Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I don't hate Hillary Clinton

She doesn't look scary.
I don't like her. Never have. But I don't hate her. If I drove and she was in front of my car, I would brake.

Which is why last night's dream scared me. I was trying to pay my property taxes in person -- something I always do electronically -- and the government employee behind the desk was HRC. Only she wasn't. I mean, in dream world, she wasn't Bill's wife, a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State. She was a garden variety bureaucrat.

And she was so mean to me! Just unremittingly nasty. She let my check fall to the floor on her side of the desk and denied she ever had it. In dream world, I was going to be evicted because of mean old Hillary Clinton!

Remind me to never again fall asleep watching Presidential debates.

The perfect message for pay day

Sometimes I hate my job.

My boss has been an absentee landlord for the last few weeks. He bought a new house and the move didn't go as planned, so two days off turned into a whole week. So I got to do his work. A very complicated, six-page brochure.

Now he's back, but his head isn't in it. He's getting ready for an anniversary cruise and his wife lost her passport. He had to go to the Federal Building to get the replacement -- His wife can't do it? Is she Lucy Riccardo? -- and he likes to take the 4:30 train, and hell, he won't be here next week anyway, so I can just do that project, too. Why not?

It wouldn't bother me so much if the extra effort, and the extra stress, were acknowledged. But they're not.

That's what the money is for.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? Death on Deadline (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe) by Robert Goldsborough. I thought the Nero Wolfe series ended in the 1980s, when creator Rex Stout died. How did I not know about Robert Goldsborough's continuation?

 It's delicious to spend time in Wolfe's brownstone again. Robert Goldsborough has nailed the voice of Wolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin, who, as always, narrates the action. In this story, a reprehensible media titan (imagine Fox News' Rupert Murdoch) tries to take over Wolfe's favorite newspaper, the fictional New York Gazette. Wolfe chooses to insert himself in the proceedings, even though there is no case and no client. Archie is confused yet fascinated, since his boss is as lazy as he is brilliant, and not inclined to doing any more work than is absolutely necessary. Once Wolfe gets involved, a dead body turns up. 

I am enjoying this immensely and don't want it to end. Mr. Goldsborough has earned my gratitude for giving me a little more time with my dear old friend, Archie.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Let's Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, The Life of Ernie Banks by Ron Rapoport. As a lifelong Cub fan, I revere Ernie. I know the stats: 512 home runs, back-to-back MVP awards, 14 All Star games ... and no World Series ring. I adored his upbeat public persona, but knew little about his life off the diamond. 

His life was not at all what it seemed. The man who never turned down a kid who wanted an autograph was more isolated than I ever knew. The man who always had a grin for the fans was smiling through Jim Crow, divorce, and regrets. Ernie died in 2015 -- he didn't live to see the Cubs finally win The World Series in 2016 -- and now the people in his life felt comfortable sharing freely to this author. 
I finished the book sad. Ernie deserved better. I wish him nothing but peace and love where he is now.
3.  What will you read next? I think it's time for chick lit. Something light and frothy.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Happy birthday to my all-time idol

Today, JBKO would turn 90. No public woman ever made steel look more feminine. No other First Lady faced as much and handled it with as much grace.

I look at this photo from her sweet sixteen summer, on vacation with her father in Hot Springs, VA. She has yet to meet (then) Lt. John F. Kennedy. The decade of fame and glory, as well as the adversity (his near-death back surgery, her 5 difficult pregnancies, his assassination and state funeral) are all ahead of her.*

I look in her eyes and wonder, did this very private young girl really want us all to know her?

*Really, she married JFK in 1953 and buried him in 1963. What an amazing, exhausting decade that was for this lady.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Sunday Stealing

Durward Discussion

1.  What is the nearest book to you?  Your Kindle does not count. The Cubs Way, about the 2016 World Champions. I found a pristine hardcover copy on Saturday as I sorted books for the upcoming local library book sale and Mary, Queen of Volunteers, let me buy it for $1. I am, of course, freaking thrilled.

2.  When was the last time you took a "me" vacation
Last April I went to the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. It really rocked my world. I'd love to go back in 2020, but my niece is getting married and I don't know that I can afford both.

3.  How many telephone numbers do you have?
Three: home, work, cell.

4.  If you could fix one thing in the public school system, what is the one thing you would do immediately?
While preparing the local high school for the book fair (Q1), I've been appalled by the condition of the girls' bathroom by the cafeteria. It smells musty, there are water bugs, and the latches on the stalls are hanging by loose screws and prayer. How can those girls possibly feel confident and loved on their way back to class? I would like the school board to quit asking for more money for a new swimming pool (to make us more competitive within the conference) and instead spend more on fresh paint, boric acid (for the bugs), new windows, etc.

5.  Are you a big tipper?
Better than I used to be.

6.  Do you watch reality shows?
I like Braxton Family Values, about Toni and her sisters, on We-TV.

7.  Who is your favorite sports team player?
If you don't know the answer, you don't come here often. 
#44 on your scorecard, #1 in my heart: Anthony Rizzo

8.  If you could travel in a spaceship to any planet, which planet would you like to visit and why?
I know the moon isn't a planet, but I'm still choosing it. I want to see that flag, up close and personal. 

9.  When was the last time you sat in a church?
About three weeks ago.

10.  Are there any aspects of blogging that annoy you?
Sure. There seems to be the perception that memes like this one and Saturday 9 are a subscription service and we meme mistresses are somehow bound to respond to suggestions. If someone doesn't like our questions/themes, they shouldn't criticize. They should just not play.

11.  When someone follows you on their blog or subscribes to your Facebook page, do you automatically follow and subscribe back?
No. I try to be a good social media citizen, but I don't feel obligated.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Come and Knock on Our Door (1976)

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

1) This week's song was the theme to Three's Company, a sitcom that ran for eight seasons. Were you a fan? No. I've never watched more than a few minutes before scrambling for the remote.
2) The Three's Company theme was composed by Joe Raposo, who also wrote the theme to Sesame Street. Can you recall any of the lyrics to the Sesame Street song? "Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away. On my way to where the air is sweet. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street." OK, I know a simple yes would suffice, but that made me happy.

3) The lyrics to this song invite you to "come and knock on our door." What's the last door you knocked on (or the most recent doorbell your rang)? It seems like a simple enough question, but no knocking or ringing comes to mind just now.

4) Three's Company was about three roommates who live together platonically, sharing a two bedroom apartment. Tell us about a roommate who shared your living quarters. I've never had a roommate. When we were kids, my sisters and I had our own rooms. I didn't go away to college. I've never been married. I have always had cats, of course, but I'm not sure they count.

5) Each of the roommates has a profession: Jack is a cook, Chrissy is a secretary (aka administrative assistant) and Janet is a florist. When did you last buy flowers? I don't even remember, and that makes me sad. Back in the days when I had an office -- decades, in fact! -- I always had plants and flowers. But now, with open seating, there's just no room.

6) They often meet their neighbor, Larry, at a nearby bar called The Regal Beagle. What's the name of the establishment where you most recently enjoyed an adult beverage? Geppetto's.
7) Their meddling landlord was Mr. Roper. He was cheap, nosy, and very talented at fixing things around the building. How much are you like Mr. Roper? Are you frugal? Nosy? A handy do-it-yourselfer? Nosy.

8) Three's Company was controversial again, more than 15 years after it ceased production. In March 2001, Nick at Nite re-edited an episode after a viewer called, alerting the network that a bit too much of John Ritter was visible in his blue boxer shorts. Have you ever called, emailed or written to, a TV station to complain? No. If I'm displeased by something on TV, I use the remote.

Mentioned twice in the same post!
9) Random question -- Is the screen on your cellphone cracked? Yes. Upper left hand corner. I don't recall how it happened. Which stands to reason. I also have a bruise on my left forearm, and I don't recall how that happened, either.

Four stars for these two stars

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is my favorite Tarentino since Pulp Fiction. It's really well done, highly original, and filled with very good performances.

Yes, it's violent. It's Tarentino, so it's going to be violent. But it doesn't wallow in it, or encourage us to cheer it, the way Inglorious Basterds did. It's actually more about tension, and the final release of it, than any cathartic joy in bloodshed.

DiCaprio was good. Of course. He usually is. He is fearless in this role. His hair is dumb, his movements are clumsy, he cries so often and easily it makes us uncomfortable. Yet he's also vulnerable and authentic in his desperation, and so he's touching.

Brad Pitt was the revelation for me. I haven't seen him this good since Money Ball. He's not especially heroic or even decent here, but he is sane. And in this milieu. sanity stands out. It's not a flashy role -- I imagine most actors would have preferred Leo's part -- but he's solid and gives the movie its core.

There are about 2 gazillion 50s and 60s pop culture references in this movie, and I got most of them. I believe Tarentino actually spent more time in front of the TV or at the movies than I did!

Do I recommend it? That depends on you. It's a movie set in Hollywood at the time of the Tate-LoBianco murders. It's by Quentin Tarentino. Consider all that before you purchase your ticket.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Happy Reminder

Every year I take the August Happiness Challenge. Here's a brief explanation of the Challenge: "Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world."

You're invited to join me. Visit me with a link to your daily August happy, and I'll come read it. I've found that experiencing other peoples' everyday pleasures is a great mood lifter.

It helps if your August Happiness Challenge posts are marked with an icon. Just something that means "happy" to you. Here's a pair of my past happys.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Doing the best they can

I have been surrounded by people with challenges this weekend. It's been exhausting, but it's also reminded me of my own humanity and the need for patience.

Henry. He is suffering from TBI after an accident last October. Sometimes he's fine, often he's not. He has no filter, and he can be paranoid. As hard as it is for me, it's harder for his coworkers. He works hard, but he can be difficult. Their complaints have made their way to the head of HR for the county. Henry called me Friday night, in tears, and we talked for more than two hours. Henry insists that everyone -- including me -- wants him to shut up, to deny who he is. He says he's a victim of white privilege and this is happening because he's gay, because he's dark skinned. That he's just like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and the county is like Trump.

This is drivel. I could tell by what he was telling me that the county is trying very hard to keep him. Maybe they are compassionate. Maybe they worry about the messiness of canning someone who is disabled. But they do want to keep him. The head of HR gave Henry his cell phone number and said, "Call me. Anytime."

"So call him," I said. "Instead of arguing with your coworkers, go straight to the head of HR. He wants to help."

"No! He wants to shut me up. You want to shut me up!"

Hours of tears. Hours of yelling. I felt depleted. I felt helpless. And, worst of all, I was resentful. I am not proud of that.

Mary. She's the head of the library volunteers. The only time I ever see her is when I work the annual library book sale. Yet she remembered me when I walked in. At 76, she's still sharp.

She's also officious. Persnickety. She takes her role as Queen of the Volunteers entirely too seriously.

Instead of grabbing her by the throat, I stopped to think. This is her job. This is her power base. She gets a lot of her identity from her role on the board of Friends of the Library, and this book sale is their #1 event of the year. THIS is her moment.

It wouldn't kill me to tamp down on the side eye for a few hours, would it?

Sunday Stealing


1. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place 100 years from now? Different. I'm not the one to judge better or worse. Of course, I hope for the better.

2.  Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again.
No. Now if you were to make it $10,000,000 I might consider it. That makes me sad to say, because I love my country (and baseball). But today I live in a country where our President calls for duly elected Representatives to "go back where they came from." And I could retire to Toronto and have democracy, less hate, and baseball.

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of a 30 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” evening for you?
Pizza and beer on a clear summer night at Wrigley Field. After a win, I'd like to wander through Wrigleyville and enjoy the victory vibe.

My happy place

5. Whom do you admire most?  In what way does that person inspire you?
Right now, it's the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo. Let's look at his last few days and see why.

THURSDAY: Day off. Hosts baseball camp for kids where they learn the fundamentals of the game. At the end of the day, he has them pack non-perishables into lunch boxes for local food pantries.
FRIDAY: Hits a Grand Slam home run, even though it's 107º on the field. Then he dedicates the home run to a little boy who requested "a moon shot" to help raise money for a cancer cure.
SATURDAY: Hits in two more runs.

So proud he's ours.

6. Do you prefer being around men or women?  Do your closest friends tend to be men or women?
Two of my closest friends are men. I've always gotten along with both men and women. I don't really think about my friends in terms of gender.

7. If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you chose, would you?

8. What is your most treasured memory?
Just one? This morning, the one that pops into my head is playing miniature golf with my daddy.

9. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?  Is there anything you hope to do that is even better?  (Let’s exclude raising children, if you have them)
I have given safe, loving homes to cats that other people discarded. I am good at that. I am proud of that.

10. If you went to a dinner party and were offered a dish you had never tried, would you want to taste it, even if it sounded strange and not very appealing?
Sure. Unless it was spicy. My gut can't take spicy foods.

11. Do your close friends tend to be older or younger than you?
About half and half.

12. How do you feel when people sing Happy Birthday to you in a restaurant?
Fucking mortified. Does anyone like it?

13. When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it?  If so, why?
Often? No. Sometimes? Sure. Because I want to be entertaining.

14. If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it?  Can you be allowed to be on time?
I don't know which bugs me more -- friends who are never on time or friends who sit on their phones when we're together. But yes, because I love them, I allow for it.

15. If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, or personal secretary, which would you choose?
A driver. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Saturday 9

Secret Agent Man (1966)

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

1) This is the theme of a TV show that ran on CBS from 1964-1967. The series was produced, and originally aired, in England. The BBC has shared many shows with American audiences over the years. Can you name another? Downton Abbey! I cannot wait for the movie to come out.


2) The show is about John Drake, a special agent dedicated to exposing plots that threaten world peace. A quick check of Netflix and Goodreads reveals that spy stories are just as popular today. Is espionage a genre you enjoy? Do you read books, or watch shows and movies, about spies?
Not really.

3) The lyrics tell us Drake travels from the Riviera to Bombay. Where were you when you last spent the night away from home? Why were you there (vacation, business, international intrigue)? Hollywood. I was there for the TCM Classic Film Festival.

4) The refrain states, "They've given you a number and taken away your name." In today's digital world, that could now be said of all of us. Are you good at remembering your computer passwords? This is a constant vexation for me. I just have too many passwords to keep straight. Last week I got an alert that said my email account information had been found on the dark web and I should change my password. Instead of being grateful that I found out about it before I hacked, my first response was, "Oh, God! Now I have to come up with yet another 'memorable' password!"

5) Patrick McGoohan, who played Agent Drake, went from being a good guy to appearing as a murderer on Columbo four times. Were you a fan of Columbo? Not when it first aired, but I discovered it on MeTV and was hooked. I don't watch ones I've already seen, though. Once I know whodunnit, I'm done.

6) Born John Ramistella, this week's featured artist, Johnny Rivers, grew up in Louisiana. He took "Rivers" as his stage name because he grew up along the Mighty Mississippi. If you were to change your last name based on the geography of the area where you grew up, how would you be known? I'd be Lily Flatlands.

7) In 1966, when this song was popular, Jacqueline Kennedy was the woman most Americans admired. What famous woman do you admire most? (She doesn't have to be American.) Ruth Bader Ginsburg

8) 1966 also found another Jacqueline was in the news. Jacqueline Susann's first novel, Valley of the Dolls, was atop the best seller lists, even though it was savaged by the critics. What's your guilty pleasure? What book, movie, TV show, or song do you enjoy, even though you know it has little artistic merit? VOTD is a good choice. I love every wretched, overacted, over-costumed moment.


BTW, last week someone got upset by the question about wigs. She should avoid Valley of the Dolls. Every woman wears glorious wigs and extensions by the pound.

9) Random question: Imagine you've been stranded alone in the woods for 10 days. No companionship, no internet or phone or TV. You have been sleeping in the dirt, living on berries and river water. Your rescuers drive you to a hotel. Upon check-in, what's the first thing you do? I'd be drinking the Coke I grabbed from the mini-bar while on my way to the tub for a nice, cleansing bath.

I find this touching

This is the table that was at the foot of President Kennedy's bed in The White House, September 1963. The man was a voracious reader. Of everything he could lay his hands on. He lived in a paper-based world, so I can only imagine how he would enjoy the internet. I imagine he would glory in having the world literally at his fingertips.

I am positive he would not tweet.

Many of the books are scholarly tomes, including some about Ireland. He'd just been there on a historic state visit, with a stop at his ancestral home, and apparently he simply wasn't done learning about The Emerald Isle. However, I can't help but notice the 35¢ paperback:  Dig That Crazy Grave. "Man, she had a shape to make corpses kick open caskets -- and she was dead set on giving me rigor mortis." It's still in print. Clearly he, like me, indulged in guilty pleasures. If my TBR wasn't so dauntingly high, I would read it. Just to feel closer to him.

Listen to that clunk

When Anthony Rizzo really connects, it's the most beautiful sound. Today, he got a GRAND SLAM home run in 107º heat.

Yesterday -- his off day -- he hosted his annual baseball camp. Hundreds of grade school kids learned about the game from professional coaches, doing drills, taking batting practice, etc. They pose for pictures with Rizz and he signs their bats and balls.

Oh yeah, and he had those kids box canned goods for local food pantries.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why when I rank my favorite 2019 Cubs, he has spaces 1 through 5.

Now I'm happy

The library book sale needs sorters! I am an experienced sorter and this is a cause I wholeheartedly support. In fact, this sale is right up there with Christmas as a day I look forward to. So you can count on finding me Sunday in the high school cafeteria, breaking down boxes and sorting the donations that have probably already piled up.

It's ugly and it hurts.

I have a big zit on the right side of my chin.* It's red. It's disgusting. It's painful.

Is the extra moisturizer I've been slathering on post-sunburn clogging my pores? Am I stressed? After all, the two places where stress manifests itself on me are my chin and my gut.

And I do have reasons to be stressed. I just finished a six-page brochure about annuities -- how ironic is it that I am paid to give others advice on their finances? -- and I'm presenting it internally Monday afternoon. It represented a great deal of work. BUT my boss hasn't approved it yet. Hasn't even seen it yet. Won't see it until Monday morning. He moved last weekend, and was supposed to be in the office on Wednesday, but called in. The move did not go as expected and he's taking two more days. So he will give me feedback on this long, complex piece of work and I'll have to incorporate it in a matter of hours.

Then there's the deconversion drama. It just keeps grinding along. The other board member is being completely incommunicado again. So even though I'm supposed to update the other unit owners, I don't know what's going on. 24 households will feel the impact of deconversion. This weighs heavily on me.

Oh, and it's HOT. I do not do heat. I'd rather have -23º than 100º, and that's how high the mercury can rise over the next two days. I'm comforting myself by wearing my Cubs "Made for October" shirt. I'll dream of cooler days while my guys are in the heat of the world championship.

*And smaller ones on the left side and underside. Righty just kind of overpowers them.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Stealing


Have you ever been teased because of the things you like? Oh, of course. Hasn't everyone?

Do you hold grudges?
Yes. If grudge carrying was an Olympic event, I'd bring home (at least) the bronze.

Were there any classes you enjoyed because of the teacher?
Not really. I had a wonderful English teacher in high school, but he encouraged me in being more involved in something I was already drawn to. I'm not diminishing his contribution -- I appreciated it at the time and remember it fondly -- I'm just answering the question as it was asked.

Was there a dress code at your school?
Grade school, yes. High school, no. Though I did wear just about the same thing every day -- white t-shirt, jeans, tennies.

Have you ever been a bad friend?
Yes. I'm sure I've fallen short at times. But I do work very hard at the friendship thing.

Has a friend ever replaced you with somebody else?
I think my friend Barb has. She moved to Hilton Head and I really don't hear from her much anymore. These things happen.

Have you ever disliked something just because it was popular?
No. I have met pretentious people who do that -- my friend Joanna's recent beau being one of them -- but that's silly.

Have you ever watched a movie just because it starred an actor you liked?
I think that's a great reason to choose a movie!

Are there actors/musicians you have met?

Do you ever judge people based on the music they listen to?
I don't base my complete assessment on music. But yes, I suppose I do.

What about your top five music albums?
This is hard! But these are the ones that come to mind.

1) Beatles White Album
2) Born in the USA
3) Barbra Streisand's Second Album
4) Dusty Springfield's Greatest Hits
5) The Boss by Diana Ross

Do you remember the first album you ever owned?

Do you still use an mp3 player, or just your phone?
We were just talking about this yesterday! Yes, I still use my iPod.

Do you like Elton John?
More than I used to. He's grown on me. :)

Have any celebrity deaths hit you hard? Which one(s)?
John Lennon's murder felt like a blow to my solar plexus.


A good day from morning till night

I was a little melancholy Saturday because it was the day I was supposed to celebrate my friend John's birthday at Wrigley Field. But he's been too ill. Fortunately, my nephew was a terrific seat filler. When he was a little boy, we used to read the Sunday Sun Times together, checking out the Cub news and standings. I had no idea that he was going to become a super fan with a passion for Sabermetrics.

It was a terrific game. A seven run first inning, and our ace, Jon Lester, helped his own cause with a home run. Really, we saw a virtuoso performance from Lester. This is a nice recap of the action on the field.

It was too hot (90º) and humid at the ballpark. For some stupid reason, I neglected to apply and reapply the sunscreen that I had in purse. Oh well. I'll try to consider my Lucy Riccardo-level sunburn just another souvenir of the day.

After the game, we tried to get into Manager Joe Maddon's new restaurant, but it was just too crowded. Good for Joe!  There have been rumors that he's in trouble with management. Good to see that he's still loved by the fans. (We're in first place, people! Be happy!)

After the game, we wandered around Wrigleyville a bit and ended up at a pizza/wing joint. My nephew cannot eat enough pizza! We talked for hours, catching up on his new job (McDonald's) and his summer and his poli/sci classes at Western Illinois. He seems happy enough. I wish he had a busier social calendar, but that's me projecting my values onto him and I really should cut that out.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Bonanza (1959)

1) Bonanza ran on NBC for 14 seasons. Today it's rerun on
Hello, Cowboy
Me-TV and TVLand. Were/are you a fan? Very much! I loved Little Joe when I was a very little girl, and I rediscovered it a few years ago when I had a cold a few years ago. The Cartwrights were good company when I felt bad. I have also developed a posthumous crush on Adam. He was so strong and steady and mature. Sigh.

2) The show centers on The Cartwrights, who lived on a massive ranch in Nevada. License plates in Nevada read, "The Silver State." What's on your license plate? Land of Lincoln.

3) Ben Cartwright made his fortune as a cattle rancher. What's the last beef dish you ate? There was ground beef in the lasagna I had for dinner on Friday.

4) Patriarch Ben had his eldest son, Adam, with his refined, bookish first wife, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died in childbirth. Still Adam inherited her love of the written word. What's the last book you finished? A Common Struggle by Patrick J. Kennedy.

  5) Ben's second son, Hoss, was born to his second wife, Inger, who was killed as the family traveled West by wagon train. Hoss inherited her open, friendly manner and her way with animals. Are there pets in your home? These two. The gray and white girlcat is my lap as I answer these questions.

6) Ben's youngest, Joe, arrived after Ben married a third time to the passionate Marie, who died in a riding accident when her son was only five years old. Little Joe inherited her impetuosity. Do you consider yourself more spontaneous or predictable? Yes. My oldest friend likes to tease me about how I love to have "a plan" when we travel. I don't even have to execute the plan, I am just comforted by having one. So that would make me predictable, right? Yet in matters of emotion, I am spontaneous. I go by my gut.

7) Samuel Clemons was a reporter in Virginia City at the time when the Cartwrights would have been there, and a fictionalized version of Mr. Clemons appeared in an episode of Bonanza. Without looking it up, do you know Samuel Clemons' famous pen name? Mark Twain.

8) Hair was a big deal in the Bonanza dressing room. Three of the original four stars -- Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts and Dan Blocker -- all wore hairpieces. (The fourth, Michael Landon, began dying his hair while still in his 20s because he was going prematurely gray.) Have you ever worn a wig or a hairpiece? I wore a short, curly wig under a man's hat and was Harpo Marx for Halloween. Does that count?

9) Random question -- Tell us the story behind one of your scars. I have a short, vertical scar on my lip where I once had a mole. (I'm very fair skinned, and it seems that every year or so a mole acts up, concerns my dermatologist, and has to go.) The plastic surgeon did a nice job. It looks less like a scar than a little wrinkle.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Three hours is our limit

I had a nice, three-hour visit with my Cousin Rose today. She was visiting her dad's side of the family in Michigan and brought her sister's kids, and their kids, to Chicago for the day. After visiting Sears Tower and Navy Pier, they picked me up at 4:00 and we visited The Bean, and Crown Fountain, and then had some pastries at Toni's. They hit the road at 7:00, heading back to Plainwell. I got on the train and came home.

It was a lovely visit and a happy time. It meant a great deal to me that she wanted to see me.

Yesterday was a bad day. My friend Henry had an ugly confrontation with a volunteer at the library and called me in tears. It was so unexpected, so sad, and I couldn't even spend time with him because I had to go and beaten up for hours at a condo deconversion meeting.

So being with Rose was like a balm to my soul. But I don't think Rose has changed, and I'm sure I haven't either. If we spent more time together, we were bound to generate friction. So I'm grateful we had the these three hours together today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I'm my mother's daughter

Like her, I believe that a refrigerator is more than a place to store food. It's an opportunity for self expression!

Welcome to my kitchen, new refrigerator.