Saturday, June 03, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Random Questions, Part 683 

1. How old do you look? I think I could shave a decade off without anyone busting me for lying.

2. Where do you live? In this here condo.
3. Are you waiting for something? I suppose I always am.

4. What’s one pet peeve of yours that is not common? Space hogs. Like her.

A man is standing while your bags ride in comfort. You suck.
5. Do you want/have kids? No on both counts.

6. Have you ever thought about converting your religion? I did it. Twenty years ago I left the Lutheran Church and became a Unitarian Universalist. It puts my Christian faith in such real-world perspective that it helps me live my beliefs.

7. Last shocking news you heard? My boss' son is back in the hospital, battling bipolar disorder. It's important to remember how heavily this must be weighing on him (because this past week he was such an asshole).

8. What was the last thing you drank? I have a glass of Rumchata right here.

9. Who do you most look like in your family? I don't really look like either of my parents, but I do resemble my Aunt Jo and her dad, my favorite grandfather.

10. If you could have something right now, anything, what would it be? Financial security for myself ... or for the Cubs to sweep the Cardinals Sunday. Either one.

11. Where does most of your family live? I have an aunt (my dad's side) and a cousin (my mom's side) who both live in/around Tampa.

12. Where did you grow up? About 10 miles from here.

13. Where do you want to go on vacation? Oh, I want to go back to so many places! Lately I've been daydreaming about returning to Hot Springs, AR. It's such a sweet, charming and relaxing place to spend a long weekend. I haven't been there in a decade and wonder if it's changed.

The Arlington Hotel/Spa in Hot Springs

14. Have you ever had a panic attack? Yes.

15. What can’t you wait for? My new bed arrives June 19.

16. When’s the last time you told someone you loved him or her and meant it? When Henry and Reg got married, I told them I loved them.

17. Have your parents ever smoked pot? No.

18. Want someone back in your life? Yes.

19. What do you order at the bar? Vodka and cranberry juice.

20. When was the last time you cried really, really hard? It's been over a year

21. What are your nicknames? One of my coworkers has taken to calling me "El Train." I don't exactly know why.

22. What is your favorite thing to eat with peanut butter? Strawberry jam.

23. Where were you on July 4th, 2008? Here. My dear friend John's birthday is July 3, so I suspect I was either celebrating it or Independence Day.

24. If you could go forward in time, how far forward would you go? I don't think I want to, but thank you for asking.

25. If you could go back in time, how far back would you go? This holds more romance for me. I'd like to visit the 1860s west. I don't want to stay there, but just visit and see what it was like.


It was going to be a good day

I had a rough week at work and so I was looking forward to this, the first really warm, Saturday of the season. And I had nothing on tap. I love Saturdays like this.

I walked to the vet. It's a nice 1.5 mile trek and took me through parts of town I haven't seen up-close in months. The staff at my vet's office really looks out for me. They had Reynaldo's and Connie's prescription kibble all packed up and ready to go in a way that's easy for me to carry.

Then I had a nice BIG brunch -- steak and eggs -- with my book for company. Got home and watched the Cubs beat the Cardinals. Any opportunity to fly the W is welcome. Another win against the Cards is bliss!

Did some grocery shopping -- and stayed within budget! Took a nap. Woke up to watch the PBS special on the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper. Was feeling so happy.

And then the cable signal started acting funky. So I flipped over to CNN, just to see if it was a PBS-specific issue or a Comcast outage.

That's when I saw what happened today in London. 

London, again.

To put it in perspective (and I have to or I'll start screaming), six innocent people lost their lives in the streets of London to terrorism. Last Thursday night, three young men lost their lives on the streets of Chicago to gun violence. So while Al Queda and/or Isis may be good at striking terror, they are nowhere near as efficient at killing as the street gangs here.

The terrorists' goal is not so much to kill us as to get into our heads. I must remember that. If I approach events -- like Cub games or Taste of Chicago -- with fear because I know crowds make attractive "soft targets," I am letting the terrorists win. So I must go about living my life and enjoying my summer.

Even when my heart's not in it.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Lazy Bones (1975)

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

1) This song is about a guy who'd rather nap than do his chores. Are there things you should be doing right now, instead of hanging around the blogosphere, answering these questions? I'm writing this just after midnight, so I probably should be in bed, asleep. I have emails to answer. My dining room table is covered in paperwork. I need to update my finances on Quicken. So yes, there are plenty of things I should be doing right now. But, like you, here I am in the blogosphere.

2) This song mentions a lazy afternoon of fishing. When did you last go fishing? Not since I was a little girl. I didn't enjoy it. I was bored and felt sorry for the fish.

3) The lyrics catch our hero sleeping in both the sun and the shade. Do you have a nice, shady place to nap on your front lawn? Or would we catch you lying in the sun? Right now, there is literally nowhere to sleep on our front lawn. It's covered by sawhorses, courtesy of the Public Works Department who dug a big hole to replace something-or-other concerning a water meter.

4) This week's featured artist, Leon Redbone, is a difficult man to nail down. Over the years he's claimed to be born in Ontario, and Philadelphia, and even Cyprus. Tell us about a time you got caught in a fib. Wow, I haven't thought about this in years! But it was in fourth grade. There had been a big snowstorm, and the few of us that had made it into school were huddled outside the door, waiting to be let into the building. An older girl, one that I idolized, was saying that she'd heard on the radio that our school was closed, but she decided to come over and see for herself.

In retrospect, her story makes no sense. But I was in fourth grade. And I was so excited that a 7th grader was actually speaking to me -- or at least in my general direction -- I piped up, "I heard that, too!"

We finally got into class and were thawed out and in our desks. My teacher wondered aloud about why there were so few of us in class. After all, big snow during a Chicago winter is no big deal. One of my classmates announced, "The Gal said she heard on the radio school was closed!"

"Really, Gal?" my teacher asked, "What station?"

"I never said that. I didn't hear anything," I mumbled.

"Yes, you did," Big Mouth Classmate insisted.

I wanted to die.
5) Mr. Redbone has said that taking himself too seriously would be "the gentle kiss of death." What's something that you always take seriously and just can't joke about? Cruelty to animals or children.

6) He has retired from public life, and that includes his Facebook page, which is no longer available. What did you last post to your Facebook page? I "liked" this story about the Cubs adorable first baseman announcing his engagement.

Aw ... So happy for Anthony Rizzo and his girl, Emily.

7) Leon always wore dark glasses when he performed. Do your sunglasses have gray, green, brown or rose colored lenses? I've got a drawer full of sunglasses, but lately I have been wearing transition lenses that turn green.

8) Recently Dick Van Dyke performed this song at a charity benefit, aided by his a capella quartet, The Vantastix. Last year, at age 90, he campaigned for Bernie Sanders. So Mr. Van Dyke is certainly not a "lazy bones." Who's the most active, energetic person in your life? My friend, Nancy. She works a full week, drives her daughter all over, has "date nights" with her husband and still does a lot of charity work. (I sleep on the sofa.)

9) Random question: You're at dinner with friends and someone begins a very long joke with, "Stop me if you've heard this before." You have heard it, many times before. Do you stop him? Or do you just sit through it again? It costs nothing to be kind at a moment like this. I'll sit through it again.

The Right Words at the Right Time

I worry about money. A lot.

It's not that my finances are appreciably worse than they were a year ago. They aren't. It's that I'm a year older than I was a year ago. I realize that, to maintain my standard of living, I have to keep bringing in the salary I currently am. And realistically, I know that this just isn't going to go on forever.

And so I freak out. I worry, and I feel bad. And I have stopped spending on extraneous BIG things. My bathroom remodel is on hold -- again! -- for another year. There's no solo getaway on my calendar. I want to do both badly, and I have the available credit on my card to do both. But that would be stupid. And so I won't do that.

And I worry.

But I also do a lot of dumb things. I waste tons of money on little things, and I really didn't think about it until last week, when I got to page 57 of Rob Lowe's memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. Looking back on his junior high years, Rob writes:

"We can't afford restaurants very much. If we do go out, the rule is: no desserts. There is never a vacation. And no new clothes."

I was sitting in a restaurant as I read that. When I brought my summer clothes out, I saw to my amusement that I now have, like a zillion navy blue t-shirts because, for some reason, I thought I needed navy blue t-shirts. Of course, I have no black slacks that will cover my prodigious ass. That's because I was too dumb to check my closet and drawers before I shopped.

And books! This Lowe book I picked up at the Little Free Library right down the street, but I also just purchased two new hardcover books ($30). Because I felt like it, and I wanted them. What's wrong with the public library? Or waiting for the annual book sale? Or just being smart?

It's time for me to be as smart as Rob's mother was back in the day. I have to be mindful of EVERYTHING I buy, not just things past a certain price point.

Friday, a Cub fan/coworker came by and asked if I wanted to buy his Cub tickets for Saturday's and Sunday's games. AGAINST THE CARDINALS. He and his (pregnant) wife and can't go and under the circumstances -- baby on the way -- it just doesn't seem responsible for him to let the tickets go to waste. He's got to sell them. Face value = $75 each.

Cubs. Cardinals. Wrigley Field. Sunshine, beer and ivy. Do I want to go? Hell to the yes!

But I can't go. I've already spent $300 on Cub tickets, and I haven't seen a single frame yet. (I'll be return to the Friendly Confines this Friday and then again with my nephew in July.) So I'll also be buying beer and hot dogs and drinks after the game. I simply cannot afford it.

But I want it. And the want is very strong.

So, with Luke standing there, I call my friend John at work. I tell Luke if John picks up, and can go, I'll buy the tickets. If he doesn't, it's not meant to be.

John didn't pick up. In a way, I'm glad. John really can't afford to spend even more on Cub
tickets, either.

This weekend I'll be in front of the set, watching the Cubs on TV. And that's fine. It's smart.

Whoever woulda thought Rob Lowe would be my inspiration?