Saturday, August 10, 2019

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 10

Today's happiness -- "Till There Was You." Today has not been a great day. Henry is suffering, the Cubs are losing ... I'm distracted and restless.

Then I looked at my August happy picture and remembered how happy I was to sing along with Sir Paul in the shower this morning. (No! He wasn't there!) The song was "Till There Was You," It was never a single, it was a cut from Meet the Beatles. It's not broadcast very often. It surprised me and made me happy when I was shampooing and conditioning.

(In this live version, he muffs the lyric a bit.)

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.

I know the right thing to do. I just don't feel like doing it.

My dear Henry is back in the hospital. More seizures. There isn't a hospital Key West equipped to handle this, so he was airlifted back to Miami.

I think this means that he is now, indeed, an epileptic. Epilepsy is a not uncommon side effect of traumatic brain injury. I worry about the impact Henry's drinking has on his condition. From what I've been able to glean from the Internet, the only thing worse than alcohol is alcohol withdrawal. All I can do is first throw my hands up, and then fold them in prayer.

If this is hard for me, I can only imagine what tonight is like for Henry's husband, Reg. I know I should call him, but I'm not going to. Reg has been so mercurial himself lately. His Facebook posts have all been about himself, not about Henry, and I just don't feel like dealing with it. I just can't bring myself to put my head into the lion's mouth.

I am monitoring Facebook and have sent a message to Stephen's good friend, Patrick. I hope I'll hear something soon. And I definitely want to hear from Henry when he finally comes back home.

Saturday 9

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs (1993)

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

1) This is the theme from Frasier, a TV show that ran  from 1993 to 2004. Were you a fan? Not really. I've seen it a few times in reruns and it's fine, but I don't go out of my way to catch it.

2) The show is about a radio advice show host, Dr. Frasier Krane. When you listen to the radio, do you tune in for talk or music? Music. I like hearing the Cubs score and the weather, but I tune in for the music.

3) The theme's composer explained that tossed salad and scrambled eggs are both "mixed up," like the people who called Frasier's radio show. Which did you eat more recently, tossed salad or scrambled eggs? I had tossed salad with my late lunch on Friday. Thousand Island dressing. I'm reminded how much I like Thousand Island.

4) Peri Gilpin played Roz, Frasier's coworker at the radio station. The actress originally cast was Lisa Kudrow, but the show's producers didn't feel she was "right." Being released from Frasier gave her the opportunity to accept a bigger and better part: Phoebe on Friends. Can you think of a time when a setback was really a blessing in disguise? I had a prejudice toward women doctors. I was convinced they were more empathetic to women's issues. Then, when I was about 45, I got Dr. Lisa. She was a stone bitch. I found myself in terrible pain, 24/7, during my period. This was a new and excruciating wrinkle and she gave me opiates and told me to suck it up. She said she knew all about "cramps." She wasn't hearing me that these weren't "cramps."

I immediately switched to a different doctor, chosen using insurance and geography as my guide. I ended up with Dr. Chuck, right around the corner. He could not have been more responsive. He discovered that I had four golf ball-sized uterine fibroids and sent me to a radiologist for an embolization. 

If Dr. Lisa had been any nicer, had spent more time with me, and still told me to just take pain killers, I might have gone along with her lame ass treatment regimen. And I would have suffered. So in retrospect, I'm glad she was officious and dismissive.
5) Dr. Krane shared his home with Martin, his retired dad. Martin's favorite chair was well-worn recliner, held together in parts with tape. Frasier tried to replace it by giving his father a brand-new, expensive leather chair as a gift. Martin wanted his old recliner back. Tell us about a present you either gave or received that wasn't a hit. The phone! When my friend Mindy was mom to a toddler, I gave her a big phone with  speed dial, as well as a notepad with a leather cover to go beside it. She was going back to work and I wanted her to be able to program the doctor's number, her work number, her husband's work number, etc., for the daycare worker.

I hadn't counted on how torn she was about returning to work. She hated the phone. She said she would never let anyone take care of her son who couldn't dial a phone. And, when she was insulting the phone, her son was tearing the leather cover off the notepad. I was shattered.

Mindy is one of the sweetest people on earth, and she didn't mean to hurt my feelings. She was just that miserable about leaving him and going back to work and my gift celebrated it. I understand that now. But at the time, I was pretty miserable myself. (PS Now that kid is 29, so she and I are well past this.)

6) Kelsey Grammer played Dr. Krane on three different series (Cheers, Wings and Frasier) over 20 years. What job have you held the longest? This one. I started at this agency on St. Patrick's Day, 2004.

7) Before he found success on Cheers, Grammer played bit parts on the daytime dramas Ryan's World and Another World. Have you ever followed a soap opera? 

My two faves. My mom was a big soap fan herself, so she encouraged me in my passion. My kid sister inherited the soapy gene, too.

8) In addition to work in front of the camera, Grammer has done voice over work on commercials for Dr. Pepper and Cheerios. Are either of those products in your kitchen right now? No. But I do have Coke and Honey Bunches of Oats.
9) Random question: You're invited to a party where dinner is served buffet style. There's spaghetti with tomato sauce, barbecue spare ribs and buffalo wings. When the evening is over, how likely are you to have a food stain on your clothes? Highly likely. OK, a certainty. I'm such a klutz and a slob.

Better than the book

You've heard this cliche: "The book is always better than the movie." And, generally, I suppose, it's true.* Except when you compare Mario Puzo's The Godfather with Francis Ford Coppola's film. Or today, when I saw The Art of Racing in the Rain after reading Garth Stein's book.

Both are narrated by Enzo, a highly evolved and loving dog and a very good boy. As a puppy he is adopted by Denny, which be believes is his destiny, a critical step on his path to being reincarnated as a human. Denny is his hero, his friend, his teacher. He lives his life in service of Denny and, when Denny gets married and starts a family, includes wife Eve and daughter Zoe in his heart.

So far, the book and the movie track.

What happens to Denny in the movie is the stuff of life. I don't want to give any spoilers away, but what Denny's family endures is something that has touched someone you know.

All this happens to Denny in the book, too. Only it's exacerbated by a plot twist that felt unnecessary and, worse, misogynistic. I'm happy to report the producers seemingly came to the same conclusion, because Annika** never made it to the screen. The movie is better for it.

It's not a perfect movie. There's a sequence with a stuffed zebra that worked better on the page than it does on the screen and I wish it had been handled differently. But let's not quibble.

If you love animals, if you have a heart and a pulse, this movie will touch you.

*Though since books and movies are different media, it's not really an apt comparison.

** If you read the book, you know who she is.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 9

Today's happiness -- The sky. This summer has been too hot and too humid, so good days are especially glorious.

Like today. High 83ยบ. No precip, low humidity. And the sky! Puffy white clouds against a sky of Cubbie blue!
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.