Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday Stealing

The Generic Meme

1. What did you want to be when you were little? Either a wonderful singer or a teacher. (That's how I thought of it: "I want to be a wonderful singer.")

2. Would you prefer to have a large group of friends, or a small group of friends? Why? I like having a diverse group of friends. It's fun to mix up the age groups, ethnicities, etc.

3. What is your fashion “style”? Or what type of clothes do you wear on a daily basis? Jeans, sweater and loafers for work. Jeans, sweatshirts and tennies for weekends. So this makes my style casual, doesn't it?

4. If you could live anywhere where would you live? The Palmolive Building on Michigan Avenue.
I love this old lady. Not only are the apartments deluxe (Vince Vaughn has one), this art deco gem has an impressive history. That light on the top is The Lindbergh Beacon. It rotates 360ยบ and, in the 1930s, it was vital to pilots flying into Chicago. Of course, now with aviation being so much more sophisticated, the beacon is not the essential it once was. But wouldn't it be cool to literally see your home from the sky as you were returning from a trip? Oh yeah, and there's a doorman at the front desk who can sign for my packages and make sure I always have a cab waiting for me. How I'd love that!

5. What is your biggest hope for the next year? To feel healthier and livelier.

6. When you pass by reflective surfaces do you check yourself out? Yes

7. Favorite genre of movie as well as TV show? On TV, I like "procedurals," like Law & Order and NCIS. I like movies that make me think, and that can be of any genre.

8. Top favorite books? (limit of 5) JFK: Reckless Youth by Nigel Hamilton, Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Heartburn by Nora Ephron, Historic Conversations with Jacqueline Kennedy.

9. Have you ever taken a cooking class? No.

10. What three words would you use to describe yourself? Loyal. Smart. Funny.

11. Favorite animal? Cats

12. What is your dream job? I wish I could afford to be a catsitter or dogwalker. I have a way with critters.

13. If you could go back in history to any moment that you did not live, what would it be and why? The 1850s in Illinois. I have visited the Lincoln sites downstate so many times and I wonder what kind of life I'd have. Would I be a spinster schoolmarm? The second wife to a widower with many children? Would I handwrite long letters and read by gaslight? Would I love looking through my stereoscope (the precursor to my beloved Viewmaster)? I'd have to be a northern woman, though. NO fucking way would I live through southern heat and humidity in all those clothes! And then there's the scourge of slavery.

14. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why? I'd like to do housework the way Samantha did on Bewitched.

15. What is your favorite movie? The Way We Were

16. What is your best childhood memory? Well, because the holidays are so top of mind, I'll have to go with Blaze. The Christmas I was four years old, I asked Santa for only one thing -- a Mattel rocking horse named Blaze. I wished and hoped and was very good, and there he was, under the tree! Thanks, Santa!

17. What is your favorite part about blogging? Creating an accurate snapshot of my life at any given moment. Memories can be tricky. It's good to get it down as it happens.

18. What is your favorite quote? Edward Gorey: "Books. Cats. Life is good."

19. What song do you feel like describes your life the best? Why? "You Don't Know Me" by Jann Arden (among many, many others)

20. Would you describe yourself as shy or outgoing? Yes. In public, I can be very blabby. I can also very comfortably go days without speaking to a soul.

Trying not to worry too much

Yesterday was the last day of Buy a Friend a Book Week (thanks for reminding me, Kwizgiver) and I quickly sent off a book to my 13-year-old nephew. A young fan who takes his Beatles seriously, I thought he'd be fascinated by the Paul-Is-Dead conspiracy so I ordered him  The Walrus was Paul. Even with shipping, it came to $4, and I know it will make him happy. Easy! Inexpensive!

His sister, on the other hand, is another matter. Her boyfriend, with whom she's living, lost his job with the railroad last August. While he loves trains, he didn't really like the job very much. Since then he's been an unpaid apprentice in a bike shop, hoping it will turn into "something." He's receiving unemployment, but my niece is doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to supporting the household. With her parttime, minimum wage job at Culver's and some rebate from her grant.

My niece is 21. He's 31. It would be easy to assume he's taking advantage of her.

But she's happy. He is certain "something" will come up before February 28, when his unemployment benefits expire* and their financial situation becomes dire.

I would like to help them except ...

1) She hasn't asked me -and-
2) There is much about this situation that makes me uncomfortable -and-
3) I really can't afford it -and-
4) I'm still upset with my niece that she seems to hold me responsible for the ugliness with my older sister, who we all agree has behaved abominably regarding our mother's estate. Once again, within my family, anyone is allowed to treat me any way they wish and there is no downside. If I don't just go along to get along, if I don't simply accept abuse, somehow I'm the problem. This was a family tradition I had hoped would end when my mom died, but clearly it hasn't.

OK, I really don't want to help her.

But still, I worry. I wish the solution to this situation was easy as a $4 used book.

*Unless Congress extends benefits.