Friday, August 19, 2016

Saturday 9

The Trolley Song

1) In this movie clip, everyone (except Judy) is wearing a hat. Do you wear hats for fashion, for warmth or for both? I don't wear hats. I hate hat hair. Come winter I'll flip on a hood or slip on my crocheted headphones for warmth.

2) This song is from Meet Me in St. Louis, which was a huge hit and the second highest grossing movie of 1944. When is the last time you watched a movie in the theater?  I saw an oldie from 1939, The Rains Came, with my movie group back on August 9.

3) The movie follows the Smith family as their hometown, St. Louis, to prepares to host the 1904 World's Fair. What's the biggest thing happening in your hometown? The first place Cubs! More than 30 games over .500, and with Kris Bryant, who went 5-for-5 on Thursday.

4) This week's featured artist, Judy Garland, is best known as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. That movie is shown so often that Sam thinks she may have seen it a dozen times. Is there a movie or holiday special you've seen over and over? Probably the one I've seen the most is The Sound of Music.

5) Judy admitted to being perpetually tardy. Are you usually prompt? Or are you always running late? For everything but work, I'm on time. I'm always late for work.

6) Judy's first professional performance was a rendition of "Jingle Bells" when she was just two. How old were you when you entered your chosen profession? 21.

7) Thinking of "Jingle Bells," here's a wintery question for a hot summer day: What's your favorite carol? River. It's so poignant.

8) Judy was a very demonstrative person. She enjoyed hugs and admitted that, when she nervous, she took emotional support from physically reaching out. Are you demonstrative? Not really.

9) She told Barbara Walters that people would be surprised to learn that she was a good cook and specialized in desserts. Do you have a sweet tooth? Dear God, YES!

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 19

Look at my happy kitty
Friday's happiness: My new hairdryer. It's been so humid here, and every time I look in the mirror, my hair looks a little different. Curlier and more cowlicky. I hate it.

The only respite was when we were at the hotel last week. That little hair dryer left my hair looking so shiny and smooth and manageable! I found it on Amazon for just $20 and ordered it before I checked out Monday.

It arrived yesterday and I used it the first time this
morning. I got caught in the rain this morning, and my hair was still looking good.

The best $20 I've ever spent.

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the happy cat. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find. 

"It's all good in here"

"It's all good in here."
That was the catchphrase of my vacation time with my oldest friend. We'd each point at our temples and say, "It's all good in here."

Meaning that our fantasy lives are so much more satsifying than our real lives. And we're good with that.

It started with me reiterating that my love affair with Sir Paul McCartney is the most successful and enduring relationship I've ever had with a man ... and he hasn't been around for a moment of it. But that's OK, said I, because "it's all good in here."

Watching the Cubs on the big screen TV in our hotel room, I rhapsodized about how wise manager Joe Madden is, and how I wish I could bring him with me all the time for advice and support. "You can," my friend said, touching her temple. "In here. Because it's all good in here."

For her part, she talked about how involved she was with the exhaustive 2-volume Frank Sinatra biography I recommended. She wondered how long she would have lasted with Frank (since no woman lasted very long) and whether their break up would be sweet or hostile. Yes, she's aware he's been dead for nearly 20 years. But what difference does that make? "It's all good in here."

She is turning 60. We were at The Fest for Beatle Fans, her chosen way of celebration.* So indulging in fantasy was totally appropriate and the order of the day(s). But here's the thing:

I think she may be too deep in her own head, and not involved enough in the world around her.

Beatle fan Terrence Howard
We saw actor Terrence Howard at the Fest. He wasn't speaking or anything, just moving from booth to booth like the rest of us Beatle fans. As I was texting the news to my pals, my oldest friend was rather annoyed because she had no idea who Terrence Howard is. Not from Empire, or Crash, or The Butler. She used to go to the movies all the time, but since she's moved to LA she goes nowhere. Part of it, she says, is the traffic and parking. No one goes anywhere. 

That's just stupid. If no one went anywhere, there wouldn't be any traffic. Reminds me of that old Yogi Berra-ism -- "It's too crowded so no one goes there anymore."

I think it's because she doesn't like to go anywhere alone, and she hasn't been able to make friends out there. When she bought a car recently, the finance company wanted five references. NONE of them were friends from California. Two were relatives, three were friends from her time here in Chicagoland. She's lived out there for five years!

I know how hard she's working on managing her bipolar condition. But she gets such little support from the cousin she moved out there to be near, and she feels very alone. Her coworkers are much, much younger than she is, so she's not making friends there.

I've recommended she join a church. Spiritual reinforcement and a community to bring over a covered dish when she's sick. But she's sure those congregants would "judge" her. That's how the Right Wingers she sees on TV appear to her -- more disapproving than supportive -- and she doesn't feel "up to it." I tell her that MY church is not at all like that, we're about involvement and love. She's deeply skeptical. She watches Joel Osteen instead. I think her connection to Christ is great, but it doesn't help her connect to her fellow man.

OK, so what about a Meetup? Or a book club? No, and no. She's too tired when she gets home from work to do anything but crash on the sofa.

She's no longer involved with Twitter or Facebook or her blog.

This isolation worries me. I know she's under the care of both a shrink and a psychiatrist, so maybe this is cocooning is what she needs to do to heal and get strong.

But here's the thing: she's so funny and smart and generous. She'd have a much easier time making friends than I do. I think she must be Los Angeles' best kept secret. Those women out there don't know what a good girlfriend they're missing out on.

*I offered her three things -- a long weekend at the Los Angeles Festival of Books; a tour of movie locations with TCM, or the three-day Fest for Beatle Fans.

Image courtesy of stockimages at