Friday, August 27, 2010

August Happiness Challenge 2010 -- Day 27

My new checks arrived! Aren't they great? As this disappointing season limps to an end, it somehow seems even more important to show my support (even if it's just to Commonwealth Edison and the condo association).

If you want your own Cubs checks (or if you cheer on any other mlb team), click here.

Crazy Old Neighbor is at it again

Put a load of laundry in the washer at 7:00. Went down to the laundry room at 7:45 to move it to the dryer and couldn't. Because someone (Crazy Old Neighbor) unhooked the hose from the sink so the water drained onto the floor, and pulled the washer just far enough away from the wall that it was impossible to open the dryer door. With the floor all wet and slippery, it wasn't easy for me to push the washer back.

Last week Crazy Old Neighbor broke the other washer and dryer. So now this building -- 24 units -- has no laundry facilities.

And tomorrow I have to waste my morning at the washeteria.

Right now, I hate Crazy Old Neighbor.

Is it wrong?

My neighborhood Blockbuster will be closing its doors forever -- after 20 years -- in mid-September. And I just spent nearly an hour wandering its shelves, picking up treasures on sale. I got 15 lobby cards for $3 (to decorate my new office and share with friends), a South Park DVD game for my niece, three used DVDs for me and, best of all, a brand new, still sealed copy of An Affair to Remember for my mom, all for $37.77!

It's a "best of all" because my mom is broke these days, and she feels very bad that she won't be able to fuss over my kid sister very much for her upcoming birthday. Well, when they were on vacation together last week, my mom and my sister were talking about movies and Mom was scandalized that my sister had never seen An Affair to Remember, which is one of Mom's favorites. Even though I'm not wild about my sister these days, it was well worth $7 to pick it up for my mom to give her. Because really, not being able to spoil us is the hardest part of the Recession for my mom.

So I was happy about this until it occurred to me -- Blockbuster itself could be creating more victims of the Recession. After all, that location has employed people in this town for decades. Is it wrong for me to get happiness out of their "going out of business" sale? I feel a little like a vulture.

I don't get it

I admit it -- I'm an unabashed fan girl. Whether it's Sir Paul McCartney or my beloved/beleaguered Chicago Cubs, or more recently NCIS' Jethro Gibbs, once I give my heart it's given. I'm as passionate and loyal to men I'll never meet as anyone on the planet.

But I'm sorry, I don't get this. There's so much darkness attached to Michael Jackson's legacy, so much denial in regards to his eccentricities, problems and character, such romance attached to his tawdry death … and this seems to be celebration of much of that.

On the other hand, the people of Gary are really suffering during this Recession, and the influx of cash will help. So I guess it's a good thing.

I'm just so much more ambivalent about this rather maudlin event than I am regarding so many other fanventions, which seem like good, life-affirming and completely silly fun.

August Happiness Challenge 2010 -- Day 27

Watching Reynaldo make a friend. My neighbor across the hall has her 7-to-8-year-old grand daughter visiting her. The three of us rode up in the elevator together. "Are you the one who keeps cats?" Jasmine (or is Yasmine?) asked me. I responded that I was and asked her if she wanted to meet Rey. She did. Grandma said, "Ok, girls, you know where I live," meaning we were on our own, which I took as a compliment -- my neighbor trusts both me and Rey.

I explained to Jasmine that since I had been gone all day, Reynaldo would be very eager to see us. And he was. As soon as he heard my voice and the key in the door, he was there. He was happy to see me, and her. I showed her how to let him smell her hand and explained that is a cat's way of figuring out who we are. Then he started to purr and rub against her. What a champ he was!

After a few minutes of bonding, I realized that Reynaldo and Jasmine were beginning a love affair and could be here all night. So I explained that he needed his dinner and she reluctantly agreed, but asked if she could visit him next time she came to see Grandma. I reassured her that Rey would like that very much.