Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sunday Stealing

I want to be famous ...

1. Would you like to be famous? In what way? I'd like to be just famous enough to always get a table when I call a restaurant. Like Gene Cernan. He was an Apollo astronaut, one of the few men to actually walk on the moon. I was in line at a popular pizza place in the Chicago suburbs and had to wait a little longer because he was coming in. The hostess had no idea who he was ... exactly ... but she knew she knew the name. I think this would be a good level/kind of famous. No paparazzo and actual accomplishments to be proud of (meaning: far better than any Kardashian) and the ability to get a good table whenever he wants at the local Italian restaurant.

2. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? Only if I'm calling directly to voice mail -- which I often do when I don't feel like talking to you directly -- and I know it might be listened to more than once.

3. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? Doing nothing. No appointments to keep. No reason to look at my watch. Naturally, being able to watch my Cubs would be a nice addition.

4. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? This morning. I sang along with John Waite in the shower. (Not that John Waite was in the shower with me, except via my shower radio.) "There's a storm that's raging through my frozen heart tonight … I ain't missing you at all ..."

5. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? Mind. I want to retain my mental faculties. Losing them frightens me enormously.

6. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? It's not secret. If you read this blog regularly, you know I can see myself dying suddenly and violently in a plane crash. It's my most potent, least rational fear and I have to battle it every time I travel by air. It takes prayer, courage, and three carefully timed .25 mg doses of Xanax to get me into my seat. But I get there!

7. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? That I see humor in most things. I look at friends who have also battled depression and I know they consider me "stronger" than they are. I don't think that's it at all. I think it's a combination of my Christianity and my ability to laugh that has saved me when things have been darkest.

8. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? I wish that our household had spent more time with my dad's family than with my mother's. In retrospect, I can see that my mother's family was the one with the toxicity and the ugly secrets that had to be kept, no matter what the personal expense. My dad's family -- while not perfect -- offered a lot more love with many fewer strings attached. I think if we'd celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, etc., with them, I wouldn't recoil at the notion of a family gathering.

9. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? I'd love to be able to sing.

10. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? How long will I keep this job.

11. What does friendship mean to you? Support, love, laughter.

12. What roles do love and affection play in your life? I know this is a daring stand to take, but I'm solidly, four-square in favor of love and affection.

13. When did you last laugh? Earlier today.

14. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Yes. I enjoy both late night and early morning.

15. Seen anything weird lately? This week on the el, I saw a woman of about 30 acting out the scenario of President George W. Bush in a Florida classroom, getting word about the 9/11 attacks, and then going on to read The Pet Goat to the children. She was doing this for the benefit of a girl in her teens who simply didn't believe that could possibly be how it happened. How these two knew each other, or how they happened upon the topic of Bush, 9/11 and The Pet Goat, I don't know. But the woman's performance was really rather good.

The happiest thing that happened all week

I love this sweater. I found it over lunch on Tuesday at Macy's ... for $12. 80% off! And it was just what I needed!

I had tickets to see the touring company of Kinky Boots that night, and had forgotten my little denim jacket at home. The mercury dropped into the low 70's by lunchtime and would undoubtedly go even lower when the play let out around 10:00. The 3/4 length sleeve, blue/white print blouse I was wearing was not going to be enough.

A blue cardigan! My kingdom for a blue cardigan!

First I ran over to Ross. They are new to the Chicagoland area and their commercials are running constantly. I know, I know ... I should know better than to believe advertising. Ross turned out to be quite a disappointment. Not much merchandise, not well organized. I gave up quickly and was sad.

Then I went to Macy's on State Street. I should have gone there in the first place. I can almost always find something at Macy's, and this one was perfect. Just warm enough, just dressy enough.* It had originally been $59.50. Marked down to $41.99. Marked down to $29.39. Marked down to $11.99.

Plus, shopping at Macy's State Street is always pleasant. It's a beautiful old building -- the original State Street Marshall Field's -- with a lovely old fountain in the main lobby. The salespeople are nice, and wrap even a purchase made at 80% off in tissue.

Sigh. When retail therapy works, it feels soooo good!

*My theater buddy, Barb, and I tried a new restaurant before the play and I had no idea how far I could push the "casual" thing and still feel comfortable. This little sweater jacket was a nice little addition. Better than the hoodie I almost invested in from Ross.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Crazy Little Thing Called Love (1980)

1) In this video, Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury is wearing a leather jacket. Do you have a leather jacket? I used to. I still may have it somewhere. It wasn't a Freddie Mercury-style jacket. It was tailored with knit accents and I used to dress up jeans/slacks.

2) There's a statue of Freddie in Switzerland. There's another statue of him above the Dominion Theater in London. Tell us about a statue or memorial in your town. The one I pass the most often is dedicated to the memory of the soldiers my community sent to WWI and never came home. (I know it was WWI because of their helmets.)

3) Mercury said this song was inspired by Elvis Presley. What's your favorite Elvis song? Oh, I love Elvis. Especially sad, sincere Elvis. "Seven lonely days and a dozen times ago, I reached out one night and you were gone." Breaks my heart every time.

4) This song was covered by the animated Alvin and the Chipmunks. Do you still watch cartoons? Yes. If I happen upon Mr. Magoo or Rocky & Bullwinkle, I still stop and watch.

5) The members of Queen met while attending Ealing Art College in London. Are you still in touch with the friends you had in your late teens and early 20s? I met John and Mindy when I was 23 and they're still my friends to this day.

6) During Queen's hey day in the 1980s, Mercury stayed in shape with tennis and swimming. Are you more accomplished on the court or in the pool? I am a good swimmer. Not fast, but I have endurance. I only played tennis once and it was not pretty.

7) In 1980, when this song was popular, Brooke Shields made a jeans commercial where she said, "Nothing comes between me and Calvins." It actually only aired for a short time because so many viewers called and complained about it. Have you ever called or emailed to protest something you saw on TV? Nope. But I can tell you, working an ad agency, that companies do listen. Your letters and emails are read. As far as Facebook and Twitter go, it's not what you say (since so many people are anonymous trolls), but it's the total tonnage of posts that gets attention.

8) 1980 is also the year the Post-It note was introduced. What's the last Post-It you wrote? "We're still tweaking two of the letters." OK, it's not a compelling answer but it is an honest one.

9) Random question: Do you blush easily? Not so much.

F as in "Foxtrot" ...

... through N as in "November."

We're the citizens who have been called as jurors on Monday. At the Daley Center, which is in the heart of the Loop. As Cook County courthouses go, it's the best place to be assigned. Easy to get to by public transportation, surrounded by lunch places I'm already familiar with, and usually the home of not violent trials.

I can't honestly say I want to do this. I'll probably be stuck sitting in an uncomfortably chilly room all day (with no wifi) and not even be interviewed to sit on a jury. Or if I get through to voir dire, I'll be one of dozens interviewed and therefore not likely to be chosen. Meanwhile, at the office, I have to trust others with my 2:00 presentation, and I hate trusting others with my work.

On the other hand, I can't honestly say I don't want to do this. I still think the system is very cool. I am that corny. "Trial by a jury of your peers." It rocks.

One month later ...

Christine is staying through the end of the month. She's wrangling to stay even longer.

She still annoys me every time she opens her mouth. She's still a freelancer with an agenda. I still hate her. I just get along with her to make my own day easier.

And, it must be said, she's a bit more deferential to me than she was. She's no longer all bossy pants on my ass. Part of it is because she's learned my boss trusts me with The Big Project, and part of it is that she sees that the client likes me. So while I'm under no illusions that she likes me, either, at least there's not a lot of stress.

But here's why I don't like her, won't like her, can't like her.

Mr. Big and Christine
Christine is a mole. She reports to Mr. Big, twice a week, about Long Tall Sally, aka The New Girl,her immediate supervisor.

Long Tall Sally, aka The New Girl, went through a period there where she was, to be honest and fair, nuts. The client complained about her to Mr. Big and Mr. Big freaked out. Long Tall Sally is his first-ever hire, in a high profile position, and it would be very bad for him if she didn't work out.

Right about the time the client complained, Christine showed up. Once a VP, long out of work and available for a much lower position. Hungry to, in her own words, "get back into it." She meets with Mr. Big "on the sly" -- or so they think, one of the downsides of our current open seating arrangement is that everyone sees what everyone is doing, all day long -- twice a week. And reports on LTS.

I don't respect that.

I have no doubt she's done the same to me with my boss, only 1) my boss is lazier than Mr. Big and 2) my work this year really has been very good. So I'm not worried. But I still want her gone.

PS This is why I miss Mad Men with every fiber of my being. That show was so knowing about my world, I found it comforting.