Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Cool Guy Questions

1.) When was the first time you ever swore or said something profane? I don't recall the first time. One early, memorable adventure in cursing does come to mind, though. I ran down the basement stairs barefoot and couldn't stop when I saw the broken jar. So I landed on shards of glass. I fell on my ass and cradled my bloody foot, saying, "Goddamsonofabitch." My mom, who had been around the corner in the basement laundry room, appeared. I thought she'd ooh and aah over my foot. Instead she slapped my head and told me not to swear.

2.) Have you ever had unrequited feelings for someone?/Have you ever been friendzoned? I've been the victim of unrequited love, and I've had to friendzone someone. I actually prefer the former. It's very hard to hurt someone.

3.) What's a false assumption a lot of people have about you? People think I'm younger than I am. Thank God!

4.) Have you ever questioned your sexuality? Nope.

5.) If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be and why?

JBKO. I have so much to ask her! About Hillary, about Trump (she knew them both). About life in the White House, about living on a floating palace, The Christina. Most of all, I'd ask her how she did it. How did she take a really painful life and make it look so effortlessly graceful?

6.) What did you do on December 12th last year? I was going to the doctor a lot before Christmas. I don't recall if I had an appointment that day exactly.

7.) When was the last time you truthfully told someone you hated them? A boyfriend and I called Rod Stewart's "Have I Told You Lately?" our song. And often, when he really got on my nerves, I'd change the lyric to, "Have I told you lately that I hate you?"

8.) What is your opinion on this song? What about this song? Links don't work.
9.) In less than four sentences, describe the entire plot of the last book you read. Girl moves across country to Key West with her boyfriend. He cheats on her. Someone gets dead. She gets accused. (An Appetite for Murder.)
10.) Describe the appearance of the most untrustworthy person you can think of (they can be a person you've met or a made up person). Are they male or female or neither? What about their appearance makes them untrustworthy? My long-term, long-ago ex is the most untrustworthy person I can think of. Nothing about his appearance made him untrustworthy. He looked gorgeous. He just behaved like a complete and utter shit.

11.) What is the most cringe-worthy thing you've ever seen? Donald Trump mocking that disabled reporter. If you applauded it, Hillary is right and you are deplorable.

12.) What is your biggest regret? Staying with the man mentioned in #10 for as long as I did.

13.) Do you have any cousins? When was the last time you saw them? I saw my cousin about six months ago but chat with him via Facebook all the time.

14.) Describe the worst birthday you've ever had. The very day I turned six, someone murdered the President in Dallas and my birthday party was cancelled.

15.) When was the last time someone provoked you to the point of violence? Never. I've been so angry that my knees literally gave out, but I've never been tempted to strike out at anyone else. Yet.

16.) OH NOES!!!! Someone has gotten you to drink a truth potion and now you have to truthfully answer every question you are asked!!! What's the worst possible question someone could ask you? I'm sorry but no one specific thing comes to mind.

17.) Describe, in detail, your first serious relationship. Describe how it ended. First he deflowered me, then he dumped me. There was some lovely stuff in between and I'll always be a little in love with him.

18.) Introduce your best friend. Tell the story of how you met. She moved in across the alley and showed up in my Kindergarten class. We've been friends ever since.

19.) To the introduced friend, has our interviewee lied in any of these questions? Are you surprised by any of these answers? She might be able to come up with an interesting answer for #16.
20.) To finish up, what is your biggest irrational fear and how did you get it?

Clowns. When I was 8, I saw a movie called The Greatest Show on Earth. A doctor is unjustly accused of killing his wife and avoids prosecution by joining the circus. He always wears his clown makeup so he won't be recognized. I missed the "unjustly accused" detail and was just terrified of his pointy "I-killed-my-wife" smile. Incidentally, the clown was played by Jimmy Stewart. I could well be the only person on earth who has ever been frightened by George Bailey.

Mourning becomes him

Grief seems to be big at the cineplex this season. First I saw Jackie, in which Nicole Portman blisters the screen with barely-suppressed rage as the iconic First Lady deals with her husband's bloody murder. Today I saw Manchester by the Sea, which gives us Casey Affleck trying to "beat it." "It" being paralyzing grief.

Manchester by the Sea is a more conventional movie than Jackie. But that doesn't make it any less effecting. Lee Chandler has a small, solitary life as a janitor in Boston. He's close to his big brother (Kyle Chandler, who should work more!) and nephew out in Manchester, but for the most part he bounces from work to bar to studio apartment. Then his beloved brother dies and ... I shall say no more lest I give too much away. But Casey Affleck deserves all the accolades he's received this awards season. Ben's younger brother doesn't have movie star charisma, but he has heartbreaking Everyman sincerity.

People can go through so much, survive so much, and each of us does it on our way. We may go on, but we're forever changed.

I'm a little lighter these days

No, I haven't lost a freaking ounce.* I've just switched from The Tribune to The SunTimes.

The Chicago Tribune is a world-class newspaper. It wins Pulitzers for its writing and photography. It covers stories -- local, national and international -- in depth. I'm proud that it's my hometown paper of record.

BUT it's still a broadsheet, and that makes it nearly impossible to read on the train in the morning. Literally, there are some days when I dump it in the recycling bin mostly unread. Also, I don't want in-depth news and analysis anymore. It feels so surreal, I'm afraid I'll start screaming.

So I switched to The SunTimes. It's a tabloid in just about every sense of the word. Some of the columnists indulge in the goofy abbreviated writing that I loathe -- i.e., "Amirite?" -- which doesn't exactly enhance their credibility. But I'm always done with the whole thing before I get off at the Randolph/Wabash stop.

I'm happier.

Likewise, I no longer watch Morning Joe. That MSNBC  talk fest used to be my favorite show. I looked forward to hearing from people all across the political spectrum -- yes, I enjoy listening to Hugh Hewitt and Nicolle Wallace -- and going beyond the soundbites. But here's the thing: all three hosts (Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist) are seriously compromised when it comes to Trump. No, I don't mean they support or like him. I don't expect my hosts to pledge complete neutrality, I just expect them to be transparent about where they're coming from. And the Morning Joe crew isn't. Sometimes they're feuding with Trump, sometimes they're partying with him, and their coverage seems to ebb and flow based on their rather adolescent relationships with our rather mercurial new President.

So I switched to The Today Show. They talk about politics for the first 30-45 mins. (often with Nicolle Wallace) and then they go on. To the top-selling mascara or whether it's possible to shower too often.

I'm happier.

Both the GOP with their alternative facts and the extreme left with their demands of complete, progressive purity leave me queasy. I don't need this shit first thing in the morning. I can get a decent overview of what's going on in the world, and then it's on to Matt interviewing Robert DeNiro about A Bronx Tale returning to Broadway.

I've also become more interested in local news. I can't decide which I care about more -- Sen. Dick Durbin's re-election or Gov. Bruce Rauner's replacement -- but I have renewed appreciation for how much impact both will have on my day-to-day life. I plan to get involved in one of those campaigns.

Washington will have to take care of itself for a while. I'm exhausted.

*To be honest, I'm not even trying that hard.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Brokenhearted (2012)

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

1) This song is about a girl who is eager and anxious for her new lover to call. Do you owe anyone a call? An email? A text? I owe my Cousin Rose a letter. And John wants to know when we can get together, so I have to check my calendar and get back to him. 

2) The lyrics are peppered with the informal English exclamation, "cheerio!" What pops into your head when you close your eyes and think of England? 

3) This week's artist, Karmin, is a husband/wife duo who met at college, and that meeting changed the course of their lives and careers. Think of someone who has had a huge impact on your life. Did you know, as soon as you met, that this was going to be a life-changing relationship? Since I mentioned John in question #1, let's use him as an example. I remember the first time I met him -- when I began my first job as an advertising writer, I moved into the cubicle next to his. I recall being glad that he was so into Motown, because I am, too, and was relieved we'd have something to talk about beyond work. I had no idea those conversations about pop culture would continue for the rest of my life.

4) Though she sings about consuming tequila, the female side of Karmin, Amy, is a big proponent of healthy eating. She recommends organic foods that are free of pesticides, hormones, food coloring and added sugar. Think about your most recent meal. Was it a good example of "healthy eating?" Actually, I think it was. Grilled salmon fillet and green salad. OK, I probably doused the fillet in too much BBQ sauce and the salad in too much honey dijon. But for me, this was a very healthy meal.

5) Husband Nick has his own Twitter account (@NickKarmin), but he doesn't use it often. His last tweet was back in August. What's the last thing you posted to social media? (No, your blog doesn't count.) I thanked Tom for a video of Bobby Darin singing, "If I Were A Carpenter" on my Facebook feed. When he was getting married (four years ago now), he said he wanted this recording to be their first dance and was heartened that at least I was familiar with it. I really enjoyed Bobby Darin, though he seems to be forgotten now.

6) Karmin performed "Brokenhearted" live on Dancing with the Stars. DWTS is  very big business for ABC-TV. So many people vote for their favorite couples each week that their phone and text systems often overload. Have you ever voted for a contestant on American Idol, DWTS, The Voice, etc.? John and I voted passionately for Nancy Grace when she was on Dancing with the Stars. Watching her dance was one of our shared guilty pleasures. I vaguely recall voting one season on Idol, too.

7In 2012, the year"Brokenhearted" was popular, the average cost for a gallon of gas was $3.91. In 2016, it had dropped to $2.40. When it's time to fill up your tank, do you shop around for the lowest price/gal.? Are you brand loyal and always return to the same station, regardless of price? Or do you just buy gas from the nearest station when you're running low? No car.

8) In 2012, the Space Shuttle Endeavor was retired and placed on permanent display at the California Science Center, a Los Angeles museum dedicated to encouraging excitement and enthusiasm about air and space travel. Let's say you had a long weekend to spend in Los Angeles. Would you go out of your way to see The Endeavor? What else would you like to do during your time in the City of Angels? I think I'll pass on the Endeavor. My oldest friend lives out there, so naturally I'd call her. We'd go to a late lunch at Casa del Mar. She loves watching the sunset over Santa Monica pier.

9) While we're thinking about aviation ... Statistics show that it's still a predominantly male field, and less than 10% of commercial pilots are women. Would you be nervous flying with a woman pilot? Oh, I just plain hate flying. Knowing the gender of the pilot doesn't change that because mine is an irrational fear.