Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: Another 14 Question Meme

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. Lots of pillows or just one? Describe your pre-sleeping rituals. I sleep in a full-sized bed with two pillows. This is, I believe, rather standard.

2. What kind of books do you read? See the bar at right. As you can see from my blog template, I love books and I'm always reading something.

3. What are your neighbors like? There are eight condos on this floor, two empty. (Welcome to the age of foreclosure.) The six of us who remain are a pretty diverse lot: Newlyweds with a lot of tattoos, a couple that frequently has his college-aged son from a previous marriage staying with them, an older couple whose kids are gone but whose young granddaughter visits (and stops by to play with my cat, Reynaldo), a very nosy retiree, a family with a new baby, and me, the cat lady.

4. What's really creepy to you? Clowns. See? Even lovable George Bailey, Bedford Falls' favorite son, looks creepy in clown make-up.

5. What's your current fandom/obsession/addiction? The Beatles and the Cubs. If you needed to be told that, you don't come here often.

6. Do you prefer your junk food sweet, salty or savory? Yes. That's why I like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups so much.

7. What was the last thing you expensive bought? My airline ticket to Los Angeles (ORD-LAX) was $279.

8. What is your greatest fear? A plane crash.

9. Do you get cravings? If so, what do you crave? Yes. Mark Harmon.

10. What do you do to change your mood? Since Mark Harmon often isn't available, I listen to the Beatles.

11. What was the last meal you ate that you loved? Last weekend I had a huge, gut-buster breakfast of eggs, wheat toast, hashbrowns and a ribeye steak. And then I took a long nap.

12. Do you want to learn another language? If so, why? I am taking a weekend crash-course in Spanish this winter. I think it'll be fun. I chose Spanish because I have a friend and a coworker who are both fluent and can help me stay sharp.

13. What's something that you'd like to say to someone right now? "Come play with me." I miss my best friend very much.

14. What are you looking forward to? I have a lot of vacation time scheduled between now and the end of the year.

She's home

My friend's daughter is out of the hospital, back in the New York apartment she shares with her fiance, and planning a small wedding.

Her leukemia is in remission, yet she needs another round of chemotherapy and doctors are very guarded about her chances of surviving 5 years. This confuses Ed, because he loves his daughter and wants definitive answers where it seems there aren't any.

But while it doesn't look like she has a long and healthy life ahead of her, her death is no longer imminent. Last month they were rushing ahead with a small wedding because they believed his daughter's condition was terminal and she wanted to die married to the man she loves. Now the reason for the small, intimate wedding -- in New York instead of here in Chicago -- is that she doesn't want any of her girlfriends to see her gaunt and without hair.

Wanting to be a pretty bride is such a sweet, normal dream for a 24-year-old. Normalcy is just what this family needs right now, and this is very good news.

Well, that's done

My uncle was committed this week. He went into a hospital for tests on Tuesday and as of Friday, he was placed in a facility for seniors with Parkinson's.

He became a ward of the state back in March -- 8 months ago. Which means that the possibility of institutionalization has been hanging over his head for 8 months. That's how long it's taken the gears of bureaucracy to grind to this point. I don't doubt that losing his home and his freedom is awful for him, I'm grateful that it's finally over.

Everyone he meets for here on out will know him only as the man he is now: a broke and very ill old man who is not able to handle his own affairs. He won't have to pretend he is who he once was -- a dynamic self-made millionaire, a lion with the ladies, an athlete. Being able to let his guard down and be himself must be a relief.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Just What I Needed

1. Who was the last person who entered your life and was just what you needed? This past August, I met Bob and Margo. They're both in their 60s and have been together since college, more than 40 years. I met them at the Stadium Club, the exclusive bar for season-ticket holders within Wrigley Field. I may never see them again, but the time I spent with them had a real impact on me. Bob is newly retired and trying to adjust to all this time on his hands. Margo is having no trouble at all -- filled with ideas for cruises and projects. The thing I liked about them was their warmth, their obvious love for one another, and their unabashed Cub fandom. Margo actually carries a signed photo of herself with Ryan Theriot in the same album that features pictures of her grandchildren! They represent karma -- people who are nice and hardworking who played by the rules finally getting to enjoy what they have coming. I liked how they welcomed into their midst based on nothing more than our shared love of the Cubs, which made me feel way less geeky about bleeding Cubbie blue. I guess they are real life role models for me, even though they probably don't think of themselves as anything special.

2. What is one of your fondest childhood memories? When I was 7, my parents surprised me by taking me and my oldest friend to see the Beatles' HELP! at a drive-in. I was riding my bike and the three of them pulled up in an unfamiliar car, a blue station wagon. My dad had swapped cars with a coworker so we could have the back of the wagon to bounce around in when we screamed and cried over The Lads.

3. What would you like to be doing in 7 years? I'd like to be like Bob and Margo, contented and comfortable and completely Cub obsessed.

4. Tell us about a blogging pet peeve. Dopey comments. Like the time I wrote a long post about how much I liked Little Women and how much it influenced my perception of romance. And a blogger I barely knew commented that she never liked that book. ARRGH!

5. Tell us about a general pet peeve. People who take up too much space in public -- like taking up the bench in the locker room for their iPods or water bottles, or an extra seat on the el for a briefcase or back pack.

6. For one day, who would you like to trade places with? Bob and Margo (see Q1). Or maybe I'd just like them to adopt me.

7. Where is your least favorite place to be? Doctor's office waiting room

8. What do you like about fall? My sweaters

9. If you or someone you know are chronically late, do you believe it's the result of poor planning or choosing to be late? In my case, yes to both. In the morning, when I don't feel like going to work, I find all kinds of things to do to distract me from getting ready.