Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The "You Can't Be Missed" Meme, Part 2

Cheers to all of us thieves!

16. What was the last thing you did that was totally selfish, yet you feel no guilt? Just about everything I did on Saturday. It was an amazingly lazy day.

17. Tell us about a film fave of yours that we probably have not seen. The Americanization of Emily. Made in 1964, it uses an absurd story about World War II to foretell how absurd Viet Nam would turn out to be. Watched now, it's impossible not to think about our adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. It makes the point rather neatly that while rank-and-file soldiers and civilians suffer in war, often the powerful flourish. If this sounds too poopy and depressing for you, let me assure you the movie is often charming and sweet. After all, it stars Julie Andrews and James Garner. How can a movie starring Mary Poppins and Jim Rockford be poopy and depressing?

18. When was the last time you kissed someone that you shouldn't have on the lips? It's been so long I can't remember. And how sad is that!

19. When was the last time you cooked something for someone not in your family? When I toiled over a batch of Apple Banana Cupcakes for a Christmas fundraiser to benefit a local animal shelter.

20. When was the last time you danced like a crazy person? Any time I dance. I am not very graceful.

21. When was the last time you just wanted to be invisible? The day that the crazy man in the el station went off on me and called me the "c-word" because I had "no manners." I don't know what I did to set him off because, well, he's a nut. But it was soooo embarrassing.

22. When was the last time you got a gift you absolutely hated? I have received gifts that I've been confused by or didn't want ... but I can't think of anything I absolutely hated.

23. When was the last time you got into a physical fight? (If NEVER, let us know about a time that you got close to a fight.) The almost would be question #21 above. You never know how a confrontation with a crazy person will end.

24. When was the last time you had to sleep with a light on? While I was on vacation in March. I had a wonderful time, but before I went had a vivid premonition that something awful was going to happen to me. I admit it -- I frightened myself into having to sleep with the light (and the TV) on.

25. When was the last time you were under some serious stress? A week ago last Monday. I wasn't feeling well, but still had due dates to meet.

26. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie? In its entirety? December 22, 2007. For it's The Way We Were, and it makes me cry, so I have to be in the right state of mind for it.

27. What song did you most recently downloaded? "Upside Down" by Jack Johnson

28. What would you say is your favorite hobby? Reading

29. What is your favorite thing to do when you hang out with friends? Drink and laugh

30. What would you rather do: shower or bathe with that celebrity that you are crushing on? Bathe. I'm more comfortable when I can't fall, and when I'm comfortable, I can concentrate on the important things.


A rerun about the Baldwin Brothers. I forgot how dishy Alec once was.

The world of preteen soccer can be brutal

My nephew is a geek. At 11, he is very smart, but more comfortable with adults and computers than with most boys his own age. He has a small posse of close friends and he's happy, so this doesn't bother me. He's sensitive and still very much a little boy -- he still sleeps with individually named plush toys. That's who he is and that's fine. He's his own boy and he has to be who he is, and grow up at his own speed, in his own way.

He loooooves playing in the park district soccer league. It's more advanced than school gym class soccer and he's learning moves that has helped in do well in the schoolyard. BUT he's nowhere near as good as the other kids in the park district league and he's not making any friends. According to my mother, who attends his games, he seems nervous on the sidelines, occasionally chewing on a sleeve. And when he was pulled from his last game, she heard one of the boys say, most emphatically, "GOOD!"

My mom is incensed, and hopes that he drops out of the league before the season ends, before he figures out that his teammates don't like him. And she doesn't want him to play again next time (I think there may be a summer league).

I know she's being a loving grandma, but I think she's looking at his life through her eyes. He's a sensitive kid -- I bet on some level he knows he's not as good as the other kids, and he must know the other boys don't huddle around him on the sidelines. Yet he maintains he loves the games and even gets upset if a practice is canceled due to a muddy field. His dad is a great guy but not much of a jock. I think my nephew likes the coaching he receives and the extra practice that enables him to impress the classmates at school, who he cares about more.

I just hope my mom's concerns don't bleed through, and that he doesn't interpret her loving concern as disappointment in his performance. For I don't think he perceives it the way she does, and I doubt he's unhappy with the situation on his own.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: My Best Friend's Wedding

1. Have you ever lost a friend after he/she got married? Sort of. There's a friend I have literally thought of as "my baby." He's 13 years younger than I am and I mentored him at the beginning of his career, when he first moved to Chicago from St. Louis. He's a wonderful guy, a far more gentle soul than he appears. He married in 2008 and moved to the burbs with his wife and stepson and I haven't seen that much of him since. He's always on my mind -- but today he's top of mind because he called out of the blue to stay that they're going to have a baby! So I guess in a way this makes me "a grandma." I'm thrilled. He waited a long time to get married and become a dad (he'll be 40 when the baby arrives) but that's because he's thoughtful and wanted to make sure the time was right.

2. Do you make friends easily? Yes, I'm blessed that way.

3. Do you have many close friends? I think so.

4. Tell us about your oldest friend. You're new here, aren't you? My oldest friend has taken up a great deal of my time and attention and concern over the last year. She is one of those people that shit just happens to. She has troubled children, a checkered romantic history, problems at work, a history of health problems, a house in foreclosure ... She is also my touchstone, the keeper of my secrets, and the one who can make me laugh like no other.

5. Tell us about your newest friend. I suppose that would be Lana. I met her years ago, when I first started this job, but we didn't become friends until last summer. We're both massive Cub fans and were given free tickets by our company last August. The season was a lost cause by that point and we got them because no one else did. We really got to know one another for the first time that afternoon and have spontaneously become closer ever since.

6. Do you hang out with your friends often, or just occasionally when you can find time? When I can find the time, or when they need me. I always try to be available and I love and depend on them all. It's just I also need my alone time. It's how I recharge my battery.

7. What's the furthest you've traveled to visit (or vacation with, etc.) a friend? Last December I traveled 2000 miles to see my oldest friend for her first California birthday.

8. What's the biggest or best thing a friend has ever done for you? My dad died just as the company I was working for was going under. My friend (and, until almost that moment, boss) Ed used the time he spent waiting at the employment office to call people and organize a group to show up at my dad's wake. When I saw them come in, I felt like George Bailey at the end of It's a Wonderful Life -- truly blessed to have friends.

9. What's the worst or most hurtful thing that a friend (or an ex-friend) has done to you? I'm picking this up verbatim from the last Sunday Stealing: Oh, God. This was bad. Judy had been a friend for decades. She accused me of hitting on her boyfriend, and somehow going behind her back to expose their clandestine relationship to her sister. (Her lover once slept with Judy's sister, who considered Judy's relationship with him a betrayal; I don't know all the details because, honestly, I wasn't involved.) An ugly, ugly situation.

BTW, My Best Friend's Wedding is one my favorite movie soundtracks.
I highly recommend it!