. Otherwise I'm very, very nearsighted and the world looks one big Monet.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? Yes.

57. How often do you talk on the phone? Less and less.

58. The last person you held hands with? My nephew.

59. What are you wearing? A nightshirt that says, "Celebrate the South."

60. What is your favorite animal? The okapi, a shy herbivore that looks like a cross between a giraffe and a zebra.

61. Where was your favorite picture taken at? A company softball game.

62. Can you hula hoop? No.

63. Do you have a job? Yes.

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? A Prancing Pony t-shirt for my cousin, because she's seriously into LOTR.

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? No.

Clean Me

Every day I am going to do something -- no matter how small -- to improve my standard of living at home.

Even though I didn't feel like it, I reassembled my bathroom today when I returned from the dentist. I rehung the shower curtain and returned all the cleaning supplies to their places beneath the sink or behind the toilet. I put all my bath and shower soaps and gels and bubble baths on the shower shelf, all my hair stuff on the shelf beside the medicine chest. My skincare is in the basket on the toilet tank, and everything else is in the rolling cart.

I hated doing it. And I realized anew something important about myself -- I'm not so much a hoarder as a slob. I had to force myself to put everything back. My first impulse was to just lay on the sofa, being lazy, while all that bathroom stuff decorated my hallway.

I must make myself do the cleaner things.

A force to be reckoned with

"Go, Cubs, Go! Hey, Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!"

OK, so this season isn't what I had hoped. But the Cubs just won TWO IN A ROW off of the Cardinals! And this has been good, fun baseball to watch. Today, the last out was a face-off between Carlos Marmol and Albert Pujols!

I went to the dentist this morning and while the work she did wasn't painful, getting to and fro was because of all the rain last night and this morning and consequential flooding. And she sooo numbed me that I'm all tingly and itchy as the Novocaine wears off.

So when a day starts like that, how can I help but be delighted by such a game!

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The Sun Rising

1. When was the last time that you watched a sunrise? Who were you with? I truly don't recall the last time. However, the most beautiful time was in Switzerland. The sky looked pink as the sun rose over the Alps. I have never seen a pink sky before or since.

2. If President Obama promised he'd do one thing you asked, what would you ask him to do? Listen to Joe Biden and seriously commit to a high speed railroad system. We have to stop driving so much in this country! Our addiction to gas/oil is killing us.

3. What is one experience that has strengthened your character the most so far? My dad's sudden death, and the emotional toll of everything between us that was left unresolved.

4. What is the first thing that you usually do after completing Saturday 9? There's no "usually" answer to this question. But today I'll be putting on my makeup, brushing my teeth, and leaving for the dentist.

5. Tell us about someone either in your life or in the blogosphere that you think is extremely funny. My oldest friend has always been able to make me laugh, often and hard. They are all "you had to be there" moments, but oh, how I have laughed during those moments.

6. Where was the last bed that you slept in that was not your own? While I was on vacation in Colonial Williamsburg. Though since I paid for the room, I guess technically it was my own.

7. Have you ever been too drunk to remember anything? I don't remember.

8. Have you ever licked something to clean it? Yes. Most recently, a paper cut on my index finger.

9. Who, outside of family or a S/O, has influenced your life the most? Sir Paul

Friday, July 23, 2010

Clean Me -- Special Edition

Look how gorgeous my bathroom tiles are now! (I did laundry while he was working in the bathroom, so even the washcloth is clean now.)

Can't stop thinking about it

Peeing, that is.

The workman is cleaning and caulking and grouting in my one and only bathroom, and if I want him to be able to finish in a timely manner, I shouldn't interrupt by asking to use "the facility."

So because I can't, I must.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Could this literally be the last word on Blago?

After all that "I'm innocent of all charges and I can't wait to testify" malarkey, he's not taking the stand. Behold the headline of today's Chicago tabloid.

You never stop learning about people

I think I know my best friend well. One of the most endearing things about him is that his daughters are the centerpiece of his life. The older one -- the one who is more like him, the one he has the more natural relationship with -- is a budding beauty and a dedicated soccer player. The younger one -- the one who fascinates him because she's so naturally artistic and outgoing and he wonders where that came from -- is showing talent in ballet.

He recently learned that her ballet school is having financial trouble. HUGE financial trouble. He can't stand the thought of their going under, which would mean an interruption in something his little girl loves. So he asked me if I had any ideas of how he can help her school raise money ... by July 31.

There's no time to organize and promote a bake sale or car wash. I recommended collection jars at local businesses. And I told him that he and his wife had to hit up all their friends and relatives. To show my support, I contributed $25 myself.

He kept saying, "I'd never ask you to help that way."

I am surprised how reluctant he is to beg for money.

As you all know, I beg for money by including charitable links on this blog all the time. I bully coworkers regularly when it comes to toy drives and even baby and bridal showers. While ballet classes for rich little girls is not high on my list of causes, my friend always is, and so of course I didn't think twice about kicking in $25.

I bet his friends and coworkers wouldn't mind contributing, either. He so adores his girls! And just think about all the boxes of Girl Scout cookies and tins of Boy Scout popcorn you've purchases recently. It's not that big a deal. I wish he understood that.

Soon it begins

Kathleen was sweet enough to call me this afternoon and update me on her first consultation with her oncologist. A date has been set for her procedure -- August 5. She stops by the hospital on August 3 for pre-op tests. She's nervous and scared. But she likes her doctor and felt a bit comforted by knowing what to expect -- and when.

I was a little nervous and scared about her appointment yesterday, too. I didn't call her because she may have wanted her space. I get the sense she doesn't like saying the word, "cancer." So I really appreciated her making the call and sharing her experience with me.


That's my total cholesterol. Ideally it should be less than 200, but for me, with my history, this is a reason to rejoice. My HDL is 56, which is OK (less than 40 is bad; over 60 is good). My LDL is 131, and it ideally it should be less than 129. So in all my scores weren't bad. Certainly not as bad as they have been.

Had a variety of tests to assess my risk for stroke, heart attack and osteoporosis. The results will be in within the next two weeks. It wasn't a fun way to spend a morning, but it wasn't painful, either. And it was the wise, grown-up thing to do.

Clean Me

Every day I am going to do something -- no matter how small -- to improve my standard of living at home.

Peapod's plastic grocery bags are terrific, sturdy and roomier than they look. I have hung onto many of them -- perhaps too many of them -- because I have been certain they would come to good use. And today they have! I used one for the toys and books I'm for upcoming toy drives (just because they are for charity doesn't dilute their cluttery qualities) and another two for the bathtub goodies I have to get out of the way before the bathroom finally gets cleaned/caulked/grouted tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Want Wednesday

I Want this to not be happening!

One of my neighbors is an angry and odd old bird. He hates the condo association in general and some of us (including me) specifically. Because he didn't agree with a special assessment or something, he has gone on a wave of vandalism. So far this year, he has:

• Regularly shredded newspaper and left piles of it in the elevator, as though making a hamster bed

• Once urinated in the elevator, then made a paste by adding baby powder

• Stolen the inspection certification from the elevator, causing the condo association to have to pay a fine for not displaying it prominently

• Stolen lightbulbs from the lights on the back stairs

• Scribbled with magic marker on the walls of the first floor hallway

• Written on the washers and dryers in lipstick

• Slashed the screens in the back of the building

• Disconnected the dryer hose

• Begun peeling away the wallpaper in common areas

• Regularly removed the note to the mail carrier I have taped to my mailbox

Last night we had a condo owners' association meeting with a representative of the local police department to discuss how to handle the situation. A file has to be compiled, with dates and times, to construct "a pattern of abuse" of people and property so that he can be evicted, if not forced to sell.

He's a looney old bastard. He lost his license in 2001 -- he was a security guard but he had filed so many workman's comp complaints that the state deemed him suspicious and it wasn't renewed. He hasn't worked since. His wife left him in the 1990s. He has no friends, no family, no interests (beyond petty larceny and vandalism). The officer was reasonably sure that he could never be formally charged and tried for anything criminal, but that doesn't mean he can't be arrested and held overnight, if caught in the act.

I know this is odd to say about a man who mutters, "bitch" under his breath when I pass, but I feel bad for him. For when the inevitable eventually happens, where will he go? How will he live?

He needs help. But it's hard to help someone so hostile and disgusting.

I can't stand Bob Hope, but the only thing to say is ...

"Thanks for the memory … You may have been a headache, but you never were a bore. How lovely it was …"

Lou Piniella announced his retirement Tuesday and it leaves me so sad. I love Lou. He is the only Cub manager in more than 50 years to string together three consecutive winning seasons. He so spoiled us that fans are bitching and moaning, as if the 2010 season is the worst ever. (Yeah, right. Get over yourselves, you big babies. Cub fandom is about long-term perseverance, not short-term thrills.) Lou has been the saltiest, most exciting and charismatic skipper since that lion of my youth, Durocher.

The team came through for him with a wild one, coming from behind to beat the Astros 14-7.

Even better, my friend Kathleen was at the game. She texted me from The Friendly Confines. Wednesday is an important trip to the oncologist for her. Now this is also what Cub fandom is all about -- the comfort of tradition. Thanks to Sweet Lou and the boys for taking my friend out of herself for a few hours.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Clean Me

Every day I am going to do something -- no matter how small -- to improve my standard of living at home.

Three pairs of jeans remained on top of my clothes hamper. They met three different fates.

1) Regretfully, this overly-worn pair ended up in the garbage, along with one of my purses. I hate to see both of them go, but neither is worth what it would cost to repair them and -- let's face it -- if I'm never going to wear those jeans or carry that bag again, they should just go.

2) This pair almost fits and, I'm betting, will again, now that I'm done with the workout restrictions imposed by my sclerotherapy. So they are at the bottom of my weekend jeans pile in the armoire.

3) This pair isn't gonna fit again for a long, long time. I must accept that. And that's why they're in the Goodwill bag.

Five & Ten ... Again

Retagged by Kwizgiver ...

1. The Long Run -- The Eagles
2. Play with Your Poodle -- Marcia Ball
3. Tears in Heaven -- Eric Clapton
4. Everybody -- Tears for Fears
5. Heaven on a Sunday -- Paul McCartney
6. Instant Karma -- John Lennon
7. Come Rain or Come Shine -- Bette Midler
8. Sweet Talkin' Woman -- ELO
9. Working My Way Back to You -- Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
10. Jessie's Girl -- Rick Springfield

(1) Turn on your MP3 player/iPod.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
(3) Write down the first TEN songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please (even if letting the world know you listen to crap like "Weekend in New England" will humiliate you).
(4) Choose FIVE people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you, since there should be new songs appearing with Shuffle every time.

Considered yourself tagged for FIVE & TEN
Snarky Pants
Silver Neurotic
And ... of course ... anyone else who wants to play.

Leave a comment so I can check out your playlist.

The Queen's Meme

The What Would You Do? Meme
A mixed bag of miscellaneous scenarios

1. You start out on your road trip. You are 90 miles down the road with not a care in the world until you remember you forgot the most important ingredient needed for your vacation. What was it and would you turn around and go back to get it? Sunscreen. No, I don't go back. I just buy more when I reach my destination. Which is why I have four tubes of sunscreen within reach right now.

2. You are standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. A homeless man walks by and asks for food from your grocery cart. What would you do? I'm sorry, but I don't understand this question. A homeless man IN the grocery store asks me for food I have yet to pay for from my cart? No, I wouldn't give him food, because that would be like shoplifting and the last thing this gentleman needs in his life is more trouble. I might give him change, or ask him to wait for me by the door after I've paid. I'd try to help, that's for certain.

3. The mailman delivers the wrong mail. It is your neighbor's. You can't stand your neighbor. You realize that inside the small brown package there must be something very secretive, very intriguing and possibly incriminating. What do you do? I'd open it. I'm not proud of this, but I know I'd open it.

4. Photography Class 101. First exam. The slide show you are presenting is the wrong one. You accidentally left last weekend's party pics in the camera instead. The whole class is watching.... I'd try to diffuse the situation by saying something self deprecating.

5. You find your boss's wife on Facebook. She is obviously carrying on with another man in blatant fashion and behind his back. What is the first thing that pops into your head when you see your boss the next day at work? God, I wish I didn't know what I know.

6. Your plane lands in the wrong vacation spot but you like this one better. First I would freak out that I had flown in a plane piloted by Wrongway Peachfuzz. Then I'd view the episode as an adventure and settle in and enjoy.

7. You walk out of the doctor's office. The news after your yearly checkup is very very good but the news for the person you'd been sitting beside and chatting with in the waiting room is very very bad. You see them in the elevator on the way out and they are in tears. You..... follow them out to their car to make sure they're OK to drive.

Clean Me for Monday

Every day I am going to do something -- no matter how small -- to improve my standard of living at home.

It's been in the 90's every day for more than a week. Do I really think I'm going to be wearing my Cubbie fleece anytime soon? I know my long-sleeved cardigans belong on hangers in the big closet in the den. But the den is closed off and HOT because I don't have air conditioning in there. The result is a stack of clothes on top of the clothes hamper in my bedroom that actually makes it hard to lift the lid.

So I spent the less than 15 minutes it took to put things in their proper place. And it makes a difference. I just need the will to DO what I say I'm GONNA DO!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's called FIVE & TEN

… and I INSIST you play with me!

FIVE people & TEN Songs

(1) Turn on your MP3 player/iPod.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
(3) Write down the first TEN songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please (even if letting the world know you listen to crap like "Weekend in New England" will humiliate you).
(4) Choose FIVE people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you, since there should be new songs appearing with Shuffle every time.

1. I Get Weak -- Belinda Carlisle
2. You Really Got a Hold on Me -- The Beatles
3. Neither One of Us -- Gladys Knight & the Pips
4. Knockin' on Heaven's Door -- Bob Dylan
5. You Keep Me Hangin' On -- Diana Ross & The Supremes
6. Golden Slumbers -- The Beatles
7. Wonderful Remark -- Van Morrison
8. Make Me Smile -- Chicago
9. Weekend in New England -- Barry Manilow
10. Let 'Em In -- Paul McCartney & Wings

You've seen my typical baby boomer playlist. Now show me yours. Let's see how you do at FIVE & TEN:

Snarky Pants
Silver Neurotic
And ... of course ... anyone else who wants to play.

Leave a comment so I can check out your playlist.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Movie Monday -- Antidotes for Boredom

Share which movies you pop into the DVD player if you're feeling bored. Then link back here to The Bumbles.

Godfather, Parts 1 and 2. To me, these two movies have morphed into one EPIC. And they are non-stop action, even if some of the action is plotting and chicanery. You can call the Corleones many things -- but "boring" is not among them.

Valley of the Dolls. The guiltiest of all guilty pleasures. The clothes! The hair! (Including a wig that memorably meets its demise in the ladies' room.) The sex! The booze! The pills! The horrible songs! The wretched dialog! All this excess is make it the perfect antidote for boredom.

Shall I make this out to myself?

My shrink had to cancel our appointment, scheduled for last Thursday. And that's too bad, because I have been having disturbing dreams. Graphic dreams. Sexually explicit dreams. These dreams are pleasant when they're going on. It's just when I wake up that they upset me.

Because they are about him. The man with whom I had my longest relationship. The one with whom I spent several highly dysfunctional years. Because of the physical abuse that went on, thinking of him sexually is a very complicated issue for me.

We broke up so long ago. I have worked so hard to put him and all he represents behind me. So why am I thinking about him so much now? And in this way? Disturbing and confusing.

On second thought, just disturbing. I'm no longer confused because I realized why my ex is suddenly so top of mind …

The Mel Gibson tapes. When he drank, he sounded not unlike Mel (though without the heavy breathing). If we were on the phone and I could sense his mood change, I'd listen carefully for the sound of ice. For if he was switching from beer to something stronger, I knew I'd better sleep alone at my own place that night. Woe be to me if I read the signs wrong and went to his place instead.

So now that I know where the dreams are coming from, they have less power to upset me. And, perhaps, they will stop haunting me.

I'm rather proud of how I worked this through on my own. So do I cut myself a check for $75?

Clean Me -- Keep on keepin' on

It's been a while since I've done anything that I felt was worthy of the coveted broom and dustbin. But this afternoon I revisited the dining room table, which was starting to disappear under paper again. So this evening I organized, and shredded and acted upon. And I feel better for having done it!

I intend to repair the hem on my jeans and shorten the straps on a cami ... like the papers on the dining room table, these are things I'm "gonna" do. Once I actually repair the hem and straps, these items will go into the armoire instead of on the clothes hamper, and just a little more clutter will disappear.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Two

23. Do you rent movies often? If ordering from Comcast On Demand counts, then yes.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in? The silver ring I was wearing, now sitting on the coffee table.

25. How many countries have you visited? Five, if you count Lichtenstein. And I do.

26. Have you made a prank phone call? Not during this millennium.

27. Ever been on a train? At least ten times/week, to and from work.

28. Brown or white eggs? I don't care.

29. Do you have a cell-phone? Yes.

30. Do you use Chap Stick? Yes. Cherry is a particular favorite.

31. Do you own a gun? NO!

32. Can you use chop sticks? No.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight? With one of my favorite men

34. Are you too forgiving? No. In fact I'm rather adept at carrying grudges.

35. Ever been in love? Yes.

36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow (or the next soonest week day)? Toiling away at a job he unfortunately hates.

37. Ever have cream puffs? Yes.

38. Last time you cried? Thursday, June 24

39. What was the last question you asked? "Do you have egg salad?" I'm pleased to report they did.

40. Favorite time of the year? Autumn.

41. Do you have any tattoos? No

42. Are you sarcastic? Moi? Jamais!

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? I thought only Ashton Kutcher's mom saw that.

44. Ever walked into a wall? No. That would be stupid. Now a sliding glass door, that would be totally understandable!

Don't ask

… why I hate the damn support hose and hot, hot weather. I mean it: don't ask. I am soooo not in the mood.

I have lost my will to live

OK, that may be an overstatement. But I have lost my will to move, de-clutter, do laundry, or work out, or vacuum or anything.

What with missed connections en route home from my hair cut, the 90+ยบ heat, and the Cubs heartbreaking fold in the 9th, I just want to sit here ... in the cool ... enjoying the feel of lotion on my neck where the little shed hairs on my shirt collar were making me nuts.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Love Hurts

1. Tell us about the last time that you got hurt in the arena of love. I was seeing a younger guy who, I thought, was desperately in love with me. When our relationship inevitably ended, I missed the genuinely imaginative sex, and the feeling that I had rocked his world. That's why I was as hurt by his quick recovery -- within weeks he started dating the woman he would soon marry and have a son with -- as I was by our break up. To be honest, I missed the fantasy of seeing myself as the center of his world as much I missed him.

2. Have you ever been part of the wedding party, other than your own? Yes. I'm very familiar with bridesmaid duties.

3. Let's say you find yourself in Hell after you die. Think about everyone you've known in your life. Who would be the one person that would least likely to surprise you by being in Hell with you? I have an ex who was, without a doubt, the worst thing to ever happen to me. I'm sad to report I'm not the only woman who can make that claim about him. Plus, he believes in Hell (I don't), so he's the most likely candidate.

4. What brings you good luck? I believe my Hollywood snowglobe is good luck. Or at least it helps me send my mind to the happy place.

5. Do you have a photo blog? If so, feel free to share the link with us! Nope. Sorry, no photo blog.

6. What is your biggest source of news? (Internet? Newspaper? Television? Radio? The Daily Show? Other?) TV. If I hear about a story that interests me, I follow it online and in print.

7. What's the hottest you've ever been in your life? By "hot," do you mean like sexy? Then I'd have to say it was a New Year's Eve back in my thin days, when I was wearing a little gold tank under a tuxedo jacket. Of course, that was many years and several dress sizes ago.

8. If you had to choose a theme song for your blog, which would would you choose and why? Well, I do like to think I'm gonna make it after all.

9. Who was the last person you had an online conversation with that you've never met or talked to on your phone? The Cub fan on Twitter who agreed that Fox sportscaster Joe Buck is a waste of space.