Saturday, July 06, 2019

Not as expected

Something happened overnight Friday night. I don't know what exactly, because I was asleep at the other end of the apartment. But when I woke up this morning, my refrigerator was no longer running, the light inside had blown, and my microwave clock read 00:00. They're on the same circuit, so I flipped the circuit breaker a few times. The microwave came back to life, but it seemed the refrigerator was a goner.

Of course. I could get a microwave for $75. A refrigerator is hundreds and hundreds. Not to mention the food that's in there, spoiling. Not to mention trying to explain to Reynaldo that he can't have his luscious canned food.

Oh yeah, and I might be moving within the next year, so I don't want to spend a lot. But then again, I might not be moving and food safety is kinda sorta important.

I hate being a grown up.

So I spent the morning comparing online and by 9:00, I'd made my decision. I tried Sears first because they are struggling and they gave me my start. Alas they didn't have anything they could deliver before Friday at the earliest. So I went with a small(ish) local chain -- six locations -- and I will have my new, sale-priced refrigerator on Wednesday. $565, including tax, delivery and hauling away my current frig.

Of course, by now my refrigerator began showing signs of life. Because that's how life works. However it is 13 years old, wasn't top of the line when it was new, and I have no confidence that it won't crap out again. So I went out and bought a refrigerator thermometer to monitor for food safety. And then I got a fresh pedicure, which was supposed to be the The Big Thing of my day.

Oh, well. At least I'm still working and can afford to buy a new refrigerator. And it was on sale, so there's that. And I have unused personal days, so I can be here when the delivery truck arrives. So it's not as expected, but it's not as bad as it could be.

Good for what ails me

Friday I spent the day with Joanna, having lunch, wandering through The Chicago History Museum, and then having a little dessert afterward.

The museum is a cool building, nestled in a neighborhood (instead of on The Museum Campus, like some of our better known attractions). Got to see Ben Zobrist's World Series game worn jersey, which tickled me. But my happiest moment was climbing around on a real steam engine. It was built in the 1830s and was in service in and out of Chicago for decades. I spent so much of my life on trains, and I find that period of history so romantic, that it was a kick to handle the throttle and play with the valves.

As always, Joanna was interesting. We're both opinionated and neither of us is shy, so it could get contentious. But we are very fond of one another, and our disagreements were never disagreeable.

She told me about a neighbor of hers who had surgery and really needed Joanna's help. My friend was happy to help, but said her neighbor could be "odd" and "difficult" because she was often monosyllabic, and it can be hard to keep a conversation going. That's not a problem Joanna has with me!

One thing I feel kind of guilty about: Joanna was talking about another friend of hers who is "interesting" and "self taught." "She read all those books you and I should have read in college but didn't." I let the moment pass without admitting I never finished my freshman year. Here I am, 61 years old, and still ashamed that I didn't go to college.

Saturday 9

America, the Beautiful  

Unfamiliar with Frank Sinatra's 1945 version of this song? Hear it here.

1) In 2016, a group recommended that this week's song replace "The Star Spangled Banner" as our national anthem. They maintain it's just as beautiful but easier to sing. How do you feel about this? I'd prefer "America, the Beautiful" because it's about our natural gifts, not war. On the other hand, I understand the value of tradition. So I guess this is one of those issues that I'm firmly on both sides of.

2) Katharine L. Bates said her lyrics were inspired by a trip to Pike's Peak. What's the most beautiful American spot you've ever visited? It's one that I take for granted: Lake Michigan. It's hypnotic, it's awe-inspiring. With all that fresh water, it keeps us alive.

3) The music was written by organist Samuel Augustus Ward. Both Bates and Ward were very formal when signing their names professionally -- she including her middle initial and he with his full middle name. How about you? When you sign checks or documents, do you use your middle name or initial? Yes. Most of my credit cards, my checking account, my mortgage ... they all include my middle initial.

4) In 1945, when this version of the song was recorded, America lost Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Frank Sinatra said, "I lost a hero." What late, great American hero from our past would you like to honor today? Watch this. Really. This was a great man.


5) Also in 1945, a 19-year-old "hoofer" waited outside the Los Angeles radio station where Sinatra was being interviewed. That was the beginning of the friendship between Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra. Tell us about your oldest friend. We met in Kindergarten. We Beatle bonded, her falling for George while I staked my claim on The Cute One. She currently lives in California, and I miss her every day.

6) The Fourth of July means we're in the middle of summer. Are you careful about applying sunscreen? Yes

7) Mosquito bites can be a major summer annoyance. Are you scratching any itches right now? Little dry skin related things, but right now, no bug bites.

8) Emergency rooms report an increase in wrist injuries in summer, with people falling off bikes and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching hard-hit softballs. Have you  been to the ER or Urgent Care during 2019? No.

9) New York is home to Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest every year on the 4th. Will hot dogs be consumed in your household this weekend? Yesterday I had a hotdog and chips in cafe at the Chicago History Museum.