Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I made $25 yesterday

My freelance work is continuing, and I sat on the phone with my client for a half hour to discuss the next phase so I'm perfectly justified billing her for the consult.

I figure that, when all is said and done, I should make between $500 and $750 from this leg of the promotion.

The money is nice. Who wouldn't like to receive an incremental $500 in the mail? But more than that, I like how eager Kathleen's team is to turn to me. I'm not feeling a lot of love here at the office, at my straight job, and plants grow toward the light. So I'm happier to work on the freelance.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Not pleased

I don't like looking in the mirror today. I have three (count 'em -- three!) zits across my chin. I'm fat. I hate myself.

And how are you all this fine Monday?


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, compose something that includes the third definition of the following word:

I don’t think I completely understood the fan phenomenon until I agreed to go to Las Vegas with an old friend because she specifically wanted to spend her 50th birthday seeing Barry  Manilow.

When I told them at the office I’d need Friday afternoon off, and why, my colleagues didn’t try to hide their amusement.

“Barry Manilow? Isn’t he dead?”

“Leave Manilow alone! I loved ‘The Pina Colada Song’ when I was a kid!”

My twenty- and thirty-something coworkers confused Manilow with Neil Diamond, Tony Orlando and Rupert Holmes (who wrote and recorded "The Pina Colada Song”). This reflects not only the generational divide, but the amount of mainstream attention Barry Manilow receives.

Yet Fanilows insist he remains at the epicenter of show business, and when confronted with anything Manilow, they leave normal in rearview mirror.

For example, after we checked into our room at the Las Vegas Hilton, our first stop was not the slots nor the pool. It was The M Store to check out the official Manilow merchandise. I told her to pick something and we’d call it her birthday present. She passed the Barry t-shirts, chef’s apron, and the thong referred to as “the B String,” and settled on a bottle of exclusive M Fragrance ($44.99).

We weren’t alone in the store. It was filled with Fanilows who also made the pilgrimage. When I wondered aloud why so many kitchen magnets featured beagles, my naiveté was met with exasperated sighs and a chorus of explanations about Bagel, Barry’s dog.

We sat side-by-side at the show, yet while I saw an old man in orange stage makeup that made his spiky blond highlights and caps look so bright they could be radioactive, she saw a sex symbol.

I admit that of that night’s audience, I was in the minority. Barry’s a fan favorite, no doubt about it. And while the experience left me scratching my head, it made her happy. So to each her own!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Too Tired to Think Meme, Part 2

26. What type of errands do you like running? I like going to Petco. That's about it. The rest of the utilitarian errands -- bank, post office, grocery store -- kind of annoy me.

27. Have you ever eaten snow? Sure. Don’t all kids try it?

28. What color are your bedsheets? I just changed them yesterday. These fresh ones are white with blue geometric shapes.

29. What’s your favorite flower? Carnations. I love how common, inexpensive and very pretty they are.

30. Do you do ballet? No. I’m tragically uncoordinated.

31. Do you listen to classical music? No. Hate it.

32. What is the first TV Theme song that pops in your head?

33. Do you watch Sponge Bob? Not recently

34. What temperature is it outside right now? 75º

35. Do people consider you smart? Yes.

36. How many piercing do you have? One on each lobe.

37. Are you signed on [to] AIM? Nope.

38. Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together? Why would I do this?

39. How do you feel about your family? Depends on which family member and when you ask me.

40. Do you have an iPod? Yes.

41. What time do you go to bed? When I feel like it. I’m a grown up!

42. What CD is currently in your CD player? Van Morrison at the Movies

43. What movie do you know every line to? A Hard Day’s Night. “Him? He’s a villain. A right mixer. And he’ll cost you a fortune in breach of promise cases.”

44. What is your favorite salad dressing? Kraft Lite French

45. What do you want for Christmas this year? A smaller waist

46. What family member/friend lives the farthest from you? Where? Both my oldest friend and older sister are in Southern California (2000 miles away).

47. Do you like hugs? Depends on who’s doing the hugging.

48. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach? I don’t recall exactly. Probably right before a client presentation.

49. What’s the way people most often mispronounce any part of your name? Phonetically.

50. Last person you hugged? My friend John

Not cool

When I took a bag filled with pastas and rice and tuna over to the food pantry, I was shocked to see a Mercedes Benz convertible with the top down. The chrome was shiny, the red and black upholstery was gorgeous. It was parked right in front of the door in the private lot. If I may channel Friends, "Could you be more insensitive?"

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Moves Like Jagger

1. Who makes the best moves in your life? My friend John. Though my best friend tells me he's a good dancer, I've never actually seen him move.

2. Tell us about a time where you had to be selfish with your time, and felt guilty about it (whether it was time taken from your children or a significant other). I have often pretended to be busy and then just stayed home. Once I begged off a picnic, pleading migraine, and then was busted when the hostess (a former coworker) saw me heading toward the movie theater when she racing to convenience store for a bag of ice. UH-OH! She was furious and never spoke to me again. I felt bad about it at the time, but I got over it.

3. Do you feel that you can create more sex appeal or that it's just a given? Yes. I believe some men are just so unbelievably gorgeous they take your breath. On the other hand, I'd rather do Bruce Willis than Brad Pitt, even though Mr. Pitt is more conventionally handsome. (Please don't forward this to Brad. The news that I don't want him could break his heart.)

4. Do your religious beliefs really influence your behavior? Yes. Of course.

5. Do you feel there are some things in a significant other that you can't change because of their sex? Yes. My shrink (a woman, btw) told me that it often seems that men have a finite number of words they can utter in a day and when they reach that number, they shut up. I have found that to be true. Men can hydraulically shut down in the communication department.

6. Do you see a younger less secure person when you gaze in the mirror? No. I see a pudgy middle aged woman.

7. If you have ever been pregnant, or have been with a woman who was, how did effect your sex life? As a heterosexual woman who has never been pregnant, I have no idea what to do with this question.

8. What would you like to work on to become a better person? I'm working on loving and supporting my friends without bossing or judging them. And, in response to Question #4, I try to stay on track by remembering a Bible passage: "We are the clay, God is the potter, and we are the work of His hands." Meaning those I love are exactly as they are supposed to be. It's not MY place to change them.

9. When did you think that you understood the sacrifices that people in the military make on behalf of their country? When my uncle told me what he went through in Vietnam. He was drafted, and he said nothing, NOTHING prepares a kid for being shipped to a foreign land where people are trying to kill him. There's also an awesome book about Sen. John Kerry's time in Vietnam called Tour of Duty (written by Douglas Brinkley, who also edited Reagan's diaries, in case you think the author brought political bias to the story). After reading this, it will wash over you just how unutterably ugly those 2004 GOP "Swiftboat" ads really were.

Friday, July 27, 2012

They're not all millionaires

I just discovered that the average actor in the United States makes an annual salary of between $41,700 and $61,880.

That helps explain an interesting little bit of trivia I came upon about actor Leonard Stone. You know him. He's been on every TV show from Perry Mason in the 1950s to M*A*S*H in the 1970s through LA Law in the 1990s. For me, he will always be Sam Beauregard, father of the Blueberry Girl, Violet Beauregard in the original Willy Wonka movie.

Anyway, in 2000 Leonard Stone was a (non-celebrity) contestant on Wheel of Fortune. He placed second, winning $4,250 in cash and a trip to Bermuda valued at $5,310. To a working actor (not a star) making about $50,000/year, cash and a trip to Bermuda was probably very nice, indeed.

Oh, boy she's mad

Took Miss Charlotte to the vet this afternoon. That lump on her tongue, the physical manifestation of her allergies, is back. He treated her the same way he did last year, with a cortisone shot. The whole ordeal took less than hour. But she's pissed all the same. She doesn't understand this was for her own good.


With this week's challenge, I learned a new word: incipit. It's Latin for "it begins," and is the first few words of a book, poem, etc.

This weekend's challenge: give us a 33-word opening line to your book. 

She propped herself up on an elbow, looked down and marveled at his sweet, sleeping face, and yet still she asked herself, “Who is he, really? And why am I in this relationship?”

Join Me on the Swings!

This Wednesday is August 1, and the beginning of another August Happiness Challenge! The idea is very simple: "Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world."

I have found that doing this lifts and my spirits and helps me focus. So here's a heads-up: August will soon be with us, and you're welcome to share your happiness with me and the blogosphere.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



I bet at least one of these will work its way into your conversation.  If you're hungry for more fun facts,  find them at Guinness Book of Records' official site.

1) Best-selling children's book series: Harry Potter

2) Most successful author: James Patterson

3) Most successful movie ever produced in Canada: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

4) Most prolific video game character: Super Mario has appeared in more than 200 different games

5) First female to star in her own comic book: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle in 1937

6) Longest running quiz show: It's Academic, where different high school students compete, has been on continuously since 1961. High school senior Hillary Rodham (shown) was a member of the Maine South High School Team that appeared in 1965. NOTE: After graduation from high school, college and law school, Hillary Rodham went on to marry Bill Clinton.

7) Oldest salsa dancer: Sarah Paddy Jones won first prize in a Spanish dance competition in 2009 when she was 75 years old

8) Highest paid child actor: Angus T. Jones, who was born in 1993 and plays the 1/2 man of Two and a Half Men, earns $250,000/episode

9) Oldest driver to win the Indianapolis 500: Al Unser Jr. was 5 days shy of his 48th birthday when he won in 1987

10) Shortest movie stuntman: Kiran Shah, shown here, is 4'7" and worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. NOTE: As a stunt man, Mr. Shah didn't play a specific role. He performed stunts on behalf of many of the actors in the LOTR.

11) Youngest performer to win an Oscar: Tatum O'Neal was 10 when she accepted the award for Paper Moon in 1974

12) Most television programs watched live by a single audience member: Italy's Alessandro Cocco has been the audience of more than 27,000 TV shows

13) Oldest Ruling English Monarch: The current Queen Elizabeth is 86. She beats her grandmother, Queen Victoria, who passed away at age 81.

For more information about the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.

John Rode a Bus!

My friend John is not one to "rough it." For example, he used to spend $100/week on cabs to and from work. I used to find that staggering, but he told me that he'd spend approx. $5,200/year on a car if he had one (insurance, gas, parking, etc.) so this wasn't wasteful. I don't have a car, so I don't know if that's not true. But that's not my point here.

Last night I saw him for drinks and dinner. We had a lovely time, and it made me happy to see him doing so well emotionally since he was laid off last month. I was touched when he reached into his bag and produced decades of postcards I'd sent him -- ones that made him laugh and meant enough to him to keep.

But most of all, I was shocked to see him GET ON A BUS!!! I have known him, literally, for 30 years and can truly only recall seeing this phenomenon one other time ... in the early 1980s.

Observations from the health club

I have worked out two of three lunch times this week, and both times I was in the locker room with a Kim Alexis look alike. Remember Kim? She was the face of Revlon back in the mid 80s and was a SI swimsuit model. The girl I work out with is too young to remember Ms. Alexis, which makes having her around even more demoralizing. I wish there was a way she could somehow be banished from the club -- or at least from the locker room -- when I'm around.

Then there was the guy that I shared the elevator with. He backed into the car with this head down (texting, of course) so I didn't see his face. But I didn't have to. The back of his head was so sweet. Hair freshly cut, with drops of shower water still clinging to it. I longed to touch it. I didn't, of course. That kind of behavior can get a gal arrested. But I really wanted to.

I don't think it's the cardio that leaves me exhausted after a workout. I bet it's really the envy and lust.

An Award!

Kwizgiver has tagged me for the the Liebster award! Liebster is a German word which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

Here are the rules for the award:

  1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.
  2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post. Tell them you’ve tagged them.
  4. Remember, no tag backs.
So, here are 11 things about me:

1) My favorite grandpa had a swing next to his garage and some of my happiest childhood moments were spent on it.

2) My thumbnails grow faster than the others.

3) When I played Barbies, my doll was always getting ready for, or returning from, a date with Paul McCartney. She never actually had the date, though. The only boy doll I had was Ken and he looked NOTHING like Paul

4) I have been to three Hawaiian islands -- The Big Island, Maui and Oahu.

5) I realized during the aftermath of the Colorado theater shooting that I miss Katie Couric. I heard about Columbine and 9/11 from her and she did such a smart and sensitive job. I think I want to get all my really bad news from Katie.

6) I love seeing a man in a tie. I also love watching him tie his tie. I have a thing for ties. Sigh.

7) My teen years were the worst of my life.

8) I am hopelessly sentimental. This, combined with laziness, makes my life very cluttered with stuff.

9) I suppose I swear too much. But you know, I don't really give a shit.

10) I think I have been really in love twice.

11) I worry about my friends ... alot. I think it's because I feel more connected to the family I made than to the one I was born into.

Here are the questions Kwizgiver has given me:
  1. What is your favorite genre to read? Biography
  2. How often do you read for pleasure? Daily
  3. Do you ever read books in your least favorite genre? That would be poetry, and the answer is no
  4. Do you snack when you read? No. And I never realized it until you asked me this question.
  5. What do you do when you're in a reading slump? What's a reading slump? Do you mean if I don't like the book I'm reading? Then I switch to magazines, like sorbet to cleanse my pallet, and then try a different a book.
  6. Are you easy to talk into doing something out of the ordinary? No
  7. Do you follow a daily routine? Of sorts. Cats are very routine-oriented by nature, so mine keep me to a schedule. 
  8. Where do you keep your keys? In a basket by table lamp next to the front door.
  9. What is your favorite song featuring a banjo? "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" because it reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Bonnie & Clyde
  10. Do you drink bottled water? Nope.
  11. How old is your blog? Just over six years.

Here are the questions I give you:

1. What's your oldest memory?

2. Who was your first crush?

3. When was the last time you cried?

4. How often do you read the newspaper?

5. What is something you won't scrimp on, no matter how tight your budget?

6. Do you enjoy your time in the bath or shower? Or is it merely for hygiene/grooming, like brushing your teeth?

7. Close your eyes and think of a song. Which one popped into your head?

8. What's the biggest dollar bill in your wallet right now? (Asked because a friend of mine recently broke a $100 at dinner, and I don't think I've ever carried a bill that big.)

9. You're home. It's 9:30 at night. You're hungry. What do you snack on?

10. Are you a Felix (neat freak) or an Oscar (slob)?

11.  When did you last send someone a card? It could be a greeting card, or a postcard. But you had to address it, put a stamp on it and mail it. E-cards or a card you simply handed a person don't count.
And here's who I tag to answer those stimulating questions:

Gina, Endomental, Book Mama, The Bumbles (either one!), Snarky Pants, Harriet, Mimi ... and anyone else who happens by and wants to join in!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Don't judge me

I admit it. My 12-year-old nephew got me hooked on Angry Birds. So when you see me with my Kindle Fire, it's a good bet that I'm not reading about the Syrian crisis in the latest issue of Time. I'm more likely intent on destroying some pigs.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A new way of gettin' my creative on

For the past few months I have been exercising my writing muscles over at Trifecta. I liked it when they gave out prompts and required we write a prescribed number of words by a certain date. But lately they have been waaaaaay more flexible ("take weeks and weeks to write whatever you want in as many words as you feel") and that just doesn't appeal to me. That feels like Nanowrimo. (Of course, just as I get bristly when someone gives me pipe about what I write on my blog, I fully respect the Trifectans' right to run their writing competition in anyway they damn well please.)

So what's a Gal to do? I like the busman's holiday of writing that I don't get paid for.

Fortunately, a whole new world of blogging has opened up to me. BLOGATHONS! Movie blogathons! I love writing about movies, and I love reading the works of other fans who are passionate about their cinema favorites, so I'm very excited about joining this community.

First up is the TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Jill and Michael. It's a cool idea inspired by Turner Classic's tradition of devoting each day in August to a different star. The choices we have to write about are daunting because I adore Myrna Loy, and Marilyn Monroe, and of course, the Great Kate herself. But then I was excited to see, smack dab in the middle of some of the brightest stars in movie history, Elvis! I know most of his movies suck, but that's not because he was a bad actor. It's because he allowed himself to be managed by greedy piranhas who ... OOPS! Better save that for my own blogathon post.

Next is the What A Character Blogathon hosted by Kellee, Paula and Aurora. Also inspired by Turner Classic Movies, it gives me an opportunity to pay tribute to a great character actor who has enhanced great films but never starred. I chose Gail Patrick, who not only appeared in some really terrific movies, she also went on to produce the old Perry Mason TV show.

Finally there's the Paramount Centennial Blogathon hosted by The Hollywood Revue. One of the great old studios is celebrating a big birthday this year, and I've chosen one of focus on one of their lesser known films, This Property is Condemned. I'm developing a spin to the story of how this movie that got made, and what makes it significant, that I hope will be engaging.

That'll take me through the end of September. I'm excited by my creative "assignments."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ron Santo Is in the Hall of Fame

I have been a little weepy today because one of the players I grew up on has finally made it to Cooperstown ... and he has received the honor posthumously.

Part of me is screaming, "Why didn't you give it to him in life, you fuckers?" He wanted it so badly, would have appreciated it so richly, and he deserved it so fully.

But then, I remember that rancor is not what Cub fandom is about. Certainly not what This Old Cub was about. So instead I will reflect on his career, both on the field and in the booth, and what he meant to me.

He made his major league debut with the Cubs in 1960, when I was 2 1/2 years old, so I literally grew up watching him in the corner. He played third base for the Cubs almost every game (really, some seasons he played more than 150 games!) until 1973, when I was in high school. During that time he was named to the All Star Team 9 times, won 5 Golden Glove awards and hit more than 340 home runs. (Ooooh, that "Why didn't you give it to him in life, you fuckers?" is bubbling up again.) The rap against Ronnie was that he hit well at home, within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, but wasn't so hot on the road. Well, the team plays most of their games at home and besides, he was happier at Wrigley Field. Isn't everyone?

The stats don't tell Ronnie's story. He was the team captain, a passionate competitor. The man wore his heart on his sleeve. He never hid from the press. He fought with Leo Durocher. He clicked his heels when the team won. (My first tears of the day came when today's Cubs clicked their heels in tribute as they ran onto the field.) He loved the fans, and we returned that love in full measure. A proud Italian, Ronnie endorsed a line of frozen pizzas (Pro's Pizza) and I was able to combine my Cub fandom and my Beatle fandom by joining the throng who cheered, "Power to the Pizza!" when he came up to bat.

He stood up for his rights. He was one of the first players to wear an earflap on his batting helmet, protecting his face after having his cheekbone shattered by a pitch in 1966. He wasn't chattel, and he was the first player to invoke the 10-and-5 rule when the Cubs tried to trade him. (If a player has 10 years in the league, 5 with a single team, he can't be traded without his approval.) I knew he just wanted to stay here with us.

And he was diabetic, diagnosed before he played his first game at Wrigley Field. He kept it a secret until the early 1970s because he didn't want people to treat him any differently. Back in the long ago 1960s he judged his blood sugar by his moods, and self medicated with a Snickers bar … yet he managed to hit those 340 HRs. Imagine how many he would have sent sailing if an insidious disease hadn't frequently clouded his vision? (Ooooh, that "Why didn't you give it to him in life, you fuckers?" is bubbling up again.)

Once he came out as a diabetic, he became a tireless advocate. He wanted kids to learn from his example that the condition doesn't have to define them. He wanted their friends to know that kids with diabetes are just like him, so there's nothing to fear. Every year, until his death, he hosted a Walk for the Cure and raised an amazing $65 million for JDRF.

Diabetes took its toll on Ronnie. He lost his legs to the disease. Yes, the man famous for clicking his heels ended up a double amputee. How cruel is that? And yet Ronnie never whined, never complained. I loved that about him.

In the 1990s he began broadcasting Cub games and nothing was off limits. He spoke openly about his hairpiece, about his prosthetic legs ... about anything that came into his head. I remember one rain delay when he explained to us how, at this late stage in their lives, he and his wife got their first cat and how amazing it is that "you just show 'em the sandbox and they go!"

I loved having Ronnie in my earphones, almost as much as I loved watching him play. I learned a lot about the game from listening to the man who played it so well and so long. He spoke for us, the fans, too. I'll never forget the game that Mark Pryor pitched one Father's Day. He'd just come back from a long stay on the disabled list and we'd all been waiting. "If only Pryor was healthy ..." was our mantra. Well right out of the box, Pryor got hit and hard. And Ronnie was so shocked, so sad, that he couldn't form words. All I heard through my Walkman were these monosyllabic grunts. I laughed because it sounded like porn.

Ron Santo died in December 2010, just weeks after I lost my uncle. It hurt.

3000 Cubs fans made the trip to Cooperstown today. That makes me mist up, too. Thousands of the faithful were there to celebrate our friend, our third baseman, our captain. Our HOFer. Today, when I could be all blue about the tragedy in Colorado, I am instead Cubbie Blue. I am grateful for that. I guess that Ron Santo has taught me a lot about life.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Too Tired to Think Meme, Part 1

1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get? A Coke and chips. Which chips? Depends on my mood. Fritos, Munchos, Pringles and Sun Chips all float my boat.

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be? A zebra fish, the sexier cousin of the plain old minnow.

3. Who’s your favorite redhead? Like everyone else, I Love Lucy.

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP? Can't recall the last time I was at IHOP. Sorry.

5. Last book you read? The Meryl Streep Movie Club. It was fine, but I don't recommend it.

6. Describe your mood. Lazy

7. Describe the last time you were injured. I have a bitch of a papercut on my right middle finger. We moved offices last week and I sliced it on one of those infernal moving boxes.

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with? My best friend. He's very sensible and calms me down.

9. Rock concert or symphony? Rock.

10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone? The number? (We'll just say "hi" - promise.)

11. Favorite soda? Coke

12. What type of shirt are you wearing? A nightshirt

13. If you could only use one form of transportation? Chauffeur-driven towncar

14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater? Ted. I highly recommend it!

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for. Mark Wahlberg. Sigh. It takes a special man to look hot while partying with a stuffed animal.

16. What’s your favorite kind of cake? One with lots of frosting

17. What did you have for dinner last night? A salad and a big slice of sausage pizza

18. Look to your left, what do you see? My cat, Charlotte

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I have worn nothing but sandals since May

20. Favorite toy as a child? My Lassie dog

21. Do you buy your own groceries? I can't get anyone else to do it.

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back? Yup.

23. When was the last time you had gummy worms?  I don't recall

24. What’s your favorite fruit? It changes. Right now, blueberries

25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel? Ha! No.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Still an ass

I'm back to monitoring Archie Bunker, the "gentleman" my oldest friend met through an online dating service, because he appeared on her FB timeline earlier this month. I hope she's no longer twitterpated by this jerk, because he has cancelled on her and flaunted his interest in other women online, knowing she can see it. But since his treatment of her has been so humiliating, I can't bring myself to ask her about it for fear it embarrasses her.

Anyway ... he posted on his blog last night. About the Colorado shooting. And about how bad "Volvo, PT Cruiser, BMW, Mercedes and VW drivers" are. Same post, same amount of space. Because in his world, someone trying to squeeze into his lane is just as bad as innocent lives lost in a movie theater massacre.

Please, God, let her be over him!

Saturday 9

1. Has something ever made you "see the light?" The two books by Elizabeth Edwards have had a great impact on me. It was in her second, Resilience, that I really paid attention to these lyrics by Leonard Cohen. They express a sentiment that's important to remember: "Ring the bells that still can ring/forget your perfect offering/there's a crack in everything/ that's how the light gets in."

2. Do you believe you have any control over your luck? Emotionally, yes I believe it, even though intellectually I know I don't.

3. What is something you have had difficulty rising above? First as a young girl and then as a woman I was physically damaged by men I should have been able to trust. Dealing with the aftermath is ongoing, but I continue working on it.

4. Would you want to be rich? Yes! Yes, yes, yes. Which reminds me I must buy that lottery ticket today.

5. Tell us about a current or old song that helps you "face the world." "Payphone." I always like Adam Levine's voice, and every time I hear it I try to remember the last time I saw a payphone. I don't know what that rap segment adds though, except maybe wider demographic appeal. (Cha-ching)

6. Has any dream of yours come true? Hell to the yes. I saw Sir Paul within the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. And I Love Him.

7. What would you change if you became "the king or queen" of your country? I'd make sure that everyone gets it -- Your Second Amendment Right was never intended to allow you to buy six fucking guns within two months! God, what's wrong with people?

8. How do you feel about LGBT rights? (If you need to look up LGBT, then you probably need to learn more.)  I find it depressing that some people are more interested in protecting their "right" to legally stockpile assault weapons while denying others the right to love.

9. Have you ever been disappointed in yourself? Regularly!