Monday, September 30, 2019

I love you, Skipper

Yesterday was Joe Maddon's last game at the helm of the Chicago Cubs. He gave the classiest farewell press conference before Sunday's game, appearing beside Theo Epstein, the man who let him go, saying, "There’s nothing to denigrate. There’s nothing to bemoan. There’s nothing to lament. It’s been fabulous."

The players loved him, and I loved him. His mantra, "Try not to suck," made everybody smile and helped bring us to a World Series. Since baseball is all about the stats, here are Joe's Chicago numbers:

471 Wins vs. 338 Losses (.582)
37 post-season games over 4 seasons
Oh yeah, our FIRST WORLD SERIES in over 100 years!

And he made it all fun. Even the losses. I'm gonna miss saying, "What will Joe do next?"


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Stealing

Deep, Thought-Provoking Questions

If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give? Pick a baseball team and love it for life!

What is the most desirable trait another person can possess? Compassion

What are you most grateful for?
My health. And I'm grateful that my problems are first-world problems.

Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?
I need more context.

What do you want most? Right now? I'd like it to stop raining!

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Oh, doing the right thing. Every day, I strive to be more Melanie and less Scarlett.

What has life taught you recently?
That growing old is not for sissies. Many of my friends are having real health/life problems, things we thought would never happen to us.

What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?
More tolerance.

Where do you find inspiration? Judging by my Melanie/Scarlett answer, I'd say the movies.

Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?
No thanks, I don't want to. (<<<< Six words.)

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Because they can be painful and embarrassing.

What impact do you want to leave on the world?
I want to have helped others.

What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?
Good goobies! We are deep and thought provoking today, aren't we!

In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?
The beauty in the moment. My mom was so good at that. I wish, in that way, I was more like her.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Because, to borrow from Harry Chapin, we have planes to catch and bills to pay.

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
I'm always happier after a shower.

Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?
I've wondered "what if" quite often.

Has your greatest fear ever come true? No. Because I haven't died in a plane crash.

Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone? I don't know that's true.

What is your most beloved childhood memory? The year I found Blaze under the Christmas tree.


I found myself in a ghost town

My nephew goes to Western Illinois University, and I went down to visit him for his (gulp!) 20th birthday. I stayed at the university union hotel, right on campus.

This is what greeted me at 10:30 AM on a Saturday morning.

Apparently he's not alone in his love of sleeping in!

The hotel itself was no frills. It was also $20 cheaper than even the Super 8. So I'll excuse having to carry my bag up three flights of steep cement stairs, and the smell when I turned on the heat. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom was clean, and I knew I was home when I turned on the TV and the first words I heard -- literally -- were "WELCOME TO THE PARTY,  PAL!"

I LOVE John McClane.
My nephew and I had a good visit. We talked baseball -- LOTS of baseball. And politics -- he's working on Elizabeth Warren's campaign. And religion -- he's questioning his belief system, which is not unusual for a college sophomore; I suspect he'll come back.

He enjoyed his gifts. I have him a TYT cap, a book, and a giftcard to Burger King. We also had a hearty lunch of pizza, lots of pizza, at a buffet in his adopted hometown of Macomb.

And he does enjoy Macomb. In fact, he seems generally happy. He loves three of his classes this semester (creative writing, philosophy* and biology). He loves his time in Iowa, working for the Warren campaign, and can't wait to resume his poli/sci studies next semester.

I just wish he was making more friends. I never went away to school myself, so I harbor this perhaps unrealistic fantasy that everyone who does makes a Big Chill group of lifelong friends.

*It's the philosophy class that has inspired him to articulate his doubts about conventional religion.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Saturday 9

Shake It Off (2014)

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

(BTW, I can't believe this song is five years old already. I know it's a cliche, but "my, how time flies!")
1) This song makes Crazy Sam want to dance. What song inspires you to get on your feet? This answer won't surprise Kwizgiver. She gave me a very merry shoutout earlier this week.

2) Paul McCartney met Taylor Swift at the SNL 40 Anniversary special and told her he really enjoys playing and singing this song. What's the last song you sang along with? Well, before I started chair dancing and singing with the above clip ("Ba de ah de ah de ahhhhhh!"), it was "Shake It Off."

3) The lyrics tell us Swift "shakes off" nasty gossip and unfair criticism. What about you? Do you worry about what others think of you? More than I should. I ought to make like Taylor and just accept that haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. That's not my responsibility, and there's nothing I can do about it.

4) Her parents are big music fans, and were going to name their baby (boy or girl) "Taylor" after their favorite artist, James Taylor. Can you think of a singer that your mom and/or dad really enjoyed? My mother loved Engelbert Humperdinck. When I lived at home, I found him virtually unlistenable. Now, when I happen upon him, I still cringe but then I smile because he makes me think of her.

5) She grew up on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm. Do you get a fresh tree every year, or do you have an artificial tree, or do you not put up a tree at all? I tend to go out of town at Christmastime, visiting my friends Henry and Reg in Key West, so I don't put a tree up. I do try to make my hotel room look Christmas-y. These three make their way into my suitcase each year.

That's a teeny-tiny Nativity in a Bottle

6) Taylor Swift is 5'10". According to the CDC, the average American woman is 5'4" while men are, on average, 5'9". Are you taller or shorter than average? My State ID says I'm 5'2. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

7) She enjoys good, old fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book for pleasure? I always am. Right now it's Little Gloria, Happy at Last about the Gloria Vanderbilt custody trial in the 1930s. The second-hand paperback I have is almost 40 years old and in very bad shape. Too bad, because the story is so compelling. I'd love to be able to pass it on when I'm finished, but, even though I've got it encased in a leather book cover, I'm afraid it's just about done for.

8) Her brother Austin is a freelance photographer who took the official pictures for her 2008 concert tour. Who took the last photo of you? My friend John. We went to the Chicago History Museum for his birthday in August, and he snapped me on the restored original el car on exhibit. It's funny because in July, I went with my friend Joanna and she took a picture of me on the 19th century steam engine. My enthusiasm for trains is obvious!

9) Random question: What's your go-to comfy outfit? My pjs -- aka an oversized t-shirt. I change into it every evening as soon as I get home.


That was fast

I spoke to Henry last night. It was one of our two-hour calls, with a twist.

We were, for the most part, fine. He was in a mood to debate -- we're on the opposite sides of term limits -- but that's nothing new. He enjoyed a good back-and-forth even before his accident. But then, at the 90-minute mark, he interrupted the call to take his meds.

Within minutes he was teary. Talking about how much he hates taking his medication. How tired he is of the pain and his disturbed sleep patterns. Soon he was out-and-out weeping, telling me how much he loves me and how he couldn't get through this without me.

I thought, dear God, does he ride this mood roller coaster every night? As disturbing as the call was for me, I can't imagine what this turbulence is like for my darling Henry.

Time for a revisit

I originally posted this in January, 2017.  As we carom into impeaching Donald Trump, I've been thinking about Richard Nixon again. Once the gold standard for crazy/corrupt in my world, he's been supplanted. In fact, compared to Donald Trump, Nixon is beginning to look like George Washington.


I recently saw a Trump supporter refer to those who voted for the next President as, "the silent majority." That phrase was, of course, made famous by Richard Nixon, whose Presidency ended in scandal and the only resignation in our history. It makes me wonder why Trump supporters would so willingly wrap their arms around that legacy. Maybe they don't know?

But it got me thinking about the similarities between Richard M. Nixon and Donald J. Trump. They include:

•  Law and order. Both Nixon and Trump exploited fear about violence by promising that the Federal government could help curb street crime. This has always seemed cynical to me: Men who decry Federal interference in our lives suddenly try to inject themselves into local issues when it helps them earn votes.

•  Demonization of the press. Trump's "dishonest media" is easier to remember but not as musical as the way Nixon's Vice President Spiro Agnew referred to the press: "nattering nabobs of negativism."

•  High-profile daughters. Before Ivanka tried to convince us all that her father cared about women's rights, Julie tried to soften her father's image.

•  Secret plans. Trump doesn't want the bad guys to know how he's going to defeat ISIS, just as Nixon touted a "secret plan" for an end to the Vietnam War. We were in Vietnam for another 7 years. Just sayin'.

There are some very important differences. With time and maturity, I've begun to view Nixon as a multi-dimensional man and think of him with more compassion. Therefore I realize that in some very important ways, the Trump-Nixon comparisons are very unfair to Nixon.

•  Military service. Nixon enlisted in the Navy during WWII. Trump was eligible but avoided military service during Vietnam (even though he was comfortable making fun of John McCain's time as a POW).

•  Public service. Instead of practicing law, which would have been more lucrative, and perhaps easier on his basically introverted nature, Nixon went into politics as a young father and was still in his 30s when he served in the House and the Senate. When Trump was in his 30s, he was starting his own real estate business, seeded by a $1 million loan from his father.

  Marriage. No matter what other sins one may wish to put at Nixon's doorstep, there has never even been a whisper about infidelity in his marriage to Pat. Trump was already married to third wife Melania when he made his infamous Access Hollywood comments about how easy it is for him to fondle women.

Oh yeah, and Nixon voters actually were in the majority.  
If Trump would like to enjoy a smoother ride than Nixon, he might want to remember that Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than he did.

The last to give up

Behold Bryzzo when Pirates scoreboard flashed that the Brewers had clinched a playoff berth -- thereby eliminating the Cubs  -- Wednesday night.

They're both injured. Rizzo's foot is still the color of an eggplant, but he's been playing on his Grade 2 sprained ankle. Bryant and the trainers were more cautious with his sprain. But look at their faces and see the pain and the pride and the guts.

God, I hope I see both of them again in spring!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Channeling my Inner Ernie

Ernie Banks embodies Cubdom. Watch the beginning of his Hall of Fame induction speech: "We've got the setting: sunshine and fresh air. We've got the team behind us, so let's play two." It's important to note that he maintained the positive, baseball-loving spirit even though, over his entire 18 year career, he never once played in a post-season game.

Of course I am disappointed that my guys will not be in the playoffs this year. I would love to watch several more weeks of baseball. I enjoy adding to my collection of post-season t-shirts. But I refuse to act as though this team sucked, just because we won't be bathed in 2016 World Series glory.

This Cubs team was good. Admittedly not great, but good. And better than most. Diamondback, Reds, Pirates, Giants, Padres, Rockies, Mets and Phillies fans* would love to cheer for a team of the Cubs caliber.

We saw Javier Baez come into his own, making magic with both his bat and glove. Kris Bryant had a comeback year, making the All Star game again. Yu Darvish's stats don't show it, but he proved he got that $125 million contract.

And of course, Rizzo. 27 home runs. 295 batting average. Oh yeah, and he rose from the dead, coming back from a possible season-ending sprain to hit a home run and rally the fans. Ernie would be proud that Rizzo is standing where he once did, guarding first base.

Baseball is a wonderful game and the Cubs gave us an entertaining season. So I refuse to join the Cub fans who are whining like entitled Yankee fans. I am going to be grateful for the thrills and chills and, as we used to say before 2016, "Wait until next year."

 *I purposely left out the Marlins because they have no fans.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

I had a $5 in my back pocket!

After spending time with John recently, I decided to be more serious about my health. After all, John is not quite two years older than I am and in crappy shape. He tires easily and has trouble walking. He needs a new job, and I worry what impact his appearance will have on his ability to impress in an interview. And so I've recommitted to eating better and working out.

On my way to the health club, I unexpectedly saw Caleb! He was panhandling on a different corner, and once again, he was alone, without Napoleon or Randi. He didn't see me -- nose in his book -- and I didn't stop. I simply didn't have time if I wanted to get to the health club when there were still lockers available. PLUS all I had on me was a $20, nothing smaller.

But I made a plan. After my workout, I would pick up my lunch at Five Guys Burger and Fries and then share my change with him.

Alas, when I got back to his new corner, he was gone.

I think of this as a good thing. If he's not sitting out all afternoon, especially in this unseasonably nice weather, maybe he's just augmenting his unemployment income. After all, when things were dire for this little family, they were all three out, no matter what the weather.

I've decided to keep a $5 tucked in my back pocket at all times. Because I just don't know when I'll happen to run into them and I could use an update.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

They are breaking my heart!

The Cubs are not going to make the play offs. I know it. The Chicago sports press certainly knows it. The only ones who don't seem to know are the Cubs.

They gave their all again today. In the rain. Giving individually heroic performances -- Yu Darvish, I'm looking at you -- and even getting hurt in the process. Here's Kris Bryant being helped off the field after he slipped, trying to break up a double play on a slippery field.

I just wanted to yell, "It's not worth it! Don't get hurt out there!" But that's not who they are. This team doesn't phone it in. Often they've been snake bit. Frequently they haven't been good enough. But they've never stopped trying.

I am sincerely touched by their guts and gallantry.

We live in a country where our President seems to be good with encouraging foreign countries to meddle in our election -- on his behalf, of course. We know he's good with mocking those with disabilities. I hope, when looking for role models, kids ignore the man their parents elected to the highest office in the land and instead look to The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. That's where they'll find fair play, commitment, teamwork and tons of heart.


Sunday Stealing


1. Last person you were in a car with? An Uber driver

2. Any plans for tomorrow?
Go to work. It's going to be a slow day. I just need to put the finishing touches on a project that just won't end.

3. Best friend or close friends?
Close friends.

4. Is tomorrow going to be a good day?
It should be fine.

5. Ever thrown up in public?
Yes. After I had my wisdom teeth pulled. We found out too late that
erythromycin makes me violently ill. I deposited the contents of my stomach in the bushes outside CVS where I was to pick up my anti-nausea medicine.

6. What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?
I want to go back to bed and close my eyes for just a few more minutes.

7. Who was the last person you talked to?
Tony, the guy who does my hair.

8. What is the WORST subject they teach at school?
Active shooter training. As a nation, we should be ashamed of ourselves. (And yet we aren't. Our national gun fetish is that powerful.)

9. Have you seen anyone lately that you don’t get along with?
Not really

10. What is your favourite color top to wear?
Cubbie blue. 

11. Have you ever been in a car accident?
Just little scrapes. Nothing serious. I've been lucky.

12. What’s the closest thing to you that’s green?
The leather cover on my paperback book.

13. Where would you like to be right now? 
In bed with my eyes closed.

14. Is anything bugging you right now?
Lots of little things. Nothing major.

15. Is life going right for you now?
Better than some, I suppose.

16. Is there someone you care about more than yourself?
No. And I find that when I get in that situation, bad things happen. To borrow from Whitney, learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

17. What made you laugh today?
Nothing yet. It's still very early.

18. What was the last movie you watched?
Caught the tail end of the Hepburn Little Women on TCM just now. (Poor Beth!)

19. What was the last conversation you had about?

20. What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?
Funny you should ask! I just so happen to be in the 7:00 AM hour right now.

21. Do you like your hair long or short?

22. Do you like the rain?
I don't dislike it. I appreciate having all kinds of weather here in Chicagoland.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings

My Cubs lost a heartbreaker yesterday, 9-8. They lost a heartbreaker to the Cards on Friday, 2-1. And they lost in Rizzo's heroic return. First place in the division, which was once ours, is almost a statistical impossibility. Even a playoff berth seems highly unlikely.

What happened? Injuries? Yes. Untidy personal personnel issues? Yes. A remarkably unreliable bullpen? Yes.

Looked at through that prism, it's amazing we stayed in it as long as we did.

I'm not complaining. As bad as the 20th century was for the Cubs, this new millennium has been pretty good.  2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 were all playoff years. And 2016! Dear God, what a gift that was! My dad, uncle and grandparents never saw a World Series win here in Chicago!

I just don't want what's going to happen to happen. The manager and the players I love are going to go.

It's not the losing that makes me sad. It's the saying "goodbye."

Friday, September 20, 2019

Saturday 9

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

1) This song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The movie was remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Which Wonka did you prefer? 
Not even close
By the way, two castmembers from the original Wonka film went on to appear on gameshows. Leonard Stone, who played the father of "blueberry girl" Violet, won a trip to Bermuda on Wheel of Fortune. Just last year, Mike Teevee (Paris Theemen in real life) came in second on Jeopardy! and left with over $6,000.
2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn't break into song, but did you two engage in conversation? Friday was the first day of a neighborhood food/music fest. As I was placing my order at one of the food booths, the band began their soundcheck. It was earsplitting. (And I'm from the "if it's too loud, you're too old" school.) The young man behind the counter told me that he was sure by end of day Saturday, he'll be used to the volume and won't even notice it anymore.
3) The lyrics tell us that The Candy Man can make the world taste good. What's the last thing you ate? Was it delicious, or just OK? At the aforementioned fest, I got barbecue ribs and a side of mac-and-cheese. It was pretty damn good. It was especially satisfying because it smelled so yummy.
4) The most popular recording of this song was by Sammy Davis,  Jr. Sammy was in a horrific car accident when he was 29 years old. His cheek and nose were broken and he lost an eye. That he survived at all left him reflective and after his hospitalization, he converted to Judaism. Do you still worship in the faith you were raised in? I was raised a Lutheran. I now worship as a Unitarian. My fundamental Christian belief hasn't changed, I just feel more comfortable observing my faith in a different setting.

5) Sammy was proud of the honorary college degrees because he received because never formally attended school. As a child, he performed on the road with his father and uncle. In addition to depriving him of an education, that lifestyle kept him from kids his own age. He would later describe his childhood as, "in a word, 'lonely.'" Give us a one-word description of your childhood. I've struggled with this because it's hard to find a single word that conveys what I mean. I'll go with deceptive. The way our life looked outside our home did not reflect the reality within.
6) Because he spent so much of his youth on the road, living on buses, trains and hotel rooms, he loved eventually having his own kitchen and being able to cook his own meals. This weekend, will you spend much time in the kitchen? As little as possible. (Maybe I'll go back to the food/music fest and visit the booth of my favorite pizza place.)

7) Sammy enjoyed experimenting with clothes and jewelry. What about you? Do you consider yourself conservative in dress or are you fashion forward? I'm casual in my work wardrobe and lazy in my dress away from the office.

8) When he died, Sammy was in debt to the IRS. Do you handle your own taxes, or do you use the services of an accountant? I use an accountant.

9) Random question: If you had to tell nothing but the truth (not even the tiniest white lie) for 24 hours, do you think

you'd get yourself in trouble? Yes.

Every time the phone rings

Whenever the phone rings, I'm agitated. Usually it's NAME UNAVAILABLE, so I can ignore it with impunity.

But I wonder why it's not my oldest friend. She and I exchanged texts back over Labor Day weekend -- more than three weeks ago. I told her then I was rattled and sad and could really use a touch-base. She explained that her daughter was staying with her but that we would talk "soon." When, exactly, is "soon," do you suppose?

And is she not calling me because she simply forgot? Is she adjusting to retirement and her new life with her cousin and consequently just doesn't have time for me? Or is she battling the blues again? When she goes dark, it often means she's been enveloped by heavy depression. And how awful it is when those are my two choices: my irrelevance or her depression. Which am I supposed to root for?

And I'm glad it's not Henry. He's been talking to other people lately. Rosa and Katie, specifically. This amuses me, in a way, because they were romantically involved when Henry and Reg first hooked up, back here in Chicagoland in the mid-1990s. Rosa and Katie had an ugly breakup around the 2000, with Katie moving to Washington DC. Each lady has found new love and both are in committed relationships with others. Henry knows this, but when he thinks of one, he automatically still thinks of the other.

Anyway ... as he continues complaining about his sleeplessness and pains, I told him he should reach out to Kate. She and I are Facebook friends, and she often posts about CBD oils as an alternative to OTC pain relievers. Then I IM'd Kate with Henry's phone number. I know she's only spoken to Henry a time or two since the accident, but I nudged her in that direction. They spoke for a while Wednesday afternoon. Then I learned through Reg that Henry called Rosa last night.

I am grateful that Henry has people to talk to who aren't me. I am not trained to deal with some of his issues.

Right after his accident, all I wanted was for the phone to ring and to hear Henry's voice. It isn't that I don't want to talk to him anymore. It's just that I am happy to share him with Katie and Rosa. I think it's healthier for both him and me.

Good news -- bad news

Good news. HE IS RIZZEN. Anthony Rizzo was not only in the lineup of tonight's game -- less than a week after his sprain -- he got a home run, too! To put this in perspective, he was supposed to be in a boot and using a scooter until Sunday, and then his ankle would be "re-evaluated." But no, he was out there tonight, swinging and fielding!

Photo taken tonight (9/19)

With real showmanship, his return to the line up wasn't announced until 20 minutes before the game. Many fans were already in their seats before they knew they'd get to see #44. He changed his walk up music to The Undertaker's Theme, tweaking all of us who thought he was done for the year.

Bad news. An extra innings loss to the Cardinals. I am a Cub fan. Naturally I would like to see my guys in the post-season again this year. But we made it in 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016 (!), 2017 and 2018. That's a shitload of glory. If we aren't play-off bound again this year, I'll live.

What will break my little Cub-loving heart is what will inevitably happen in the off-season. Manager Joe Maddon will likely be gone. Many of my favorite players, too. I love this team, and I don't want to see them loaded up onto the back of a truck, like the leftover junk after an estate sale.

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.