Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 22

Rizz is all about easy
On Day 22, I'm happy for Amazon. Over the weekend, I noticed yet again that I was running low on Viralysis, the supplement that helps strengthen the cats' resistance to infection. It's important for Connie, with her history of conjunctivitis, and for Reynaldo, because at 13 he's now a senior citizen.

The thing of it is, as soon as I leave the kitchen, I forget that I'm running low. And that's why I was on the road to running out completely.

EXCEPT on Sunday I had my laptop in view on the dining room table and I happened to be logged in. So as soon I left the kitchen I clicked and tapped and ordered a new jar from Amazon. And forgot about it, as is my wont.

And then today Clyde from the mailroom brought me my box from Amazon.

I order from Amazon all the time, so this was nothing new. It's just today I took a moment to appreciate how much easier it makes my life. 

THANK YOU, AMAZON!

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 Cub. 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 AuSaturgust Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 21

Rizz appreciates men who cry
On Day 21, I'm happy for tears of joy.  I didn't watch the eclipse because, to be honest, I didn't care much. I was content watching the sky get dark and then get lighter again, right from my office window.

But I feel like I watched it because I saw it through the eyes of Tom Skilling, local newsman and national treasure. His delight delighted me.

 



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 Cub. 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 AuSaturgust Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find.

August Happiness Challenge: Day 20

Rizz liked the whipped cream, too
On Day 20, I'm happy for sprinkles.  On Sunday I walked over to the other side of town, to the local hardware store. (The internet tells me I need a mallet.) It was nice to window shop up and down the main drag, with the Cubs-Blue Jays game in my headphones. Since many of those small businesses are independently owned and close early on Sunday, I'm grateful I wasn't tempted to shop.

On the way home I stopped at the old-school ice cream parlor and ordered a root beer float. I haven't had one in forever. This one was deluxe -- whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top. (It was also $6.00 plus tax. Adjusted for inflation, were they always this expensive?)

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 Cub. 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 AuSaturgust Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Something Different

1. What is a normal thing that took you an embarrassingly long time to learn? Measurements. In fact, I still don't know them. Ounces to a lb.? Hell if I know.

2. In what ways are you old-fashioned? My manners. I always say, "please" and "thank you." I've been known to say, "excuse me" when I bump into inanimate objects.

3. What is the best sandwich you've ever eaten? Where did you get it? What made it so delicious? The chicken salad croissant at my local coffee shop. It's so juicy, yet you don't taste the mayo. Just chicken and buttery croissant. Sigh.

4. What are you currently not bragging about that you should totally brag about? The Big Project. It's going smoothly this quarter. It's not a sexy project -- it's massive and detail oriented -- but the billing keeps the lights on. And it's my show.

5. What food have you never tasted and are most interested in trying? Nothing comes to mind.

6. What history facts were you surprised to learn because it was never covered in school? We never, ever discussed the internment camps here during WWII. I was so shocked and disappointed when I finally heard about them. I was in my 20s, and it was a PBS special. FDR did that? We did that?

7. What is something that you waited entirely too long to start or stop doing? What made you say "Why did I wait so long?" Fixing the hole in the living room wall. I mean, really! There was a hole in the living room wall! But I was intimidated by the process -- interviewing and choosing a contractor, the expense -- so I put it off longer than I should have. The contractors were uniformly nice, the expense wasn't that great, and I'm happy now when I put my key in the lock, open the door, and am not greeted by a fucking hole in my wall.

8. What socially expected thing do you hate doing the most? What thing about polite society really grinds your gears? Weddings. Hearing about wedding plans. Dressing up for the wedding. Making dumb small talk with strangers at the reception. Then ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the wedding pictures. Dear Brides and Grooms, for just $200, you can get married at The Graceland Wedding Chapel on the Vegas Strip. "Elvis" will walk the bride down the aisle and sing two songs. If you run off like that, you'll save me the expense and agony of attending your wedding. And you'll have some pretty awesome wedding pictures.



9. What is something about your city that I should know if I'm going to visit? What is the hidden "must see" that you always tell friends and visitors to not miss. Well, if it's summertime, you have to visit Wrigley Field, baseball's most beautiful and legendary park. (Let's face it, people who don't enjoy baseball at Wrigley Field hate America.) The hidden gem would be The Cultural Center. There's always a free art exhibit or two going on and besides, the building itself is fantabulous. 120 years ago, it was the public library and it's a landmark representation of public buildings of that period. It's a treat just to go in and look up at the Tiffany glass dome. It's free, it's open almost every workday. Go!



10. What do you miss most about childhood? My uncle and my grandpa. They always brought such fun.

11. What "fact" did you learn in school that is not true or no longer true? Nothing springs to mind. Sorry.

12. What's your favorite piece of useless trivia? Billy Whiskers: Autobiography of a Goat is the first book John F. Kennedy ever read by himself. His mother estimates he was 4 years old. His original copy is on display at his birthplace in Brookline, MA.

13. What's your best go to homemade "lazy" meal Slap a piece of salmon on the George Foreman grill, toss a salad, grab the water bottle

14. What's the title of this current chapter in your life? "While Waiting for the Next Chapter to Begin"

15. What is a habit or practice that you learned from your childhood that you didn't realize was "weird" until you were an adult? Well, it didn't take me to adulthood to learn otherwise, BUT my mother had me convinced "ain't" was a swear word.

August Happiness Challenge: Day 19

Rizz suggests pizza for breakfast, too
On Day 19, I'm happy for pizza. Half cheese/half sausage. All very, very good.

For a week now, I've been avoiding cheese and meat and instead consuming salads and oatmeal. Saturday morning, I had my insurance physical. I hope I got my cholesterol down to a level where I'm insurable and the premiums are affordable.

While I wait for the verdict, there's no reason why I can't enjoy meat and cheese!


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 Cub. 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 AuSaturgust Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
... because Joy recommended it



1) The Beatles recorded this after they had taken a three-month hiatus from working together as a band. Do you find you're sharp after taking time off? Or does it take you a while to get back into the swing of things in your day-to-day life? I think time off rejuvenates me. When I return to work I'm more enthusiastic, if not sharper.

2) During those three months off, John Lennon made a movie called How I Won the War. What's the last movie you watched? Did you view it at a theater, on TV, or from a device like a computer or tablet? Hitchcock's The Birds. I watched it on TV. I like my TV.
I don't want to stream movies onto my Kindle.
 
3) Paul McCartney and George Harrison both used their time off to make new and different music. Paul composed instrumentals for a movie soundtrack while George studied sitar with Ravi Shankar. Ringo Starr spent those three months with his wife and their two little boys. If you had three months to spend doing anything you wanted, and money was no object, would you try something new (like Paul and George) or just kick back and relax (like Ringo)? I'd relax by going somewhere new. I feel like a getaway.

4) Paul recalls what fun it was to dress up in Edwardian-era costumes for the album cover. When did you last attend a costume party? What did you wear? It was easily more than a decade ago. I wore this Minnie Mouse costume. A guy I was crushing on at the time safety pinned a sock to his shirt and went as static cling. I thought that was adorable. (I was so twitterpated.) I wonder whatever happened to him ... I'd Google him if I could recall how to spell his last name.

5) Paul says he came up with the name "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" when Beatle friend Mal Evans told him about this great San Francisco band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. Paul hadn't heard their music yet, but he loved the sound of their six-word band name. Soon everyone would hear of Big Brother. Do you know who Big Brother's famous lead singer was? Yes, I know her. And I shall sing along as I complete my answers.



6) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band appeared on the Billboard charts for 175 weeks. Is this album in your collection? Yes, but I don't listen to it very often. It's got its moments – that’s why everyone from Rolling Stone to PBS have called it the most influential album of all time -- but I like The White Album so much more.

7) The Beatles are among the top-selling artists of all time in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Would you like to visit Africa? Not especially.

8) 50 years ago, when Sgt. Pepper was first released, the average price for gas was 33¢/gallon. When did you last fill up your gas tank? Do you remember how much it cost? No car.

9) Random question: Are most of your married friends happily married? Yes. And it makes me happy, because they've all weathered a great deal. Economic downturns, loss of parents, trouble with kids ... But they came through it all OK. It's really inspirational.

August Happiness Challenge: Day 18

Rizz loves how virtuous I am
On Day 18, I'm happy that I got off my ass. This afternoon, when I settled in to watch the Cubs game, I idly thought about how long it had been since I completely emptied and washed out the litter boxes. I scoop all the time, but what about totally changing the litter? Reason told me that since I couldn't recall distinctly, it had probably been too long -- for both their comfort and my nose.

But, I said to myself, I just got comfy on the sofa! Jake Arrieta is pitching, and it is such a delight to watch that man move. It's my afternoon off, don't I deserve the opportunity to just veg out and enjoy my guys?

Still, I got up and spent the next half hour what I should. I dumped the contents of all three boxes into a double Hefty garbage bag and hauled it down four flights to the dumpster. (Boy, sodden litter is heavy!) I washed each out with soapy water. I sprayed them all with disinfectant. I replaced the liners and then refilled them all. It took about 3 innings, but I got it done.

I'm happy that, instead of just sitting there filled with "should," I got up and did.

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 Cub. 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.

Friday, August 18, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 17

Rizz loves Miller Lite
On Day 17, I'm happy that beer has no cholesterol. With that pesky insurance physical coming up Saturday, I've been very careful about what I eat. I miss burgers and cheese and bacon. I hate oatmeal and I'm sick of lettuce.

But beer has no cholesterol! So when I slipped out of this afternoon's bridal shower with a can, I savored every sip.

Legend has it that Ben Franklin said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." I heartily agree.

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 Cub. 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.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 16

Rizz loves sending it out of the park
On Day 15, I'm happy for Anthony Rizzo.  It was bound to happen -- one day in August I'd be grateful for the man chosen as my happiness icon.

It was the first inning of Wednesday night's game. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber hit singles and Kris Bryant took a walk. Anthony Rizzo got into the batter's box and, liked the first pitch he saw, and "unpacked the bags."

When Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo both score, we Cub fans like to say, "That ball was Bryzzo'd." This ball was Bryzzo'd right into the stands.

Fans like me weren't the only happy ones. If you watch the clip below, you'll see the bullpen break into dance. They celebrate every home run by showing off their moves, but with Rizzo's big swing, they were especially enthusiastic.



PS. This home run was in support of another fine performance by John Lackey, who made me happy last week. I believe this was his sixth consecutive win. Not bad, Old Man.

 
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 Cub. 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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Attention must be paid

I called in sick today because 1) I hate the way everyone at work has been leaning on me and taking me for granted and 2) it's Elvis Day on TCM Summer with the Stars.

I've watched Elvis on Tour, This Is Elvis, Girl Happy, Jailhouse Rock and That's the Way It Is. That's a lot of Elvis, I know. But he's the only King we've ever had, and attention must be paid. It was 40 years ago today he died, and yet I still hear him everywhere. Not just his music, but his influence on the music of those who followed.

Including Stitch.

via GIPHY


August Happiness Challenge: Day 15

Rizz loves it when we're a team
On Day 15, I'm happy for partnership.  Today was not a good day. The national news has depressed me literally beyond words. My friend Barb's husband was readmitted to the hospital again, after barely a week at home. I thought I'd find comfort tonight by watching the Cubs vanquish the Cincinnati Reds. Apparently the Reds weren't aware of this plan. 

So as I get ready for bed, I struggle to think of something that made me happy today.

Then I remembered my 2:00 meeting. 

The art director I'm usually paired with is on vacation. She's technically very good and detail oriented, but she doesn't bring much imagination to the table. So today, I got to start working with her back up. Drew. He's extravagantly talented. He's also something of a diva, so I was a little apprehensive.

I needn't have been. After the kick-off meeting, I explained that I knew what I wanted this piece to say and do -- I just wasn't sure how to make my words fit the format. 

"Write it," he told me. "The content will force the format."

He was so casual, so confident. 

I don't have to worry how my story will unfold on the page. I have a creative partner who will run that side of the fence. 

An equal creative partner. Hell, maybe even an extra-equal creative partner. That makes me happy!
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 Cub. 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.

Monday, August 14, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 14

Rizz loves it when it's free
On Day 14, I'm happy for free food.  My dinner tonight was provided by my employers. First, at 4:00, there was a nacho party. I don't really do Mexican food, but I did go nice, tasty and mild -- chips, melted cheese and rice. Then, when it was time to go home, I discovered a platter of sandwiches left over from an afternoon meeting. I grabbed a roast beef on wheat.

I consumed a lot of cheese today. Not good for my cholesterol, which is being checked on Saturday as part of an insurance exam. But I did have oatmeal for breakfast and a fruit salad for lunch, so I like to think that balances it out somewhat.

And free food is good for my budget. 
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 Cub. 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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 13

Rizz loves new old movies 
On Day 13, I'm happy for Turner Classic Movies.  Every August, we classic movie fans celebrate Summer Under the Stars. TCM devotes 24 hours to a single star. And every year I discover a gem I've never seen before.

Back on Day 8, the star of the day was Franchot Tone. A typical Hollywood leading man of his day, handsome but bland, he was often paired with the biggest female stars: Hepburn, Crawford (to whom he was once married) and Davis.

And it's his movie with Davis that I DVR'd on the 8th and watched today: Dangerous (1935). He's torn between two lovers: the sweet, funny brunette Gail and Joyce, played by Davis. Joyce is a tempestuous blonde with a secret.

It's soapy and dramatic, but at times, a glossy soap opera really hits the spot. Davis is a bit of a ham hock, and her performance often goes over the top. But she has some genuinely effecting moments, especially at the beginning, when she's beaten down and doesn't think life has anything to offer her anymore. 

This movie is legendary for a couple reasons. 1) It won Davis her first Oscar and 2) she was rumored to have enjoyed an on-set romance with Franchot Tone. Even though he was engaged to Joan Crawford. Dangerous might have fueled the epic Crawford-Davis feud.

And today, I'm glad I finally saw it.

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 Cub. 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.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Make a difference today

1.  What is the favorite piece of art you own?

I have this, numbered and signed by the artist. I love it and never get tired of gazing upon it. Klaus Voormann is a real Renaissance man. He not only did this, The Beatles Anthology CD/video cover, he also did the famous Revolver artwork. And he's an accomplished bass player. That's him plunking out the first chords on Carly Simon's "You're So Vain."



2.  The most expensive bill you paid last month.  Comcast Xfinity.

 
3.  What’s the last thing you apologized for? Crowding the aisle at Ulta. That store is awfully tight.


4.  If you could do today over, would you change anything? I wouldn't have wasted as much time as I did watching a rather hysterical TLC documentary about Princess Diana's death. No, Princes Philip and Charles did not have Diana killed because she was carrying Dodi's baby. Because they wouldn't do that, because she wasn't pregnant, and because orchestrating an assassination in a tunnel would be ridiculously difficult.



5.  What is the largest TV screen in your house? 20". It's a 17-year-old set and it's hopelessly out of date, technologically speaking. But it still works and it seems a shame to toss it into a landfill when the picture and sound are still so good. When the smaller set in my bedroom finally kicks the bucket, I'll move this warhorse back there and get a new set.


6.  What did you buy today? Moisturizers. Murad and Neutrogena.


7.  I wish I had a million dollars.


8.  How many photos did you take today? None.


9.  Last thing you wanted and didn’t get. Thousand Island dressing. I forgot to pick it up at Whole Foods.


10.  What was the last new thing you tried? I read a story I wrote in an open forum.


11.  Who is your hero? Right now, my friend Barb. She is facing a tremendous amount of adversity with grace. I admire her, and hope I can help her.


12.  Today I feel really secure knowing that when I start receiving Social Security, it will be enough to help me make ends meet.


13.  Whose life did you make a difference in today? My cats, Connie and Reynaldo. Because of my opposing thumbs, I can open the kibble and fill their bowls.


14.  What would have made today perfect? If the Cubs had won. Alas, they did not. I'm not even sure they're in first place anymore! (I can't bear to check the standings just now.)


15.  Did you thank anybody today? Oh, sure. Like when someone held the door for me, bagged my purchase for me, etc.

Bonus: If you were a Muppet, which would you be? Beaker. I like Beaker.





August Happiness Challenge: Day Twelve

Rizz enjoys paying the mortgage
On Day Twelve, I'm happy for Social Security.  I received a statement from the Social Security Administration today. It explained that if I began taking payments as soon as I'm eligible, at age 62, I'd get $1,849/month.

That would more then pay my mortgage and monthly assessment.

Since I'm a big fan of having a roof over my head, this made me happy.

Let's hope Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to leave Social Security alone, honors his word.
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 Cub. 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.

Prayers for my country

Last weekend, a mosque in Minnesota was bombed. My President still has not issued a statement.

Today, in Charlottesville, a woman was killed in a rally where my fellow Americans were waving Confederate flags and swastikas. My President denounced "violence on many sides." He repeated that phrase, "on many sides."

Why do I keep expecting better things from him? After all, he began his political life as our Birther in Chief. Where did he think that dog-whistle rhetoric would lead?


My heart is sore. I do not want to believe that the 49% of the country that elected Donald Trump is racist and anti-Semitic.

I hope that in the coming days, I'll see more and more Republicans come forward. For now, I'll hold these tweets dear.





The Hot 100

Thank you, Endomental! I love this list.

Rotten Tomatoes aggregates the 100 most popular movies into a list, using the criteria of number of reviews and their fresh/rotten ranking. Technically, it could change every time a new review is posted. So here's where we stand today.

BOLD -- I've seen it
BLUE -- I've seen it and liked it
RED -- A fave!


1          The Wizard of Oz (1939) 
2          Citizen Kane (1941) 
3          The Third Man (1949)
4          The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) (1920) 
5          All About Eve (1950) 
6          Metropolis (1927)  
7          Modern Times (1936)  
8          It Happened One Night (1934)  
9          Singin' in the Rain (1952)  
10        Casablanca (1942)  
11        Laura (1944) 
12        Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire) (1922) 
13        Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 
14        A Hard Day's Night (1964)
15        La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) (1938)
16        North by Northwest (1959)
17        Repulsion (1965)
18        Sunset Boulevard (1950) 
19        King Kong (1933) 
20        The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 
21        Rear Window (1954) 
22        Rashômon (1951)
23        Psycho (1960) 
24        The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
25        The Philadelphia Story (1940)  
26        Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) (1956) 
27        The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) 
28        All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
29        The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups) (1959)
30        12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) (1957) 
31        A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 
32        Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
33        Rebecca (1940) 
34        Vertigo (1958)
35        Rosemary's Baby (1968)
36        Frankenstein (1931) 
37        Touch of Evil (1958)
38        The 39 Steps (1935)
39        Gone With the Wind (1939)
40        The Last Picture Show (1971) 
41        The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 
42        Roman Holiday (1953)
43        On the Waterfront (1954) 
44        Battleship Potemkin (1925)
45        Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 
46        Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 
47        The Lady Vanishes (1938)
48        The Leopard (1963)
49        Chinatown (1974) 
50        Cool Hand Luke (1967) 
51        An American in Paris (1951) 
52        The Searchers (1956) 
53        The Gold Rush (1925)
54        It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
55        Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
56        The Red Shoes (1948)
57        The Big Sleep (1946) 
58        Mary Poppins (1964) 
59        To Be or Not to Be (1942)
60        City Lights (1931) 
61        The French Connection (1971)
62        Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
63        His Girl Friday (1940) 
64        Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
65        Throne of Blood (1957)
66        Barry Lyndon (1975)
67        Freaks (1932) 
68        Badlands (1974)
69        Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
70        Mean Streets (1973)
71        The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
72        Spartacus (1960) 
73        The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)  
74        Forbidden Planet (1956)
75        The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 
76        101 Dalmatians (1961) 
77        The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 
78        Duck Soup (1933)  
79        Fantasia (1940)  
80        2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 
81        The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
82        Some Like It Hot (1959) 
83        Bringing Up Baby (1938)  
84        Ran (1985)
85        Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
86        Peeping Tom (1960)
87        One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 
88        The Birds (1963) 
89        A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari) (1964)
90        Rebel Without a Cause (1955)  
91        Paths of Glory (1957)
92        The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)  
93        Goldfinger (1964)
94        Night of the Living Dead (1968)
95        Don't Look Now (1973)
96        Dr. No (1962)
97        The Apartment (1960) 
98        From Russia With Love (1964)
99        L'Avventura (1960)
100      To Catch a Thief (1955)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Start Me Up (1981)
... because Kwizgiver recommended The Rolling Stones

1) That's a goat wearing a high heel. What's on your feet as you answer these questions? Just toenail polish.

2) More fashion: In the video for this song, Mick is wearing white pants with an elastic waistband. Are you wearing a belt as you answer these questions? Nope
 
3) In this song, Mick pleads, "Don't make a grown man cry." When is the last time you shed a tear? I don't remember

4) Keith Richard has said this is a song he could play "forever and ever." What in your life doesn't get old, no matter how often you do it? I'm watching a TLC documentary on Princess Diana. It occurs to me that I've been reading about Diana and the boys for more than 30 years now. So I'd say, for me, royal watching doesn't get old.

5) While The Rolling Stones enjoy performing songs, like this one, from Tattoo You, Mick Jagger has dismissed the songs from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request as "rubbish." Do you have a favorite Rolling Stones song? I'm not much of a Stones fan, but I do enjoy this one, also from Tattoo You.


 
6) This recording of "Start Me Up" features a cowbell. Do you remember which Saturday Night Live host made, "More cowbell!" a catchphrase? Christopher Walken. I can't get over how often I still the meme and this t-shirt, even after more than 15 years.


7) Bassist Bill Wyman once said he thought he should have been a archivist because he loved to make lists. Do you have a to-do list? No

8) Mick finds it hard to stand still when he sings, not only on stage but also in the studio. The engineer for this song reports that Mick would have to run across the room to get back to the microphone for his vocal. Are you more fidgety, or still? I'm a fidgeter.

9) Random question: Do you believe men are inherently more sensible than women? No.

 

August Happiness Challenge: Day 11

Rizz is refreshed
On Day Eleven, I'm happy I took a nap. Our office closes early on Friday afternoons. These days always feel delicious and somehow stolen. 

Today I used the time to take a nap. Sprawled out on the sofa, I snoozed and snored for nearly two hours. Bliss!

Then I went grocery shopping, ticking one of the "must-do's" off my list.
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 Cub. 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.

August Happiness Challenge: Day 10

Rizz is happy for me
On Day Ten, I'm happy I got high five'd. For the last three weeks, I've been in this Second City storytelling workshop sponsored by employer. Monday I wrote this story, recounting a true story from my childhood. The praise from my two instructors was universal, and I didn't really trust it.

Let's face it: this is a business for them. My agency paid them to run this three-session workshop and hosted a pizza/wine/beer party Thursday to celebrate the results. They needed us to participate and share our stories or it wouldn't look like the agency got what it paid for.

So before I committed to reading this in open forum, I shared the story with John, Kathy and Henry. All three of them are writers. None of them has read my personal writing -- just my professional, marketing-based stuff. When all three of them assured me that it was good and I wouldn't embarrass myself, I committed to reading it at the party.

The reception I received was positive! People actually laughed out loud, and at the right places. As I made my way back to my seat, I received applause and high fives. It was very encouraging, and I'm glad I did it.

Praise feels good.

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 Cub. 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.

Hi, I'm Fatty McFatterson

Twenty years ago, I was worried about my mom, her finances, and what would happen to her if something happened to me. Yes, I already had a group life insurance plan through work, but advertising can be an insecure industry, so I wanted a policy independent of my job. So, just a month  before my 40th birthday, I got a $50,000 level term life insurance policy.

That policy expires on October 15. Now I need a new one.

Now I'm worried about the debts I'll leave behind, the expense of laying me to rest, and cost incurred in selling my condo and disposing of my stuff. By the time that happens, I'll likely be retired and there won't be a group plan anymore. I still want that $50,000 level term policy. I found a company willing to give me one -- at a higher price than I expected but, after I did a little homework, is competitive with the marketplace.

But first I have to pass the physical.

Gulp.

I know my gut is OK. I have photographic evidence of my colonoscopy. My weight is a big problem, but there's not a lot I can do about that before next week's physical. Then there's my cholesterol. I've got make sure that's down, or this policy will be difficult to afford.

So for the next week it's oatmeal and salad and fruit. The heavy, fatty foods I love so much will be consumed only sparingly (if at all).




Thursday, August 10, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 9

Rizz appreciates characters
On Day Nine, I'm happy about Gray and White Kitten and The Walking Dude.  

Gray and White Kitten was born in Millennial Park at the beginning of summer. He was all alone, without mama kitty or littermates. A homeless couple adopted him and are taking the best care of him they can. He's got a small portable litter box, a collar and leash, and toys -- all donated by passers by. He's amazingly chill about noises and doesn't even blink when a bus belches by or a siren blares. He encounters many dogs during the day but doesn't care much about them either. This is not to say he's not alert. He is. I've watched him enthusiastically take down a knotted pair of white socks. 

I realize that the two who adopted Gray and White Kitten are pimping him for donations. It's effective, too. I manage to scrounge change or a dollar bill every time I see them. And I've tucked a couple cans of canned food into my bag's side pocket.

I also know that it's more than likely that, without these two homeless kids, Gray and White Kitten would have perished in the park like his siblings, become road kill on the very busy streets, or fallen prey to some of the very sick fucks that are out there. I worry about what will happen to this cat come winter. I know there are homeless shelters that allow pets, but I doubt that the other dogs and cats that spend the night there have been immunized or fixed. 

But still, it was nice to see Gray and White Kitten looking healthy and loved. It's been a pleasure this summer to watch him grow, to see his ears go from round to pointy.

The Walking Dude is a Chicago staple, a homeless man who walks ... and walks ... and walks. He is tall and thin, with flowing white hair and a mustache. (Think a white-haired Barry Gibb.) His clothes are well worn, but the hair on his face and head are always immaculate as he walks all day and all night. In all weather. In May of 2016, he suffered a severe beating. He was hospitalized for a while and citizens contributed $40,000 for his care. News reports said he was "fine," but I no longer saw him walking, walking, walking. Today I did! And he looked fine.

I'm happy that the city is a vibrant place filled with unique and special characters, and I must remind myself to take the time to look.

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 Cub. 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.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Does anyone do Facebook right?

That provocative question appeared on my Facebook feed Sunday. I've been thinking about it ever since. And the answer, I've decided, is "no."

If a person shares that they something did well, are they being "self congratulatory?" Are they trolling for praise? Or are they just happy that they had a personal victory and they're sharing the moment?

If someone posts about an annoyance or disappointment, are they being a "downer?" Should they keep their shallow, First World problems to their damn selves? Or are they wisely letting their frustrations out so that they don't fester?

To the original question -- "Does anyone do Facebook right?" -- a woman snidely responded, "High school never ends." Just because she was being bitchy doesn't mean she wasn't right. Those adolescent feelings of vulnerability and that need for peer approval never really go away, and social media just exacerbates them.

This week I saw a post by a friend of a friend, a woman who took a selfie of herself at the beach. You can't see her face, but you can see her tummy, bikini bottom, legs and bare feet. Her body is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Yet she wrote how nervous she was, posting this picture to share and preserve her happy, peaceful moment on an empty beach.


"It's hard because with every picture you post you're hoping someone will like it and say something positive. However your gut tells you someone in the world is going to hate and criticize how you look. So here's me conquering my everyday anxiety and 
thinking I look nice in this picture."

My friend Amy posted the perfect response to this woman: "The only thing wrong with this picture is we can't see your pretty face."

But by admitting that she wants someone to like the picture and say something positive, is she begging for approval? Is she pathetically trying to compensate for some hole in her soul? Or is she courageously making herself vulnerable?

I don't have the answers. But I'm grateful to the woman -- someone I don't even know -- for raising the question. This stranger has made me more thoughtful and empathetic as I scroll through my feed.

Social media makes it easy for each us to be a distant, almost anonymous audience member in a cyber colosseum, giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to the poor schlubs who share their lives with us.

I must remember that each of us is doing the best that we can, and that it was a person who wrote that post I find it so easy to mock. A fellow human, not a cartoon or bot. Just someone expressing themselves and looking for validation.

While I'm sure my current moment of kum ba yah will wear off and revert to elitist, impatient eye rolls in the future, I must restrain myself from actually commenting. My nasty comments could harm the person they're aimed at and, I've learned this week, they also diminish me.