Monday, October 31, 2016

We live to fly the W one more time!

Photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune.

This is a shot of the overflow in front of Wrigley Field Sunday night. Fans (and police) are milling about outside the stadium, cheering the Cubs' improbable victory over the Indians.

Now the series is 3:2. My boys in blue have won two in a row before.Go, Cubs, Go!

PS And if they don't win two in a row in Cleveland, well, this season has felt like a gift and I'd never complain. My team is in the World Series!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Stealing

Halloween Meme

1. What is the worst treat to get when trick-or-treating? Anything that came unwrapped while bouncing around in my bag. My mom was a stickler for going through our stashes and ruthless when it came to tossing the unwrapped/unsealed.

2. What character from any horror film would you most like to play? The title character in She Wolf of London. She's a pretty, very well dressed heiress who fears she's picked up the family gene for going all hairy and killing people. It's especially kitschy because she's played by June Lockhart (Lassie's mom) and her boyfriend is played by Don Porter (Gidget's dad).

FYI: "Lycanthropy" is the study of werewolves.

3. Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho? (why) An alien. From Mexico. Because I would annoy Donald Trump.

4. How many Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined do you have on dvd? None.

5. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen? Psycho is by far #1. Gravity is #2. The idea of being so small and vulnerable in the infinite expanse of space makes me want to wet my pants. And while it wasn't a theatrical release, IT is #3. I don't like clowns. Really, I don't.
6. Lamest costume you have worn on Halloween? One of the store bought ones my mom picked out without consulting me.

7. Favorite Halloween treat? Mary Janes and popcorn balls.

8. Friendly-faced jack o’lantern or scary one? If I were to carve one, this is what it would look like. I just wish the Cleveland Indians saw it as more scary than friendly.

9. Have you ever had nightmares about a scary movie character chasing you? No.

10. Best thing about Halloween? I can have a taffy apple for breakfast. And I shall.

11. Strangest Halloween custom you’ve heard of? Strange but kinda cool: I've heard that in some Latin countries, it's not unusual for families to picnic on Halloween at the cemetery so they can visit with their loved ones.

12. Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)? I got nothin' for this one, either. Sorry.

13. Are you superstitious? If so, name at least one superstition of yours. I remember what shirt I was wearing when the Cubs lost a playoff game, and then I'm careful not to wear it on game day again.

14. What's your best Halloween memory? My oldest friend's dad -- a really great guy -- drove us to another town to trick or treat. We still got the same Snickers and Kit Kats, but still, they felt exotic.

15. At what age were you allowed to go trick-or-treating by yourself? I think I was about 12. But I don't recall, for sure. My mom was a worrier when it came to Halloween, so it was probably later than most kids.

I admit this isn't good

I'm exhausted. Watching my Cubs fall to the Indians has been highly stressful. And I'm not stupid -- I know how hard it will be to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

But here's the thing: this season was magic. They got to the World Series for the first time since Harry Truman was in office.

So no matter what happens tonight, I'll always be grateful to these guys for 100+ wins and for getting us this far.

Oh! And btw, it ain't over. Go, Cubs, go!

Hmmmm ....

Saturday I had my regularly scheduled, once-every-two-years appointment with my gyne. While naturally I didn't leave with my test results, he told me everything in his jurisdiction looks normal.

He asked me what else was going on, healthwise. I told him. C. diff ... thinning hair ... fatigue ... vision change ... He and my GP are in the same practice so he has access to all my test results and saw that diabetes and thyroid disease were eliminated. He suggested that -- if the medicated shampoo doesn't work -- my GP and I discuss autoimmune diseases.

Last time I spoke to my GP, she thought these things were all unrelated. She suspects my fatigue is a result of sleep apnea and my hair loss is some sort of fungal infection.

We'll keep trying things her way for a while. But after January 1, I think I'm going to consult an endocrinologist.

October Challenge -- Day 30

Today's October Daily Prompt: Favorite Costume

It's my favorite because I've still got the dress. I don't think it would be too hard to find Mousekaears. I drew my nose and whiskers with an eyebrow pencil.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Tubular Bells (1973)

1) According to Reader's Digest, The Exorcist is the scariest movie of all time. Have you seen it, and if so, did it scare you? Yes, twice. It scared me more during the second viewing.

2) The Exorcist has been made into a TV series on Fox, premiering last month. Have you become a fan of any of the season's new shows? I haven't seen the new Exorcist but I've taken a look at Bull and This Is Us, and I like them both.

3) "Tubular Bells" is a popular ringtone for both Android and iPhone. What's your ringtone? Standard issue TMobile. So at a restaurant, whenever the phone rings in the next booth I reach for my purse.

4) As Halloween approaches, do you watch more scary shows and movies? I did when I was a kid, but not anymore.

5) Do you have any recurring nightmares? Yes and they all are variations on the theme of doing without. I'm locked out without my keys, my purse is stolen so I'm without cash or credit cards, etc. I wake up exhausted.

6) Have you carved a jack o' lantern this year? Nope

7) Do you like the taste of pumpkin seeds? They're OK.

8) What will the trick or treaters who knock on your door get? I don't have anything yet. I've been too Cub-obsessed to think about Halloween. Maybe I'll pick up something this afternoon.

9) A Halloween "let's pretend:" Back in the 1950s, a home in your neighborhood was the site of a gruesome murder/suicide. Relatives retained ownership of the house but declined to live there. During the ensuing decades, a legend grew: The tragic couple haunts the halls. Generations of schoolchildren insist they heard strange sounds and saw curtains often move mysteriously. Now the house is about to be demolished. A local charity is raising money by sponsoring a Halloween sleepover. Would you be willing to stay in this haunted house over night? I think it could be fun. Especially if I grew up believing I heard the noises and saw the moving curtains.


October Challenge -- Day 29

Today's October Daily Prompt: Throwback

When I trick or treated, this was by far my favorite candy. Since it was no one else's, I made out well on November 1 when we traded..

Friday, October 28, 2016

October Challenge -- Day 28

Today's October Daily Prompt: Something black

It's an obvious choice, I know, but I've always had a fondness for black cats. I grew up with one named Trouble. She was not terribly bright, nor as pretty as the one in this photo. But she was a very good sport.

October Challenge -- Day 27

Today's October Daily Prompt: 11:11 PM

Zzzz ... I unintentionally crashed on the sofa after work.

Keeping my Cubbie karma clear

I walked around at lunchtime, taking pictures of the W's I saw in The Loop. I'm going to do the same this Saturday afternoon, around the village where I live. I love how Chicagoland has embraced my guys.

I don't love that my boss is taking Friday off to go to the game. The first World Series game to be played within the Friendly Confines since 1945. His neighbor has season tickets.

I wouldn't mind this if he was a fan. He's not. Throughout this really incredible 103-58 year, he only mentioned games after a loss. Keep in that the Cubs won 44% more games than they lost. But his "heh-heh-heh, that was a tough one" was just him being a dick.

AND he's told me that baseball puts him to sleep.

When I told him how excited I was for him, that he was going to see Kyle Hendricks and Hendricks reminds me of my beloved Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, he said, "Yeah, I heard the announcer say that, too."

Oh yeah, and he doesn't need to take Friday off. The game doesn't start until 7:00 PM. We have work to do. An internal review at 11:00 on Monday that we won't be ready for because he's taking Friday off. To go to a game he doesn't care about. I now feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever if I take Monday off (to celebrate the World Series win) and whatever day the parade is held.

He asked me what souvenir I'd like from the game. I said, "Would it be pushing it to ask for a program AND a scorecard?" His response? "I don't care. It's your money." He's not even gifting me a souvenir! When I think of the vacation souvenirs and Christmas ornaments I've given him over the years ...

But see, now I'm not happy anymore. And I like savoring this, maintaining the high that comes from waking up in the morning and saying to myself, "My guys are in the fucking World Series!"

So, to regain my zen and clear my Cubbie karma, I'm going to start thinking good thoughts. To inspire me, here's Jake. He was terrific in Game Two -- his last game of the year.

The Jake of Game 2 looked like the Jake of 2015. YEA!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October Challenge -- Day 26

Today's October Daily Prompt: Made you smile today

Cub manager Joe Maddon always makes me smile. Even after a loss.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October Challenge -- Day 25

Today's October Daily Prompt: Creepy

I wasn't allowed to have one of these, but my oldest friend had one. It was thrilling!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Still hasn't sunk in

I have wanted to see the Cubs in the World Series for my whole life. And now I will.

I can't really believe it.

I woke up this morning and saw it on the news. I checked my cell and saw it had virtually exploded with texts. I got messages on Facebook and email from people I haven't heard from in months/years. I read the warm and welcome messages from folks on this blog. I'm grateful that so many people thought of me when they heard the news.

But I really can't believe it.

It was a beautiful Sunday. Unseasonably warm, sunny and dry under a Cubbie blue sky. Those of us wearing Cubbie gear greeted one another on the street. Stores had W's in the window. I bought my official shirt.

 But I really can't believe it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Stealing

Bookish Questions

Get well, Bud!

1. How long did it take you to finish your last book? The book I'm reading now will take me about 60 days to finish. It's an 800-age tome about Paul McCartney and at times it can be slow going because the content -- his mother's death, break up of the Beatles, his father's death, John's murder -- were so painful for him.

2. How many times do you stare at your bookshelves each day? Not that much these days because they're a mess. I had to take all the books off the shelves for the exterminators at the beginning of summer* and I haven't put everything back in proper order yet. It's one my list of things to do.

3. How many Goodreads friends/books do you have? About a dozen friends, about 13 books.

4. Do you ever quote books in public? Yes. But I quote movies more.

5. Do you ever re-read books? Yes. One that springs to mind is Robert B. Parker's Mortal Stakes. I've read it several times and each time I read it I got more out of it. It's superficially a mystery -- who is blackmailing the Boston Red Sox pitching phenomenon? Offer up a mystery set against the backdrop of baseball and of course I'm there. But it's about honor, integrity, and who is strong enough to do what it takes to get the tough job done.

6. Do you judge a book by its cover? I did this book about Sir Paul. I mean, look at him!

7. Do you take pictures of your books before you read them? Ok, you got me. Why on earth would I do this?

8. What are your biggest distractions from reading? Arriving at my stop or having to go back to work. (I like to read on the train or over lunch.)

9. Where is your favorite place to buy books? Amazon is easy. But I also buy lots of books at our annual library book sale and there's an independent bookseller in town that's very good.

10. Do you always have a book with you? Yes.

11. Do you read during breakfast?  A leisurely coffee shop breakfast, just me and my book, is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend.

12. How many hours a day would you say you read? Two.

13. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago? Less.

14. Do you consider yourself a speed reader? No. I don't want to be, either. I like savoring a good book.

15. Do you read in bed? Yes. I've always got magazines or a gossipy biography waiting for me at bedtime. (Brangelina's divorce is sure getting a lot of ink, more even than Kim's robbery. That surprises me. Though it pleases me, too, because I think it's time for our national obsession with the Kardashians to end.)

16. How old were you when you got your first library card? Six

*My building had a problem with bed bugs.

October Challenge -- Day 23

Today's October Daily Prompt: Vampires, zombies and 
monsters, oh my!

From the original Dark Shadows

This is the doomed love affair that had the preteen Gal transfixed. 
She was an orphan -- unloved, no friends or relatives -- who came to Collinsport, Maine, to be the  governess to the scion of the town's leading family. She went from a children's home to a luxurious but distinctly gothic mansion and was soon treated like a member of the family by the wealthy, powerful and distinctly disturbed Collins clan.

One night a mysterious man wearing a cloak and a gaudy ring shows up at the front door. He bears a downright spooky resemblance to the man in the painting in the entryway. The man in the portrait, who wears the same ring, was cousin Barnabas Collins, who disappeared in the late 1700s. The man at the front door also claims to be Barnabas Collins, and says he's been living in London for the past few decades.

The family welcomes their long-lost cousin because, well, who would suspect that that the two Barnabases are one in the same, and he'd been imprisoned for nearly 200 years after being turned into a vampire by a spiteful witch named Angelique?

Barnabas is instantly smitten with sad, solitary but beautiful Victoria. But these two crazy kids are destined for heartache. Because Dark Shadows was, after all, an afternoon soap and on afternoon soaps, all couples must face insurmountable obstacles.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Well, then!

This Cub fan is going to bed happy tonight.


Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Can't Stop the Feeling! (2016)

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

1) This is an upbeat, positive song. Are you feeling upbeat and positive right now? I'm OK. On the one hand, I'm still a little bedeviled by my eye infection and worried about deadlines at work. On the other hand, THE CUBS ARE BACK AT WRIGLEY FIELD FOR TONIGHT'S GAME. So there's that.

2) Justin Timberlake is a good dancer. And why not? In this song, he sings he has "good soul in my feet." Consider your own dancing talent and compose your own lyric: I have ___________ in my feet. I'm hopelessly uncoordinated, so I'll say "cement."

3) In the video, there's dancing in the laundromat. Do you have dirty clothes in the hamper, or are you all caught up with your laundry? I haven't done the week's laundry yet. One load of mixed, one load of darks.

4) There's also dancing in the supermarket. What do you need to pick up at the store? I need sandwich fixings. Specifically bread, eggs for egg salad and maybe a little chicken salad.

5) This song will appear in the upcoming Dreamworks Trolls movie. Some people believe Troll dolls are good luck. Do you have a good luck charm? A few years ago, just before boarding a plane, I saw something shiny on the carpet. Turns out it depicted the Nativity scene. Rather crudely, at that. But I carried it with me and fingered it during takeover and landing. It now flies with me all the time.

6) Justin Timberlake loves to dunk Oreos in milk. Crazy Sam thinks this is all wrong -- the way to eat an Oreo is to twist the two halves apart and lick the cream first. Which method do you prefer, Justin's or Sam's? Depends on if there are people around. By myself, I'll dismantle the Oreo. In public, I just eat it is at comes.

7) Justin admits to some fashion fails. He and Britney Spears wore matching denim outfits that he regrets, and he's sorry he ever tried cornrows. What about you? Can you think of a look you thought was cool at the time, but now it makes you shudder? I used to apply three shades of eyeshadow every morning. I probably looked like a clown. What can I say? It was the 80s.

8) He is a very good golfer. When were you last on the golf course? I went to miniature golfing last summer. I don't recall ever actually being on a golf course.

9) Random question: Think about your romantic involvements. Were you in love with one of them, some of them, or all of them? Most of them. A couple of them I wanted to love, but to be honest, I never really fell.

October Challenge -- Day 22

Today's October Daily Prompt: Outdoors

This is my neighborhood. The part of town where the rich folk live. But still, I can see it and it can be quite lovely in autumn.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Because Heaven is filled with Cub fans

I saw this video this morning and started to cry. And I'm not a crier.

But here's the thing. My dad was an unhappy man. Nothing brought him joy. But he did, in his way, love the Cubs. He was a passionate fan and often tried to get me to keep score old school (Pitcher 1, Catcher 2, First base 3 ...). He took me to my first Cub game. My introduction to the bricks and ivy of The Friendly Confines happened with him.

Both my paternal grandparents were massive Cub fans. Grandpa taught me to appreciate the moments -- a good catch in the outfield, an impressive duel between pitcher and batter -- more than the final score. Grandma looooooved Ryne Sandberg. To her 88th year, she wore Sandberg's jersey every summer. I have that jersey now, and intend to wear it myself if there's a Cub victory parade.

My mom's baby brother, my Uncle Ted, was a Cub fan, too. At the end of his life, when all his energy went to battling the Parkinson's that ravaged his body, he let all his magazine subscriptions lapse except two -- Mad and Vine Line, the official publication of the Cubs. (That really tells you what you need to know about Ted.)

When I was a little girl, I learned to love my heroes in Cubbie blue from these people. I wish there were here to see this team, this manager, this playoff run.

October Challenge -- Day 21

Today's October Daily Prompt: Hot Drinks
A worthy addition to any cup of hot chocolate:

Cubs 8, Dodgers 4

We now lead the series 3-2. We're coming home to The Friendly Confines just one win away from the World Series.

I'm not sure I believe this is really happening. But, oh! How I love it!