Friday, October 31, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Welcome to My Nightmare (1975)

Do you think he's smiling?
1) Tell us about a bad dream you've had. After a recent trip to the zoo, where I was fascinated by the alligators, I had a scary dream about one of my reptilian friends. I was asleep on the beach with arm stretched out and awoke to a gator approaching me, mouth agape.

2) Sam is not crazy about spiders. What frightens you, or gives you "the creeps?" In addition to gators (who I kind of dig), squirrels and clowns make the the list.

3) This week's featured artist, Alice Cooper, has always liked to dress up. Performing as Alice, he wears garish eye makeup. In his first group, he and his bandmates dressed as the Beatles. Will you be wearing a costume this weekend? Nope.

4) Alice says his makeup was inspired by Bette Davis in his favorite horror movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This Halloween weekend, will you seek out horror movies and scary TV shows, or will you avoid them? While I have been known to enjoy having the crap scared out of me on occasion, I'm just not in the mood right now.

5) Born Vincent Furnier, Alice used to tell reporters that he and his band got the name Alice Cooper from a Oujia board. Have you ever tried a Oujia board? Yes, when I was in junior high. But I wasn't very into it.

6) Alice and his band (also called Alice Cooper) were discovered by music manager Shep Gordon while playing in Venice, California. Have you ever visited Venice, California or Venice, Italy? I've been to Venice, CA, and thought it was quirky/charming.

7) In 1970s England, a morality campaigner named Mary Whitehouse persuaded the BBC to ban Alice Cooper. The ensuing publicity resulted in such a bump in record sales that Alice sent Ms. Whitehouse flowers. Do you believe in censorship? Or should adults be able to choose to see/hear whatever they wish? While I'm not a fan of censorship, I do appreciate the warnings and ratings that show up on the beginning of a show or movie. I like knowing in advance if I'm going to see something violence or intense.

8) Today Alice has a popular syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Listeners all over the United States, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and the UK hear him introduced as, "a man for whom even Dr. Phil has no cure." Do you watch Dr. Phil? I'm not a viewer, but I do like his accent. Where is he from? Is that a Texas twang I hear?

9) Did you get many trick or treaters this year? What candy did you give them? I didn't get any trick or treaters this year. However, I did ride the el with a Disney Princess this morning, and I saw a man in a shark costume signing in with building security.

November with Liza Seebury

November is Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. So beginning at midnight, people all over the country will begin pounding out works of fiction, hoping to hit the 50,000 word mark by November 30.

This year, my completely fictional heroine is Liza Seebury, a 17 year old from Williamsburg, Virginia. Her parents, worried about the impact of the impending Civil War on their "precious petal," send her away to visit friends in the still neutral Nevada Territory. Out there, in a new and completely different world, she begins to question the teachings, values and suppositions of her old life and discovers strength and passion within herself she didn't know she had.

I'm excited about writing this because I've been thinking about this period a lot ever since seeing Gone With the Wind on the big screen last month, I miss Williamsburg, and it will be fun to write a character with a big arc of development. The thing is, at the beginning of the story, she's pretty hideous: spoiled and most definitely racist. Of course, much of that is just part of being 17, and much of that comes from being a product of the antebellum South. It will be nice for me to find things to admire about her as she matures and evolves.

My title is Compact of Fire, taken from Shakespeare.

"Love is a spirit all compact of fire, Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire."

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I suppose it's the natural order of things

Today, while I was standing at the Xerox machine, making copies for the umpteenth time in my 39 year office career (33 spent as a writer), I was overwhelmed by a feeling of exhaustion.

"I wish I could retire," I thought to myself.

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy writing. And I need to work at least 6 more years if I am to retire in any comfort. I hope I accomplish that here because it's comfortable here.

But it's the twilight of my career. I know that. And I'm feeling it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It takes two

One of my more tightly-wound coworkers, Blondie McBlonderson, just spread her tension all around the office yesterday. It really had a negative impact on my mood.

She was trying to prepare for a presentation and get to an 11:00 AM dental appointment and get the project we're working on together ready for release ... sometime (it doesn't have a hard/fast due date). And she was completely stressing out. I can't get over how much calmer and more pleasant it is here today without her.

First of all, Sister, you work at an advertising agency. Expecting to be able to slip away at 10:30 is dumb. Once someone sees you at the office, they will put more stuff on your plate. You should have taken the morning off. 

Secondly, Blondester, you work at an advertising agency. We have presentations and deadlines all the time. It's what we do.

And here's a note to self: Don't let other people's shit pollute your mood pool. I must rise above.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The best few minutes of my day

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, my good old boy Joey got into a merry little wrestling match with the kid, Connie. It was amusing to watch because as you can see, Connie is petite and Joey is ... not. But it lightened my heart for a more important reason: it was a month ago that Joey got suddenly, very sick and I was afraid for him. If he's happy to take up paws against Connie, he must be feeling better!

BTW, I believe my kitchen floor could be the ugliest in North America. Maybe, if I ever get my bathroom done, I can begin updating the kitchen.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Go see it

I thought a movie starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy would be a comedy. But, while St. Vincent made me laugh at points, this movie is not a comedy.

Bill Murray plays Vin, a crotchety old Baby Boomer who has pretty much given up on life. He's not a loner, exactly. He's just not fun to be around, so most people avoid him. And he's good with that. Melissa McCarthy plays Maggie, a newly divorced mom who is trying to reboot her life by moving into the fixer up next door. They end up more involved than they wish to be in one another's lives because of McCarthy's young son, Oliver.

I won't tell you anymore than that, except to say you should bring a Kleenex.

I love Bill Murray, and not just because he's a Chicago treasure and a Cub fan. You never know what you're going to get with him. Last time I saw a Bill Murray movie he was doing a fine job playing FDR in Hyde Park on Hudson. He does accents, he disappears into his parts and he makes unique career choices. I could make an argument that he's the male Meryl Streep (without all the Oscars).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Nerd Alert Meme 

1. Favorite childhood book? Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire. The illustrations are beautiful and it began my lifelong love affair with biographies.

2. What are you reading right now? The Patriarch, a mammoth biography of Joseph P. Kennedy, the President's father. As I read, I'm reminded of the nursery rhyme about the girl with curl in middle of her forehead because when he was good, he was very, very good but when he was bad he was horrid.

3. What books do you have on request at the library? None. I should use the library more often. It's right around the corner, after all.

4. Bad book habit? Buying books I could check out the library.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? See answer #3.

6. Do you have an e-reader? Yes, but I only use it for magazines.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I often have two going at a time, but I like to mix genres. Two concurrent biographies or, especially, two mysteries can get me twisted up.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Not really.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far)? At Risk by Patricia Cornwell. It was beyond disappointing. It sucked.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? Leading Man by Benjamin Svetkey. Written by a former Entertainment Weekly reporter, I thought this was going to be a fun, juicy Hollywood expose. And it was. But it also had a jaw-dropping plot twist and some genuinely moving observations on love.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Never. Not since a teacher made me.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? Mostly biographies and mysteries, with the occasional light fiction mixed in there. I don't like sci-fi, fantasy or bodice-ripping romance. And you can't make me read it.

13. Can you read on the bus? Yes.

14. Favorite place to read? Exercise bike.

15. What is your policy on book lending? I try to avoid it. I frequently give books away, but I don't lend. If I care about a book enough to keep it, odds are I'll be upset at its condition when I get it back. 

16. Do you ever dog-ear books? Not intentionally.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? No.

18. Not even with text books? Not even then.

19. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin. It was a compulsively readable book about seriously flawed men. I related to it more on a personal level than I expected to. After all, I don't know any nationally-recognized, powerful multimillionaires.

20. What makes you love a book? When moments are captured in a very real way so I can relate the story to my own life. Nora Ephron was terrific at that. So was Robert B. Parker.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Moon River (1962)

1) This song is featured in a Dove candy bar commercial. What's your favorite way to enjoy chocolate (cookie, candy bar, ice cream, hot cocoa, etc.)? As a movie fan, that commercial really annoys me because it uses the music from one Audrey Hepburn movie (Breakfast at Tiffany's) with the setting from another (Roman Holiday). Sloppy, sloppy. Now that I have the rant out of the way, I'd like some ice cream with chocolate syrup, please.

2) It was originally written for the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Where's the best place to eat breakfast in your neighborhood? Delia's.

3) Were you able to see the moon last night? I didn't look.

4) When Andy Williams' show was first telecast in color, viewers commented on how very blue his eyes were. What's the first thing you notice about a person? If we're talking about members of the opposite sex, it has to be hair. My two earliest crushes were Little Joe from Bonanza and Sir Paul. Two fabulous heads of hair.

5) The Andy Williams Show gave the Osmond Brothers their first national exposure. When younger sister Marie joined the act, she made her debut on his show, as well. Let's say you have just been bumped up to first-class for a three hour flight. Which Osmond would you prefer as your seatmate, Donny or Marie? Since I'm a little bit rock'n'roll, I'll choose Donny. Also, he still has very nice hair.

6) Even though Andy was a millionaire many times over, he was still careful with money, once saying he would never pay more than $50 for a haircut. This leaves Sam shaking her head, because she spares no expense when it comes to her hair. What's something you splurge on? My pedi. Which reminds me, I need to make an appointment at the salon.

7) Andy's Moon River Theater still draws tourists to Branson, MO. Have you ever been to the Ozarks? Once, in the late 80s, before it became an entertainment mecca.

8) Andy had a discerning eye for Native American art. His collection of Navajo rugs was sold at auction for nearly $1,000,000. Have you ever bid on an auction? I'm on eBay often.

9) Andy told an interviewer that his earliest memory was hiding from a storm in the cellar of his family's Iowa home. What's your earliest memory? I was a toddler. I pressed my hand flat on the leather ottoman and tried to raise myself. Just a flash, just that little moment, is all I remember.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Before and After

Cute Handyman was here today.

I am happy.

Once again he came in under estimate. That makes me happy, too.

No. Just no.

We had a condo association meeting last night. Everyone but me had complaints and was very angry about something.

Especially my downstairs neighbor Sally. She moved into Crazy Old Neighbor's unit a few years ago. In her 40s, she's deaf and slightly disabled due to a stroke. Earlier last week, when I was picking up my mail, she asked me if I'd sit with her at the meeting and type so that she could see what's being said. I said "sure." Why not? I type for a living. I'm very fast, and it seemed like a nice, neighborly thing to do.

So I'm sitting with Sally, my fingers flying over the keyboard, writing things like, "Kelli wants to know why the building isn't FHA approved anymore" and "Jackie wants to know if the security cameras are working."

Mr. B., an elderly condo owner with a huge sense of entitlement, is on the condo board. He has responsibility for things like the annual budget, establishing priorities for repairs, dealing with the insurance company, etc. He rolled in without a single piece of paper. Nothing to write on, no notes from the last meeting. Just his old self.

As the other owners were getting angrier and angrier at him and the management company for everything that's wrong, he had nothing to say. Neither did Jennifer, the other board member in attendance. (The third board member, Angela, didn't even show up.)

Twice, during the meeting, when someone asked Mr. B. if the board was going to issue minutes of this meeting to all the (angry) condo owners, he indicated that I would do it since I was taking it all down.

"No," I said. Twice. "I'm doing this as a favor to Sally so she understands what's being said. This isn't for anyone but Sally."

The third time when he indicated that I would publish my "Sally notes" to the group, I said, "NO! I'm running out of ways to say it: NO!"

Mr. B. looked all faux hurt, but I ain't buying. I'm a condo owner, not a board member. He's supposed to be looking out for us, serving us, not the other way around. Secondly, I'm not his administrative assistant and it's insulting that he thinks because of his age he can boss me around.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I adored him

If I had a bucket list, hanging around with Ben Bradlee, was has died at 93, would be on it.

World War II veteran (Guadalcanal, no less), legendary ladies man, President's running buddy, Presidential nemesis, Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Washington Post, father of four (including a special needs son), mentor to the two best-known newspaper reporters on the planet, gifted memoirist and raconteur … the list goes on. He was simply one of the coolest, most accomplished guys ever. He even bought, restored and lived in Grey Gardens!

If you're a movie fan, you know him as the Jason Robards character in All The President's Men.

Some of my favorite Bradlee quotes:

"We're about to accuse Haldeman, who only happens to be the second most important man in this country, of conducting a criminal conspiracy from inside the White House. It would be nice if we were right."

"I didn't hire him because nothing clanks when he walks."

Dictating a letter to his secretary: "Is 'dickhead' one word or two?"

RIP, Mr. Bradlee. How I wish I'd known you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Damn you for being so cute!

There's an adorable little girl -- I'd guess her to be about 7 -- at my el stop each evening. She and her mother are selling wretched Otis Spunkmeyer cookies (packaged for vending machines, not fundraising) for $2 each.

This kid looks like my niece did at that age. Very serious, a little pudgy, less than perfect teeth, oozing sincerity.

I hate paying $2 for what I could buy for $1. I hate Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. I even hate their name.* Most of all, I hate that a little girl has to go out to work on a busy street corner with her mom after school.

I've only given in to those serious, bespectacled brown eyes once. So far. But let's face it, she's going to get more money out of me.

*Spunkmeyer? Really?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing  

Ok let’s talk travel, do you like to travel? OK, let's get literal here. No, I do not like to travel. I do enjoy being on vacation, but I find getting from hither to yon stressful.

Where have you been? Decades ago I went to France, Switzerland and Germany. More recently I've been to ... Albuquerque, Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, Hot Springs, Williamsburg, Tampa, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Memphis and Key West. Enjoyed them all and would return to any of them in a heartbeat. (Except maybe LA. If my oldest friend didn't live there, I don't think I'd go back.)

Next place you want to go? I'm going back to Vegas next month for my birthday and am really looking forward to it.

What is something you MUST take with you when you travel? Xanax. I can't fly if I'm not at least a wee bit medicated.

How do you like to travel? (mode of transportation) For short trips, I like Amtrak. It's inexpensive and leisurely and gives you unique glimpses into small towns.

With someone, or alone? Depends

Do you dance in your car when there are other people with you? Since I don't drive, I'm never alone in the car. Therefore, if I dance ...

If you're quiet what does it mean? That I have nothing to say. Usually nothing more.

Favorite scent?  Cinnamon

Favorite store? Carson's. Maybe it's Bergner's or Bon Ton in your part of the world.

Say you wanted coffee.. what kind is your favorite?  I'm sorry, but I cannot stand the smell or taste of coffee. Please get it away from me.

Favorite kind of pizza? Gooey cheese and sausage.

Do you get embarrassed easily? Yes

Do you mind people asking you personal questions? Depends on the person and the question

You have a tank of gas, $50, and the day off… what do you do? Waste a lot of time trying to figure out what the fuck I'm going to do with the gas since I don't have a car.

Favorite tv show? NCIS

Song you turn the volume up all the way to listen to? 

Something you keep in your car? My imaginary friends

 Highlight of your day? Doing a furry head count and seeing that all three of my cats are fine

 Something you do everyday that you wish you didn’t have to do? Pencil in my eyebrows. They are getting sparse as I age and I really don't like it.

 Do you mind if people just show up at your house unannounced? Yes, DEAR GOD, YES!

What do you do when you disagree with someone? Argue

Do you enjoy rain? It was rainy all day today and I didn't mind (except I lost another umbrella). Being out in a downpour though, I find that exhausting.

Letters that cross in the mail

Got another letter from Cousin Rose today (Saturday). She sounded much happier because the problem with her parathyroid can be treated with meds.

She wrote this in response to the postcard I sent her last weekend from Los Angeles, so her letter and the one I wrote her this past week crossed in the mail. This makes the letter she likely received from me today superfluous, because I'm asking questions about her health that she already answered.

Still, I'm glad I sent my most recent letter because I scrawled the sentence, "Keep me in the loop because I love you, you know." I should say that to her more often. She is a good, if exasperating, person who has always been there for me, for as long as I can remember.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The Power of Love (1985)

1) In this song, Huey explains that you don't need a credit card to find love. What's the last thing you charged? I got my niece a restaurant gift certificate for her birthday. I know how broke she is these days and she really needs money, but I think she needs a break from her day-to-day grind of classes and work, too. So I got her a pair of fun earrings and the gift card and I'll tell her to put on the earrings, go to dinner with her boyfriend, and celebrate! Why not? It's free.

2) This song was written for Back to the Future. At the beginning of the movie, hero Marty McFly traveled around town on his skateboard. Are you good on a skateboard? I have never even tried because no one is less coordinated than me. Really. To borrow from Sheldon (BBT), "My mother had me tested."

3) Huey sings lead and his backup group is The News. Was the most recent news you heard bad or good? Mixed. Renovations have begun on Wrigley Field. On the one hand, I appreciate that my beloved park badly needs an upgrade (which might bring the Cubs some good joo-joo). But the photos are sad.

From Before It's News

4) Huey's mother, Maria, was born in Poland. Who is the first member of your family to be born in the US of A? On my dad's side, his older brother. On my mom's side, I don't really know.

5) Brainy Huey got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. Did you take the SAT? How did you do? I'm sorry but I don't remember exactly. Which leads me to believe I didn't do so well.

6) This song also hit #1 in Australia, where anzac biscuits are popular. To make them (the recipe is here) you need coconut. Do you have any coconut in your home right now? Nope. But now I want some.

7) Thinking of dessert, would you rather have cookies, cake, pie, ice cream or frozen yogurt? Yes, please.

8) We're definitely into autumn now. What will you remember most about Summer 2014? I began my bathroom renovation.

9) Tell us your superhero name, as determined by the color of your shirt and an item directly to your right. For example, Sam fights crime as The Gold Kleenex Box!   The White Tennis Ball. (That's not going to strike terror in any dark hearts, is it?)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cue Stevie Wonder

"Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?"

This is my upcoming new sink, The AquaSource Model LL0302W. The thing I love best about it (other than that it's new and white not pink, like my current horrible, old water-stained sink) is that it's so narrow. I have a very tiny bathroom and it will be nice to have it not be dwarfed by fixtures too big for the room.

Next Friday is NEW SINK DAY!

Annoyed at my annoyance

I know my Cousin Rose loves me. That's why I hate how annoyed I get with her. I got a letter from her on Tuesday and I still haven't responded because the tone was so unpleasant.

It's not personal. She's not grumpy with me. Rose is just grumpy. But it makes hearing from her and writing to her so not fun.

I think part of the problem is that her divorce several years ago broke her heart. She hasn't been the same since. As Henry Bushkin wrote of Johnny Carson after his divorce, Rose has "an overall harshness, an impatient tolerance that wasn't there before."

Then there are her health problems. She's looking at surgery for her parathyroid. Now I know I shouldn't wish surgery on anyone, but I've been reading about this and maybe it will help. The symptoms of this condition include "headaches, fatigue and depression." If this (comparatively) minor surgery helps her feel better, well, then that would be great.

Because, as I keep reminding myself, as hard as it can be to be around her sometimes, it must be a million times harder to be her.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'm baaack

It feels like forever since I've blogged! I hope I can get down everything that happened while I was gone.

Wednesday was my last day at work before vacation. I was very happy to get away. I was doing what I could to pitch in on a big project, going above and beyond, and yet I felt my boss was still favoring "the boys," Phil and Kevin. A breather might be good for me and my boss.

Thursday I packed up and flew out to L.A. I still hate flying and four hours is one long-ass trip. Add to that the lingering FAA issues and panic over ebola and O'Hare is just a very stressful place. Plus I was worried about leaving my Joe. My big ol' gray tom seemed better, but he is feline senior citizen so his health is always a concern.

When I got to the hotel -- the LAX Marriott -- I was thrilled by the room. It wasn't big, it wasn't new, but it was comfortable and clean and had a private patio that afforded me a view of palm trees! How cool is that!

My friend unexpectedly dozed off after work and so I had Thursday night and Friday morning to myself. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The History Channel had a special about the Kennedys that included footage I hadn't seen, plus I'm reading The Patriarch about Joseph Kennedy, so it was geekapalooza.

Friday when my friend arrived we got in the pool and caught up. She joked about how since we were seeing each other in October (LA) and November (Las Vegas for my birthday) she wanted me to commit to coming out west in December and January, too. We did laugh a lot and I'm glad that she was so happy to see me. But come November it will be four years since she's been out there. She needs to make friends out there. I refuse to believe -- as she insists -- that the problem is people in SoCal just aren't friendly.

I'm also unhappy to report that she's smoking again. Sigh. She's overweight and already suffered a heart attack back when she was just 40. What the fuck is she doing?

Then we started Festing. I was out there for the Los Angeles Fest for Beatle Fans. We saw Bob Eubanks (host of The Newlywed Game), who was the promoter who brought the Lads to Los Angeles for the legendary Hollywood Bowl concerts. We heard from Julia Baird, John's half sister, a very classy witness to Lennon's legendary life. And Peter Asher! What a career he's had. As a teen, he was Paul's roomie and the first one to hear Lennon/McCartney sing "I Want to Hold Your Hand." (On the piano.) Then he was half of the pop duo Peter and Gordon, with fascinating tales of the British Invasion. Then he became a producer, who literally discovered James Taylor and made all those famous records with Linda Ronstadt. It was a privilege to hear him discuss his life and very exciting times.

Monday was spent in the air. I do so hate flying. I got home rather uneventfully and was pleased to find three happy, healthy cats. It's beyond words, how relieved I was to have Joey meet me at the door. Connie was wildly enthusiastic to see me, and to get fresh food and water. Rey, my own personal Tasmanian Devil, was surprisingly subdued. He didn't warm up to me until this afternoon. Is it possible he was pissed at me?

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Happy Joey

It was only for a few minutes, but big old Joey thoroughly enjoyed a bout of rough housing with little Connie. I was so relieved. It's good to see him enjoying himself and even a little physical exertion means he has to be feeling better.

I'm traveling this week and I'm less worried about leaving a happy Joey.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Two clean floors

I devoted part of today to my bathroom and kitchen floors. Both were filthy. I also did all the dishes in the sink and scrubbed the bathtub.

I think I must be the world's worst housekeeper.

Sunday Stealing

Random 20 

1. Have you had an argument with anyone recently? If so, do you still have issues with that person?  Nothing springs to mind, which makes me happy.

2. Are you talking to anyone while filling this in? How about texting/chatting on Facebook? I'm watching This Week with George Stephanopolous as I respond. Does that count?

3. Have you done something recently that helped someone else, in any way? One of my coworkers had a plant die on her. It was never going to last -- it had been planted into a vase with no drainage instead of a pot. Anyway, I swiped the vase and put a few carnations in it. It made her very happy.

4. Who was the last person to pay you a compliment? That coworker. She told me I remind her of the heroine of her favorite movie, Amelie, a girl who tries to make the world better by bringing happiness to others. Could there be a higher compliment?

 5. Is there anything that’s happened in the past month, that you wish you could go back in time and change? I wasted money by buying the wrong light bulbs and then compounded the problem by tossing the receipt away before I could return them. I hate when I do stupid shit like that.

 6. What colour is your purse/wallet? Reddish brown.

 7. What’s the closest item to you that’s black? The handle of the cat comb on the coffee table.

 8. Think about what you looked like 5 years ago. How did you look different, compared to the way you look now? I changed my hair.

 9. Before Facebook became popular, did you use any other social networking site, like Bebo or Myspace?  No

10. Has someone of the opposite sex ever sung to you? If so, how did you respond to it? You mean serenaded? No.

 11. When did you last hug someone of the opposite sex? Last Sunday

 12. Have you ever seen the film “Casablanca”? Did you like it? Very much

 13. Do you have a relative whose name begins with ‘L’? Tell me about him/her. Can't think of anyone

 14. Are you a secretive person? I can be

 15. When did you last eat? I was eating an apple when I began this meme

 16. If you were going to buy a present for a special person, what would you generally choose? It depends on the person

 17. If I’m going to buy you a box of chocolates, which kind should I definitely NOT get? Those icky cherry-filled chocolates

 18. Is there something you generally always ask for help with? Printing. I think I have to ask IT to upgrade my Adobe.

 19. If you had to give up your phone or your computer, which would it be? Phone

 20. Has anyone called you gorgeous/beautiful today? No, and no one is likely to, either.

That was intense

I saw Gone Girl yesterday. Wow.

I haven't read the book, so I can't comment as to how faithful it was, or which was better. But I will say that what I saw on screen took me on a wild ride. The plot had twists I didn't see coming, the pacing maintained the tension, and the performances were multi-layered and compelling.

As one who watched the Lacey Petersen/Casey Anthony/Jodi Arias trial obsessively, I loved the wise and funny way Nancy Grace was handled. As my friend John once told me, "she is to news as wrestling is to sports."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Rubber Ducky (1970)

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

1) This song is sung by Muppet Ernie. Who's your favorite Muppet?
Abby Cadabby. She's a very young fairy who has a lot to learn and a lot of enthusiasm for learning. Just looking at her makes me happy.

2) Ernie became famous on PBS's Sesame Street. What public television shows do you watch? Downton Abbey and a local news show called Chicago Tonight. I enjoyed the series on The Roosevelts, too.

3) When you were a little kid, what was your favorite TV show? Clutch Cargo, Mr. Peabody, Rocky and Bullwinkle

4) On Sesame Street, Ernie frequently teases his best friend Bert by stealing his nose. Do you enjoy practical jokes? No

5) Sesame Street creators developed carefree Ernie and serious Bert to show children that different types of people can be good friends. Think about your closest friend. Tell us how you two differ. The friend I most recently spent time with is John, so I'll compare/contrast us. He's tall, I'm short. Male/female. Black/white. He's a partier and I'm more stay-at-home.

6) Bert and Ernie share a basement apartment on Sesame Street. Tell us about the basement of the building you're in right now. We don't have a basement here. I wish we did. Tornados are a reality here in the Midwest.

7) Ernie and Bert were created by Jim Henson. In addition to being an accomplished puppeteer, Mr. Henson was also a talented cartoonist. Can you draw?  Nope

8) Jim Henson made his first puppets himself using felt, foam rubber, string and rods -- all items that can be purchased at an arts and crafts store. When is the last time you shopped in an arts and crafts store? I can't recall. I'm not very crafty, I'm afraid.

9) When is the last time you took a bath (as opposed to a shower)? Earlier this week when I shaved my legs. I can't do it in the shower.