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.