Saturday, October 03, 2015

Sunday Stealing

1. What would you pick as a major, if you could go back to college and do it again? American history. Especially the Cold War, as taught by this man, Timothy Naftali of NYU. He turns up now and again on C-Span and The History Channel and I've developed a massive geek crush on him.
2. Who is the one celebrity with whom you would most like to have an indepth conversation? Kevin Spacey.
3. If you could make a living doing ANYthing, what would that be? I'd be a great pet sitter.
4. What’s your all-time very favorite dessert? Strawberry rhubarb pie

5. How many pairs of jeans do you own? Lots and lots. I've never counted.

6. What is your favorite flower, and why? I like carnations. I know they're cheap, but they're bright and they make me happy.

7. What book has most changed your life?
Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards. She taught me what a gift it can be to allow others to help you. As Rhett Butler once said of a similar gallant Southern woman, "She was a great lady. A very great lady." May she rest in peace.
8. What is your least favorite vegetable? Is there any way you can be persuaded to eat it? Raw tomatoes. There's something gelatinous and unfinished about them. However, I will eat a tomato slice if you give me $1.
9. If you could take a nonstop first class flight to any destination, where would you pick to land? London. Let me know in plenty of time so I can get a new passport.
10. If your 15 minutes of fame included a stint on American Idol, what song would be your trademark solo? 

11. If you could pick one former friend (who has remained elusive in this wild Facebook world) to reunite with, who would you unearth? There was a girl named Karen I hung around with at church when I was a teenager. She popped into my head not too long ago. I wonder what happened to her.
12. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is that it must be somewhere you have not been before. Where do you choose to visit? Mackinac Island. It sounds divine.
13. Name three of your guilty pleasures. People magazine, Braxton Family Values, Cheetohs.
14. The best kind of cookie is: Coconut chocolate chip

15. What do you value most in other people? Authenticity
16. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise? The end of a certain relationship was the best thing that ever happened to me, though it hurt like hell at the time.
17. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? Wrigley Field, of course!

18. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler? Feeler

19. Name three things you are thankful for right now. My 20-year-old cat, Joey, is doing just fine (every day feels like a gift); my nephew had a happy birthday; I don't have to do a damn thing all day today.
20. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race? I'm sure I have. I just don't remember the specifics.

21. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart? No. But I do stand.

Better than Ambien

This is John Gavin. When I was a very little girl, I found him quite swoony. Not Little Joe Cartwright dreamy and certainly not Paul McCartney to die for, but swoony nevertheless. I didn't know what he did, really. He just appeared often on the daytime talkshows my mom watched between her soaps -- Art Linkletter's House Party and The Mike Douglas Show. When he came out to chat with the host, my first-grade heart went pitter pat. He always wore a tie with a bright white shirt that set off his bright white teeth, and his hair was just so perfect.

The only John Gavin movie I knew was Psycho. His part is really just a plot device and very little was required of him. I've read that Hitch thought him "wooden," but I never put much stock in that. After all, Hitchcock was dismissive of Paul Newman and Montgomery Clift, two actors who can break your heart with a glance and a line.

The other night, TCM broadcast Back Street. It's a lush Technicolor weeper where beautiful people wear gorgeous clothes and travel to exotic locales. The leading man is played by John Gavin! Finally my chance to see him in a major role.

He plays the heir to department store fortune, a man with a promising future and a high profile, and a drunk for a wife. Every time he tries to leave her, she tries to kill herself. He can't bring shame to his family, can't deprive his kids of their mother. So, when he falls desperately in love with Susan Hayward, they have to carry on their affair in the shadows.

Oh. My. God. He is awful. I know movies like this aren't high art, but with the right cast they can be fun. Rock Hudson would have been terrific, he owned these roles. I've also seen John Forsythe carry off such a part with panache. But John Gavin is unutterably bad. He's so low energy that, while watching his big death scene, I wondered whether the nurses would notice he had expired.

I kept falling asleep during Back Street. It took me three viewings to get all the way through it.

So what have we learned? Hitchcock was right, and we should never let first grade girls cast movies.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Straight Up (1988)

1) In this song, Paula sings about being in a dream. Did you dream last night? Not that I recall.

2) When Paula enrolled at California State University, she planned on studying broadcasting and becoming a reporter.  Think about your career aspirations when you were 19. Did you follow through and stay on track or, like Paula, did you veer off and find success elsewhere? When I was 19 I was a secretary at a major retailer. My goal was to make enough money to both pay my rent and go away on vacation. I lucked into the opportunity to become an advertising writer.


3) For a while she was a "Laker Girl" and performed at L.A. Laker games. Do you have a favorite NBA team? No. Because the Cubs don't play basketball, and I only have room in my heart for one team/one sport.

4) Paula was once married to Brad Beckerman of Stillhouse Spirits, a company that specializes in whiskey. What's your favorite alcoholic beverage? Vodka. It is my friend.

5) Paula has been dancing since age 8 and, as you can see from the video, Paula moves very well in heels. Tell us about your most comfy shoes. K-Swiss athletic shoes.

6) Paula admits it was her passion for jewelry and that inspired her to design her own line for QVC and Avon. What is your favorite thing to go shopping for? Books or sunglasses. Perhaps the edge goes to sunglasses because I get to try them on, which is part of the fun of shopping.

7) She advises young girls to "keep the faith and don't lose your gut instinct." How about you? Are you more logical or instinctive? Gut

8) In May, Paula traveled to Austria for The Life Ball, a fundraiser to help those afflicted with HIV/AIDS. When is the last time you left the country? I went to Toronto about 15 years ago. I don't really have any desire to leave the US of A. There are too many places here I want to see again (Boston, New York, Williamsburg, DC, Atlanta, Memphis, Hot Springs).

9) Paula Abdul is a spokeswoman for Avon's "Go Check Yourself"
campaign for breast health awareness. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do you know anyone who has been touched by this disease? My favorite grandma was a breast cancer victim, my friend Kathleen is a proud breast cancer survivor. I suffered through waiting for the results of a suspicious mammogram. I love how supportive women are of one another on this subject. I know it's trite but it's true -- sisterhood is powerful!

Playing hookey

I took Friday off. Because I'm tired and I hate everyone.

I spent the day sleeping in, going to breakfast, and heading to the mall. The same one I went to back in my high school days.(Fast Times at Ridgemont High, anyone?) I used my Goodwill coupons at Carson's to stock up on jeans. Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans, in black, dark blue and blue. Enough to last me through till spring, and all on sale. I also got my favorite Clinique eye cream, also on sale with coupons. That was the best part of going on a weekday -- I didn't have to wait at the Clinique counter!

Today I slept in, took myself out to lunch, and did a little grocery shopping. Now I'm doing all my laundry. My movie club is meeting on Saturday nights throughout October, showing 1940s era horror movies, but I'm skipping tonight. I still don't feel like being around people.

At some point (like Monday) I've got to start being social again. But for now, I'm enjoying doing nothing and saying nothing.