Friday, May 31, 2013

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: (Amazing) Just the Way You Are
Thanks to Smellyann for the song suggestion

1) This song is about a girl who can't accept how pretty she is. How do you respond to compliments? Do you accept them graciously, or do you get embarrassed? I'm always pretty dismissive. Tell me my eyes are a pretty green and I'll credit my eyeshadow. You get the idea.
2) Bruno says he takes inspiration from a variety of musical styles -- everything from rock to reggae to hip hop. What kind of music do you listen to most often? Pop
3) Bruno's uncle was a professional Elvis impersonator, and as a little boy Bruno also performed on stage as the King. When you picture Elvis, do you think of early rock'n'roll Elvis from the 1950s, Technicolor Hollywood Elvis of the 1960s, or the rhinestone jumpsuit Elvis who performed in Las Vegas? I love all phases of The King, but young Elvis is my favorite. 

4) Bruno plays several instruments onstage, including piano, guitar and congas. What instruments can you play? Not a one. I'm possibly the least musically gifted person you'll ever meet.
5) Bruno is touring all over the country this summer. What's the last concert you attended? I saw Streisand last October. It was a terrible time in my life -- my mother's final illness and death -- and I'll always be grateful one of my girlhood heroines gave me something to look forward to.
6) Unlike some other stars, Bruno doesn't demand a lot of luxuries on the road, but he did admit to TMZ that he insists Wet Wipes be provided for his dressing room. If you could ask your boss for anything, anything at all, to make your workplace more comfortable, what would you request? I have a lot of complaints about my job, but the company I work for is aces in this regard. They even brought us all hotdogs and Cracker Jack this past week to celebrate the Crosstown Classic (when the Cubs play the White Sox).
7) Rumors are flying that Bruno might become a judge on American Idol. Are you an Idol fan? Do you watch any of the other "talent search" shows -- The Voice, America's Got Talent, The X Factor, etc.? I used to love Idol, but I didn't really watch this year because Nikki and Mariah arguing and being all "mean girls" gave me a headache.

8) Bruno is an unapologetic cigarette smoker. Do you smoke? Have you quit? Or did you never start? Now why would a boy with such glorious pipes smoke? Bruno, stop it! No, I've never smoked.
9) Billy Joel also had a hit with the title "Just the Way You Are." If we were going to do karaoke, which version would you sing -- Billy's or Bruno's? I'm not doing karaoke. And you wouldn't want me to.

Guess who worked out today!

That would be me! Only the third time this month. (Shame on me.) But it felt good. 20 minutes of cardio, hip ad/abductors, some crunches, some leg lifts ...

June starts tomorrow. A fresh start. Maybe I can start being smarter and nicer to myself and pay closer attention to my eating and exercising.

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 31

Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory

It's a sunny lunchtime and I'm waiting to cross State and Randolph. One of my coworkers happens to be at the same crosswalk at the same time and sidles up next to me. We say "hi" and make small talk as we cross together. I notice the gray flecks in his hair and I'm overwhelmed with a desire to touch them. As we reach the opposite curb and go our separate ways, I realize to my surprise that while I may not be in love with him, I'm certainly in lust.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thursday Thirteen #223


I am totally getting my geek on with the C-Span series, First Ladies: Influence and Image. While I'm pretty conversant about the ones of my lifetime, I've learned about the women who played a role in our early history.

1) Martha Washington. During the Revolutionary War, she visited General George and his men at Valley Forge and other difficult campsites. This troops loved this lady of means for slogging through the mud and snow to mend their socks and help them write letters home.

2) Abigail Adams just totally rocks. Both wise and literate, she wrote voluminous letters that reveal her influence on at least three of the most important men in American history (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams).

3) Dolley Madison was the first President's wife to be known as "First Lady," though she didn't live to hear it. A beloved figure for decades, President Zachary Taylor called her "America's First Lady" when he eulogized her.

4) Elizabeth Monroe. When husband James was Minister to France, Elizabeth very publicly visited Madame de LaFayette in prison, which is credited for helping to secure her release.

5) Louisa Adams met and married John Quincy in London and then went with him when he served as a diplomat in Berlin. So she not only is our only foreign born First Lady, she never set foot on American soil until she was in her mid-20s.

6) Rachel Jackson died before her husband took the oath office and was buried in dress she planned to wear to his Inauguration. Andrew loved her to distraction, even though she was controversial during his campaign because she was not only (gasp!) a divorcee but her divorce hadn't been finalized, so she and the future President were unknowingly "living in sin."

7) Angelica Van Buren was widower Martin's daughter-in-law and acted as his hostess. Dolley Madison played matchmaker, bringing Angelica to the White House to meet Van Buren's oldest son.

8) Anna Harrison. At 65, she was the oldest First Lady when her husband took office.

9) Letitia Tyler was of frail health and appeared in public only once as First Lady. She died in the White House at age 51.

10) Julia Tyler was the daughter of David Gardiner, who lost his life in a naval accident during his service to President Tyler. They comforted one another through grief (her father/his wife) and married a year later.

11) Sarah Polk was the first First Lady to host a formal Thanksgiving Dinner at the White House.

12) Margaret Taylor was a genteel, religious yet rather stubborn lady. She made a deal with God when husband Zachary was fighting in the Mexican War -- if He returned her husband to her safely, she'd completely give up the society life she was raised to. As good as her word to Him, she never took part in formal activities at the White House. This caused much rumor and scandal, but didn't have any impact on her behavior.

13) Abigail Fillmore was the first First Lady to have a paying job before marriage. She had been a school teacher.

For more about the Thursday 13, 
or to play along yourself, click here.

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 29

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.

1) All My Loving. The Beatles. "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you. Remember, I'll always be true." I was 6 when I heard this the first time and this song, and that man singing it, defined romantic love for me. I've had the honor of hearing Sir Paul sing it live and he still melts me. Here's a lovely clip of Paul looking back on Paul.

2) September. Earth, Wind and Fire. Because it always makes me happy. Always.

3) Stoney End. Barbra Streisand. For me, Stoney End is a place, where I go when I'm hurting.When she howls that "the fury and the broken thunder's come to match my raging soul," that's the sound my heart makes. Babs has been there.

4) Hang Fire. The Rolling Stones. This is the only Rolling Stones song I have any affection for, but I love it to bits. It's so snotty and subversive and efficient -- less than 2 1/2 minutes long!

5) Peaceful. Helen Reddy. Helen Reddy recorded a lot of crap in her career, but this is really very good. I love the idea of it, that somewhere there's a place where no one's bending over my shoulder, nobody breathing in my ear.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Today, John F. Kennedy would turn 95. It's hard to imagine him as an old man, since he'll forever be contemporary and 46. Though his life was not long, it has taught me a great deal. Not the least of which is ...

No matter how good someone's life looks from the outside, you have no idea how it feels from the inside.

To outward appearances, Kennedy lived a charmed life. His father was fabulously wealthy, he grew up surrounded by brothers and sisters who adored him, he was a Harvard graduate and a Navy war hero, a lion with the ladies who settled down with the woman who would become a glamorous superstar in her own right, to this day, the youngest man to be elected President.

The reality was quite different. His father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, was one of the most complicated men I've ever read about. Yes, he was a brilliant businessman and a loving, involved father. He was also a womanizer, an opportunist and (as Jacqueline would call her father-in-law in 1964), "the tiger mother" who believed that children needed to do punishingly hard work in order to be successful, because only success brings real satisfaction.

His mother, Rose, found herself in a nearly impossible marriage at a time when women -- even rich women -- had few options. So she retreated into piety and escaped to the fashion capitals of Europe. She had difficult, remote relationships with her oldest children, including the future President. To quote Jackie again, "His mother never loved him." And so he grew to become remote with women.

His favored and more conventional older brother overshadowed and bullied him. The sister nearest him in age, Rosemary, was "slow" and "special." Jack cared for and about her -- at socials, her dance card was always filled with the names of his friends who, at his suggestion, would pretend to compete for her attention. Imagine how he felt when, in 1941, he came home to find she no longer lived with the family. She'd undergone a disastrous lobotomy and was sent away to live at a convent. In the space of just four short years, his sister Kick, the one closest to him in spirit, lost their mother's affection when she married the titled but, alas, Protestant heir to the Duke of Devonshire, lost that husband in battle, and then lost her own life at the tender age of 28 in a plane crash.

Yes, he was awarded medals for his heroism on PT-109. The episode at sea also destroyed his never robust health. To support his shattered back he slept on a board and wore a corset under his clothes. (Did you ever wonder why, in Dallas, the first bullet that struck his windpipe didn't knock him down? His corset held him rigidly upright, making it easier for the assassin to make the kill shot.) He suffered from Addison's disease, low blood pressure, hypothyroidism and colitis. He grew accustomed to a life of pain, and he was so sickly that brother Bobby used to joke, "A mosquito bit Jack and died."

There is much, MUCH gossip about his marriage to Jackie but this much is fact: during their 10 year marriage she was pregnant five times, yet only two of their children survived to adulthood; her father died; his father suffered a massive, debilitating stroke. Doesn't sound like theirs was a charmed union, does it?

And yet John F. Kennedy prevailed. Overcame. Excelled. In his own way, and on his own terms. He is remembered for his brilliant mind, his wit and his vision.

He's always reminded me of the real Gatsby, the ultimate self-invented American man. I used to think he was gone too soon but now I'm not so sure. I think perhaps his lifestory ended the only way it could have.

Good News!

Got my test results first thing yesterday morning and got the glorious news that both moles were benign. What a great way to start the week! It's funny how quick I stopped worrying about my health and started worrying about my scar. The one on my lip, that is. If the one on my back turns out to be all raised and pink, well, it'll just match the one on my tummy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Recap

Today I slept in. Then I took a shower, farted around on the internet, and took a nap. I watched two episodes of the C-Span series on the First Ladies (Dolley Madison and Frances Cleveland, both foreshadowing my beloved JBKO), then I napped again. Went through the closet in the den and came up with another bag of clothes for Goodwill and a few pieces to take to the local consignment shop (I've never done that before). Watched the Cubs beat the White Sox in the Crosstown Classic (yea!). And now, guess what. Time for bed!

I wish I'd accomplished more. But I think I needed the sleep. When I'm not worrying, I'm on the verge of worrying, so this might have been what I needed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 26

Day 26, Sunday: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like.

William Zervakos, Arias Jury Foreman, Says '18 Days Of Testimony Hurt Her' 

I feel for the jury. These poor people put their lives on hold from January until now. They have had to view gruesome autopsy photos and listen to lurid testimony. The defendant is batshit crazy and her crime is heinous, but the prosecutor wasted their time on the wrong things. (Hours spent on whether Snow White was a battered woman. Really?) Now, after doing their civic duty to the best of their ability, they're taking pipe.

I realize that the death penalty is, in most cases, a state issue. But the fact still remains that it's not applied fairly in this country. While I believe Jodi Arias is a terrible person and a danger to society, I could not sentence her to death. Not while William Balfour here in Illinois, convicted of killing Jennifer Hudson's family got life without parole (3 life sentences, actually), and California's Betty Broderick killed two people and actually comes up for parole. And while the public is out for Jodi's scalp, Betty still amazingly has supporters out there who think that, after remorselessly committing a double homicide, she should be let out to walk among us.
Travis Alexander

Then there's my faith. I don't believe God wants us to stop killing by killing.

While I feel bad for the jury, most of all, I feel terrible for the family of Travis Alexander. They have to go through this again. The centerpiece of this soap opera, Jodi herself, is the least sympathetic one of all.


Hey, Hey! Holy Mackarel! No Doubt About It!

The Cubs are on their way!

When I was a kid, that was the song WGN used to play before broadcasting the game. Maybe that's overly optimistic, considering how they have played over the last two months. But this series against a very good Cincinnati team certainly was fun. We even won one today ... in extra innings!

Sunday Stealing

1}Which do you prefer in the am: Coffee or tea?  Tea

2} Work has been cancelled on the spur of the moment: Clean house and do errands, Or just fun things? Fun things, unless I have laundry to do. I share a laundry room with 23 other condo dwellers, and if I can find a time when I can do the wash without sharing the facilities, I grab it!

3} Middle of the hot summer, vacation at: Mountains or Beach?
Whichever has easy access to a city. I like to walk both beaches and mountains, but I'm not a sun worshipper nor a camper, so I'll want to do something else -- inside and air conditioned -- in the midday.

4}You have to travel at a leisure speed: Train, plane or car?
All aboard!

5} To relax: A movie or a book?
Yes. I love them both.

6} What kind of pets? Dog, cat, bird or fish.
I have three cats. Right now, Reynaldo is having health and/or emotional issues. He's on my mind a lot. Charlotte is my diva, my major domo. And Joey is just a big tub of love.

7} Dream home: Hard wood floors or carpeting? 
Hardword floors

8} a fun activity: cards, bingo or blogging?

9} First date: Dinner, movie or a hike? 
Dinner and a movie. I mean, a hike? Really? I like the originality of the idea, but I don't want to travel out of town with a stranger.

10}The first Kiss: peck on the cheek, or a long romantic one?
Depends on who is doing the kissing.

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 25

Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)

"You're more exceptional in every way than you know." So said my shrink at the end of our last session. I heard her. Now I'm trying to feel it.

It's been two months since I've had therapy. It's been a tough two months but I'm getting through. I have her number and I can call her any time. That's a comfort.

Memorial Day Weekend: Part One

Memorial Day Weekend 2013 began Friday at 3:00. Here's the update, so far:

The Good: It seems I may have been wasting my dread -- at least as directed to my professional performance. I was worried that Thursday's client meeting hadn't gone well. I thought The Chocolate Covered Spider was displeased with me because I was perhaps too animated, too eager. But on Friday she told me she thought it went well. So there you go.

Will, the moderator of the MeetUp I attended, turned me onto TCMParty -- a Twitterverse of Turner Classic Movie fans who watch the movies together and Tweet. I gave it a shot with Inside Daisy Clover, an old Natalie Wood/Robert Redford movie I know well, and found myself chatting with, among other people, actress Illeana Douglas. It was addictively satisfying. She agreed with my idea that comparing and contrasting the careers of Warren Beatty and Robert Redford would be an interesting programming idea for TCM. She has a relationship with the network, so, well, "you're welcome."

I got a terrific pedicure. It's not the color that makes it so great -- it's the same Revlon Optimistic I used on vacation last month. It's that I beat up the nail on my right big toe and she evened them out.  So I'm happy.

I have watched a lot of baseball. I still don't know this Cub team as well as I'd like to yet. They're not winners but the games are interesting -- we're in them at least until the 5th and there are no blow outs. I'm always happier when I watch baseball.

The Bad. I have no energy. I'm doing a lot of napping. I think it might be the stress of waiting for the biopsies on my moles and concern over my best friend. Also, my client is kicking off their Big Automation Project next week and I worry that it will inevitably lead to layoffs -- including mine. I had a dream that I was homeless.

Thinking of money ... More time is being billed by my lawyer regarding my mom's house. I hope this will all be over soon! We were so close to break-even with her estate. Now I fear we're going to fall back into the red (and by "we," I mean "me;" I accept that neither of my sisters is going to kick in).

The Ugly. Reynaldo still has litterbox issues. If, when this special, expensive prescription cat food is gone, he's still not using the box, we've got to go back to the vet. I'm sorry he's hurting and I'm trying to fix it. But I fear that this is going to be time consuming and costly. These have been a tough two months for me and Rey.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Memorial Day was introduced to honor the men and women who died while serving the in the United States Armed Forces. We want to make sure that message is not forgotten this weekend.

1) This recording was made live at St. Patrick's Cathedral, during Sen. Robert Kennedy's funeral. While both of Bobby's older brothers were decorated war heroes, he served too -- enlisting in the Navy in 1943. Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.) My dad volunteered and proudly served as a corpsman in Korea. My uncle was drafted and exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He had terrible health problems and died at age 69. I'm very, very angry about that. My nephew is currently on active duty in the Navy. His ship is afloat somewhere in Southeast Asia.
2) Memorial Day also kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?  Potato salad. I think I've only ever eaten it outdoors.
3) Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life. My favorite grandpa used
to use these licorice throat discs all the time. So the smell of black licorice makes me smile and think of him.
4) When was the last time you had your hair cut or trimmed? I guess about three weeks ago. I'm getting it cut again next Saturday.
5) Crazy Sam runs on Dunkin'. Are you loyal to a particular brand of coffee? I don't drink coffee. That's a smell I just cannot stand.
6) If money was no object, what home improvement would you like to make this summer? I'd get new living room window treatments, which would require new rods, which would entail replastering and then repainting ... Oh, if only money was no object, what wouldn't I do?

7) What was the last thing you bought purely for your own enjoyment? I just bought the book Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy. I can't wait to read it!

8) When was the last time you rode a bike? About 3 or 4 years ago when I was on vacation in The Keys. When I was a kid, I loved riding my bike. At the health club, the stationery bike is my cardio of choice. So I thought I'd enjoy pedaling away in the Southernmost City. I didn't. I felt all awkward and wobbly.
9) Sam worries that many of her song selections reflect her decidedly Baby Boomer sensibilities. Is there a song or a performer that you'd like to see featured in a Saturday 9 this summer? Bon Jovi.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 24

 Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits

I can be proud, defensive and lazy

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 23

Day 23, Thursday: Things you've learned that school won't teach you

No matter how good someone's life looks from the outside, you have no idea how it feels on the inside.

The hours between 2 and 4 in the afternoon crawl along, but 2 to 4 AM goes by in the blink in an eye.

Just about every American 21 and over has a favorite Sinatra song. Trust me, this is important to know. It can help you make conversation with complete strangers at social gatherings.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013



Memorial Day is almost upon us, so this seems like a good time to celebrate the heroism of those who put their lives on the line for us. I'm singling out 13 of those who have already been singled out with the Medal of Honor, bestowed upon them by the President on behalf of the American people.

No matter how I feel about our recent wars -- and I admit I am ambivalent at best -- I cannot be more sincere in my admiration and gratitude to these amazing men.

1) Sergeant Clinton Romesha. Army. Afghanistan. 2013. The most recent recipient, Sgt. Romesha earned his Medal when he and his comrades were surrounded and attacked by as many as 300 combatants. Without regard for his own safety, he ventured off without cover to seek reinforcements. Over the next several hours, though seriously injured by shrapnel from a grenade and targeted by a sniper, he continued on until he could reach radio equipment. Once there, he not only radioed for help, he successfully directed air support to the enemy. His extraordinary effort gave his team the time to reorganize and ultimately defeat a much larger, better prepared enemy. Today he lives with his wife and children in Minot, North Dakota.

2) Corporal Dakota Meyer. Marines. Afghanistan, 2011. Corporal Meyer distinguished himself when his unit was ambushed. He jumped into a truck and drove, drawing fire to himself and away from fellow marines. Corporal Meyer not only managed to kill a number of enemy fighters, he evacuated friendly Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, the Corporal went back repeatedly, alone and on foot, to recover the bodies of four fallen comrades. He requested that at the moment he was honored by the President there be simultaneous commemorative services at other locations for the families of the four who died in that battle.

3) Staff Sgt. Leroy Petry. Army. Afghanistan, 2011. Sgt. Petry and his team were fired upon with automatic weapons. Though wounded, he responded bravely when he saw a grenade lobbed at his men. He picked it up and threw it, thereby saving his men. But tragically the grenade went off at the moment of release, blowing off his hand. Nevertheless, Sgt. Petty is the only Medal of Honor recipient who is still on active duty.

4) Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta. Army. Afghanistan, 2010. While on patrol, his team was ambushed. Without regard for his own safety, Sgt. Giunta exposed himself to fire twice within a matter of moments to save others, first to administer first aid to his fallen squad leader. Though injured, the Sgt. was still conscious enough to spot insurgents carrying away American soldier. He engaged the enemy, killing one and injuring another so he could rescue and provide aid to that soldier. Thankfully, this brave young man survived and is now attending college in Colorado.

5) Staff Sgt. Robert Miller. Army. Afghanistan, 2010. Sgt. Smith was leading a patrol through a small, narrow valley when they were ambushed. With total disregard for his own safety, he called for his troops to move back to cover while he charged the enemy. He not only killed at least 10 insurgents before losing his life, his action also saved seven American soldiers and 15 soldiers of the Afghanistan National Army.

6) Sergeant Jared C. Monti. Army. Afghanistan, 2009. Sgt. Monti's 16-man patrol was attacked by 50 enemy soldiers. During the ensuing battle, one of his men was wounded, out in the open, vulnerable in front of the enemy. It took three attempts, but Sgt. Monti saved that soldier, even though it cost him his own life.

7) PFC Ross McGinnis. Army. Iraq, 2008. When a grenade was thrown into his crew's vehicle, he shouted a warning so his fellow soldiers could escape and then threw himself on top of it.

8) Petty Officer Michael Monsoor. Navy SEAL. Iraq. 2008. An enemy grenade was tossed and it bounced off his chest. Instead of escaping, he shouted a warning to the rest of his SEAL team and gave his life when he threw himself onto the grenade.

9) Lt. Michael Murphy, Navy SEAL. Afghanistan. 2007. While on a special reconnaissance mission in rugged terrain, Lt. Murphy's unit was discovered and outnumbered by the enemy. He tried to call for help, but their telecommunications equipment wouldn't work in this remote area. He deliberately moved to an open area, exposing himself to mortal injury, in order to call for support and rescue for his team.

10) Corporal Jason L. Dunham. Marines. Iraq, 2007. Mortally wounded when he threw himself onto a grenade, saving the lives of at least a dozen fellow Marines.

11) Sgt. Paul Smith. Army. Iraq, 2005. When his Army construction (meaning not combat ready) company was attacked, he hastily organized a defense. Though he was killed returning fire, his heroism enabled more 100 of his fellow soldiers to safely escape.

12) Master Sgt. Gary Gordon. Army. Somalia, 1993. Armed with only his rifle, Sgt. Gordon protected the site of a helicopter crash for hours until another aircraft could come for the wounded crew. He was shot more than once and when he realized his wounds were fatal, he handed his gun to the injured helicopter pilot with the words, "Good luck." That four-man helicopter crew was rescued alive.

13) Sgt. Randall Shughart. Army. Somalia, 1993. Sgt. Shughart volunteered to enter an area dense with landmines and enemy personnel to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter. It took multiple trips and resulted in him receiving mortal wounds, but he bravely recovered three dead soldiers and brought the pilot to safety and medical attention.

For more about the Thursday 13, 
or to play along yourself, click here.

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 22

Day 22, Wednesday: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)

I am so fucking tired of this Recession! I hate worrying every three months (each quarter) that I'm going to be let go. There aren't a lot of jobs out there ... fewer at my salary ... fewer still for someone over 50. I'm angry, I'm scared, I feel helpless.

In the 1990s, we hired people then who were my age now. We hired anyone whose knuckles didn't drag. We had more jobs than people.

But now it's my turn. Now I'm facing unemployment, but there are no jobs. This is not fair.

And that's just me. If I wasn't worried about making myself too sad, I'd detail what's going on with best friend (unemployed), my former boss Ed (unemployed), my friend in the Keys (underemployed) and my friend John (underemployed). 

Can't we turn the page already? Can't we start over with a fresh new economy? Can't I stop worrying?

Your help is needed

Oklahoma has been devastated by tornadoes. Lives were lost and homes destroyed. And families torn apart.

Because if you have ever shared your home with a dog or cat, you know that they become your family. And during storms like this, they get frightened and frantic and run away.

Often, when their humans have to find temporary housing in shelters or
hotels/motels, dogs and cats aren't welcome. Where can they leave their furry family members?

It's at times like this when local animal shelters are so important. If you have a few dollars to share, please send them to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. Their Disaster Relief Fund is up and running.

I itch

The hole in my back is making me cuh-razy! It's less visible than the black stitches on my lip, but it's actually the more serious wound, from the more suspicious mole. And there's nothing I want to do more right now than rip off the big, itchy adhesive and give it a good scratch. But I won't.

But I want to.

The stitches on my face are less embarrassing than I thought they'd be now that the swelling is down, and I've been careful with the regular, by-the-rules application of antiseptic ointment.

This will be over on Tuesday!

Men are weird

I worked for a couple years with an art director I clashed with. Daily. So I thought he disliked me. I found out -- when our little creative team blew up in internecine conflict -- that he really kind of admired me and totally had my back. He was back in the Loop today for the first time in years and he really wanted to see me. Three of us had lunch together today. It was nice, but it also confused me. So he considers us friends? I matter to him? Who knew?

My best friend, on the other hand, completely (and I think willfully) misunderstood an email I sent him and tore a strip out of me. His wife's grandfather just died and he was feeling overwhelmed by family obligations and he took it out on me. Understandable, I suppose, but not very nice. I'm not even sure he realized that's what he did.

Why are men so complicated? Even men I'm not sleeping with!

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 22

Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

This is my favorite Thursday Thirteen, and I've done literally hundreds of them. It's an original idea -- women I'll look up when I get to heaven -- and I think I did a good job with it. Scroll through the comments and you'll see one from columnist John Dickerson. It made me happy that I got to make him happy. People really do read what we write!

I like this Trifecta entry based on the prompt, "Home." Writing it made me happy. Reading it makes me happy.

I like this one about Peggy Noonan because it's well written, rather timeless (as long as Peggy keeps appearing on Sunday morning TV), and because it still somehow gets a lot of hits and really annoyed a stranger named Steve.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Every Day in May -- Day 20

Day 20, Monday: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

Reynaldo. It's embarrassing how much of my life revolves around tending to, disciplining, worrying about and cursing that skinny beige bundle of fur.

Currently he's suffering from Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It's getting better since he's been on a special diet from the vet. But when he's not feeling well, he gets more aggressive, more destructive, more demanding. I understand now that he's just trying to get my attention, because he wants desperately for me to fix him. And I'm trying!

Monday, May 20, 2013

It wasn't so bad ... at the time

Had two moles removed today: a large one from my back and a highly visible one on the right side of my mouth. The plastic
surgeon who did the deed was quite deft. While she was carving, I didn't feel a thing.

I feel quite a bit right now, however. My lip is swollen and marked by four thick black stitches. My back hurts where the adhesive is tugging.

Oh well, by Thursday morning, the stitches on my back will have dissolved. And next Tuesday morning, the stitches on my lip will be removed. This is painful and unpleasant, but it will be shortlived.

The important thing is that both my erstwhile moles come back from the lab benign. (Fingers crossed.)