Friday, February 28, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Waterfalls

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song encourages us to "stick to the rivers and lakes you're used to." What body of water is nearest your home -- pond, lake, river, gulf or sea? There's a dirty little creek one town over from my home, and I can see both an awesome river (The Chicago River) and a very great lake (Michigan) from my office building.

2) Have you ever visited a waterfall? If so, please tell us about it. I adored this little waterfall in Hot Springs National Park, AR. I have stood by that railing and enjoyed the view many times. That water flows from natural springs over the rocks at 143ยบ, which accounts for the steam.  Hot Springs is a charming town and a beautiful park. I haven't been in years and would love to return.

3) This song is from a CD entitled CrazySexyCool. Which word best describes how you feel today: Crazy, sexy or cool? I refuse to accept that those are my only choices! Though the way I feel right now -- AmbivalentLethargicMessy -- might not be a compelling CD title.

4) The girls in TLC originally began hanging around together in an Atlanta-area hair salon. When did you last sit in a stylist's chair? I have a hair appt. Saturday 3/1 (which is why I'm completing this Friday evening).

5) While she she spent her adolescence in Atlanta, bandmember Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins was born in Des Moines. Do you live in or near the town where you were born? I'm about 35 miles from where I was born.

6) One of T-Boz' recent public appearances was on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Do you watch any of the popular Bravo Real Housewives shows? Nope. I started watching the Beverly Hills edition because my aunt loves it, but I just couldn't get into it.

7) In the 1990s, band member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was romantically involved with an Atlanta Falcons football player. They shared his upscale, two-story mansion. How would you describe your abode (house, cottage, apartment, condo, studio, etc.)? 2BR, 1BA condo.

8) Ms. Lopes was accused of arson when, after the couple argued, that mansion happened to burn down. When was the last time you lost your temper? How did you express your anger? (If it was with a criminal act, you may wish to keep it to yourself.) Drink and yell. Or yell and drink.

9) Today the third member of TLC, Chilli, designs personalized handbags. They cost about $225 each. What's the most expensive thing you have bought recently? I paid about $300 to get my federal and state taxes done.

My Fearless Friday Oscar Predictions

Picture: Gravity
Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Actress: Cate Blanchette (Blue Jasmine)
Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (Her) 

Possible Upset: Amy Adams (American Hustle) over Cate Blanchette. I'm pulling for this one. Because I really wasn't that crazy about Blue Jasmine.

Best Dressed: If past is prolog, those trashy girls from American Hustle will look amazing. And isn't the Hollywood glamor why we tune in?

It took a village to prepare Natalie Wood for the Oscars, 1962

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Here comes another one, just like the other one

Tomorrow is payday. Midpoint of the first quarter. Another scary moment is upon me.

I'm taking tomorrow off to go see my accountant re: my tax return. So I won't hear anything in the next 24 hours. Will I get bad news on Monday? Your guess is as good as mine.

If I do get axed on Monday, that's paychecks through May 8. Then I can live off my hump through November.

I am scared, but worrying is exhausting. This weekend is the Oscars. I'm gonna try to distract myself.

In support of my blogging sister

Join Kwizgiver and I and play along this month. Participate in her March challenge.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It was good news for one of them

My cat Charlotte had a rough February. But as the month draws to a close, she's so much better -- eating her regular kibble, drinking at a healthy clip, and happily following me around in the morning when I get ready for work.

She even hit my other cat, Joey, in the face several times in rapid succession, just for existing. If she has the energy to punish big ol' Joe, simply for offending her diva sensibilities,  I KNOW she's feeling better.

I am so grateful. Even if Joe may not be so happy about it.

How much is lonely worth?

How much insensitive behavior does desperate justify?

My oldest friend, the one who moved to California more than three years ago, has been so unhappy so long. She didn't think this move out well, she acted out of desperation, and so much has gone wrong. She's had health problems (big and small), employment problems (being canned three times in less than four years), kid problems (all big), money problems (ditto). 

The cousin she moved out there to be near simply refuses to be of much help.

I realize how awful this has been for her. I've visited her twice and am going out again this autumn, even though Los Angeles is not my favorite place on the planet. But I'm not enough. I'm 2000 miles away and in another time zone. She needs a support system out there.

Instead of listening to my advice and joining Meet Up, she signed up for Christian Mingle. You know, the site that promises to help you find a "God-based relationship." "God's Match for You." Late last year, she began dating a very nice man we'll call Kev. He's age appropriate, divorced and eager to fall in love again. They spent Christmas together, spent the weekends together with his friends, watched the Super Bowl together, went to a bed and breakfast for Valentine's Day. He's fallen in love with her and wants to take it to the next step. If not sex, well then he wants to know that their relationship has a future. 

"What's the rush?" she has asked, both him and me, with a touch of derision.

This tells me she is sooooo not in love with him. It's one thing to not be ready to introduce the physical into a romantic relationship yet. It's quite another to not even understand why the man you're dating would want to. (After three months!)

She is not attracted to Kev. Never has been. Now Archie Bunker, the first man she met out there, him she has always been attracted to. She was more enthusiastic about Archie complimenting her smile and her hair than was about Kev saying he was in love with her. We don't choose who we're attracted to, I get that. But if she isn't attracted to Kev, she should let him go.

But she likes having a friend. Someone to talk to. Someone to travel to different parts of the state with. Someone she can depend on.

I told her that's known as a friend, not a lover. And if she's not interested in a lover, she shouldn't be going on websites that promise a life partner. She agrees, in theory.

But when she had a panic attack last week, she didn't call me. She didn't call her shrink (the logical and wise choice). She called Kev. So now he feels like her knight in shining armour.

I feel bad for saying this, but I don't like her very much right now. This makes me feel guilty because I know she loves me and because she has many good qualities (funny, warm, bright). But she's being very selfish when it comes to Kev.

Then there's the matter of her phone. It's never on. And she doesn't have a landline.

She always says she wants to be there for me, but every time I have reached out to her, she's not there. When I was going to the hospital to see my mother's dead body, her phone was charging. When I was coming unglued, leaving my childhood home for the last time, and I called her, it went to voicemail. When I called her, missing my uncle so a few weeks ago, she was asleep and didn't hear it.

She ends each email asking me how I am, but she either doesn't read or doesn't retain my answers. In response to her question about my job stability, I explained how I'd just learned something interesting abut my salary in comparison to my coworkers. It was big news to me. I wrote that all of it to her. In response to her query. Back on February 5.

This week she claimed to not know a thing about it.

I know that she feels she's at capacity. I know she feels pressured about her troubled kids, her finances and her exhusband. I know she's terrified of losing this job. And know she wants to have it both ways with Kev. She simply can't be there for me.

I just wish she wouldn't ask then.

And, I guess, I wish I'd learn. I can love her. But I can't change her. I can't dictate her actions. And, guilty though it makes me feel to confess, right now I don't like her very much.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn/


To play along, just answer the following three questions ...

• What are you currently reading? The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien. The story of Kate and Barbara, two girls growing up in rural Ireland, and how they go off to the big city. I just began it, but I'm enjoying it so far. Ms. O'Brien has been all over the magazines recently hawking her memoir and this exposure has caused me to thoroughly dislike her. However I've found it easy to separate the artist from the art as I dive into this book.
• What did you recently finish reading? Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. An epic story that takes us from Rome to Edinburgh to Hollywood to Seattle and the midwest. It covers decades as well as miles and introduces us to some very unique and lovingly drawn characters.

• What do you think you’ll read next? Time for non-fiction. After Visiting Friends by Michael Haney. A reporter wants to know the truth about his father died many years ago at the young age of 35.

To see how others responded, click here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It should have had a happier ending

Chicago's own Harold Ramis died yesterday. He was a Cub fan, a prolific writer and director. Whether behind the camera, in front of the camera or by providing the script, he was responsible for some of the screen's most successful comedies, including Animal House, Caddyshack, Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Analyze This and Groundhog Day. He worked most successfully with Bill Murray. They made hit movies together, and Ramis once said that the secret to making a good comedy was to hire Bill Murray and then remember to turn on the camera.

Their decades long friendship ended after Groundhog Day wrapped. According to this New Yorker profile, Ramis reached out to Murray more than once but Bill never returned his calls. Reportedly Murray said, "I've thought about it, but I really don't have anything to say."

Pollack & Redford clown for the cameras, Cannes 1972
This reminds me of the collaboration between Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack. Like Ramis did for Murray, Pollack directed the movies that defined Redford's screen persona. Like Ramis and
Murray, they became friends before they were famous and remained so for decades. And, like Ramis and Murray, success seemingly drove them apart. Once Redford became an award-winning director, it appears he became extremely competitive while Pollack got very jealous. Similarly, it looks like Murray may have resented being viewed by some as Ramis' "creation."

Fortunately Redford and Pollack reconciled before Sydney succumbed to cancer. Redford delivered the eulogy at his old friend's service and memorialized him for Time Magazine.  Sadly, Murray and Ramis were estranged to the end and when contacted for Time, all he had to say was, “Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”*

I understand that we each have to die. That's not what makes this story sad. It's that Murray and Ramis brought such joy to millions of us, but couldn't find it with each other.

Teaser Tuesday

Here's how to play this meme.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien, page 61:
"It's not a lie. He said the color of my hair was wonderful and my eyes were like real pearls and my skin like a peach in the sunlight." He said none of these things, of course, but once I started telling lies I couldn't stop.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A slow start, but it was fine

I met my Secret Pal this evening. We shared a dinner of pizza, bottled water, popsicles and goldfish crackers (the latter being her favorite snack) in the church basement. It was the culmination of a month of exchanged messages, part of a church-sponsored program to encourage new bonds between generations.

My pal is in third grade. She had just come from ballet class and was quite proud of her "dance hair," which was a top knot. But she was very, very shy. Her father and brother were both participating in the program, too, and she was reluctant to leave her father and come with me.

So we got off to a slow start. I asked her about school and her recent ski trip and got very short answers. It was when I asked her about her baby sister that she came alive. And not the way I expected. Her face was very animated as she imitated how the baby cried and whined.

"Doesn't she laugh, too?" I asked.

"Well, yeah. But she doesn't play."

I said the responsible, grown-up thing -- that her younger sister would certainly look to her and learn a lot from her. But then I confessed that while I had two sisters, one older and one younger, my favorite family playmate was my cousin. Then I got to hear about her cousin.

After we finished our sumptuous feast, we wrote fill-in-the-blank mystery stories together (my activity) and played a board game (her activity).  She also drew some pictures with the set of Crayola markers I brought her. (We were encouraged to bring our pal a small gift; she gave me chocolate).

I had a romantic notion going into this, that I would forge a lasting bond with her. That was unreasonable. Truth to tell, the 90 minutes of our party felt longer and I was happy to leave.

But I'll do it again next year. I accomplished what I was supposed to do: I created a tie, however tenuous, to a member of the congregation from a younger generation.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Fifteen Meme

What was your first job like? Babysitting. I drank Coke, ate potato chips and talked on the phone after the kids went to sleep. Nice work if you can get it.

It’s a typical Sunday, how are you spending it? Church or Meet the Press. Laundry. The rest depends.

What was the happiest day of your life? The first thought that comes to mind was pre-dawn. My then-boyfriend grabbed me in his sleep and held me so tight it actually woke me up. It was sweet.

What was the best decision you ever made? Buying this condo. It's smaller and cheaper than the bank pre-approved me for, but I can afford it. And I find that comforting.

Tell your go-to “pretend” game as a child (who was your alter-ego?) Usually I was dressing my Barbie for her dream date with Paul McCartney. Sir Paul was so much better than dweeby Ken.

What email service do you use? Depends on where I am and what I'm doing -- aol, yahoo or Microsoft Outlook.

What fandoms would you consider yourself a part of? The Beatles, the Cubs

Do you use anything on your lips? (eg. Chapstick, gloss, balm, lipstick) Lip balm in the winter

How many devices do you own which can access the internet? Two -- laptop and tablet. My phone SAYS it accepts email, but it lies.

Last strong smell you can remember smelling? I have three cats. I'll leave this answer to your imagination.

If you had to move your birthday to another date, which one would you choose and why? March or April. Those months need something to brighten 'em up for me.

Inspiration behind your blog title? It was available.

If you could spend a rainy day with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? My best friend. Because I am always comfortable and never bored with him. I miss him desperately.

Is there a foreign culture that you love? To be honest, I don't know enough about foreign cultures.

Do you have a favorite soft drink? Coke.

Hoisted with my own petard

What I've been doing throughout my career is known as target marketing -- taking what we know about consumers (by zip code, by purchasing patterns, by age/gender) and tailoring the offer and message to our audience.

How ironic is it that, then, that I received an offer from Colonial Williamsburg for a special spa spring package? It was obviously carefully targeted to me because spring is when I usually go down there and I haven't booked my trip yet.

Because I had decided not to go. Because I don't think I can afford it.

Even if I do manage to keep my job, I can't do that much traveling this year. I have weekend getaways planned for Los Angeles (October) and Vegas (November) and Christmas in Key West. I have to be a grown up and forgo my annual solo spring spa trip.

But I don't wanna be a grown up! I want massages and facials!

And then this card came in the mail. I could fly to Richmond for free (with my Mileage Plus miles) and stay in the room at the discounted rate of $225/night, which includes a massage!

I am sorely tempted.

We'll see what happens at work and with my tax refund.

Though the bad thing about the Internet is all I have to do is click "book" and it's done.

I am sorely tempted.

Image courtesy of

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday 9

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here. When I was a little girl, I loved this song.

1) In this song, our hero tells Susan that "no other girl could ever take the place of you." Crazy Sam feels that no other earmuffs could ever take the place of the ones she left in restaurant coat room last month. Tell us about something you recently broke, lost or misplaced. My other earring. It doesn't matter which pair we're talking about, I have misplaced one of them. I bought this fabulous jewelry organizer but I'm too lazy and sloppy to use it. So every morning begins with the search for the other earring.

2) When this song was first released back in 1968, the name Susan was very popular. According the Social Security Administration, it was one of the top 10 baby girl names of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Today it's not even in the top 100. Do you know anyone named Susan (or Suzanne)? I work with a Suzanne. I'm guessing she was born around 1970.

3) The Buckinghams were Chicago's attempt to get in on The British Invasion begun by the Beatles. (Hence the silly suits.) But they took their name from Chicago's famous Buckingham Fountain. If Crazy Sam visited your neighborhood, what local site would you recommend she check out? The Fountain is a good choice, but I'd direct you to The Chicago Cultural Center. It's a grand old building, right in the center of everything (literally across from Millennium Park and the Bean) and yet tourists often miss it. Built around the turn of the last century, it always has neat free exhibits. I pass the building every day twice a day and it never fails to impress me. You should check out the stained glass and domes. Oh yeah, the the gift shop is great, too. In fact, now that it's top of mind, I must go there over lunch one day next week.

4) Chicago is known for deep dish pizza. Describe your dream pizza. (Calories, carbs and gluten need not be a factor because it's dream pizza!) Depends on my mood. Sometimes I like a nice, crispy thin crust sausage pizza. Other times I want a gooey, thick spinach deep dish. They're both good!

5) The Buckinghams got their big break by winning a local "battle of the bands." Do you often go to concerts or bars to listen to live music? Not anymore. I now find that more tiring than fun. I'm so old!

6) The best-selling book in 1968 (the year "Susan" was released) was Airport by Arthur Hailey. It was set during a snowstorm at Lincoln International, a fictional airport based on Chicago's O'Hare. What's the most recent airport you flew to? Why were you there? It was O'Hare. I was coming home from my Christmas trip to the Keys.

7) Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Sox ... Chicago is a big sports town. What's your favorite pro team? Hey, hey, holy mackerel, no doubt about it, THE CUBS ARE ON THEIR WAY! Spring training has begun in Mesa, AZ, and soon it will be Opening Day at Wrigley Field.

8) Thinking of sports, did you watch the Olympics? If yes, which events? I didn't watch any of the Olympics. If it's not the Cubs, I don't much care about sports.

9) Do you consider yourself an idealist or a pragmatist? JFK used to describe himself as an idealist without illusion. I think that's a good way to be.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Not really

A coworker got a tragic phone call last night, just as we were leaving work. Her 80-year-old mother had a stroke effecting 40% of her brain. Mom was being rushed into surgery in a hospital 2000 miles away.

So I stayed with her until she got further word from her siblings. I didn't have any work to do. I farted around on Farmville 2 and made tentative plans for Christmas 2014 in Key West. I just didn't want her to be alone.

After two hours, after she heard promising news from her brother, we went to our individual homes. She thanked me profusely, saying my sticking around with her was "a huge deal."

No it wasn't. It really wasn't. It was, quite literally, the least I could do. Yet it meant to much to her.

I'm reminded again how easy it is to make other people feel better. I just have to be more thoughtful and aware.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hi, it's me, Fatty McFatterson

Another lunch hour zoomed by without my being able to get to the gym. My self loathing is intense.

I had been doing so well with the workout regimen in January. And then I got sick and I really haven't gotten back into the groove.

Why is it I can be soooo disciplined in some areas of my day-to-day life (skincare and oral hygiene come to mind as two areas never skimped upon) but I can't apply myself with to the Lifecycle with the same zeal?

Oh well, I suppose I should be glad that we were busy enough today that work warranted my staying away.

Image courtesy of Africa/

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


To play along, just answer the following three questions ...

• What are you currently reading? Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I don't really know how to describe this book. It bounces back and forth between present day Hollywood and the Italy of Liz-and-Dick and Cleopatra, 1962. There's even a foray back to WWII. The thread that ties the disparate stories together seems to be less love than the ache of longing. It's certainly well written. It contains some of the loveliest prose I've read in a while.
• What did you recently finish reading? Primetime Princess by Lindy DeKoven. It, too, takes place in Hollywood and at times it feels like the modern sections of Beautiful Ruins are a continuation. Alexa, the protagonist of Primetime Princess, is up against an entrenched old boy's network. It's just chick lit, nothing more, but I did enjoy the empowering Girl Power message.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I intend to return to Bruce, the exhaustive Springsteen biography.

To see how others responded, click here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Not a word, not a peep. No one is talking about layoffs today. Or about budgets, 2014 scope of work, or any of the other buzz words that make me snap to attention like a pointer on a hunting trip.

Does this mean I'm out of the woods? Were the rumors just rumors? Or is the axe going to fall on the 28th?

I wish I knew. Oh, LORD, how I wish I knew!

But please, keep me in your thoughts. Knowing my blogging buds are out there pulling for me really helps.

It's funny, but people who visit here often know me better than some who see me every day. Having your support matters, and is much appreciated.

Teaser Tuesday

Here's how to play this meme.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter, page 33:
She's tried breaking up with him before, but it never takes. It's like cutting soup -- nothing to push against. She'll say, "Darryl, we need to talk," and he just smiles in that way of his and they end up having sex.

P.S. Thanks to Cat, Paula and Kwizgiver for recommending I pick up this book. I am enjoying it!

Is today a day just like any other?

That's how I'm treating it, this fine dawn. Even though I suspect ... worry ... fear that today when I get to the office, I will learn about layoffs. Including my own.

I began working at this agency as a freelancer in March 2004. I was brought on staff the following August. That's a very, very long run in this industry and, if it comes to it, it's worth paychecks until April 18.

Then what?

I am scared.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Religion: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Yesterday my minister's sermon was devoted to reconciling faith and evolution; how often we are given an either/or ... if you believe in God, you doubt evolution; if you accept the fact of evolution, it diminishes the role of God. My minister stated what I have accepted since I was in grade school and saw my first fossil -- that you can accept science and know God and love are at the center of it all. Since this seems rather obvious to me, it was not my takeaway from the sermon. Instead I took out my notebook and scribbled his quote:

"All religious experience is a private revelation."

To which my heart shouts a hearty AMEN!

This is why I recoil when people wear their faith like a badge. It feels, at best, insincere to me and, at worst, like a violation of personal boundaries. There are bloggers out there that I have met through Saturday 9 that I no longer visit because they beat their readers over the head with their faith.* It literally makes me teeth hurt to see a post open with a psalm and then go on to show pictures of Trayvon Martin flashing his tattoos and exhaling smoke, implying that since a kid has body art and uses pot he is somehow inherently dangerous and brought on his own


Happy Presidents' Day, Gentlemen

I recoil. I'm disgusted, both as Christian and as an American.

I have the same reaction to politicians like Rick Santorum who explain how a being Christian dictates how I should vote and how he must govern.

First of all, all Christians are not Catholic and we don't all believe exactly the same thing. Secondly, the separation between Church and State as championed by Thomas Jefferson and John Kennedy is very dear to me. Especially as a woman. Religious totalitarianism is always bad -- whether you're trying to force me into a burka or a mantilla.

And lastly, it's TMI. My relationship with God is joyous, life-affirming and private. Not unlike when I've been lucky enough to be in a romantic relationship and the sex is joyous, life-affirming and private. It's one thing to share the high (or perhaps, low) points of any relationship with friends and readers. But I care as much about the intricate nuts and bolts of anyone else's day-to-day relationship with God as I do what position they prefer in bed.

*I'm not suggesting these bloggers change their style. Our blogs are our space to use as we wish. If someone's writing bothers me, it's up to me to avoid that blog, it's not up to her to alter her content.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Stealing

To play along, click here.

1:Favorite children's book. Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. A big, beautiful picture book about our 16th President. Loved it, loved it. I'm happy to see it's still in print.

2:The last book you've read. Primetime Princess by Lindy DeKoven. It was completely decent chick lit.

3:Books on your "to read" list. Dust by Patricia Cornwell and HRC by Allen and Parnes.

4:Top 5 authors. William Goldman, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Nora Ephron.

5:Favorite genres. Mystery and biography

6:A book that has made you extremely mad Jen Lancaster's writing has devolved from amusing to cruel. I gave up on her when she dismissively referred to Rachel Maddow as "he." Not funny nor clever, just mean and rather neanderthal.

7:A book that you've cried over. In Cold Blood. That passage at the end about Nancy Clutter's horse, Babe, being sold after his mistress' murder. That book really is genius.

8:A book that made you laugh out loud. The Princess Bride. Yes, it was a book before it was a movie, and it's excellent.

9:Fiction or nonfiction? Depends on my mood.

10:First book you've read by your favorite author. The aforementioned Princess Bride.

11:Best book-to-movie adaption. I'm tempted to say The Godfather, except that the movie is such a vast improvement over the book that I don't think it counts. So instead I'll go with To Kill a Mockingbird.

12:Do you read comics/manga? No

13:Hardcovers or Paperbacks?  Depends
14:Do you buy books as soon as they come out or wait a while? Depends.

15:Do you buy books spontaneously without any prior knowledge of what happens in it? Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. So many bloggers, including Kwizgiver, suggested I read it.

16:Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone? No

17:Where do you usually buy your books? Amazon, or the local bookstore here in town.

18:Book that had a strong impact on you Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards.

19:Historical or science fiction? I'm just not into sci-fi at all.

20:Dystopian or Utopian? How about just plan real?

21:Worst book-to-move adaption? Oh, The Great Gatsby! I thought the Redford version (gorgeous though he was) sucked … till I saw the Leo/Baz waste-of-space.

22:Book that should have a movie adaption? I'd love to see Lisa Lutz' Spellman series made into a movie

23:The first book you've fallen in love with Little Women
24:Humor or angst? Depends

25:How many books do you own? Countless

26:Do you go the library? Not often enough

27:How many books do you read a year? Between a dozen and 20.

28:Favorite "required reading" book? The Great Gatsby

29:Favorite quote? "Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death." Princess Bride

30:A book you absolutely hate Moby Dick

Saturday, February 15, 2014

This single woman's take on Valentine's Day

I don't care about it.

I don't hate it. I hate space hogs, handguns and uncooked tomatoes.

It isn't a day that makes me sad. My late uncle's birthday makes me sad, the anniversary of 9/11 makes me sad, and, for some reason, Easter makes me sad.

I don't resent it. I sincerely hope everyone who is in a relationship had a lovely day. I was glad to see so many mylar balloons and floral displays in the office building yesterday because I know this winter has been tough financially on the florist in our lobby and I was happy to see her raking it in.

Otherwise, I simply don't care about it.

Why is it that when I say that, I get accused of being "grinchy" or "sensitive?" I think it's one of society's preconceptions about unmarried women. I'm surprised to encounter this in our post-feminist world.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: As Time Goes By

1) This is the theme song of Casablanca, generally acknowledged as one the screen's great love stories. In honor of Valentine's Day weekend, what's your favorite movie romance?

2) Even though he was only 5'8 and had a receding hairline, Humphrey Bogart was a popular leading man. What movie or TV actor or actress makes your heart skip a beat? Mark Harmon is my TV boyfriend. He's not only very good looking, it appears he's a very nice man. Handsome is as handsome does!

3) Sweethearts are those little heart-shaped candies that are printed with messages like, "Be Mine" and "Kiss Me." Do you like how they taste? It's been so long I don't even remember how they taste. But I do recall that they are hard as little heart-shaped rocks.

4) Valentine's Day is a big day for florists. When is the last time a floral arrangement adorned your table or desk? I always have flowers on my desk at work. This week it was six yellow carnations.

5) Do you think an e-card means as much as a conventional card in an envelope? No.

6) Despite what you see on Valentines, the human heart isn't bright red. It's really a brownish shade of red, like a brick. Now it's your turn. Share some trivia that's been rattling around in your head. (It does NOT have to be about Valentines or the human heart. It can be any random fact at all.) The life expectancy of an indoor cat is 12-14 years, while an outdoor cat seldom sees its 8th birthday.

7) When is the last time you thought your heart would break? When my cat Charlotte was sick last week. She's a good old girl (between the ages of 14 and 17) and I was worried I would lose her. Fortunately, she's on the mend!

8) What is the most recent thing to lift your heart? I posted a new selfie of myself and got dozens of likes and some very sweet comments. I've never been confident about my appearance.

9) Who is the most "hard hearted" person you know? My niece. She's a tough girl. I don't think of this as a bad thing. I am proud of how she stands up for herself.