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!