Tuesday, September 17, 2019

I suck

I'm not liking myself very much right now. I did something unkind of Monday, and I don't really understand why.

I saw Caleb on the corner of Michigan and Lake, and I just kept going.

He wasn't with his wife Randi or Napoleon. Just Caleb, his nose in a book, collecting cash with a sign that said he needed $23/night for a place to sleep. He didn't see me, and so when the light changed I let the crowd carry me across the street and just kept going.

When last I spoke to Randi and Caleb, they still had their apartment. I hope that's still the case. But I don't know, because I didn't stop.

I've been feeling overwhelmed lately. Worried about John ... about Henry ... about Rizzo. My oldest friend has been promising me a good chat since Labor Day, but she hasn't come through. Is she buried under the blues, or just thoughtless? (And which is the preferable option? I don't know.)

Worried about money. On the one hand, my tooth ended up costing way, WAY less than I expected it to (thank you, insurance). But there's still my niece's wedding on the horizon, and a new boiler, and a new roof, and (maybe) new windows.

I think I just couldn't handle another drop of sad.

That's not admirable. It's honest, but not admirable.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Not him. Not now.

Ok, let's be real. There's NEVER an acceptable time for anything bad to happen to #44. And yet today, Anthony Rizzo went down. He'd been so happy in the lead off position. He'd gotten on base twice, with walks! Then in the third, this happened. Look at his ankle. It's called a "lateral inversion sprain." Or, in human speak, it means he rolled his ankle.

Suddenly all his weight was on the outside of his ankle.
KB, the Cubs trainer and Joe tend to him.
Poor Rizz!

The good news is that the ankle is NOT broken. Sprains are less serious, but harder to predict. And he's undoubtedly suffering bruising, swelling and pain.

Rizzo deserves better from The Baseball Gods. Just last Friday,  he invited pediatric cancer survivors onto the field. That's young Ethan, currently in remission, who got to throw out the first pitch.

Get well, Rizzo! You deserve only good things!

My flirter is fixed!

I don't like what I see in the mirror first thing in the morning. My hair has grown thinner with time, yet it is still as independent and spiky as ever. My face looks ruddy, fat and, worse, puffy around the eyes. While I look better after shower and shampoo and makeup, I still go back to that first look in the mirror and can't help thinking, "No one would want to wake up to this!"

This has made me self conscious with men within my dating range. I don't engage with new men in social settings and am grateful when I seem to be invisible.

My prestigious prize
Which is why I am so surprised by Paul, director of the local library book sale. He went out of his way to engage me in conversation when I was volunteering, and he thanked me for my work on the last day, adding that he hoped I would attend the potluck dinner when results of the sale were shared.* I thought he was paying more attention to me than he did to other volunteers, but then again, I didn't see him with everyone.

No, he was flirting with me. I attended the volunteer dinner this past week and yes, again he was making eye contact with me as he was addressing us, using me as his barometer to see if his jokes went over. And on the way out, he gave me a prize. A bottle of bubble bath donated by a local Avon representative.  I didn't log the most hours. I was neither the youngest nor the oldest volunteer. I didn't even win the raffle. He just wanted another opportunity to talk to me.

I won't see him until next year. That's not really important. It's the idea that an attractive man would want to talk me that gives me confidence.

*After expenses, we raised $16,000 for the library. Yea!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Sunday Stealing


Who is your favorite author? It changes. Over the decades, though, I think it would be William Goldman. He wrote The Princess Bride, Magic and Marathon Man. His books were witty and hip, but they still had a lot of heart.
What was the last book you read?
The last book I finished was Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. It was amusing chic lit, but it was like a drug store candy bar: satisfying in the moment, but not at all memorable.

What book reminds you of your school days? Amelia Bedelia. I read this when I was a little girl and it completely cracked me up. Amelia was a very literal housekeeper. Her new employers left a list of things to do and she did them. "Dust the furniture." She took face powder and gave the furniture a light dusting. "In the afternoon, draw the curtains." She took out her sketch pad. "Change the bath towels." She used scissors to cut designs into them, thereby changing their appearance. You get the idea. This book appealed to both my sense of humor and burgeoning love of language. Amelia Bedelia is still in print. If there's a young reader in your life, I recommend it.

What book releases are you looking forward to?
Touched by the Sun by Carly Simon. It's a memoir of her friendship with my all-time idol, JBKO. These two very different women were friends for more than a decade, until Jackie's death. Carly referred to her as a "confidant, mother figure and pal." I cannot wait!

Just a couple of gals, enjoying the water
What movie releases are you looking forward to? Downton Abbey! Also, the Judy Garland biopic starring Renee Zellwegger.

What 3 books are you planning to read?
Touched by the Sun (above), Becoming by Michelle Obama, and Twist and Shout Murder, which promises to be a nice, silly little mystery.

Have you ever damaged a book? Yes. One wet autumn afternoon, as I was boarding the bus, I dropped a hardcover book in the mud. Fortunately, amazingly, it landed upright, so only one side was damaged.
How long does it take you to read a book?
Depends on the book.

Books you haven’t finished?
I've tried twice to read Lincoln by Gore Vidal and I just can't. I'm sure it's a reflection on me, not Gore or Abe.

Popular books you didn’t like?
The DaVinci Code.

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell people you were reading?

How many books do you own?
Lots and lots and lots.

Are you a fast or slow reader?
Slower than Kwizgiver. She's a reading dynamo!

Do you read better in your head our out loud?
In my head.

"I can't afford that and my rent."

So John keeps insisting whenever he mentions health insurance.

He was let go on August 30. He doesn't qualify for Medicare until July, 2020. COBRA insurance will cost him $500/month. He insists that's too expensive.

"I can't afford that and my rent."

This scares and infuriates me.

He is suffering from heart disease and diabetes. He's been hospitalized three times this decade. He has trouble walking. He can't keep weight on. He is on a variety of prescription meds. I don't see how he can afford NOT to continue his health insurance.

Behold John's role model.
Especially when he's still a fixture at The Hole.  He spends so much money there that they have begun giving him a discount on his food and drink. Let's say he visits there 3x/week -- and I think that's conservative. And let's assume he spends $20/night -- and I think that's conservative. That's $60. That's $260/month, right there.

Oh, yeah. And he shouldn't be drinking that much anyway.

He is trying to get his former employers to extend his coverage until he turns 65 next year. Failing that, he'll "look into Obamacare." I did some internet research and am pretty sure he qualifies for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Bronze Plan that costs $198/month. It has an insanely high deductible ($6,000!) but doctor visits would only be $50 and he could get generic drugs for $10.

John is one of my oldest friends. I do not want him to die. I do not understand why he's choosing The Hole over his health.

And I'm not even talking about the booze. He could drink at home for cheaper. I don't understand the lure of this place.

Oh, well. I sent him the Obamacare information and now I have to stop nagging him. I know what happens when I nag. He shuts me out. I don't want that. So I'll have to bite my tongue, love him, and pray. It's all I can do.


It's not just a saying

One thing I discovered during my recent recovery from oral surgery: I can indeed have too much dairy. Two days of yogurt and milk shakes and thick, creamy soups did a number on my gut.

You would think I would retain that knowledge for just a week, wouldn't you?

On Friday, the lure of a free pizza lunch at the office was too strong. I loaded up on plain cheese as well as cheese and sausage.

Guess what happened.

You're right.

Saturday 9

The Straw Hat Song (1955)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) In this song, Desi Arnaz encourages us to laugh and sing instead of concentrating on our troubles. Is this an approach to life you could adopt? Or are you a worrier? I am a worrier. I am usually pretty happy, but that doesn't mean I'm not fixating on something.

2) Because Desi's public persona was carefree, people are often surprised to learn his early life was hard. In 1933, his wealthy family was targeted by Cuban revolutionaries. Their home was destroyed and were forced to flee the country. In Miami, they lived in a warehouse and 16-year-old Desi helped support the family by cleaning cages for the man who sold canaries outside a drugstore. Think about your friends and acquaintances. Whose life story turned out to be very different than you originally thought? My friend Joanna is so sophisticated, stylish and poised that I was surprised to learn of her painful romantic past. She's been divorced twice. That's part of why she decided to move to Chicago and start anew. I remember the night she told me about her marital history. I said I sometimes feel people judge me when they find out I got to this stage in my life without ever having been married. "How do you think I feel?" she asked. Reminds me of this from Facebook:

3) While still in his teens, Desi got his first job as an entertainer. As a boy in Cuba, he expected to be a lawyer, not a musician. He only began playing guitar because he noticed girls like musicians and he liked girls. Tell us about a hobby of yours, and what inspired you to pick it up. I'm an avid reader. When I was in first grade, I didn't enjoy reading in class. Boring! Then my grandfather introduced me to Beatle cards. Each pack contained 5 cards and a piece of pink gum. Grandpa pretended to care about the Beatles and encouraged me to read the back of the cards aloud to him. What a dear, smart man he was! And patient. He probably had to help me with every other word.

4) He discovered he was not only a talented musician but a natural leader. By the tender age of 19, he had organized The Desi Arnaz Orchestra and they were performing in Miami hotels. Have you ever been a boss? If so, did you enjoy it? Yes, I have been a boss. No, I didn't enjoy it. Since I have trouble with authority figures, I had a hard time being one.

5) When he was 23, he went to Hollywood to try his hand at movies and met a 28 year old actress named Lucille Ball. In Hollywood back in 1940, it was considered embarrassing for a woman to date a younger man. Their initial attraction was so powerful she quickly got over it. Do you think age matters when it comes to romance? It can. But I don't think five years is a big deal. A 15 or 20 years gap might be difficult to surmount.

6) Desi was the first person to call that famous redhead "Lucy." Throughout her entire life, friends, family and coworkers always referred to her as "Lucille," as she preferred. But Desi insisted on "Lucy." He said that name was his and his alone. Ironically it became the way the world referred to her. Do you have a pet name for anyone? I always refer to my oldest friend by her first and middle names.

7) Lucille and Desi named their son and daughter after themselves. Were you named after anyone? No. 

8) Desi was the founding force behind Desilu. One of the first great production studios of the television age, Desilu grossed $15 million in 1957 (more than $135 million in today's dollars). He credited his success to his unconventional and creative approach to problems. Are you a good problem solver? In my work, yes. In my personal life, I'm less successful.

9) Random question: Who annoys you more, a know-it-all or an ignoramus? I'm not crazy about either of them. I suppose a know-it-all is worse because the ignoramus can't help it.


Sunday, September 08, 2019

RIP, Orlando Suero

Jackie from the 1970s
In 2007, I laid my hands on a lovely coffee table book called Camelot at Dawn. In 1954, photographer Orlando Suero was sent by McCall's magazine to profile Senator John F. Kennedy and his bride, Jacqueline. In the decades to come, as Jackie and then as Jackie O, she would become McCall's most popular covergirl. But those covers were paparazzi shots, and she never participated in the articles within.

But Suero's work was different, unique and very intimate. The Kennedys allowed Suero into their lives for a week. They were not yet celebrities and could move around Georgetown without being gawked at. Of course they were aware Suero was there, but Jackie hadn't yet mastered the frozen smile and thousand yard stare that would become her trademark.

Orlando Suero passed away this week at 94. He was a veteran, having served in WWII. He went on from this "little" McCall's assignment to become a popular photographer in Hollywood from the 1960s through the 1980s. I'm a big Hollywood fan and appreciate his work in that setting, but these shots are historic. Here's just a sampling of what he captured during those days in Georgetown.

BTW, these photos helped contribute to her decision to let her hair grow out. She felt her head looked "too big" and her stylist advised her that more hair would help camouflage that. Isn't it amazing that all women seem to be insecure about their looks?

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Sunday Stealing


What is the most fun thing you have ever done? Ever? That's a little broad isn't it? The most recent fun thing I did was Friday. I went to the opening night of Noir City Chicago film festival at the Music Box Theater. It was a nice night out with Will from my movie group. It left me happy and relaxed.

Are you left-handed or right-handed?
I am right-handed. Or, in the words of my chiropractor, "highly right dominant."

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
Again, EVER is just too broad for me. The first kindness that comes to mind was my friend Nancy over 4th of July weekend. She reached out to include me in her family's plans. I didn't take her up on it, but that's not the point. John, my running buddy over the 4th since (gulp!) the 1980s was ill and I felt sad and alone. Just the invite was enough to brighten my day. How thoughtful of her!

What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?
First of all, I have never been "in the wild." I have hiked through state parks and forest preserves, but I've never been to a remote tropical island or anything. And you know what? I don't want to. Now that we have that out of the way ...

I saw a whale show once at SeaWorld in San Diego. I have seen elephants many times at various zoos. The biggest animal I have ever seen, roaming loose, is a deer.

What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild? Geez, do we really have Sunday Stealers who regularly travel to the Cocos Islands? Sparrows are very common here in Chicagoland, and they are very small, often weighing little more than an ounce.
Do you ever have funny dreams at night?
Sure, on occasion.

If you could make a law for your country, what would it be? I'd make it illegal for civilians to own assault weapons.

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be? Jennifer Aniston. Because she's pretty and likeable and I'm sure she's much nicer than that icky Angelina.

What would you like to change about yourself?
I would like to not be so lazy.

What is your daily routine.
Get up, get out of bed. Drag a comb across my head. (Wait! That's Sir Paul's daily routine!)

What would your perfect day be like?
I would sit in the sun and watch the Cubs reign victorious at Wrigley Field. All the drama would take place on the field, none in my real life.

How old were you when you learned to read?
First grade.

What is the most interesting thing you know?
If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. (OK, I stole that from Groucho.)

What makes you nervous? Leavin' on a jet plane.

What is your favorite flower?
Carnation. They come in so many colors!

This isn't even all your choices.

Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?

What time do you go to bed?
When I'm tired.

What time do you get up?
When my cat Reynaldo lets me know he's hungry.

What is something that is always in your refrigerator? Coke.

Now entering Crazy Town

I had a very, very disturbing call on Thursday with Henry. I'm still not quite over it. Since his accident last October, Henry has not been the same. He has come a long way. He goes to church regularly, he participates in his the poetry guild. Some days, when we talk, he is his happy old self. But he is always in some discomfort, he takes a handful of pills every day, and his coworkers are always on alert for his seizures. This stress takes its toll.

And Thursday night, pain and stress and sleeplessness and wine led us into Crazy Town. He told me the reason for the call was a quick check in, wanting to hear how I was healing after my oral surgery. I was dopey* enough to believe him. That is not why he called.

He called to whip himself up into a panic, and he wanted an audience.

A bill arrived from the hospital for $7,000. He doesn't have $7,000. They're going to take his house. He's going to be homeless.

I explained to him that no one is going to take his house over $7,000. That he needs to talk to his insurance company about working out a payment plan.

No, they will take his house. They said they wanted him to pay by check or credit card. They're going to take his house. He's going to be homeless.

I told him it would cost the insurance company more than $7,000 to evict him. Lawyers and court costs, etc. Call them. Work out a payment plan.

No, I don't understand how corrupt Florida is. They're going to take his house. He's going to be homeless.

I suggested he talk to his HR rep. She can be his liaison with the insurance company.

No! HR will want to see the police report from the accident. The police report is dishonest! It will ruin him. He is going to lose his house. He's going to be homeless.

By now he's crying. He says he can't take this anymore. He says he wants to die.

I tell him to call his minister. He says his minister has told him to, "Shut up and get over it." I wanted to laugh, because I mean, really! Not even in a Monty Python skit would a minister talk to a parishioner that way. But Henry was really, sincerely in pain. So I asked him where his husband Reg was.

Reg was asleep.

OK, what about his best friend Phyllis? Here I am, in another time zone and trying to heal. I don't know how to handle this. At least Phyllis could get in the car and drive over.

He doesn't want to talk to Phyllis. What he does want to do is "remove himself from the situation."


I told him it was cruel to bring that up in a conversation with me. I am more than 1000 miles away. I can't help him. How could he so vicious to someone who loves him like I do?

By now he's really slurring. He says he can't do this anymore. He simply cannot.

I told him I was calling Reg and waking him. That if Reg didn't answer, I was calling the police.

He said OK, and that he loves me.

I called Reg. And awakened him from a sound sleep. He was surprised to hear from me, and saddened by the turn of events, but strangely calm about Henry.

He told me they have had no conversations with the insurance company, so that whole "pay by check or credit card" call never took place. Reg told him not to worry, that they have the funds to pay the bill from their Gofundme. He said he suspected Henry had been drinking with Phyllis. He said he would take care of it from here.

I was too wound up to sleep. Between Henry and Reg, I'd been on the phone for two very intense hours and now my heart is beating out of my chest like a character in a Warner Bros cartoon. This is not good for me. I'll be honest: I resented it.

The next morning, after a sleepless night, I called the office and told them I'd work from home. I got a text from Reg, thanking me for being there Thursday night, and telling me that Henry claimed not to remember talking to me at all. Reg says he could tell that Henry remembers, and is embarrassed.

I know we're all doing the best we can here. I'm just exhausted. I don't feel well. I have money woes. I am not a shrink. I am not equipped to handle this.

Love is not enough. I am learning that, slowly and very late in life, I guess. I cannot love him well.

*And I mean "dopey" literally. Prescription-level pain killers make me stupid.

Saturday 9

The Sweet Escape (2006)
1) This song begins with, "First of all, let me say I must apologize ..." Who most recently apologized to you? Friday Joanna apologized for standing me up for dinner. I really didn't mind that much. I didn't feel like spending the money on a meal that I may not enjoy because I'm still not 100% over Wednesday's dental work.

2) Gwen Stefani sings that she acted like "sour milk on the floor." Is there milk in your refrigerator right now? What about non-dairy creamer? There's a quart of 2%.

3) In the video, Gwen wears several different pairs of stiletto heels. What are you wearing on your feet as you answer these questions? I'm barefootin'.

4) Mrs. Stefani named her daughter "Gwen" after a stewardess in the book/movie Airport. Who was your favorite character in the book you just read, or movie you most recently watched? It's Thelma (pronounced "Telma"). The Viscountess Furness, thank-you-very-much. I'm reading a biography of Gloria Vanderbilt, and Thelma was her aunt, her mother's identical twin. 

Thelma with her fella, the future king
She was her own girl in the 1930s, a time when being an individual wasn't necessarily valued in a woman. Her sister (Gloria Vanderbilt's mother/Anderson Cooper's grandmother) was a perpetual victim. Not Thelma. Despite family pressure, she refused to stay married to a man who abused her, just because he was heir to the AT&T fortune. She brought her camera, not a gun, when she went on safari, and hung around with Charlie Chaplin, with whom she discussed becoming a movie producer. She was romanced by a Broadway leading man and the Prince of Wales (right before he met Mrs. Simpson).

Now I'm not done with the book yet. Maybe I'll change my mind about her. But right now, I think she rocks.

5) Gwen is a distant cousin of Madonna's. Are there any performers in your family? My cousin is a musician. He teaches at a community college but his heart is in performing. Often, when Broadway touring companies come to Chicago, he's in the pit. He's played in shows like The Lion King, Beautiful and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I'm very proud of him.

6) In high school, she joined the swim team not because she enjoys swimming but because she wanted to lose weight. Are you doing anything (dieting, participating in an exercise regimen) in order to shed a few pounds? No, but I sure should.

7) Before she became successful, Gwen worked at the makeup counter in a department store. What was the last thing you purchased? Did you buy it online or at a store? Our tickets to the Noir City Chicago film festival. I bought the online.

8) Gwen has gotten a great deal of publicity for her romance with country star, Blake Shelton. What's your favorite Blake Shelton song? I know he sang a song called, "Mine Would Be You" because it was once a Saturday 9 theme. So I guess, since it's my only, it's also my favorite.

9) Random question: Which of these compliments would make you the happiest -- to be called fascinating, or brilliant, or gorgeous? Fascinating. Yes, I know I should say something sanctimonious here about how I'd prefer to be thought of as charitable or pure of heart. Whatever. I know I'm nice. I know I'm smart. But I'd love to be thought of as fascinating.

My bright spot is noir

Friday night Noir City Chicago opened, and Will and I were there! So was my TCM boyfriend, festival host Eddie Mueller.

This festival is a celebration of the stylish, dark and cynical style of filmmaking that reached its height in the 40s and the 50s. We saw a Barbara Stanwyck movie that was new to both of us  -- The File on Thelma Jordan. This was exciting because Will loooooooves Stanwyck, and for him to discover one he'd missed was an event.

Before the movie, we met for gelato and caught up. I enjoyed finding out about his work. Six years we've known each other, we've really only talked movies and pop culture. Until tonight, I truly didn't know what he did for a living.

Part of why we had the time to chat one-on-one is that Joanna, who was going to join us, didn't. She had a cold. I felt like yelling, "They took a saw to my jaw and I'm still going!" But that would be childish. Still, I was annoyed. Sometimes she's brings a little too much drama to the party. (Fortunately I myself am the perfect companion.)

I've had a rough few weeks. (More on recent events later.) I needed this night at the movies.

Friday, September 06, 2019

My molar is gone


This summer, my crown on my top left molar popped off. It didn't hurt -- I'd had a root canal decades ago -- but it left a massive hole. Because I was in no discomfort, I was surprised when my dentist refused to pull the tooth. He referred me to an oral surgeon that he thinks the world of. But he warned me -- Dr. Fred is a great doctor, but his office staff leaves something to be desired.

No shit! When I first made the appointment, this office admin and I discussed a date, a time and my insurance coverage. They asked me to call my dentist and have him send over x-rays. I was relieved everything was going so smoothly.

In mid-July, about ten days before the procedure, I called Dr. Fred's office. The office admin didn't recall me and had no appointment for me scheduled. After a few minutes of incredibly awkward conversation, she did say that they had received an x-ray from my dentist back in June. I was starting to lose faith in these people, and then I recalled what my dentist said. "Dr. Fred is a great doctor, but his office staff leaves something to be desired."

Well, Wednesday I finally had my appointment. Dr. Fred is a great doctor. Very gentle, very thorough in his explanation of both the operation and what to expect, post-op. And he played the Beatles throughout the procedure!

It turns out my dentist refused to do the procedure because my molar roots came so very close to my sinuses. But this is what Dr. Fred does, so my sinuses are safe.

I'm still feeling crappy today (Friday). Rundown and a little confused. I think it's the antibiotic/painkiller mix. I took my air purifier apart to clean the filter and couldn't figure out how to reassemble it. I've had that sucker for years and have cleaned it over and over, about a dozen times. But all of a sudden, I'm befuddled! Blame it on the Tylenol and codeine.

First, the good news

I haven't been posting much lately because I've been overwhelmed by events, which I will try to get down here today. But, because I love the joke about the kid who finds a pile of manure and begins happily digging because, "there must be a pony in here somewhere," I will lead with the pony.

My air conditioner doesn't need to be replaced! At least not now. About a month ago, the big, through-the-wall unit in the living room started rebelling. It cools fine, but when I shut it off, it kept running. The fan just kept murmuring. I had to unplug the unit.

Yesterday, the HVAC guy came by to look at it. Of course, it worked like a charm when he was here! But after poking around in there, he discovered that the digital thermostat was stuck. He jiggled something and talked to a parts distributor on the phone and then explained it all to me. I almost understood it. Here goes:

Moisture can cause mess with the control board and cause the thermostat to stick. What he did yesterday may have fixed it. It may not have fixed it. Usually he guarantees his work, but he didn't yesterday because he can't be sure without removing the "main board." And you should only remove the "main board" when you replace it.

But here's the thing. Even if the thermostat sticks again, and the fan continues to run after I shut it off ... so what? Obviously it's indicative that something is wrong with the "main board," but it could still operate that way, effectively if not efficiently, for months.

And if I decide to replace the "main board" -- which he kinda sorta recommends but not enthusiastically -- it will only $225 to order and install. A new unit would cost about $700. HVAC guy isn't sure it's worth $225 to get another summer out of it, and then have to buy another one in 2021 anyway.

So the final takeaway is that I don't have to do anything right now, and when it comes to doing nothing, I'm your girl! Plus I only had to spend $68 to get to where I am. I consider that a win.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Happy Anniversary!

Before I went to bed Sunday night, I learned that September 2 is an important day for Cub fans:

Anthony Rizzo has been cancer free for 11 years.

When our first baseman was 18 years old, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This kid was not only worried about his future as a ball player, he was scared for his life. And for his family. His grandma was already battling breast cancer.

After six months of chemotherapy, his tumors were gone. He was not yet well, but he was in remission. Weeks later, his grandma died.

That period of his life taught him that cancer doesn't just affect the patient, it has an impact on the entire family. Now that he's a star, he gives tirelessly to groups that support children with cancer and their families. Here in Chicago, we are familiar with his work with Lurie Children's Hospital. In Florida -- where he grew up and lives in the off-season -- his efforts benefit Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and the cancer center at the University of Miami.

Anthony Rizzo is a hero. Happy Anniversary, Rizz! You're my all-time favorite Cub and I am so grateful that you're OK and you're ours.

Learn about the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation

Sunday, September 01, 2019

That's what I want

I had a glorious time at the TCM Film Festival in April. From the moment I got home, I dreamed of going again in April 2020.

I can't.

For, since April, I've been hit with the following unanticipated expenses:

•  New refrigerator
•  Tooth removal; between $600-$800 copay
•  My a/c is on the fritz; I'm trying to have it repaired, but if that doesn't work out, that's another new appliance
•  My niece is engaged and getting married in Michigan in October 2020; new clothes, transportation, gift, hotel, etc. (Though I have about $250 earmarked for that. Not enough, but a start.)

On top of this,* I know that I'll be expected to pay my portion of the new roof, which will run between $2000 and $3000. And I really, REALLY have to seriously look at replacing my living room windows.

The dates and theme for the Film Festival were just announced. I am bereft. But, at this stage in my life, I know that to just plop it on my credit card would be foolish.

I have to make the adult choice. I have to stay home.

I do not like being an adult.

*"On top of this," and it's the roof! I made a pun!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sunday Stealing

I'm going to try to answer these only with Beatle songs

A song you like with a colour in the title   "Baby's in Black"
A song that needs to be played very loud  "Back in the USSR"
A song that makes you want to dance  "Twist and Shout"
A song to drive to  "Drive My Car"
A song with a number in the title "One After 909"
A song that makes you happy  "All My Loving"
A song that makes you sad  "Let It Be"
A song that reminds you of summer  "Penny Lane"
A song that you remember from your childhood  "She Loves You"
A song that breaks your heart  "Two of Us"
A song that you never get tired of  "Good Day, Sunshine"
A song from your preteen year "Yellow Submarine"
A song that is a cover by another artist "Long Tall Sally"
A song from the year you were born Stymied by this one. "Jailhouse Rock" (After all, the Lads loved The King.)
A song that makes you think about life "The Long and Winding Road"
Your favourite song with a persons name in the title "Rocky Raccoon"
A song that you think everyone should listen to "Eleanor Rigby"
A song by a band you wish were still together "Can't Buy Me Love"
A song by an artist no longer living "Help!"
A song by an artist with a voice you love "You're Gonna Lose that Girl" (I love the harmonies on this. "Watch what you do, yeah ...")