Friday, December 07, 2012

Saturday 9

1) Do you ever suffer the blues during the holidays? I'm working on staying upbeat. I am listening to carols and reaching out to friends and participating in our community toy drive and trying to get myself out of my personal drama (the first birthday/Thanksgiving and now Christmas without my mother and the first holiday season in years that my best friend won't be here in person). So far I'm doing OK. (Crossing fingers that it continues.) Hope everyone who reads this is doing OK, too. I realize how hard the holidays can be for some of us.

2) More than 18 million visitors have toured Elvis' home, Graceland. Have you ever been there?
Oh, yes! I'd love to go back, too. It was great, kitschy fun (just like The King Himself).

3) Elvis dyed his naturally light brown locks black. Do you dye your hair? I used to dye it red. Then I quit and let it go back to the natural light brown. Now I have it highlighted to cover those silver threads that are beginning to appear at my temples. (Which reminds me -- Saturday is my year-end trip to the salon and must remember to bring my stylist his gift!)
4) He also insisted his young girlfriend, Priscilla, dye her hair jet black. If your lover asked you to change your hair, would you? I don't know because no man has ever asked me.

5) Elvis served his country at an Army base in Friedberg, Germany. Have you ever been to Germany? Yes. I went to Munich decades ago. I still use my HofbrÀuhaus beer stein. That's where I collect quarters for the laundry.

6) Elvis famously had an affair with Ann-Margret during the filming of Viva Las Vegas. Have you ever indulged in a dalliance with a coworker? Yes. More than once. And each time I tell myself it's a bad idea and I'm never going to do it again. It's just I spend so much more time at the office than I do anywhere else!

7) Thinking of his movies ... Elvis was, by and large, unhappy with his film career and once said, "The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one." Are you happy with the way your career is going/has gone? Sometimes I feel very lucky that I get paid to write. And yes, considering that I have less formal education than most of my coworkers, I'm proud of how well I've done.
8) Elvis lost "the battle of the bulge" toward end of his life. Are you happy with your weight? NOOOOO! And honest to God, I'm gonna lose weight in 2013.

9) As a teenager, Elvis worked as an usher at a movie theater. What was your first job? I babysat. I loved it. The only job where you get paid to watch TV and eat potato chips.


"One of a kind"

That's Mr. Grinch -- one of a kind!

I had the pleasure of seeing it Wednesday night and was completely delighted. It's a trifle, just 90 minutes long. And it's more than a little corny in places.

But Stefan Karl played The Grinch and Stefan Karl is certainly, as the song says, "One of a Kind!" He has a great voice and a lanky frame he used as though he were a diabolical Dick Van Dyke. The Tribune review refers to him part Harvey Fierstein, part Christopher Walken and part Richard Nixon, and I don't disagree.

Aside from delighting grownups like me, this Grinch was a hit with kids, too. Stefan Karl successfully played a bad guy called "Robbie Rotten" on a popular children's show called Lazy Town, so he knows how to reach his audience.

He is the hit of my Christmas season. Don't ask me why, I don't know the reason. Perhaps his head isn't screwed on right. It could be, perhaps, his shoes are too tight ...

Holidailies -- Day 7

Today's prompt: What was the best thing you ever received for the holidays?

Blaze! He was my Big Gift from Santa the Christmas I was 5. I had been wanting him desperately! I knew him from both TV commercials and the Sears Christmas catalog. Blaze galloped (moving back and forth) and trotted (up and down) and neighed and whinnied when you pulled "the magic ring."

My mother had fond memories of me wearing a straw cowboy hat, feeding Blaze imaginary sugar cubes and climbing onto his back to ride "through the countryside." Once I learned the truth about Santa, I also heard how much my father hated Blaze. My dad complained about how the only store that still carried Blaze that close to Christmas was Zayre, which was always too crowded … that he was embarrassed hauling Blaze through the parking lot … that my beloved horse's shape made him impossible to get into the trunk ... It's always made me a little sad that my father couldn't take pleasure in how much joy my pinto brought me. He would have enjoyed Christmastime -- and, in fact, his whole life -- more.