Thursday, May 31, 2012

My record is broken

For the first time in 2012, I didn't hit my goal of 13 workouts this month. I only made it over there 11 times. Oh well. Tomorrow begins a new month and the counter goes back to zero.

Free images from

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #173


This week marks the 95th anniversary of his birth. Since so much has been written about him,* I thought it would be refreshing to let him speak for himself.

1. When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

2. We want to build a world of peace where the weak are secure and the strong are just.

3. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.

4. The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

5. There are risks to any program of action. But they are far less than the long-range costs of inaction.

6. If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.

7. I look forward to a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.

8. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

9. Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.

10. Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

11. The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.
12. Change is the law of life. And those who look only at the past or present are certain to miss the future.

13.  Democracy and defense are not substitutes for one another. Either alone with fail.

*Amazon lists more than 400 titles devoted solely to him. That doesn't count books written about his widow, his children, his brothers, or the Presidency.

For more information about the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.

Auf Wiedersehen, Archie!

My oldest friend's six months' old flirtation with Archie Bunker is officially over. After only two dates, lots of emails and many dashed hopes on her part, she's moving on. Yea!

She's signed up for eHarmony and is going out with a lawyer on Saturday afternoon! Yea!

I don't care that he's a lawyer, she does. But I care that it's happening Saturday. For, if it's Saturday, then she's not spending this weekend with her cousin's family up in the mountains, 90 minutes away from her Beverly Hills home. I think this is a very good thing because her cousin is never going to be the support system my friend and her kids need. Instead of fleeing every weekend, spending an hour and a half in the car, she's going to be in her own neighborhood.

I wish she was putting down roots in Beverly Hills by attending a church or volunteering or joining a book group, because tying your wagon to a man is never a sure thing. But I'm happy she's reaching for happiness, right there where she is. Because, as Col. Potter once said on M*A*S*H, "If you're not where you are, you're nowhere."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

But he so clearly wanted to be petted!

The trains were messed up this evening -- there was a fire near the tracks somewhere and all the trains were delayed. Anyway, we were all on the platform for a long time, waiting. And there was this adorable yellow lab, there assisting a woman with a cane.

He was either new to his job or really bored because he kept looking longingly at everyone around him. He wanted to sniff! He wanted to sniff soooo badly! And you could tell that a good, hard head rub would be heaven.

I resisted, but it was hard.

Continuing to touch the better angels of my nature

There's a fabulous, off-the-cuff moment in one of JFK's televised press conferences. Asked if he was happy in his current position, ie leader of the free world, he replied, that he was indeed when you consider, "the ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."

After President George W. Bush somehow made intellectualism a negative thing, our politicians seem to feel that showing they are educated, that they have curiosity about our world and its history is bad. (Makes them, in Rick Santorum's famous phrase, "snobs.") I think it's sad that, instead of being proud that he's fluent in French, Mitt Romney refuses to speak it on camera. President Kennedy reveled in other cultures. He also believed that history, our own and that of other countries, "can teach, offer hope, provide inspiration."

In public addresses, he often drew from the Greeks and the Chinese ("When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is two characters; one represents danger and the other represents opportunity."). One of his favorite stories, an oft-repeated metaphor for how to use time and view the future, was of a French Army General from the 1920s. "Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose. Plant it this afternoon!'"

These references were not scripted. They came from his voracious personal reading, they reflected what captured his imagination and touched his heart.

Today, on the 95th anniversary of his birth, I want to celebrate what it is about him that captures my imagination and continues to touch my heart -- his optimism, his willingness to experiment and innovate, most of all, his love of words and ideas and history. When JFK was in the Oval Office, what is now considered "elitist" was glamorous. One of my favorite moments in his widow's Historic Conversations comes when she describes his reading. He spent every spare moment reading, and he kept a book open and within sight even when he was shaving or tying his tie.

"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, 
because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, 
can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation."

Monday, May 28, 2012

This is the toughest thing about giving blood

I'm a platelet donor, which leaves me in demand. But the reason I don't give as often as I could isn't the time it takes, or the needle. It's because holding a book is nearly impossible.

I was turned on to this site by Kwizgiver.


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, write a response including the third definition of the word:
DECAY (intransitive verb)

Because brevity is such a tough nut for me to crack, I'm working to respond to the prompt in exactly 33 words.

Every day I turn to Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clinique and The Body Shop. I cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize with serums, scrubs and lotions. Still I decay. It would be cheaper to accept the inevitable.

The Wall of Photos

I am trying so hard, you know? I want to get along with my mother because I love her, because she is the way she is, and because at this point in our lives, she is not going to change. And maybe she isn't even supposed to change. I keep returning to that verse from Isaiah and that televised ministry I saw a couple weeks ago:

"It’s easy to focus on others’ faults and what we would like to change about them. But, God is the one that put the talents, creativity and strengths into each person.  Isaiah 64:8 says, 'We’re the clay and you’re our potter: all of us are what you made us.' Our job isn’t to change people. Learn to accept that God is the one directing their steps, making them and molding them into who He wants them to be. If you’ll learn to love, honor and accept people for who they are right now, your relationships will go to a whole new level."

Yesterday I went to see her, to play with my nephew, which I frequently do on Sundays. She was so happy to see me, enjoyed how he and I make one another laugh. She hugged me a lot and wanted me to stay longer. All that is good, right?

Well, except for her new Wall of Photos. A Mother's Day gift to her from my kid sister (who certainly knows our family history).  We're talking at least 10 feet of family pictures. There is only one of me. There is a black-and-white studio portrait of my molester.

My mother is so very proud of this wall and wanted me to see it.

She's not mean, she's not trying to make me feel bad. She loves me as much as she is able.

She just completely doesn't get me.

This leaves me so sad.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Two

21. Have you felt that life is like being on a roller coaster? Yes. But no more than anyone else's.

22. Favorite year so far? When I was 35, it was a very good year. (I feel like I'm channeling Sinatra.)

23. Do you consider yourself religious? Yes. I believe in God and He guides me.

24. How do you dress to impress? No. I dress to fit in, not stand out.

25. Have you ever been to Connecticut? No. But it seems like a perfectly lovely place. I recently entered a pair of sweepstakes to win dinner with the President and either Sarah Jessica Parker or Bill Clinton, both in New York. My best friend teased me that I did it more for the free trip to NYC than to support Barack Obama, and there may be something to that. I find that, next to Chicago, I feel most comfortable in the east/mid-Atlantic states than I do on the west coast.

26. Do you eat sushi? Only to be polite.

27. Would you smoke pot providing there was no risk or driving involved? No. I have never smoked anything and don't intend to now. I prefer to get high in ways that don't leave my hair and clothes smelling bad.

28. What do you think of Idol Winner Phillip Phillips?? He seems very original. I didn't watch closely this season, but Jessica Sanchez seemed very much in the Jordin Sparks mode, so I thought she'd win. But Phillips doesn't remind me of anyone else. I'm impressed that America chose him. (Since we're talking Idol: is it me or has Ryan Seacrest's hair gotten taller and weirder in front? When I saw him in profile during the last performance show, I thought he looked like a cartoon character.)

29. Do you believe that animals have souls? Yes.

30. Who did you last talk to? Share, if you dare. Kathy. (See below.)

31. What is one thing that always annoys you? My hair and clothes smelling like cigarettes or pot.

32. Do you believe in a higher being? Didn't I answer this in #23?

33. Have you ever fallen in love with a neighbor? At the beginning of the first grade school year, in between my fleeting crush on "Little Joe" Cartwright (aka Michael Landon) and falling hard for Beatle Paul, I was swept away by our neighbors' adult son. He moved in with his parents for a few glorious weeks before his wedding to some teased-hair wench named Sandy. He was very glamorous, with his shiny black hair and short sleeved shirts even in chilly autumn weather, and he led me on by letting me help him wash his car (which was an honor). It was heartbreaking when he actually went through with the wedding, and then he and the wench moved away. Love hurts, people!

34. Any plans for this weekend? I really, really have to figure out if I need any new clothes this summer. I know going through closets isn't exciting, but it needs to be done.

35. Would you like to rule your country, if you could? I already do. Galtopia. It's struggling. I'm not a very attentive despot.

36. Do you like watching films about the nature of animals? No. I don't like the tension. It seem some poor animal is always at risk of being chomped in half by a crocodile.

37. What's the difference between lust and/or lust? I suspect this question lost something in translation. But that's OK. I like lust.

38. Do you have a soul? I answered in #29 that animals have souls. I am a mammal. Ipso facto. (I don't get to use Latin anywhere near often enough in memes!)

39. One best friend or many good friends? Yes. I mean, I have both.

40. Do you believe in spontaneous combustion? Only for drummers.

Well, that's done

I did something Saturday morning I didn't really want to do: I had breakfast with Kathy.

I don't forgive this old friend for what she did to me in February. Nor for all the other things she has done to me over 30 years. She has worn me out and left me bone-weary. I work very hard at being a good friend, which makes the way she has treated me hurt even more. I'm no longer willing to do put up with it.

BUT I'm not angry anymore. I don't want revenge. I don't want to hurt her. I just want all this to end.

So when she started reaching out to me in earnest, I began wrestling with the best way to handle it. First she offered to drive me to the hospital to visit my mom last month. Kathy now lives 30 miles away, so the gesture was a big one for her. But I politely refused because my feelings about my mom's hospitalization were raw and powerful and I just didn't need that "Kathy overlay."

Then she got me the book, The President's Club. Simply because she knew I'd enjoy it.

She was right, I do want to read it. But the book is more than $30. Kathy is, literally, homeless -- she lives with her daughter's family. She works two part-time jobs. She can't afford $30, and driving 60 miles roundtrip when gas is $4/gallon. So I know this meant something to her.

At first, when she asked me if I'd meet her and John at what was once our favorite watering hole, I nixed that. But then, when she started mentioning breakfast, I found it harder and harder to refuse without just coming out and saying, "I don't want anything to do with you."

So today we finally went. She hugged me a lot. Wrote a nice inscription in the book. Was very gracious about the fact that she invited me to Sunday and I accepted for Saturday. Even paid the bill. It felt like a date.

And I felt bad for her because this relationship is so over. But there's nothing to be gained by rebuffing her. By telling her to go fuck herself. She knows what she did was hideous. She already feels bad. Why make her feel worse?

She's 65 years old. She lives with newly-divorced, 40+ daughter and three teenaged grandchildren and there's enough tension and electricity in that household to light Michigan Avenue at night. She has no money for retirement and just refinanced the car that she's going to drive into the ground. She's stuck out in a suburb that's 30 miles away from the people she naturally gravitates to (meaning me and John).

So I let her hug me and pay for my spinach omelet. (I suspected she might try that grabbing the check thing, so I didn't even have juice.) I accepted the book and told her why I was excited to read it. I told her about my cats. I complained about how we're all moving to cubicles at work. It was the kind of conversation you have with a stranger on a plane.

It didn't feel like I was taking advantage of her generosity. It felt like I was being decent.

Now I'd really like this to be over.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Feeling very American just now

For dinner I had a hot dog with a side of baked beans and I washed it all down with root beer. Isn't this how everybody eats over Memorial Day weekend?

I also worked out (30 mins. of cardio and 5 on the machines) and went to the movies. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was charming and life affirming. It also had a cast almost entirely of retirees. I felt like a girl again, compared to the rest of the audience.

Saturday 9

1. How was your self esteem growing up? Depends on what area of my life we're looking at. I have always known I am smart. I have always struggled in the looks department. It's funny, because I recently found some photos of my previous self and, looking back, I think I was adorable. I wish I enjoyed those days more.

2. Do you ever have a hard time with morals? At times. I'm not perfect.
3. Do you eat in bed? If yes, what? I try not to.
4. What was the last movie you hated and why? Babel. I thought it was ridiculously overwrought. For example, there's a girl in the movie who is not only saddled with a disability, she is motherless … and alienated from her father … and her volleyball team loses The Big Game … and she has cavities in her molars. In one scene, she pets a cat and I was just waiting for it to get hit by a car.
5. Have you ever felt that you lost it all? If yes, explain. No. Because no matter what, I'll always have books and cats.

6. Have you ever been stalked? Yes. Let's leave it at that.

7. Do you believe in 'self help' for problems, or do you prefer therapy? I don't know that I prefer therapy, as it's often a painful exercise, but it's the most efficient and effective for me.

8. What celebrity do you think should make a run for office? That would be none. I have no issue with celebs having political views. I just think of Arnold and Reagan and ask myself, do we really need more of this?
9. Do you believe in happy endings? (We do. That why this is the last question!) Yes. Though as Orson Welles said: any story can have a happy ending, it just depends when you end the story.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guess how I spent the first day of the four day weekend

Napping! Yes, indeed, I took a 90-minute nap on the sofa. I don't feel guilty. I enjoyed it.

Oh, I also went to the bank and my neighborhood coffee shop. After I indulged in bacon and eggs while reading my massive but thoroughly enjoyable Al Capone biography, I discovered I'd left my wallet at home. I was sooooo embarrassed! The owner happened to be working the counter, which made me happy because I didn't want to put my waitress in the sensitive position of figuring what to do with me. I was prepared to leave my cellphone as "collateral" while I ran home (I live about two blocks away). She told me not to be embarrassed, not to race home. "You will pay it when you can." I so appreciated her kindness that after retrieving my wallet from my kitchen counter at home, I paid it forward by giving a homeless person whatever change I had and then buying Streetwise from the vendor in front of the bank.

The bank was eventful because I went to my safety deposit box to get the savings bonds I've purchased for my nephew's college fund. I give him $100/year in Series EE Bonds. I did the same for my niece. By the time he graduates from highschool, the $1800 in bonds he gets from me will be worth about $2000. My 12-year-old nephew let it slip that his mother -- my darling kid sister -- wishes I would just give them money instead of savings bonds because bonds are "so hard to do anything with." Her staggering lack of gratitude annoys me. On the other hand, it made me smile because I don't want HER to do anything with those savings bonds. They're for the kids! And this Memorial Day weekend, I'm glad that I invest in US Savings Bonds instead of "just giving them money." So there!


I realize part of what has been weighing me down (figuratively -- as opposed to my big belly, which accounts for my literal weightiness).

It's me and my mom.

I love her. She's very dear to me. As she gets older and I realize our time together is running short, I want very badly for everything to go well between us.

But it can't. At least not comfortably. Because we are very different women.

I realize that my mom has always fixated on appearances. Some people -- like my girlhood friend Judy or my niece's friend Lana -- cause her to say, repeatedly, "I'm sorry to say this but she's so ugly." To which I have always replied, "So ugly people don't get friends?" And she shakes her head and clucks because I'm so "mouthy" and just don't "get it."

Some people are homely, but so likable she's almost able to forget about it. Most notably my late father's former business partner, Joe. Every time we saw him growing up, my mom would say, "Isn't Joe friendly? He's so nice that at first I didn't notice how really ugly he is."

Conversely, she dislikes my cousin's husband because he's so good looking that he must be a vain snob who looks down his nose at people. Because she's never heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, it must be a "made-up disease" that he uses as an excuse to get out of doing work that will leave him all sweaty and not so handsome. When she complains about my cousin's husband, I have busted her for being "The Goldilocks of Good Looks." You know, this one is too ugly, this one is too pretty, we need to find someone who is just right. This is also met with tsk's.

When I told her about some Facebook exchanges between an aunt and cousin on my dad's side of the family, she said, "Oh, your aunt never liked Cousin Sandy because when they were girls, Sandy was so pretty and your aunt was 'beyond fat.'"

And it nags at me that while I believe my mother loves me, my appearance embarrasses her. Until the last five years I had a good shape. But even then, she's made it clear to me that my older sister is "the pretty one" while I am "cute but not what you'd consider pretty." So now that I'm fat, is she ashamed of me?

It hurts to think this. It also hurts to admit that when it comes to physical appearance, my mom is so very shallow. It's something I just don't like about her.

And since she is my mommy, and since I love her, this leaves me feeling uncomfortable and guilty and sad.

My shrink tells me that denying how I feel is not the way to handle it. That one of the stronger, healthier things about me is my insistence on seeing things as they are. She tells me that it's OK to admit that my mother isn't a deep thinker. She probably would have been happier with a more conventional beauty, a more conventional woman, for a daughter than I am. So the discomfort I feel about our relationship, she probably wrestles with too -- separately but equally.

Instead, I should try to make peace with these feelings by accepting them, and then concentrating on the good things that I got from her -- mainly my love of animals. And if you read this blog with any regularity, you know what a big part of my life that is. I have my mom to thank for that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #172


13 Facts about a 1960s icon as she turns 70.

1) She was born sometime in May 1942 (different sources give different dates) in Canada. She may be the pride of Vancouver but became one of the best-known residents of a very famous fictional New England town.

2) Ms. Parkins was 22 when premiered as bad girl Betty Anderson in the groundbreaking nighttime soap, Peyton Place. I was 6 years old and thought she was amazingly beautiful.

3) Over 441 episodes and six years, Betty endured her father's mental instability, her mother's affair with her boyfriend's father, a love triangle where she suspects her fella loves another girl (she was right), an unwed pregnancy, an elopement, a miscarriage, an annulment, a stint as a model, then as a nurse's aid, another marriage, a love triangle in which her current husband suspects she still loves her ex (he was right), an overbearing mother-in-law, a turn as star witness in a murder trial, a divorce, another elopement ... you get the idea.

4) The show was massively popular. Viewers took sides either with Betty or blonde-haired, good girl Allison MacKenzie, played by Mia Farrow. Mia left the series early and went on to have the more successful film career. But Ms. Parkins is very proud of the fact that she's the one who got an Emmy nod for Peyton Place.

5) Betty and Allison were locked in competition for Rodney Harrington, as played by Ryan O'Neal. Considering how he's turned out, I wonder if either of them would still want him.

6) She won the coveted role of Anne Welles in the big screen adaptation of Valley of the Dolls. Her role ("The good girl with a million dollar face and all the bad breaks. She took the green pills.") is top-billed but nowhere near as juicy as Patty Duke's Neely. This may be a blessing, since the movie is so fantabulously awful, Ms. Parkins has less to be embarrassed about. (I love how the poster says, "Not suitable for children." Let's face it, this drek is not suitable for anyone. Yet if you ever get a chance to watch it, don't pass it up. It's an unspeakably horrible delight.)

7) She became friends with Valley of the Dolls co-star Sharon Tate and was bridesmaid at Sharon Tate's wedding to Roman Polanski.

8) She and Patty Duke didn't get along at all, though. Patty derided her as "Barbara Star-kins," saying she was more interested in hair and wardrobe than in her performance. (To be fair, the role of Anne Wells did come with some groovy chapeaux.)

9) Because Valley of the Dolls was such a high-profile disaster, it took Ms. Parkins decades to embrace the camp classic. But she finally has, and participated in the "extras" disc of the CD release. That's how I learned that she had hoped Cat Stevens (!) would play the part of Lyon Burke in the movie. Yeah, like that would happen.

10) Her career never recovered from the debacle that was Valley of the Dolls. After that she was in demand as a celebrity, but not as an actress. She did what any self-respecting 1960s-era glamor girl would do -- she posed for Playboy and auditioned (alas, unsuccessfully) for a role as a Bond Girl.

11) She made guest appearances on shows like Hotel, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote and The Love Boat.

12) She moved on to made-for-TV movies with greater success. She got good notices as Anna Held in Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women in 1978.

13) She became a mother in the late 1980s and abandoned her career for life as a mom in England.

For more information about the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.

Better today!

Last night and this morning I was mired in the blues. Stuck and sad about being a big, fat moo-cow with no energy. Yet somehow, as the day wore on, my mood improved.

Part of it is that I have freelance cash coming in. The job I'm working on for my friend Kathleen's company will be enough for the Kindle Fire I already ordered with enough left over to pay down some bills.

Another part of it is that, at my suggestion, they gave the art director portion of the project to a designer I used to work with who was laid off two years ago ... and still hasn't landed anywhere full time. I'm very happy that I'm able to help him out a bit. Once, when the political shit got a very deep at the office, he really had my back. I am grateful I could finally do something nice for him.

Part of it is that I'm now a shredding fool again! Here's my new baby. It handles 12 sheets at a time!

Part of it is that the Cubs are actually leading in a ballgame for the first time in like a week. I think their tailspin was God thwarting their Cubbie blue efforts because not even the Lord can forgive the Ricketts Plan. I hate being mad at the Cubs. Glad we made up.

Part of it is that my best friend and I are back to where we were before he was an asshole. I'm glad we made up, too.

Which is not to say that I'm not still unhappy about how easily I become breathless with exertion. I must keep an eye on that. If it's not better by Labor Day, we go back to the doctor to get to the bottom of it.


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, write a response including the third definition of the word:
WILD (adj)

Our candidate was a most proper man, a throwback to another day and age. He even signed his personal correspondence with a fountain pen.

So the contrast between his gentle manner and the mad buzz his presence generated on the campaign trail always surprised me. For the staff working this event, the energy had a fillip of stress. Where is he? How many minutes away? We have to get the talking points to the press! And what the hell? People with signs should be behind the podium, dammit!

This last was my responsibility. The supporters with signs belonged behind the candidate because that’s how their hand-lettered messages of support get photographed with our man. But the homemade posters were brought not by campaign workers but involved citizens. Getting this sincere, excited but unruly bunch to do anything was like, as they say, herding cats. Convincing them how fabulous it is to be stuck behind the candidate, seeing nothing but the back of his perfectly coiffed head as he spoke, was almost impossible.

“Let’s go, everybody, please!” I said with assumptive cheer. “We want your beautiful signs on the evening news! Let’s get on the risers behind the podium!”

I was invisible to most of this enthusiastic throng. I mean, anyone who isn’t the candidate seems pretty irrelevant at times like this. I understand. After all, before I joined the campaign staff, I was one of them.

But one sign holder did hear me and her response was chilling. She was in her 30s but her poster was very childish – a sloppy US flag with the candidate’s name in block letters. When I asked her to move behind the podium, our eyes locked and I saw something wild, angry and even a bit desperate. “Why are you moving me? What is this? Tiananmen Square?”

I suddenly decided she really shouldn’t be in such close proximity to our candidate, after all. And I was very grateful for the Secret Service.

I Want Wednesday

I want to feel better! I don't know what's wrong. Yesterday I woke up with quasi-migraine that left me feeling unsettled and a little nauseous. And that's just one day. It's more than that. I'm not sleeping soundly. While I'm moving more but I'm not losing weight and I'm always tired ... distracted ... drained … breathless. If I don't feel better by Labor Day I'm going back to the doctor to see what's going on. Am I unhappy? Depressed? I don't know. Hate this. I thought having my cyst removed would take care of this feeling, but now it's back.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Proud of my city

Chicago played host to the world with last weekend's NATO Summit, and it was a resounding success. There were protests up and down Michigan Avenue, in Grant Park, etc., but it was, by and large, peaceful. Which is amazing, since the mercury his 90º Saturday.

It's uniquely American, speaking truth to power on such a large scale. I'm glad the 99% felt their voices were heard, I was touched by the passion of the Iraq veterans who threw back their medals, I was proud of the police who kept everyone safe.

I was a huge fan of Mayor Daley's and was nervous about how we'd fare with  this rookie mayor, Rahm Emmanuel at the helm. Mayor Emmanuel did just fine.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ignorance Is Bliss

The paper organizer lady was here for three hours today and helped me get rid of tons and tons of stuff. So much that shredder blew. I'm not exaggerating. As I was shredding paperwork from my long ago freelance years, my poor piece of office equipment just gave up and gave out.

While destroying these obsolete records I found that I have been making virtually the exact same amount for the last ten years. Taking inflation into account, I'm making approximately 20% less today. This makes me sad.

My finances were exactly the same before I figured this out. I was just happier.

Reminds me of that old vaudeville routine:

"Doctor, my arm hurts when I do this."
"Then don't do that."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part One

1. Have you ever peed your pants as an adult? No. But thank you for asking.

2. Who do you have a celebrity crush on now? Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs. He's my TV boyfriend.

3. Would you date someone you met online? I suppose.

4. Do you wear underwear always?
Not in the shower.

5. Do you hate yourself at times?
Good goobies, yes!

7. Do you like dirty movies?
I have appreciated a few.

8. Could you believe Josha Ledet was voted off Idol? I really haven't watched often enough this year to have an opinion.

9. When was the last time that you bought a car? That would be never.

10. Have you ever been camping? Yes. I was a good Girl Scout.

11. How many times a day do you go on facebook? A couple.

12. What was the last movie you saw in a theater? I saw Titanic 3D last month. There's nothing out now that appeals to me. Which is too bad, because I love going to the show.

13. Have you ever worried that you'd cut off a limb? I was so worried I peed myself. (Do people really worry about these things?)

14. Where did you get your last email from? My oldest friend.

15. Favorite website? One Gal's Musings. She's FABULOUS!

16. Are you down with ghetto? As much as a pudgy, middle-aged white lady can be. Yo!

17. Will the world end in fire or ice? "From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire."

18. Do you believe in the afterlife? Yes.

19. Would you be upset if facebook stopped working? Not really.

20. How did you start your blog? I wanted to create an accurate snapshot of my life at one particular moment. I believe I've done that. I'm pretty honest on this here blog.

Leaving it all for Sunday

My place is a real mess. My cat Reynaldo has completely destroyed my dining room -- knocking over all the framed photographs and sending stacks of paperwork flying onto the floor. I haven't put it back because ... well, he and I are still embarrassingly locked in one of our battles of will and I don't want him to see me responding to his bad behavior. Plus, when I put it back, he's just going to knock it all over again. Anyway, it's a sickening mess in there.

I have a professional organizer coming over at 8:00 AM on Monday. I must get stuff ready for her -- counter intuitive, I know, like cleaning before the cleaning service arrives. But I only have her for 3 hours and I want us to concentrate on paperwork so I've got to get the books and magazines and DVDs and purses and ... and ... and ... out of the way so she and I can work. Reynaldo is not helping. I should also vacuum, just in case my organizer has an issue with cat dander.

Neither is my complete lack of discipline. I have done nothing to prepare yet. All I did on Saturday was get my hair cut and grocery shopped the rest of the time napping and watching NCIS. I don't know why but I'm feeling kinda blue and just not inspired to do anything except procrastinate. I wasn't even following the NATO summit or the Crosstown Classic!

Too cute

On the bus Saturday I rode with a mom and her trio of daughters. The two older ones need glasses and were wearing happening frames in pastel colors. The youngest -- about 3, I guess, still small enough to sit in Mom's lap -- was wearing frames, too. HUGE, heavy black ones, without lenses. She looked like a tiny Roy Orbison. Obviously she just wanted to be like her big sisters. She was so cute she broke my heart.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday 9

1. How do you feel when you realize that an impasse will cause a relationship (any type) to end? Helpless and sad.

2. You’re planning a trip that would be an eight-hour car ride, a four-hour train ride, or a two-hour plane ride. With money and time being no object, which would you most likely choose and why? Train. I like watching the world go by and I'm not a big fan of planes.

3. What is your ideal past time on a lazy summers day? Watching the Chicago Cubs, even now, without Kerry (sniffle) Wood.

4. Name a CD you own that no one else on your friends list does. Here Comes Bobby, by Bobby Sherman. The highlight is "La La La." In other words, it's pretty awful. By purchasing this CD I revealed I am helpless in the face of nostalgia and have no appreciation for the value of a dollar.

5. What's a wish of yours? To be able to turn all those silly impulse purchases back into cash.
6. What is something your going to do a lot of this week? Shredding! I have a professional organizer coming over on Monday to help me get the paperwork around here under control.

7. Is there someone you wish would just fall off the face of this earth? A certain toxic ex who frequently feels the need to ignore my wishes and insists we need to resume contact.

8. What did you do last night? A trip to Bed Bath and Beyond. I love that store.

9. Where is the next place you'd like to go vacation? New York. I have no plans, but I'd love to go there.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hate him! Hate him! Hate him!

Joe Ricketts is a nasty old snake and I hate him.

He's the billionaire who founded TD Ameritrade, and the father of Tom and Laura Ricketts, who run the Cubs.

He's also poured $10 million of his own money into a PAC devoted to sliming Barack Obama by tying him to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining that it's time to show “the world how Barack Obama’s opinions of America and the world were formed. And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president’s formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees.”

I don't mind Republicans unless they do hateful shit like this. Then they make my skin crawl.

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel came down on Pa Ricketts like a ton of bricks. The Republican PAC Ricketts supports is called The Ending Spending Action Fund. Yet the Mayor pointed out that the Ricketts family wants a ton of public spending, tax dollars, to help them renovate Wrigley Field. How hypocritical is that?

To think that by purchasing Cubbie blue merchandise, or going to games, I'd be supporting this sort of thing is heartbreakingly unacceptable to me. I'm always happier when I have baseball, and it's only a slight exaggeration to say that without the Cubs, I got nuthin'.

So I was thrilled to learn that the sins of the father shouldn't be visited upon the son and daughter. Tom Ricketts, Cubs chairman, pointed out that his father has nothing to do with the baseball club. "I repudiate any return to racially divisive issues in this year’s presidential campaign or in any setting," he said in a statement. What's more, sister Laura Ricketts has the title of co-owner. She is not only an Obama fundraiser, she's baseball's only gay owner.

Best of all, the Wright-saturated ads are not going to run. Governor Romney himself repudiated them.

Now when I watch my Cubs, all I have to concentrate on is my Cubs.