Friday, April 13, 2018

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: High Noon (1952)

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

1) What will you be (or were you) doing at high noon on Saturday? Hopefully I will manage to get to the neighborhood rummage sale. I've had good luck there lately, finding fabulous stuff, and it benefits local charities.

2) In this song, Tex Ritter sings he doesn't know what fate awaits him. How strong is your sense of intuition? Tell us about a time you knew what would happen before it occurred. Sometimes I'm thinking of some obscure song and it comes on the radio. Freaks me out every time.

3) This song was the theme of a hit movie western by the same name. It starred Gary Cooper as a small-town sheriff. When did you last interact with a member of law enforcement? An officer was just hanging out in the lobby of my office building, looking all official. I think sometimes police just want to be visible to discourage evildoers. 

I want to rock a tiara, like Sophie
4) Grace Kelly co-starred as the "fair-haired beauty mentioned in this song. Four years later, she gave up films to become Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco. Which job seems like more fun -- movie star or royal? Royal. Actresses work rather hard -- long days, memorizing lines, dealing with a lot of different personalities, being handled and judged ... Now a royal! I think you can pick your spots to do good. I wouldn't want to be mega-famous and popular, like Kate and William or Meghan and Harry. I think that level of scrutiny would be maddening. I'm thinking more like Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Never heard of her? Exactly!

She's married to Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth's youngest son. He's currently ninth in line to the throne (10th when Kate's new baby gets here). Sophie gets to wear a tiara and do all sorts of charity work. She's on the board of several hospitals, raises money for the preservation of WWI and WWII veterans' memorials and cemeteries, and helped establish The Jill Dando Institute, the first institution of higher learning devoted to crime science. It's a passion of hers because Jill Dando was a murder victim, and a friend of hers. I'd love to be able to pick a cause and truly help make good things happen.

5) Though he cultivated a "just plain folk" persona, this week's featured artist, Tex Ritter, was really cosmopolitan and highly educated, earning a degree in the economics from the University of Texas before going on to study pre-law at Northwestern. Do you think the "real you" is consistent with the image you convey? Yes.

6) Tex Ritter was the father of Emmy-winning comedic actor, John Ritter. John is remembered fondly as the voice of Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Clifford appeals to children because he is "gentle, friendly, loyal, lovable and clumsy." Do any of those adjectives apply to you? Certainly clumsy!

7) Tex is also the grandfather of Jason Ritter, star of ABC-TV's Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. If you followed one of your grandparents into their line of work, what would you be doing? My favorite grandpa had such a diverse professional career, he's given me several occupations to choose from. He was a chauffeur, a construction worker, technician on a conveyor belt and, as I just learned, a bass player!

8) In 1952, the year "High Noon" was popular, Stopette, the first antiperspirant deodorant spray, was introduced. Do you use a deodorant spray, stick or roll on? Suave Invisible Solid. You know, home air conditioners were not really all that common before the 1960s. And there wasn't antiperspirant deodorant until 1952. I'm guessing that for a long time, we were a stinky people in the summer.

9) Random question: What's something you have always wanted to own, but never have? A horse.


April Challenge -- Day 14

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Your life in seven years

This frightens me because it's unknown.

On good days, I think about how much I'll enjoy the freedom that will come with retirement. Waking up when I want. Being relaxed and energized to work on my home, work on my body. Really go through things and organize and declutter. Work out every day, maybe swim. Read more. Volunteer at the library and/or get a part-time retail job. (For some reason, I really see myself at Pet Supplies Plus.)

On bad days, I worry that I'll be poor and sick. I'm concerned I won't be able to afford to live much longer than my life in seven years.


If you're interested in seeing the April Challenge prompts and joining in, click here.

April Challenge -- Day 13

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Your commute to/from work

My commute is always eventful.

I take the CTA Green Line to and from the office each day. I get on at the second stop and get off at the sixteenth stop. The ride itself takes about 30 minutes and is always revelatory.

The first two stops take me through my village. It's always fun to see who gets on with me. One recent day there was a mom with a toddler girl who was so excited to "ride Thomas" that she actually, literally, jumped up and down and clapped her hands as the train approached. I felt privileged to be there for one of her first train rides. This week I rode with members of my local high school's swim team. Their conversation amused me. They do not find Mark Zuckerberg, or this Facebook transit poster campaign, impressive. I recall snickering and the word "douche." I was also impressed by how often one of the boys talked about his father, who takes this train to work every day. That kid is very proud of his lawyer dad.

The next nine stops are the ones you hear about on the news, as it takes me through the high crime area. I know this part of the journey turns a lot of people off, and I can see why. Many of the young people who get on and off at these stops are intimidating, behaving badly and almost daring the rest of us to say something, and no one ever does. (After all, littering or very loud music is not worth an altercation.) But it also teaches me a great deal about people who live just minutes away from my home. I find the women, especially, interesting and inspiring. They're almost all going to work. I can tell from their clothes and snatches of conversation that they are nail techs, fast food restaurant workers, and drugstore counter girls. Some of the younger ones -- and they are very young -- are trying to negotiate the commute with babies in umbrella strollers. I always wonder how much of their paycheck is left after they pay for daycare. Just Friday night, two of the women were talking about a friend of theirs who came home to find a burglar in her home. The community college students get on at these stops, too. I can tell by the textbooks.

The last five stops are downtown. I go through the up-and-coming River North area, and ride over the Chicago River itself. It never fails to amaze me that I am riding rails that were built high above a major river. Then into the financial district and The Loop. I get off at State/Lake. You can see the stairs I climb and descend way in the back of this photo. I realize that every day, twice a day, I pass an iconic marquee that tourists go out of their way to see and photograph.

I am lucky that I have another transportation option. After 7:00 PM, I do not ride the Green Line. It's simply not safe for a short, fat old lady traveling alone. Then I take the Metra commuter train. It's more expensive and runs on a more regimented scheduled. But on the upside, it goes directly from River North to my neighborhood without stopping.

If you're interested in seeing the April Challenge prompts and joining in, click here.

Greetings from the GOOD seats

The place where I work has season tickets for the Cubs. Fabuloo seats. 14 rows behind the Cubs dugout.Vice presidents request them and, if The Big Boss doesn't want to or can't go, the VPs can distribute them to their teams.

Through some circuitous path, Thursday's tickets made their way to me Tuesday afternoon. The guy who brought them over said it was because I'm such a loyal Cub fan he thought of our little creative team immediately. I think it's because April weather is so changeable, no one else wanted them. Whatever. I had 'em, and I was using 'em.

My boss didn't want to go. His personal life is ever-changing and i's harder for him to get home from Wrigley Field than it is the Loop. The art director didn't want to go because she hates baseball. I wanted to go more than life itself.

But here's the thing! I couldn't find anyone to go with me! I thought of John first. He's my Cub-watching buddy. But he had a late morning client meeting and couldn't make it to the ballpark by 1:00. Then I thought of my nephew, who was shockingly willing to cut class but couldn't come along because he had to be at work* by 6:00, and that couldn't happen. Not navigating post-game traffic from Wrigley Field out to the suburbs.

So I brought a pair of coworkers who sit around me: David, the AE whose desk I pass every morning when I get in and with whom I compare notes on last night's game, and Emily, the HR rookie who is so blabby and engaging. They are both 2016 college graduates, which makes them 24. That's a lot of time socializing with people more than 30 years my junior. Since we all had the Cubs in common, it was less awkward than I thought it would be. After the game, we even went for drinks together at Joe's on Broadway, the ancient and seedy dive bar that my friend John introduced me to. They were impressed that I knew such a cool place. They asked me about what other bars I know, and I told them about my favorite, where John and I celebrated my birthday.

"Will we be invited to your birthday party this year?" Emily asked. That made me happy.

Oh, and there's this:

•  The game itself was an unsuccessful snooze. We were still in it (behind just 3-1) when Joe turned to the bullpen. Then the deficit exploded, and we ending up losing big. Which is not to say we didn't have fun. I loved being able to watch Kyle Hendricks' motion from up close like that. And to see Kris Bryant take those big, wide swings in the on deck circle! You know, the things you miss when watching TV and the camera decides what you see.

• You can call me "mom." On the way into the park, the peanut vendor tried to guilt David into a sale by saying, "Buy a bag for mom." I was amused because it's better than "grandma" or "that crazy spinster cat lady."

*He takes his job at McDonald's very seriously! It's adorable.

April Challenge -- Day 12

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Two words of phrases that make you laugh.

These don't make me laugh, exactly, but they make me smile because they remind me of two of my favorite jokes ....

1) "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Larry the Lobster played the harp in Tommy Dorsal's band. One night they were playing a swimphony at the undersea establishment of his friend Sam the Clam. After the show, a fetching fishy shook her tailfin at him. He put his harp down so they could swim circles around the dance floor. Then he swam home. "Oh, no!" he exclaimed, "I left my harp in Sam Clam's disco!"

2) "He had a hat." A grandmother is watching her grandson playing on the beach. A huge wave comes and takes him out to sea. She pleads, "Please, God, save my only grandson. I will live a blameless life if only you return him to me. I beg of you, bring him back." And a big wave washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new. She looks up to Heaven and says, "He had a hat."


If you're interested in seeing the April Challenge prompts and joining in, click here.