Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: As Long As You Love Me (1997)

  1) This video shows the boys in the band nervously await an audition. When were you last
nervous? Thursday. Weird shit is happening at work. I'm worried about my job security. It's wreaking havoc with my always-sensitive gut. I tried to calm myself down by doing the math. My mortgage is paid two months in advance and I could make my expenses for almost 10 months, if I lost my job. Then there's severance and unemployment. Then there's ... Oh, God, there goes my gut again! Do you mind if we change the subject?

2) BSB Brian Littrell was born with a congenital heart problem and had open heart surgery the year this song was released. Who is the last person you visited in the hospital? My mother. I don't like visiting people in the hospital because when I was in the hospital five years ago, I didn't want visitors. Phone calls and flowers? Bring 'em on! Cards waiting for me when I got home? YES! But in the hospital, I didn't want to play hostess, I wanted to heal. And when you're in the hospital I'm going to assume you feel the same way.

3) Littrell had different health trouble in 2009. While working in Japan, he contracted swine flu, which caused the band to cancel several events. Have you battled a cold or flu this summer? Not yet. Knock Formica.

4) When you feel a cold coming on, what's your favorite remedy? I've got these zinc lozenges I turn to whenever I feel that familiar scratchy throat.

5) Brian and his cousin, fellow BSB member Kevin Richardson, are both from Kentucky and have been inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. According to their website, if you tour the Hall of Fame you'll see exhibits that celebrate Kentucky's contribution to American music. Do you enjoy museums? Or do you think they're a snooze? I love museums! And museum gift shops!

Katharine Hepburn
6) BSB Nick Carter was named one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful People in the World." Who is someone you think is especially gorgeous? I love classic movies, so I'm turning to classic movie stars. Here are the two I wished I looked like. Cheekbones! My kingdom for cheekbones!
The thing about Lombard is that her face is so captivating when she's excited, laughing or crying. She doesn't look as wonderful in still photos as Hepburn reliably does. Still, I would dearly love to have her face.
Carole Lombard

7) This spring Nick became a father for the first time. Is anyone in your life expecting a baby this year? Two coworkers. One in November, the other in December.

8) The band has been involved in ongoing litigation with their first manager, saying he had been dishonest with them about how much they had earned. Tell us about someone you trusted, but shouldn't have. That would be Judy. Here's a link to that long, sad saga. I learned recently that she is facing financial difficulties due to health problems. She set up a Go Fund Me page, which has brought her $2,500 over the past four months, and she estimates that she need $20,000 for food and meds. 
I am a good friend. If she had treated me like a good friend, I'd be over there all the time with meals. Every gift I give anyone from now on would be from her Etsy shop. But some things I simply cannot overlook. Do I forgive her? I suppose. Will I pray for her? I just did. Will I get involved. No.

9) The band's recordbreaking 1999 tour was sponsored by the Sears department store chain. Sam remembers the twice-a-year shopping trips to Sears -- spring and fall -- with her mother to update Sam's school wardrobe. What's the last article of clothing you bought? I just laundered it yesterday: A short sleeved pullover covered with polka dots -- navy and black and green and blue. I am fond of it because the happy print makes it look far dressier than it feels.


A postcard from "Flyover Country"

A theory I've heard more than once states that Donald Trump's rather astonishing support comes from where "the media elite" aren't -- that vast part of the country that isn't Los Angeles, Manhattan or Washington, DC. Aka "Flyover Country," or the land that newscasters, reporters and pundits flyover on their way to one of the media centers.

That's not what this lifelong Midwestern blogger has been experiencing.

Here are two conversations overhead on the el just this past workweek. The first was Wednesday morning, the second was Thursday evening. For the record, I've never heard anyone on the train say anything at all about Trump -- pro or con -- until this week.

Wednesday: Four young (between 13 and 15) black girls head to Michigan Avenue for a day of fun. As the train rounded Wabash and Trump Tower came into view, one of the girls announced, "Come November they're gonna change that to HILLARY TOWER!" Her friends laughed and applauded in agreement. There was a "girl power" pride to their swagger that made me as happy as my 16-year-old nephew's passion for Bernie Sanders. I love it when politics is relevant to the young.

Thursday: A white family (Mom, Dad, Uncle and two very little girls) are riding home to the suburbs from a day in the city. The girls are very tired -- the younger one is dozing off on her mom's shoulder, the older sister is staring blankly out the window as dad rubs her shoulders. A rather noisy man boards the train and speaks loudly into his phone. When he's done with his conversation, he apologizes to his fellow commuters and when he reaches his stop, he announces, "Don't vote for Trump!"

The little sister sits bolt upright and says to her mother, "You won't vote for Trump, will you?" Mom shakes her head "no," and Dad tells both daughters, "Don't worry. Trump is not going to be President."

The older sister is not about to let this drop. "What if it's close? What if it's a tie?"

Uncle speaks for the first time, explaining about the 2000 Florida recount. This lasts until I reach my stop. At that point, Dad began to explain the role of The House of Representatives in the event of a tie. The little sister has checked out of the conversations by now, but the older girl seems to enjoy being spoken to like a grown up.

But here's the thing: both girls acted as though the spectre of Trump as President was tantamount to Freddy Krueger moving into their basement.

I find this comforting. I've worried about how children process the success of a man who dismisses people as "losers" and "chokers" and mocks the disabled. How do they square the circle of being taught bullying is wrong, yet seeing adult support of this man?

I'm not unsophisticated about the electoral map. I know that Ohio is in play, and that Missouri and Kentucky and likely to go to Trump.

But I also know that Illinois -- which has more voters than Missouri and Kentucky combined -- is going to stay blue. I'm willing to bet a week's pay that Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan will, too.

Yours from Flyover Country,

June Challenge -- Day 25

Click here to see what it's about
25. What are the 10 most significant events in your life?

The question isn't "good" or "bad." It's "significant." So here we go. Chronologically ...

1) Birth

2) Seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. That Sunday evening gave me the soundtrack of my life, and helped cement my relationship with my favorite uncle.

3) Being abused. I discussed it a bit on Day 5 of the Challenge. I don't feel like rehashing it this morning.

4) Choosing to be an administrative assistant at Sears, rather than at Loyola Hospital. Working in Sears Tower not only fulfilled my youthful ambition to be downtown every day, it gave me a gateway into advertising.

5) Volunteering at Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society. It gave the problems of animal overpopulation and abuse sweet little furry faces. It haunts but it galvanizes, too.

6) Falling in love, and choosing to stay in a toxic relationship. I wasted my 20s.

7) Leaving that relationship. At least I'm educable!

8) Joining my church. It's fulfilling, and it makes me a better person, to have a spiritual home where I genuinely belong.

9) Buying this condo. I was over 40, but it made me feel like I'd finally grown up.

10) John Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign. I dialed. I photocopied. I handwrote letters. I filed. I answered phones. I rallied. I did whatever was asked of me. I poured my time and money and heart and soul into it in support of a man I still completely admire. I learned a lot. I cried a lot. I did it for my country and I'm proud of it.* I also worked on Walter Mondale's, Bill Clinton's and Barack Obama's campaigns, but I really clocked the hours and made the commitment for Kerry.

*And it's why I have so little patience for rabid Sanders supporters whose dedication extends no further than preaching to the choir on social media. "Don't just do something, sit there." They'll never support Hillary? Big deal. What did they actually do for Bernie?