Friday, October 20, 2017

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Voices Carry (1985)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
This song was chosen because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please share this link to The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Let's spread the word that there's help out there.

1) In this song, a woman is "hushed" by her lover. When were you last told to "keep it down?" I can't recall anything recently, but when I was a little girl, one of my grandmothers forever shushed me. I remember her muttering, "that voice!" under her breath. As a result, I'm still self conscious about my speaking voice.

2) Her lover tells her tears are something to hide. Researchers tell us that crying can be good for us, because by releasing emotional stress, it lessens physical stress on the cardiovascular system. Are you comfortable crying in front of other people? Not at all. Maybe I'd be better with it if I cried pretty, like Scarlett O'Hara. I don't. I get all red and my nose runs.

3) In this video, the woman makes a scene by speaking up in a theater. Today theater goers are more likely to be disturbed by a cell phone ringing or its screen illuminating. Are you careful to turn your phone off in the theater, church, etc.? I'm careful in theaters and at church. I should remember to shut it off when I get to the office, but I forget. 

4) When this group, Til Tuesday, was still struggling, Cyndi Lauper was already a star. Cyndi offered to record this song, which would have brought the group some fast cash, but only if they agreed not to record it themselves. Obviously they didn't take the deal. Tell us about a time you took a risk on yourself, and it paid off. Back in 2002, I was exhausted. Burned out. When management asked me who on my team I wanted to let go, I raised my hand and said "Me." At first I enjoyed freelancing and having all my time to myself. Then I started to worry a lot about the cost of health insurance and panicked that I'd never find another full-time job. I finally did (after 15 months). I learned a great deal about myself and my priorities during this period and am glad I did it.

5) Til Tuesday's lead singer, Aimee Mann, went to Open High School in Richmond, Virginia. This charter high school is dedicated to helping students become "self-determined thinkers and learners." Do you recall your high school as permissive or regimented? I remember it as regimented. In retrospect, it probably wasn't all that strict. I was just really unhappy there.

6) Aimee has been on the road through 2017 and, like most artists, sells tour merchandise. Her line includes reusable tote bags. Do you bring your own bag to the grocery store? Yes.

7) Aimee has tried her hand at acting and appeared on Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. From Dracula to Barnabas Collins to Lestat, vampires are a popular culture staple (especially in October). What do you suppose accounts for their enduring popularity? They can be very sexy. After all, vampires are oral and the neck is an erogenous zone. See below and prepare to sigh.

8) In 1985, when this song was popular, Bruce Springsteen was at the top of the charts with Born in the USA. A massive commercial success, Born in the USA has sold more than 15,000,000 copies in the United States alone. Is it in your collection? I bought this one often. First on vinyl. Then again on vinyl to replace the one that got scratched when someone fell into the stereo during a party at my boyfriend's apartment. Then on cassette. Now on CD. (You're welcome, Boss.)
9) Random question: In which race would you do better -- the Iditarod, with sled dogs in Nome, or speeding in a car at 200+ mph at the Indianapolis 500? Gimme the dogs.

Sight seen

What was this awesome and pristine Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile doing parked in the cab stand? I don't know, but it made me happy.

I really wanted to hitch a ride. It would have been the most deluxe Uber home I've ever taken.

Sad, then happy, then sad, then happy

I really expected never to see Napoleon the Cat ever again. At least I hoped I wouldn't. It rained like mad last weekend, and I hated the thought of the kitten and his people in a flimsy tent by the river -- battling mud, rain and a shrinking riverbank. So I wanted to believe they were safe and dry on a bus to Cleveland.

That didn't stop me from looking for them on Monday. Their usual spots beside the street light were empty in the morning. Empty in the evening. Get over it, Gal. They're off to a better life. Just be happy for them.

Then on Tuesday, when I was en route to the bank, I saw Caleb and Napoleon, sitting in the sun, panhandling. Napoleon was alert and awake and tried to climb into my purse as Dad and I chatted. I was happy to see how snowy white his little paws were. Obviously the mud wasn't too bad over the weekend.

They just couldn't come up with the money needed for busfare for three to Cleveland, and Caleb didn't like the idea of leaving his wife and kitten alone here indefinitely. I hadn't thought of that, but I'm sure there is an element of danger involved in being a woman alone and homeless.

So while the little family is disappointed, it's just a temporary setback. The man for whom he'll be working faxed* a contract to Caleb that states how much he will make when he gets to Cleveland. Obviously he has to get there sooner rather than later -- November 1, actually -- but the commitment is there. Their hearts don't have to sink every night when they come up short for busfare. It's cool.

Then last evening I saw Napoleon again with his "mom." (I never can remember her name!) She was sad to report that while most of their belongings made it through the weekend storms OK, the Patty Hearst book was ruined. Oh well, it was a well-worn paperback, nearly 30 years old (!) that I picked up at a second-hand store. I was just glad it gave them some pleasure.

But they hadn't finished it yet! Napoleon's parents are only in their 20s and truly had never heard the Patty Hearst saga before. Mom wanted to know how it ended. She told me she just got to the trial, and that Patty had just been found guilty.

I was happy to tell her that the book ends with President Jimmy Carter pardoning Patty Hearst after she served a portion of her prison sentence, that Patty married a bodyguard and has lived a happy if unconventional life ever since.

"I'm reading it and I'm thinking to myself, 'did all this really happen?'"

I assured her it all did. I even told her about that long-ago Friday evening when I was babysitting and watched the SLA house fire on live TV. I said, "It was a bigger deal than Jodi Arias or Casey Anthony." I didn't invoke OJ because it occurs to me that she might be too young to be very familiar with the Simpson case.

I've learned a lot by befriending Napoleon and his parents. One is that they seem to appreciate being related to as people. They like talking about cats, and the Cubs, and Patty Hearst, not necessarily whether they have enough to eat, or are warm enough at night. Homeless people are just that: people. I must always keep this in mind.

*Where did he send the fax? The UPS Store? The public library? There are aspects to day-to-day life among the homeless that I'm so curious about, but I don't ask because I don't want them to feel like lab rats or a case study. 

Ow! Ow! Ow!

It wasn't really a zit. It was more of a cyst. A growth. A red pocket of pus, pain and embarrassment.

I felt very sorry for myself. I felt very sorry for everyone who has had to look at me this week.

I wish it would have been acceptable for me to work from home this week while it healed, but, alas, I had to inflict by unsightly countenance on the populace.

First things first

Bryzzo: Thanks for everything and have a good off season!

I haven't posted this week and consequently have much to get down. But mostly I've been Cubbie obsessed. My guys reached the National League Championship Series for the third year in a row! Yes, they fell rather ignominiously to the Dodgers, but they got to the NL finals. That's the important thing.

So now this season is over. I feel a loss. Not sadness or disappointment. While the LA series was painful, the Nationals games were thrilling. That's all a girl can ask for. So what if they fell to a better team? No shame in that. Especially when there are 30 teams in the MLB, and the Cubs were among the last four.

But I've come to adore each one of these guys. It'll be a long, cold, lonely winter without them. Some of this year's players won't be in Cubbie blue next year. I'll miss them.

Now we wait till next year.