Saturday, February 02, 2019

2018 Giving

All my receipts are ready for my tax preparer! In 2018, I gave to 31 charities in all. Here are my personal top ten, the ones that received more than half of my cash contributions. It's like a snapshot of what mattered to me over the last year.

My church

Tree House Animal Foundation -- a cageless, no-kill cat adoption center

Harmony House for Cats -- One of Chicago's smaller shelters, and it's struggling

Feeding America -- A national organization devoted to helping those in need

My community food pantry

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation -- Because I love Abe, and their current financial crisis is shameful. When you tour the Lincoln Museum and you see all the school children, you realize how important this organization is today, especially in Trump's America.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation -- Just because I can't afford to go back doesn't mean others shouldn't enjoy/learn


Greater Chicago Food Depository -- The bulk of this was a contribution made in memory of the mom of our movie group moderator. Will is very active in this organization and so Joanna and I thought this would be a way to show our sympathy and support. Well, Joanna forgot to pay me her half. Then she hit financial hard times, and I decided against reminding her. We made this donation with good intentions, it's a worthy cause ... and I'm taking the deduction.

Hinsdale Humane Society -- This is the shelter where my mom got her beloved cat, Ethel. I gave on her birthday, Christmas and Mother's Day in her memory.

Cats, the hungry, and American History. Yes, that's a good reflection of where my heart is. And, of course, my church. Because I do try to live a life Christ would approve of.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Backfield in Motion (1969)

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

1) This week's Saturday 9 has a football theme because there's a big game Sunday. Will you be watching? Nope. Football has made me distinctly uncomfortable since I learned how many NFL players suffer/suffered from CTE (chronic brain damage from repeated blows to the head). I don't care how much they get paid, I still worry about the safety of those boys when they take the field.

2) The Super Bowl is the second-largest day for food consumption in the US, second only to Thanksgiving. What's on your menu this weekend? I have no meal plans, but pizza sounds good.

3) Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day for consuming guacamole. When did you most recently eat something with avocado in it? I can't recall. Not a big fan. I don't care for the taste. Nor the color, come to think of it.

4) The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, OH. Have you ever visited Canton, or any other city in Ohio? Pearle Vision was a client for a short time and they are headquartered in OH, so I visited for a meeting. I remember that I had a great lox platter at a deli there.

5) This song mentions different moves that football players -- and, it seems, girlfriends -- can make that will result in penalties. What's the last rule you broke? What were the consequences? I used the "handicapped only" gate as I exited the el platform. There weren't any handicapped commuters around, and I didn't feel like squeezing my fat ass, bulky down coat and briefcase through the regular turnstyle. No one yelled at me, so count on me to do it again. (I'm such a rebel.)

6) In 1969, the year this song was popular, the Colts lost to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. The game is famous because of all the hype leading up to it, including Joe Namath "guaranteeing" his underdog Jets would win. Tell us about a time when you felt like an underdog. Nothing comes to mind. Maybe because I'm so distracted by the thought of Joe Namath doing Medicare supplement commercials. Oh well, at least he looks happy. As opposed to those Tom Selleck commercials. If reverse mortgages make old Tom so sad, I wish he'd stop thinking about them.

7) This week's featured duo, Mel and Tim, are cousins from
Mississippi. Tell us about one of your cousins. My cousin Ryan is a professional musician. He plays in the pit for major touring companies when they hit Chicago (most recently, How the Grinch Stole Christmas). He also teaches, subbing at the local high schools and the community college. He'd rather not teach anymore, but bills still need to get paid. He's very smart, very passionate. Likes his wife, as well as loves her, which I think is very romantic.

8) The song is about a man who catches his girl cheating and he just won't put up with it. In romance, do you find it easy to forgive and forget? Forgive? Yes. Forget? Nuh-uh.

9) Random question: You've collected a box of gently-used items to donate to a second hand store. What would it be most likely to contain: clothes, housewares, or books/video/music? I just so happen to be working on a bag for Goodwill. It currently contains 6 pair of sunglasses, 13 pair of earrings, and 3 sweaters.

My local Goodwill. I hope my sweaters have a short but profitable stay.

Until he got tired

I am happy. Henry and I talked on the phone for two hours tonight! Marathon calls have not been rare since his accident, but tonight was different. He wasn't angry about the police, or his treatment while in the hospital, or the way Reg treats him. In fact, he wasn't angry about anything!

He met author Judy Blume at an event for the library where he works. Or more precisely, she asked to meet him. Now a Key West resident, she'd heard about the local author who was injured in the bike collision and spent some one-on-one time with him. That raised his spirits. For yes, he's a library assistant but he's also a published author and poet, and that's where his heart is.

Somehow we found ourselves on the subject of faces, and he said that actress Kate Hudson has an expressive face that's "more than beautiful." Likewise, Sophia Loren. And me. (People mention Sophia and me together all the time!) He rhapsodized about Reg's heavily-lidded eyes. While it's obvious that his love enhances how he views Reg and me, it was good to hear him sounding like my affectionate old friend again. Friday, he was happy and sweet and positive.

I'm so glad my friend is on his way back to me!